Sunday, April 19, 2009

Never Underestimate the Power of a Pregnant Woman with a Craving

I've had trouble lately coming up with things that sound good to eat. I tend to crave spicy things, so Friday night I had the Chicken Poblano soup and Enchilada pasta at Ground Round. Last night I made my old standby, Chicken Taco Stew, which is black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, corn, Rotel, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, and shredded chicken. No wonder my doctor doesn't give a lot of sympathy for my heartburn troubles! Tonight, though, I came home facing another meal alone (DH is at the Twins game) and the ONLY thing I felt like eating was a hot dog. Now, I do not normally eat hot dogs--it was not a staple growing up, and I will not eat them microwaved or boiled. I tried starting the grill, but for some reason I just couldn't get it to light.  

Desperate, but determined, I spotted our fire ring in the backyard and decided I would build a fire and roast my hot dog!  I did just that--even climbing up to the storage loft in the garage to retrieve the roasting sticks. I sat outside by myself, roasting the hot dogs to blackened perfection, then put out the fire and added chips and watermelon for a perfect indoor picnic-for-one!

Now we'll see what I'm going to do about that peanut butter cup blizzard craving!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Garage Sales Galore!

I am determined not to get caught up in excessive "baby-buying" and spending way too much money on stuff the kid will never care about. Hence, I've spent the last 3 days hitting every garage sale in the area. I got some amazing deals!

First, I scored some home decor items- a black iron plate/picture holder that perfectly fills the space between my TV and closet, two silver plate/picture holders for the nursery, some fall decor for the mantel, and some snowflakes I'm planning to paint for a 4-seasons-themed room. All this for $13.70!

I hit a few sales early on Wednesday and scored some big items. I bought a Graco car seat/stroller/swing/highchair set from a friend (only some of it shown), along with an exersaucer, a brand new boppy with cover, about 6 sets of neutral sleepers, baby jeans, a blanket, and 4 burp cloths. Total cost: about $210

Shopping a sale early was also wonderful because I could try on maternity clothes and got some great summer work shirts (10?) and 2 pairs of capris. I think everything in this picture cost about $50. Not bad for the price of 2 new shirts!

On Thursday I stopped at a sale with about 10 minutes left on my lunch break. For $42, I got a white crib that is super-easy to assemble, a bathtub with a pump-shower sprayer, and a floor playmat in great condition. Not bad for 10 minutes!

The nursery is looking even more complete with this great changing table with changing pad and cover that my husband picked up for $20 (although his one caveat is the pink cover has to change in the event we have a boy).

Saturday's sales weren't nearly as successful, but I did pick up 4 onesies for $3, plus four books for a dollar. Baby books, you ask? about 2 Gary Paulsen books (both DH and I loved The Hatchet as kids and I hadn't seen these before--I read one of them already today!) and 2 Encyclopedia Brown books. I think being pregnant has made me more nostalgic than ever and sometimes I can't pass up books I loved as a kid, fearing that by the time my kids hit 2nd grade, all the books they'll see in the Book Orders are Bratz or Hannah Montana. I want to hold on to those oldies-but-goodies! (Hence an entire bookcase and several tub in our basement filled with books for 3rd-8th graders!)

I may try to hit the famous Kingswood rummages in Sioux Falls next week, but otherwise I feel like I'm sitting pretty well with major purchases taken care of! I love a bargain!

16 Weeks

I am now 16 weeks and really thinking the whole "you'll only be sick the first trimester" is a myth. Some days are okay, but some result in total exhaustion and a few unpleasant episodes. It is also really hard to think of something I feel like eating, but once I find what it is, I have no problem finishing it off!  It is becoming a little harder to find shirts that look decent, but haven't dipped into the maternity clothes yet.

The "nesting" phase has definitely started--I'll post my awesome garage sale finds in another post.  It's so hard to not buy all the adorable clothes and shoes I've seen, so it's probably a good thing we don't know if it's a boy or girl--otherwise the clothes buying could get out of control!

This week was also eventful in that I turned 27 years old (the peanut butter cake with fluffy chocolate frosting I brought to work was gone by 9am) and celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!  Somehow I always pictured my 5th anniversary in Hawaii or something, but I guess the Ground Round in Worthington (highly recommend the Chicken Poblano soup) and a trip to Shopko for storage bins was as romantic as we can muster these days!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oh Baby!

Well, the news is out and I've been meaning to blog about it for quite a while but can't seem to sacrifice some imperative facebook time to get back to the blogosphere. But, I know someday I'll wish I would have recorded all the inane details of pregnancy for posterity, so here goes...


Your next question, if it is like most who hear the announcement is..."Are you sure you are fit to be a parent, I mean you haven't exactly been the gaga-over-babies type or voluntarily spent time with a kid (other than your niece) since you were getting paid $2/hour to babysit in junior high, plus are you ready for your life to be essentially over?"  Oh wait, maybe that is just what I'm imagining you are thinking.  Usually the first OUT-LOUD questions is...

