latest shots

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I just found this randomly, and it is too heartwarming for me not to post.  Love these two and how much they love each other.  You know this is wedding slideshow material.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Round Dos - The First 4 Months

I know that I haven't posted here in mostly eons, it's been hard to find a journaling topic that doesn't seem like drivel.

That's not quite right.

Somewhere along the way I became very conscious of what people thought of my writing, their reactions and this thought in my brain somewhat stifled my ability to write. Anything beyond the daily one-liner seemed indulgent in an interwebz full of words (and I read a fair amount/embarrassing amount willingly myself).

That being said, as we embark on this new journey of a family of four-to-be, I found myself searching back through the blog pages, newly entertained by stories from my first pregnancy with Lilly. I am really happy I documented what I did because I really did forget over time. It's been four years since I did this pregnancy thing, under very different circumstances, and my memory fails me on many beautiful, insignificant details that I wrote down mindlessly here. So in realizing that, I decided I would write again, this time, to restore my memory in the future. Which will undoubtedly fail me again.

So where this pregnancy begins (ok not really THAT FAR) is with a whole lot of discussion on whether we wanted to really do a man-on-man defense parenting approach in our future or not. This endless ring of conversations usually ended with one or both of us throwing our hands in the air, at God knows what saying "if it happens, it happens!" Lovely strategy I know, but sometimes I thinks it's best just to let things go how they will.

On Andrew's birthday, he and I went to lunch together to celebrate on our own a bit. We had plans to meet friends out for a bite and drink at dinner that night as well. On our way back to the office, I asked Andrew if I should take a test before we go out tonight - to which Andrew said yes. Granted, I am not even "late" yet, I just more wanted to know if it was ok for me to drink or not. Andrew immediately pulled into CVS and said I should take the test right now (patience is neither of our virtues) so home we went, I peed on the stick, and there you have it, it read pregnant. Obviously at this point calling it "pregnant" is an overstatement, I was not quite 4 weeks at the time. So now "hush hush" because a myriad of things can happen at that point. But our reaction this time was little less scared crying, more "well, here we go!" Happy.

I should back up a bit and say Lilly has been asking for both a baby brother and sister for months. Not one, both. She has several times insisted that I "had a baby in my belly" when I did not in fact (but thanks for that!). She sees a lot of pregnant women at school, and she seemed to want that for herself. Peer pressure? Maybe. I am more inclined to think she wants something of her "own" to care for, Little Miss Bossy (and loving of course). We decided not to tell her, knowing that the concept of a secret is lost on her. We'd wait until the holidays when/if things were farther along.

Evening of Thanksgiving, after dinner there was some family hanging out, enjoying the nice weather playing washers. Lilly was doing her usual "racing" outside, burning some excess sugar of the meal while the adults sat around and talked. On one of her laps, she yelled "Mama has a baby in her belly!" And kept running. I was shocked. I didn't know how to react fast enough and in slow motion, everyone's head turned towards me. I'm white-faced, mostly because this time it's true, not her just wishing (and making me feel AWESOME about my physique) and Andrew's Mom asks "do you have something to tell us?" Ummmmmmm... Well so much for the Christmas morning surprise idea.

After being pregnant with Lilly, I was pretty sure I was a pregnancy rock star, capable of carrying child with minimal discomfort. About two seconds after the parents knew, I started to feel nauseous. At first I thought it was in my head. But no. Starting from about then until almost new year's, nausea was always looming, worse in the afternoon and evening. I was completely unfamiliar with this feeling and MAN, not fun. I had the kind of nausea I could only keep at bay by continuously eating starchy food. Which is awesome for the weight game, especially during the holidays. I developed a nice little pasta-pooch by the time I was 9 weeks. I didn't even show until close to 20 weeks last time!

Right before Christmas we had an appointment to confirm the pregnancy ("viability appointment") and find out our OB has a sense of humor. I have a new doctor this time and am delivering in a different hospital because my previous doctor no longer delivers babies. Therefore we are getting to know this doc from scratch. Andrew came to the appointment to see the little alien baby via ultrasound, and when the doc pulled it up on the screen, she asked "so how many we're you expecting?" Andrew nearly passed out until she said "just kidding! It's only one." Between 12 and 13 weeks, we went in for genetic screening and found out luckily that everything looked good so far. HOWEVER. They would NOT tell us the gender of the baby, which is slightly maddening, because it is not "medically necessary." Ummmm it is MENTALLY necessary for THIS Mama! But no, we're having to wait it out until after 20 weeks which is practically eons in pregnancy time.

