Tuesday, April 29, 2014

That time we lied on the radio

I've gotten SO MANY nice supportive comments in various social media forms, so I bet all you wonderful people are here to check for a gender announcement. Well, joke's on you, we still don't know!

Funny story, we got subs for the end of the day (as in, people to do our jobs, not sandwiches), went to the lab, got called back, and then were informed that we couldn't get the ultrasound. My doctor's office doesn't do them (it's a really small practice), so they refer out.

I spent some time considering how to find a way to make the reason why they wouldn't see us interesting enough to share, but honestly, it's really not. It's no one's fault, just a miscommunication and an overall major fail.

I'd like to say I took it all in stride and laughed it off as we headed out the door, but that's not really my style. I felt like a big giant dummy for telling literally everyone I know (um, we were on the radio this morning announcing it, no joke) and then having to be like "hey, just kidding about that!".

4/29 Whole show part 2 - our radio début - it's at the 50 second mark

Also this happened:

I tried really hard not to, but I ended up wallowing in disappointment and guilt for like 45 minutes before I was able to get my big girl pants on and get over it. Disappointment because I am the most impatient person EVER and I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW. Guilt because logically, I knew this was no big deal and it was ridiculous for me to be upset about, but I couldn't seem to stop.

I blame my reaction entirely on boasting. Just last night, I was bragging to Kara how I stayed completely dry-eyed during a really sad Buffy episode (Prom). I believe my exact words were something like "I'm normally so emotional and prone to crying but not at all during pregnancy!". You win, universe. I ate my words on that one.

Eventually though, logic prevailed and I was able to act like an "adult" again and get over myself.

What I should have done with the extra time: work on my grad project, due in six days.

What I actually did: watch two episodes of House of Cards with Eric (we're still in season 1 - no spoilers!).

One really cool discovery I've made this week is that asking people about birth advice brings tons of lurkers out of the woodwork to comment, which I absolutely love. I really enjoyed hearing about everyone's birth stories! Full disclosure - natural childbirth sounds awesome, and I'd like you all to read that in a non-sarcastic tone of voice. I think I'm still going with the epidural if at all possible.

We have another appointment next week, and if all goes according to plan, I'll still share whatever adorable little blue or pink outfit follows!

Are you a crier? I generally shed tears for the most pathetic reasons you could imagine, happy or sad.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A baking first

This is the last post I'll ever have to write referring to "the baby" or "it" (unless for some reason blogging is still popular when it's time for #2, but that seems unlikely). 18ish hours till we found out. Totally not counting and definitely haven't been all day.

This weekend I did something I'm not sure I've ever done before. I baked, and no chocolate was involved (and it was for me).

Raspberry bars
II swear, I shared with friends, I didn't just eat the entire pan alone.
It wasn't a health thing, those bars are the good stuff, packed with butter and sugar. I was just craving a fruity dessert. Possibly a first.

I think it's safe to say coffee is back in my life, sort of. I can only handle super dark roasts (that's not new), unflavored, and made in the French press. The weird part is I've had my coffee plain since high school, and now I need half and half. I can't seem to go black, although some have argued that's how I got into this situation to begin with.

I poured milk on my cereal after the picture, I'm not a weirdo.
My capstone project for grad school is due in one week, and there's nothing that makes me more productive in every other area of my life than a major deadline like that. Saturday, instead of working on it, I cleaned, grocery shopped, prepped dinners and lunches for the week, baked, ran 5 outdoor miles that were shockingly enjoyable, and even started my baby book reading.
Like a good American, I am extremely adverse to any sort of pain, discomfort, irritation, or basically anything remotely unpleasant. On that note, I'm not really interested in earning any sort of #BAMF badges refusing pain medication - anywhere really, but childbirth seems to be the most popular place. I'm lucky enough to be born into a time and place with excellent medicine that my health insurance covers, so I would like to take advantage.
BUT I actually know people in real life who are intelligent and normal who went/plan to go the natural way. It makes me wonder why, and if there's anything I'm missing. So I wanted to hear the other side. I dived into this book, recommended from someone or somewhere that I've already forgotten.
Right off the bat, they made it really tricky to take things seriously.

Maybe I'm immature, but maybe he could have just gone by "Dr. Read".
Directly following that was a chapter called "Orgasmic birth". With pictures. That's all I have to say about that.

