Updates from Yesterday

So yesterday was a much better day. I talked to my grandfather and he sounded great. He said that he was feeling better and the doctor thought he'd be all right. I told he and my grandmother about the baby and my grandmother said she was excited about 25 times. This is their first great grandchild, which is pretty amazing because I have a lot of older cousins. I also told two aunts yesterday (I have 4 aunts on that side) and they were also thrilled. I love telling people about the baby; it's so much fun!

My boss took the news surprisingly well. Her response was, "I knew it!" They've been trying to out me for a week or so now but I held out till yesterday and then she told everyone in the office. It was a good reaction.

Today is the annual chili cook-off at work. I tweaked my recipe this year to make it spicier, and it's definitely spicy. I wanted Aaron to doctor it up like usual because he does a good job of adding extra flavor, but he ran out of time this morning so I had to attend to it. I had a dream last night that I took first place, but now I'm doubting myself because my usual chili chef wasn't too much help. We'll see. First place prize is an embroidered apron and second place is a spice gift basket. Even though the second place prize is worth more money-wise, the bragging rights that come with the apron definitely trump it. Wish me luck!

A Few Updates

It's been a crazy week already, and it's only Tuesday. Last night was rough, and tonight will be too since I'm making Aaron part with a good-sized chunk of cash (for my new recliner that is to be my birthday/anniversary/Christmas present).

Here are the other things making me antsy and yet unmotivated today:
  • The main thing that made last night rough is that I found out my grandfather is pretty sick. He was in the hospital because of a heart attack caused by kidney problems. My parents are on the road somewhere out west (they might be headed for Colorado today) and largely unreachable, so my sister and I were panicking a little bit because we didn't know if she knew. We did finally get in touch with her and of course, she knew about the heart attack - it happened last Tuesday and she's known since then. Looks like we're going to have to have another talk with her about telling us about things when they happen instead of weeks afterwards.
  • I have an annual review today. It's not my "official" review because that has been moved to March since that was when I got my last promotion, but since it's been more than a year, we decided to have a chat about how things are going. I think the talking about my performance part will be fine; it always is. My boss has narrowed our staff down to people she really enjoys working with so there aren't surprises to often. There is one thing that makes me nervous though, and that is....
  • I'm telling my boss about the baby today. I was already nervous, but then it was announced yesterday that someone else is pregnant. There's only 9 of us and we're all women of child-bearing age.
  • In order to lessen the blow to my boss, I baked last night. She loves when I bring in homemade goodies. I decided to make these muffins that Linda is raving about, and she's right, they're amazing. Go bake them.
  • In regards to other baby stuff, we got a large bill last night regarding my labs, and that bill was completely unexpected. Luckily my annual bonus is coming in soon, so that should cover both the above-mentioned chair, the lab bill, and hopefully then some. Still, large bills stress Aaron out. A ton. Like I said, last night was rough.

Even cuter

Aaron called me yesterday and told me he wanted to take me out to dinner. I'm always up for going out instead of cooking (ha! like I've actually done the cooking lately), so I was pretty excited. He wanted to go by campus to eat, but didn't care what restaurant, so I chose one I've been wanting to try for a while now (Noodles & Co.) and we headed out.

As soon as we set foot out of the parking garage I noticed hundreds of kids dressed in costumes. It was trick-or-treating night at the local businesses and all sorts of little kids (most were probably under five) were dressed up in the cutest costumes I've ever seen.

I figured this would drive Aaron nuts because he hates crowds and waiting.

"We can head somewhere else if you'd like," I said, "It looks like it's pretty crazy around here."

Then he told me something I wasn't expecting; that the kids were the reason he wanted to that area, he wanted to see all of their costumes.

Then I melted into a big puddle of goo because that was the cutest thing I've ever heard come out of his mouth.

He may be sweet, but he's also a realist (about his wallet)

Two things real quick-like today.

