Friday Free-For-All – 08/31/18

Friday Free-For-All

Goodbye, August! I can’t believe summer is almost gone. Of course, our summer flew by in a bit of a new-parent haze, but still. Slow down, time!

Is it just me, or is everyone and their mother selling Beachbody plans? Don’t get me wrong, I understand woman wanting to find a side hustle to help provide for their families, but it just seems like you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a “coach” who wants to sign you up for her “team.” I’ve been trying to connect with people on my new blog IG handle, and it seems like every single person who has followed me so far is trying to get me to sign up for their next challenge group. I’m sorry, but last time I checked, selling superfood shakes and pushing someone else’s workout plan doesn’t make you a coach. Maybe I just don’t really understand how it works, but it feels icky to me. Unless you have some kind of legit certification, you are no more qualified than I am to be telling another person how to work out.

I have determined that I will only shop in the boys section for Vera from now on. The clothes are just so much better. Honestly. There are a lot more of what I would consider to be gender neutral options in the boys section. As far as I’m concerned, dinosaurs, robots, and woodland creatures are neither masculine nor feminine. Yeah, you can find that stuff in the girls section, but the animals have eyelashes and pink bows. I got these awesome pants for Vera in the boys section at Old Navy, and I can’t wait to put them on her.

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Do you stick to the “appropriate” gender section when shopping for your kid(s)?

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26 Week Pregnancy Update

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According to my Ovia Pregnancy app, Baby Girl is the size of a butternut squash

At 26 weeks, I’m nearing the end of the second trimester, to which I say “Slow your roll, there, pregnancy!” Yikes! I feel like these 26 weeks have been super fast but also super slow at the same time.

Symptom-wise there hasn’t been much change this week. Still no stretch marks. Belly button is still an innie. No swelling. Lots of gastrointestinal discomfort. Round ligaments can go die in a fire. The only new thing is I’m pretty sure I had my first Braxton-Hicks contraction at 26 weeks to the day. All of a sudden my belly felt super tight, and stayed that way for a few minutes, but then it was gone. At first I didn’t even really put that tightness together with a contraction, but I’m almost certain now that’s what it was. Apparently, those will become much more common throughout the rest of my pregnancy. Hooray! (sarcasm)

I did my glucose tolerance test this week as well. You may remember that I was fairly nervous about it. Unfortunately, I failed (by five measly points!), meaning that I now have to go in and do the three-hour version, which sounds like no fun at all. Obviously, it’s important to know whether or not I’ve got gestational diabetes, but I’m just mad about this whole thing and wondering if I could have done anything different/better before the first test to avoid failing. Which is not that helpful. Ugh.

This week I started to feel really overwhelmed by all the pregnancy- and baby-related stuff we have yet to do. Here is a small sample of the ever-growing, ever-changing list that’s constantly running through my mind:

  • Research and interview pediatricians
  • Sign up for newborn care class
  • Sign up for child/infant CPR certification
  • Set up/decorate nursery (I’m actually dreading this cause I’m the WORST at interior decoration)
  • Order address labels for thank you cards (which my thoughtful sister already ordered to match shower invitations!)
  • Install CO2 detectors (this was supposed to be done before we closed on the house but it slipped through the cracks)
  • Finish birth plan
  • Decide whether or not to have maternity photo shoot; schedule said shoot
  • Decide whether or not to have newborn photo shoot; schedule said shoot
  • Research and sign up for life insurance
  • Make an estate plan (morbid, but important for parents)
  • Research and buy another, carseat friendly car (Ben’s truck can’t accommodate a carseat)

Aaaaand, that doesn’t really even begin to cover it. There is so much to think about and do to prepare for an entirely new person to enter our lives. The good news is, we now have a crib, which is kicking my nesting instincts into high gear. We still need to get a dresser for all her clothes (add that to the list of things to do above!), but for the most part, we now have all the “big stuff” for the nursery and we can start to settle things in there.

Parents out there–did you have maternity and/or newborn photo shoots? How do you feel about your decisions after the fact?

First Trimester Recap

I know these pregnancy posts are coming at you way after the fact, but having waited so long to make our pregnancy internet official and then being so busy with moving/house stuff, it is what it is. Enjoy! And if you’re not interested in pregnancy posts, please come back another day 🙂

Symptoms
I was one of those lucky few women who did not spend her entire first trimester praying to the porcelain god. I dealt with varying degrees of nausea all day, every day for a few weeks, and even retched once after taking a whiff of something pungent that my in-laws cooked up, but I never threw up! This was such a relief, as I have a mild phobia of vomiting.