"When are you due?"  The answer IS Sept.29, although for a while the answer WAS Oct. 29.  Our 9 week ultrasound transformed into a 13-week ultrasound with a quick measure of the head and femur by the radiologist. Big surprise to us, but totally stoked to have "skipped" (mentally at least) 4 weeks of waiting.  Next question...

"Are you feeling okay?"  Hard to answer this one without sounding like I'm looking for sympathy. In all honestly, I've been sick for about 2 months now. After I say I've been sick, people kind of pause, like they're waiting for details. But I don't think they REALLY want to hear about "round 2" of a delicious cinnamon roll/string cheese/grape juice breakfast being hurled out through my nostrils in the shared bathroom at work. Yeah, I didn't think so. Moving on...

"Do you have any cravings/food aversions?"  Not a lot of consistent ones except I can no longer stand the smell of coffee and Pizza Ranch never sounds good, although I think I could eat my weight at the buffet if I actually went there. I have had overwhelming urges for the following at different times: Mexi rolls from Taco Johns, popcorn shrimp, Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, tater tot casserole, Totino's cheese pizza, and dark chocolate mint cups from Hy-Vee. Basically I make whatever sounds good at the time, whether it be a whole bowl of steamed broccoli with ramen noodles or hot dogs with macaroni cheese (neither of these pasta dishes I had made in the previous 3 years). I seem to crave meat and potato comfort foods and usually feel sick after eating sweets, not that it prevents me from eating them...I am a slow learner.  After being on a low-calorie diet for the better part of the last 1.5 years, the instructions from my doctor to up my calorie intake by about 500 was a welcome change, although it did cause me to get 2nd to last place in the weight loss competition at work (I found out I was pregnant halfway through).

"Are you going to find out if it's a boy or girl?" We are trying to stick to a surprise and would honestly be thrilled with either a little football player or cheerleader, I mean a boy or a girl...respectively, we hope.

"Are you showing?"  Asked more by long-distance people than those standing right in front of me, staring at my belly.   But for those of you strangely curious about my imminent weight gain and protruding belly, at 14.5 weeks, I'm far enough along for my pants to be a bit snug, but not time to reach for the mumu yet. Hopefully I can hold out on the maternity clothes a little longer, although through a tub of clothes loaned to me by my friend J, I now have more cute maternity jeans at my disposal than pairs of regular jeans, so it won't be so bad to move into those.

"Are your families excited?"  No--they think it's a terrible idea and no one wants grandchildren.

Just kidding.

My parents are thrilled, of course, and they have been faithfully praying for us for some time, so we see this as a direct answer to prayer. They will go from 1 grandchild to 3 in a span of about 5 months and we have no doubt the love (and book collection) will just keep growing. As much as they love their 2 "close-by" granddogs, I think they are ready for something not so...furry.

DH's parents will be first-time grandparents and they are thrilled as well. We celebrated with a lovely family picnic supper after surprising them with the ultrasound video. What a blessing to have 2 sets of grandparents within 45 minutes.

The new aunts and uncles all had different reactions.  DH's brother and future sister-in-law were actually the first people we told and they had to keep it a secret for over a month. We let them in on the secret so they could decide if they really wanted an 8-month pregnant lady standing up in their wedding, but they did and the maternity bridesmaid dress is ordered. Since we are their only chance for nephews or nieces, they were pretty pumped! My older sister, who is expecting my first nephew in May, was really excited when I gave her a late night phone call and said she'd be up all night thinking about all the baby junk she could get out of her basement and unload on me. (yay!) My younger sister said "I knew it, I was just waiting for you to tell us." But I do claim that she's been "suspicious" for about 2 years now, so she was bound to be right eventually.

"What do your friends think?"  We are blessed with such a great group of friends in Sibley and in the area, many of whom are experience parents, and many of whom are secretly plotting to sell me lots of stuff on their garage sales this April.(yay!)

"What do your coworkers think?"  Most of them are happy for me and now realize why I've been spending more time in the bathroom than usual. My one coworker, who will probably bear the brunt of the landslide of work I'll leave behind on maternity leave, was trying to convince herself the announcement was just a cruel April Fool's joke to make her life miserable, but I think they were all just happy to have some pink and blue frosted cinnamon rolls. The teachers DH works with were all happy for him and cleaned out the 2 pans of scotcheroos by 7th period.

"Have you started nesting yet?" No, we basically haven't bought/moved/cleaned a thing in anticipation of the Little One. I have all kinds of ideas for the nursery, but painting it would involve getting up before 9:30 on a Saturday and skipping my 1-3pm nap that same day (I am exhausted most of the time).  It will eventually get done and I think I'll gain more motivation after my massive garage sale shopping planned in a few weeks.

"How do you really feel about becoming parents?"  Excited, scared, overjoyed, unprepared, in denial about the realities of parenting....and truly blessed in a very real way that this miracle is actually happening and that everything looks great so far (152 baby heartbeat, good bloodwork and other tests, and no complications so far). We covet your prayers in this journey and as lighthearted as I want to keep this blog, don't ever think that I am not completely grateful and in awe of the great responsibility God has given us in this new role as parents!