thoughts + stories

I just finished eating leftover quiche and raspberry chocolate chip muffins. In bed. These are the kinds of luxuries I am currently affording myself. Don't tell James.

I bought some white sheets with black plus signs on them at Target last week, after months of agonizing over new sheets. Then I saw 4 Instagrams this morning of people with the same sheets. Dang it, Target.

Speaking of Target, I went yesterday to grab a few things. They've had these extremely overpriced plastic bins that would've been perfect to put on the shelves in the changing table, but every time I talked myself out of it. I finally decided to just go buy the darn things, and when I got there they were gone. GONE. After much scouting, I found two smashed behind some woven baskets, and I snagged them. The cashier asked me when I was due, and I said "yesterday!" She said she knew it had to be soon, because I had "quite the waddle." I rolled with it and didn't tell her that my waddle was exaggerated due to the fact that I didn't wear leggings under my dress for once since my incubator settings are cranked up high, and my thighs were chafing. I walked out preserving a little dignity until I realized I forgot to buy mascara for the 3rd time. I told James that story, and he said "but you really do have quite the waddle." It's true.

I love the look and idea of linen napkins, but I don't understand why people use them. They get dirty! And stained! More laundry! They would stress me out. Clearly I am not an environmentalist. I'll be over here with my roll of paper towels and destroying the earth or whatever.

I accidentally watched about 30 minutes of golf with James last weekend. One of the players was walking around the green like it ain't no thang, and all I could do was look at James and say "how is he walking like it's not hard? Why isn't he out of breath? He doesn't look like his back is breaking? Is that what it's like to not be pregnant?!?" And the thing is, I was serious. I'm unaware of a different life than one that isn't dominated by top-heaviness. You mean people can actually bend over without falling and/or crying?

Ever since I sort of got my taste for coffee back, I've been ordering lattes. A good latte will send me through the roof with joy these days. I usually order a decaf, except for after my OB appointments, because I need to reward myself for surviving those. Anyway, decaf? I feel like such a poser. Like, who am I and what have I done with myself? I feel like I'm pretending to be someone else when I order decaf. There's a little thrill involved, like I'm using a fake ID. NOT THAT I'VE EVER DONE THAT I SWEAR I HAVEN'T. But I imagine it feels like ordering decaf, which was previously against my religion. Scandalous!

Every time I think I have our townhouse just the way I want it, I get another idea. It's driving me insane. We have this big blank wall in the kitchen and a lack of cabinets, so now I'm obsessed with the idea of channeling Julia Child and putting up a pegboard for my pots and pans. I'm convinced it would make me a better cook. I might even develop a french accent. I bet it would get me a book deal. The possibilities! Clearly it is in my best interest. I've been randomly sending James pictures and tutorials all week in hopes that he'll make it happen for me. But without me asking, because he already has been doing everything for me lately. Don't you wish you were married to me? Don't answer that.

I'm going to go make some more tea and clean. And by clean I mean read. And by read, I mean maybe take a nap. You get it. 


march 25th


This is a big deal. I mean, I guess it is? It is. I've been praying since day 1 that I would make it to my due date. Once I got settled into the second trimester and got over the miscarriage fear, I started worrying about pre-term labor. It happens all the time! To so many people! As a first time mom, I knew the odds were on my side, but you never know. I prayed day and night that my little peanut would stay where she belongs until her due date. I know she could've come earlier and been just fine, but I wanted her in there as long as possible to have the best chance at a good start. Thank you, thank you Jesus. And also, let's be honest, I wanted her to stay in there because I'm freaking out. No matter what happens, I'm guaranteed a baby by next week. Let's not talk about it or I'll be forced to get a second bowl of ice cream. Plus I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I have to actually set my mug on the coffee table instead of resting it on my belly.

