Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Countdown is on

Right around this time last year, Jay and I were in the process of getting our PADI Open Water certifications. I was also about to meet with my now boss for the first time.

It's incredible how much can change in a year.



I now have my PADI Advanced Open Water Certification as well as my FINRA Series 7 registration. For the record, the Series 7 was a lot harder. But my dive certification will keep me safer when it comes to breathing underwater.

We went to the Dominican Republic to celebrate our three year anniversary last December, and we brought home a parasite.

After we found out we were expecting, we of course rushed out to get a puppy, since the breeder in Maryland still hadn't come through for us. Speaking of which, I still haven't heard from him and it's been over a year now.

Loki is settling down, kind of. Okay, not really. Maybe a little. Part of the problem is that he's a high energy breed and pregnancy kind of takes all of that extra energy out of you. He is awesome as long as you keep him busy playing fetch or frisbee. We had hoped to take him for a second round of obedience training, but this summer got away from us.



So on to the countdown... if due dates are to be believed, I will become a mom in five days. It's all rather surreal and terrifying.

The nursery is ready, we have childcare for when I go back to work, my awesome friends have set up a food delivery schedule to get us through the first six weeks, and we have everything that we need.

I'm trying to get some rest this weekend, but it's not easy when you're 9 months pregnant and have to pee constantly. That and having a dog who constantly wants to play.

I suppose that I should get back to writing my thank you cards... and hopefully that elusive nap!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Trip to Ogunquit and last few weeks

So my plan to blog more often kind of fell apart. The problem is free time, and also the amount of time that I spend on the computer at work. By the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is log on and stare at a screen some more.

Ogunquit was a beautiful, charming town. The only problem was the hills... for this flatlander who is quite pregnant, they were a lot for me!



This was the view on our beach day. We had pretty much the place to ourselves! The water was freezing, but Jay jumped in anyway. I did manage to get in to about halfway up my thighs, but my legs were numb when I got out. The water there was unbelievably clear and beautiful.


I got to pick my dinner!


This is a view of the coast a little farther south

Another beach view from Marginal Way

One day we went to get ice cream at the Scoop Deck, where you also get a free pickle if you're pregnant. Their ice cream cones were HUGE and Jay and I both ended up throwing them away halfway through. Yes, it's true. I wasted ice cream.

This was the place that we stayed, Unit 303 in the Lookout Condos. We got to sleep on a Queen sized Murphy Bed, which was pretty cool. However, I was very happy to get back to my King Size mattress at home.

I finally had to take off my wedding ring while we were on vacation. One of the days was pretty warm and my fingers were swelling up. A bought a cheap band from Amazon when I got home because my finger felt naked. It's 1.5 sizes larger that my wedding band, so hopefully I can wear it for the rest of my pregnancy. It is pretty loose right now.

The weather was rainy and kind of crappy the day before we left, which drew some surfers down to the water. We spent a few minutes trying to watch them, but after seeing surfers in Coolangatta, it was pretty disappointing. Obviously not on par with the surfers Down Under. 

Wedding selfie from a wedding in NoVA at Zion Springs. Although the food and music were great, the layout was horrible. They only had two unisex bathrooms available for all of their 150+ wedding guests. So I spent the bulk of the evening waiting in line for the restrooms. It was literally a 20+ minute wait each time. So that sucked. The dance floor area was also open to the elements and was a brick patio, which I found a bit odd. 

And my first attempt at making a cake from scratch went awesomely. My mother came over this weekend and for dessert, I made Julia Childs's chocolate & almond cake from her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The recipe can be found here. Yes, it's true. Until this weekend, I had never made a cake from scratch before (except for a pumpkin cheesecake that I made probably ten years ago). I'll tell ya what, the recipe says that it serves 6-8 people, but there's not much of that cake left.

I have a little less than two months left of my pregnancy. I'm tired of being pregnant for sure and am in some ways eager to get it over with, but I'm also rather apprehensive about becoming a mother, oh, and that whole process of getting the baby out. That's rather terrifying. We are also not done the nursery, which we have finally decided to decorate in a Star Wars theme, partially because of some awesome posters we found on vacation. Originally we hadn't planned on painting, since the room is already blue... but it's not a very nice blue. We are going with the color baby elephant, same color as this laundry room post. I will post photos when it's all done.

That's all for now, I suppose. Perhaps I'll have some time this weekend for posting, since it's a long weekend!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

#9 Go on vacation somewhere new.

I'll be completing #9 from my 25 things list this weekend!

Despite my considerable travel experiences, I have never been to Maine. I thought that "visit Maine" was on my 101 list, but apparently it didn't make it on the list.

