Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{ Leap Day }

When I realized, a few weeks ago, that February has 29 days this year, I felt like I should try to do something special. Something to commemorate this day that only happens once every four years. What, I didn't have a clue.

Turns out it's a good thing I didn't make fancy plans, because Mike and I are both sufferin' from a nasty cold. Poor Mr. has had it for almost a week: It was bad for a couple days, then got better, and then--BAM!--last night it was back in full force. I could tell I was coming down with it yesterday, and today I am definitely sick. The nice part about having colds at the same time is that we both just want to lie around and snuggle...I don't think we've ever been sick at the same time before! The bad part is that we both ache and feel crummy and don't really feel like doing anything. We both want someone to make us grilled cheese sandwiches and bring us tea and rub our feet.

We woke up to snow this morning, too. It's an unusual day all-around. I'm sure I'll keep myself busy with piles of paperwork that have been waiting for a few quiet hours to grab my attention. I just put chicken curry in the crockpot, and there are a few cans of chicken noodle soup in the pantry, and when I've finished my chores, there are beautiful nurseries on Apartment Therapy to drool over, baby names to discuss, and a snuggly, snuffly man who will be happy to curl up on the couch with me. Not quite what I imagined Leap Day 2012 would be, but not to shabby nonetheless.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

{ Making Me Happy }

~ Talks with Mike

~ A cup of coffee {laden with cream and sugar} nearly every day--Mike is a master of the French press!

~ This darling cross-stitch by a fellow blogger who has become a dear friend, in spite of the miles that separate us: Isn't it the cutest thing you have ever seen?! I wear that outfit all the time--and I love that Mike's got Miss Peanut in the baby carrier!

~ A massage and chiropractic adjustment that "fixed" my badly-out-of-whack neck

~ Not throwing up very much :-)

~ This massage bar from Lush...I call it my pregnancy splurge. I slather it on my tummy every day, breathe in the lovely scent of honey and white chocolate, and hope it will help prevent stretch marks!
Mange Too Massage Bar

~ Musing over nursery decor ideas and paint chips

~ Is this not the most endearing doormat you've ever seen?! It makes me smile big-time! {Our previous doormat was stained by the contractors}

~ Cleaning out my makeup collection and throwing away the old, crusty stuff...why do I hang on to old makeup I've stopped using, when I know I'm not going to use it in the future??

~ Skinny chocolate chip buttermilk scones...thank you Pinterest!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

{ Dear Miss Peanut }

{ Outside view }

{ Inside view }

Dear Miss Peanut,

On Tuesday night we had your ultrasound, and found out that you are a Miss! We couldn't have been happier, though I'll admit I was a little surprised. I didn't have strong feelings one way or the other, whether you'd be a boy or a girl, but since I was surprised, I guess part of me was expecting a boy.

You were cooperative for most of the exam, showing the technologist beautiful views of your head, face, brain, heart, kidneys, etc. When it got to your spine, which was a little hard to see because of how you were lying, you refused to budge, in spite of me rolling first on my right, then on my left, then on my right again, and the tech jiggling my tummy with the ultrasound probe. You had none of it and stayed put.

 I'll admit, I was really relieved to see everything functioning normally and in its proper place! Having been a cardiac ultrasound technologist for five years, and having studied OB/GYN ultrasound in college, I know a little too much about the kinds of things that can go wrong developmentally and be discovered with ultrasound. For a week or so before your exam, I kept having bad dreams and thoughts about what we'd find on the ultrasound--sad things, that something would be wrong, that you wouldn't be okay. I didn't even really care whether or not we could tell your gender, I just wanted to know that you are okay. I knew they were irrational fears, and it was such a relief to see that you are just perfect. I especially liked seeing your little heart: four tiny little chambers, an aorta with that teeny tiny aortic valve, and the pulmonary arteries branching just like they're supposed to!

{ Your arm and hand }

{ One of your feet--you wiggled your toes for us! }

I think you have the daintiest little profile. The tech let us watch your face for awhile, and you were busy swallowing {so crazy that we could see your tiny little tongue moving in your mouth!!} and trying unsuccessfully to get your thumb in your mouth.

Your daddy was pretty blown away by how much detail we could see. He jumped out of the chair and came to stand by me almost as soon as the ultrasound started, amazed at how clearly we could see all your different body parts. He kept squeezing my foot, since that was all of me he could reach, and saying, "Wow!" He loves you an awful lot! :-)

Afterward, we went to dinner at a nice little restaurant called Terracotta Red, and talked about what we're going to name you. We haven't decided on anything yet, but your daddy pretends to be quite enamored of "Oona Moona," a name he made up. He says it's perfect because you can say it really fast. I suggested "Ronna Paulette" in honor of his current favorite presidential candidate--thank goodness both of us are just being funny! I think we were both a little bit in shock at the wonder of seeing you, knowing there's really a baby inside me, and that you're a girl. Not just Peanut anymore.
Miss Peanut.

