December 30, 2011

Crockpot Ham & Potato Soup*

Welcome! This post seems to be drawing in a lot of viewers from Pinterest and I am so grateful to have you here! Please make sure you follow along via google connect on the right hand side. Browse. Enjoy. And I hope to see you back :) 

A couple weeks ago, I had a craving for something hearty & yummy for my belly. I wasn't really in the mood to slave over the stove & we were going to a friends house that night, so I wanted to take something easy. I found this recipe and figured it sounded delish, as well as simple, so I might as well try it out.

It was just that. Incredibly easy and VERY yummy. Both husbands devoured it, the kiddo loved it and I may or may not have gone back for seconds as well. I did grate up some cheddar cheese to throw on top, but it was great without it. PLUS, it's a weight watchers recipe, so it only has 151 calories per serving. Making that second helping a little more guilt free. If you're looking for something quick and easy to throw into the crockpot, this Ham & Potato soup is a must for a cold winter night!

Ingredients:
7 c. diced potatoes (about 4 medium)
1 c. diced onion (about 1 medium)
1 large carrot, chopped
2 c. ham, diced
5 c. hot water
1 Knorr Chicken Bullion cube (extra large size that makes 1 quart broth or 4 small cubes that make 1 cup each)
1 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Add diced potatoes, onion, carrot, and ham to a crock pot. Dissolve chicken bullion in 5 cups hot water, then add this to the crock pot also. Cook on low 7 hours, or high 3 hours. Then add milk and sour cream. Stir and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes twelve 1-cup servings.If you'd like a thicker soup, just before adding milk and sour cream, remove 2-3 cups of the potatoes and slightly mash, then return the mashed mixture to the crock pot.

Makes 12 Servings (About 1 Cup Per Serving)

December 28, 2011

New Years Resolutions*

I have a blog post in the works about Christmas, complete with photos, but I haven't finished it yet. I will likely do that tonight, but while this was on my mind, I wanted to get it written down.

With the new year just around the corner, I've been thinking a lot of about the goals that I have in mind for 2012. 2010 closed on such a shitty note, and my life was consumed with thoughts of baby & my impending 30th birthday. I had big dreams for 2011, and our biggest one came true.

But now it's time to move forward with that. Do some other things that i want to accomplish. And I'm hoping that 2012 allows me to get my ass in gear and get these things done. So here is my New Year's Resolution list!

1. Run a Half Marathon
I am actually really looking forward to this one. In January, I am signing up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon that will take place in November of next year. Even though that is still about a year away, I won't be able to start any training until about May, due to obvious reasons. I was never the greatest runner in the first place & frankly, kind of sucked at it. But with almost a year off at that point, I'll be starting from scratch. This gives me six good months to get in shape and prepare for the race. I CAN DO THIS. And I will!

2. Reach My Goal Weight
Pre-Pregnancy, this goal involved losing about 60 to 70 pounds. It will be slightly higher than this post-pregnancy. But I have this really great pair of jeans from my grad school days that I have hung onto, and I am determined to fit into them by the end of the year. I gave myself this goal before I reached my 30th bday, and it never happened. Not even close. But next year is the year. Training for a half marathon will most definitely help. But more than anything, I miss being healthy. And skinny.

3. Do More Artistic Things
I love art. Always have. Always will. But my creative juices have not been flowing very well in recent years. The photography thing has been great, but I've always been with clients. I need to do more photography for fun. For me. As well as pick up my endless supply of other supplies -- pencils, chalk, pastels, etc. -- and get my ideas down on paper.

4. Get My Photography Website Up & Running
I used to have one. But then I changed my business name. I have yet to get another one back up. I have the trusty old facebook site, but having a website with a blog would be much better for me. Especially if we ever PCS out of here. Having a site to start throwing out would be incredibly beneficial for me.

5. Read One New Book A Month
I love to read, but have a habit of going back to old favorites and re-reading those. I need to definitely branch out and read some more books. The Barnes & Noble gift card I received for Christmas will be a good starting place!

6. Learn To Sew
Seriously. I've been talking about this forever. I need to just suck it up and do it already.

I may add to this list later, but I'm really hoping to focus on these things. They are all things I've wanted to do for some time, and hopefully I can accomplish them. Especially the weight. I suck as resolutions, and I'm sure this time next year I'll look back at these and think "I could have done better." But I want to avoid that. When I do start working out again, I hope to document it all here to keep me in check.

Do you have any new year's resolutions?

December 21, 2011

A Different Christmas*

Last year on Christmas day, my best friend of a long ass time [20 years or so?] called me to wish me a Merry Christmas. We talk every major holiday & always pass the phone around to family, so I was expecting that at some point that day, I would hear from her. When she called, we had guests over, so I snuck into our bedroom so I could actually hear her & talk without the comments from the peanut gallery [aka, my darling husband].

What I wasn't expecting was for her to tell me that she was pregnant. Just a month before, she had been out here to visit & go to a Dave Matthews Band concert with me up in Virginia, when we had the "talk" that her and her husband were thinking about starting to try. It was a realistic conversation in that she wasn't expecting it to happen right way, she knew that it would likely take some time, and that she had learned a lot from the miscarriage I had a couple years back. It was a good talk. So when the words "I'm pregnant" came out, followed by "we weren't really trying that hard" and "I didn't expect to happen" the first time came out, it took everything I had to make my way through the conversation without crying. Luckily she was still in the car on her way to her parents house, so when we were done talking, I could hang up.

And when I hung up, the tears started flowing.

I called my mom proclaiming that I was a horrible friend. She was, and HAS BEEN, a solid rock in my life since the day we met in the 6th grade. But I cried my eyes out for a good two days, and definitely drank a lot of wine as I tried to get myself through the rest of the holiday. I wanted to be happy for her, but it was a long, long time before I could bring myself to accept how easy her getting pregnant had been. Because it wasn't me. It wasn't us.

This Christmas is obviously quite different for us. At 7 months pregnant, we are counting down the weeks until our little one arrives. There is a much different sentiment to our holiday and we are both happy to be counting down these last 11 weeks.

But we are also counting our blessings.

This Christmas, more than anything, I am grateful for what was given to us this year. I know how rough the holidays are for those in the infertile community, and I know how rough it can be to be around other pregnant people. The announcements and the photos still get to me, even being where I am, and I know that is something that might never go away. I speak from personal experience when I say that this weekend can shove it. People can be cruel and insensitive, no matter how good intentioned they are.

But even though 2011 was extremely rough for us, between family accidents, deaths & dealing with some other major issues, we were blessed with this one good thing. And I hope, more than any of you know, more than some of my friends know, that 2012 gives all of you exactly what you want. I hate seeing my friends, real or otherwise, in pain. I hope that this next year brings everyone exactly what they are wishing and hoping for. That treatments & medications work. That I have many more pregnant friends in my life. That this time, next year, you all are reflecting back and having a different kind of Christmas. My fingers are crossed.

Merry Christmas to all of you & your families. Bring on 2012.

December 17, 2011

Military Ball 2011*

Every once in a while, the Army throws a mandatory function our way. Typically, they are boring and lame and, well ... boring and lame.

Military Balls pretty much fall into that category as well, although there are definitely some upsides to them. Getting dressed up is one. Spending time with good friends is another. Seeing my incredibly cute husband in his fancy dress military uniform? Probably the best one of all.

For the most part, they are pretty boring. The format has been exactly the same for all three that we have been to. But we sat a table with some very fun people, some good friends of ours from the company. There was a ton of laughing! I love having the opportunity to hang out with other military spouses. Finding other spouses that I have things in common with can be difficult from time to time. So when they pop up, I latch on. Not in a weird crazy stalkerish kind of way, but in a "you're awesome. let's hang out sometime" kind of way.

After the formalities were over and everyone was released for dancing, the husband and I bolted for home. Lucky for me, I had a dress from a previous ball that worked for this occasion. But barely. To get into it required some magic, and I spent the good part of the evening not being able to breath. You can thank the pregnancy boobs for that. Plus ... heels. Ugh. A quick bathroom break turned into us being stopped from going back to our seats due to the guest speaker, which meant 20 minutes standing in the lobby in heels that weren't really meant to be stood in for that long. So when they told us we were free, it was home we went.

