Thursday, November 29, 2012

preggo vlogs #1 and #2

This pregnancy I decided to do some video journals along with my normal weekly written journal {which I am sharing on the blog, in paraphrased form, every four weeks of my pregnancy through our 'bump-dates.'}

Keep in mind I feel much more natural writing my feelings, rather than speaking them.  However, I thought this might help you get to know me a little better, make me seem more like a "real" person behind the words that I write.

Or maybe it is just super awkward???  I don't feel awkward filming these at all, but it is always strange to see yourself on film and hear your own voice.  I never realized what it might be like conversing with myself.  I have determined four things about the experience:

1) My eyes bug out a lot.  I knew this, but actually seeing it is rather funny to me.
2) I say "um" and "so" and "just being honest" and "anyways" a lot.
3) I am pale.  Not the pretty pale, either.  The ghostly, pallid pale.
4) I have difficulty saying the word "vlog." It is a tricky one.

This is the 'one where I just found out I am pregnant' and I try to articulate my mixed feelings about that.  As I mentioned, I am not fantastic at articulating my thoughts orally, but hopefully this message comes across:  I am a little freaked out.  In a good way.  I think.  :D

Also, enjoy how I explain how a person gets pregnant - I'm sure you needed to know.  ;)

And here is the 'one where my toddler tries to kill me with a screwdriver.'  Sorry, you have to wait for the end to see that...or just skip to the end.  I also chat a bit about my birth plan.

Almost the weekend -- hurrah!  
We'll be on vacay next week.  The destination was supposed to be a surprise to me, but my MIL spilled the beans!  
I'll share with you soon!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

the renovation : kitchen progress poetry

'Twas a month before Christmas and all through the house
So many power tools were stirring you couldn't hear a mouse.
The mantle was removed from the chimney with care
In the hopes that someday there would be some new decorative tile there.

The baby was nestled all snug in his bed
The whirring of drills and air compressors ringing in his head,
With mama in her maternity pants and dada in his UK cap
Wondering when, oh when, would they ever get a nap???

Over the past few weeks there has so much been clutter and clatter
And so many tears from the preggo wifey that hubby didn't know what was the matter.
So away to Louisville last weekend he flew (with baby) like a flash
To escape a hormonal mama, who immediately went to the mall with a dash.

The cabinets are almost completely hung in their places with care.
The granite picked out, not much more to do there.
Appliances delivered, all shiny, stainless steel and new.
When plumbing and electric are finished, installation shall ensue.

I'm excited to cook, and unpack all my kitchen stuff!
Wow, this kitchen renovation sure has been tough.
I'd be lying if I said I'd do it over again.
At least not pregnant.  I'd never do it then!

Well, this has gone from Christmas classic to Dr. Seuss...guess it is time for me to stop rhyming.

Here are some kitchen pics!  
This was before the cabinets were installed...

Then we removed the oak fireplace mantle {not our style} and discovered various layers of wallpaper and an ingrained pattern on the stone that was most likely from 1859, when the house was originally built.  Actually, I have no idea, but that is the story I am going with.  See the second photo below for the detail... are some views of some of the new cabinets.  Sorry for the bad lighting.

There will be a ladder on rails to reach those super tall cabinets.  And that cluster of cabinets in the middle is the island, sans countertop.
Okay, so we still need: a ventilation hood in that big space there, potfiller, trim on the upper cabinets, tile backsplash, under and over cabinet lighting, the sink, oven, and cooktop to be installed...oh, and various other things like the granite basically there is still a TON to do before this kitchen renovation is complete. finally is feeling like a kitchen.   I feel like maybe I will be able to cook something in the next month or so.  That, my friends, is a beautiful feeling.

Merry kitchens to all, 
and to all a good night!

Friday, November 23, 2012

the surprise : finding out and sharing the news!

I've always been a planner.   I like to prepare mentally and physically for everything - as much as I possibly can.  When things happen unexpectedly it tends to take me a little while to process and readjust my mindset.  (A 'little while' can be an hour or a few months.)

Back in late September I started to have a few odd things happen.  Like, I would start crying about EVERYTHING.  Be completely overcome with emotion regarding any little sentimental thing, particularly having to do with babies. Shoulder-shaking sobs, out of the blue.