1. In case you missed it, I did end up getting an ultrasound yesterday and posted the pictures here. Now that I've had more time to think about it, I'm even more excited and overwhelmed than I was yesterday. It confirmed that there really is a baby in there. Not that I doubted it at all, but seeing the baby definitely made it more real to us.

2. Aaron is sweet. And hilarious.

Scene: Living room this morning.
A: How do you hold a baby?
J: Like this *makes a cradling motion with arms*
A: So when it's born I can be like *makes a cradling motion with arms*, "You're going to cost me a lot of money, but I still love you!"

A Big Day (Now with an Update!)

Today is my second prenatal appointment - the one where we get to try to hear the heartbeat. I'm beyond nervous and antsy. I didn't call in tired yesterday so that I could call in tired today because I didn't think that calling in nervous and antsy would be acceptable, especially since I haven't told my boss about being pregnant yet.

I'm also kind of hoping we'll get a ultrasound today because I really don't think I can wait until 20 weeks to see the baby - is there anyone else who only got to see the baby once while pregnant?

I'll update tonight to let everyone know how it went. I'm praying, keeping my fingers crossed, and all that jazz. It's going to be a looonnnggg morning.


Everything is going great with the baby. They couldn't find the heartbeat with the doppler, so I ended up with an ultrasound. (Darn, huh?)

Introducing our newest family member, currently known as Sweet Pea:


1. Is it rude to cancel Thanksgiving plans if your husband committed without asking you first?

2. Is it a bad sign that while giving a presentation based on a person's life work said person nods off?

3. How bad is it to call in tired to work?

4. Do you have a recliner? Do you love it? If yes to both, where did you get it? I want to get one.

5. Should I be worried that Aaron is keeping up with me, pound for pound, with pregnancy weight gain?

6. What should I get everyone for Christmas? This is stressing me out early this year for some reason.

7. Also stressing me out: is it possible to stop aging? I'm pretty happy at 27 and my birthday is quickly approaching.

8. Speaking of birthdays, my friend's birthday is coming up next week so I thought I'd make a cake. If it was your birthday, would you rather have this cake or this one? Or, do you know of a delicious chocolate cake recipe that's not too hard but that looks impressive?

9. Has anyone gone to see The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D yet? I really want to see it but would prefer to know if it's worth seeing in the theatre this way or if I should just rent the DVD.

10. Have you seen the "Veramist" commercial? Does it concern anyone else that the small print says "The ways in which Veramist works are not completely understood?" It definitely bothers me.

The warnings kept interrupting my shows during the good parts!

I have to leave in 15 minutes for an IRB conference. My life is exciting, no?

Well, last night was kind of exciting in a not-fun way. The tornado sirens went off 5 times last night between 8 p.m. and midnight. It made my already-queasy stomach even worse because it was so stressful. We live on the second floor of our building, so we kept heading for the downstairs hallway. It's nights like last night that I actually miss our last apartment because it had a basement, and I would have just gone to sleep down thee. It was really storming and the wind was incredibly loud. At least one tornado touched down a little east of here and the storms produced 3 other tornadoes around the state.

In summary, last night was not fun, I'm exhausted because of it, and I have to go sit through a not-too exciting conference for 8 hours. Wish me luck at staying awake!

See if you can guess what's on my mind today

Hint: it isn't work because I don't want to do that today.
  • Make the baked ziti from Monday's post. You'll thank me, I promise. We made it and loved it.
  • If you want a delicious, fall-like dessert make these chocolate pumpkin cheesecake bars. I made them for my office Christmas party last year and they were a hit. I came across the recipe the other day and I've been craving them ever since. You know what makes them better? They really are pretty easy to make.
  • A new Mexican restaurant opened up across the street from my office last week. A bunch of my co-workers and I are headed over there for lunch today and I can't wait.
  • I bought my first maternity-like clothing yesterday. I bought a tummy tube (kind of like a Bella Band) so that I can wear two pair of pants that can still button up but not comfortably. With those two pair I have four pair of pants I can wear. I'm hoping this means I can wear those four pair for a while longer, because Aaron freaked out about just spending that little money so he's not going to be happy when I have to start wearing maternity clothes.
  • I'm currently reading East of Eden and loving it! I have to have it done by November 5th for my office book club. I'm always wary of "classics" because so many of them are too boring for me to be able to get through (example: Jane Eyre), but this one is excellent.
  • Current pregnancy cravings include tomatoes, bagels, and popsicles. Current aversions include (still) eggs, coffee, and (newly) meat of pretty much any kind.