So we'll be traveling to Ogunquit, Maine this weekend. Since I'm pregnant, we want to stay somewhat close to home. We did think of going to Florida or doing an all-inclusive, but it's better for me to go somewhere cooler where my ankles don't swell as much.


Our trip has already had some hiccups... we booked a rental property from Saturday-Saturday, but then found out that Jay's best friend Brian is getting married in New York on Sunday. Rather last minute! So we are having to delay our plans, including having to rearrange a longer visit with my cousin in Boston, which I'm bummed about. We're now spending the weekend in Long Island and will spend the following Saturday afternoon with my cousin and her family in Boston. But we will still have five full days in Ogunquit, so that is good!

I'm planning to take a lot of photos, since my poor camera hasn't seen the light of day for a while.

Other plans: eat plenty of lobster, go on walks, read books, and enjoy some quiet time with the husband before we welcome our screaming blobfish of joy into our lives around August 28th.


Speaking of vacation, we are planning our next big trip - and the first one with the baby. One of these days we will actually use our timeshare, and I'm hoping that by contacting them now for next June that we can actually land a decent place in Hawaii. The plan is in the early stages, but my Australian Auntie thinks that she may be able to meet us out there next year. It's kind of halfway between OZ and the US. And this way she'll be able to see us and her great-nephew and we will be able to do some diving. I don't think we'll be taking the trip back to OZ until our kid is old enough to remember the trip and appreciate it just a little - i.e. think that lorikeets, koalas and roos are the coolest thing ever - maybe when he's 4 or 5? And then hopefully he'll fall in love with diving like mom and dad, and then we could take him again when he's older and a certified diver. Or maybe he won't love diving and will find something else fun to do. It's Australia after all.

Of course going back to OZ will be out the window if we have a second kid. I'm pretty sure that we can swing these kinds of epic trips once every five years or so if we just have one child, but the second kid would wipe out that kind of discretionary spending. And honestly, I really don't enjoy being pregnant!

So three posts in three days... not too bad. Glad that I could put in some time over the weekend blogging! I do miss it.



Monday, June 2, 2014

Catching Up Part II

Here is a photo summary of the last month or so...


The cows have been grazing across the street again... they like to come over and say hello.


Kitty Whore aka Piper is the least scaredy-cat that we have. She stands up to Loki pretty well, but our pets are still working things out. I'm hoping that one day they'll all get along. Loki of course just wants to play and doesn't understand why the cats don't want to play with him.





The dog loves to play fetch and will do just about anything for his ball. It's our most useful training tool. Although he does love treats, he's not as food-motivated as most other dogs. We are working on playing frisbee with him and he's had a lot of awesome mid-air catches, but he still prefers the tennis ball.


There was also this morning a week or two ago, where Loki chased the rooster into the house. I was standing outside in my bathrobe with the door open, trying to stop him from chasing it. The rooster had his head down in the corner like, "If I can't see him, he can't see me!"


And then I got a hold of the dog and Mr. Roo-Roo went on his merry way.


Draco, aka His Royal Highness The Reverend Doctor Tasty, Esquire is loving his new bed. I feel kind of bad for all of our animals... they have no idea how their lives are going to change in a few months. My friends Jen and Tim are done having kids, so they gave us a ton of their baby stuff late last summer. It turned out to be perfect timing. This is the pack & play bassinet that we're going to keep in our bedroom for the first few months. Jen and Tim were over a few weeks ago with their girls (two and four, who Loki did very well with) and they helped us set up the bassinet while they were here.


And speaking of the baby, here I am pretending to chug a Strongbow. That said, I am of the belief that light drinking during pregnancy is most likely okay. It is of course a controversial subject, and since there are ethical questions over setting up any kind of study that involves pregnant women, I doubt that most OB/GYNs (in the U.S., at least) will ever encourage drinking. I've weighed the risks and read more than a few articles and studies on the subject. My definition of light drinking? Since the beginning of my second trimester (my first trimester I abstained almost entirely), I've been having anywhere from one to three drinks a week. And I do mean single servings, like a 5 ounce glass of wine instead of my usual 8-10 oz pour pre-pregnancy.

The pregnancy itself is going well... I'll be 28 weeks on June 5th, which is the beginning of my third trimester. At my last doctor's visit, I was measuring a week ahead, so my appointments were moved up to every other week. I didn't post about it, but I was having some horrible sciatica and muscle spasms in my left side quadratus lumborum. The pain was pretty unbearable, but my OB sent me to physical therapy, and I think that the combination of PT, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic finally got me all straight. The pain also seemed to clear up a ton after passing my Series 7 exam, so that may have had something to do with it.

