Monday, October 28, 2013

The Best Birthday

I love birthdays.  I love parties.  I love birthday parties.  I love cake and ice cream, cards, presents, streamers, and balloons.  I especially love celebrating someone on their one special day of the year.  And if we can make it into a weeklong celebration, well that’s even better.  I even love celebrating my own birthday (maybe that will change as I add more candles to the cake, or maybe not).

In years past, I have shamelessly dropped present hints, countdowns, and reminders in the weeks [months?] leading up to my birthday.  I might as well have just made a billboard that said “Hey everyone, don’t forget it’s my big day on October 24!!!”  But this year, I played it pretty low key.  I didn’t make a big deal out of anything.  No over the top plans, no New Orleans vacation, and in fact, I even worked on my birthday - I think this is the first year I’ve done the 9 to 5 on my b-day.  I didn’t plan a party, or a night out on the town, but my wonderful husband did coordinate an awesome dinner with friends.  [I must admit though, when I had to wake up from my nap to get ready for my birthday dinner, I may have considered cancelling to keep on sleeping the day away.  No offense friends, pregnancy is exhausting!]

But when all was said and done, this was truly one of the best birthdays EVER.  Early in the week, I spent time in Dallas catching up with co-workers and friends.  On my birthday, I had a birthday breakfast of chocolate pop-tarts toasted to perfection by my loving husband (at my own request, he did offer eggs), and then I had 8 dozen cookies delivered to me at work (sugar overload??).  Over the next few days, I had an Aggie football win, a cozy dinner with my parents, and a wonderful evening at The Winflo Osteria on W. 6th Street with close friends (several of whom showed up on crutches and some who traveled over an hour to join - they are real troopers!)

So a big thank you to everyone who contributed to my happy 26th birthday.  I appreciate the thoughts, cards, gifts, and especially the time we shared.  I just know this year will be one of my best years yet!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The First Trimester: Just Like Tailgating (without the beer)

Today marks 13 weeks and 5 days of my first pregnancy. As I look forward to the second trimester, the pleasant "honeymoon phase" of the pregnancy, I've also been reflecting back on the exciting first trimester.

Thomas and I have never been simultaneously as nervous and excited as we were the morning we saw those two pink lines (or the next two days when we continued to retest just in case). We had wanted this, yes, but it was overwhelmingly now ours. Our pregnancy. Our baby. Our panic.

Should I make a doctor's appointment? Should we tell our parents? Should I take a vitamin? Is this riding in this old truck too bumpy? Can I ride in a golf cart? How common are miscarriages? How much weight will I gain? Can I take Tylenol? Will I have morning sickness? How will the dogs react? How will we pay for everything? Should we start saving for college now!?

There were many sleepless nights in the beginning. So many questions, so many butterflies in our stomachs. And honestly, that all lasted for quite a while! I still google something pregnancy related every day. I still worry about the occasional stomach pain, cheese I ate for lunch, cleaning product I'm using, doctor's appointment coming up, and on and on and on. The worry wart in me is out in full effect!

But we are also SO excited. These past two months have been so much fun. It was such a joy to share the news with our family and friends:
 And hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time was surreal. There is really a tiny human being living and growing inside of me!? This concept still has not set fully in. And of course there's planning the nursery, thinking of names, and dreaming of our little baby coming home. We are so happy to leave some of the nervousness of the first trimester behind us, and move on to the (hopefully) less stressful second trimester.
But one last thought on my first trimester experience. 
Disclaimer: I fully understand the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy, and I am not engaging in this behavior. I am simply making a humorous comparison.

 For me, the first trimester was a lot like tailgating... Like there was an evening football game, so we started tailgating at noon. What a fun afternoon of partying! Friends, family, food... frequent bathroom trips. As game time neared, I was worn out from an afternoon of day-drinking. By the end of the game, I was completely exhausted, down for the count. Straight to bed and up early the next day. But ugh, what a hangover! Nausea, headache, stomachache. Can I just stay in bed for a while? But by noon, I was ready for another day of tailgating!

I wonder what the second trimester will be like!?  I'm hoping the pregnancy honeymoon phase will be a day at the beach, but we shall see :)


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Plumb pregnant

Tom and I officially survived our first trip to Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us today! We spent that past two days jamming at the ACL music festival, and had plans to attend today as well. But the weather and the flooding in South Austin had other plans for us. It turns out that Barton Creek and Zilker Park had so much rain overnight that there was quite a bit of flooding, and for the safety of all involved, they were forced to cancel the 3rd and final day of the festival. I was torn about the cancellation - I mean, I didn't really want to spend the day sopping wet and covered in mud, but I was bummed we would miss out on some of the bands.

So what were we to do with this unexpectedly open day? We did consider lounging on the couch all afternoon watching movies while the rain pattered outside, but since our next few weekends are busy, we decided to be productive. We FINALLY unpacked our last remaining boxes from the move, which were stacked high and taking up space in the "baby's" room. Since the boxes had been in this unused state for more than 4 months, we figured there might be some contents we didn't actually need. So we filled a huge trash bag and a box for goodwill. The rest we organized in the guest room closet. And by the end of the afternoon, the room actually looked ready to become a nursery!

Since we couldn't do much outside today, I convinced Tom we should bum around some baby stores. He was such a good sport - letting me browse the aisles, test out the glider chairs, go back down the aisles we had just visited, all the while comparing strollers, carseats, and cribs galore! Truthfully, it was a bit overwhelming. We have a lot of reading and research to do before we actually make any purchases. But it was so so fun to start picturing the nursery and dreaming about our next chapter.