Also, a few other weird things.  A metallic taste in my mouth, usually in the morning.   Oh, and let's not forget my favorite (not really) the super sensitive breasts.   So, when I was a couple days late with my period and I had a slight but all-too-familiar feeling of nausea one morning, which quickly went away after eating a handful of crackers, I knew I had to bite the bullet - I had to get a pregnancy test.

I am pretty in tune with my body, and my mind knew I was pregnant.  The thought thrilled me a little, as I'd been having a mild case of 'baby fever.'  But my heart kept telling me, No way!  A false alarm.  You aren't quite ready, girl.

I seriously felt good about my effort toward natural family planning.  I had tracked my ovulation and we specifically avoided having unprotected sex an entire week surrounding my estimated ovulation days.  I did exactly what I did to track before we got pregnant the first time.  Which had worked.   But obviously my tracking this time was somehow way WAY off, or our method of backup birth control failed, because...

...that day in September, late afternoon, a mere three seconds passed after I hurriedly peed on the testing stick before it read: PREGNANT.  Very, very pregnant.  The line was less of a pink, but rather a foreboding deep, dark RED.

We had had plans to wait for a while - plans to finish the kitchen renovation and take a non-pregnant vacation.  I had plans to enjoy a few more months of being able to enjoy my nightly glass of wine.  But...
God had different plans for us.  Baby plans.
After I saw the positive read I was, honestly, a little panicked.  It was nothing like the first pregnancy, where all I felt was happy excitement and all was bright and shiny and new.  This time I already had a baby, who cannot yet talk, who is still in diapers, who takes pretty much all my energy all day long.  I was honestly a little scared when I saw that dark pink 'plus' sign.  Scared I can't handle two.  Scared because Cormac is still so small - still a baby himself.  Also, I was a bit sad.  Sad at the thought of having to divide my time and love between two babies.  Sad thinking that Cormac was getting cheated out of months, maybe years, more of being the center of our universe.

So, while I wanted to think of a cute way to tell Paul, like I did last time...I just couldn't wait.  Well, I waited until the next morning, when I felt too nauseous to make the 'cinna-bun in the oven' that maybe would say 'we're pregnant' in white icing or something nerdy like that.
my grand plans of a cute 'reveal' were foiled by my overwhelming emotions!
So, instead of following through with anything cute, that morning I got Cormac up like I normally do and brought him into our bedroom to snuggle for a few minutes with Hubby.  As we lay there, I stared nervously up at the ceiling and asked, "Is our vacation refundable?"

Hubby seemed shocked. "Why?" he asked quickly.

I burst into tears.  "Because I'm preeeeeegnant!!!!"

Imagine a real ugly cry here.

Hubby's arms went around me immediately and said, "Really?  Are you serious?  That is so GREAT!"  He was completely overjoyed.  He said all the right things to comfort me.  I felt better immediately just being able to share it with him.  I felt less alone, somehow.

I told my real sister and my best friend (Cincinnati sister) the night before I told Paul, just because I was a little freaked out.  They were amazing and supportive.

I told my parents during their short visit in early October...who were overjoyed about lucky Grandbaby #7!   My mama wants a girl baby...she was, of course, not shy in telling me.  No pressure. :)  Here we are during their visit, with Mother guarding my pregnant belly...
We told Hubby's parents and sisters in the weeks to set accidentally over the phone, the other set with Cormac wearing a "Big Brother" tee.  So fun to be able to share the news!

Now,  in my fourteenth week, I am finally over the initial shock and seemingly done with the nausea-ridden first trimester.  Also, the kitchen cabinets are nearly installed, the granite is picked out for the countertops, and the Christmas presents are {mostly} purchased.

Feeling more prepared.  Feeling more excited.  Feeling really thankful now that God, of course, had even better plans than my own.  His plans included speeding up the kitchen reno, speeding up the flooring installation in the back of the house, and making us a family of four in His time.  Our little babes will be almost two years apart, which will be so, so great.  And hard...but since God only gives us what we can handle, I am feeling grateful that He has this much faith in me and Hubby.

