Friday Free-For-All – 03/16/18

Friday Free-For-All

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly (and save on gas money), Ben and I have started carpooling twice a week. His commute is about 40 minutes, and mine is close to an hour. Two cars doing that twice a week isn’t exactly great. So now on Mondays and Wednesdays, I drop him off and pick him up at work on my way to and fro. Not only does this save on gas money and wear and tear on our vehicles, it gives us more time together during the day, which has been really nice. Depending on our schedules, we may do this more often.

We finally have internet at the house! It’s only been an entire MONTH since I called to get it set up. Apparently getting service in our neck of the woods is very difficult, I don’t know. At any rate, I took yesterday off to be around for the technician. It worked out, because we were able to schedule the well guy to come do our pressure tank this day as well. I got a day off, and we got two major house things done. Win-win! Unfortunately, the internet service currently available isn’t exactly lightning fast, but it’s better than nothing, and we may be able to upgrade. It’s just that due to the snow this week, the tech wasn’t able to fully access all the lines/cables around the house.

My parents got a new dog, and it’s unexpectedly weird for me.  I shared that our family dog, Harley, had to be put down back in November. It was tough on all of us, but logically I knew that my family would likely get another dog pretty quickly. After all, they hadn’t been a dog free household for almost 20 years. Fast forward to about a month ago and my parents adopted a hound mix named Fergus. It seems like he’s great and everyone loves him, but I haven’t met him yet and it’s really weird to get pictures of my parents and sisters cuddling this dog I’ve never met. I’m sure once I actually meet him it will be less strange, but it feels odd to me right now.


Mom and Fergus

Do you ever carpool with your spouse/significant other?



24 Week Pregnancy Update


According to my Ovia Pregnancy app, Baby Girl is the size of an eggplant.

I had another prenatal appointment this week, which is always incredibly reassuring. I thought that once the baby started moving my fear that something was wrong would go away, but if anything, it’s intensified. It’s like, “Oh my god, she hasn’t moved in two hours, something must be wrong!” I’ve always had a touch of hypochondria, and being pregnant has just made it worse. But hearing that little heart beating a mile a minute at the midwives’ office just lets me know that she’s in there and doing fine.

Thankfully, I’ve got my sleep situation somewhat figured out. Using my pregnancy pillow and assorted other pillows, I’m able to prop myself up so that I can sleep on my back on an incline, thereby saving my hips from pain. I slept SO MUCH BETTER this week, it has been incredible.

Symptom-wise, not much has changed. Belly button continues to shift from innie to outie. Skin on my boobs and belly is itchy but still no stretch marks. Round ligament is still a butthead, making exercise difficult. I bought a belly support band and it has helped some, but walking is still uncomfortable after 10 minutes or so.


I went shopping for some more maternity clothes this week. Up until now, I’d been making do with a few key pieces (leggings, maternity jeans, a couple of t-shirts), because some of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe is loose and forgiving enough to have gotten away with until recently. Now though, those items are either a) officially too small, b) unflattering on my ever-growing bump, or c) I’m sick to death of wearing them over and over. I got a few more simple pieces that I feel comfortable wearing both to work and in my day-to-day life, and I’m hoping this will be enough to get me through the rest of my pregnancy.

In other news, we are now signed up for breastfeeding and childbirth classes, which is a relief. I’m a bit peeved at myself for procrastinating as long as I did, because the (very popular) classes at my yoga studio sold out while I was dithering, so now we have to go somewhere else. I’m sure it will be just as good, but it’s still annoying. We’re also planning to get certified in CPR, I just need to get us signed up.

I feel like up to this point I’ve been worrying so much about getting through pregnancy that I haven’t spent much time considering actual labor and delivery, not to mention the reality of being a mom, and I’m suddenly feeling very nervous. In addition to signing up for the childbirth and breastfeeding classes, I bought Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth on the recommendation of a good friend. I’m hoping that by reading up some now and then reinforcing my knowledge through the classes, I can manage some of my newfound anxiety.

Parents out there–did you do childbirth education classes? Were they helpful?


Weekend Update – Cleaning and Relaxing

Happy Monday, friends! Just like that, another weekend has gone by. They all seem too short, but this one was ACTUALLY too short due to the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. I’d really like that hour back this morning…

I ran a few errands on the way home, and then had another Friday night of leftovers for dinner and relaxing with a mud mask while Ben ran around at broom ball. Delightful.


Saturdays seem to be our productivity days. After breakfast, we meal planned out the week, then headed off to the dump, then grocery shopped. We were planning to have Ben’s Grammy over to see the house, but our errands took longer than expected, so while Ben headed out to pick up Grammy, I did a frantic all over house clean: vacuumed, swept, did dishes, picked up clutter, put laundry away, and generally busted my pregnant ass.

Just as I was making the bed and hurriedly shoving stuff into our closet around 3, they arrived, so we settled down to chat and eat some snacks. I think Grammy was happy to get out of what we jokingly refer to as “Grammy Jail,” and we had a nice little visit.

