Monday, June 16, 2014

40 Weeks Pregnant and Some Updated Nursery Pictures

So today's my due date.
And I still look like this:

I figure it's a good time to organize my bump pictures:

All of these pictures were actually taken in the exact same place in the nursery, so you can see how things progressed in the background a little bit.  There are some updated pictures of the nursery without a fat girl in them below, but first all the things I think when I see my reflection lately.  Most of the time it's Negative 1 saying "Enormousness" like in the first video (at about 44 seconds), but occasionally it's the Babybel cheese saying "I'm huge!" like in the second video.  Apparently my inner thoughts like accents?

 Now for the nursery pictures:

The crib, as well as the mobile I made last fall.  I never updated that post, but I finally did remove the clips and stagger the sheep better so they look a little less like a crazy herd and more like a mobile.

That dresser that will double as a changing table.  I actually do have a pad, but it's in our room right now because my mom is going to stay in here for a couple weeks, because it's not only the nursery, it's also the guest bedroom.  Also, there are the shelves I built over a year ago, and the chair where I'll cuddle my baby.  I can't believe he could be here any day!

And no guest bedroom is complete without a bed.  We put a ton of pillows on it so it can be like a super big "daybed" when we don't have guests.  Kelly thinks it's his nap bed.
The pictures over the bed.  I know they're simple, but I kinda love them.

The other side of the dresser.  The guitar has actually been moved and replaced with a garbage can with a lid know...changing table....
And for some reason there's the view of the crib from the other you know where the closet is... 
A closer look at the poster over the crib. It's a superpower flowchart we bought at a cool store called Trohv on 36th Street (a.k.a The Avenue for Baltimoreans.)

I LOVE seeing all his tiny outfits in the closet!  The cutest ones were gifts from all the sweet ladies at my baby shower.

There you have it.  A gigantic Dani who has been having contractions approximately every 10 minutes for a week now and is ready to have this baby already, and the nursery Baby T will come home to.  I'm so excited!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New York City

A couple of weeks ago Kelly and I took a Friday off work and had a little long-weekend trip to New York.  We had a ton of fun, and I guess it was something of a babymoon, since it was probably our last overnight trip before our Baby T is born.  (I guess it's fair we get a babymoon since we never had a honeymoon...unless you count moving across the country two days after getting married as a honeymoon.  Our car did say "Just Married" on the back window, so maybe it counted?)

We only live a couple hours away from NY, so driving was no big deal, and since we had so much fun on our Philadelphia trip a few years ago just ditching the car at the beginning and hoofing it all weekend we just did that again.  It was even easier in NYC with a metrocard, though.  On Friday February 21st we left in the morning and drove to Newark, NJ and left the car in a parking garage.  It's much cheaper to park in NJ than NY.  It's also easier to drive in NJ than NY ha ha.  Then we took the train from Newark Penn Station to NY Penn Station.  Normally we go to the WTC, but it was still closed because of falling ice from that super cold snap the east coast had in February.  It worked out well, though, because we were planning to do the touristy Liberty Island and Ellis Island ferry that day, but on the drive up decided to go to the Met that day instead.  So we got some lunch and ate on a (wet) bench in Central Park and watched kids play in the snow, and then spent the rest of the day at the Met.  I have been there a few times now, but Kelly has never been.  I had been telling him to choose what he really wanted to see and we'd do that first because it is so huge you'd have to live inside the Met for a few months (à la From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) to see everything.  I don't think he believed me until we got there.  I guess it is maybe something you have to see to believe.  We ended up starting with one of the temporary exhibits on Fabergé eggs, then hit the Arms and Armor, made our way to 19th Century European Art, meandered through the Medieval Art, and ended up in the Egyptian Exhibit.  We also forked over $8 for two root beers in the American Wing Cafe because all that walking-around-looking-at-stuff had me and Baby T thirsty and wanting to sit down for a bit.  And Kelly wanted one too because he's a soda addict.  If you go, I would suggest sticking with the drinking fountains if at all possible.  We also purchased a Met magnet to add to our souvenir collection on the refrigerator.

Kelly and some flashy armor

Me and Baby T having a chubby party with Henry VIII's armor from his fat phase.  At least he probably bought a coat that could button over his belly.

