Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dear Baby,

When your daddy and I were deciding when to start having children, I told him that I felt like [Your sister] was near, that she was close to us, and wanted us to start. 

It's not her that's coming first, but I still feel it was her idea to get this whole party started. She must have known you needed to come before she could, and she must be getting anxious.
My sweet boy - for that is what you are, though you've known it all along, even if we haven't - we are so excited it's you. As we discuss names for you, the question is not,
"What should his name be?"
"Who is he?"
We are already so excited to meet you.
Your papa is a PROUD papa.
He couldn't wait the five days until Christmas to tell his family;
He called them all up within two days to show how excited he was to be having a son.
I'm excited too; I will love my boys. You both already hold my heart firmly in your grasp.
I will admit,
as much as I am excited,
I am also feeling a bit
I know you will be patient with me as I not only unravel the mystery of becoming a mom, but also taking care of a boy.

I hold one thing very dear to my heart, and I want to share it with you.
I dreamt of you once, and I shared it with Aunty Heather in an email on October 29th, 2010. I'm so glad I did - I fear I would have forgotten about it if I hadn't.
Here it is:

Last night I dreamt of my little boy. And he was my first. I remember him crying, crying because he was hungry. I looked at him, and down at my full, naked breast, knowing what I was supposed to do with it but not knowing how to do it and yelled,

He was the most precious child I have ever layed eyes on. And I was so consumed with love for him. When he was 2 days old I said to Adam, "Adam! We haven't named him yet! What are we going to call him?"
I was freaking out and all of a sudden a memory hit me - 
"Oh yeah. We're supposed to call him [name]"

Flash forward to him at 4ish months old, and he's lying on the bed, happy baby boy. And I see in him someone so familiar. I'm kneeling on the ground next to the bed just looking at him and loving him, wishing my love to be a soft blanket on his white, soft skin and deep eyes. And again, a sudden realization hits me.
It's me that's familiar in him.
It's me.

I have been feeling you move and swish and tumble and kick around in there for the past couple of weeks, my already-active and stubborn little boy. 
I love feeling your energy, your continuously-growing strength, your vigor for life and figuring things out. You have the cutest little button nose ever and a short little munchkin chin like your dad's.

We are so happy you are here with us this Christmas, my boy. I hope you feel our love so strong and true and overwhelming. I hope with every beat of my heart you hear surrounding you in the womb, you know it now beats for you.

That sound, my heart, my body, my blood -
it's now all for you. 

We are halfway to meeting you! Take your time in there, but know we can't wait to meet you.

Merry Christmas Baby Boy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Conversations through a Megaphone

So, I want to tell you guys thanks for your lovely comments.

Sometimes blogging feels like having a blind-folded conversation into a megaphone, not knowing who is listening and never knowing who will reply.
While of course this blog's main function for me is a journal of sorts, something I will one day print out and let my posterity read like my other journals, and it's also a way to keep those far away updated on our lives.

But, it's nice to know I'm not just shouting into the wind for nothing.

And then sometimes I just feel like having a conversation but I can't think of the *right* person to have it with. Get it? 
Like, either I can't think of a person who would care to have that particular conversation with me, or, if I think they would care, I don't think they would have much to contribute to the conversation (like my grandma, for instance).

So usually I just end up having these conversations with myself.
I will give you two examples (and sorry, both have something to do with Twilight).

1) Why do people feel the need to trash talk Stephanie Meyer? 
Look, I'm not a huge Twilight fan. I read the first book, and it was pretty entertaining, but I couldn't finish the rest of the series. Just not my thing. No big deal. And I don't think the movies are all that great, but I think that has less to do with Stephanie Meyer than many other factors. 
But that's not the point. 
The point is not about whether I like her novels or not, the point is, 

Don't you have anything better to post as your Facebook status? 
Don't you have any other photos to have in an album besides 'I Hate Twilight' collages?

I was reading a girl's blog where she actually said she
hated Stephanie Meyer 
and that she had come up with a list of
reasons why Stephanie Meyer should be dead
("First of all, obviously [she doesn't understand] the real world. How [does she] survive in it?)