But all in all, it was a great night. We had fun, and while they are mandatory, they aren't all bad. Plus, again ... that dang uniform gets me every time!

December 15, 2011

Turning Over A New Leaf*

Last night, my husband and I were laying on the bed, chatting and catching up on our day, when he leaned over and told me he missed me.

Not because we've spent time apart. Or because one person has been traveling while the other has been home. Or because our work schedules have been so crazy that we just haven't had time to spend with each other. None of that is the case.

He missed me because right now I am a sad, broken wife. And it broke my heart.

It was the first time that he has opened up to me about how what I have been going through with this pregnancy has affected him. This funk/depression/overall sadness that has overtaken me has creeped into my marriage as well. Something I didn't realize until he laid it all out for me. He wasn't criticizing or complaining. And I don't think it was a conversation that he necessarily meant to have. But he didn't expect pregnancy to be so hard on me, and in turn, hard on him.

He has, through all of this, been completely amazing. Since the day we found out we were finally expecting, he has bent over backwards to take care of me, help me & pamper me when I need it most. He has been extremely tolerant of my mood swings and has been excited for the two of us about the new addition to our family when I have been less than enthusiastic. He has been supportive and wonderful and never once complained to me about the lack of dinners cooked or laundry done because I'm just too tired to handle it at the end of the day. He is a model husband. One that I am eternally grateful for and love on a whole new level. And while he assures me that it's OK, that he understands, and that I need to keep doing whatever I need to do, I don't agree.

For me, it's not OK. And I feel like I have neglected him on so many levels. This needs to change! I need to change. I need to figure out what the solution is to get out of this funk and move on. Enjoy these last 12 weeks of pregnancy. Spend the time with my husband that I need to spend with him before the baby comes. Overall, be a little more enthusiastic about life and a little less Debbie Downer. I don't know what the answer is, and I don't know how to fix it right away, but something will change. It has to!

So today, even if I have to fake my way through it, I need to find the motivation and plain and simple, BUCK UP. Get it together! Be the person that I really want to be and that my husband needs me to be right now! Our lives are about to change in a huge, dramatic way. And I don't want to go into this with one person in this marriage feeling like they've lost a little part of the other. That's not at all how it's supposed to be.

So. This is me. Turning over a new leaf. Kicking Debbie Downer to the door and finding my old, happy self.

December 13, 2011

The Joy of Parenting Opinions*

With the impending arrival of Baby Boho [seriously. Just about 12 weeks to go. Yikes!] I've started reaching out to friends and family with random questions that I have. The books don't answer everything and I've found that sometimes it's nice to have personal experience from friends that are already moms.

At least I thought that in the beginning.

Holy opinions, people.

While most of the people in my life have been very pleasant and neutral when I ask for some advice, and generally stick to the topic at hand, there have been others that have veered WAY off course, and frankly have been kind of rude about things. The general consensus has been what works for some does not work for all, and do what's right for your family. And I appreciate that. There are some things that I am going to have to be flexible on when baby arrives, and I definitely know that. I am not going into all of this with a set plan and structure on how I'm going to take care of our baby after he/she comes. Because let's face it. Even for an OCD freak like myself who likes to have everything planned out, I know that's unrealistic. Flexibility will be the key word of EVERY day life for us.

But there are some issues that to me seem a little bit bigger. Things that are non-negotiable in our book [because these are definitely thinks both M & I have agreed on] and things I am not willing to budge on. And those seem to be the hottest topics of everything. For instance, Attachment Parenting. I would like to say that if you practice Attachment Parenting and it works for you, that is awesome. Whatever you do to get through the day of raising a child, and whatever makes you and your family happy is totally OK by me. I am not here to judge or cast down on a mother for doing things differently than I would. Because let's face it ... then none of us would ever get along. But this is one of those BIG TICKET ITEMS on our list that we just won't budge on. I don't believe in co-sleeping. I believe in a routine. I believe in set bedtimes. I believe in having a space that my husband and I can call our own [especially since the military takes him away enough as it is] and not sharing that space with our child. I will also admit that I am totally selfish and LOVE my expensive fluffy pillows and down comforters. Not things I want to give up. And I feel that as a parent-to-be that is my right. But damn ... if some people don't get hot and heavy over this issue! Again, if it works for you that it awesome. Seriously. No judgement here. But M & I feel VERY strongly about not doing these things because of how we currently live our life. And this is not something that will change, despite what others may tell me.

I also, believe it or not, LIKE working and having a job. And, once baby comes along, I realize that leaving him/her in the care of somebody else for eight hours a day while I go back to work [because I will be going back to work full-time] will be hard and painful and a difficult adjustment after taking 12 weeks off. But, I like working. And it's what I want to continue to do. So I will make the best of what will surely be a really hard situation and tough it out. Because that's what will work for us. Being a stay at home mom has never appealed to me. It works for some, and I know a lot of GREAT women who don't work and raise their kids. My mom was one of them and I have nothing but the utmost respect for her because the four of us were rowdy! But is it for me? Nah. I have a hard time taking a week vacation, going nowhere and having the freedom to do whatever I want, before I get bored and am itching to go back to work. But to make me feel like I am a bad person for not wanting to spend every waking minute [and sleeping minute!] with my child isn't fair. At all! Because again, what works for some does not work for all.

And good lord, if I hear "you'll change your mind after the baby comes" one more time, I very well might explode. Because on certain things, yes. I might. What bottles we use. If we decide to supplement with formula or not. What type of cloth diaper we decide to go with. Whether the kid naps in the bassinet or the swing. Those are the type of things that I am willing to be flexible on. But what I don't understand is why it's so hard for other people [and again, I don't mean everyone. I have heard both sides of the spectrum through from many, many people] to accept that certain things we won't budge on. Because that's what works for us.

It's amazing how strongly people feel about some of these opinion. I promise I'm not trying to be bitchy [despite the incredibly bitchy mood that I'm in today] but just wanted to comment on how incredible and different opinions are when it comes to being a parent, or in this case, a parent to be. It has made me think differently about how I'll reach out to friends in the future, and how I'll address certain situations with them. I realize that when you ask for advice, you should expect all sides of it, but I think there is a difference between giving an opinion and shoving an opinion down someone's throat!

How about you? Do you have any situations where something has been forced on you despite your feelings on the subject matter? Or have people always typically been very kind and thoughtful when offering advice? Have you veered away from asking for advice from other parents, like I will likely start doing? Or have your experiences all been great that you can't wait to ask more questions?

December 6, 2011

Feta-Avocado Turkey Burger*

I am a big lover of all things turkey. ESPECIALLY a well made turkey burger. We eat them naked at our house [no bun ... get your mind out of the gutter!] but made this way, with a pita & some veggies, also sounds like a glorious alternative. The leftovers are always great crumbled up on a salad the next day. Not to mention that they are much healthier for you than a normal burger. The husband loves them, & so do I, so they are a regular staple in our meals.

I found this recipe and will be making these bad boys for dinner this week. I have no doubt in my mind that they will be tasty. I regularly use a little cheese in my turkey burgers [so not a big jump, plus feta ... nom.] & who doesn't love avocado?? I foresee these being a new alternative to the normal way I make them.


Feta-Avocado Turkey Burger Pitas

For the turkey burgers:

1 lb ground turkey burger
1 avocado, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 tbs bread crumbs
3 tbs diced green onion
salt and pepper

Served with: 
1 pkg whole wheat pitas 
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 head of lettuce, separated

Spicy Mayo
1/3 cup light Mayo
1-2 tsp cumin (depending on how strong you like it)

1. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients together, mixing with your hands until evenly incorporated.  Shape into 6 patties.  Season both sides with salt and pepper. 

2. Lightly brush each side of the patties with extra virgin olive oil.  Place patties on the grill (high heat), cooking about 6 minutes each side until cooked through.  

3.  Spread some of the spicy mayo in each pita pocket and place a turkey burger in each.  Garnish with lettuce and tomatoes.  

December 5, 2011

Thank You*

First off, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the people who left comments and sent me emails over the past few days. While I don't necessarily feel better about the issues at hand (mentally, or physically) it makes me feel better that I am not completely alone in what is going on in my head right now. That this is normal, to some extent. It does make me sad, though, that people don't talk about this side of pregnancy more often, as was evident by some of the comments. I hope that if others stumble upon this blog and read that post, that it helps them just a little in what y'all have helped me with.

