Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A sign of the times

It's 104 degrees!

Just thought I'd note that. Anyway, this post is really about a kind of silly sign of the financial times from my own life. As Tim likes to say, quoting a talk radio personality who shall remain nameless, we are choosing not to participate in this recession. Honestly, we have been so blessed by his job, and as we're not homeowners that whole situation has really left us pretty untouched (except for his 401(k), stocks, can't avoid it completely).

Anyway, that's not really the point. The point is that I got my hair cut today for the first time in months. I went to this little salon down the street that does a midday "happy hour" where haircuts are cheaper than normal on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Gotta like that. I still hadn't found "my stylist" after living here for two years, and since I only get my hair cut 2-3 times a year as it is, maybe that doesn't matter. Or maybe I just go longer with a bad cut. So, I decided to give this place and its sale prices a try.

And I was pleasantly surprised! I like my hair, and I will probably go back to the same girl in the future. The cool thing is that, as I was paying and getting ready to leave, they told me if I referred someone to the salon I would bet a $20 gift certificate. That's halfway to another haircut at the happy hour price! Cool cool.

Then later today I was at the mall trying to cool off and get some work done, since the library was PACKED and there was absolutely nowhere to park. I sat myself down at one of the random tables and got a good amount of stuff done amid the hordes of strollers and people of all ages trying to beat this insane heat. After I was done, I rewarded myself with a little peek into a boutique kids' store to search for some baby going-home outfits, which Tim and I still haven't found.

The woman working in the store said she liked my hair (finally! Along with my bad luck, I never got any compliments :( ) and asked where I got it cut. So I told her about the salon and the happy hour deal, etc, and she wanted my name so she could ask the stylist to make her hair look like mine. Ha! Anyway, I left the store and totally didn't remember about the referral until about 20 minutes later. Darn! If she only had my last name, then she could tell them I referred her and I would get the gift card.

So...I pulled out my receipt (I did end up buying some boy and girl options for Tim to look at later) and gave the store a call. Voila! I gave her my last name and she said she'd totally be happy to tell them I referred her so I can get the gift card. Now, would I have done this if the economy wasn't the way it was? Probably not. It's a little bit, well, desperate? But still, 20 bucks is 20 bucks. And another step out of hairstyle purgatory!

Monday, July 27, 2009

90 degrees and counting!

So much for describing Seattle in absolutes.

As we've hit our second anniversary of living here, I am struck by how many of the truisms about Seattle -- a lot of rain, no snow, never hot -- are just not that true.

1. Yes, it rains, but not that much more than other places. It's just more concentrated in the winter months than yearround.

2. Both winters we've been here have had several days of snow, and last year we had feet! Remember those pictures? Feet of snow, as in buses and cars getting stuck places. I think the city has wized up and will be using plows in the future.

3. Not hot? Tell that to my thermostat. Last spring Tim's birthday weekend was deadly, and this year we had a brutal week in the beginning of June with temps in the 90s daily. And the forecast for this week? 90s. Again. As in, I need to take a cold shower at 10pm so I can even think about sleeping (true story of last night). We are considering buying an air conditioner at Costco because these "infrequent" heat waves are not that few and far between anymore. (I think the general lack of central air in Seattle-area residences is starting to look more like denial than lack of need).

As a matter of fact, June and July have had hardly any rain at all, which I guess is typical for a nice Seattle summer...but I think it's a bit unusual that we've had temps in the 80s very frequently. Or maybe the wool was just pulled over my eyes regarding what kind of climate we are dealing with here!

I do get lots of "sympathetic" comments from strangers about being pregnant right now. August?! You must be miserable! Thanks. I tell people it's not that bad, and up until last night (there was a noticeable shift in the temp in our room around 4am...yes I was awake to note that) it wasn't. But now, yes, it stinks. It is forcing Tim and me to get creative with how we cool down!