Also, I'm on maternity leave! Without a baby! I'm fulfilling a lifetime dream of being a stay at home mom without the kids. Just kidding. I want the baby, but this time to rest and relax has been everything I thought it could be. I daydreamed and salivated over this the past few weeks. Knowing I was going to have this time was the only thing that got me through work and the resulting swollen ankles. The second I walked out Friday evening, I felt my body relax. I had no idea how uptight and tense I'd been! I've been sleeping like a rock ever since, which is amazing considering I've been battling insomnia for months. My body is starting to show signs of preparing for birth, which it was just not doing until I stopped working.

I HAVE SO MUCH FREEDOM. Every night is Friday night! Every morning is like waking up to a snow day! I GOT TO TURN MY ALARM OFF GLORY HALLELUJAH. I can eat breakfast in bed! Oh! OHH!! Monday? I took a three hour nap. I'm not a napper!! But I napped for three hours. I freaking REM-cycled and everything and dreamed that I had to take a shower at my OB appointment, but I forgot my shampoo. My cat cuddled up next to me. When I woke up it was snowing, and I didn't even care because I had tea downstairs and nowhere to be. I started and stopped about 14 different shows and movies on Netflix. I stayed up late reading. An early maternity leave is one of the best choices I've ever made. I have no idea how long it will last, but for now I'm in heaven. I feel so much more rested, I'm so much less swollen, and I can't stop thinking this pregnancy would have been much more manageable if someone would've just let me take a gosh darn nap every afternoon. I am positively delightful afterwards. Or something like that.

I ate ice cream in bed last night. Out of a bright green bowl. James was next to me and we watched Friends on his iPad while I went through stacks of old pictures and picked out my favorite memories of us and strung them up with black and white twine. I thought it was Friday instead of Tuesday. I made a little makeshift desk out of a weird alcove in our master bedroom. Today, I'm hanging up twinkle lights. And going to the library, again, because burying myself under books with deadlines is apparently my idea of a good time. And I get to go see my mom in the middle of the week because I CAN. It's allowed now!

I'm sorry if I'm rubbing this in your face. I'm sorry if you're reading this from your cubicle and you want to pull my hair out. I've been there, I have. But just know I paid for this already with months of throwing up in front of God and everyone and curling up on the floor by my desk. If it makes you feel any better, I lost the blu-ray remote yesterday afternoon and couldn't pause my movie to use the bathroom every 5 minutes. I have struggles, too.

Oh, am I doing it again? I'm so sorry! Really! Truly! Don't be jealous. I promise that five minutes from now I'll probably be crying about something.

Okay. Okay! I'll be honest. It's not as easy as all that. I'm a basket case. A nervous wreck. This major life change is coming but I don't know when and where and I'm scared to be more than a few miles from the hospital. Every twinge and cramp sends a shot of adrenaline through me and I wonder IS THIS IT?!? Every night I dream about going into labor. Last night I dreamed I had to share a labor and delivery room (can you even imagine?!) with a couple who were naming their child Eric Santana.

Ok, I'll stop now. I have to go anyway. I have plans to stay up late and read.

Oops. Sorry.

(psssst. If you're in the mood for something serious and intense, I wrote a post for The Kindred Women yesterday. All about fear and anxiety, and I should probably go read what I wrote because I'm full of anxiety again.)



Have you been waiting on pins and needles for someone to tell you what you should and shouldn't read next? Here I am to the rescue!