I do find it unfortunate that feeling this way is a little too taboo to talk about. But it is what it is, and hopefully some of you that are feeling a little down in the dumps [or have in the past] will speak up next time around! I definitely will continue to keep being honest here, because what do I have to lose?

I did forget to mention the insurmountable pain that I continue to have in my hip/pelvic region. It makes doing things on a day to day basis pretty unbearable. Even the little things, like getting out of bed, or shifting position in the middle of the night, makes me want to cry because the pain is so intense. It's hard to enjoy things when you're constantly hating your body for making you feel this way.

Anyways. Moving on.

This week I am solo, as M is out in the field for Army training all week. Typically I don't mind having him gone for a few days, but this week I am missing him something fierce. I blame the hormones that are making me pretty sappy these days. But I'm trying to make the best of my time and actually get some things accomplished. My goal each evening is to do something productive instead of plopping my butt on the couch and watching TV. Monday night I got some needed cleaning done in a couple of room, and last night I tackled the dishes and also started organizing our pantry. A quick inspection a few weeks ago showed me that I have many cans of food that expired like, four years ago. Gross. So last night I started tackling that and got two of the shelves cleaned out and organized. I totally meant to take a "before" photo, but I'm sort of glad I didn't. Embarrassing how unorganized it was!!! Tonight I'll tackle the other two shelves, and then it's on to the cabinets where we also keep some food. My end goal is to create some space for baby stuff. We don't have a lot of room in our kitchen, so any extra space I can create for the coming months is crucial. Hopefully things all work out according to my plan. Can we say nesting?

I also need to work out a couple times a week. I weighed myself for the first time since my last doctors appointment and let me tell you, the result was not pretty. That sweet tooth that I've been having & my overall "I haven't gained any weight so I can eat whatever I want!!!!" attitude is catching up with me. Time to get that in check and get back on the "eat healthy" train. Bye bye, mexican food! [at least for now!]

Other than that, I'm just trying to move along and stay as positive as I can! The kid has been super active the past couple of days and I can actually see my belly move in some spots when he/she gives a good kick. Even with the extra activity, it's not keeping me up at night (yet) but I see that changing soon. I seem to be able to sleep through any movement at night. It's only when I get uncomfortable and need to shift positions that I wake up [which is pretty much every hour ... two hours if I'm lucky!] It's my right hip that kills me the most at night and oddly enough, my shoulder! I also have my follow-up ultrasound in just over two weeks [right before the Christmas weekend] to make sure my placenta has moved up enough to where my midwife is happy.

So that's that, y'all! Happy Tuesday! Here's hoping the rest of the week goes quick!

December 1, 2011

Floundering*

I debated writing this post for a lot of reasons, & I am still having this discussion internally as I write now. So bear with me as I fumble through this. I realize that the things I might say aren't standard for what *should* be said from a pregnant woman, but alas, it is what it is.

But I sort of feel like the way I'm feeling isn't normal, because nobody really talks about it. But there is no way that I'm the only one out there that feels this way. I can't totally be alone, right?

The past couple of weeks, i have felt that I am floundering just a tad during this pregnancy. As it stands, I am six and a half months along. While the end is in sight, I am feeling sort of lost & hopeless. Like I am in this rut, where I should be happy but realistically am NOT and I can't seem to dig myself out of it. I know that some of this may come with my history of depression. I made the choice to stop taking my prozac when I found out I was pregnant, and I don't regret that for a second. But I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it, and that I wasn't counting down the days until I could start taking it.

But aside from that, I'm just feeling lost. And scared. And slightly confused. Pregnancy is a big deal. I know this. When I think about the “what if’s” of that, then it spirals me into all these other thoughts … will I be a good mom? Will I love my baby? Am I as emotionally attached to this pregnancy as I should be? Is there something wrong with me because I don’t particularly enjoy being pregnant? (ok, I’m not going to lie. I pretty much hate it.) Am I resenting this kid already for making me feel so crummy and will that translate after birth?? Is it weird that I don’t talk to my belly or read it stories or play it music like so many other people do? Or am I normal for not doing these things? Normal for just accepting that I'm not pregnant and not relishing in it the way so many other women announce to the world that they are. The list goes on and on and on and on …. Just question after question that keeps popping up in my head. I know they are stupid, and I know that I am probably very normal in feeling a lot of the ways that I am feeling, but I just don’t REALLY know and maybe I’m just hoping I’m normal. I hate asking other people about it because the people closest to me all LOVED being pregnant. And it was so great and wonderful for them that it almost makes me feel bad/guilty for having any negative thoughts at all.

So I don’t know.

But the other part of me realizes that plain and simple, I don’t have time to enjoy it the way most of the people in my life do. I work full time. I am not a stay at home wife. When I get home from work it’s time to feed the dogs, and make dinner, and take the dogs for a walk, and get some laundry or cleaning done. And then I'm so exhausted by the time everything is over and done with, that I have to go to sleep. Obviously not every night is like this, and I wouldn't trade it for anything because I LIKE working, but there are things I have to do because I am not home during the day to get all this crap done.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not at all ungrateful for what we have. I know how lucky I am that our first IUI was a success. I know that so many other women out there have struggled through so much more for a pregnancy. I know that what we have is special and wonderful. I love feeling the movement, and there is something so amazing with the fact that yes, I am growing HUMAN BEING inside me. And the way that this has changed my relationship with my husband is amazing all on his own. The love that is between us right now is so unlike anything that we’ve had before, and in a very, very good way. I see him as a totally different person. One who is strong and amazing and will be the best father I have ever known. But pregnancy is also intensely scary & it freaks me out on so many different levels. And that fear has definitely taken over lately.

I know I can’t be alone in feeling the way that I do and I really wish that more women would be honest about how hard this shit is. Somewhere along the line it became too taboo to say that the miracle of life makes you miserable. If you talk about how miserable you are, it makes you ungrateful for what you have. At least that’s the perception. And I can definitely understand that, because being part of the infertility community, there was a time where I would see someone bitching and say to myself “lady, you’re pregnant. And I’m not. So deal with it.” But now that I’m on the other side, I’ll be the first to reaffirm to someone else that they aren’t the only one that feels this way.

But there aren’t that many out there that are brave enough to voice that opinion. And I hate “mommy” blogs, that are all “look at my KID! ISN’T IT THE CUTEST THING EVER?????” I want to be somewhere in the middle … yup. I’m pregnant. Yup. My kid is cute. But hello, I also have a life and am still a person!! There seems to be this idea that you cannot be both. That there is no middle ground. Either you are 110% about your kid all the time, or you’re a crap parent because you’re not plastering photos over facebook.

I know [at least I hope] that the closer I get to my due date, this feeling of loneliness and hopelessness will go away. That at some point I will enjoy this more than I am now. That I will accept that I have nothing to worry about and will figure it out just like millions of other women before me have done. But for now, I just don't really know how to deal with all of this.

Please, somebody, tell me that this worry is normal and that I'm not the only one!

November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend*

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and what a great weekend it was. I would like to report that I got tons of crafty things accomplished over my four days off, but sadly ... I cannot say that. I had huge dreams of getting some things done but the fact of the matter is that I remained completely lazy. It was great.

We had some good friends over for Thanksgiving on Thursday which made being so far away from family a little less lonely. I love cooking and usually would have zero problem doing the whole  meal by myself, but this year I was grateful to do it potluck style. Everything turned out great and the company was wonderful! I was exhausted by the end of the night and slept like a rock!

Friday we opted to NOT partake in Black Friday shopping. We slept in, made coffee & cuddled on the couch with the pooches while getting caught up on DVR. Our only outing for the day was to go get our Christmas tree, and we waited until late in the afternoon to avoid any sort of mess out on the roads. Yes, I am that person who puts up my decorations immediately following Thanksgiving! I would put them up earlier if my husband would allow me, but I've been banned to waiting until the day after Thanksgiving. The Christmas season is my favorite time of year & I am so glad that it's finally here!