We love you so very much, Miss Peanut!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

{ Valentine's Day }

Valentine's Day is so last week. I know.
Once upon a time, I thought that if I ever had the good fortune to be a stay-at-home wife, I'd blog, like, every day. Now I am in that season, and am continually astounded that I still blog so irregularly. Just yesterday, I was on the phone with my Mom, and she asked what I've been doing lately. My {incredibly intelligent} response: " elliptical, I really don't know. People always ask what I've been doing, and I always feel like I don't have anything very significant to tell them, but I'm always busy doing something!"
My Mom's {very comforting} comeback--she's been a stay-at-home-wife-then-mom since 1979: "That's just the way life is, kiddo!"

Back to Valentine's Day. I have no plausible excuse for writing this post a week after the fact. Remember the Great Wall Leak of January 2012? Nearly a month ago? Repairs took much longer than I expected: When they estimated 20 hours of work {if they didn't have to repaint the entire ceiling}, I assumed that to mean three days. I mean, c'mon, I was rounding up and giving them four whole extra hours, right?

It seems I've forgotten how long home improvement/repair projects take. Once the wet drywall was ripped out, it took several days for the walls to dry. Then the contractors had to schedule to come out and put in new drywall and spray texture. Then the texture had to dry. Then they had to schedule to come back and paint the replaced portions of the wall and ceiling. Then they had to schedule the manager-person to come out and see whether or not the ceiling paint color matched the rest of the ceiling closely enough {we had extra wall paint, but had never painted the ceiling, so they had to color-match it}. The manager-person agreed with us that the ceiling color definitely didn't match, so they scheduled the contractors to come back out and paint our entire living room/dining room ceiling. The next week.

I should pause here to say that the decision to paint the entire ceiling--at no expense to us--was met with much rejoicing by both Mike and Nikki. When we painted the walls last summer, there were several areas where we--ahem--splotched paint onto the ceiling. And being less-than-perfectionist-types when it comes to a sloped ceiling that is 25+ feet high at one end, we decided to live with a few spots on the ceiling rather than paint the entire ceiling. And now we're getting our entire ceiling painted for us, without having to do a thing!! Awesome!

So, they were scheduled to paint on Monday, the day before Valentine's Day. They called that morning and cancelled because the lead painter was sick. We rescheduled for Wednesday because we didn't want to have a freezing cold, paint-fumey house on Valentine's...I had planned to make a nice big dinner for Mike, and that would be impossible if I had to be out of the house all day to avoid paint fumes.

When I was growing up, V-Day was never an event for my family. Period. Mike, though vocally and vehemently opposed to the commercialism of what he calls "the holiday that Hallmark made up to generate revenue," has always made it a special day for me. He makes it very clear that he doesn't need a special day to show me how much he loves me, and that every day we're married is Valentine's Day. Sweet man. This year, I wanted to bless his socks off. I started with Pinterest {where else?} and used red-and-white baker's twine to tie doilies and construction paper hearts around different-sized Mason jars with candles in them. I made a little heart bunting strung on red yarn, and framed some Valentine-y printables I found on Pinterest and set them out.

Then we had to move everything out of the living and dining rooms in preparation for painting. *sigh*

I ended up filling the dining table with candles, temporarily hanging the bunting on the mantle, and putting most of the other stuff in our bedroom. It wasn't what I had envisioned, but it worked well.

The evening's menu:
Green salad with feta, walnuts, and cranberries
Pioneer Woman's ribeye steak with whiskey cream sauce
Pioneer Woman's twice baked potatoes
14 Hands 2009 merlot {or water, for the pregnant lady}

When Mike asked what I wanted for V-Day, I told him 1) flowers, and 2) chocolate ice cream. He came home with a dozen red roses, two half-gallons of frozen chocolatey decadence, and an assortment of candy bars to chop up and put on top. Needless to say, dessert was delicious! We finished the evening by watching "The Man from Snowy River," which Mike had never seen. In spite of no curtains and rooms stripped nearly bare, it was a really, really good Valentine's Day. The best yet.

P.S. The ceiling did actually get painted the following day! It looks beautiful. We have yet to re-hang the blinds and curtains, so we're still practicing exhibitionists working on 5+ weeks of bare windows, but for the most part the house is back together.

Monday, February 20, 2012

{ 19 weeks }

At 19 weeks, Nikki is:

~ Still 5'4"
~ Weighs an undisclosed amount
~ Sleeps on her side, snuggling a pillow, because it's much more comfortable than the alternatives {except the alternative of snuggling Mike...duh}
~ No strange food aversions or cravings
~ No maternity clothes yet...though she might be getting close on the pants
~ Still occasionally throws up randomly--on the kitchen floor on Saturday, in the bathtub this morning
~ Doesn't nap as often as she'd like
~ Definitely felt Peanut move for the first time on February 9!