Degas (one of his paintings from his mild ballet days, as opposed to his many weirdly-posed-naked-female paintings)


Painting by Picasso... bet you didn't guess that!

One of Van Gogh's self portraits

Kelly doing his best Egyptian impression.  Not.

That evening we took the train back to Newark, picked up the car and checked into our hotel, located within walking distance from Newark Penn Station.  We were able to leave our car in the hotel parking lot for free for the rest of the trip.  That was part of the reason we decided to get a hotel in NJ instead of in Manhattan.  Most hotels in NYC make you pay an additional daily rate for parking, which can add up fast.

The next morning we took the train back to NY and got breakfast at a doughnut place in the Lower East Side called Doughnut Plant because Kelly is a foodie and looked up a few places he wanted to eat at, and apparently this was his top pick.  I must admit the crème brûlée doughnut I had was worth the subway fare and the 5 block walk.  After breakfast we jumped back on the subway and took it down to Battery Park and got tickets for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
On the ferry

This was another thing I had done a couple of times already, but Kelly hadn't.  It was really fun just wandering around Liberty Island with Kelly, and we eventually got an Argentinian guy to take a picture of us after we took one for him.  I didn't understand anything, since he and Kelly chatted in Spanish, until he handed me his very nice camera and posed.  I only forgot one thing on this trip:  my camera charger (for my awesome camera I got for Christmas! Fail!), so he had to take our picture with Kelly's phone.  It turned out pretty good for a phone pic, though.

We went for a less-crowded side-view, rather than jostling for a photo op from the front because we're chill like that

Though I did manage to grab a quick picture from the front when we were walking around that way.

Then we went to Ellis Island, but didn't stay very long because all the exhibits were closed because of Superstorm Sandy last year.  That was something I should have looked into beforehand, but didn't even think about.  It's a beautiful building, architecturally, though, so still worth the trip.  Plus we got another magnet for our collection.

Crappy phone pic of inside the building on Ellis Island
Hey! I can see New York from here!

Me and Kelly chillin' on Ellis Island

I snapped this while we were waiting to get back on the ferry

After catching the ferry back to Battery Park we headed to Little Italy for lunch.  We were planning to try a different restaurant than our old tradition, da Nico's, but Baby T was grumpy, hungry, and tired (okay, I was, but it's nice to blame him since it was my big ol' belly causing most of the orneriness) so I was fed up with looking at menus on the street and we ended up just going to da Nico's anyway.  I have to admit, I was disappointed.  If we go back for a meal in Little Italy, it won't be at our old standby.  I hate to say it, but I've had tastier food at Olive Garden, and I'm not a fan of Olive Garden at all.  I guess having our own Little Italy in Baltimore has made it less impressive elsewhere?  I don't know.  Disappointment notwithstanding, I had food in my tum and got to rest my feet and baby belly for a bit, so I was good.

We had time to kill, so we wandered around 5th Avenue, and went to the New York Public Library, and of course found some books to buy.  We kept it to a minimum, though, since we knew we had to carry them around for the rest of the day.  Kelly also took us to a comic book store in Times Square he had to see.  It was huge and pretty fantastic.  (Albeit in a why-can't-there-be-ANY-chairs-here!? kind of way for me.)  Times Square on a Saturday night was a mistake I should have seen coming, though.  It's the crowded, insane part of NYC the locals avoid, and that people from elsewhere probably think all of New York is like until they actually visit.  Actually walking around Manhattan, especially in the tourist off-season like February, is great and not crazy-busy.  But Times Square is.  However, we were going there anyway, because we had tickets to a Broadway show that night.  So after Kelly's nerd-dream-come-true we went a few blocks over from Times Square where it was calmer and grabbed some shakes at McDonald's to hold us over, since we were both still pretty full from our late lunch, and then dove back through Times Square to get to the Shubert Theater were we saw Matilda.  It was so amazing!  I loved the music, the sets, and the actors.  It was creative, and funny, and different, and wonderful.  I think it was really in keeping with Roald Dahl's book.  A child cast actually did a large part of the show, and those kids were incredible!  Sometimes teaching teenagers in Baltimore makes me forget that children can be well-behaved, and disciplined enough to freaking act on Broadway.  We had a great time, and I think Matilda was the highlight of the trip for me, only a tiny step below my all-time favorite Broadway experience of Thoroughly Modern Millie which would be completely impossible to ever be beaten.