I take my Christmas decorating very seriously, and with M getting ready to head to the field for the next two weeks, I foresee some extra shopping to get some new decorations in my future this week! Much to the husband's dismay. Growing up, our house always looked so amazing. My mom was incredibly crafty and made the most beautiful decorations for our home. And there were a lot of them ... but in a very, very classy way. I want my home to look like that, and while I am far from it, I hope to get a little closer every year. But even just having the tree up & decorated with the few decorations that we do have up makes it feel just a little more cozy around here. There is nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights to light up a room!

The rest of the weekend has been a hodge podge of "stuff." Saturday was full of photo shoots & movies with friends, to which I came home and went straight to bed. Today was spent getting some more things done around the house, but also getting some last minute relaxing in. This work week is going to be rough after coming off a two and a half day work week, followed by a long weekend. I hope it goes quick. And as always, we had our trust lab, Daisy, to help us out with everything [and Cooper in the background].


Pregnancy-wise, all is going well. We hit 25 weeks on Friday and can't believe that we're only 15 weeks away [give or take!] from meeting our little one. This weekend was definitely a weekend to be grateful and give thanks for the blessing we have in our life, and we did so as often as could. My hips and my shoulders are starting to hurt more at night from sleeping on my sides, but I've found that taking some tylenol right before bed alleviates that just a little and keeps me from tossing and turning every house [which also makes the husband happy]. The hormones have also come rushing in this week, making me insecure and weepy. I'm hoping that I can get them in check, because wanting to cry for no apparent reason is starting to get really old. I'm also slightly starting to freak out about what's to come, but I'll save that for another pot.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the extra time off, if working is your thing [which unfortunately it is for me!]. And most importantly, I hope everyone got to spend it with friends and/or family and made sure to count all the blessing that you have in your life.

Now bring on Christmas!

November 23, 2011

Gobble, Gobble *

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

I have so much to be thankful for this year, as so many wonderful things have happened in 2011. My photography business took off. I fully emerged myself in this blog. I developed some amazing friendships with some new people. I quit my old job & started a new one. I had my husband home for another deployment-free year. And after four years of trying, we successfully got pregnant.

I love all of you & I hope that you all have a fabulous weekend. Let's not forget that tomorrow is not about the shopping deals or being the first in line at midnight. It's about love, friendship & family ... and remembering the amazing & lovely things that you are fortunate enough to have in your life.

Gobble, gobble everyone. Eat lots. Be merry. Enjoy the day and the very long weekend if you are fortunate enough to have one. And go Cowboys!

Love,

Brittany

November 21, 2011

Ramblings*

Operation Nursery is in full swing. My mom, who is amazing and completely excited about her first grandchild making an appearance next year, purchased our crib for us last weekend. It was the first piece of furniture for the nursery that we had taken care of, so we were excited when we got the call that it had arrived. It's gorgeous, and looks great put together.

We've also been on the search for a good dresser. I have been told by many, many people in my life that a changing table is a waste of money [I believe it] so our idea was to find a sturdy dresser [one that will last past the infant years!], re-purpose it & make it fit into what we are wanting it for. And then we'll slap a changing pad on top of it. The likelihood of me or M running into the nursery to change each and every diaper is slim, so we are trying to be as practical as we can. I've also started working on some of the wall decorations & in search for some great fabric for crib sheets and curtains. I foresee this coming Thanksgiving weekend as being one large craft fest ... of course, after all the Christmas decorations are up!

We also had our 24 week checkup appointment this past week. Everything measures right where it should be and that little heartbeat was perfect. We started discussing my birthing plan, which was scary in it's own right. I know I'm only 24 weeks, but it's amazing that I have to actually start thinking about all of this already. There are so many details that are so important to me & I can only hope that if my midwife is not on call, that the doctor that is respects my wishes & my husband can remember the things that I want in case I'm too out of it or loopy to communicate properly!  I'm constantly amazed that I've made it this far in my pregnancy, and cannot believe how utterly quick it is flying by. We say thank you every day to what we have, and are enjoying these last couple of months that we have together before we welcome our new addition. Life is truly good in the Boho household.

But it's not all work & no play for us! The ninja got another taste at some good music this past weekend when we headed North a bit for the Taylor Swift concert. I will admit that T-Swizzle is a serious, serious guilty pleasure of mine. I saw her open up for another country band a few years back and I was hooked. Last year's headlining performance was about as entertaining as it gets [and as a serious music junkie, I have been to a LOT of concerts!] so when tickets when on sale back in April, I jumped on the chance with some other girlfriends. Lauren was one of them, and since her camera took better pictures than mine, you can check out her photos on her blog. But we had a blast, and it was a much needed girls night out. Getting home at 1am and having to be up at 6 am for work the next day was rough, but completely worth it. I know that I personally sang every word to all 19 songs that were performed and I'm telling you ... the girl is a top notch performer through and through! Minus the screaming 8 year old's that took up a majority of the 14,000 people in attendance, it was a great night.

I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving as we have some of our nearest and dearest friends over for the big day, followed by a nice long and hopefully relaxing weekend. We're doing turkey day pot-luck style this year, which will make things nice and easy for me, as I only have to prepare a couple of items. And hopefully we won't have a ridiculous amount of leftovers! I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday with friends & family! 

November 9, 2011

Pregnancy & Military Life

This past Friday marked 23 weeks of pregnancy. Holy crap! I can't believe how quick time is flying by. And comparing this photo to the one two weeks ago, Baby Boho is definitely making it's appearance more and more. 

I am still, for the most part, feeling ok. Aside from the normal aches & pains that have become a part of my every day life, I feel alright. The baby is moving a LOT these days, and I have started to feel some random kicks & pokes higher up in my abdomen. I'm hoping it means that my placenta is doing what it's supposed to be doing & moving upwards, something we'll find out in four weeks for my repeat ultrasound. But the feeling of movement is just something that I am not sure I will ever get used to! It's such a wonderful yet strange feeling & I am blessed every single day for what we have.

I am getting to the point where I feel like I am not prepared for what's about to happen in four months. I'm hoping this is normal, but I've suddenly felt the need to read more [as much as I possibly can!] and read often, do more research & be as prepared as I possibly can. We are so excited for the next four months but the thought of actually giving birth is sinking in & it's sort of freaky. In an absolutely good way, of course! I'm not hitting the panic button just yet, but I feel it coming. And I want to avoid it at all costs.

We also have some big changes coming for us shortly after baby is born. My husband has been in the military for nine years. He loves what he does (satellites, networks, totally techy stuff that is way over my head) but as he's moved up the ranks, he's further removed from the hands on experience. He currently has a couple of years left on his contract, and the discussion has come up as to whether or not he wants to stay in, or get out, multiple times. While we still have some time to make that decision, the direction of his career needs to be figured out long before then. Does he stay Enlisted? Does he go Officer? What does he do?

What it has come down to is that he loves the hands on stuff, but staying Enlisted means that again, as he moves up the ranks, his job becomes less techy and more "sit behind a desk and do paperwork." Which bores him. We discussed the idea of him becoming an Officer, but the same reason for not doing that was there. He would lose what he loved most about his job. The rational solution was for him to become a Warrant Officer, and become specialized in his field. This would allow him the opportunity to do what he loves doing, every single day. And if he is going to take the time to go to school & to make this change, he absolutely would stay in for 20+ years.

I fully support my husbands career and will do what it takes to make sure he accomplishes that. With that said, it means that shortly after the birth of Baby Boho, my husband will be taking off for ten months or more for training: one month at Fort Rucker for a fast-tracked Officer school & nine months down at Fort Gordon for Warrant Officer school in his field. Lucky for us, Gordon is only three hours away, which means he will be home on weekends. But it also means that five days a week, I'll be doing the mom thing solo. It's terrifying to think about, which is only adding to my stress of all of this. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Thousands of other military wives have done this before me, and I have an amazing support system here that will help out in any way they can! It just means a crash course in being a mom.

I will still be working, which will make things a little more challenging what with day care drop off & what not, but again ... it can be done! And luckily, I will have the husband home on weekends which will help. I know this. I am sure there will be plenty of entertaining gaffes along the way. All of which I will share, of course.

23 weeks down, 17 to go. Eeek!

November 2, 2011

The Nursery Begins*

This past weekend, M & I tackled what will eventually become the nursery. It was a big undertaking. A project that we knew was going to take a whole weekend to even just begin & something we had been putting off. But with the weeks flying by, I was getting antsy and wanting to get started with the big stuff, so I could focus on the little stuff.