If Eric could have the baby, this book would be perfect because he's really open minded and non-judgmental. He totally accepts that all sorts of hippie dippie, crunchy BS might be legitimate. For unclear reasons he married someone really cynical, suspicious, and dismissive, and I have to have the baby, so this book is going straight back to the library. I was looking for something that was based on, you know, science, to give me the other point of view. I originally wanted a non-biased book to just give me both sides neutrally, but apparently this is a pretty polarizing issue, so that may not exist.

That got a little more serious than I intended. Anyway, for the second weekend in a row, I reconnected with a fellow Starbucks barista friend. We went and visited our friends Eileen and Mark, and their two adorable kids. 

Eric works Sunday nights, which I may have mentioned means I need to wait a whole extra day each week to watch Game of Thrones. One on hand, this sucks because I'm horribly impatient. On the other hand, it's nice to have something to look forward to on Mondays.

How AMAZING was this week's episode??? Let's all talk about it. Someone got sick of hearing "it wasn't like that in the book!"

No joke, we were mid conversation after the show, and then he didn't answer a question, so I looked
over - this. It's not unusual.

All the votes have been noted, and whoever guessed correctly will win the exclusive prize of bragging rights forever.

Do you keep in touch with people from former jobs? It's always easier said than done but I've made some of my closest friends through work - one was even in our wedding! I think customer service jobs are the best for getting tight with your coworkers. Especially when you have an evil boss (Heatmiser).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random thoughts Thursday

1. Something that's really hard is getting back to waking up at 5am and spending the day at work. Over spring break, I got really used to sleeping until 9 and then reading in bed for two hours, before making the shift to the couch.

2. I haven't sucked at working out this week. Running has been my mortal enemy lately, so I decided to try an every other day approach (5 outdoor miles and 3.6 treadmill). Now it's more like that annoying acquaintance that's somehow infiltrated your group of friends. In between running days, I've done Jillian Michael's DVDs, with hand weights and everything. I also made one of her soup recipes for lunch this week. I like when I go into full on fangirl mode.

3. Apparently this movie is coming out this weekend.

Aside from finding Cameron Diaz incredible annoying, I won't be seeing it. The premise appears to be women fighting over Jaime Lannister, which is really stupid because he's made it abundantly clear he only has eyes for his sister. None of the women are even crazy giant amazons, so they don't stand a chance.

He also got his hand back, evidently.
There we go.

4. I will be seeing this movie, from the much preferred location of my couch. With my BFF and Indian takeout. I read the book years ago, but I remember nothing about it (other than I liked it), so it will be a surprise.

This girl is adopted? Holocaust? Something like that.

5. People are asking my preference on boy or girl. I know everyone thinks it's a cop out, but I swear I don't care, as long as I have a healthy baby.

It wasn't always this way. I desperately wanted a baby girl in my life, from the time my mom was pregnant with my sister, when I was 6, up until recently.
I don't have any recollection of who those other kids are so I blurred out their faces because I feel wrong posting pictures of kids I don't know even though they are both clearly adults now and incredibly unlikely to read my blog.

Anyway, I got my wish and had a sister, but I still wanted a girl of my own, up until this happened.

In case you're new, my nephew was born in August 2012.
Then I realized boys are pretty awesome too. I also got a little older, and a (very) little wiser, and really just want everything to be healthy and on track. I am pretty excited to have this feel a little more real once we know the sex though (for the record, I still feel boy).

Eric said it felt like enough time had passed and we should start buying stuff. I told him no, because so far friends have been really generous with hand me downs, and the two things I've bought I've since been gifted. He said he was concerned that he should be doing something and wanted to know what he could do to help prepare. I'm not sure why he thought that was a good idea to say to me. Once I was finally done with the long list of things he could get started on, he probably regretted his actions too, but it was too late.

It should have been included on this hilarious list that Carolyn sent me.

Do you prefer to see movies in the theater or at home? Home is far superior in terms of comfort, food, bathroom opportunities, and most importantly, lack of people (I checked like almost every box on that buzzfeed quiz about hating people). I also really only like seeing movies that I've already seen, or have read the book. I don't like "new experiences".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My best diet tips

I've donned my labcoat and crunched the numbers. It seems that most people hope I'm wrong, which is hardly a surprise.

In news that shocked me (in a happy way), people other than our immediate family apparently want to know! I feel so special.

I basically can't even think about our sonogram on Tuesday because the anticipation is so out of control that I'll then become even more useless than I already am.