This absolutely blew my mind.
How dare one person say that about another! 

Come on, guys, we all know that we really don't care if her books are crappily written or not, if you are trash talking her, you're probably just jealous that she made millions of dollars off a love story. In fact, I'd even venture to say, 
She's a freaking genius.
She must be.
She has captured the hearts and money of people around the world in four novels.
Could you do that?
I certainly couldn't. 
One of the smartest girls I know drew serious inspiration from those novels for a large chunk of time --- I don't know why, I don't get it, but I respect her and therefore I must say there must be something to it.

...Sigh. Anywho, that's one conversation I have had with myself, and now I'm shouting it into a megaphone, though I'm not really looking for a heated discussion on this (a conversation is different indeed from an argument).

2) The next conversation I've had running through my head with myself is,
Are Robert and Kristen (the real life Edward and Bella) actually getting married?
If so, HOW COOL IS THAT?????
I would be just tickled pink if Jenna and John (real life Jim and Pam from The Office) were to hook up (though I realize both are already married to other people). It would be like The Office wasn't just a tv show, but reality, and I could  believe everything on it were true and that their happily ever after actually did happen and that unicorns really do exist and that eating donuts everyday won't make me fat and that I will find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.
And then I'd really be satisfied.
But maybe Twilight fans aren't all that excited about it? Probably not, now that I think about it. They will probably just be upset that Robert isn't an eligible bachelor anymore. 
I guess I just love to see love happening in others, because I've already found it for me (ahhh.....)

There you go.
Two wonderful examples of fulfilling conversations I have had with myself, that I am now sharing with you through my giant megaphone of a blog.
And if you just don't care, or have nothing much to contribute,
that's totally fine - I don't even mind. 

I will definitely have a more exciting blog post in the near future.
For one, my dog is turning one tomorrow.
And for another, 
I only have five months left until this baby comes.
And I've got some thoughts on that subject.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

November and its happenings

November was quite eventful.

- First, and probably most importantly, I wrote a 50k word novel in 30 days, one of the most intense "assignments" I've ever done. I've got to give a shout-out to my writing buddy, Jeanna. She was my slave-master cheerleader, and made sure I always got back on track after any slacking (which was quite frequent). This doesn't mean my novel is "publisher-ready," by any means, but it's a ginormous start. And that's a lot more than I ever thought I would be able to say. 

- My mom came for 10 days to spend Thanksgiving with us. We did lots of fun stuff, like maternity clothes shopping, volunteering at the Goodwill serving Thanksgiving dinners, having our own Thanksgiving dinner, with my bestie Heather coming up from DC. We went down to Mount Vernon and learned all about our first president (we even saw his dentures! Not made of wood, by the way).

- I'm even more pregnant! Go figure! But, I'm feeling loads better. I have almost forgotten that I once was nauseous everyday for 10 weeks in a row. Almost. My appetite is back, and in full force.

(Taken two weeks ago)

- I bought my first BellaBand. And it works! About two weeks after getting pregnant, I tucked my skinny jeans in a hiding spot under the bed (yes they were that skinny and yes I was already that bloated), but today I pulled them back out and dragged that BellaBand right on over them. Bam!

-I've realized being pregnant, and people knowing you are (whether from you telling them or from them seeing a bump) is such an odd thing. There are some days I just want to claim it as my excuse for everything - and I mean everything. Farting, burping, eating brownies for breakfast two days in a row, getting tired quickly, getting cranky quickly, the list goes on. I just eat it up some days! I even love referring to myself in third person, as "Mama", 
or sometimes even....

 Big Mama. 

As in, 
"Mama's coming through!" 
"Big Mama's gettin' huuuuunnngry!"

I love it.

And then, there are other days, when I'm just like - I'm pregnant. I'm not paralyzed from the neck down. I can get my own things, no I don't need you to give up your seat for me, I'm perfectly fine standing or even sitting on the floor. I'm sure I will be grateful for other people's kindness when I am huge-r than I am now, but I still feel very capable. (Though I have noticed a much more difficult time bending over while sitting down. That one I may need help with already).