A Paris Apartment: Look, you guys! I read fiction!! This novel is based on the real-life apartment in Paris that was found in 2010. It hadn't been opened in over 70 years, when the owner fled Paris as the Nazis were invading. An auctioneer found it and discovered that it was full of priceless works of art and furniture. The book takes it a step further and includes fictional journal entries of the former owner and her life in the 1800s/early 1900s. Overall, the plot was fascinating. However, I wasn't a huge fan of the main character (she kept forgetting to eat...who forgets to eat?! I can't respect that.) and how unnecessarily crude parts of the story became. Looking past that, it's easy to get caught up in the story, and I think it's worth the read.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: This book is my best friend. Is that weird? I don't care. The first time I saw this book was on a New Releases table in Barnes and Noble when I was in college. I almost bought the book based on the name alone, and I've always regretted that I didn't snag it then and there. I've never forgotten about it, and I've been meaning to read it ever since. I can't even begin to express how much I deeply loved this book. The morning after I finished it, I immediately grabbed it and began rereading favorite parts.  Warm fuzzies all over! It takes place in 1946, in post-war London and the island of Guernsey, and it's comprised completely of letters. It takes a bit to figure out who's who, but it's the most enchanting and charming story, and the writing is so witty. Curl up on the couch, read it, and be happy.

Waiting for Birdy: a year of frantic tedium, neurotic angst, and the wild magic of growing a family: This is the book I would love to write. It's is the closest thing to a parenting book that I've read, I'll admit it. Reading it felt like therapy. Or a support group. Her pregnancy observations were hysterical and so completely accurate, like not being able to put ice in her water because she can taste the contents of the freezer in the ice...BEEN THERE. She pokes fun at OB appointments and the What to Expect When You're Expecting alarmists and makes you feel less insane for late night pregnancy symptom googling. I glazed over at some parts when she rambles about her toddler (confession: toddlers freak me out), but for the most part I loved this book. It was so refreshing and so good to see someone bring a sense of humor to pregnancy.

The Girls of Atomic City: I saw this book on a shelf at the library and grabbed it because it reminded me of the show Bomb Girls, which I love. Also, who doesn't want to believe they would've been a Bomb Girl during WWII (and everyone who knows me LOLs at the thought of me in a factory)? I have mixed feelings on this book. We all know I live and breathe WWII books, and this one is a true story about women who worked on the Manhattan Project. Interesting! Right? Kind of. It was fascinating in that not one employee knew they were helping to build the atomic bomb, and they had no idea what the point of their actual job was aside from helping to end the war. The government built a huge compound in Tennessee and called it Oak Ridge, which is still a city to this day. During the war, it wasn't included on any maps and was basically a secret city. As you can see, the story itself is incredibly interesting, but the book was so disjointed and unorganized that I had such a hard time following it. Awesome topic, poor execution. But still worth reading if you're like me and have an unhealthy obsession with this time period. You just might need to make a flow chart or something to keep up with the characters.

Empty Mansions: This book started off so well. So fascinating! It's a true story about a wealthy family, right up there with the Carnegies and Rockefellers, that no one seems to know about. The book gives the history of the Clark family, from the 1800s when W.A. Clark owned mines in Montana until 2011 when his daughter Huguette died. The book was well researched, but I felt like I was reading a textbook. There were so many unnecessary details and so much repetition (rich lady, recluse, lots of dolls, obsessed with Japan, lots of empty mansions, I GET IT), and had they been left out, the book would've been half the size and maybe I wouldn't have wanted to poke my eyes out by the end. The story itself is somewhat intriguing, but I had to force myself to finish it. BORED TO TEARS.

Real Food for Mother and Baby: I am a major nutrition nerd. It's something I've studied extensively, and it was even my major in college for half a second. A friend recommended this book to me, and while there was some very valuable information in there, the author is a little bit crazy. I'll just copy and paste what I wrote on Goodreads, because I could write a book on my thoughts on this book and this is as concise as I can get:

First things first: this author is a total whack-job. She's crazy. Raw milk and wine while pregnant? No. Telling us epidurals are more likely to cause drug-addicted teens? Please. Real food cures morning sickness? I would like to see what she says after dealing with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. 

With that said, there is a lot of good information in here. I read this at the end of my pregnancy, and it was a kick in the pants to finish this thing strong instead of subsisting on donuts. I did skim the parts about the fertility diet and what to eat in the first and second trimesters just to see how miserably I failed, and let me tell you, I failed miserably. According to her, my baby will probably be unhealthy with a low IQ due to the blatant lack of fish oil in my diet. But at the same time, I was on soy formula as a baby (according to Nina, you basically feed your child soy formula only if you hate them), and I grew up to be smart and healthy. 

