Saturday, October 13, 2012

Oh So Tired!

Ok, I have spoken at length with people about just how tired I still am. I feel like I ride this roller coaster of ups and downs with regard to sleepiness. My ups consist of feeling like I have an average amount of energy on an average day. My downs literally consist of exhaustion to the point that I'm emotional about it. When I'm at work, I just want to sleep upright in my chair in the office for any given amount of time. I have to delay my paperwork until the beginning of my next day, simply because the end of the shift brings fuzziness and sleepiness with lots of emotions. Sometimes I'd love to complain, but overall, I know it's all for good reason! I'm so happy for the catalyst to my exhaustion (little Ali), but I sometimes wonder if I'll be gliding through the second trimester just as tired as I was in the first. 

Anyway, most days, I wake up with the help of Pinterest. I check my emails on my phone, check for Facebook messages from my husband (since that's his easiest way of communicating with me), and I browse Pinterest! For some reason, looking at those insane ways to clean things with half the effort, or some mother's home management organization binder, helps me gain enough motivation to get out of bed. 

Once I get out of bed, my teeth are lucky to be brushed right away. My hair is just thrown right back into a ponytail without brushing through the tangles. My face usually has day-old makeup because I went to bed too tired to take it off. And my clothes are covered in dog hair because they have replaced Justin in the cuddling-while-sleeping department. In other words- just you try to stop by my house before noon to check on me or say a quick hello. I will not come to the door- but it's not to avoid you. It's to prevent you from seeing me this way! 

I remember back in high school when I'd have such tedious attention to detail with organizing my belongings. I lost it sometime when I began to feel the all too familiar "senioritis" that so many of us experience as we get close to graduating. Since that time in my life, I have this repeat pattern of letting things build up in the house- laundry, dishes, dirty carpets- until one day I just have this huge burst of energy and I tackle it all until I'm totally and completely exhausted. I love to clean the baseboards, sweep and mop the floors, and scrub toilets, but only on the days when I've just had enough of the mess. After that, it just builds back up to an unbearable state, and I do it again. 

Well, the good thing about Justin being gone, is that I'm forced to confront this pattern, and I have to make (good) changes. The bad thing is, I never see the burst of energy where I get it clean in the first place, for me to begin practicing keeping it that way. So... it's just the dogs and myself, cooped up in my time off, together and not answering the door for fear of a stranger even seeing my raccoon eyes and hairy wardrobe! 

I guess this is where I need to suck it up and clean anyway. But I'd much rather be a two year old with a temper tantrum and say, "Nooooooo!!!!" ... at least that's the dialogue in my head. 

I sure hope this energy comes around. I feel like if I could just. wake. up. I'd be able to get through this messy home and get myself to a point where I could start fresh and reintroduce those good habits I used to keep to prove that I do value my belongings :) 

Until soon! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

My Experiences during Pregnancy

Every pregnancy varies from woman to woman, and if a woman has multiple pregnancies, they can also vary from one another, as well! Most ladies know this, especially if they've ever read an article or researched symptoms. It's pretty much stated everywhere. 

This is a cool fact, although it can be extremely annoying when you just want to relate to someone and know that anything and everything you may be going through is normal. 

In 2008, I had a miscarriage when I was between 5 and 6 weeks pregnant. From then on, I have probably had about 3 pregnancy "scares" each year up until now. And by "scares," I simply mean the pregnancy would have been unexpected and surprising! :) 

Ironically, in contrast to my opening statement, my pregnancy has been pretty darn typical! I downloaded the What to Expect app for the iPhone, and also the BabyCenter app, and they provide daily tips and insight to what I may be going through at the time. I also get emails and updates on online articles as well. It's been great reading along day by day, as a supplement to my books, just to know what to expect (go figure) and how to handle situations as they arise. 

My first 6 weeks consisted of nothingness. I thought I had taken a faulty test, so I kind of hoped for a little nausea to make the news more real! Ha! Well, I got it! I threw up about once a day, had aversions to everything except potatoes- starches of all kinds, really- and I felt emotional at my disconnect from food. I had no idea it'd make me so sad that I could crave something, only to eat it and find out it was going to be upchucked in minutes. It really is true- you're super lucky if you don't experience nausea, which about 25% of women are blessed enough to say! ... Oh, and I surely can't forget to mention how Justin loved to stand over me and giggle every time I hugged the porcelain throne. I know it just made the pregnancy a reality to him, and thus, the giggling ensued. But I used to have snot, watery eyes, and pretty hardcore burn in my throat as I'd fuss at him to stop laughing and get me a cold towel! 