What I did have, though, is some next-level hormonal acne. Jesus, I thought it was bad when I was a teenager, but this was something else. My entire forehead was covered in red bumps and whiteheads, and I even got some cystic acne, which I’d never really had before. It was awful. And because I’m pregnant, the products I could use to combat said acne are somewhat limited, so I basically just had to suffer. Thankfully, right around 16 weeks, the acne cleared up.

I’ve also experienced a few less terrible symptoms like mild cramping and sore boobs. And of course, I was tired pretty much all the time. There were a lot of 9 pm bedtimes those first few months.

Fitness
In general I found that any physical activity helped keep nausea at bay and helped improve my energy levels, but it was really hard to make myself do it when I was just so damn lethargic! Most days all I wanted to do after work was go home, change into comfy pants, and vegetate. That said, I tried to force myself into some kind of activity a couple of times a week.

I was fortunately able to continue going to CrossFit through my first trimester. I talked it over with my midwives and they agreed that as long as I listen to my body and scale as needed, I’m good to go. My CrossFit coaches were actually among the very first people I told, and they’ve been great about offering modifications and scaling options to keep me and the baby safe. In fact, they are pretty damn aggressive about offering modifications, and checking in before and after WODs. I haven’t gone that much because I’ve been so tired, but the times I do go feel great. I did, however, switch my membership from 12 classes a month to a 10 class punch card. I just haven’t been going enough to justify $165 a month.

I ran a few times early in the first trimester, but low energy levels, cold, and darkness meant I didn’t do it a lot. I ended up rejoining my fancy gym (I get an amazing corporate discount through work), so that a) I have treadmill access for the winter, and b) when/if CrossFit becomes too much, I can take classes/work out there.

Cravings/Aversions
I haven’t really had any true cravings or aversions, but I will say that what I feel like eating at any given time is completely random. One day something is delicious, the next I’d rather starve than eat it. Then the next day I like it again. I guess the one thing I’m noticing is that I don’t really want sweet stuff that much. Pre-pregnancy I would have at least one sugary treat per day, but entire days go by without even thinking of treats. Savory foods are much more my jam.

Weight Gain
I’m trying really hard not to stress too much about weight gain during pregnancy, but it’s hard. My midwives want me to gain about 25 pounds, which would put me uncomfortably close to 200 pounds. I know I need to gain weight for the baby, but those numbers freak me out. I’m just doing my best to eat as normally and healthfully as possible. There is no “eating for two” mentality for me. At my 12 week appointment, I’d only gained 2 pounds, which is right on track.

Weird Stuff
Something very interesting that happened is that early in my pregnancy, my ocular migraines became MUCH more frequent. The weekend of our Toronto trip, I had one every single day, and I had several more throughout the course of the first trimester.

I talked to the midwives about it, and they said that sometimes pregnancy just makes other conditions worse. I never really got an answer as to what was causing my migraines, and they were so infrequent I just didn’t worry about it. The midwives assured me that there’s no danger to me or the baby, and it’s probably just “one of those things” that will go away after the baby is born. I haven’t had one since my second trimester started, so I’m gonna cross my fingers that I don’t have to deal with them anymore.

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I have a distinct lack of photos of me from the first trimester, but here’s an ultrasound!

 

NYC Trip Days 1 & 2

I know, I know, this is LONG overdue, but as you know, I’ve been super busy with moving and house projects, so I’m just now getting around to this. Enjoy!

Thursday
Ben and I were lucky enough to snag a ride to our various ports from a family friend. They dropped me off at the Essex Junction train station right at 9 am, then continued on into Burlington to drop Ben at the airport.

The train arrived promptly at 9:45 and we were off! The Amtrak Vermonter goes from St. Albans, VT all the way down to Washington, DC. It makes LOTS of stops along the way and doesn’t travel very fast, so it’s about a 9 hour ride to New York. While this sounds like a lot, driving to NYC would take at least 6 hours, we’d have to pay for parking, and contend with city traffic, so really, it’s not bad. Plus, the train is Wi-Fi enabled, there are power outlets at every seat, and there’s a snack car. Not to mention, the seats are huge, with plenty of leg room. AND, Sarah and I each had two seats to ourselves for the majority of the trip. So basically, we were riding in style and comfort.