A few favorite options (not all of them entirely serious)...

get the doctor to induce me early so I can go sit in the air conditioned hospital
bring folding chairs down to the parking garage and have an indoor tailgate party
close all the blinds and windows and hope it keeps out some of the heat (it actually does)
put some water, ice and salt in a bowl and point the fan across it
cold shower any time of day
LEAVE THE APARTMENT! today I spent a few hours at the library and am considering hiding out there or at the gym/mall/Starbucks/drugstore for most of the daytime hours until Thursday, when my writers conference starts in the *air conditioned* airport Hilton!
We are surviving, but it is not the most fun ever! And honestly, it would stink just as much if I weren't pregnant!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"An enormous amount of hair"

We had our 36 week appointment yesterday and got to do another ultrasound! It was so much fun and we found out some very silly things about baby, plus some good stuff that we are just happy to know.

1. According to the ultrasound technician, baby has "an enormous amount of hair." Who knew you could even see hair on an ultrasound? (Not that I could really tell). I find this amazing, and it just tickles me that baby already has a ton of hair. We knew baby would have some hair at birth, since both Tim and I did. Now I am expecting, well, an enormous amount! So silly!

2. Baby has a big belly. Apparently. She said that baby was in the 50th percentile for leg length and head size (that is, dead average), but the belly measurement was closer to the 75th percentile! Couple this with the hair (which Tim also likes to call a beard or a hairy chest...just a hairy baby!) and the fact that baby's hand was over his/her mouth during the entire ultrasound, we are picturing a dude with a beer belly sitting on the couch dipping into an bottomless bag of potato chips! Baby, if you're a girl, you're certainly not very ladylike!

3. Baby's head is waaay down there. As in, "have they checked you yet?" That's what the technician asked me. They haven't, but I don't really expect baby to just drop out of there without fair warning. I am having some painless, hardly noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions, but that just means things are getting warmed up. I would definitely love baby to come between 37 and 40 weeks, but like I said, I'm probably not going to wake up one morning and find a third person suddenly in the bed with us! Surprise!

We also found out that besides having settled lower, baby is in the same position we've been guessing at for the last few months: butt is at the top left, and feet are at the top right, with baby's back to the world. I guess you could say baby's doing a downward facing dog in there, but kind of sideways. It sounds a little weird but apparently it's a good position for delivery. Anyway, the head is the most important part!

We were so glad to learn that everything is still looking good. Unfortunately baby's too big to get any good pictures, and mostly the technician was doing measurements and not pointing out different cute features like last time. Baby currently weighs about 6 lb 2 oz, meaning he/she is still on track to weigh between 7 and 7.5 lbs. A nice size!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Gear is Here, Part II

Okay, the stroller and car seat get their own post. So without further ado...

Cute, right? That's Mike and Karen's Yankee bear for baby. Luckily they tell me a newborn will be smaller!

Here's the thing about the carseat. It's great, it really is. It's a Chicco KeyFit 30 (for those of you who might be researching brands right now), and we liked it because it's the highest rated for safety--or at least the regular Chicco KeyFit is, and the only difference is that this one holds a weight of 30 pounds instead of just 25 or whatever. But the thing is this: it doesn't fit in the car! That is, it doesn't fit without sliding the front seat it's behind up so that the passenger is doing what looks like one of the birthing positions -- knees pulled up to your chest! So the search for a new car gets on its limping way again...

HOWEVER... behold the stroller!

No, that's not all there there is to it, but this is how small it folds up (and stands!) without the seat on it. And it's basically this size when folded up with the seat as well. Here are some more shots...

With the bigger kid seat (ie not tiny baby, but it does recline)

From the front

With the seat facing mom or dad

Hi, baby! There is a rain cover that zips into the canopy and comes down over the footrest, and also a mosquito net sort of thing. You know, in case we go to Panama.

And here is where baby will ride for the first few months -- the bassinet! It's so easy to clip in and out, and we've heard it's great for sleeping, too! I think this also has a mosquito net. These people thought of everything, except the cup holder, which you have to buy separately (boo).

Oh, there's baby bear again!

And check out the awesome storage!

Okay, I really don't mean to brag by putting all these pictures up here, but we are very excited about this stroller, and I have to say it was the thing I was personally most stressed about researching. Tim originally liked these British brands called Mutsy and Miralite, which look similar to the UppaBaby (this one), but as we weren't able to actually try them out (not retailed on the West Coast) they would have been a bit of a shot in the dark, despite all the great reviews and ratings we had seen.