I kind of quit taking pictures by this point.  Here's a quick picture snapped in Times Square before Matilda.  Of course with the phone.  Curse my forgetfulness!

After the show we caught a late train back to NJ and slept like rocks at our hotel.  My baby-carrying stomach muscles were screaming at me a little, and my feet and calves perhaps a little more (especially in the middle of the night when I inevitably got those stupid charlie horses), but we had so much fun!  The next morning we drove home and then relaxed the rest of Sunday so we could be ready for the week of work ahead (spoiler alert:  we weren't, of course, because even when we veg on the couch all weekend we never are quite ready for another week of work, but made it through anyway.)  Overall, we had a really fun trip, and we were glad we kept it pretty relaxed.  Since we had both already been to Rockerfeller Square, Wall Street, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity Church, and a bunch of other places, we were able limit it to the couple of things we really wanted to do and not feel like we needed to squeeze everything quintessentially Manhattan-y into our little weekend jaunt.

Four new magnets for our collection: The Met, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Matilda
I think I want at least one more weekend trip before the baby comes...but perhaps somewhere that would require a little less walking...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's a... O's fan!

Also, it's a boy!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Random Updates: Christmas, an Embarrasing Moment at an Aquarium, and Some Thoughts on Pregnancy

It's been awhile.  It seems like I always need to say something like that in the few-and-far-between posts on this blog.  Our lives aren't that fascinating, though, so I guess it makes sense.  Maybe all that will change when Baby T joins us in June and everyone will be sick of us.  Anyway, I thought I'd just record some random things we've been up to and thinking about since mid-December since I'm really bad at keeping a journal now.

First is Christmas.  We decorated our apartment and had our own little Christmas morning a week early so Kel and I could exchange presents and give the cat a new bed and a catnip mouse (which she alternates between mauling and taking care of it like it's her kitten).  The coolest thing I got was a new camera for all the upcoming baby pictures I hope to be awesome at taking.  I think Kelly would say his best present from me were binoculars for birding and such.  He also got a 3DS I bought on the cheap from one of his friends, and he's been enjoying that more than he would probably care to admit.  Now, for memory's sake, some pictures of our little Christmas:

Our tree, that we decided was called Sam as we were throwing it away (technically, Kelly was acting like Libby was saying bye to the tree because she LOVED it, and he said "Bye Sam!" in his Libby voice, so it stuck.  For the last few moments of its life.)

We finally bought a nativity this year.  Who knew ebay was the place for it?  Don't mind the generous gap between our bookshelves, the floor is uneven, but they're anchored to the the wall so it's all good.

Our stockings and little Christmas Angel bell thingy.  I'm sure it has a real name, but I sure don't know it.
That's right.  I made Kelly some Star Wars snowflakes.  I got my x-acto on and rocked at it!  This is R2D2 in case you can't tell.
And Boba Fett.  And no, I am not this super awesome on my own.  I got the templates from here.

Our "Christmas" morning mess

Libby enjoying her present.  I promise it's actually big enough for her, she just sucks at getting in there all the way.

