Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Baby Files - 12 Weeks

Well the dreaded 1st trimester has almost come to a close and I'm feeling good. The secret is out to everyone, including the work peeps. My bosses were very receptive to my news, as I knew they would be. It's the future of me working there that has them a tad bit worried. However, nothing work-wise is definite yet as they are going to come back to me with any options for a non-standard 40 hour work week. We shall see.

Also, nursery plans are in the works. I've proposed my ideas to John and he has reacted favorably. Just an FYI, we will not be finding out the sex of little Blinky until the doctor proclaims it in the delivery room. So in accordance with my general tastes, everything will be neutral. We've got a definite boy name and we're tossing around some girl names but because I'm an a-hole, I won't be revealing it for now. You know, all you baby stalkers wanting to steal my unborn's social security and whatnot. Nah, I just like a surprise.

And although I've already let you in on the preggo side effects, let me just add one, no, two more to the list. I have a runny nose. Serious. Snot-city over here. I've had it for weeks. I veen invested in one of those Neti-Pots but nothing works. Well I can't even take anything stronger than a Luden's Cherry cough drop, so I'm kinda screwed.

The other awesome side effect is the additional acne that has decided to show up. Now, I've never been graced with flawless skin but this is getting seriously ridiculous. I look like a 12 year old boy and even I want to call myself names like pizza-face and other childhood-trauma-inducing insults. It's rough. All for a good cause. I keep telling myself this.

And lastly, since I've gone off the hooch and the cigarettes, my only vice is food. So the first trimester has been filled with two things:


Comfort Food: Sloppy Joes over Biscuits. Hell yes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sorry Pooh, You Were Never in the Running

For the nursery, I mean. I'm talkin the nursery. It's not that I don't love a coordinating Winnie the Pooh border, bedding set, lamp and lightswitch cover, it's just that...wait, yeah I don't love them. Not one bit. In fact, every theme I've come across since becoming preg has thoroughly disappointed me. Plus, every theme I came across before I was pregnant had the same effect. Yeah, I was checking out baby bedding before I got knocked up. It's important!

Anywho, since I've decided that no theme that Babies 'R Us, Land of Nod, PB Kids and the rest of them are selling will do me any good for this nursery, I'm just gonna make it up as I go. All of the images below speak to me. They say "Copy Me Directly and Make it Easy on Yourself". But I can't do that. So I'll do the next best thing. Stare at them constantly and make decisions based on their inspiration. In my head, I'm calling my plans Modern Eclectic. Some new furniture mixed with some thrift store finds and of course a healthy dose of Etsy shopping sprees. And all images were pulled from the tours at Ohdeedoh.

What I love: the old green dresser, the Jenny Lind crib and the little dashes of turquoise.

What I Love: As if you have to ask. The bunch of coordinating poofs & lanterns hanging from the ceiling. And the prints. Ohhh the prints.

What I Love: It's just ethereal. The barely there pink walls, the delicate birdie mobile, the white sheers. Sign me up. Well, less pink more neutral but same idea.

What I Love: Oh heyyyy lanterns, look at you again. Other that the awesome bright orange set against the creamy whites and tans, I love the mix of what's going on in here.

What I Love: A vibrant yellow Jenny Lind crib. Perfection. And the aqua walls and the embroidery hoops filled with fabric. Just love.

What I Love: the stark white with the little red chair! How freakin cute is it? Plus, the patterns and the colors and all of it.

So in conclusion, we may have found a few things in common amongst these pics. Number one: I love a Jenny Lind crib. B. I've got a thing for colorful bunches of craftiness hanging from the ceiling. And finally, I am in NEED of a fun shaded dresser. So while I'm still in the inspiration-gathering portion of this adventure, the time will soon come when decisions will need to be made and purchases purchased. In other words, the day I've been waiting for a lonnnnnng time. I'm not sure there's a more fun room to plan than a kid's room. You can take risks you wouldn't normally do and if it turns out well, awesome. And if it doesn't...well...take solace in the fact that in 10 or 11 years, the walls you so carefully painted will be covered in New Kids on the Block Bon Jovi Beastie Boys posters. And that. Is okay.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Just Wanted Popcorn for Dinner

So last weekend, I dragged John to the talkies to see The Lovely Bones. The cineplex is 3 minutes away from our house, yet we always end up getting there late. Since I don't want to have to sit in the front row, I always end up surpassing the delicious aroma of the popcorn counter in order to save time. But this weekend, since it was opening night, I was determined to not only get there in time to get a good seat but to bury my face in a large trough of popcorn. Mission accomplished.