- How big I am really depends on the time of day. When I wake up in the morning, after all my food is digested, I really don't look all that pregs. But by the end of the day, after I've eaten all day long and there just isn't that much room left for that and the baby, then I'm as round as a watermelon. The photo below was taken around 4pm, before dinner. So a nice in-between shot.

How far along? 17 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: 8 pounds

Maternity clothes? Somewhere awkwardly in-between. When I try to wear my normal jeans, I'm suffocating myself and have to unbutton them halfway through a meal (I did this once in the car and forgot about it upon leaving the car, until I had already shown off my undies to some people on the street. Lovely. But when I try to wear my maternity pants they are sliding down my legs all day long. So  I usually just wear my stretchy pants. In my room. Just for fun.

Stretch marks? No, but I'm sure they're coming

Sleep: Getting better. Bought some additional pillows, including a giant body pillow. This pillow situation has also been a cause for concern - not only does it put unneccessary distance between Adam and I, but it is also oh-so-difficult to switch sides every couple of hours, whilst dragging another human-being-shaped object, tucked between my legs, along with me (the pillow, not Adam).
Also, last night I was just way too excited to sleep well. So many things are happening! My little best sister friend is visiting me in 10 days, I find out the gender in 13 days, I know I'm supposed to be feeling the baby move soon, then my dad comes out, then it's Christmas! I just tossed and turned all night!

Best moment this week: Hearing the heartbeat again, this time with Mom in tow and her phone's video camera running. 

Miss Anything? Um, this is probably terrible....taking medication for headaches? Does that count? I want to go ice skating, but I'm too clumsy for that to be a safe sport for me to be doing right now.

Movement: Yes, I know there is lots going on in there but I haven't felt it myself yet. 

Food cravings: I'm pretty much back to my normal eating habits these days. Though I do crave more healthy foods than junk food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Smells - everything is just heightened.

Have you started to show yet:  Yes. I'm noticing more and more people's eyes wondering towards my abdomen area, sometimes congratulating me and sometimes just being awkward.

Gender: 75% of the time its a boy, 25% its a girl. And will continue to be that way until December 20th.

Labor Signs: Nope.

Belly Button in or out? My belly button used to be ridiculously deep. To the point where Adam was a little bit impressed with it, and I could never see the end of it. The pit of my belly button never saw the light of day! But! Last night, in bed, I saw the bottom of my belly button. And my belly button is about half as deep now. It looks like a normal person's bb. It's way shallow now. So crazy.

Wedding rings on or off? On. This morning my fingers were a bit sausage-y, but I think that's from the salty Thai food I ate last night, not from my pregnancy.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy

Looking forward to: Feeling the baby move. Finding out the gender.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My First Trimester

My whole first trimester I really wanted to be pampered. I wanted everyone to know I was pregnant so that everyone would ask me how I was feeling and then I could whine to them. Yep, I was that pathetic.

 But I also wanted to make sure we (me and the baby) made it through the first trimester before sharing the news with everyone. So mostly I just whined to my mom, my sister-in-law(s), and, of course, Adam. 

My mom is the best sport ever. She would text me everyday to ask how I was feeling and everyday I would say something really exciting in response, like, 
"Oh I just threw up my applesauce," 
"Saltines aren't working anymore," 
or "Don't even get me started on the raw ground beef in the refrigerator."
And then she would send something sympathetic back, and I'd feel a little better.

Some days I didn't believe that Adam believed me when I said I wasn't feeling too well. I would always throw up just after he got in the shower, or after he had already left for work, and then by the time he got home from work I'd just be starting to feel better and I'd be hyper from sleeping and lounging all day. But he's really been a good sport, too. He helps me wobble out of bed when my back hurts too bad for me to stand up on my own, and he buys me Taco Bell when nothing else sounds good, and he takes the trash out so I don't have to smell it. 