We went home for real Christmas.  I told about three people I would let them know if we were headed home for the break and we would do something, and I'm the worst person ever and didn't even call them.  Sorry to the few friends I have left.  I really do love you guys.  I'm just a very lazy person.  I was so tired from growing a human inside me and dealing with the last vestiges of morning sickness I just hung out with my family, and then I got sick at the end of our trip and only ended up seeing Kelly's family ONCE!  How terrible is that?  Hopefully we move back soon (this summer, maybe?) and I can right that wrong, and hopefully my old friends will re-friend me despite my lazy ways.  It was really nice to be with family, though.  I got to meet my new nephew, who goes by Tiger on the web.  There's a picture on Facebook you can see if you're friends with me.  I don't want to break my sister-in-law's trust and post it on a public blog, since she's really really careful and smart about internet safety.  He's super adorable and I just wanted to cuddle him, but usually he wanted to stand up on his cutie little legs when I was holding him, which was cool too.  Kel and I were feeling a little jealous, realizing we could have had a 7 month old if we hadn't miscarried last year.  It wasn't bad, though, since I am pregnant so at least we know that it's coming.  It was really fun and sweet seeing my brother and sister-in-law as parents, too.  We also got to spend more time with my sister Cami and her new husband Robbie, which was really fun, especially since we hadn't had the opportunity to get to know Robbie very well before that.  One of the many problems of living thousands of miles away!  They are a really awesome couple and we love how Robbie hands Cami's sass right back to her, and we had a lot of fun with them both.  My younger brother Bryan also took a lot of his Christmas break to spend time with us, and as always he is one of the funnest (I know it's not a word) people I know.  Other than that, I mostly probably bothered my parents by always following them around, but I really enjoyed just being with them and talking to them.  We spent Christmas morning at Kelly's parents' house and had a really nice time chatting with his parents and brothers and sisters-in-law, and seeing our cute nephews on that side.  We gave Liam a Buzz Lightyear shirt and wings and it was really fun watching him run around and jump off the couch with them.  I'm excited our baby will have such awesome grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides.  He or she will be in the same grade as my brother's baby, and almost exactly two years younger than Emery on Kelly's side, which is pretty awesome.

One of the Christmas dinners we enjoyed

The other thing I wanted to write about was visiting the National Aquarium.  They have a deal on Fridays after 5PM during the non-touristy season, and Kel and I have been a few times already since we've lived here, so we went couple weeks ago and just wandered for about two hours and had a really fun time together.  I was a little bummed this time that they changed part of the exhibit and almost all the stingrays were gone.  They used to have a huge shallow pool with some smaller sharks and a bunch of stingrays.  I love watching stingrays swim around.  They're so cool.  And if you're lucky enough to see their tummies they have cute little smiles.
Not the best picture, but see its little smile?
But the new exhibit was cool too, just not AS cool.  And it was our first real outing since I got pregnant, because I spent a couple months basically sleeping and feeling sick.  Kelly even managed to have a "Kelly Moment" by staring at something and nudging a person he thought was me standing next to him about seven times before finally looking over to see why I wasn't responding, only to realize it was a guy.  With blue hair.  And a nose ring.  Now that I think of it, I maybe should be offended he thought that was me.  Right after that the actual me came up to him as he was explaining his mistake to blue-hair-guy, and then as he was blushing and telling me what happened we heard "Kelly!" and turned around and there was a couple from church sitting there, probably witnessed the whole thing, so we had an awkward conversation with Kelly blushing and stammering and me trying not to laugh.  But we did manage to invite them to our house for dinner that Sunday.  When we were chatting with them at our house it turned out they didn't notice anything, but got a good laugh from the story.

Jellyfishing! Jellyfishing! Jellyfishing!
Some stingrays and a shark takin' a nap

Oh, I was tempted.

Sea urchin and some fishies

The rather large eel who looked rather like the Grinch.  He totally smiled for this picture, though.

Aquarium selfie!

Other than that, basically the only thing going on is I'm pregnant!  This one feels so different than the last one.  I feel guilty about that.  The first time I found out I was pregnant I immediately was so excited and in love with our baby and started planning our future.  This time around I feel like something inside of me won't quite accept that it's real.  I remember having the exact same detached feeling the day Kelly got home from his mission, and the day we got married.  Both times I thought I would be jumping-around-crazy-excited because the best thing ever was about to happen, but what actually happened was I just calmly got ready and couldn't quite believe it was actually happening.  Okay, on my wedding day I did having a screaming freak-out at my hair, so "calm" isn't the right word there, but I wasn't feeling like I was about to get married, either.  With this pregnancy I keep having to remind myself that after trying for a year, it's finally happened.

I also wasn't sick at all with the last one before I lost the baby, but this time I had morning (more like 24-hour) sickness pretty bad since about week 6 and it was barely easing off when we went home for Christmas around 14 weeks along.  I tried to remember to be grateful, since they say that's a good sign.  I think Kelly did too, but he was pretty sad about missing his wife for two months.  He takes very good care of me, though.  I lost a lot of weight the first trimester because of my morning-sickness-induced anorexia/bulimia.  My appetite is starting to come back now and I have a little, yet obvious, baby belly now, but I'm still not up to my pre-pregnancy weight.  It works, though, because most of my normal clothes still fit.  It's awesome, because I decided I really hate shopping for maternity clothes, so I can put that off a little longer.