Luckily, around the time my first trimester was ending, I started feeling less nauseous... right in time for a family flu epidemic! Lilly brought an un-vaccinated strain of the flu home for Andrew to catch, and subsequently me. I seemed to have the hardest time shaking it off, probably from my lack of pharmaceutical options and managed to catch a secondary case of bronchitis and raging sinus infection to follow. The only silver lining to this torture was my appetite disappeared so I managed to lose a few pounds of my pasta baby. It felt like it had been months since I felt good and whiney/cranky does not quite describe my attitude during the time. The first week of February, things started to get better, right in line with the weather and an actual baby pooch started to emerge. It's still earlier than last time but I've heard that is normal.

I'm amazed with how different this pregnancy has been to date than the last one. The sickness, the complete aversion to so many foods (do not even bring red meat, indian food, or anything that strays too far from cereal around me) and the supreme level of exhaustion just go to show that every kid is different.

Lilly is so excited to be a big sister, kissing and hugging my belly daily, and talking about what she is going to teach her and feed her (Lilly will only entertain the idea of a little sister now, and I tend to think she may be right). When I look at the ultrasound photos from each kid at our genetic testing, I am struck by how different the profiles are. I think we are in for a completely different experience this time, and I feel very lucky to be able to experience this in a way that I can relish in it, even with all the ick that came at the beginning. I can't wait to meet his kid, boy or girl. We truly do not care which it is, we're just hoping for a sleeper this time. Can you see that in an ultrasound??

The Test, Confirmation of Little Bean ultrasound at 9weeks-ish, 10 week Pasta Pooch (before the flu), Genetic Screening Alien Baby Face ultrasound at almost 13 weeks

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CUB = Cashed Up Bogan = Rich Redneck

This week I officially got my first international assignment at work (Hey-oh!  Welcome to the big leagues, now I'll officially be abused properly), which means I will actually have to travel internationally.  I didn't even want to write about it anywhere until I saw the airline and hotel bookings in my inbox because I was afraid I would jinx it by even mentioning it out loud. 

I am working on a pursuit for a large project in Australia, the largest ever project attempted in the industry in fact.  Our London office is the lead office on this pursuit, so Saturday I travel to London for five days of kick-off meetings with the commercial teams, our joint venture partner counterparts and our proposal execution teams.

It is unnatural how excited I am.  The geekiness is embarrassing really.

I tried to play it cool when my director told me I was assigned to this project and would have to travel, but the blank expression quickly gave way to an ear to ear grin.  He knew he just made my day, even if he in his own mind can't understand why on earth I would want to travel for work - a task he abhors now as a senior person.  It's not the travel so much (OK, a little bit the travel) as it is that it means a lot to me for him to take me into account in experience-building/mentoring/succession planning.

My first big project!  I get to grow it from the ground up!  I get to be part of every step that my team needs to take to contribute to this proposal.  I feel like I will learn so much from this opportunity, I welcome the chance to absorb every ounce of experience I can from this. 

I know it is going to be grueling and that the novelty will eventually wear off, but I wanted to capture my enthusiasm for a moment, document it, so I can hold on to that optimism.  Maybe that's a weird reason to write, but I would rather hold on to the good than the less pleasant.  Isn't it that way with most memories in life?

As I mentioned before, the project is in Australia, so deep in the recesses of my secret desires, I hope that means a trip Down Under is in order sometime in the next few months.  Time will tell, there has been no mention as of yet.  The sales guys are from our Australia office, and I have to concentrate with embarrassing intensity to wade through their accents.  They are a lively bunch (as those in business development typically are) and joke around a fair amount.  I'm pretty sure they wonder how bright I am, as when they make a humorous comment, it takes me just a split second too long to decipher their cockney before I start laughing.  If I get to go to Australia or not, I will at a minimum learn some interesting slang during the course of this project.

But before I get ahead of myself, ALL SUGGESTIONS for places to see/things to do/food establishments to experience are very welcome.  I have been to London before, so I don't need to make a total tourist of myself, and I wouldn't have the available time even if I wanted to, but I would happy to do a few things here and there if someone in the know can make a recommendation.  My hotel is in south Kensington near the Gloucester tube stop, so directions are also welcome if you are feeling so generous.  All those proper Brits who would be assaulted by my Americanism appreciate the heads up for me in advance.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Who's schooling whom here?

I still have moments where I can't believe I'm a parent.  I would think this would have sunk in by now, but 2.67 years into this gig, and I still get blown away by the mere suggestion that someone would allow me to care for another human being, especially one that is so cool.  OK, not cool in the conventional sense, but cool in the "wow, how did she come up with that, she must be a genius, I call MY GENES!" kind of way.

(Yes, Andrew and I both territorially claim any hint of smarts/lucky guess on her side from ourselves.  Very mature adults, obviously.  See my earlier point about not believing we're allowed to care for another human being.)