The reason we went with a stroller that looks all utilitarian like this is its versatility. It has adjustable handle bars, making it easy for both Tim (6'4") and me (5'6") to push; turns really well and can be maneuvered easily with one hand; has foam-filled wheels, so they won't pop; will be sturdy enough for brisk walks over not-so-smooth terrain; has lots of options with the adjustable and reversible seat; and has a bassinet, meaning we won't need a "baby stroller" and a "big kid stroller" - this will cover all our bases until baby is a great walker. And, though it hasn't come yet, this stroller has a car seat adapter we can use with the car seat we bought, so if we just feel like snapping baby into the stroller directly from the car (a plus side of all those travel systems sold by Graco and the like), we can do that, too! Oh, and it's lightweight enough for me to fold it easily and stick it in the truck. I think that's about it. But...that's a whole lot! An investment, certainly, but one we think will last!

I can't wait to go on a walk with baby!

The Gear is Here, Part I


We brought the glider home on Sunday, and the stroller came yesterday...a nice anniversary present! The glider is so comfortable...I spent three hours in it today reading through and editing my latest manuscript for book #2, and I think it's a great investment for the many long nights to come. Who knows, I might try sleeping in it even now -- the bed is not that comfy anymore!

So here are some pics of the (still unfinished, bare walled) nursery with the glider set up, and also of the car seat we got and the stroller.

This is where I work!

I am meaning to put those photos behind my laptop up on the wall...4 more of the bird pictures...or say I am meaning for Tim to hang them!

Glider and our nursing pillow

Just looking at the glider makes me feel relaxed!

Baby's corner!

Tim hung some PVC pipe to attach curtains that will hide the shelving next to the changing table...I feel like I've mentioned this already, but here you are again!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So blessed, so thankful

There is no reason for my life to be this good right now.

I have been overwhelmed over the last several weeks with just how much God is blessing us, and it's because of no merit of our own. We don't deserve it. And when I look at all the many ways He's caused our life to be a joy, I both understand that we did nothing to earn it, and that this season of happiness and blessing is not where I should place my hope, because even if God should choose to take it away, his goodness and forgiveness and mercy in calling us his children are more than enough blessing for this life. Tim reminds me of that when I look around the landscape of our life and start to wonder how long it all can possibly last. I mean, when things are this great, something's got to go bad eventually, right? But that's not the way we're supposed to look at God--dealing out three nice things and then a zinger. It's not a game, and it's not a formula. So while I try to remember that His goodness is infinitely better than any good thing he gives us, I remain thankful for so much.

We love our apartment and the community of Kirkland. What a wonderful move this has been for us! I love walking to the grocery, bookstore, coffee shop, restaurants, lake and community events. I love our view and high ceilings and comfortable living space, which we're getting ready to make a home for a family instead of just a couple. We are so blessed to be here.

I love love love our church community and the amazing people God has put in our lives. I wrote recently about my "village" of moms and moms-to-be who have been a tremendous encouragement throughout my pregnancy, and nearly all of them also attend Mars Hill. Since moving to Seattle two years ago I have developed truly wonderful friendships that I never thought were possible, and I know it's because every one of those is rooted in our shared faith and hope in Christ. I am blessed to be part of a women's group in addition to our Tuesday night community group (which is mostly married couples), and to have people regularly praying for me who are also sharing their lives. My prayer life has grown so much in the last two years as a result of these women who have opened up their lives and shared themselves, both in good and bad times, and allowed me to pray for them. And I am grateful for the solid teaching we get at church every Sunday that always points us back to Jesus and the Bible.

Great health. Provision. Tim's job. A safe, easy, ridiculously effortless pregnancy, and our sweet baby--healthy baby! Plus two years of marriage today! It's our anniversary and I can't help but feel giddy when I think about the early days of my relationship with Tim. It all started in August 2003 when we met at a Navigators event on the Cornell campus. Though we didn't start dating until January 2004 when the second semester started, my heart has belonged to him ever since that fall, and when I think about how much joy and blessing God has poured out on me in being married to such a godly man of righteous character, I just want to dance around! Plus, he's really cute and silly and just makes me laugh all day long. Sorry to gush, but since it's our anniversary, I'm allowed!

I'm so glad I've been able to spend the last two years focusing on my writing, and now I nearly have two completed manuscripts, even though I have yet to place them. I know that all will come in God's timing if it's the right thing.