Now I'm getting into my 2nd trimester and the last few days I've noticed a slight improvement. I don't throw up in front of passing cars when I pick up Kaleo's poo outside anymore, I have been able to stay up much later than I could during my first trimester (meaning 10pm instead of 7pm), and I even woke up this morning at 8am, after only getting 10 hours of sleep instead of my usual 12+ hours.

So, I wanted to outline some of symptoms and when I started feeling them. This is mostly for my own record, but also for anyone curious or wanting someone to compare their pregnancy to. Sorry if it's TMI, but really, we're talking about pregnancy here, so you should probably just get used to it or come back later :)

Week 3: Didn't know we were pregnant yet, but I did notice that my boobs hurt a trillion times worse than they ever have before - way  more than normal PMS. I couldn't even lay on my side with my arm resting against me without pain. This was my first clue. 

My next clue, and this one is embarrassing, was... I wet the bed! A grown woman! I was so embarrassed when I woke up and had to tell Adam but he was just like, whatever, put a towel over it. I was mortified. And I had NO idea what was wrong with me. 
Week 4: Just found out we were pregnant, super excited. I weighed 136.5 lbs. This first week I wasn't sick at all, but I stopped craving sweets and started craving SALT! This week I gladly ate tater tots w/ ketchup, french fries, pickles, hamburgers, pizza, raman noodles, chips, and chicken smothered in Frank's hot sauce. I did have some slight cramping, with occassional sharp, shooting pains on either sides of my lower abdomen. It worried me some, but I never bled so I assumed it was part of normal stretching. 

This one was weird - I started walking up every half hour it seemed like in the middle of the night, and I'd have to toss and turn and completely arch my back to stretch my belly out. I would do this several times throughout the night. I felt like I'd been doing a thousand crunches every night in my sleep and my abs would be sore and tight in the morning. 
Week 5: This is when the nausea began to kick in.  I would get hungry fast - within an hour after eating. It was like my metabolism quadrupled. I was always looking for food, but suddenly not much was sounding good anymore. I was beginning to get very sensitive when my belly was empty, and needed to put something in there ASAP. Still sore breasts, always feeling bloated and gassy (poor Adam).

I still wasn't sleeping well; Tossing and turning, and I'd be up 2-4 times a night peeing - I had to start limiting my water intake after 4pm. 

Pregnancy glow? Beautiful skin? Not me. I'm breaking out like my high school days. 
Weeks 6-8: I was still trying to nanny, and it was miserable. I was extremely sensitive not just to hunger, smells and sight of food, but also just the mere thought of a particular food could send me gagging over the kitchen sink. Deciding what to eat and when became a literal torture - but I couldn't stay hungry because that just made it worse. I would wait as long as I possibly could before eating, and then I'd be so starving - I never felt good. 

I started having severe back pain - I couldn't turn over with the strength of my abs or back alone, I had to use my arms to pick myself up and move. I was exhausted everyday from getting up early and not sleeping well at night. 

I also was constantly worrying about the baby. I was always looking up stuff online to make sure a silly symptom was normal. I hadn't had my first appointment yet, and so I felt silly even telling my parents I was pregnant (my dad asked me how I knew I was pregnant  if I hadn't had a doctor's appointment yet. "Um...I got a positive on a home pregnancy test? I haven't had a period in the last 6 weeks? And I'm sick everyday? Isn't that enough?") I felt like I needed to take a test every other day just to make sure it was still in there (I didn't. I stopped after two). 
Weeks 9-12: I still felt very sick everyday, and absolutely no motivation whatsoever. After three weeks of constant nausea, it begins to get old. I stopped feeling like myself and gave up on all projects or goals I had. I didn't want to look at the computer screen or read or cook or move. I was just glad to be home and wearing pajamas. Adam made a comment about the ward thinking I was some sort of social recluse, and that's exactly how I felt. 

At week 9 I started taking belly pictures and writing a journal entry/letter to the baby.

I realize I have to give up ice cream. It makes me wayyyy too mucusy, and then I'm swallowing mucus all day and that alone makes me puke. 

