1/29/15

24 weeks.

At 24 weeks: 
*the bump is for real. last night, I popped into a nail salon for an eyebrow wax and massage (the two must go hand in hand. it's a fact of life.) and all the sweet manicurists pointed and smiled when I took my coat off. you are no longer mistaken for a very large lunch, bump! high five. 
*speaking of nail salons, my nails are horrendous these days. I have to assume I'm the only one in the history of women with terrible pregnancy nails, given the hype about stunning cuticles in every book I've read. 
*baby is a morning person, I'm pretty sure. he's crazy active between 3am and 5am, which is really exciting, but not that conducive to sleep. 
*husband and I are having talks about important and not-so-important things, like cloth diapering (we're leaning toward a "no" here?) and toddler education about nutrition, meat, etc. thankfully, we have some time on the latter... 
*I've been all about Chipotle lately, much to husband's delight. 
*my leg hair has all but ceased growth. best. pregnancy. perk. ever. 
*baby is the size of a cantaloupe, which sounds enormous. last night (following the eyebrow wax), I was spending time with a few friends and they asked how big baby is "in produce terms". we all agreed that grapefruit (week 23) seemed like it might be on the low end for this bump. sigh of relief when I checked my app this morning. cantaloupe seems reasonable. also, some of these fruit and vegetable comparisons are ridiculous. 

16 more weeks, bump - give or take. We've got this. 

1/27/15

Juno.

Metro North shut down this morning, along with the rest of NYC, it seems. We're working from home, curled up with our snow-loving pup and a box of hazelnut cookies. Hope you fellow northeasterners are faring well, and enjoying the unexpected excuse to stay indoors. 

1/25/15

Morning snowfall, and other weekend things.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to the most beautiful snowfall. I took Gus up to the makeshift dog walk on the roof (they're in the process of building a dog park next to our building) to let him run around a bit. To his own detriment, he's crazy about snow; he spent fifteen minutes playing in it and eating it before throwing up and deciding it was time to head in. Back inside, we dried off, lit a candle, made coffee and climbed back into bed for another hour. The perfect way to start a weekend, if you ask us.

Other weekend things:
*I've been reading this book and we watched this movie on Saturday night (long, but worth it). both have contributed to talks about how we see ourselves raising a son. a son! we're so excited.
*I had one of the best veggie burgers of my life at this place on Friday night, and we discovered this inexpensive Mexican place on Saturday. slowly but surely, we're finding new favorites.
*I had tea with an old friend on Friday, which was so wonderfully refreshing. we need to make more time for one-on-one friend dates these days.
*today, we headed into the city for church, brunch and a few errands. since we'd talked about it but never stopped in before, we visited this bookstore along the way to browse and smell the old books (normal). I found this while we were there, so we're going to make our own pasta! just you wait, husband.
*we made this vegetarian chili last night, and it was delightful. honestly, though, I mostly cook comfort food to make our apartment smell like what I imagine Strega Nona's home would smell like. garlic. sweet, heavenly garlic.
*we jumped the gun and registered for a childbirth class and tour of the hospital where (God willing), we'll be welcoming our little boy. I'm not sure if a class will make us more or less anxious, but there's no turning back now.
*we did some searching for the perfect rocker/glider and landed on this guy, since it looks comfortable enough for late night feedings and large enough to accommodate an adult and a toddler once he gets to the stage when he wants to read this every night.
*between our wacky weekday schedule and my back and acid reflux (that's the latest) issues, my former running routine has pretty much disappeared. instead, I'm walking as much as possible and giving prenatal yoga a spin. this video and this video have been my top choices so far, though, like all prenatal yoga, they make you look and feel completely foolish.
*the struggle to find maternity pants (we're not counting leggings anymore) is real. I've had to exchange three pairs so far. I'll get it figured out sooner or later... probably but not definitely before May.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

1/23/15

Thoughts from Gus.

Hi friends,

Happy Friday! Know what I'll be doing all weekend? Napping, that's what. Mom recently got a maternity pillow for me, and at first I was all, "what?! I'm not pregnant. WAIT. Is that even possible? Explain again, please." Then I was like, "yeah, I'm definitely not pregnant, but do I LOOK pregnant?" I can be terribly insecure sometimes. 

In any case, this maternity pillow is insanely comfortable (back support and all of those good things), and I suppose it is nice to receive useful gifts... even potentially semi-offensive ones. 

Sniffs and licks, 
Gus

1/21/15

Sweet and salty.

Thus far in my pregnancy, I've been pretty fortunate in the food department (the sleep department, however...) and have been able to maintain a balanced diet without any terrible nausea. No strange cravings, either - just some intensified interest in the things my body normally wants. The salty/sweet combination has always been way up there on my list of preferences (Triscuits [cl] dipped in vanilla Greek yogurt. you will not be sorry.), and I'm able to justify the small indulgences a little more these days. Grow, baby, grow!

If you're similarly inclined, pregnant or not, this recipe is for you. 

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies
Ingredients: 
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temp
1 c. sucanat (or sugar) 
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. rice cereal
1 c. pretzels (preferably chocolate covered) 
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Adapted from this recipe; see for directions. 