As time went on, I mainly experienced bloating, gas, fatigue, and  nausea. So typical. I felt like a wuss, leaving work early from vomiting, or just feeling like I couldn't keep my eyes open. Financially, it wasn't great for us for me to be giving up shifts, but I really just felt like crap, 24/7. 

My baby bump (or should I say, Food Baby) showed up around 8 weeks. It truly was mostly due to gas, but I have always had a stomach that has concentrated gas and weight in my lower areas. So, it's almost like it stretches out easily anyway, haha! So, I quickly became uncomfortable in my jeans and felt like a whale most days, and I rushed off to get maternity jeans way early in the trimester. I even had the thought of how sad it would be if I miscarried again, only to have invested in some clothes so early on. It felt foolish, to tell you the truth. 

The second trimester came- some people define it as starting after your 12th week, and some say it starts at week 14. Either way, I definitely felt relief from nausea at that time, and fell in love with food again! I loved tastings at work, smelling food being cooked, and I looked forward to my meals! I was able to eat more veggies and food with more flavor, and it was just an eye opener as to how much I couldn't have in the weeks prior. 

Today marks 17 Weeks 0 Days! I'm feeling small flutters in my stomach at night when I lay down and all is quiet, and I am slowly getting my energy back. It has been a roller coaster of good days and bad days when it comes to my energy, but I think a lot of it is determined by how much I look forward to doing in a day. Being alone makes it easy to be a sloth and watch Hulu all day. There's no one to come around and judge. If I don't make plans to work or be with friends, I usually find myself in a rut unless I am just super motivated by a particular task (such as putting together the kitchen table/island/counter that I mentioned in my Home Improvement(s) post!). 

My ultimate goal in this time alone, is to not only get the house so cleaned, organized, and decorated, but to find my way in my kitchen. I work at a restaurant that makes wonderful home-style food, and it's so good, that 4 days out of the week, I'm fed! I don't worry about doing more than making cold smoothies at home or throwing together salads and sandwiches. So, my cooking skills have not been put to use in quite some time, and I feel as though it's something I want to change. I'd like to have some staples for our family as Ali grows, and for them to be healthy and relatively timely to make. I'm hoping that Pinterest can help me in this area, and I know that is pretty great with that, too. I just don't have that discipline when I work 4 days out of the week, eating well. I don't seem to mind sandwiches on the other days :) 

Anyway, as I am now about a month into the second trimester, I now have slightly more energy and have no excuse not to get myself back into a healthy lifestyle that consists of more exercise and healthy eating habits. I want to treat my body and baby well for the rest of this 23 weeks, and now, I have ample opportunities! 

If anyone has suggestions for great recipes- pregnant friendly and/or family friendly- just chime in! I'm all ears! 

Until Soon!!

Home Improvement(s)

Buying a home was exhilarating, as you might know from one of my first posts. We were so hopeful for this home, and it could not have been an easier transition into home ownership, as opposed to many stories I've heard. 

The house was new, as well, so we just hopped right in and felt like we were living in a palace! (If you'd seen the small apartment we lived in, in San Clemente, CA, you'd completely understand!). Of course, no house is perfect, even new! We were warned by the lady who managed our "walk-through" to get as much noted as possible, but that we'd inevitably find little things here and there over time, that show the home's imperfections. It's just part of the experience, ha! 

Of course, I really cannot and will not complain. What I'm mentioning in this post is not reflective of my dissatisfaction with our home- only a reflection of our overall experience as new homeowners. 

The first thing that really caved, was the builder-grade carpet. We have two dogs and Georgia red clay in the back yard, and it just couldn't hold up- at least not in the living room. So, after Weezy hit a stage of separation anxiety and ripped up some carpet in our living room (ultimately leading to crate training, which has been a lifesaver), I honestly had to say I was thankful for the segway into making it go away! :) Of course, it's not an immediate fix we could afford right away, so we've been living with concrete floors for a while now- but at least it looks better and is easier to clean. Below is a picture of the damage I came home to one day: 

Anyway, the next issue we had came about when we called the company who originally did our flooring for the contractor. We just wanted to replace the carpeted area with the laminate wood flooring that we already had. Well, it's a discontinued product (which the contractor probably installed due to a discount for this very reason). So, we were advised that we may be able to find some spare flooring via warehouse websites, but to be cautious because they could be the leftover, less "matchy" pieces of the batch. So, we decided to just go with something drastically different. To be honest, I haven't loved anything I've picked out so far, but I don't want to pay for the leftover existing flooring, knowing that if anything ever happened, we'd have to start over with something different anyway. Why not make the living room flooring different, and replace the rest of the house with the new flooring if we ever feel the need to? All I know, is I just hate feeling like the house is "undone." But, I'm so so grateful for what we already have. Oh, and we're not doing carpet again. With animals, potential allergies of family and friends, and the upkeep, it's just not worth it.