Thankful for all our family and loved ones who have been so, so, so supportive and genuinely happy for us and our pregnancy -- who have showered us with love and prayers and real happiness and excitement, rather than ridicule at our failed attempt at birth control.

That is what makes this pregnancy even more lovely than the last -- I feel this amazing vibe of  genuine love coming at us.  It is hard to explain, but this helps me feel more prepared and at ease with the pregnancy.

You know who you are -- we love you and and so grateful for all of you!

* * * * * 

Sick of preggo posts?  Kitchen reno progress update soon!  
It's getting there!!!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

{12 week bumpdate}

Our first bump-date! 
  I'll only be doing one of these every four weeks, like last pregnancy.  I personally don't think much changes in only one week and I honestly can't make that type of commitment!
  However, these will be slightly more detailed than last time.
(If you are interested, here is what I wrote about at twelve weeks last go 'round.  Not much!  I was too naive and deliriously happy to complain.  Wow, those were the days!) 

Now settle in with your coffee and grab a donut or some other fattening pastry.  
It will make me feel better.  :)

  jeans and cardi - Express // top - Forever 21 // nothing maternity 
Rants {the crappy stuff}:
I have a blogger friend (also pregnant with her second babe) who frequently writes that she is always forgetting she is pregnant.  This astounds me.  Maybe it is because Jules is a working mama, who has much busier days than I do.  More distractions, perhaps? My distractions are usually of the "toddler kind,"  which only makes me hyper-aware of my pregnant state and wondering, "Holy am I going to deal with two of these????"

At twelve weeks I have had a million moments when I wish I could forget I am pregnant, but the nausea, food aversions, severe crankiness and lack of motivation remind me almost constantly - "You are soooo pregnant, girl."

Okay, that is my rant this month.  As a pregnant woman I reserve the right to complain all I want to.  Just go with it.

Raves {the happy stuff}: 
Now that my tummy is actually sort of a bump and not entirely bloat it is a little more fun to be pregnant!  My energy is slowly returning, too, which is direly needed when you have a 16-month-old.

Recently, at my first "official" appointment we heard the heartbeat (well, Cormac and I did) and though I was a little distracted by the toddler yelling at me, hearing that familiar, quick, thump-thump-thump of the baby's tiny heart brought tears to my eyes.

Another happy thing?   I recently woke up, for the first time in seven weeks, without nausea.  Not to say I haven't had nausea still {I have} but usually first thing in the morning I wake up with that horrific sick feeling that if I don't eat something bland and tasteless I will most definitely vomit.  A break from that was a welcome surprise.
{my 16-month-old and my 12-week bump}
Weight gain: 7 pounds.  Yeah, that is way more than what is recommended during your first tri. My midwife told me I should gain only 20-25 pounds.  I nearly fainted.  Last time I gained 38.  This time it will most likely more.  Sorry, lady.
Nausea:  Subsiding slightly- finally!  It started at six weeks and has been really bad up until now.  Much worse than with Cormac.  Actual vomiting.
Skin: Fine (was super bad last pregnancy!)  No 'glow,' yet.  More like 'sallow.'
Boobs:  Sorry, but since 'the girls' are an important part of pregnancy, thus they shall be included.  I am already up a cup size.  Yikes!  Needless to say, Hubby is thrilled.  All I can say is by 5pm...ouch.  They have hurt a LOT worse this pregnancy, and got bigger faster.
Cravings:  None. For the past twelve weeks I eaten plenty, thus the weight gain...but with little enjoyment.
Aversions:  Until this week everything sounded bad.  I wasn't able to prepare any food, choose restaurants, or even enjoy what I was eating.  It was a foodie's worst nightmare.  Now that is slowly, very slowly,  getting better as well.
Exercise: Still doing pilates/yoga mix class once a week, as well as a couple other days at the gym...but am taking all my workouts a little easier.  Still can run just fine, but getting too cold to take the baby out in the jogging stroller, which is a bummer.  Only run a few times a week, instead of every single day.  Definitely working out more than during my last pregnancy, though!
Clothing:  Still wearing my regular pants, but have started to wear a few maternity tanks and shirts.  Just sooo much longer, more comfy and unlikely to creep up.
Heartbeat: 160...which doesn't tell you much this early.
Baby movement: Nope.  No sweet little flutters yet.  Sometimes when I'm carrying Cormac and he kicks around on my tummy I think I feel something familiar...but it is probably just my uterus being shifted in unnatural directions???
Gender speculation: Everyone says girl.  I think this is just wishful thinking on their parts.  When you have a boy already everyone wants you to have a girl, it seems.  I think two boys would be awesome.  Cormac has been a much fun!  Imagining him with a little bro, playing, fighting and getting into lots and lots of mischief makes me happy.   I've always pictured myself as a "boy mama" and that feeling remains.  However, my motherly intuition says...girl!
{I would love another little boy! But dang I had fun looking at girlie clothes at Target over the weekend!}
Baby names: Ha.  Like I would share that.  Sorry!  :D  Once again we will keep the name a secret until the birth.  I will say that we do have both first names already picked out, be it a girl or a boy.  Middle names are yet to be determined.
Hubby feels: Unprepared for another baby, due to house renovation.  Not nervous about having two - just excited!  Really excited about finding out the gender.  (Prefers boy.)  Feels that his wife is, well, ahem, a teensy bit more difficult to be around during this pregnancy.  Perhaps a little crankier.  Or a lot.