Monday Meal Planning

The Return!

I think Aaron decided he has had it up to here (*puts hand at forehead level*) with catering to my every whim eating-wise, especially since my every whim is usually something like "I'm sooooo hungry but nothing sounds good!", or "I think I want stuffing and a cherry popsicle". He's also trying to ensure that I'm eating healthy and getting enough protein. To that end, he made a meal plan this week, which he really just took from our latest Everyday Food magazine, but hey it works, right?

Monday: Baked Ziti with Crunchy Italian Salad and Garlic Bread

Since all of the stores around here only carry arugula in 1 ounce packages and charge about $2 for said packages, our salad will be a little different, but other than that this meal sounds amazing. Right now, at least. I'm sure my tune will change right about when it's time to sit down and eat.

Tuesday: Stuffed Chicken Breast and Roasted Broccoli

We're cheating here too and using boxed stuffing with dried cranberries added in instead of making our own stuffing. I'm just too tired to do that much work lately! (About which Aaron is obviously thrilled.)

Wednesday: Country-Fried Steak with Green Beans and Rice

I'll admit, I'm feeling a little dubious about this one, but I'll probably at least try one bite. Maybe. I always have those popsicles to fall back on.

Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples and Leeks

We're doing the substitution thing here again: instead of pork tenderloin we're using some pork loin chops, and we have a bunch of onions, so we're using onions in place of the leeks. I'm also not so sure about this one. I didn't like pork (unless it was of the ham/bacon/sausage/hotdog variety) before I was pregnant, and since I'm having a hard time getting meat down now that I am pregnant this will be an interesting experiment.

Friday: Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

They didn't post a recipe for this one, but this recipe sounds pretty darn good too! He may regret this one too, as I'm already suffering from gas and heartburn (isn't pregnancy glamorous?). Luckily it's a Friday night and I don't have to be anywhere on Saturday in case the heartburn keeps me up all night.

Saturday: Date night. I'm making him take me out because I'm feeling lousy and am tired of sitting around the house feeling lousy. Why not do it somewhere that might distract me for a little while.

Sunday: Moroccan Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes

This one looks delcious in the magazine, except for the fact that they say to serve it with couscous and Aaron hates couscous. Maybe we'll serve it over egg noodles.

So there's the meal plan for this week. I'm trying to have high hopes that I'll eat an actual meal every night instead of the snacking I've been doing instead lately.

Close Encounter of the Baby Kind

I went to see my friend with the new baby earlier this week, and it was delightful. He's so cute and sweet and it took all my willpower not to try to sneak him out of there. Although having an 8 month old around when my Sweet Pea is born might be a little much.

He was cute and sweet and cooing at our other friend. Then it was my turn to hold him. He instantly turned red, grunted, farted, pooped, and cried. What can I say, I have a special touch.

In other, completely unrelated news, my punk little sister is interviewing for an internship for next summer in which she will make (should she get it, and it's looking promising) more money than I currently make after 4 years on the job and 3 promotions. Methinks I chose the wrong field if I want to be financially well-off.

A Sunday Meal Plan Meant for Spoiling a Certain Someone

The overwhelming suggestion for spoiling Aaron (from both here and people I work with) was cooking him his favorite meal. I decided to one-up that (I'm ambitious now, but once Sunday rolls around I may be singing a different tune) and make him not only his favorite dinner, but also his favorite snack foods (of late) and breakfast in bed. Here's the entire "Spoil Aaron" meal plan.