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Along the way, we chatted, ate snacks, napped, read, and otherwise passed a leisurely day watching the scenery go by. We arrived at Penn Station around 6:30 and walked the 10 or so blocks to our hotel. We stayed at City Rooms – Times Square. In a nutshell, it’s about a step above a hostel. Super cheap, zero amenities, small rooms, no elevator. And our room was on the 5th floor. I don’t know that I’d stay there again, but it worked for this trip. At least the location was convenient!

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On one of the landings at the hotel.

After checking in and dumping our stuff, we walked over to Shake Shack for some dinner. We don’t have Shake Shacks in Vermont, so this was a treat! We were both pretty tired, so we just headed back to our room to read for a while, and went to bed early.

Friday
This was the official first day of BroadwayCon. Sarah and I got up around 7 am to get ready and head out to find breakfast. We ended up eating breakfast at Pret a Manger pretty much every morning because it was on our way to the convention center, and offered halfway decent hot breakfast options on a budget.

The Javits Center was about a mile and a half from our hotel, and we walked there and back pretty much every day (we ended up taking a cab on Sunday afternoon, and only because it was rainy and we were exhausted).

Sarah and I had purchased Gold level passes for the weekend, which got us a few perks like a swag bag (not really that swag-y), early entry to the Marketplace (souvenirs galore!), and a few other things. Unfortunately, they were having internet issues and didn’t start letting Gold passes inside until almost 9:30, which was, frankly, annoying, but what can you do?

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After wandering the Marketplace for a bit and making a few purchases, we made our way to our first panel of the day, Thank You, Five! The Stage Management Panel. I’ve only ever been an assistant stage manager, but Sarah has done some stage management, and it was actually quite interesting.

Our 11 am panel was The American Theatre Wing: 100 Years, 100 Voices, 100 Million Miracles. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this panel, but it was great. I learned a lot about the history of the American Theatre Wing. For instance, I didn’t realize it was originally a branch of the armed forces, or that it was founded by women. It was also an integrated organization during a time when integration was still pretty new and scandalous. They passed around some old, original Tony Awards, which used to be money clips for men and makeup compacts for women, and I got to hold an ACTUAL Tony award, which was beyond cool.

We took a quick break for lunch at the Javits Center food court (typical food court fare), and headed to our 1 pm panel, The Secrets of Broadway’s St. James Theatre. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a great panel. It featured Jordan Roth, whose family owns and manages five different Broadway theatres, including the St. James, and I found him to be a bit pretentious. He also talked a lot about improvements that were being made to the theatre, rather than the theatre’s history and “secrets” as one might have expected from the title of the panel. They also showed a slideshow of photos from the theatre’s past, but the screen was tiny, on the other side of the room, and the photos moved so quickly I basically couldn’t see anything.

Afterwards, Sarah and I split up, as it was time for my photograph session with the incomparable Donna Murphy. Those of you who aren’t Broadway fans might recognize her as the voice of Mother Goethel in Disney’s Tangled. At any rate, she was lovely and gracious and told me I looked beautiful, and I was basically tongue-tied after that.

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At 3, Sarah and I met up for Everybody Say Yeah!: Kinky Boots After 2,000 Performances. I was particularly interested in this panel because one of the panelists, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, who is an original company member, is an acquaintance of mine. We did summer stock together a loooooong time ago, and I was hoping to say hello. The panel ended up being an absolute blast. The cast members featured had tons of hilarious stories about auditions and ridiculous stuff that has happened over the course of the past five years on Broadway. And after the panel, I was able to hug Kevin and tell him how happy and proud I was of everything he’s done since we met. It was lovely to see him! I just wish we’d gotten a photo together.

It was time to line up for the BroadwayCon 2018 Opening Ceremonies on the Mainstage, and this was the only real low point of the day. As Gold pass holders, we were supposed to have guaranteed seating at all Mainstage events. I had assumed that this would mean there would be a separate line for Gold pass holders, and we would be seated first, or at the very least, there would be a section of seats reserved for Gold passes. This was unfortunately not the case. EVERYONE was lined up together, and the lines were completely disorganized. A chunk of lines here, a chunk of lines there, with no clearly defined beginning or end. It was pretty chaotic, and people were understandably confused and upset. Thankfully, we did manage to get inside, but we had pretty crappy seats, way over to the right and relatively far back.

The opening ceremonies themselves ended up being pretty awesome. Billy Porter came out and sang a song that I’m ashamed I didn’t know. Betsy Wolfe sang Meadowlark, which immediately made me cry, and Kelli O’Hara sang Pure Imagination. It was quick and lovely.