The room that will become our nursery has functioned as our guest bedroom for the four years we've lived in this house. It was always known that it would eventually become the nursery, but over time, as we struggled with getting pregnant, it really just sort of collected junk. We never went in there. It ONLY ever got organized if we had a guest coming in [a rare occasion]. It went unloved. In order to get that room cleared out, we had to clear out our office. We only have three bedrooms in our small, 1200 sf home, so there's only so much space. The office was now becoming the office/guest bedroom & was another room that had been neglected.

So Saturday was spent organizing. It was very happy day when Saturday afternoon, we had gotten furniture moved to it's respective places and the now nursery was completely empty! That poor room had not been empty since the day we moved in! :)

Then Sunday came the fun! We had decided on a color weeks ago and bought a gallon of paint for when the day came:



I am so in love with this color and have so many plans for the nursery. The route we are taking is a little non-traditional, but because we are not finding out the sex of the baby, I wanted to do something fun. And I just couldn't bear to go the yellow/green route. I'll post some teasers here and there, but I want to do a big reveal in a couple of months! But essentially, we are going with this color & a lot of bright colors as accents. It will be gorgeous!

My husband was such a trooper over the course of the weekend. Saturday was a lot of work, and then we spent all day Sunday painting the first and second coat. There wasn't a lot of relaxation time. Once we finished the painting, we decided to tackle the one piece of furniture that we owned because we figured ... why not?! We had already done so much! A couple of months back, I had been selected for an Operation Homefront baby shower. It was nomination only [I have amazing friends! I had no idea until I was actually selected!] and we walked away with some really great baby items, including a beautiful bassinet, a crib mattress & plenty of other goodies. It was amazing.




Isn't my sweetie adorable? He was SUCH a trooper! And I love him for dealing with my urgent need to get things done this past weekend. He's in for more as my nesting instinct increases, but I'm so glad we got so many big things done while we could. He's a champ & I love him for it!

And, just for shits & giggles, meet our lovable pooch, Cooper. He's not the brightest crayon in the box, but his adorableness makes up for it. He's a treeing walker coonhound that we rescued as a puppy last year after my beagle died, and he makes us laugh every single day. He's adorable & one of three pooches in our household. Always exciting here!


October 28, 2011

21 Weeks*

Well, I broke down and finally took a picture. I'm starting to feel like I actually look pregnant these days instead feeling like I'm rocking a bad ass beer belly. [This photo also made me realize how incredibly drab our guest bathroom is. Time to get some decorations up in there!]

I've been really bad about taking photos during the pregnancy, if anything just for our own personal record. Mostly because I just haven't *looked* pregnant. But I know that somewhere down the road, I'm going to want these photos, if only, again, just for our personal record.

And then I took a huge leap today and also posted this to facebook. I instantly felt guilty and made sure via my good friend Lauren that I was not, in fact, being one of those people. The ones that are incredibly obnoxious and annoying because they post every single thing about their pregnancy [and subsequently, everything about their child] on facebook. But what it comes down to is that we are on the downhill slide with this pregnancy. I know that we still have a very long way to go. 19 weeks in fact. And so many things can happen in those 19 weeks. I see it too often in this community. But, we've made it past a lot of hurdles, and for the first time I am actually feeling more excited than apprehensive.

It's a nice feeling to have. There has been so much fear with this pregnancy, especially early on. But feeling movement, and having my husband feel that movement for the first time last night, it changes things. And while I still definitely worry about what every little thing means I'm finding that I'm able to talk myself down much easier and am realizing that as of right now, things are ok.

And, Lauren assures me that I am, indeed, not annoying about the things I chose to post. In fact, I made her PROMISE ME, that if I ever got that way either during this pregnancy or post-baby, she had to tell me. No hard feelings. But she could shake me and say STOP. I'm holding her to that! But here in this blog, sorry. This is my free space. :)

The funny thing about that picture, though, is that it's so deceiving. Baby Boho is definitely sitting WAY lower than where the actual bump appears. So for now, the bump is really just for show. IT'S A VANITY BUMP! I have a feeling that as things fill out more, it will be much more representative of where the kid is actually sitting, but for now, it's tucked down deep in my uterus.

And I will say that Old Navy yoga pants are pretty much the best thing ever at this point. It absolutely doesn't help that they are currently having a sale and their workout stuff is uber cheap right now. But I stocked up and I can't wait to get into those puppies when I get home from work at night. If I could get away with going to work in yoga pants and a t-shirt EVERY SINGLE DAY, I would. Because it's that comfortable.

So the plan this weekend is still to move half of my house around and get the nursery started. Years ago, when we first moved into this house and first started trying, we kept that room pretty empty because we hoped that one day it would become the baby sanctuary. Over time, when that didn't happen, it started to collect a lot of junk. So now we have to go through it all and get rid of most of it. It should be a productive weekend. Fingers crossed.

Happy Friday all!

October 25, 2011

20 Weeks*

How Far Along? 20 weeks, 3 days.

Total Weight Gain/Loss:
-4 pounds at my 20 week appointment last Wednesday. With the weight I started at, my recommended weight gain [past my starting weight] was only 10-15 pounds. I'm happy to say that besides some not very good eating choices, I'm making up for the bad choices with good ones when I can. I'm hoping that I can continue staying under my starting weight until the start of my third trimester.

Maternity Clothes?
I'm thinking I am in need of some more comfy pants to lounge around in at night & on weekends. My belly is definitely growing out of my normal sleep pants!


Stretch Marks?
Ugh, unfortunately M & I have both noticed some growing of stretch marks. I'm using cocoa butter every day but I don't think it will help. I'm destined to not have a pretty pregnancy belly.


Sleep:
I have good nights and bad nights. The side sleeping is still rough, but I'm getting
used to it. The potty breaks are getting much more frequent at night. I am quite jealous of all these other pregnancy blogs I read that say sleeping is still so easy for them! Not so much here!

Best Moment of the Week?
MOVEMENT! And oh boy, lots of it. This kid is super, super active and I know I'm not even feeling most of it yet. We had our 20 week ultrasound and the kid definitely made it difficult for the tech. It never slowed down. But the kicks and the flutters are definitely there. M can't feel anything just yet, but it's nice having my own little secret. But I am definitely in for trouble as we progress. Because like I said ... ACTIVE!


Miss Anything?
Wine. Beer. Margaritas with my chips & salsa. Cuddling with my husband at night, which is impossible due to the extremely large quantities of pillows that ar


Movement:
Active, active, active!


Food Cravings:
None this week!


Anything Making You Queasy or Sick?
nope!


Have You Started to Show Yet?
Oh most definitely. Although some people tell me I still don't look pregnant. Apparently I just look fat or something. But there definitely days where I look it more than others.


Gender Prediction:
Um, I actually had a dream the other night that it was a GIRL! So ... ugh! Who knows!


Labor Signs:
No.


Belly Button In or Out:
In


Wedding Rings On or Off:
On.


Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
Happy as a clam!


Looking Forward To:
M feeling the movement so we can share that together!

As I mentioned, we had our 20 week anatomy scan last week and everything seems to right on schedule. Baby is measuring just a couple of days ahead of what we really are, but it's been like that since the 10 week ultrasound so I'm not too concerned. The only issue that they saw was that my placenta was sitting a little lower than it should. They are not concerned as of yet, but I will need to go back in for a follow up ultrasound in 8 weeks to make sure that it is moving up the way it should. So until then, I'm not worried about it.

My pelvic pain is also getting worse. My midwife has recommended seeing a chiropractor and I need to call and actually make that appointment. She doesn't want to put me into a belt just yet because it is so early, but I have a good feeling that eventually I will be there. But the pelvic pain is pretty much unbearable. It hurts to walk, especially if I have been sitting for long periods of time, or first thing in the morning. And by the ultrasound, the baby is definitely adding to all of this. He/She is literally on top of my cervix, sitting very, very low.

Other than that, things are going really well. We are cracking down this weekend and getting started on the nursery. I have started registering but haven't spent too much time on it yet. If we can get the paint up on the walls this weekend, I will be a happy camper. I feel like we are a little behind on getting things done, and I am anxious to start working on some things!