There's good information to glean if you can get past the self-righteous bragging. You'll start to wonder if she's getting paid by the amount of times she condones raw milk. However, I love the basic premise of getting back to real food and eating nothing processed. I am completely on board that train. I love that she wasn't afraid to challenge the pediatrician and that she promotes getting minerals like iron from real food instead of supplements. I can say from my own experience, eating iron-rich foods is much more beneficial than taking fake supplements. All in all, use your common sense with her and take everything she says with a grain of salt. A grain of unrefined sea salt, that is.

Coming Clean: I almost forgot to add this one! Hence the lack of picture. This book was horrifying, but in a good way. It's a memoir about a girl who grew up with hoarder parents, before hoarding was the thing it is now. The things she went through are CRAZY and I felt like I needed a shower every time I put it down. An excellent read if you're seeking motivation to clean your house; a dangerous read if you're nesting and already obsessing over your baseboards. 

I'm going on maternity leave in about 5 minutes, and I got a little overzealous and snagged 6 more books from the library today. So basically you can expect another post like this immediately. It's the first day of spring! Go grab a book and a daffodil or something. 


what's been happening

No baby yet!

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, hi! 

I'm still around. Still kickin'. Still not sleeping (I was awake from 3am to 7am Saturday night, please let me whine about it). Still drinking smoothies like my life depends on it. Still crying for no reason.

Not much has gone on this past week. I finished the nursery, minus the mobile. I love it so much. I'll show you 5,000 pictures soon, I promise. I sent James an overwhelming list toward the end of January of all things we needed for baby and all the nesting projects I wanted to get done. We both never thought we'd be able to make a dent in it, but it's 98% finished. The nursery walls are covered with embroidery hoops, including my pink llamas, which are every bit as amazing as I dreamed they would be.

Last week I decided to jump on a three year old bandwagon and ROYGBIV my bookshelves. I hated the way they looked and clearly color coordination (and alliteration?) was the only alternative. It brings me back to my high school days of matching my shirt to my underwear and my mechanical pencil to my shirt. I thought I had outgrown that particular quirk, but apparently not.

While I was working on the bookshelves, I decided to put a record on (typing that makes me want to sing Put Your Records On by Corrine Bailey Rae...anyone?). An ABBA record that I found in the basement of a thrift shop last month. My dad and I used to have ABBA dance parties when I was a kid, and I fully intend on raising my child the same way, so it was crucial that I bought it. I put the record on the turntable, BUT IT WOULDN'T SPIN. I had a conniption fit. I was so upset I couldn't even eat my dinner, and James was the recipient of probably 63 melodramatic text messages re: the end of my life. I read the instruction manual twice. Two hours later I discovered there was a switch in the back I didn't flip. I felt so relieved I cranked up the volume to SOS and almost danced my way into labor.

James has been setting baby things up like crazy. Right after we rolled out of bed last weekend, he immediately put the stroller together and set up the baby monitor (an audio, NOT a video, because we are not government-level spies)(but mostly because we're cheap). I've been pushing the empty stroller around the living room like a 3 year old playing with her dolls, and I am dying to push an actual baby around in it. My childhood dreams are coming true! A stroller with a real baby! The only downside is that the diaper bag does not match the stroller, and I'd be lying if I said that hasn't been making me sweat a little (I'm starting to wonder what made me think I outgrew my color coordinating streak?). But my diaper bag makes my heart skip a beat, so I'll deal with it. I WILL. But the baby monitor? So much fun to use as walkie talkies! Until you're in the nursery late at night having conversations with the cat and you realize that your husband can hear everything through the unit downstairs.

Not that I would know from experience. 