My clothes were starting to get tighter - I felt fat trying to wear any of my normal outfits. I put away my skinny jeans and my high-waisted zip-up skirts, only kept out my "fat jeans," and flowy dresses. I started using the rubber-band trick on my jeans, and only wearing really long loose fitting t-shirts. 

I had my first doctor's appointment at week 10, and got to hear the baby's heartbeat. This was such a relief and a comfort. I started telling more extended family members. A few days later I had a scare when my thyroid levels came back low (I have hypothyroidism - have dealt with it since I was 12, and something I was trying hard to monitor since finding out I was pregnant) and my obgyn told me he wanted me to see a high-risk specialist. Just those words alone scared me and I freaked myself out for the next week and a half before seeing him.

At the end of week 12 met with the specialist - I weighed 141.4. We had our first sonogram, and we got to see our baby moving and kicking, and while we were watching both Adam and I felt like it was a little boy (we find out for sure December 20). The specialist calmed our fears and gave me a new prescription and some advice, and we decided it would be safe to share the news!
Week 13: I have started feeling up to my usual 30 minute walk with Kaleo in the morning again (something I had long been shirking). I've been writing my novel, taking more pictures, starting more projects, and cooking more meals. I've been much more social lately. I still get sick, but I can feel my energy levels coming back. I've been sleeping much better at night - not waking up as much and not peeing as much, and I've noticed a decrease in my back pain. I'm starting to get a bit of a pooch in the front, though to other people I probably just look a little chunky. 

So now that I'm caught up with the weeks, I'll probably do weekly updates. I found this fun weekly survey that I might post every couple weeks just for fun, along with a photo. 

How far along? Almost 14 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Almost 5 pounds! Yikes!
Maternity clothes? Not yet.

Stretch marks? No, but I'm sure they're coming

Sleep: Getting better.

Best moment this week: Going public with the news! Everyone has been so excited for us and it makes us even more excited.
Miss Anything? Eating raw cookie dough and deli meat

Movement: Nope. Just pretending.

Food cravings: Still salty and meaty and proteiny.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Smells - bathroom, garbage, dog poo, raw meat
Have you started to show yet:  I'm getting bigger, but probably not because of the Lemon-sized (3.4 inches, 1.5 oz) baby in me, but because of gas and some extra pounds :)
Gender: Nothing for sure. Intuition says boy.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? Still very much in
Wedding rings on or off? On, and loose - like normal.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Usually quite happy, lately.

Looking forward to: Feeling the first movement/ starting to show more.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Pregnant!

(if you haven't already heard, or guessed, as I'm sure some of you have...)

and that my friends is why I quit my job. 

My job required me getting up at 530 am to take care of Kaleo, drop Adam off at his shuttle, and then drive to work and arrive there by 7:30am, where I stayed until 4:30, sometimes later. For 9 hours I would watch 2 boys, ages 3 and 2, who both were slow in their development. This meant I couldn't understand a word the 3 year old was saying, and the 2 year old wasn't even talking. Then I would pick Adam up, and we wouldn't get home until almost 530pm. By then we'd both be so tired we ended up eating frozen pizza on paper plates most nights.

I was getting paid such a tiny amount in comparison to Adam, for such a long day and so much work, that it just wasn't even worth it anymore. What was I doing it for anyway? Something to do during the day? A way to feel like I was contributing? Yes...but it really wasn't the best way for me to go about it. 

Then, I got pregnant.
Yes, on purpose.

Walking into someone else's house, with their strange smells and strange food, and changing someone else's kids' diapers, with their strange poop that I wouldn't just be cleaning off their bums but also their walls and themselves and their carpets....
yeah....I couldn't handle it. 

I started trying to bring my own lunches to their house everyday because I could no longer stomach their food. But I was not only constantly nauseous, but also constantly starving. So when I would run out of my own food (which I always. always did.) I'd be worse off than when I started. 
But I could only handle so much of that, too.