Now, I read the book years ago when it was the popular thing to do. I remembered the gist of it but not the details and for once, decided not to re-read it and just enjoy the movie for what it was. I probably wouldn't have even gone to seen the movie since the book wasn't one where I came-to on a Sunday night and realized omghaventshoweredinthreedays. But then came the previews. Lots and lots of previews. I knew right away that my secret-husband Marky Mark (he only likes when I call him that) was Susie Salmon's dad. And I knew right away that I'll watch anything with Marky Mark. But it wasn't him who stole the show for me. It wasn't wide-eyed Susie Salmon or chain smoking grandma Susan Sarandon. It was the freaking imagery in this movie that did it. Dude, I don't even know if imagery is the right word since I never use it. But it was phenomenal.

And these weren't even my favorite ones. I won't spoil anything for you but if you see it, you tell me the ships-in-a-bottle scenes aren't awesome.

Now I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the other highlights of the movie for me, which is the mall background you see throughout the movie. It's no regular mall. It's actually the MacDade Mall, the now-defunct mall of my youth. This was the first mall I was ever allowed to go to with my friends, it was where we did our Christmas shopping, got our haircuts ,bought our cassette singles and I hadn't been there since I was at least 12 years old. It went downhill a lonnnng time ago though. So obviously it was the perfect choice to transform for a movie set. They only had to go from tacky 80's decor to 70's tacky. Presto change-o.

It was fun seeing the stage where the Easter Bunny used to sit and where they would have the Little Mr MacDade contest though.

It was not only a good, entertaining, tear-inducing (friggin hormones) movie but it gave me a little piece of nostalgia. What more can you ask for from Hollywood?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My First Bambino Purchase!

I bought a diaper bag! Isn't it adorbs? It's from the Gap and while I wasn't even in the market for a dipe bag yet, I saw this. On sale. Had to have.

John will be so stylin' carrying this, doncha think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eh Gimme a Baker's Dozen

Every year around this time, my preferred radio morning show, Preston and Steve , starts hard-core promoting the 24K Gold-Dipped Rose from a local jeweler. It is, according to them, the be-all and end-all of Valentines gifts. Both of the show's hosts claim that they buy these for their wives every year and by now, the wives have built up quite the collection. The wives, of course, lovvvvve them.

And what wife wouldn't be thrilled that their husband spent $59.99 on this useless, dust-collecting, certifiably-hideous, tacky chotchke? $59.99 that could have bought at least 3 giant boxes of Russel Stover chocolates. $59.99 that could have bought a night out at Chili's, including apps, desserts and fun blue cocktails. $59.99 that could have bought 2 really nice Nars eyeshadows. ANY of which, I would hope, most women would prefer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Baby Files - Week 11

Originally Written January 11, 2010

Praise the Lord. The exhaustion is gone. *Knocks on Wood/Crosses Fingers* It's almost as if the New Year kicked in with energy to do things after work. I can do laundry! And iron! And plan dinners! Just what I always wanted! No seriously. Being able to do these things again makes me soooo relieved. I thought I'd have to wait until my 2nd trimester started to get back this energy...well, because that's what the books all say.

Speaking of books, John's friend Melissa sent over two books for me, Baby Bargains, which I had heard was mandatory, and The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy. I've read through the GF's Guide and while I really enjoyed the content & tone, the use of the word "girlfriend" bugs the crap out of me. I don't call my friends my "girlfriends". That's just weird to me. I associate the word girlfriend with a large black woman that says "Mmm Hmmm" a lot. Know what I mean? And she probably snaps her fingers too. Anyway, I've been reading a lot but there's still so much to learn. I don't know the difference between a bassinet and a cradle. And OMG I've only got 7 months to figure it out! How ever will I find the time?!!?