Anyway! We celebrated my 26th birthday yesterday. I spent the day telling James birthday trivia, such as "do remember what happened 6 years ago today? You fixed my roommate's flat tire and then told me you had a crush on me. And now we're married and having a baby!" and "16 years ago today I had a birthday party at a roller skating rink and all my friends got in a fight with each other" and, of course, "21 years ago today all of my friends were on my swing set in the backyard, and there's a picture of me standing next to the swing set sucking my thumb because I didn't want to share my swings." (<--only child problems). It was a very informative day.

When I got out of bed, James had the new Jamie Cullum record playing and I nearly lost myself at the sound of muted trumpets and jazz piano. I loved it so much. He made some coffee and I broke all the rules and drank some in my new Anthro mug, because if I'm going to drink coffee, I'm going to do it in style. We went out to lunch with my parents, and I wore the dress I just got on clearance from the Target maternity section, because even though my due date is next week, I'm going to scream if I have to look at one of the 3 maternity shirts I own that still fit. Plus, every girl needs a new dress on her birthday. I tried it on right after getting a haircut and while wearing my spiffy new glasses, so I was feeling like hot stuff. I loved the way it looked in the dressing room. It's not the kind of dress I would ever wear while not pregnant, but while pregnant? Yes. My belly detracts from the rest of my, ahem, assets, and the fact that I look exactly like someone hooked my entire body up to an air pump. The puffiness! But then we took a bunch of pictures after lunch and I realized that I could be 16 months pregnant with triplets and my assets will still be the size of Kim Kardashian's bank account, and nothing will detract from that ever. However, comfort reigns supreme and I plan on wearing the dress until I give birth. But if you really want to know how something looks on you, don't use a dressing room mirror. Have someone take a picture of you instead. The camera never lies, but mirrors do. 

I think you'll find that in the book of Proverbs.

Anyway, my parents came over, and so did my newly-acquired double chin who was NOT invited, and we had cake and ice cream and I opened presents with my feet elevated because swelling is real and none of my shoes fit. They also brought some of my childhood treasures over, like a wooden rocking horse (be still my heart) and Samantha the American Doll, which we all know was a big hit for me when I was younger. She was dressed in her yellow and black ski gear when my parents found her. My dad also brought over a bunch of his records from high school and college. I screamed. He gave a grand presentation for each record including where the record ranked in his collection, where and when he bought it, and where and when he saw this particular artist in concert. So much fantastic 70s and 80s music, and I am now determined to use it to dance this baby out, because if I don't get some heartburn relief soon, drastic measures will have to be taken.

After they left, and because I have hormones, I cried on the couch for 2 hours. Full-body sobs. For absolutely no reason, but they wouldn't stop coming! I cried and then I calmed down, and then I cried again. And then I calmed down, and then I cried again. Not one thing was making me unhappy. Once James talked me off the ledge, I laid down on the couch and then realized I couldn't move. I was completely unable to hoist myself up, as all my energy had leaked out of my tear ducts. I was thinking we might need to hire some sort of industrial crane to lift me up, but he managed to push me up and then suggested the brilliant idea of Life Alert for pregnant women. Push a button and have someone come lift me up off the floor/bed/couch? Yes. I would pay a lot of money for that. Otherwise I'll have another situation like I did a few weeks ago, where I fell in the pantry and since it was too difficult/impossible to get up, I took the opportunity to purge and organize the bottom 3 shelves of canned goods and pasta until James inevitably found me and pulled me up. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not very self-sufficient these days.

After I calmed down, we sat on the couch talking for hours about life and college memories and look how well that blanket matches the stroller! It was so nice. I made myself a birthday smoothie and we shared a bowl of mac n cheese. I'm still clinically addicted to the smell of rubber, so I periodically fished out my new pair of red Chucks to sniff their glorious new-shoe rubber smell. I'm seriously going weak just typing this out. They smell like new tires!!!! I can't even dream of fitting my swollen feet in to them until after I have the baby, so I'm going to carry them around as air fresheners until then. They smell so good. I want to stick them up my nose. I nearly started to nibble on them, but I caught myself once James walked back in the room. I'm losing all sense of control and reality.