I've been continuing with massage and also started going to acupuncture in February. I really think that it is having a positive impact on my life as well as how I'm feeling. My massage therapist moved from the Shore Health integrative medicine group to starting up Whole Being Health with a group of like-minded practitioners, which is how I ended up trying acupuncture. My acupuncturist is also a licensed counselor, so it's like having a therapy session and acupuncture treatment together. I love it! There are also studies that show the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy - and some states and insurance companies have approved acupuncture as another way to bring on labor naturally. So I will be keeping that up, as I do not want to go past 40 weeks.



And last but certainly not least, my dear friend Christina tied the knot with her hubby Dan a few weeks ago. She was such a beautiful bride and we all had a fantastic time celebrating her nuptials. I can't wait to see Laura Dye's gorgeous photos from the wedding!



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Catching Up Part I

Blogging at this rate, my next post won't be until the baby gets here. Just kidding, I'm going to break this into two entries so that I'll have another post this week. :)

Yes, one day I will have a life again and apparently that day arrived. I've just been too busy doing things to have time to blog. Also, since my new job is pretty intense, the last thing I feel like doing when I get off (or with my few free weekend hours) is to get on the computer. If I have free time now, it's usually spent doing something with the dog, reading, and sometimes I just veg and watch bad tv.

There has been SO MUCH going on lately... but let me start with the most important thing first...

#1 on my list for my 25 things in 2014 --- I PASSED MY SERIES 7 EXAM!

It was a huge accomplishment, AND a huge relief. I found out after taking the test that I am the first to pass with my company in our region in about a year, and that lately they have had a 90% failure rate for first-timers. I was pretty damn proud of myself. The morning of the test, I was already planning on how I was going to do a better job studying for my next go at the test, and that this time I was going to take a test prep course. But all of that was unnecessary. I hugged the test proctor when I was finished. That happy.

And since I'm going through my 25 things list anyway, I can check off some more items on my list:
  • Housebreak our dog.


Puppy brother hasn't had an accident inside in probably over a month now, and the last few times he's been over my girlfriends' house, he has also not had any accidents. So yeah, he knows what he's supposed to do.
  • Finish the fence.
My awesome husband finished the fence about a month or two ago. I wish that it had been completed when we were housetraining the puppy... life would have been much easier (and less cold). Along with finishing the fence, he also replaced our back door, which the original contractors did a shitty job with. It hasn't shut properly in several years, so we would keep it deadbolted and unopened all winter, since I can't physically get it shut or locked. Anyway, we now have an awesome functioning, easy to open, shut, and lock door. We should have done it years ago... it only took Jay a few hours to do it and was well worth the cost of the new door and supplies.
  • Finish at least one closet of the two unfinished ones.
Jay took care of that, too. Having a baby helps to speed along some of those unfinished projects.
  • Rearrange upstairs bedrooms.
This also happened and is why there is now a queen-sized mattress and box spring sitting downstairs in our living room. Now we have the futon in the baby's room (we figure if the kid is sick, it will be useful if one of us need to stay in there), a double bed in our front office/guest room, and a queen size in the guest bedroom. Along with our king size bed, which I love.
  • Get my wedding ring re-sized.
I had this done in January. However, with the warmer days causing swelling, plus extra fluid from pregnancy, it's starting to get tight again. I'm going to have to find a cheap replacement band to wear soon. 
  • Come up with new savings goals & reallocate funds.
This was completed... my maternity savings goal will be complete hopefully within the next month or so. The balance sheet has some sizable accounts receivable which is going to make a big difference in the savings. And then I can start redistributing the funds that I had siphoned away from the emergency savings fund. Around year end, the Emergency Savings Fund should be fully funded, so that we can start saving for other fun things. More on that in my next post.
  • Complete an obedience class with our pup.
Of course, that is the least of our problems with him... the biggest challenge has been getting him enough exercise. An ideal day to get him to normal (and not crazy) dog status involves playing fetch for an hour or two and taking him on at least a 45 minute walk. He has definitely made a lot of progress from where he was, and I have to remember that he's still a puppy. We will be signing him up for an intermediate training class, so that we can work on his manners. He's incredibly smart, but he gets distracted easily when he's around a lot of people and other dogs. It's also tough because everyone gives him lots of attention whenever they see him, so he wants to be everyone's friend. Getting him to ignore new people is a bit of a challenge. And then of course there's the well-meaning strangers who encourage him to jump up on them.  

More to come in my next post. And more photos!