I gave it an honest try.
I stayed for 3 solid weeks before I told them I needed to quit as soon as possible.
It was not fair to anyone that I spend my days on their couch, curled up in a ball, or in the bathroom for far too long, or sitting on their kitchen floor with my knees pulled up to my chest while the boys watched through the baby gates. 
These boys deserved - and needed - better care than that.

 The next week was my last, and by October 1st I was a free woman.
In comparison to those 3 weeks, the last 5 have been much more tolerable.
Puking in the comfort of my own home,
not cooking when I just. can't. handle. it.
Spending all day in my PJs watching movies and reading books.
Sleeping (or some form of sleeping that involves me tossing and turning and going to the bathroom and drinking more water every half hour) for 12 hours every night.

It's just what I needed.

We found out the weekend of our 2nd anniversary, so it was such a sweet surprise. We celebrated by buying our baby's first outfit - one of each, cuz you never know what you're gonna get.
(Though Adam swears he knows its a boy. Go figure.)

We loved seeing the Ultrasound a few days ago. It is absolutely insane to watch this little BaHa (Baby Harrison) doing jumping jacks and sporadic kicks and punches and karate chops and not feel a thing. 

On stomach

This profile took awhile to get. Baby kept facing away from the camera and was being stubborn, but with the nurse's prodding and my laughing, we finally got him to turn over for a bit.

Cute little nose.

 This was taken two weeks ago, at 11 weeks.
Today I am either 13 or 14 weeks, depending on which due date we listen to - the LMP or the ultrasound. I like to just settle somewhere between the two.
So now I'm 13 1/2 weeks, which makes baby's arrival date somewhere between May 3 and May 10th.

We are so excited. And can I just say it feels SO good to get it out??? 
I hated hiding out over here. Not that I've felt much like blogging the last 8 weeks (notice?)....

And we've been trying to get Kaleo excited that he won't be the only child anymore in just 6 short months

...but he just won't hear any of it

Friday, October 28, 2011

So. I quit my job.

Like, a month ago. And maybe one day I'll tell you that story. But for now, I'll just tell you what I've been up to with all this free time on my hands!

-I've been keeping up with the latest episodes of The Office. Though I'm just never satisfied with it these days, now that Michael is gone. My favorite one so far? The Incentive. If you haven't already, watch it. Even if you don't follow the show. It's hilarious and heart-warming all in one. All the others so far this season have been meh, so-so, but this one reminded me why I fell in love with this show to begin with.

-I've started a new episode-watching-trend with New Girl. Pretty cute, mostly. Though I probably shouldn't be proud that I've added another tv show to my list of things to do.

-This is my new thing. Window painting.

-And we went to a Halloween party. Though what we really wanted to wear was this:

We actually went dressed like this:
Can you guess what we are?? .....

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich!!! We were singing "It's peanut butta jelly time!" all night.

-My aunt visited us a few weekends ago and we picked out some pumpkins to carve from the local Papa John's farm. She decided to carve the least amount possible, making slits for eyes and a mouth - so I did the opposite. Wide eyes and a huge gaping mouth. Sadly, this technique meant that he didn't last too long, and our little friend is no longer with us, but his memory lives on.

-I've committed to NaNoWriMo. Though I don't think I've fully grasped yet what all that will entail. And I probably won't until I'm staring at a blank computer screen for 9 hours on November 1st, and I realize I only have 29 days left to write a novel (less if you remember the fact that my mother is visiting for 10 days over Thanksgiving break).

-We went to New York City (see post below)

-I finished a photography class with the local community college. It was sometimes boring, but there were a few new tricks I learned that will be helpful in the future. Plus, a kid gave me a macro coupler (which is like a magnifying lens cover) for free. Not exactly as nice as a macro lens, but still awesome.

-We moved apartments, and now have an extra den for only $10 more a month. This was 4 weeks ago, and my back has still not recovered. I am momentarily paralyzed every time I sneeze, and I've concluded I need a cane for my middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. I do believe I may have a serious problem that should probably be checked out.