Breakfast in Bed
Brown Sugar Baked Pancake (including the suggested apple topping in the second comment), bacon, and coffee (for him only, because *gag*)

Pretzels with a Kick
Cheese Straws
Artichoke Dip (this one is more for me since I've been craving it like mad lately - see recipe at the end of the post)

Favorite Dinner
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Apple Crisp a la mode.

I sure hope he likes it, and that I'm feeling up to it!

Artichoke Dip Recipe

I haven't had a printed version of this recipe for years, so this is from memory. My grandpa used to make it for me when I visited - we share a deep love of artichokes and things baked with mayonnaise.

1 large or 2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use low fat)
1/3 cup sour cream (ditto)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix the above together, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve hot and spread on your favorite crackers.

A Show of Appreciation (and random weekend events)

I'm so exhausted lately that all I've been doing is napping or daydreaming about taking a nap. That's really as exciting as my life has been as of recently. I did, however, drag my rear out of bed long enough to attend a wedding this weekend and it was lovely. Two of our friends, who we met when they were our neighbors, finally tied the knot and we were thrilled to be there. They had an outside wedding in October in Michigan, which is always pretty risky, but it was a beautiful day - 80 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze that made it all bareable. (If you could stand for very long without feeling like the park took a spin, which I couldn't.)

I also fell on the way to the wedding site, but luckily I caught myself so only my hands hit the ground. It was scary there for a second. Aaron said I was there and then I was gone and everyone freaked out even though no one who was there knows I'm pregnant. It was quite an exciting afternoon. Besides all my whining, it really was a lovely wedding and I couldn't be happier for our friends. If I had to get out of bed at any point during the weekend, seeing them get married was definitely worth it.

I've been having good days and bad days as far as how I'm feeling lately, and for a while it was really predictable; I would have a bad day every other day. That worked for me so I could plan what I needed to do on my good days. That all went out the window this weekend when every day was a bad day, today included.

Aaron has been incredibly sweet to me since we found out about the baby, but he may have reached a bit of a breaking point this weekend. Maybe it was because I cried because I could smell the garbage and he wasn't taking it out fast enough. I would probably lose a bit of patience with me right then too. It could have also been that I really didn't do anything all weekend while he ran around attending to my every need. I keep telling him that I appreciate everything he's doing more than I can express, but I think I need to find something nice to do for him (that doesn't cost a lot of money) because he really does deserve it. Any suggestions?


First, despite a meager showing in the comment section yesterday (especially since more than three times the number of people visited than commented), thank you to those who did comment! It was nice hearing from you all. Also, I will still be donating at least $25, if not $50 or more, to Kiva, mostly because I really want to.

Second, I think I have found the baby blanket I want to crochet for my own little Sweet Pea (current nickname of the baby). It's here if you want to see it (it's a PDF document), but if not, I'll describe it for you anyway. It's cream-colored with a chocolate-brown ribbon border and a scalloped edge. Perfect for a boy or a girl, and I'll start on it just as soon as I finish up the baby sweater I'm knitting that I started way back when I re-emerged on the blogging scene.

My mom told me I need to start looking for a quilt pattern so that she can make Sweet Pea a quilt. I'm starting to get even more excited, if that was even possible. Everyone is ridiculously excited. The other day my sister called me as she was looking up my progress (on a pregnancy week-by-week calendar) to let me know what was going on with the baby this week (like I hadn't already read about 3 of those myself). My sister-in-law (brother's wife) told me she's excited, especially since it's me and not her (she's still young). I told her I was excited about that fact too, since I'm the oldest and want to have the first baby.

Finally, I haven't posted this yet, and I don't know why. We found out our due date: May 17th, 2008 (coincidentally, the same day Alexa is due with her twins). I both can't wait for it to get here and want it to take it's time getting here.