There is so much more I could say but I'm about to be late to pick up my sweet husband, so that will have to do for now.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

35 weeks and getting the nursery set up!

35 weeks was Friday...we have our last ultrasound next Friday...and one week after that baby will be full term! I can't believe it!

Here is the crib with the bunny blanket from the bedding we chose, and me in one of the only comfortable things I have left to wear. So glad that when I bought this dress in April at Ross (a west coast version of TJ Maxx) in the juniors dept I wasn't wrong about it getting a lot of wear!

As you can see we still have to put stuff up on the walls...

Silly shot, but I had to indulge the photographer.

Here I am in front of the changing table, which we've put in the closet. You can just barely see the valance we put up to block the closet shelf and the edge of the green curtain that's hiding shelving we managed to wedge into the closet corner, so we can still have things like diapers and blankets relatively organized.

Also on the table are the teddy bear with the Yankees t-shirt that Mike and Karen made for baby, and my little Cornell bear that I've had since college.

Here is Tim at Babies R Us this morning lashing the enormous box our glider came in to the roof of the car. Never say never!

Yep, we did get it all the way home (not without a bunch of looks from other drivers!), and the silly thing was that we put the sunroof back to run rope across the front of the box, and with that vertical blockade we got a ton of breeze down on our heads while driving! The glider is now set up in the room and we're trying to figure out the best way to configure everything, so once that's done we'll have some real pictures of the nursery!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child...and I contend that pregnancy does, too!
I am beyond grateful for all the friends I have who are also pregnant or are mothers of young children who have provided such amazing support over the last 8 months.
Kim (mom to Cole, 1 yr) and Sara (mom to Asher, 4; Micah, 2; and Zephan, 8 mos) both lent or gave me maternity clothes to wear, making it possible to buy less! Though at this point both petite ladies' offerings are found more frequently on the hangar than stretched across my abdomen, I was so amazed that right after I announced my pregnancy I had armloads of new clothes to wear -- what generosity! And Kim in particular has continued to offer items from body pillows to breast pumps as the pregnancy has progressed, and although she claims lack of storage space at her own house, I know she's just that kindhearted! Jenni (due 7/22!)and Emily (due October) have been amazing at checking in with me and seeing how I'm doing and feeling, even though both of them have had more difficult pregnancies than me and have soldiered through full-time jobs. They also commiserated with me on cheap places to fill in my wardrobe and the mysteries of maternity underwear, which (to my knowledge) none of us has ever bought (be gone, savvy marketers!) Kim and Emily also threw a fantastic shower for Tim and me on June 13; still don't have the pics from that, but it was fabulous! Rachel (due November) was a great walking partner and is also really intentional about checking in and offering encouragement for my desire to be more disciplined in my writing until baby comes. Lexi (mom to Parker, 2; and Selah, 3 mos) hooked me up with my OB and pediatrician; calmed my fears when I thought baby wasn't moving as much around weeks 25 and 26; answered my questions about putting cotton Onesies in the dryer; is providing me with a boy package or a girl package of 0-3 month clothes once baby is born; and has been a constant font of wisdom and godly encouragement. Jenny (mom to Cara, 10 mos) was one of my first friends to learn about our pregnancy and has been incredibly supportive and excited for us, all the way from Ithaca. Week 23, when I was really starting to get nervous about not having felt baby move yet, she and her husband Matt prayed hard, and I felt the first little tap dance that weekend! And dear Erin (mom to Jack, 2; and due in October) has left innumerable comments and encouragements on this blog.
See what a wonderful village I have? I am so thankful to God and his provision of amazing women during this time in my life!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Baby Boom of 2009

Babies, babies everywhere!

I am continually AMAZED at how many babies are being born/about to be born to our friends and acquaintances, whether in our community group from church (our closest friends here), other folks we know at church, and even people I knew in high school who are announcing their pregnancies on Facebook!