I had a really exciting and crazy day, but unfortunately I can't share any of that on the internet. But I did try a buffalo burger for the first time (Eric's dinner choice).

Trying to show the burger - it looks like every burger I've ever seen.
See that broccoli? It's part of this new thing I'm doing, called "let's try not to give birth at 200 lbs". So far, I haven't really been following that plan. I usually eat fairly healthy meals (not the ones shown on here, because they're boring) but also lots of dessert. Like, take what you think is a lot, then double it. Now double that.

I intended to start yesterday. But then, I had a panic attack at the realization that I wouldn't eat another Reese's egg, Cadbury egg, or peep for an entire YEAR. I was also starving. I woke up around 9 (it was the last day of spring break). Then I couldn't eat because literally everything except for cottage cheese and hardboiled eggs sounded repulsive, but I was too lazy to go to the store to get them. So it was like 2pm by the time I bought them and then the hunger was affecting my decision making so I went to Target and bought all the discount candy I could carry (some of it was for Eric, in my defense) and binged on it, but waaaaay later that night after I had my cottage cheese and eggs.

Cool story, bro.

My BFF Carolyn is a fellow pregger and she suggested this radical idea of eating fruit after dinner (I will not call it dessert). I tried it.

It wasn't the worst thing ever. I could theoretically stick with it a few days a week, especially if the internet holds me accountable.

Also, the universe wanted me to stop being a fatty.

My twitter name is as creative as my instagram name
It all started when I got on the scale on Friday. This is always, always a bad decision unless you've just recovered from stomach flu.

Even worse, I looked at a stupid babycenter message board titled "how much weight did you gain at 18 weeks?". I learned long before I was pregnant that babycenter is THE WORST, but sometimes it still sucks me in. I should know better, especially since most posts have like a 30% chance of referring to the "babby".

I'd really like to hop off the Jessica Simpson train, although I did have a burger on a huge, gluten filled white bun (and did you see all that salt on top? amazing), so I'm not going to extreme measures.

Now let's all admire a bump selfie and shower me with compliments. Kidding. Seriously, don't.

I'm not arching my back, my whootie just gives that illusion
Trust me, this guy compliments me more than all the blog readers in the world ever could.

Here's an unrelated question: what's the protocol on responding to blog comments on blogger? If I respond, the person doesn't get a notification that I responded. But I don't want to look like a jerk and ignore them either. I got a comment yesterday from anonymous that made my day, it was about how I'm approaching pregnancy in a non - Pinterest way, the highest compliment I could ever receive. So ....thoughts? Should I respond in the comments, in a post, not at all?

Most ridiculous diet tip you've ever heard: and go. I was once told not to drink cold water if I wanted to lose weight (which, incidentally, I didn't at the time).



Log your official prediction now

Thank you so much for all the awesome "help babies stay alive" reading suggestions! I can't believe how many people reached out to give suggestions, both in comments and on Facebook. It's SLIGHTLY less terrifying now that I know there's tons of people willing to help.

Sometimes I get really tired and unmotivated. This is far from a new development in my life, but now I have something to blame it on, and no one can argue with me.

On Saturday (edited to add: and Sunday), I originally intended to do things like move, or be a human, but that didn't work out. I just laid down and read various things: blogs, birth stories, my book, Facebook statuses, etc. My diet consisted of toast with jelly, cheese, and some chocolate. #fitpregnancy #eatingfortwo But Sunday I ate actual veggies, and almost no desserts. The sad part was I was too tired to carry out my genius plan of going to the store during Easter dinner time and get all sorts of discount Easter candy.

But one of the kinds of cheeses was havarti with dill, which is basically a vegetable. Plus, jelly = fruit.

This happened. A while ago. It was awkward. I hated it.

You know what else is a bad idea? Telling me I don't really need to eat for two. You don't really need to open your big fat mouth. I'm also not interested in how little weight you gained during your pregnancy. #rant

We toured some daycares over spring break. I would love to take care of my baby myself, at least for like the first year or so. But I'd also love a butler and a boat and a pretty outdoor tulip garden and chocolate not to have calories, but we don't always get what we want. It was a big relief to actually meet some people who might watch our kid, and see that they seem pretty cool with safe, clean centers. It was also weird being on the opposite end of things, after having other people entrusting me with their kid for the past 9 years.