But the good news? I got a new vacuum for my birthday. And I'm not saying this sarcastically. I actually yelped over the baseboard attachments. Do you have any idea how much fun I'm going to have with that this week? I can't even begin to tell you. Baseboards, embroidery, and spiffing up the master bedroom are my goals for the week. And if the baby wants to come, that might be ok given my mood. I'm slowly exchanging my fear and anxiety for desperation to not be pregnant anymore. Plus, my mom knit the baby a vest to match a pair of cat leggings she got for her, and if I don't get to stick that outfit on her and push her in a stroller soon, I'm going to lose it.

Speaking of Hobby Lobby! Ok, we weren't, but my blog my rules. Have I told you this story? I don't remember, but listen up. Back in January I went to the Hob Lob to get some knobs (so much rhyming!) for the baby's dresser. When I was finished checking out, I walked into someone and immediately started apologizing profusely. As I was apologizing, I turned around to realize I had walked into a pole and not a person. There were many witnesses, and I waddled my way out as fast as I could. Fast forward to last Friday night. I ran back in to grab some more embroidery hoops (the pink llamas needed a home!), and as I finished checking out, I walked into someone again. But nope! It was the SAME POLE. I DID IT AGAIN. AGAIN! So embarrassing. I drove home as fast as I could and took comfort in my maternity leggings and sparkling water.

It's officially last week of work before maternity leave (was that the hallelujah chorus I just heard?). I have leftover birthday cake in the kitchen. I'm hoping this means no more spastic crying, but I have an OB appointment this morning so I can't make any promises. It's also supposed to hit 70 degrees today, which means I should probably switch out my seasonal body wash collection. Oh, am I the only one with seasonal body washes? All I'm saying is that I've been hanging on to some apple lavender body wash since December. It's the little things that help me feel less like an inflatable incubator stitched together with stretch marks and more like a human.

Given the weather, maybe I should also change Samantha out of her ski gear.


currently, vol. 11

Feeling: the Sunday blues. And very, very sore in the hip and baby areas.

Craving: SMOOTHIES. Sweet heavens, smoothies. 

Watching: Blue Bloods. It speaks to me.

Listening: to the chirping birds. SPRING!!!! This is the first time in my life I've been excited about melting snow. I feel so trendy!

Drinking: James got me a Tiramisu latte last night. I did not hate it at all. But I just drained a glass of sparkling raspberry and lime water equally as wonderful. Sparkling water always makes me feel snazzy and important.

Reading: Real Food for Mother & Baby. There's a lot of good information, but I would also like to punch the self-righteous author in the face. A paraphrase: "if women would just eat a little better during their first trimester, there would be no morning sickness." SAY IT TO MY FACE, I DARE YOU.  

Planning: to cry when my alarm goes off in the morning. Curse you, Daylight Savings Time. 

Making: things with fabric and embroidery hoops. The sun was shining this morning and it's been in the 40s, and it made me feel so alive that I ordered some fabric with pink llamas on it. I don't regret it in the slightest. Every baby girl needs pink llamas in her room, right? 

Cooking: Beef enchiladas. Hot diggity.

Thinking: a Sunday night without Downton is not a Sunday night for me.

Loving: Warm weather! I had no idea how much the cold was affecting me until the temperatures hit the 40s and my mood completely changed. James got my car washed and the salt is gone! I even painted my nails pink! It took some cirque-de-soleil moves, but I did it. I'm ready to part with my boots for quite awhile. 

Disliking: Running into coworkers at the grocery store. There I was bopping through the Trader Joe's produce section, looking fresh-to-death with a purple bra under a translucent and stained red and white shirt, frizzy hair, and a complete disregard for makeup when I looked up to see a coworker. We then ran into each other in every single aisle.