At 19 weeks, Peanut:
~ Is about the size of a mango {6 inches, head to bottom}
~ Weights about 8 1/2 ounces
~ Is developing lots of sensory areas in his/her brain
~ Is sprouting hair on his/her head
~ May be able to hear my voice

Just for fun, here's the bump progression, starting with weeks 8, 9, 10, and 11:

Weeks 12, 13, 14, and 15 below:

And finally, weeks 16, 17, 18 and 19:

Monday, February 6, 2012

{ It's a Little Crazy in Here }

Pregnancy is a funny thing. I'm not just referring to all the new twinges and pains and unexpected physical symptoms that pregnant women experience. I'm talking about how other people respond to the pregnant lady. I hadn't really thought about what I say to pregnant women regarding their changing bodies, or how they might take it, beyond the very obvious never ask a woman if she's pregnant, even if she looks like she's about to go into labor. NEVER.

It's a whole different ball of wax when you're on the receiving end of such diverse remarks as "I can't even tell you're pregnant! You look great!" and "Sixteen weeks and you're not in maternity clothes yet? I'm so surprised--that's amazing!"
All on the same day. 
I'm learning to laugh and shrug it off, whatever people say...because honestly, my brain is so addled with pregnancy hormones that it doesn't really matter what anyone says, it almost always surprises me.

"You don't have a bump yet at all!"
Does that mean I shouldn't have posted that picture, and now everyone thinks I'm narcissistic because I did?

"I can't believe how much your tummy has grown in such a short time!"
*sniff* I'm only 15 weeks...I shouldn't be showing very much I look fat?

"Can I touch your belly?"
Um....I hate to tell you, but what you're patting is 100% Nikki's intestines. My uterus is a heck of a lot lower than that, but my chronic tummy roll loves the attention.

In short, my conclusion thus far is that the only foolproof thing to say to a pregnant woman is, "You look great!" Period. That's it. Stop there and you're golden.

And truly, I swear, pregnancy brain is real. I am perfectly aware that my gut reaction {ha!} to people's comments is completely illogical, which is why it annoys me so. Also, please don't see this as a warning not to talk to me about Peanut or pregnancy or the growing tummy bulge! I'm sharing this as an amusing insight into the hCG-riddle pregnant woman's brain, not as a crazy person's passive-aggressive warning to stop talking to me! I really do like talking about this amazing thing that's happening in my body. It's just that I've never been through this before and I'm still figuring out how I feel about all of it.

Speaking of pregnancy brain {I'm amazed I can remember back to the beginning of the previous paragraph!}, it is the most confounding thing to a person who used to be able to remember everything and was once upon a time quite organized and efficient. I can't remember things from one moment to the next. I get distracted at the drop of a pin--really, my attention span is about a millimeter long. Half the time I don't remember that I've forgotten something--that's the half I prefer. The maddening part is when I know I forgot something I just thought of 30 seconds ago, and no matter how hard I try or how many ways I try to trick my brain to go back to that moment before I forgot, it doesn't work. It's just gone, folks.
Gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday...

Example: Earlier this week we had some friends over for dinner. I made The Pioneer Woman's apple dumplings for dessert {SUPER DELICIOUS!!!}. The secret ingredient is 12 ounces of Mountain Dew in the sauce. One of the reasons I decided to make this dessert is because we have an unopened liter of 7Up in the pantry from when I was nauseous all the time. Note: I said we have a liter of 7Up, not Mountain Dew. However I never realized this till after I'd made them, we ate them, and one guy was in ecstasies because he could taste the Mountain Dew! I mentioned that I decided to make these because we had Mountain Dew in the pantry, and Mike was like, "Uh, babe, we had 7Up, not Mountain like 7Up when you feel sick." Oh. Crap. How could I have missed that?
And then I realized I had put in two cups, instead of 1 1/2 cups...because in my head I thought 8 ounces is one cup, and 16 ounces is one and a half cups, so I'll put in 16 ounces!
Also, that same night, I put my favorite oven mitt on a burner I could've sworn I had turned off a few minutes earlier. Apparently I hadn't, because that burner burned a hole right through it. Of course this was five minutes before our friends arrived, so the whole place smelled like burning fabric.

Welcome to a pregnant woman's brain...I hope I haven't scared you!

Friday, February 3, 2012

{ Job Envy }

On days like today

I am convinced

{ why hello there, Mt. Baker! }

that Washington State Ferry captains have the best job in the world.

So glad I made the effort to have my quiet time down at the beach today.

I found the photo below quite humorous: Two things for which Washington is well-known {ferries and Boeing jets--see the blip in the sky on the right? I promise it was impressive in person!} in one frame. Who knew!!