I have a few things to do before the guest bedroom becomes the nursery, but hopefully this week goes well and we can get some things in order!

October 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie*

This past Saturday, a friend of mine hosted her first ever "Choctoberfest" get together at her home. She asked all the invited individuals to bring a dish that centered around chocolate. It could be anything, it just had to have chocolate in it.

I am not the biggest chocolate fan in the world. In fact, I rarely have the stuff. I'm more of a salty kind of person. Give me a bag of chips over a candy bar any day and this girl will be happy. But the event sounded like fun, and it forced me to reach outside of my comfort and social anxiety ridden zone of doing something that involved being around people I don't know, and so I went.

But because I don't really like chocolate, I had to find something that contained chocolate, but also was something that I would want to eat!

And that's when I stumbled upon this baby:



Peanut Butter Pie! YUM! This dish was SO easy to make, and was so tasty. And, in a group of about 20 dishes all containing chocolate, it was voted the fan favorite of the afternoon in the poll she did. It is very, very rich, so small portions are definitely best, but it is worth making for your next get together. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pie

Yields: 8-10 servings


8 oz chocolate graham crackers
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 oz finely chopped chocolate or dark chocolate chips, divided
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c Sugar-Free Cool Whip

Add the graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cracker crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a loaf pan. Melt half of the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator or freezer while you prepare the filling.

Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla extract, then the Cool Whip. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared loaf pan.

Melt the remaining half of the chocolate and let cool for a few minutes. Then, drizzle the melted chocolate on top and refrigerate or freeze for three hours or overnight before serving.

October 21, 2011

October ICLW*

Welcome, fellow ICLW'ers! My name is Brittany. This is my third ICLW. I have found some great new blogs participating in the past and I am hoping to gain some new followers and find some MORE great new blogs! So, WELCOME!

Just some quick background information. I am 30 years old. I am married to the love of my life, M and we are the proud parents of three fur babies in the form of pooches (Marley, our beloved German Shorthair Pointer. Daisy, our amazing Lab/Retriever mix. Cooper, our stupid but adorable Treeing Walker Coonhound!) I am also a very proud Army Spouse, even though I don't talk about our military life here on this blog very often. My husband has been home for two years now since his last deployment, and we are gearing up for BIG changes in the coming months.

I am also currently 20 weeks pregnant with our first bambino. My husband and I started trying almost four years ago shortly after our wedding. Exactly one year later, and two days after my husband left for a 12-month deployment to Iraq, we got our first positive pregnancy test. Unfortunately, at 10 weeks, I miscarried. The emotional pain that came after that miscarriage was unreal & something I would never wish on another person. I couldn't move on and start trying again & I had to sit back and wait until M returned before we jumped back on the bandwagon. Once he got home, we started trying again with no success. After HSG tests, a round of clomid, two rounds of femara and one IUI, we are pregnant. Baby Boho is due March 9, 2012.

I would also like to state that I realize every. single. day how freaking lucky we are that my first IUI was a success. I know that this is a rare thing and we count our blessings all the time. With that, I am finding myself stuck somewhere in between the infertility world, where I am getting the feeling that I don't really belong anymore, and the "I'm currently pregnant and entering the mommy world so I'm going to only talk about my pregnancy/child/his first poop on the big boy potty", which is a community that I find extremely annoying when it involves women who have not gone through this process. [Sorry if that makes someone angry!]

So I don't really know where I belong right now. I still consider myself an infertile, because let's face it ... pain is pain. I consider myself a pregnant infertile, trying to be as supportive as I can to the rest of the community while also trying to keep at bay the extreme neurotic feelings that come with having a pregnancy after a miscarriage ... and trust me. There are a LOT! 20 weeks pregnant and I still feel crazy every single day that something is going to go wrong.

So that's my story! Please stick around, browse, and come back often as I will be updating this blog a few times in the coming week! I look forward to meeting you all!

October 15, 2011

I Am The Face*


Today is Pregnant & Infant Loss Awareness Day. A day when we, as a community, and our supporters take a minute [or for some of us, a little longer] to remember the children we have lost. Whether we suffered a miscarriage, a stillbirth or the loss of an infant, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the pain always stays with us.

I am a face of this loss. Our loss came almost three years ago. January 10th, 2009. When I went in and was told the baby was gone. I was 10 weeks pregnant. That baby had come after a year of trying. The positive pregnancy test came just two days after my husband deployed to Iraq for one year. The love that I had for that baby helped me get through my days as my husband was gone. But the miscarriage itself came and destroyed my life.

We have been so luck in that nearly three years later, we have been given a second chance. Thus far, a healthy pregnancy that has thrived. I realize every day how lucky we are to be where we are at. But so many women have not been able to enjoy this joy yet. Or have gotten this far, only to lose everything. It is a devastating loss, no matter how far along in your journey you are.

We aren’t alone. Approximately 25-50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet the topic remains so taboo. There are 60 stillbirths in the United States everyday. Read stories of people who have been there too at Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.

I am the face.

October 14, 2011

Fall Decorations*

I've been wanting to spruce up the house for the fall for quite some time now [DESPITE the horribly shitty 80 degree weather that we are still having. Whatthefuck, Summer? I know it's the South and all but it's still Mid-October. Can we move on to cooler temperatures? PLEASE?] but because of, again, recent events, those plans have been derailed.

Which is OK because I have found some more cute ideas that could easily last until after Thanksgiving. When all the Christmas crap that I LOVE putting up [and my husband detests] comes out. Yes. I am that person that decorates for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. :)

First off, this adorable leaf garland:


I think this is adorable, minus the kid aspect that was thrown in. It's an adorable craft for kids, but I think there is a way to spruce it up and make it more adult appropriate. I also love the idea of this monogrammed pumpkin from The Girl in the Red Shoes:


I love, love, love pumpkins as decorations on my front porch, as well as plenty of mums. But I am not really a fan of carving them because I like having them throughout the fall. Once you carve them, they are only good for a couple of weeks. And a Jack-O-Lantern isn't really appropriate for Thanksgiving, me thinks. But something like this could easily last through the season, and the pumpkin would still be good to gut Thanksgiving weekend for lots of pumpkin goodies. I have also seen a version of this where the entire pumpkin is painted white, making the black lettering stand out. Either way, I love this.

I also think a good fall wreath is in order, such as this one from TwoInspireYou's Etsy shop:


Our front door is actually a bright orange. We got new siding for our house this past summer and wanted a bright color for the door. Since the siding is a dark grey, we went with a bright orange. It looks awesome if I do say so myself, so it's already aiding in my decorations for my most favorite season. Something like this with some more black tones in it [versus the orange] would be perfect.

Any favorite decorations that you love creating every year? Or is this the year you step it up [like me] and start being creative?

19 Weeks*

I missed a couple of weeks of updates because of what was going on the past few weeks. Traveling and not really having access to the internet [as well as this just not really being a priority!] has meant no baby updates. But, we'll get started again and hopefully we are done with family tragedy for a while!

How Far Along? 19 weeks exactly

Total Weight Gain/Loss:
I'm actually only down 3 pounds now. Yikes. A 7 pound weight gain in a couple of weeks? I should weigh myself again because the truth of the matter is that in the week that we were in Portland, we kind of had to eat out for every. single. meal. I tried to be good, but sometimes those tator tots from McMenamins
[take your pick .. we ate at several!] won me over. I've been eating well again since being home and I'm guessing that half of the weight I gained was because of the intense gas I was having. To much information? Sorry. Grease & I never mix well. A whole week of restaurant food sort of messed me up. We will see where I am next week!

Maternity Clothes?
I love maternity pants. So much. I can now see why so may women swear by them even post-baby.
I am still sticking by this statements. I am essentially wearing the same four or five pairs of pants. Two or three pairs of maternity jeans that I LOVE and two or there pairs of work pants. I am jealous of all these pregnant bloggers that get to rock yoga pants all day. But as soon as I get home at 4:30 every afternoon, that's exactly what gets put on.

Stretch Marks?
No new ones!


Sleep:
Sleep is starting to get rough.
I'm not sure if I've said this before but I am NOT a side sleeper. I am a straight up stomach sleeper. I have been my whole life. And I am suddenly to the point where I just can't do it anymore. I was able to keep doing it for a while, but that is no longer an option. So, sleeping on my side it is. Which plain and simple, sucks.