-Reading! I've begun the Harry Potter quest all over again. I have never. never. never. read them all, one through seven, right in a row. In fact, I've only read #'s 5, 6, and 7 once. It's been fun going all the way back to the beginning, and forcing myself to pretend like it's my very first exposure to the wizarding world and the three amigos.

-I've been trying tons of new recipes out. When I was working, I barely had time to put a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. But now, I can spend as much - or as little - time on making a freshly made, homecooked meal. It makes such a difference. When we are eating junky, quick, easy, cheap, crummy food, both Adam and I feel just like that: junky and crummy. And we say, "Ugh....nothing sounds good..." all the time. Now, we enjoy a variety of meats and veggies and dinners every night and Adam can take leftovers for lunch rather than eating out, and everyone is just happier all around. Here are some of the meals I've tried so far:
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Chicken Wraps w/ Malibu Dipping Sauce
Sweet Pork Burritos
Meatloaf (not a new recipe)
Butternut Squash Pasta (unfortunately I didn't write down the recipe to this, as it was kinda made up. But, neither of us really liked it too much, so not much of a loss there....)
Pork Chile Verde

-I've joined pinterest ( It started as a great way to organize all the fun recipes I wanted to try out, but since has grown into an everything organizer. Now when I check magazines out from the library, I mark every article that I think had something interesting or useful in it, I look up that article on the magazine's website, and then I pin it. I can then return my magazine to the library, while keeping a virtual copy of my favorite articles. It's great. I'm also determined not to become a poser pinner - if I'm gonna pin it, I've got to do it....

-With that being said, here is the beginnings of the apron I'm working on. I have never owned a cute apron before. And the only apron I once owned was so ugly my dog thought it appropriate to rip it to shreds. Sigh.
Those frills are ridiculous to deal with, by the way...

So! This makes me feel better, at least. Seeing a nice long list of the productive things I've been doing, because sometimes it feels like I just lounge around in my pajamas all day......oh yeah. I do that too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New York City!

About a month after moving to Maryland, Adam and I sat down and planned/talked about some of the things we wanted to do on the East Coast while we were out here. They included adventures such as DC (of course), Williamsburg, beaches in the Carolinas, camping at Assateague Island, Boston, and many more. 

Adam said his one request was to see the Statue of Liberty, and so (in May) we purchased the next available tickets to Lady Liberty's crown -
this last weekend we finally made our trip up to NYC
 (yes, we had to reserve 5 months in advance!)

We decided to drive up to New York, rather than taking the train (which was about $100 a person roundtrip). And rather than spending $300 a night staying at a hotel in the heart of NYC, we stayed at Homestead Studios in Rutherford, New Jersey, about a half hour away. It was about $100 a night and they had a full-sized fridge, a stove top, and a microwave, so we were able to cook our own breakfasts and heat up left-overs.  On Saturday morning we parked our car at Liberty Park, NJ for $7 and took the ferry to Ellis Island.

Taken on the ferry  -the only time I needed my scarf -
the rest of the weekend was perfect beautiful fall weather.
We watched a movie about the millions of immigrants that came to Ellis Island, and then we headed to Liberty Island.

There she is! In all her glory! 
Adam loooooooved her.
I was starting to get a bit jealous...

These are the CRAZZZY small spiral stairs we had to climb up to get to the crown. Going down was much worse than going up.

Here we are, cramped in her tiny head. It was so much smaller than I was expecting - everyone had to crouch and squeeze around each other to get pictures of anything. It was so cool!

So there was a man in the crown who would NOT. STOP. TAKING. PICTURES. 
He had the camera I want (the Nikon D700) and a nice wide angle lens, and he was sticking his camera out the windows and just randomly shooting from every angle he could, spinning his wrist in circles. When I did that, this is what I got:
 And it scared me to stick my camera out there for much longer than 3 pictures, so I gave up quickly. 
I hope (for his sake) his came out more exciting than mine.

I figured he'd be a good one to ask to take our picture, since he seemed to be pretty serious about his own.....

but, nope...Blurry, as always. But still cute.

Admiring his new-found love.