ONE WEEK until we find out the sex. Here's what won't be happening:

  • Making a blue or pink cake
  • Releasing balloons
  • Pinatas with blue or pink confetti
  • Making blue or pink handprints on my belly (seriously, this was on pinterest under "gender reveal")

Actually, if you think gender reveal parties are dumb (no judgement, we just prefer to do things like Hunger Games parties or everyone comes dressed as a different holiday parties), look up "gender reveal" on pinterest so you can laugh.

Here's what will be happening:

  • You should ring in your guess now (I've felt 100% positive on boy since our 8 week ultrasound)
  • I'll chug water then try not to pee myself on the way to the ultrasound (the first part per instructions, the second part is my own preference)
  • We'll ask the tech to tell us and rejoice with "OMG A BOY" or "OMG A GIRL" if I'm wrong (unlikely)
  • We'll tell our families using outdated, pre-pinterest technology - calling or texting
  • We'll go to Target and each get to choose ONE cute gender specific outfit (we've been dying to buy clothes but are getting tons of hand-me-downs either way so we are enforcing this strict limit)
  • I'll probably post a picture of the final outfit choices on instagram, where if you really want to you can follow me under my incredible creative, unique username: http://instagram.com/alyssalindsey
Some old wives tales to consider when making your prediction (those in blue indicate boy, pink for girl):
  • No morning sickness
  • Hair/nails growing super fast
  • Acne 
  • Baby's heart rate above 140 bpm
  • Chinese lunar calendar prediction 
  • Ring test (dangling your wedding ring over your belly)
Here's something weird - I keep waking up starving but don't eat until mid-afternoon because everything I can think of to eat sounds repulsive. I was told that symptom, along with wanting to sleep for 23 hours a day, happened in the first trimester. But I was also told (promised, really, by multiple people) that pregnancy would clear up my skin, so obviously you can't believe everything you hear.

Boy or girl - what do you think?


What do people say to you that really irritates you and makes you want to slap them?

Monday, April 21, 2014

I'm king of the world!

Ringing in 2014, my one main running goal was a 100 mile race. I spent the final few days of December reading everything the internet had to offer on the subject. I figured - I've run a few marathons, I've coached a 5k group, I have access to the internet - I'm clearly qualified to create a 100 mile training plan.

It seems maybe I should stick to my day job. Kara and I both started following it New Year's Day, and after only a few weeks, we both had to stop training. Neither one of us will be running the race. Of course, we each had different reasons. She had to stop training due to an injury.

I stopped training due to pregnancy.


How I get rid of money

As always, spring break flew by way too fast, and tomorrow we go back to work. But I don't tend to be terribly productive or motivated when I'm left to my own devices, so maybe it's a good thing. Also, now every day is one step closer to finding out the sex of our baby and my due date, so I'm not too mad about time off flying by.

I did accomplish some goals. They are all different, yet all related to making sure that the money we have (spoiler alert: two teachers, not much) goes to other people so we don't have it bothering us in our bank account any more.

Some ways we plan to get rid of it:
  • Daycare
  • Other baby stuff (turns out they need like....a lot)
  • Maternity leave
  • Grad school
  • Other graduate courses - a really fun thing about teaching is that even though we don't make very much, we have to get a master's degree to keep our jobs (did you think I was doing it for the love of learning? HA) but then even beyond that, I have to take, and pay for, OTHER graduate level courses to stay employed. Fun, right? Good thing my kids are cute and sweet and our baby will be too (biracial - it's a given).
I dealt with this annoyance in my usual way: baking. We had a girl's dinner Wednesday night, so I made slutty brownies.

3 layers: Blondie, Oreos, brownie

You can't really see just how tall and gooey they are in the pictures


Here, you can see that you had to stretch your hand to its maximum capacity just to hold it.
Friday, Carolyn and I did a little day trip to DC to see the Cherry Blossoms. Despite the fact that numerous DC residents warned us that they were all gone, we were undeterred.

It's still fun to ask strangers to take really touristy pictures.
Logan recommended The Good Stuff eatery, so naturally we started there. A line out the door seemed to be a pretty good sign. Not only did they have delicious burgers, I ordered the small fry and they gave me a large by mistake. I wasn't mad.

That's a turkey burger on a wheat bun, so, healthy.
They also had a dipping bar, and one thing I really, really love is condiments. Most people don't realize this since I hate the most popular ones (ketchup, mayo, sour cream, ranch) but I'm devoted to ones that actually taste good.