Moving's pretty sweet that my doctor is ultrasound happy. I was able to get another look inside that black hole of a uterus of mine. Honestly? I was shocked. It looked like an actual baby! When the books say the baby is the size of a kumquat, I totally expected to see another small blob. But nooooo! It looked real. And that both excited and nerved me. Holy shit, this is really happening.

The arrow on the right is the head and the one on the top left are the feets!

And now, we're all caught up so it will be back to my regularly scheduled up-to-date posts. Thanks for sitting through baby-fever.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Baby Files - Week 9/10

Originally Written on January 4, 2010
Nothing crazy going on over here in Knocked-Up Land. I'm 9ish, maybe 10 weeks pregnant and I made it through another sober New Years Eve so needless to say it was pretty lame. Oh yeahhhh, best reason ever to stay home and go to bed at 9:30, I know, but c'mon...I love the nightlife. I like to boogie (when completely hammered). Not this year though. It's not that my best friend was in Atlantic City seeing Jimmy Eat World for New Years that made me twinge with jealousy. No, not that at all. It's ok. I decided on Chinese food (Yes Mom, I'm watching my salt intake!) and a viewing of the new Star Trek. Success on both accounts.

This past week was also supposed to be the snowdate for Christoween. We got blizzarded out a few weeks ago and were all set to dress up and be merry with our friends until the host got sick. We were also going to let the rest of the kids know about the human growing inside of me. I'm still in shock that some of my best friends don't know about it yet. I can't keep this a secret for much longer.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon at work. Over a few emails with mah friends, I realize that even though we may see each other over the next couple weeks, I won't see everyone and we definitely won't all be in the same place at the same time. I need to tell them now. I need a
plan. Enter evite.

I don't want to invite them to the birth of my child because that could get gross and I'm sure they're not into it. It might be like going to see a Gallagher show. So I requested that they just Save the Date for the birth of this kiddo in August, or The Welcoming of Wee Wellington. This ignited a little flurry of emails and I got to fill them in on all the details. It wasn't my preferred way of letting them know, I'd have rather done it in person, but I think it turned out cute and it got the point across. Done and done. Now the only people who don't know are my bosses and the rest of the peeps at my work. I need some time to figure out that one.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Baby Files - Week 8

Originally Written on December 26, 2009

It’s a big week around here in I-can’t-keep-a-secret-Land. It’s Christmastime, which means we get to clue a whole lotta people in on the big news. On Christmas morning, we headed over to John’s sisters for his family’s Christmas brunch. Since his dad has been hounding us for years, we decided it was only fitting to let him know first. I took the picture from our first ultrasound and wrote “Hi Cup Cup” on it, framed it and wrapped it up. Cup Cup is what the other two grandkids called him when they were little and everyone thinks it’s adorable. He took a long look at the picture, looked up at me, I nodded and the rest is a blur of hugs and congratulations and when are you due’s. It was pretty awesome.

Later on, we went to Aunt Kathy’s for the normal huge Christmas dinner. I knew I wanted to tell Nan but right up until I did it, I couldn’t decide on a way to tell her. Finally I decided to ask Josh to get a picture of me and Nan and have him to the whole “1…2...3” thing. So I got her in place, smiled and when Josh hit 3, I yelled “I’m pregnant!”.
She was SO so so excited. She kept walking around saying it was her best Christmas in 85 years. It’s funny, through the years, when I daydreamed about having kids, one of the sticking points was how I’d tell my grandmom. It went perfectly and I’m so glad I did it the way I did. It also made for telling the rest of the family a cinch. The group surrounding us heard, then the news spread throughout the house. Lots more hugs and questions and congratulations. Even without being in a pinot grigio haze, it was one of my most favorite Christmases ever.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Baby Files - Week 7

Originally Written December 14, 2009

Well fetus, you've officially got a nickname. We'll call you Blinky. Don't ask. Anyway, a lot has happened recently. Papa and I went in for our first ultrasound. The doctor wanted to doublecheck how far along I was since my cycle provided to be less than accurate. I knew we wouldn't be seeing much since you are still teeny weeny but I was just hoping for a little more confirmation plus some sort of due date. Well, we got what we we wanted. The tech was able to locate you and your itty bitty heartbeat. However, all of the other noises that came out from that general region sounded like a horror movie and had me cracking up, which didn't please the tech. We left the office with your first pic. You look like you're living in a black hole. You'll have to tell me about it some day. We also left with a due date of August 5. This works for me, kiddo.