1/18/15

What to do when you wake up to freezing rain.

When we left for church in the city this morning, the roads were covered in ice and rain was freezing as it hit our windshield. We made it to the end of the block before deciding the odds were not in our favor and turning around. Back in the apartment, we made cappuccinos and curled up next to a sleepy pup on the couch to listen to a podcast and make plans for our babymoon (we're headed to St. Thomas in March!).

All this to say that sometimes, awful weather can be awfully nice.

1/16/15

By night.

In the winter, we learn the darkened commute, and I start to forget what it was like to enjoy things like ice cream or an outdoor run. I know cold by every name and adjective these days.

But yesterday when I left work, the tiniest sliver of light remained. It felt like some small miracle.

1/13/15

Dear baby boy.

The other night your dad and I went out to one of our favorite restaurants in the city - Ruby's Cafe (we'll take you sometime). As we were waiting for our table, your dad noticed that I've been quieter these days, which is true. Lately, I'm lost in thoughts of you on the train, in the middle of a book, while making dinner. I think of what we'll teach you, mostly. The things you'll pick up from what we say, but more often from what we do. I've been chronicling these things in my heart and my mind (and in a book that you can ask me about), praying for you: the baby boy who kicks. 

More than anything, one day I hope you grasp how deeply you are loved by the Creator of the universe. That you were known before you were even a spark in our consciousness. That you are fearfully and wonderfully made, stitched together to reflect goodness and grace. I hope you see that you are a piece of this puzzle, and your impact can be powerful, wherever you are. 

Learn how to listen. There aren't many people in this world who will think the way you do. That's a good thing! I hope you try to understand where the joy and hurt and anger are coming from, but that it doesn't swallow you whole. Love justice and mercy, little one. They have power beyond what you can see. 

Know that your dad and I love each other with a fierceness that will be hard to explain to you. One day, I hope you love someone in a way that shakes the foundation of your world. Read this when you're ready, and let's have a good long talk about it. Love is one of the greatest adventures you'll take. 

Baby of mine, I'm going to fail you. Your dad, too, I'm afraid. We're going to make little mistakes and big ones. This journey of being human is a messy one, but there is great blessing along the way. Learn from the failures of others, but don't be afraid to fail, yourself. Character is built on how you respond to fear and failure. 

We're rooting for you, always. 

We can't wait to meet you, baby boy, and we love you beyond measure. 

p.s. That's your dad in the photo, and I do hope you inherit those cheeks. 

1/9/15

Snow in Soho.

I walk across Soho every morning and evening on my way to and from work. It's really the only option if you come in on Metro North and work on the Lower West Side. The walk can be pleasant, especially on quiet mornings as shops are just starting to open, dogs wander on their first walk of the day and coffee shops buzz with routine orders. Other days are bitterly cold, and I end up keeping track of each street as I pass it - Crosby, Broadway, Mercer, Greene, Wooster, West Broadway, Thompson, Sullivan, 6th, Varick, Hudson and back again. On some evenings, the sidewalks are covered in shopping tourists and I'm distracted by the smell of falafel wafting from street carts. I'm caught up in the movement some days, focused on the destination. 

But every once in a while, all of Soho turns to magic, and we marvel. 

1/7/15

Some time off.

The holidays were perfectly spaced this year - I took two vacation days and ended up with about a week and half away from work. Just the right amount of time to fully immerse yourself in slow pancake-and-pajama-pants mornings. Though, I'll be honest, days in which I don't leave the house make me a wee bit crazy. We're still figuring out what that maternity leave situation will look like - maybe I'll surprise myself and motherhood will turn me into a complete homebody. Maybe. 
^^Bisquick isn't normally our thing, but throw enough milk and some protein powder in there, and they're not quite as cake-y. less like dessert? ish.^^
^^one of our favorite Christmas gifts was a Nespresso machine. I've been making decaf cappuccinos on the regular, and loving it.^^
^^the bump and slippers covered in white hair courtesy of...^^
^^this guy.^^
^^and I refuse to take the Christmas decorations down. check back around Valentine's Day.^^

1/5/15

Fred's.

Lately, we've been heading into the city for the 9:30am service at our church - the roads are clear before 9, and it gives us time for morning walks in Central Park and brunch afterward. Fred's is our recent favorite. It's a cozy basement restaurant right out of How I Met Your Mother, and their muffin basket comes with a strawberry butter that will rock your world.

Even better, they have a really cute story and their walls are covered in photos of dogs as a testament to it. Next time we're there for brunch, we plan on bringing a framed photo of Gus for the wall. He's going to be famous. At least among Upper West Siders.

1/3/15

Halfway there.

As can be expected when you're twenty weeks along, I've been experiencing some back problems and minor aches and pains lately. In honor of being halfway through this pregnancy (yesterday!), we headed out to Foxwoods this afternoon to get massages, use their gym and sit by their pool. It was lovely. I think we're nearly ready to tackle a full work week again. 

Also, I believe in enormous white robes and their ability to transform you into the Michelin Man.