DC is only an hour or so from Baltimore, but for some reason most people almost never travel from one city to the other. My friend Cheryl has lived there for 3+ years, but we hadn't seen each other since we were both back home in upstate NY. We were Starbucks baristas together for back in the good old college days.

Here we are in 2005, when she came to visit just after we moved to Baltimore.
2014 - looking just as youthful!

My new life goal is to return to his exact spot with our babies in 2015 and recreate this picture.

After our little trip, Eric and I hung out at home and watched What to Expect When You're Expecting. I highly recommend it, it's hilarious (although warning, it's also kind of terrifying if you're pregnant).

I brushed my teeth when the movie was over and came out to find this - apparently someone was inspired.

What you can't see is a spaghetti squash under the champagne bottle.
We had a pretty amazing Easter celebration. Eric went to work, and I defied the first rule of being alive and ate leftover pizza that some drunk customer at the bar had given Eric the previous night (he's a bartender). I also binge watched The Office, and I don't appreciate Netflix judging me and constantly asking "Are you still watching, you lazy fatty?" Screw you Netflix, I'll do as I please.

Running: I had great 5 mile outdoor runs Wednesday and Thursday, which turned out to be a huge tease. Friday I had the worst ever 3.5 mile treadmill run, and Saturday and Sunday got progressively worse and I BARELY made it through a two mile "run" Sunday. Probably my body just got too used to being excessively lazy and going back to work will help. Hopefully.

What's the number one way you hate to spend your money (outside of obvious answers like mortgage, car payment, taxes and other typical bills)?


Thursday, April 17, 2014

All pregnancy, all the time

I've gotten a lot of pregnancy advice along the lines of "you need rest, don't worry if the house is a mess, it's important to nap". You don't have to tell me twice, I've been ignoring messes since '83. I'm feeling wide awake right now, so I'll just take that to mean "don't worry if the house is a mess, just write a blog post about pregnancy".

I'll start out with a confession. I swore if and when I ever got pregnant (I was being a little dramatic when I swore this) that my blog wouldn't turn in to all pregnancy, all the time. Or even part of the time. We were very lucky to get pregnant quickly. I say quickly because that's what my doctor told me, and I love her (she let me come in without an appointment this week just to hear the heartbeat!) and believe everything she says, plus, you know, went to medical school and all that. And we were/are lucky. But at the time, six months did not feel quick at all. In fact, I got a serious case of pregnancy envy, and had to unsubscribe from every single pregnant blogger, twitter account, and even quit Facebook entirely. Although to be fair, Facebook was and still is annoying for quite a variety of reasons.

Around that time was when I made that grand proclamation to myself. But now here we are, and it's basically impossible to follow. First of all, my life is pretty boring. I'm not hob-nobbing with celebrities or flying around the world, or even really running much. Blogging about pregnancy is pretty redundant and done to death, but it's really all I have right now, other than finding good brownie recipes. Second, it's really, really exciting and essentially takes over all of your thoughts, so it's really hard to write a post where it doesn't worm its way in.

So that's where I am. But I still promise to never include a pregnancy based question at the end, because those really depressed me, like "ok, great, still not pregnant and I can't even f#$%ing comment on this blog".

I'm going to go ahead and make a statement that might make be unpopular, and might also come back to bite me, but here it is. So far, I've really loved being pregnant. I am honestly thankful every single day that I am, and I'm not even going to qualify that with some sort of sarcastic joke. I'll admit to finding myself wishing time away so September can get here sooner and we can meet the baby, but I'm trying to learn patience and enjoy the process, and sleep.

Here's some things that have surprised me so far, 17 weeks into this journey.

1. That show "I didn't know I was pregnant" might not be made up.
I've never actually watched it, but I have had someone tell me in real life this happened to her. Granted I'm less than halfway through, but I could definitely apply to be a contestant if I hadn't taken the at home pregnancy test. Sure, there's a few signs (most notably, hating coffee), especially if I focus on common symptoms and really look for stuff. But nothing that couldn't be explained away easily. Overall, life is pretty much business as usual, just without (much) caffeine and booze.

2. The anxiety
I'm no stranger to this, so the feeling itself is far from surprising. But what I'm anxious about is nothing like I expected. I live in terror of doctors, medical procedures, needles, etc. I always thought that I would instantly be terrified of the giving birth thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I will be, just not yet. I had no idea how long the wait was from the double line to the delivery room, or how much could go wrong in between. Currently, most of my anxiety is focused on just getting to that point, although I'm trying to keep it in check.