Li'l baby bump. Kelly and I agree it looks bigger in real life.  As an aside, I really can't figure out what to do with my hands in these pictures.

I am super paranoid about losing this baby still.  I thought once I passed the point where I lost the first one I would start connecting better and feeling safer, then I thought maybe once I got past the first trimester, and now I'm hoping when I find out if it's a boy or girl or feel it moving.  In the last week or so I have been connecting more to Baby T and starting to plan on actually having a real baby come June, so that's been really nice and feeling pretty good.  I still have a ways to go, but at least I know it's starting to feel real.  I think that's why I've been feeling really bad about not documenting anything about being pregnant this time.  Last year when I was pregnant I wrote a bunch of posts that I never published, but at least I have them for the memories. 

Another weird thing about this pregnancy that I wasn't expecting was feeling some strange form of survivor's guilt.  I spent a year grieving for my baby and trying and failing to conceive and feeling jealous of others' pregnancies and babies, and forming a sort of unspoken (and maybe unshared?) camaraderie with other women struggling with infant loss and/or infertility (even though I officially missed the label of infertility by a matter of weeks).  Now that I have exactly what I wanted, I'm hyper-aware of the fact that my own pregnancy could be causing others those same feelings of pain and jealousy that I so recently struggled with.  I haven't announced that I'm pregnant in Relief Society's "good news minute" or posted a ton of Facebook statuses or really talked much about it to people other than family.  And my students.  My students are VERY interested in everything about me being pregnant.  I guess I'll continue that story in a minute.  But really, this is the first public talk-about-being-pregnant thing that I've done.  And I'm doing it more to record the memories, and so my family at home can see a picture of my burgeoning baby bump since they're not here to share it with me.  I really hope that I don't hurt the feelings of my friends who are in the middle of their own struggles with baby loss or trying to conceive, especially those whose fight with this has been way longer than mine.  Please know you're in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

Back to my students to end this on a happier note.  I ended up telling my students pretty early on that I was pregnant.  Like 6 weeks along.  First, I was really paranoid about losing the baby and needed to take it easier than I usually do, so I did a lot less running around and getting pens and paper for every Tyron, Darius, and Hakeem, and a lot more sitting down and telling them to get their own dang pen.  Second, I had a minor freak out when a couple students tried to bring a chicken box into my room (for those of you who aren't from Baltimore, that's fried chicken and french fries, often eaten with sriracha sauce on top, as in this case), so they knew something was up.  Finally, when I was 6 weeks pregnant I was teaching fourth period and suddenly ran to the trashcan and barfed (fortunately I made it).  Obviously my students weren't going to let that slide and I let the cat out of the bag.  It spread like wildfire.  So the whole school knew Ms. A was having a baby pretty darn quick.  I was just glad I told my principal as soon as I knew I was pregnant because of my paranoid need to take it easy, so she heard it from me and not through the grapevine.  My students have been surprisingly sweet to me, and instead of asking me to come help, they tell me to stay in my seat and they come to me.  They are also pretty good at remembering my sense of smell is crazy and eat their chicken boxes, ramen noodles, Doritos, and other vomit-inducing things before coming into my classroom.  Students also tell each other off for being annoying or disruptive because "she's pregnant!"  The weirdest thing is so many of my girls have had babies, or are currently pregnant, so they like to chat with me about pregnancy symptoms and living with babies.  Most of my students also debate about if it's a boy or girl, citing very official sources like how I'm carrying, the severity of my morning sickness, and trying to put their hand on my tummy and feel the vibes or something.  I try to avoid the last one as much as I can, but people can be pretty handsy when it comes to a baby bump, and many of my students have a seriously lacking sense of personal space as it is.  I think they are almost as excited as me, Kelly and our moms are to find out the gender ON THURSDAY!!!!!  (After we get the news to everyone in our families, I'll post it here, I promise.)  Anyway, the sweetest thing my students do is just check in everyday.  Some of them aren't even in any of my classes currently.  They just stick their heads in during passing periods and ask "How's the baby?"  It's been really nice so far to be able to answer "Good!"