Immediately following was the In the Heights 10 Year Reunion Panel, with most of the original cast of In the Heights, including Lin Manuel Miranda himself, which was beyond amazing. He’s just obviously such a nerd and so happy to be doing what he loves. At one point when they were discussing songs that had been cut from the show, he jumped up and ran to the piano onstage to start playing one of the songs while the cast sang along. It was so fun!

After that, we were done with BroadwayCon for the day, and headed off to find some food. We ended up at Donoghue’s Irish Pub, since it was close to both our hotel and the theatre where we would be seeing a show at 8. Sarah and I split an appetizer sampler tray and some curry fries, then headed over to the theatre. Hello, Dolly! was excellent. Amazing costumes and gorgeous technical elements, and BERNADETTE FREAKING PETERS as Dolly. Oh, not to mention Victor Garber, Gavin Creel, and Kate Baldwin. *sigh* After the show, we headed back to our room and crashed, exhausted from a full day of Broadway awesomeness.

Stay tuned for part two of my trip recap, hopefully coming soon!

Weekend Update – Plague Part 2

Well, I didn’t mean to disappear for all of last week, but I was deathly ill from Wednesday until just yesterday, so there you have it.

I left work early on Wednesday afternoon with a terrible hacking cough, and a fever of 100.4. The fever peaked at 101.5 that night, then hung in around 100 until Saturday morning. I was out of work Thursday and Friday, and didn’t manage to get out of bed until yesterday. I was so congested in both my chest and head that I basically didn’t sleep for three straight days, and started hallucinating from exhaustion/anxiety on Friday night. It was a really great few days, let me tell ya. And now Ben is home sick. Oy.

So long story short, I’m even more behind on not just work work, but new house work AND blog stuff, so I’m not sure how much you’ll hear from me this week. I know I owe you a few trip recap posts and I’d love to update you on the house, but we’ll see. Right now, work work and house work need to come first. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to move in this coming weekend, but with Ben now ill, I’m not sure.

Quick Post-NYC Check In

Hi friends! I’m back from NYC and holy moly, I’m tired! We crammed SO MUCH into four short days and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But first, I’ve got to get caught up on work and sleep. Oh yeah, and MOVE INTO OUR NEW HOUSE! AAAHHHHHH!

This week is going to be totally nuts, so don’t be surprised if I’m not around much. Priority number one is getting moved into the house. I will likely have several trip recap posts, and maybe a house progress post too, but like I said, we’ve gotta get INTO the house first. Wheeee!

I hope you all have a fabulous week, and I’ll be back when I can!

Off to BroadwayCon and HOUSE OMG!

Eeeeeee, guys I’m so excited! It’s finally time for BroadwayCon! First thing tomorrow, my friend Sarah and I will board the Amtrak Vermonter and take a nice, leisurely, Wi-Fi enabled train ride straight to Penn Station, and thus begin a weekend of ultimate Broadway nerdiness in NYC.

I will likely be doing a recap of our trip, possibly even a day-to-day sort of thing, because I want to remember every single detail, but I don’t plan to actually post while I’m gone. If you want to follow along in our adventures, I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty on Instagram!

In other news, we are scheduled to FINALLY CLOSE ON OUR HOUSE tonight. We had our final walk-through this morning, and barring any last-minute catastrophes, we should be good to go! While we are so, so excited and relieved that the day is finally here, the timing kind of stinks. I’m off to NYC and Ben is off to a cousin’s wedding, so we won’t even be able to start working on/moving into the house until next Tuesday. Obviously, this is small potatoes in comparison with the enormity of actually officially owning a house, but as you can imagine, we’re pretty anxious to get in there and start living on our own again. We’ve been living with my in-laws for 16 months now, which is quite long enough.

Thankfully, there’s not too much to do. Ideally, we’d like to paint (the bedroom is pink, people, PINK!), and there’s some pretty horrific wood paneling with ducks and deer and stuff that needs to either be ripped off or painted over. We’d also very much like to steam clean the carpets, cause god only knows the last time they were thoroughly cleaned. Otherwise, it’s move-in ready, which is such a relief.

I’m hoping we can be fully in by the end of next weekend, but I don’t want to put too hard a timeline on it. Painting and cleaning carpets will be much easier if the house isn’t occupied, and I don’t want to put that stuff off for “later” and then not get around to it for a couple of years.

So, after closing tonight, Ben and I will be going out to dinner to celebrate, and then heading to Lowe’s or Home Depot to scope out paint colors. And then swinging by the house so we can bask in the glory of being home owners 🙂