3. I feel like I'm getting punked. A lot.
Supposedly this will go away in time, but as stated above, when there's nothing really pointing to the fact that a life is growing inside you, apart from those wonderful fleeting moments at the doctor's office when you can hear the heartbeat, it's hard to actually believe it. I probably took about 20 pregnancy tests the first week I found out, all positive, and still was pretty sure this was a cruel joke. (To be fair, I took about 100 in 2013 that were all negative. I wish that was an exaggeration, but they come in packs of 50 on amazon).

4. Stranger danger
Even though I'm not 100% convinced that this is all going to go down, I still have heart palpitations at the thought of handing the baby over to daycare in January. 2015. Almost a year away.

5. Stuff I thought would happen when I get huge is happening now
I still maintain #1, because like I said, this is all stuff I could rationalize some other way. But I thought things like the bed feeling way too small, running feeling nearly impossible/being out of breath a lot, and constant peeing would be like....month 8. Maybe 7, since I'm short. But no, now. My friend pointed out that even if nothing is happening on the outside, my organs are actually being smushed. So that explains it well enough for me.

6. Pregnancy brain - it's real
I scoffed because right away Eric started mocking me with that every time I made some sort of typical human error. But then one day, I almost failed....at ordering a sub at Wegmans. Like, communicating my order was just too hard for me. Then a rep at Verizon tried to explain this new billing program we could enroll in. She wrote out all the math and drew diagrams. And I was like this:

Finally, I was walking down the hall and decided to stop in a coworker's room for some chocolate. I forgot. I didn't remember until like 7pm that night. I FORGOT TO GET CHOCOLATE.

This week: sh!t is getting real. I'm flying through stuff on my spring break checklist (the stuff I can do from the couch, anyway). I got dates for childbirth/newborn classes, got some bloodwork done, scheduled two daycare visits (by far the scariest thing), joined amazon moms, ordered some baby care books, read a really long article that compares various strollers and car seats and cribs, etc, and got a haircut (unrelated but fun). If anyone has any advice on books that tell you something along the lines of "how the hell do I keep a newborn alive", please share.

What's the most terrifying thing you have done lately? It still shocks me that on that list, getting bloodwork done wasn't #1. #sobrave

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The last vice - food

This weekend, I ran what will most likely be my last race for quite awhile. The Sole of the City 10k.

I had a really rough week of running last week and that tends to really shake your confidence. I barely made it through an outdoor 3 miler, so I was pretty concerned about doing double that distance in the race. I could always just walk it, but I'm really impatient and that takes forever.

I took two days off from running (Thu and Fri) and just did the bike trainer and boot camp instead. My friend Alex is injured, which sucks but works out for my selfish interests, because he ran with me almost the whole way (including walk breaks). The conversation kept me going and I finished well below my goal 12:00 minute mile pace. Official time - 1:11 - a 11:29 pace and only 23 minutes slower than when I PR'd this race last year!

The best thing to do after a race is a road trip. It is known. We went and visited my blogging friend Kari in Connecticut. Sometimes the internet helps you date, sometimes it helps you find BFFs. Except now she doesn't blog so I don't know what to call her.

We used to run marathons in matching outfits. 

Since we're both in the family way, we wanted to enjoy one last freedom filled weekend together (she's due in less than a month!). Since this last hurrah couldn't include our usual favorites - running and drinking - we focused on the one vice left to us: food.

When we arrived, Kari and her husband Mike provided a delicious takeout Thai dinner. I wouldn't have expected to find the best Thai food ever in a small New England town, but so far, that's been my experience. We had waited too long to switch drivers, and I ended up driving through the nightmarish NYC bridge traffic. I needed all my energy to keep us alive and not end up in a straight jacket doing so, which meant I had never eaten lunch. That was actually fine, it just made the Thai food taste even better (hunger is the best seasoning).

It's important to learn from pregnant women further along than you. All 4 of us really wanted ice cream after dinner. I offered to go pick it up with Eric, but Kari pointed out that husbands are, by law, required to bring their pregnant wives ice cream at any time, so we were able to guilt them into going.

Sunday morning, we went for a gorgeous walk along the beach (just the girls).

Then the four of us went to this amazing breakfast place and stuffed our faces beyond belief. It has pancakes approximately the size of bicycle wheels.