Bump progress:

Hope everyone is having a
lovely Monday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

oh, baby?!?

Oh yes!
I am pregnant with baby number two!

Hubby and I were completely shocked by this one.
sorry for the above two crappy phone pics! the test says I'm pregnant, I swear.
We were planning to wait until our kitchen was completely done before even starting to 'try' to have another baby.  We were planning to wait until after our trip to St. Martin in December. But,  as my sister told me when I called her in a complete panic after taking the pregnancy test, "God laughs when we try to make plans, Greta!" Oh, that laughter I must evoke.

I found out I was pregnant in late September, after a few tell-tale symptoms and being two days 'late' prompted me to take a test.  That seems like forever ago.

Now, I am have just completed week twelve.  Almost done with the first trimester.  Not a moment too soon.  It's been a rough one!  Much, much harder this time around.  
{six weeks}
I'll be posting the "finding out" story soon, some catch-up pics, and a 12 week bump-date...when I have the energy!

Much love-

Friday, November 9, 2012

my life : the honeymoon

Currently doing a auto-bio series, hoping to reflect, learn, and grow...and for you to get to know this blogger better!  To catch up read:


The wedding was over.  All that planning and preparation and anticipation - done.  We were both very thankful to have a vacation happening immediately after all the stress of the big day!

After our Saturday evening wedding celebration, we had all day Sunday before we left on our honeymoon Monday morning.  We spent that day enjoying an awesome brunch with my family and a few other out-of-town guests, then doing gift opening back at our house with various family members.

That night there was some last minute packing, and in the morning we were off!

Where did we choose to go?  Well, the trip was completely on our dollar {which we didn't have any actually dollars actually saved yet} so we couldn't do anything too extravagant.  We had yet to pay off all my student loans, a car, a credit card or two, and not to mention the wedding loan we just had to take out.  We had yet to save up an emergency fund, car funds, and travel funds.  Pretty much we had to keep it fairly simple in order to not add a lot to our current debt.  So no private villas on an island, or pricey European getaways.  We had already done a cruise recently, and been to Mexico together, so neither of those options interested us.  

So, in keeping with the "wine theme" we planned an seven day trip to California, to spend four days in Napa, and three days in San Francisco.   Neither of us had been to 'wine country' and since we were both really into wine,  it sounded unique, romantic and fitting for us.  We were both really excited!

One thing I am really thankful for in our relationship is how compatible we are as travel partners.  There is no one I would rather adventure with than Paul.  We knew this going into our marriage, as we had done plenty of travel together beforehand.   While we both love to see the major sights, explore, and try new things...we also enjoy the simple things.  Sitting on the beach for hours, drinking and people watching.  Camping.  Vegging out in the hotel room and even ordering a pizza.  