The Great Mofo Delurk - Delurk for a Cause

I read about The Great Mofo Delurk (click the button over on my sidebar) over at Miss Zoot's site yesterday, and then went and read about it over at Schmutzie's site (who I think came up with this great idea) - it's another Delurking Day!

But I'm not just asking you to delurk because I like comments (which I totally do).

I'm asking you to delurk for a cause, and the cause I've chosen is Kiva.org. I've been wanting to donate to this charity for a looonnnngggg time, because it just sounds like such a great idea. From their website:

"Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back."

And since I want to donate instead of just lend some money, I'll re-loan my investment at the end of the loan period so I can continue to help.

So here's my proposal - I will donate $1.00 for every comment I get today, up to $50. The limit is for two reasons - 1) I'm realistic about the amount of comments I'll get and doubt it will go up to 50 (although, feel free to prove me wrong), and 2) There's this baby thing that my husband is freaking out about and he is working on saving all of our money "for the baby". For this reason, and due to where we are in our budget cycle, it may be a week or two before the donation is made, but it WILL be made.

I'll be accepting comments toward my goal until 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time (which will be 3:00 a.m. according to the time labels on my comments since I'm in the Eastern time zone).

And here's the final guideline: In your comment, leave a link to the funniest post you've read lately. I feel like laughing and I'm sure others could use a laugh too, so please share.

Thanks ahead of time for your comments. I'll share what I learn about the person who gets my loan as I get updates so that you can all see what your comments have accomplished. I'm just feeling so warm/fuzzy today!

The First Appointment and The Telling

Wowee it's been a busy past few days! Sorry I didn't post much last week, I was feeling pretty crappy and was concentrating on staying awake, trying to find out what is on my short list of acceptable foods for the minute (it changes frequently), and also attempting not to cry over every little thing (which I mostly accomplished).

Over the weekend we told all of our immediate family that we're expecting. It was as much fun as we had hoped it would be. Keeping a secret like that from them was incredibly difficult, so it was quite a relief to tell them the good news. We were both super nervous though and glad to get it off of our chests. My mom cried every time we told someone - three times in 20 mintues when we told her, again when we told my sister, my brother, my sister-in-law, Aaron's parents, and Aaron's brother. She's an easy target with the crying thing, so we had a running count going. My sister cried quite a bit too, and we, being insensitive like we are, told her right before she went to work, so she had to explain to her coworkers why she was all teary. I say finding out you're an aunt is a pretty good excuse to cry. I didn't cry once, which has to be some sort of record.

This morning was our first doctor's appointment, although it wasn't with a doctor (we saw an RN) and we just sat in her office and talked about their policies and our concerns. I did have to get a TB test, give 6 vials of blood (I didn't think she was ever going to stop siphoning it out of me!), and pee in a cup. Aaron was impressed with the practice, and he even got a book for expectant dads that uses a lot of sports terminology, so he's pumped. When the RN talked to me about my OB, she said that she was glad that I have the OB I have, because she's great, and when she (the RN) had to choose a doctor from the practice, that's who she chose too. We heard the same story from the woman who checked us out and the lab technician. They all said she's awesome and experienced, so I'm glad to hear that.

We have our sonogram on the 24th, which will be the first time we hear the baby's heartbeat. It will also be the first time Aaron witnesses me receiving a pelvic exam, which he's beyond nervous about. He wants to leave the room when it happens. I told him to man up and deal with it, because he's going to be staying in the room with me. I'm quite sensitive lately, no?

The more people we tell and the further things are progressing with the baby, the more real it's seeming. I get more excited every day, which I didn't think was possible, and besides feeling like I have a constant hangover, I couldn't be happier. This whole baby thing is pretty awesome.

P.S. Monday Meal Planning is mostly on hiatus for the next few weeks. Instead I'll point you to a few recipes during the week that look good, if that's OK with all of you. Even if it's not, though, it's probably what you'll get.
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