You haven't made life all peaches and whip cream though. You've decided to unleash a little taste of every pregnancy symptom known to wo-man. The getting up in the middle of the night to pee thing is sure fun but it doesn't beat the weird dreams I've been having. As soon as those symptoms seemed to end, the slight nausea kicked in. But mix that with the fact that if I'm not feeling sick, I'm STARVING, it makes for a confusing tummy. But the one that started as soon as I found out I was pregnant and continues to this day is the exhaustion. I am tired ALL THE TIME. This does not bode well for someone like me, who in general, had a hard time sitting still, doing nothing. There is always something to be done and up until a few weeks ago, I was getting it done. Not anymore. I'm listening to you Blinky, I'm lying down when I feel tired and I'm not pushing myself too hard. I'm getting to bed about an hour earlier each night and just letting myself relax. I know I won't be able to do much of it once you get here next summer, so I'm getting my fill now.

Christmas is coming so I decided it would be the perfect time to spill the beans about you to the rest of the family. We'll tell your grandparents and Nan and the rest of your mom and dad's whole family when we see them on Christmas. I'm pretty excited because I know everyone else will be ecstatic to hear about you. They've been waiting for you for awhile. And they've made sure I've known they've been waiting.

The Baby Files - Week 6

Originally written December 7, 2009

A lot has happened this week. I had my first appointment with my OB, who not only confirmed that I was pregnant, also set me up to get my first ultrasound. Since my cycles aren't always the same length, he wants to pinpoint how far along I am. I'm pretty excited to get the ultrasound since that means I may be able to score a picture...ya know, of the sac or whatever might show up this early. A picture will come in handy for letting certain people in on the news. It will also come in handy for my first-time-mom instinct to kick in, where I'll wave it in people's faces, Look! It's MY BABYYYYY!! You can't see anything but trust me, my BABYYYYY is ADORRRRAble!

We also let our BFFs Jeff and Kelly in on the secret. We planned to go out to dinner Sunday night so I came up with an idea to surprise them at the restaurant. I typed up a fake Cocktail menu that included a list of real martinis and about halfway down, I inserted the "Shannon's Knocked Up 'Tini: Part Shannon, Part John and a Little Bit 'o Baby on the Way". We then slid the fake menu right on top of the real one, knowing full well that Kelly would go right to the drink menu when she sat down. And she did. I can always count on my little dependable lush.

We watched her eyes go down the page quickly, then back up to the top, then a few seconds later, she starts reading "Shannon's Knocked Up" out loud and looks up at us. John and I are cracking up at this point and it took just one second for it to hit her. Then she let Jeff know that it was for real and there were smiles and tears and happiness and the best reactions I could have hoped for.

BUT, the best part of the past two weeks has been John. Before getting pregnant, every so often, I would ask him if he was ready. He would smile nervously and always give me a non-committal "I guess". Needless to say, this never thrilled me. As time ticked away and October rolled around, his answer was always the same. Then it happened. And now he's thrilled. He talks about the baby constantly, even offering to take me to Home Depot to look at paint colors for the nursery. He wants to talk names and how much Sweet n Low I should eat. I had hoped that as soon as it happened, his tune would change. And it did. He's so excited, which makes me even more excited.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And I'm Giving Birth to this Guy's Child?

While perusing the pictures taken at Christmas, my husband thought it funny to compare the picture of me below to a recent sketch on SNL that we happened to catch.

My husband said I reminded him not of Snookie herself, but of the GUY who dressed up as Snookie. Awww man, talk about a low blow. I mean, I know it's not the best picture of me out there and I am sporting the "poof". But really? Snookie? The orange guidette with a four inch poof? Well all I can say, dear husband, is that you're the one that's married to me. How's it feel waking up to Snookie every morning? Boo. Ya.