Once the floors are done, I'll be THRILLED to host dinners and have people over and really celebrate our home, making it warm and inviting, just as I've always hoped to. 

The next thing that I noticed (actually my mom noticed- Thanks, Mom), is that some of the fixtures in the bathrooms just don't match. We have bronze door knobs, brushed nickel light fixtures, and shiny silver faucets. Of course, the bathrooms are nice and clean, and serve their function, but those little details are certainly ones that we never even thought of when we were in awe of our new home. One day, inexpensively, we can fix those features to be designed more cohesively, and ultimately, for future resale. But that's nothing compared to the joy we have of living in our neighborhood and knowing that we've accomplished the task of buying a home in the first place. Again- I'm just speaking of my experience. I'm sure everyone learns this when they have lived in their homes for a while! 

And finally, the most recent project I've tackled, was just last night! Our kitchen has a dining area (the only dining area, since we opted out of a formal dining room as a necessity), and the cabinetry in the kitchen is gorgeous, yet they are all quite shallow. If I had chargers or larger plates, they'd have no place in the kitchen unless we created shelving, or gave up space in the pantry. So... Ikea came to the rescue! 

I found this beauty there, and once I realized it'd fit into our little nook next to our table, I just couldn't pass up extra counter space and storage, so that when little Ali gets here, we have more room for bottles, plates, and her serving ware. 

Here's what I built all by myself last night!! 

This sucker took me 3 hours to build, and was super heavy duty. Don't worry, I used discretion when I was building it as to how to lessen the load of moving it from place to place. I did not overexert myself and kept thinking, "Man, I'm a handy-woman!" 

So for a really inexpensive project, I added 74 inches of counter space, 3 drawers and 148 Inches of shelving to our kitchen space. And all I can think about is using this bad boy for a buffet over the holidays! 

Well, I'd better stop while I'm ahead! I still have so many more posts to update, but I needed to talk about the house for once!

Until Soon!

A is for...

is for Anneliese! 

Okay, obviously, as most people reading this blog have already heard, Justin and I are having a baby girl! Ahhh! It's just the most exciting news I think I've ever EVER received! 

The name picking was kind of a silly story. Justin was so sure we were having a boy, that he just called my stomach "Liam" any time we talked about it, or the baby. It never failed, I always said to him, "You better watch out, because I think it's a girl!" And I'd always think about how sad it was that we couldn't come up with a girl's name because we just loved the name Liam so much, that we hadn't found one for a girl that compared to how much we liked our chosen boy's name. So, we decided to tackle it whenever we had time to sit down and really look through some names! 

Well, I went up to Indiana to see Justin just before he deployed, and he insisted we find a Barnes and Noble to get a good "Dad-To-Be" book for him to start reading while traveling. We went over to the Family section of the store and found more than enough books. Of course, Justin chose a small book that was more on the humors of becoming a dad, and claimed that it would be a "fun read" for his traveling, and that I can send a more detailed book about Fatherhood whenever he was finished with this one. (That's my hubs)

We came across a really great baby names book that I sat down with, and Justin looked at what I had in my hands and said, "I guess we need to pick out a girl's name, just in case." So... we sifted through, made a few jokes about some of the names- they get so crazy.  I'd say names loudly as I read ones that I liked, and he'd mostly say, "Nope!" to them. He suggested the name Ali, after a while of debating. I love that name, but I kept thinking, "What if she can't stand this name because people will say, 'Oh! What a cute name! What's it short for?' " So, I presented the argument to Justin and he said to just keep the name as one of our options. 

Then... we came to the name, Anneliese. I don't know why, but it jumped at me. I kept saying it over and over, and I loved it every time. It's great for nicknames when she's young, and she can choose to use her whole name when she gets older, to feel more mature if she'd like. It wasn't on the lists of any of the popular names of the past few years, which was something I had been trying to avoid the whole time with any name we picked. (Growing up a Brittany in the '80s and '90s was hard enough, okay?!)

Justin really liked it, but he really loved Ali. So, after some deliberation, we decided on Anneliese, but we would nickname her "Ali." 

I think some people won't get where we came up with "Ali," but that's the story behind it. Justin and I got the best of both worlds and we couldn't be happier! 

Stay tuned! I've got more posts on the way!