Today we had a parent-teacher conference to go over the things Lilly will be studying/working on in her new class.  This is our second go-round with the teacher-time, so we are Pros at this now, I tell ya.  I brought my pen and pad to take notes, per usual.  I appreciate (to a fault) any sort of insight or advice into rearing children (again, see my previous point).  More often than not, I have moments with her teacher where I say (sometimes internally, sometimes the words incoherently tumble from my gaping mouth), "WOW, you mean kids this age can DO that?!?" 

Last August when I was doing the teacher-time for the first time, I was blown away at the idea of our kid being fully potty-trained and being able to dress herself.  That just seemed insane.  Having lost all sense of perspective, I was at that point expecting to be following her around with wipes, trying to pull a shirt over her head while she tried to escape streaker-style well into her forties.

Today, there was talk about subjects.  Like real school subjects: math, science, language, handwriting, geography, music, dance, practical life skills (OK that one not so much real school - but by golly that should be the name of a class in high school where they teach you how to balance a checking account, fill out a W-4 correctly, set up a retirement fund and understand medical insurance.  Am I right or right?).  The kids are learning the globe and the seven continents in this class.  ARE YOU KIDDING.  I would embarrassingly enough have to scratch my head to get the old hamster running fast enough to recall that kind of information on the quick.  She is capable of for-real chores in the house, and wouldn't you know it, she really does enjoy helping in the house (count the seconds that is still possible, I know) - she helped me unload the washing machine and put the dishes away tonight.  Me = beaming/plotting ways to extend this streak of pure insanity.

With the amazing also comes the... challenging.  She's learning how to "lie" - as in "Daddy said I could do this" when the very opposite is true but she's trying to pit us against one another.  Thankfully she hasn't quite figured out the concept that I HEARD HIM TELL YOU NO yet.  Bed time is a struggle. She knows we don't go to sleep right away and wants in on the action too.  After several lame attempts at stalling, after already having been read fifty books and back-patted into kingdom come, she opens her door and yells "MA-MA, MA-MA, MA-MA" ad nauseum.  The other night Andrew yelled back, "GO TO SLEEP LILLY!" in a warning/frustrated voice.  And Little Miss yelled back in an equal tone, "NO, YOU GO TO SLEEP, I'LL WATCH YOU!"

Excuse me?  I think you just got told by a toddler, Andrew.  I find myself musing this genius book at times like that.  How can you not laugh?!  But that's what she wants, she knows that if I crack and laugh, she's got me in the palm of her hand.  You can see the look of satisfaction on her face.

I'm pretty sure this backs up my point and emphasizes my inexperience when it comes to disciplining but I can't help but give her extra hugs while I giggle over faux-stern eyes.  It's going so fast.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One week

In the past week, I have...

1) Signed up for the MS150, after making some lame/not as lame excuses for 7 rides since my last ride. I'm kind of scared but more excited.

2) Read the first book of "Hunger Games". Awesome way to get back into reading recreationally again. Talk about a gripping - I find myself physically shaking while I'm reading from the anxiety of the scenes. Can't wait to start the second book tonight.

Also reading "Setting Limits for a Strong-Willed Child". I am not much of a parenting-book reader but two guesses why I'm reading that? Maybe the tipping point was the laughter that comes from my daughter at the threat of a spanking? I know you can't even mention that in mixed company - spanking children - but I put it out there. Lilly on occasion will push our limits so far that she gets a spanking. I can feel the judgement from here.

3) We have been completely diaper free for a week. Holy diaper genie I never thought we'd get here but she finally gave up night time diapers too. Minimal accidents since and I couldn't be happier to get that pay raise.

4) Speaking of raises, I got a small promotion at work which isn't a big deal really but makes me feel loved at work all the same.

I am feeling strangely optimistic this week. Maybe our gate will even be repaired this time? (read: seriously, at this point I'm used to it not operating properly). Maybe we will win our plea for denial or variance across the street? (say no to apartment buildings right up in our grill!) The possibilities are not hopeless.

Friday, January 06, 2012

This year I want to...

1. Learn to sew on the sewing machine. I want to be The Bobbin Master.
2. File/Shred the papers that are eating our house alive. We haven't filed since approximately the turn of the millennium.
3. Make the office a usable AND enjoyable space, instead of a place mediocre things go to gather dust and guilt.
4. Do something special for each of my loved ones. They deserve it.
5. Visit a new (to me) piece of the world.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Those Brits are onto something

How did my life ever feel complete without an enormous headdress which announces my presence 5 minutes before I've arrived? Better question, why am I wasting time trying on head bling in the 7th ring of hell that is the Galleria 4 days before Christmas?

I am too that point where I am just trying to make it through the holidays unscathed. Forty-eight hours of jam packed family holiday time, followed by 8 (!!) days of relaxation, free to do whatever I please.

Shopping is officially done and tree is complete.


Now, let's bake!