From Liberty Island we took the ferry over to Battery Park, NYC. We decided we would stay in the South end for that day, and explore the north end the next day. We hit up Wall Street:

We walked down to Ground Zero, but unfortunately didn't know you have to reserve tickets to see the Memorial -- so make sure you go here to reserve your tickets before you head to NYC. We did visit St. Paul's Cathedral, which became a sanctuary for rescuers during 9/11. They would come to the church for a break, for meals, or to nap on the pews. The church now has a touching exhibit, and is full of letters written to the rescuers, thanking them for their service. I would recommend everyone going here - such a beautiful tribute. 

 We also walked halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge, not because either of us had really planned on doing that, but just because we were walking and there it was. It was crowded and not too terribly exciting, but had good views of the city.

 We were hot and tired after the bridge, so we got expensive ice cream cones that tasted cheap. And Adam knows best - people eating food is always attractive.

 The next day we took the metro up to the North end of town, starting at Times Square. Adam was enthralled with the many moving, talking, shining screens and advertisements and people. We didn't do a show this time, though I really want to see Lion King - so maybe next time. 

Adam kept making fun of me because I was carrying around our Fodor travel book, which had really important information like maps and addresses in it; he said I looked too much like a tourist. 

 Next we began exploring Central Park. We loved it! It was so huge and such a distinct change from the busy bustling city. It was like a little slice of heaven and peace had dropped in the middle of chaos - it was so beautiful. 

 I don't get too excited over Beatles stuff, but Adam wanted a picture of this and I've always got his back. It was crowded, and surrounded by a group of people playing Beatles music and a bunch of people singing along with them. I learned in Europe how to sneak my way forward to get the picture I want (Thanks to Mona Lisa)

Shakespeare and I got to be quite the good friends my last semester in college, so I had to pay tribute to him

 What do you think the people behind me were looking at on her arm? That's what I really want to know...

 We ate at Shake Shack for lunch, which unfortunately I did not get pictures of, but it was SO SO SO good. We watched Something Borrowed (terrible movie, btw) a couple weeks ago and wanted to check out this burger joint. We were hoping for the original-where-it-all-started-outdoor Shake Shack, but stinkin' Fodor's travel book only gave us one location, and it wasn't the one we wanted. The burgers, fries, and Peanut Butter shake made up for our indoor disappointment, though.

We were supposed to be meeting an old roommate of mine at Serendipity, so we put our names on the HOUR AND A HALF waiting list, and then walked around the stores (the 9-story Bloomingdales, the mega-Candy shop, and Urban Outfitters). My friend was sadly unable to meet us, but I was still determined to try out the famous Frozen Hot Chocolates. 
Serendipity was the biggest disappointment of our entire trip.
The long wait was only the beginning. Then our hostess was rushing us, our waiter had zero personality (or manners), the prices were ridiculous, and the desserts not that great. I'm only glad I went so I now no longer have a desire to go again.

 After Serendipity, we got lost underground trying to find our way through the metro system and refusing to leave the station and have to pay for more tickets, I had to go to the bathroom something fierce, our GPS was tricking us into walking in circles, and no one had or would let me use their bathroom. When we finally did find a bathroom (hallelujah Starbucks), there was a long line, with 5 males in front of me. Not a single one of them offered to let me go ahead of them, even though I was visibly tapping and shaking and holding and dancing my entire lower half. Oh well. I survived.

We grabbed a quick slice of NY pizza and watched the sunset over the Jersey shoreline before taking the water ferry back to our car at Liberty Park.
(again with the attractive eating pictures)

We looooved our trip to New York City. It was so much fun exploring together.
Not that we didn't bicker over listening to the dumb GPS, which restaurant to get pizza at, or me peeing my pants in the middle of the street, but that only added to the memories. It was such a blast.

And while we were in NYC, Kaleo was staying at a local boarding kennel. I was a little nervous about it at first, and he came back to us hyper-sensitive, hyper-active, and hyper-barking......oh wait, that's normal.
So all went well.