Here's a list of all the 2009 months with babies that we know of:

March - 1

April - 1

May - 1

June - 2

July - 2

August - 3 (including us)

October - 3

November - 2

December - 2

Granted, some of these people aren't close to us (ie the Facebook friends from high school), but most of them live in the Seattle area and I am either in community group (which Tim leads every Tuesday night) with them or know from my Thursday women's group. That's 17 babies. Crazy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Childbirth Class

Last night we went to the second of our 5-week series of childbirth classes. I signed up for this months ago at the recommendation of a friend, and it's put on by Overlake Hospital, where baby will be born. Now that we've gone through two classes, I'm glad to say that a large portion of the info is review, since I've already read up on this stuff in my pregnancy books. But, there are definitely some interesting things we've learned and observed from being in the class, which is about 10 couples including ourselves.

I am still a nerd. Yes, even though I do not plan to have them with me at the hospital, I am taking notes. And yes, I am the only one in the class taking notes.

Tim is still the class clown. Oh, the myriad moments when he whispers something under his breath while the teacher is talking, causing my hand to fly to my mouth. In the first class, when the teacher was explaining when to go to the hospital--contractions at the 5-1-1 rate, which means 5 minutes apart, 1 min long, for 1 hour--and then went on to talk about having soothing music in the delivery room, Tim whispers, "The Final Countdown. The Eye of the Tiger." Can you imagine being in labor with that stuff playing in the background? Maybe erging for an hour in a room full of sweaty college guys, which is surely what my lovely husband had in mind.

But it was worse, oh so much worse, last night when the teacher was explaining the last moments of birth when the baby comes out and the umbilical cord is cut. Some guy on the other side of the room asked what happens to the other end of the cord (ie the end not attached to the baby), and Tim mutters, "It retracts!" Now, it wouldn't have been that funny, but everyone on our side of the room started cracking up and one guy actually made a noise that sounded like a measuring tape retracting. Oh, I completely lost it, and the teacher said, "Can you share that?" I couldn't, not to do him justice. For the next 10 minutes I had to bite my thumb to keep from cackling in the middle of the presentation, and I couldn't look at Tim. Sheesh!

Childbirth is not for everybody. So, last night we watched the first of three childbirth videos we'll see over the course of the class. This was one on unmedicated birth. We were more than halfway into the video, when all of a sudden one of the husbands kind of did a tuck-and-roll and ended up out of his seat and on the floor. At first I thought he was having a seizure, but he had just passed out. Poor guy. The sad part is, it wasn't even graphic. All the pregnant woman was doing was squatting and groaning (and don't even get me started on the quality of the video...definitely 20 years old, with bad hair (female bowl cut) and bad glasses (enormous)). Even though he was fine, the paramedics came and we ended up moving the class to the next room over to finish the video. Too bad; looks like somebody's not going to be much help in the delivery room! And probably shouldn't come back for the videos on getting an epidural and having a c-section.

Childbirth is maybe not that bad. The first night, our teacher said something that stuck with me about the pain of childbirth: Don't compare it to any other pain you have known in your life. She didn't say that to mean that it's the worst, most awful pain you will ever know (though I'm sure it is), but that you shouldn't consider whether you'll be able to tolerate it in terms of how well you'd handle, say, a broken arm. Because unlike other kinds of pain, which mean something's wrong and your body isn't made to weather it, the pain of childbirth is something the body was made to endure. Women's bodies, anyhow. I know that pain in childbirth is part of the curse that we all have to endure (thanks, Adam & Eve), but I'm glad that it's not quite the same as cutting myself in the kitchen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back in the saddle again