Best Moment of the Week?
My husband, laying his head on my belly and talking to the baby. I think a lot of this has been surreal for him, but now that I am starting to show, he knows that it's real. Obviously, he did before, too, but I think this is different for him. Every night when we were in Portland, he would talk to the baby.
It was so sweet and so endearing to watch him, and quite funny at other times. Between the extra closeness that developed after he lost his mom & watching this, the love that I have for my husband is stronger than I ever thought possible.

Miss Anything?
Right now, just M. With him still being in Portland, it's rough getting things done on my own. Lame, I know.


Movement:
Nothing yet :(
But I KNOW it's close!!

Food Cravings:
None this week!


Anything Making You Queasy or Sick?
Flying made me queasy. I think that was mostly due to the extreme turbulence, as well as lack of sleep. Red Eyes & pregnancy do NOT mix, people!


Have You Started to Show Yet?
Oh most definitely. I swear I woke up one morning & had "popped." Both M & I have noticed it. I'm definitely bigger on some days more than others but again, I blame the gas. Isn't pregnancy fun? :)


Gender Prediction:
I am sticking with BOY throughout this whole thing!


Labor Signs:
No.


Belly Button In or Out:
In


Wedding Rings On or Off:
On.


Happy or Moody Most of the Time?
I've been moody lately, but only because of everything that's been going on. The emotional highs and lows
of recent events have been rough. And being home alone the past couple of days, which usually I LOVE those opportunities, has been weird. But it is what it is!

Looking Forward To:
Feeling movement!


All in all, all is well. We have our big ultrasound next Wednesday, and I am so excited to see the little nugget for an extended period of time! And for the record, we are NOT finding out the sex of the baby! We made that decision early on in the pregnancy and have vowed to stick with it. The infertility process is a tough one, and everything has been so calculated. There was no mystery to anything ... do this at this time, take this shot at this time, come in at this time and we'll knock you up. Even when I took a pregnancy test, it was more FINALLY! than OH MY GOSH I'M PREGNANT! We want one surprise. One tiny thing to keep to ourselves. And this is it :) Trust me, it will be rough going in next week and saying "no, we don't want to know" but M & are are dedicated to keeping it a surprise. My OCD is having a rough time dealing with this, but it will just have to GET OVER IT! Because I said so.

But hopefully next week's updates will include a belly shot [i know, i know ... promises, promises] as well as some pics of the nugget. Let's hope the nugget cooperates and does what it needs to in order to get everything done! Not that I will complain if I have to go back in for a second one! :)

October 13, 2011

Family Loss*

What a whirlwind in our household the past few weeks. I feel like I'm saying that a lot lately. But last week, my mother in law passed away from lung cancer. In a matter of three weeks we went from having a diagnosis to planning her memorial service. It was quick. So quick, that we didn't really know how to handle everything that was going on, when it was going on. The fact that my MIL lived 3,000 miles away across the country didn't help either, as my husband couldn't get there as soon as he needed to.

My father in law painted a rosy picture, one that we should have been more cautious about. The cancer, which we found out originated in her lungs [she smoked for about 40 years], was also in her liver, kidneys and lymph nodes. Everything ended up failing in the end & the choice to take her off her life support was left to my husband.

Not a choice that any child wants to have to make.

So for the past week, I was in Oregon with my husband dealing with the aftermath of her passing. He is still there until next week, finishing up some last details. This whole process has made me so proud of my husband and the man that he is. His family, specifically his father, left him to take care of everything himself. And while it was tough [and he hasn't really been given the chance to grieve yet] he stepped up to the plate and handled it well. I know this might be weird, but this experience, having to go through this together, has brought us closer together. We have had some really great talks about what we want out of life, changes that we need to make, preparations that need to be made, and an overall plan for what's to come.

But on top of it all, I just feel bad that my husband had to deal with it. My mother in law and I didn't have a great relationship, and no matter how many people told me she thought I was great, there were a lot of cruel things that she did to me that proved otherwise. But the sadness that I have for my husband is hard. I hate having to see him suffer and deal with such a loss. He is only 32. His mom was 58. It's a big blow and was completely unexpected.

But, we will get through it. Just like we get through everything else. Because that's what we do. I can't wait for M to get home next week.

October 1, 2011

When Life Throws You A Curve*

The past two weeks in our household have been pretty rough, as my husband and I have been dealing with some personal family issues. I've talked about it on twitter -- because, well, a girl needs an outlet -- but my husband will be flying back to Portland today to spend the next two and a half weeks with his family, until we can get some things figured out.

I realize that kind of sounds misleading, so I will say that we, as a husband & wife, are fine. But some health issues with extended family are causing us a lot of concern. If I need to fly out I will, but because of the pregnancy he doesn't really want me traveling and being under the extra stress. So here is where I stay until absolutely needed.

I will say that the outpouring of support from our friends and family has been amazing. My husband is very much an "I can carry the weight of the world alone on my shoulders" type of guy & I have been trying to tell him that we have an amazing support group both here and afar, & we need to utilize that & let people help us. I am forever grateful to the friends who have listened to me talk about what's going on, what I'm thinking & how I'm feeling, and it just proves to me that there are just some people in our lives that may not be blood, but are not any less family than the real thing. And for that, I will never be able to repay them or thank them properly.

So I will be solo for the next two and a half weeks unless I absolutely need to fly to Portland. I'm hoping that things work out and that it won't be needed anytime soon [*fingers crossed*] but it's nerve wracking to think otherwise. So in the meantime I'm hoping to just keep as busy as I can and get some things in order in the house. I have a SERIOUS pantry reorganization project that needs to happen, and I have some friends coming over next weekend to help move some furniture, so that I can get started on painting the nursery [yay!] & getting the old office/new guestroom in order & livable condition. I'm hoping to bust out some creativeness & if I come up with anything spectacular, I will be sure to share with you all! On top of that, I have some fall decoration plans that I am hoping to get accomplished.

All of this leads up to the well baby ultrasound the day after M returns. I'm excited to see the little guy/gal & no! We are not finding out the sex of the baby! Surprise! There are a lot of reasons for that, and we will get into that in another post! But for now I'm just prepping as much as I can! I'm looking forward to getting the nursery started & have some found some great prints for the walls that I may be ordering soon. I can't wait to document the process.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! It's sunny but low to mid 60's here this weekend, which is a NICE break from the 80 degree weather we are still having. Gotta love the South!

September 28, 2011

An Important New Initiative*

RESOLVE launched a new initiative this week, and I thought I would pass along the information [thank you, From IF to When for this info!]:

They have a created a petition for the infertility community to add their names to that will be sent to Sec. Sebelius at the Department of Health and Human Services, along with a letter urging the Secretary to consider infertility treatment an essential health benefit as the discussion on the new healthcare reform policies happen this fall. Their goal is 7,300 signatures: 1 signature to represent every 1,000 people living with infertility.

I urge you to click HERE to read and sign the petition, whether you battle with infertility, know somebody who does or just want to help out.

RESOLVE will be creating a landing page with more FAQs this week. I will post it to my blog as soon as I have more information.

I was very lucky that with my husband being in the military, all of our treatment was covered financially. The only thing we had to pay for was the sperm wash. Our costs would have increased had we had to go the IVF route, but we still would not have paid was most of you do. I know many women who have to save for years for this opportunity, which is such a damn shame. Let's show our policy makers that we are serious about having infertility treatment recognized as an essential health benefit.

September 27, 2011

Why Facebook & Pregnancy Do Not Mix*

Being pregnant is a funny thing. Besides all the aches and pains, there is a whole other side to it that involves everybody and their mother giving unwanted advice, their two cents, telling you exactly what kind of parent you'll be, how you should eat, etc. It's like as soon as I have this little person gestating inside of me, I am no longer an individual. I'm a breeder and I'm apparently supposed to lose all form of identity.

Wrong, folks.