As we've shared the pregnancy news with family, friends, and co-workers over the past few weeks, we have received a lot of questions about Baby Cooper. So here is a consolidated list of all the answers to our "FAQ":

How far along are you? and when is your due date? 12 weeks and 5 days, due April 22 (let the tax day jokes begin)

How have you been feeling? Surprisingly great - knock on wood! It seems I fall into the category of really lucky women who do not experience morning sickness. I’ve had some nausea, and certainly some exhaustion, but overall I really can’t complain.

Are you going to find out the gender? Absolutely, we can hardly wait! If all goes as planned, we will find out on December 6th. I seriously cannot imagine a time when you HAD to wait until the baby was born to find out the gender. I am so happy we have the option to find out sooner. How else will I know what color to paint the nursery!?!

Are you showing yet? Maybe just a little. But if you didn’t know I was pregnant, you probably wouldn’t notice, or you might quietly think to yourself hmm, looks like someone has had a few too many beers at those A&M tailgates.

Do you have any cravings? Nothing too crazy just yet. Apples sound especially appealing to me now, and I did make Tom go on a late night run for cheese and crackers once. I’ve had more aversions than cravings, some foods just sound downright awful – like green beans, grilled chicken, and the extra-extreme-more-than-you-ever-needed-movie-theater butter popcorn that Tom makes every night. The smell alone is enough to make me gag! I blame my heightened sense of smell, we attribute that to the hormones right!? I swear, every symptom in the book can be attributed to the “rise in hormones”.

Was this baby planned? Yes. We knew that once we got settled in our new house and celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we would be ready to start growing our family.

Have you thought about names? We have starting brainstorming and have a few favorites, but nothing we’re ready to share just yet.

How are you surviving without your daily diet coke? It is pure torture, I tell you. I know that some books/doctors/people-with-opinions say that you can have small amounts of caffeine, and some sources even say you can have wine. All of which sounded wonderful to me pre-pregnancy, but now that I actually AM pregnant, I wouldn’t want to do anything that could harm the little plum-sized baby in my belly. So I’ve made the personal decision to cut caffeine out of my diet. Except for the occasional piece of chocolate of course. If I had to give up diet coke AND chocolate, I fear the earth might be jolted right off its axis!

If I missed anything, feel free to ask. I'm happy to share about our little "bucket" of joy (Tom accidentally said this once), and about our experience with our first pregnancy!

Stay tuned for more adventures in pregnancy.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

So thankful it's finally FALL!

Remember that time I started a blog and then I pretty much never updated it?  Mmhmm, me too.  Oops.  I recently starting reading a few blogs that my friend recommended for me, and it gave me the motivation to pick mine back up.  (Perhaps you’ll hear from me again in January? ha!)

I think I’m about due for an update post since tax busy season is over, hours are back to normal, and I really have no more excuses.  Our July through September timeframe was pretty much just a whirlwind of long weeks, late nights, and eating cereal for dinner.  I think we counted up at one point and we hadn’t cooked a meal on our stove in over 5 weeks.  Oh the life of a tax accountant.  But let’s move on.

It is finally OCTOBER!!!!  My favorite month of the year.  I just love everything about October – Aggie football season, cooler air, [de-caf] Salted Mocha Caramel Frappuccinos from Starbucks, baked pumpkin goodies that will be a staple in our snack stash for the next month, favorite fall shows like Modern Family and Parenthood, boots, scarves, Halloween decorations, and of course my 26thbirthday! 

So before I tell you all about our awesome October plans, I’ll start with a quick update on our house happenings (since that is really why I started the blog in the first place!).   Nothing too major around here, still getting settled and making it feel like home.  It took me a while (lots of stopping and starting, an hour of painting this weekend, and hour of painting a month later), but I finally finished up this little cabinet:

I purposely bought this guy in red a few years ago and I really loved him like that.  But it just wasn’t working in our new house.  So I pulled out some leftover gray garage paint, painted him up and added some [looks like] vintage knobs.  I love how it turned out!  Just perfect for this little nook in our living room.

Next, I spruced up this old window from my favorite little junk store in New Braunfels, Junkology.

And turned it into this! 

The huge bare wall behind the dining room table had been making me sad since we moved in; it really needed something.  I think this window was the perfect touch, and it ties in the bird theme I have going in the living room.

These were my projects, but Tom has been busy too!  He built us a custom L-shape desk for our loft, and dry-walled the shed Dog Palace in our backyard.  His projects are much more involved than mine, and still have a bit of work to be done.  I love how they’re going to so far, and I will be sure to share once we have completed them!

And now for our October plans – this weekend we visited an adorable little pumpkin patch (I’m sure you can guess whose idea that was), next weekend we’re headed to ACL (Austin City Limits musical festival), the following two weekends are Aggie home football games, a weekday visit to Dallas thrown in there, somewhere we will squeeze in a birthday celebration, perhaps a mini-getaway, and finally, we are so excited to celebrate Halloween in our new neighborhood.  The neighbors are already throwing up spooky Halloween d├ęcor and I am stocking up on Halloween candy… for the kids, of course.  Not for me to eat all throughout October…  And did I mention the awesome DIY Halloween costume I am dreaming up?  I’ll save that surprise for later.

OK, if you made it this far into my random post, you are in for a TREAT!  (and I really didn’t even mean to make a Halloween reference)

Tom and I are so excited to announce…. that we will be welcoming our little “pumpkin” in April 2014!

 I promise I will post again soon to answer all the “FAQ” we have been receiving about Baby Cooper!


Until next time, enjoy your October!