We spent the day at the apparently famous Mystic Seaport (we'd never heard of it but my dad and my stepfather both had). It's, as you might expect, a seaport, and also one of those recreated old timey villages.

We are so gorgeous.

I felt like kind of an expert, since I had actually taken a boat ride and watched my students help sail the boat earlier in the week.

Lots of boats.
I feel the need to explicitly state that I captioned the above picture "just the six of us", and that was to mock people who refer to their fetus as a person. Sarcasm doesn't always translate in instagram captions. I will never discuss doing anything "with" my baby until he or she is actually, you know, a baby, like a separate person from myself.

The ship below was a blockade runner and snuck goods into Georgia during the civil war. If you know why that's awesome, you are my people.

It's not a visit with Kari unless we make a ridiculously rich and decadent dessert. This time it was buckeye brownies. Buckeyes are a popular peanut butter/chocolate candy in Ohio, and our resident Ohioan (that's a legit term, Google it), Eric, approved this brownie.

Obviously, I had major concerns about going out of town the weekend of the (probable) Purple Wedding. Kari and Mike are also huge fans, so they secured a spot for us to watch (her parents house) well in advance. It was all I hoped it would be and more.

Once Game of Thrones starts airing, I feel like my life is divided into fans of the books/show (I'm ok with either, reading isn't for everyone), and people I have nothing to talk about with for the next 8 weeks. It's my firm belief that those people are not experiencing one of life's greatest joys.

On Monday, we took a different route home, recommended by Mike, and hit no traffic. It knocked 2.5 hours off the trip and we were happy and life was wonderful and we even did some errands with our extra time. Then we both had grad assignments due by midnight (but, really 9pm for me because like I would stay awake until midnight) so we basically sat at respective computers and didn't speak until the next morning.

Do you like doing cheesy touristy things when you travel? I don't think I need to explain that we love anything cheesy.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An emergency maritime surgery

Teaching has it's drawbacks, mainly the workload to pay ratio, and having no bathroom breaks all day. But there's some upsides, too. Field trips.

Today we got to go on a boat around the Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

It was my favorite type of field trip, run by people who actually know how to deal with children and have age appropriate activities for them, and also in a contained area where I don't have to count kids every 30 seconds to calm my own anxiety. This meant I was basically there as eye candy and just got to sit around and take pictures. It's too bad I can't post them on the internet because they got to sail the boat and it was really cute.

The trip was not without pain and trauma. I was blissfully eating my lunch in the sunlight, enjoying the view, when I reached for something and scratched my finger. It left a long black mark, and tried to wipe it off.

Lo and behold, it was not a mark, it was a GIANT SPLINTER.

Here's a really anticlimactic picture. I wanted to impress people with my injury, like always, but it's hard to take a picture on a boat in direct sunlight during a panic attack. But rest assured, the captain and first mate were both impressed and shocked by the length of the wood embedded in my finger.

You can see the blood, and then the long black mark across my whole knuckle.
They got me tweezers and I tried unsuccessfully for awhile to extract it with my non dominant hand. Then I enjoyed a really awkward fifteen minutes or so of holding hands with the young, not hard on the eyes first mate while he performed a very painful splinter tweezer surgery. I stayed very strong and didn't cry. My mantra was that I would "soon" have to endure childbirth and rumors consistently indicate that consists of pain worse than a random sailor using questionable tweezers to remove a splinter while at sea.

Speaking of, I think I officially have a bump that probably looks like a beer belly to strangers, but we know the truth.

That time I decided to run outside this week. FAIL.

I even pushed through the pain and attended boot camp after school (and I did 30 minutes on the exercise bike this morning). #sobrave

I had my second panic attack of the day when the school nurse advised getting a tetanus shot, because if there's one thing I hate more than random men picking at my skin with sharp tools, or even dogs, it's needles. But I called my doctor and apparently I had one this past August! I love it when things just work out.

Further accomplishments this week include buying this yesterday (despite a random woman in the store warning me not to) and still having some in the bag when I got to bed tonight. It hasn't happened yet but I'm generally too tired to even eat chocolate past 8pm.

I'm hopeful I'll make it through work tomorrow - spring break begins at 3:30.
Saturday I'm doing a 10k that will probably take two hours, and then we are headed to Connecticut to visit former famous blogger Kari!

What's the best and worst part of your job?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tales from the railroad

Last Friday, I had a little train adventure. I took the train from Baltimore, MD to my hometown in NY.