Last week, a co-worker brought in cupcakes on Friday morning to celebrate the first day of fall. They were delicious. And because I am the queen of random thoughts, I shared with all of my friends that yes, it was 8am, and I was having a cupcake. Most of the responses were polite, friendly, even supportive ["For you? Absolutely! YOU EAT THAT CUPCAKE, GIRL!" or you know, something like that]. But one individual decided that I was "eating for two" and felt necessary to warn me that if I continued to "eat for two" that I would gain a bunch of weight, have a horrible time losing it just like she did and that I should probably be more careful about what I was ingesting into my body because, you know, I don't want to get fat or anything.

For the record, I have been doing pretty well in my eating endeavors thus far. Minus that week where ALL I WANTED was mexican food [I will admit, four times in one week is a little excessive] I've been sticking to healthy options. I drink a ton of water. I make sure to get my calcium/protein/veggie intake for the day. I take my prenatals. I work out when I can [but because of my hip/pelvic pain it's somewhat unbearable most days]. So sue me for having a damn cupcake.

And you know what? I ACTUALLY HAD TWO. And it was totally worth the splurge when I needed that 3pm pick me up to get me through the rest of the work day. Granted, by reading this woman's posts its painfully obvious that she has body image issues. But it didn't stop me from getting slightly upset in the beginning that somebody who barely knows me, let alone knows what I eat on a day to day basis, would interject on this subject and let me know that "eating for two" is not a good thing. When it had nothing to do with pregnancy to begin with. I read the books. I know that for now it's only an extra 300 calories a day that's needed. I'm a smart gal, y'all.

But it goes so far beyond that. Everything I do suddenly revolves around the kid that's not even here yet. Every single thing I say somehow gets turned into baby. I could write that the sky is purple and somehow SOMEBODY would find a way to bring it back around to baby. EVERY. DAMN. TIME. Last week I decided to pick up knitting again and mentioned so because I have a lot of friends who knit, and it was "where are the baby bump photos?" Um, did I mention my pregnancy or the baby anywhere? I don't think so. And yes ... I am knitting for me. Not for the kid.

I was also introduced to this amazingly hilarious website called STFU, Parents! that is beyond funny. As an infertile, and really as just a human being, there was nothing more annoying than those parents who posted 20 times a day about their kids. I even had one friend go so far once to post a photo of their kid, SITTING ON THE TOILET, doing his "first big boy poop." Seriously? Some things need to be kept a secret. Or shared only in person. And on more than one occasion, these individuals got blocked because if I wanted to hear the ins & outs of every single thing your child did, I would be friends with THEM on facebook. And when I vowed publicly that I refused to be one of those parents, I was told "don't worry, you'll be just like that. Because poop is funny."

Ok. Maybe poop is a little funny sometimes. When I talked to my best friend last week and she told me how her one month old had his first big blow out and her husband almost threw up because he was so grossed out, it was funny. But what was funny was that as a first time parent, they didn't know what the fuck they were doing. But she kept it to herself and only shared with a few. And didn't post it all over facebook. Because honestly, who wants to read that?

The simple point to all of this is that I am a person, too. Just because I am now carrying a child and expanding our family does not mean that MY life ends. I get that baby's are cute and squishy and adorable, but not everybody loves them. Hell, I don't even like other people's kids that much. In fact, most times they annoy me, with a few exceptions to those that are currently in my life. And just because I am stepping into Mommy-Land, it does not take away from the things that I still enjoy. I have been very careful about the pregnancy related stuff I post on facebook, mostly out of respect for my friends still battling infertility, but also because it does not completely define me. Not in my eyes. I'm not going to lie ... I'm sure there will be plenty of photos and "look what Baby W did today" posts. But I honestly do not want to be that person that annoys everybody else.

I will love this child with every ounce of being that I have. It doesn't mean that I will give up who I am as an individual and forget that I had a life and a personality before a baby came along. And if I have to fight to remind people of that, then I will.

September 26, 2011

Sixteen Weeks*

I know I promised a bump shot this week, but I didn't get to it. And I'm not feeling it quite yet either. Maybe next week. I swear.

The truth of the matter is this week has been rough. I know that I'm supposed to say that pregnancy is joyous & happy & flowers & rainbows all the time. And for the most part, it is. We are still beyond excited about this baby and are looking forward to March [although it seems to be coming quicker than we are prepared for!]. But the truth is, I am jealous of these women who have said that they LOVED pregnancy, & it was so wonderful for them the entire time.

Because it sure as hell hasn't been like that for me.

I know that a lot of my readers are from the Infertility community and let me stress again that after three and a half years of trying for Baby W, it's a huge blessing that we are at this point. And I don't blame you if you get pissed and leave for me complaining. I was/am totally one of those women who would say "Bitch, be grateful you have morning sickness because I would kill to be puking my brains out!" But this shit is hard. I have been miserable since day one. I suffered from some pretty serious nausea during the first trimester, and the pelvic & hip pain that I currently have is borderline unbearable. I am in pain every time I take a step, or move wrong, or lift my leg the wrong way to do something. My midwife says that this is normal, unfortunately, so I am trusting her that there is nothing seriously wrong. The hip pain I can get through. But I feel like I've been punched in my vagina and the surrounding area. Then throw in the back pain, heartburn and constipation, and well ... I'm just a regular ball of fun.

I am hoping ... PRAYING ... that it gets better in the coming weeks. I think that once I feel movement, I'll be more bearable when it comes to all of this. But nobody talks about the rough parts of being pregnant which makes me feel very alone in what my body is going through. I'm tired of being miserable. And I really hope it gets better quick.

I have a super cute idea for my weekly shots, but it's a matter of getting dressed enough to feel cute! I'll work on that! Here are my fun facts for the week:

How Far Along? 16 weeks, 3 days.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Still down those 10 pounds. I'm starting to hope that it stays this way for a few more weeks! I have enough weight to lose when I'm NOT pregnant, that hopefully my overall gain won't be too much.
Maternity Clothes? I love maternity pants. So much. I can now see why so may women swear by them even post-baby.
Stretch Marks? No new ones!
Sleep: I slept a little heavier this week, mostly due to being plain exhausted by the end of the day. I don't think I stayed up past 9:30 one night this week.
Best Moment of the Week? Meeting my new midwife who is AMAZING. I am so glad that I was finally able to get away from my crappy hospital and be with a clinic who truly cares about their patients. She is fabulous.
Miss Anything? Cuddling with my husband at night. I have so many damn pillows to help keep me comfortable, it's like Fort Knox in the bed!
Movement: Nothing yet :(
Food Cravings: None this week!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? I've had a couple incidents where I've gotten queasy. But they passed quick.
Have You Started to Show Yet? Maybe?
Gender Prediction: Still boy. Although maybe leaning towards girl.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button In or Out: In
Wedding Rings On or Off: On.
Happy or Moody Most of the Time? Pretty happy, although being in pain makes me slightly moody.
Looking Forward To: Feeling movement!

September 21, 2011

ICLW #2*

Welcome, ICLW'ers! This is the second time I have participated in ICLW & I am trying to become better about posting & linking every month :) So if you are here because of that, than WELCOME!

If you want a quick snap shot of who I am, then feel free to go to my first ICLW post. You can, of course, always check out the "About Brittany" section up top as well.

Things here are pretty calm in the Boho household. Friday marks 16 weeks in the pregnancy, and while we still feel it's a little early to get too excited about the nursery and registering for gifts, I definitely don't want to be that person that is still putting the nursery together when kid boho is three months old. Ideally, I would like to have it completed & good to go WELL before the wee one gets here. This is my OCD taking over.

With that said, we've started researching some of the larger items that will be needed and figuring out a budget for what we want vs. what we can afford. We know the likelihood of family & friends getting us things is possible, but we don't want to rely or EXPECT any of these things. So it's important to us that we know what we are getting ourselves into. The registry has been created, but only because we decided on a stroller/car seat. That's the only thing on the list at this time!

My laziness is getting better, as in I'm not being as lazy as I was during the first trimester, but I still definitely have days where all I want to do is go home from work and watch reruns on tv.

I am also SO excited that the cooler weather is ALMOST here. While the weather is still in the low 80's here it is a very welcome break from the months of 100 degree days that we had. I know this isn't "cool" to many people, but it means that those 60 degree days are right around the corner. I might actually try to decorate for fall this year, but we will see. Again, with the motivation. It's lacking.

Thanks for checking out my blog ... feel free to browse & please come back!