Around 4:30, Ben took Grammy home, and I took a shower and laid down in bed for a while. The flurry of errands and cleaning really took it out of me and I was pretty tired. We were expecting Ben’s parents and sister Emily for dinner, so I needed to chill out for a bit.

Ben got home around 5:30 to take his shower, and then his family arrived shortly after with a grill in tow. Ben’s dad BBQ’d some chicken, and I roasted some potatoes and made a salad to go with. We chatted, ate, and hung out until around 10, when I started to have some *ahem* digestive issues. Let’s just say that pregnancy is hell on your insides, and leave it at that. My in-laws left shortly after I went to bed, but Emily ended up staying over night, and she and Ben were up conversing and drinking beer until the wee hours.

As a result of the late night and the time change (eff you, Daylight Saving Time), we all slept in pretty late. I was still enjoying a relaxed “brunch” of coffee and a homemade breakfast burrito when Emily headed out around 11. Right around noon, Ben left to go snowboarding, and I was left to my own devices for the day.

After such a hectic day on Saturday, I was really craving a slower pace. I did a few productive things, such as firing up the crockpot for dinner and hanging a few pictures, but most of my day looked like this:


I was really focused on just taking it easy. I’ve finally reached the stage of pregnancy where I FEEL pregnant all the time. My body is different, heavier and more tired and needing more rest, and rather than resisting and trying to just push through and DO ALL THE THINGS, I’m trying to chill the eff out. It’s hard, but I’m getting better at it.

Ben got home from the mountain around 6 and we enjoyed a dinner of crockpot teriyaki pork chops with brown rice, then I resumed reading while he popped on a WWII documentary (nerd), and we went to bed at 9:30, which was just what we both needed.

And now it’s Monday and I am desperately wishing I were still on my couch reading. But c’est la vi.

When’s the last time you took a total relaxation day?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/09/18

Friday Free-For-All

We finally had our oil tanks inspected this week. As we suspected, the current configuration is NOT up to code, and will cost about $800 to fix. Thankfully, we still have money set aside in escrow for this work, but we are also rapidly coming up against our deadline. We’re really going to have to push to get the work done in time to be reimbursed.

The huge snow storm that was supposed to happen this week was kind of a bust. I know that my friends in other areas (hey, Jersey!) got absolutely dumped on, but we got barely three inches at our house, and we basically live on the side of a mountain. It was very disappointing.

Having a garage is my new favorite thing. Growing up, we always had garages. And said garages were always full of STUFF rather than CARS. But our new garage is blissfully free of junk, meaning we can park our cars in there and NOT HAVE TO CLEAR THEM OFF AFTER EVERY SNOWFALL. Which has been a huge blessing with the snow this week. I’m obsessed with my garage and vow never to fill it with so much crap that I can’t park in there.

Do you have a garage? Do you actually park your car(s) in it?

23 Week Pregnancy Update


According to my Ovia Pregnancy app, Baby Girl is the size of a bunch of grapes.

The biggest and most exciting change/development this week is that Baby Girl is DEFINITELY moving around in there. I didn’t feel the first few movements until week 21, and even then they were very small and sporadic. Seemingly overnight, at 23 weeks to the day, she started having a dance party in my belly. Feeling her wiggle and kick in there so much is immensely reassuring, not to mention amazing and cool. Ben also got to feel her for the first time this week, which was a lovely moment.

As far as workouts go, prenatal yoga is still my jam. I’ve tried a few more walks, but the motion really seems to irritate my round ligament. I’m planning to pick up a belly support band to see if that helps, but I’m not holding my breath. I need to get back to the gym and see if I can ride a stationary bike without pain. However, I’m also concerned about the post-exercise lightheadedness, so I’m being pretty cautious with workouts right now.

Symptom-wise, there’s not much new happening. The morning sickness that came back during week 20 has thankfully passed. My belly button is still an innie, but it’s definitely starting to push out. I haven’t gotten any stretch marks yet (knock on wood!). And I’m still not having any true food cravings or aversions, I’m just a bit pickier than normal. Oh, and I had my first ocular migraine since the first trimester. Thankfully I was just home watching TV so it wasn’t hugely inconvenient, just annoying.

The toughest thing for me right now is sleep. I’m simply not sleeping well at all. Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their sides, as sleeping on your belly is out for obvious reasons, and the weight of your baby/uterus can pinch blood vessels if you sleep flat on your back. I sleep on my side 75% of the time anyway, but CONSTANTLY sleeping on my sides is causing me a significant amount of hip discomfort. Even with a fancy body-hugging pregnancy pillow, I spend a significant amount of time every night tossing and turning. Every time someone says “Oh, you’d better get lots of sleep now, because once the baby comes, forget it!” I want to stab them in the eye.

As far as preparations go, I have mostly completed our Amazon Baby Registry. We’re trying to keep it fairly simple and not go crazy putting a ton of clothes and toys on there, because we know we’re going to get them anyway (I pointed my family toward the Zutano warehouse sale link this week and I think they bought one of everything). We’re mostly focused on the essentials like car seats and strollers. We still haven’t bought anything of note, but with a crib secured from one of Ben’s colleagues, and the hand-me-downs continuing to roll in, we can start actually putting her room together, which will be really nice.