Oh and for those of you living under a rock somewhere and haven't seen Jersey Shore on MTV, do yourself a favor. Catch up on it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Brown Sugahh Chicken

Crock Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

This, my friends, is a winner. I only recently got back in the kitchen after a month-long bout of nausea so I was eager to get some more new recipes goin. This was my first. I chose this recipe because of the wierd mix of ingredients...brown sugar and sprite? Say what??

I didn't plan well though. Here it was dinner time and I had all the ingredients ready for this and completely forgot that it necessitated a crock pot. I ain't got that kinda time, this girl's hungry. So I threw all of the ingredients in a skillet and let it simmer away until the chicken was cooked through and the sauce thickened up. It was perfect.

1 large chicken, cut into serving pieces
Woops, I used a pound of chicken breast tenders & it worked fine
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Sprite or 7-Up soda
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper (regular black or cayenne)
For shits and giggles, I also added some chopped green onion and mushrooms.

1. Place chicken in crock pot. Or in skillet.
2. Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Which may be in skillet.
3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Hmmm, 20-25 mins over medium heat?
4. Serve over rice or noodles. I went with rice.
5. You can thicken the juices after cooking with a little cornstarch. I recommend doing this.

: Packing brown sugar into the measuring cup totally reminded me of building sand castles, ya know, with the good stuff...the damp, tightly packed sand. That is all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Baby Files - Week 5

Thanks for all of your excitement! We're definitely pumped about the baby and kinda still in disbelief. So obviously there's gonna be lots of baby-related things going on around here in the future but I hope to post just as much complaining as before...maybe even more! So as every other baby-mama out there in blog-land does, I'm gonna post my secret weekly posts that I've been doing since I found out. Ya know, for posterity's sake. Not because you care about nausea, cankles or mucus plugs.

Originally written 11.30.09

This past week I found out I was pregnant. I had a feeling I was but two tests told me I was wrong. I had this crazy heightened sense of smell…and unfortunately it wasn’t around good-smelling scents. The Thanksgiving pumpkin pie smell didn’t intensify but apparently we needed to clean the toilet better because wow, it smelled disgusting. I was convinced that this new bloodhound nose of mine was a symptom. And that I was with child.

So a few days had passed and my period was two days late, so I decided to take another test before hopping in the shower Saturday morning. I set it on the windowsill and got in the shower. Every 30 seconds or so, I’d peek out and stare at the test. Not a minute in and boom, there was that second line. It was faint, but there. Somehow I finished showering and then ran into the bedroom where John was reading, where I shoved the positive test in his face. No yelling, no whooping, just lots of smiles and hugs and disbelief. I mean, we had only started trying last month, it doesn’t happen that fast, does it??? Well lucky for us, it does. John, of course, made some comment about me coming from good Irish Catholic birthing stock, which is, of course, what every girl wants to hear. I love it when you compare me to bovine, honey. We laid back and started talking about who we’d tell and when and how the hell would I be able to keep this secret from anyone?!?

Well we soon let two people in on the secret, mostly because I needed medical advice. I had this crazy back pain all week as well as a nice little cold on top of it. But I soon realized I couldn’t just pop muscle relaxers or Nyquil anymore, I had to be more careful. My older brother, who happens to be a nurse, was at my house, so we decided to break the news to him by asking what cold medicines are okay for pregnant chicks…Unfortunately I never got an answer but that’s ok, it was a fun little moment.

Fast forward some hours and I was talking to my mom on the phone. I was feeling pretty shitty and was lying to her about what medicines I was taking. I started thinking about telling her but decided not to because I had wanted to do it in some awesomely creative way…definitely not over the phone. But then I realized I wasn’t sure how long it would be before I saw her in person and I needed medical advice STAT. Since I knew she was not near my grandmom (who I was definitely waiting to surprise), I decided to call my mom back and tell her. I knew this was the news that she’d been waiting for…for years probably. I don’t think she believed me when I told her. Then she sounded choked up. I felt bad that I did it over the phone afterwards, but desperate back pain calls for desperate measures. Plus, next time I see her, I know it will be just like I told her all over again. And that’s okay with me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Would This Be Considered TMI?

I peed on all of the above and nothing happened. Then I found the right stick.

I am officially with child. 10 weeks to be exact. I know, I know, they say to wait 12 weeks to tell people. They can suck it. This girl procreated and is proud.


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