**Disclaimer: for some reason the spacing is not working (I am really starting to hate Blogger!) Sorry!
Here's another new idea: posting text in a centered format. I've seen this on another blog, and while initially I didn't like it, it did make the text incredibly readable! Again, let me know what you think!
This post is dedicated to the rapidly diminishing number of weeks I have to get my act together on Book #2 before baby comes. I am 5 weeks and 4 days from my due date, and that fact lit a fire under me last week when I was watching the word count on my ms doc only very slightly creep up toward my goal of 70k with the additions and edits I had already marked out.
Talking about the ms (in general terms; he's still not quite the literary kindred spirit I am searching for!) with Tim one night before bed helped me recognize other areas where I could add material, which was great. But here's the problem: as much as I really do need a home office, I have just been too distracted at home to get any good work done. I am constantly up doing things around the apartment. Also, I've allowed my roster of fun and good things--going to the Kirkland Farmers Market, taking newly delivered friends meals, hopping to the grocery store and buying gifts now and then--take over my life.
So, I determined I would spend afternoons in the Bellevue Library (as the Kirkland one is closed for renovations until December), and I went from 12-3pm Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week.
It was immensely productive! I wrote a ton of words (typically I think in scenes, and I was doing that but also paying attention to word count like a hawk, since that is also a major problem right now) and totally benefited from having the academic mindset of being in the library.
Here is my list of things to make a library work trip successful:
1. Laptop without battery. My battery life is about 3 hours, so it forces me to be productive in the amount of time I have. Plus, I don't have to lug around the charger.
2. Novel notebook. This is where I have my notes and outline for the novel. Can't leave home without it!
3. iPod headphones. Not for the iPod, but rather for listening to Pandora online. I've never been able to write, whether for school or my own good pleasure, without a soundtrack. Song titles vary with my mood!
4. Snacks! Wheat thins, cherry tomatoes, and peanuts & raisins are my current faves. If I ever break down and buy that immensely convenient (but also expensive) wonder food known as string cheese, that will be in the bag as well.
5. Nalgene. Water is crucial for pregnancy, and for life. I basically have my Nalgene with me at all times.
6. Change for the vending machine. Yep, I'm a dork, but the hot chocolate from the library vending machine is actually pretty good!
7. An empty table. I'll share if I have to, but I don't like it.
I feel totally great spending three hours (give or take) at the lib every day and really focusing on my writing. It's been an immense benefit both to my work and to my psyche, because I know I'm being productive! So yay for the public library and their free wifi!
(PS, I don't work for 3 solid hours at once; I do have to take a breather with emails and blog updates! But I figure the sum of the total time is so much more productive than at home, I'm entitled!)
Today I'm back at St. James Espresso, our fave local coffee shop, because Tim had to take the car for an undisclosed event today. If I get permission to share before the end of the week I'll do so; otherwise, I'm working on a small freelance project with my decaf Americano close at hand, and will turn to my book when the clock strikes 12!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Trying this out...

I took Jen's suggestion and searched for "the cutest blog on the block," and found this background. What do you think? I'm going to leave it on for a little while and see if it grows on me. Feels a little girlier than my particular taste, but I like the birdies!

Thanks for bearing with me as I keep learning about this stuff!

Calling all bloggers!

I'm putting a call out there to all bloggers who have more experience than me, which is most, on how to find a great new blog template. I'm just plain tired of this one, and without having any HTML experience have resorted to searching the World Wide Web for a free new blog template. Trouble is, none of the ones I've found are striking my fancy! The meager selections Blogger offers aren't cutting it, to say the least.

So if anyone knows a great source for a new template, please let me know!

More Fourth of July Fun

Somehow I accidentally deleted our photos from the Kirkland parade, which is really too bad because there were some funny ones! But here are a few from our picnic at Idylwood Park on Lake Sammamish on July 3, when Tim had the day off. It was really hot but the perfect temperature under a shady tree! I love having picnics, and we ate a yummy lunch and played backgammon and tried not to get hit in the head by loose frisbees from the neighboring teenage group.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Your average cantaloupe

Here is baby at 34 weeks! Weight is approximately 4.75 lbs, bulky as your average cantaloupe! I went to the doctor again yesterday and met another practitioner, who seemed fine. I'm still hoping that Dr. Brown will deliver our baby, but it's good to meet these others in the office. Baby is still looking fine and I can't wait for our final ultrasound in two weeks! Last night Tim and I had a casual date night and wandered into Macy's after dinner, where we looked at some baby girl and baby boy outfits for going home from the hospital. We are still planning on not finding out--I mean, how lame would that be three weeks before the birth?!--and will get two outfits to take to the hospital.

We didn't end up buying anything there but saw some super cute little sleepers and onesies! We're finding that some brands will size their clothing Newborn, 0-3 mos, 3-6 mos, etc, but some just do Preemie (up to 5lbs), and then 0-3 mos (up to 12lbs), which doesn't really work when we're expecting to have a 7 or 7.5lb baby.

So we'll keep looking for a couple of special outfits for baby's grand introduction to the world!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things I miss from before pregnancy

They aren't what you might expect...