Have you ever had to make a baby registry? Did you find it easy or overwhelming?

Weekend Update – Family Time

Happy Monday, friends! This weekend was another glorious blend of basking in our new house getting sh*t done, and relaxing with each other, friends, and family. Read on to hear more!

Ben had broom ball as usual, so I ate leftovers for dinner. While he was gone, I reveled in some at-home beauty treatments. My new mud mask and charcoal tooth whitening powder came in Friday’s mail, so I played with those, then read for a while before bed.

The novelty of waking up for a relaxing weekend in our house still hasn’t worn off. We had a leisurely breakfast together, and then headed out for our weekly grocery shop. Due to several unplanned meals at other people’s houses last week, we didn’t need to pick up too much, so it was a quick (and inexpensive!) trip.



Fried eggs with Cholula, oatmeal bread toast, fried taters. Bacon came later 🙂

My stomach wasn’t feeling super great when we got home, so I popped a couple of Tums and reclined in bed reading for a few hours while Ben did some outdoor maintenance stuff.

Around 4, we headed over to my in-laws’ house, because Ben’s Aunt Karen, Uncle Stan, cousin Sarah, her husband George, and their son William were visiting. Grammy was also there, so it was a full house. Little William is three years old and on the go ALL THE TIME, and it was really funny to watch him interact with the dogs, the cats, and all the adults. We had a delicious Italian dinner, with spaghetti, meatballs, sausages, and fried eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese, fresh baked bread, and brownies for dessert. There were a ton of leftovers, so we took some home for Sunday’s lunch, too.

It was great to see everyone and hang out, but by 9 I was ready to head home and relax. Ben and I turned on some Monty Python’s Flying Circus for a bit before retiring, and it was the perfect end to the day.

We were both up for the day around 8, and after breakfast I buckled down to unpack a particularly mouse-infested box that had been on my to-do list for a few weeks. It was the box with all of my sewing/craft supplies, and it was in rough shape. I had to throw a lot of fabric away, and the rest of it had to be washed, dried, ironed, and folded. I also had to wipe down my sewing machine, and throw out a lot of glues and paints that had been heated and cooled to the point of being useless while in storage. It felt really good to finally get that done!

While I was ironing and folding away, Ben got to work making some fresh bread, since we’d never gotten around to delivering it to our neighbors the previous weekend. Once I was done with my craft supplies, I changed the sheets on our bed, did some more laundry, started dinner in the crockpot, and then did some light meal prep stuff for the week ahead. I made more cold brewed decaf coffee, hard boiled eggs for snacks, and made a few jars of overnight oats.

When the bread was done around 3:30, we wrapped up a loaf and headed over to our neighbors, Eugene and Sandy’s house. Eugene is the son of the older woman who previously lived in our house, and he and Sandy couldn’t possibly be nicer. We stayed at their house for about an hour, chatting about all kinds of things over beer (for Ben) and orange juice (for me).

At about 5, we took our leave and headed out to take a little walk around our property, as I haven’t had a chance to explore it much. Unfortunately, my round ligament started complaining pretty quickly, but it was still so nice to survey our land. We’ve got lots of apple trees, lilac bushes, roses, and blackberries. I can’t wait for spring to see what else comes up!


We get some pretty spectacular sunsets

After that, we had a delicious dinner of cheesy queso chili, and settled in to watch some more Monty Python with Girl Scout cookies for dessert. Baby Girl was kicking up a storm all evening. I think she likes cookies and British humor, just like her parents 🙂

Do you have good neighbors?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/02/18

Friday Free-For-All

Hellooooo, March! I know I’m not alone in thinking that February is one of the toughest months. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s dreary. But it’s also mercifully short. Once March hits, it feels like spring is just around the corner. Especially once Daylight Savings Time kicks in. Woo!

I’ve probably said this before, but cold-brewed iced coffee is the best. I got a new French Press for Christmas, and I’ve been using it to make cold-brewed decaf iced coffee this week. Basically you just soak coffee grounds in cold water overnight, and it makes the smoothest, most delicious coffee you will ever taste. I used decaf so that I can drink more than one serving each morning because I love it so much (now that I’m pregnant I try really hard to only have one serving or less of caffeine per day). Having that smooth cup of joe every morning has made this week a lot better.

Adventures in home ownership have already begun. There were a few items left unfinished at closing, so some money was put into escrow for us to deal with them. One of which was that the well was open to the elements and had tested positive for coliform bacteria. Thus, we’ve been drinking bottled or boiled water since we moved in. We had our well company come by this week to seal up the well and inspect the system, and were told that our pressure tank is “shot.” So we’ll need to replace that, and we’re waiting on a quote to see how much that will cost. And we still have to submit a water sample to see whether or not our well water is potable after a bleach shock treatment.  Fun fun! Oh, and we still need to have our oil tank setup inspected, but the company who has been servicing our address is being weirdly cagey about setting up an appointment. So we may have to switch oil companies. Oy!

Homeowners out there–how quickly did you have to start replacing/repairing stuff after moving in?