Our honeymoon was no exception.  We really had a wonderful time together.   It was the relaxing, indulgent, and blissful week that I'm sure most newlyweds enjoy.  

We flew into San Francisco and rented a convertible.  It was a terrifyingly blinding bright yellow Mustang...but as long as we could feel the wind in our hair, it would do just fine.

I did not drive.  At all.

We drove from San Fran to Napa, stopping in the actual city of Napa to check it out and get dinner.  We ate tapas and drank wine {of course} at this lovely little place:

We arrived at our first bed and breakfast we would stay at in Napa, which Hubby had carefully chosen, in the early evening, just as the sky was turning from pink to purple.  It was a lovely chalet-style building, surrounded by vineyards.  Grape vines as far as the eye could see.

That night we explored the grounds, took a dip in the jacuzzi, made a fire in the large stone fireplace, and relaxed after our day of travel.  The next morning we enjoyed a huge breakfast in the dining room, visited with the owner and the other guests, and then made our way to our next destination - a completely different style of bed and breakfast.  This one right in the quaint town nearby, a lovely old historic home, with very antique decor.  I'm not sure it was necessarily Paul's cup of tea, but I adored the place.  Absolutely lovely in every way.  Nice pick for your new bride, Hubby!

Vintage picnic basket filled with breakfast was left by our door each morning.
The basket had three compartments filled with deliciousness...
After we had checked in and gotten settled, our limousine arrived.  I state this not to sound fancy, but to point something out:  If you plan to visit more than four wineries in one day, it is a really good idea to have someone else driving.  You may get intoxicated really fast!  So limo it was, which was a really fun and romantic way to do it.  {If you'll remember I never went to prom, so I never got the fancy limousine experience then.}  I relished every moment of our day in the limo!
oh no!  gaucho pants!

Drinking in the beauty of California's wine country...

during a gondola ride up to a hillside winery
The next day we took it a little easier, decided to drink less and drive ourselves around.  We went to a lovely winery with a modern design with art adorning the walls to match{Artesa}; a quaint, very private winery that we got a nearly private tour of and was set in the woods {Chappellet - our favorite!} the massive, amazing vineyards of Robert Mondavi, and then, because it was one of our favorite wines at the time, we ended up at Clos Du Val.

Here some photographs from that second day...

sniffing the bunghole.  yes, they are really called that.

nerdy honeymoon pose!
in the mondavi tasting room
had to walk through the woods to get to one winery - so cool!  Except that I was wearing four inch heels...
1981 - a good year

Our last night in Napa we did a fancy, romantic dinner.  Considering the night before we had ordered pizza, we were both excited for a big night out!  (Don't be shocked, we end up ordering pizza and watching a movie one night of every vacation we go on, no matter where it is.)

I don't remember what restaurant we dined at, but when the wine glass is as big as my head (and I have a large head) then I know I like it.

um, clearly I am tired and intoxicated.
After our time in Napa, we headed back to San Francisco, where we would finish out the final three days of our trip.  On the way we stopped in a beautiful ocean town for lunch:

Made it to our hotel in downtown San Francisco, the Westin St. Francis.  The weather for most of our time in the city was pretty foggy and very windy!  This view from our room shows the foggy skies.

One night in San Fran we had dinner at a crazy, yet fabulous dinner theater show, recommended to us by one of our friends that used to live there.

We also, of course, went to Alcatraz, which was pretty interesting.  Hubby especially loves the historic audio tours when we go places like this.
Hubby loving the audio tour of the jail.

Fisherman's Wharf was fantastic for fish fanatics like us.  We feasted unapologetically on large quantities of seafood and beer...
and fresh bread.  Gotta have my carb fix...
And then it was time to venture home.   To our new life.  It had been six years of on-again, off-again dating and a nine month engagement culminating in a beautiful, yet improbable, marriage.

After all that, the honeymoon, as they say, was over.

The adventure of marriage was beginning...and oh, what an adventure those first few years were!

You know those couples who always look picture perfectly happy, who claim they never fight, and everything is simply blissful?

Yeah, that's not us.  Just keepin' it real, folks.

Marriage be hard.

And beautiful.  And sometimes more beautiful because it is so hard.

Up next: Newlyweds