1. Lying on my back in bed. This literally is the number one thing. I think that after the baby is here and I can just lie back on the bed without fear of anyone losing oxygen it will be the most blissed-out feeling ever!

2. Not being a Nazi about refrigerating food. Sheesh, the number of times I've thrown away milk that was a little questionable, or ate something that sat out for a couple hours and felt guilty guilty are too many to count.

3. Wanting to make a recipe that calls for wine, and finding that we already have some. It's pointless to buy a bottle now and open it for 1/4 cup of dry white wine to simmer in the frying pan.

4. Going to bed and not waking up until morning. But I suppose I've got a good year before I can do that again!

5. Having more than 5 shirts to wear. I'm going to feel like I've got a whole new wardrobe once this baby weight goes away!

Things I'll miss about the pregnancy...

1. Feeling baby kick! This is really the most fun part. I absolutely love when baby shifts around and both Tim and I can feel it. Also the hiccups, which just make me laugh. They feel like a rhythmic little kick further down on my abdomen, where baby's head is.

2. Knowing, even though I worry about baby plenty, that he or she is in the safest place ever. Someone said this to me the other day, and I hadn't really thought about it. Pregnant mamas worry a ton about their babies, but talk about opening up a whole new can of worms once the baby is born and is interacting with the rest of the crazy world!

3. The absence of other aspects of womanhood. Sorry, fellas, I know you don't understand. But in some ways pregnancy is a real break!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fourth of July

On the Fourth we had a fun time watching the parades in downtown Kirkland (hilarious; pics to come!) and hanging out with our friends Dan and Becca! They are both from Cornell, Tim's class, and are getting married in September. Dan already lives here and started work at Microsoft (Office) around the same time as Tim, and Becca will be moving out after the wedding. Yay!

To our friends' credit (as in, everyone from the area who has ever been to our apartment), yes, we were able to see the Kirkland fireworks from our balcony! And the Lake Union ones (across Lake Washington in Seattle). Here are a few pics. It was amazing...especially as the Lake Union ones were nearly as big, and definitely more exciting, than the fireworks in Kirkland!

Happy Belated Fourth!

San Francisco, June 17-22

We finally have all our photos from the trip uploaded, but since there are so many I picked just a few and put them on Facebook for you to see. Click on the word "Facebook" to see the album. Sorry not to post them on here, but blogger is really annoying to post pics to when you have a lot at once.

It was a great trip, and Tim and I met my parents as well as my brother Logan and sister-in-law in SF for 5 days. We took a motorized cable car tour, went to Muir Woods and the Academy of Science, ate out at great restaurants, and walked around the city. One of the silliest things Tim and I did was wander into Coach, Kate Spade and Prada "in search" of diaper bags. For $400-$700, yeah, right. We also went to the Museum of Modern Art to see a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit. We had fantastic weather the whole time, even if ironically it was warmer in Seattle!

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a great trip!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

InSpa...the salon that makes you say aaah!

I have been waiting all pregnancy to do this, and at nearly 33 weeks I finally got a prenatal massage! It was fabulous (I nearly fell asleep on the table), and at nearly half the price of the upscale salon inside the gym we belong to, it was a steal!

But the purpose of this post is not to gush about my massage, but rather the concept behind the InSpa chain. They have a bunch of locations in Washington and California, and what sets them apart is their no tipping policy.

That's right...the price you see on the services menu is the price you pay. That mean no more sitting in the pedicure chair or making small talk with your hair stylist and trying to do a calculation in your head: If it costs $X, and I want to tip X%, then my total will be $X, and then trying to remember that number until you get to checkout. The worst is trying to enjoy something like a massage and having to do this, and on top of it having your stylist/masseuse check you out and ask the dreaded question, "Do you want to add anything?" Gah! Why can't these places just give you a receipt with a tip line like everywhere else?

Aha, but InSpa does neither. I had a stupendous massage and the only thing I had to think about was how silly it was to feel baby kicking while I was getting my back rubbed. And unlike most restaurants in Spain and other European countries, where gratuity is included and therefore your service goes down the toilet, InSpa delivers.

So, ladies and gents, that is my recommendation. Inexpensive services with great service...what a concept!