As my fellow NY friends know, when you move out of state, you deal with a lot of stereotypes. This probably happens with all states. If you're from New York, people generally assume that your life was pretty similar to Carrie Bradshaw's, or at least the cast of Friends.

I couldn't find the meme I wanted, but this one had a star next to my small hometown that no one has ever heard of.

I've straight up had people not believe me when I try to explain that I'm just from a normal suburb and rarely saw Broadway shows, because while I love musicals, the 400 mile trip to Manhattan was an obstacle.

My train was scheduled to have a layover in Manhattan.
Not the most direct route.

That's a place with such good food that it is infuriating to be there for a short time and not be able to eat it all. It makes me want that stuff they offered to Peeta in the Capital to let him eat ALL THE THINGS.

I wasn't there long, this was the best picture I could get.

So hard choices had to be made. In case you forgot the random fact from my blog post last week, my priority was a NYC bagel, one of the most perfect foods known to man. This wasn't going to be easy - I had to get up at 4am to fit in a run before my journey, and I wasn't getting to NYC until 8:30am. But I would persevere.

Eric dropped me off at the train station at 5:50 for my 6:10 train. I walked in, and saw the train was canceled. Insert awesome WTF gif here.

Luckily they were able to rebook me on a later train, but it meant I would have only 20 minutes in NYC before my next train - aka not nearly enough time for a bagel. I wasn't about to starve, so I got an extremely sub par one from Dunkin Donuts.

For most of my first train trip, I had a table and four seats all to myself. I had a lot of work to do, and usually my plan in that situation would be to put it all off until the last minute, and then feel guilty and not enjoy myself the rest of the day because it was hanging over my head.

In an extremely un-me like move, I got started right away and knocked out the majority.

This picture doesn't quite capture how industrious I was.

I thought the food gods had turned their backs on me, but I was wrong. I missed my next train, and ended up with three hours in NYC. I was able to meet my blog/internet/email friend Emily for the first time, and we had an amazing lunch.

NY pizza - the next best thing to a bagel

I am always afraid blogger meetups will be awkward, but like the rest, this one was so much fun.

Emily suggested getting that bagel for dinner, and it was all I hoped it would be and more.

I also got a delicious marble cookie from a bakery she recommended. Picture a cookie the size of your face with butter stains on the bag it came in (the number one sign of a baked good is about to rock your world).

My stepfather picked me up, and I was greeted with my favorite flowers in the guest room, and a sweet Ravens shirt for the baby!

These almost made up for the fact that it snowed the next morning.
Unfortunately, I didn't see those flowers until FIFTEEN HOURS after leaving Baltimore. The train is lovely and relaxing and has free WiFi and I got crap done and read books and didn't have to fear for my life if I started falling asleep. But I could have driven all the way to Rochester and back to Baltimore and had an hour or so to spare in the time it took me.

I passed out not long after arriving. In the morning, I did Jillian Michaels yoga meltdown with my sister. I guess this shouldn't have surprised me, but this wasn't relaxing, let's stretch and focus on our breathing and aura type yoga. It was more "OMG I AM GOING TO DIE" yoga.

I had a great weekend and was super busy running around seeing family and friends, but you don't know those people and don't care. So let's talk about more phenomenal food.

Stuffed avocados. My sister has been telling me how delicious these are for years. They did not disappoint.

Dinner was two entrées shared with my sister (the only person who will ever do this with me). A cheddar/bacon/caramelized onion stuffed burger, and ahi tuna spicy tacos. No picture because the burger just looked like a burger, trust me it was superior.

Next, a cupcake tasting for my sister's upcoming bridal shower. My mom was the chef, which was great for 3 reasons.

1. She's the best baker on earth
2. I got to wear my pjs and go directly to bed after.
3. I got to take lots of leftovers home.

Coconut cupcakes with homemade lemon curd and whipped cream.

White cake with white chocolate raspberry buttercream.
Sunday morning I was reintroduced to an old friend.
Can't quite go black yet, and haven't had it since but....still.
Brunch was a veggie frittata (Pioneer Woman recipe), pulled pork hash, and lemon blueberry coffee cake.

A few pictures from my time with one person everyone (with a soul, at least) wants to see.

He took a bunch of selfies. And added filters.

Then my friend Casi and I made the six hour drive home. I'm pretty sure that my combined travel time this weekend was enough to make it to Australia. Worth it.

What stereotypes exist about your home state?