Saturday, January 28, 2012

girl time

Last weekend we got to go to the wedding of our friends, Cristina and Jonathan. Seeing all of our friends in the same place reminded us of how little we see them. Heather, Natalie and I promptly scheduled a girls date. Today was the day and it was much needed. I picked up some happy hour beverages from Sonic, Heather brought chips and guac (and Lillian), and Natalie contributed pizza (and her two dolls, Brooke and Ciara). We spent a solid 3 hours enjoying one another's company and laughing at the adorableness of 3 kids aged 3 and under.

Heather & Brooke... I can't remember why they were yelling
Me and Brooke after partaking in a Blue Coconut slush
Best buddies
I'm so glad we were able to get together, even if just for a few hours. It's our goal to make this a monthly thing. Hopefully we'll be able to follow through!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Just one more week until 2nd trimester! Not that I'm counting or anything :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

guest post

I guest posted over at the blog Wildflower Weddings today. It's one of my friend, Nikki's, ventures. You can check it out here!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


You know the gorgeous glow pregnant women supposedly get? Men who have been interviewed have said cosmetic companies would make millions if they could capture it in make-up form. Naturally, I'm like one giant, bronzed goddess. Except not at all. And I feel jipped.

My "pregnancy glow" has manifested itself as ridiculous, uncontrollable break-outs. Traditionally, I've been a "greasy T" kind of girl. When I would get breakouts, they were usually localized to my chin or forehead. I haven't really had issues with acne--just the occasional (moderate) stress-induced breakout. Baby Flip changed all of that.

My chin and forehead are covered. Baby Flip isn't satisfied with that, though. Baby Flip also elected to make my cheeks break out terribly. Because getting fat isn't a big enough self-confidence killer. Since about 6 1/2 weeks I've been fighting the deep pimples that hurt. Nothing I've tried works. Until now... kind of.

I was whining to a girlfriend at school about it and she suggested I mix equal parts baking soda and honey and add just enough water to make a paste. I was skeptical at first, but after using it for about a week it's worked better than any other remedy I've tried. The baking soda acts as a gentle exfoliant and the honey is naturally anti-microbial. It smells gross and it leaves a weird film feeling on my skin, but I'll take it if it provides even minimal relief. Plus, once I moisturize with my Say Yes to Cucumbers moisturizer, the film and scent are gone.

I made a big batch of the wash and I stored it in one of Jon's empty hair gel containers.

On the up side, my morning sickness and food aversions appear to be (knock on wood) easing up a bit. I've been able to eat at least one real meal a day for the past 3-5 days or so. And I'm finally starting to crave things (alfredo with bow tie pasta for dinner tonight, sour kraut thanks to my mother-in-law last night, etc). Maybe acne relief will walk hand-in-hand with the morning sickness relief. In the meantime, I'll resort to my honey face wash. I recommend it to anyone who's tried traditional products for break-outs that didn't do anything for them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the nesting crisis

I am a habitual nester (exhibits A, B and C).

I was worried how much becoming pregnant would throw my inherent need to nest into overdrive. The first few weeks it did just that. I was organizing, re-organizing, throwing away, and envisioning the nursery. Poor Jon was exhausted from watching me run to and fro.

Then morning sickness happened. Then we realized we will probably need to move when our lease is up at the end of May because 1) we need more space and 2) our walls are paper-thin which is not conducive to silencing cries for our downstairs neighbor.

The end result has been a huge surprise for me. I'm over nesting. Not only do I have no inclination to nest, but I also have no inclination to cook, clean, or do anything that resembles organizing. Our apartment has been a disaster for nearly 4 weeks now and it doesn't even bother me. What is happening?? All I want to do is lay on the couch, nap, and take extra long showers. Jon has been a saint the duration of this pregnancy. He carried the slack when the nausea/cold(s) were at their worst and literally waited on me hand and foot whilst simultaneously keeping our house in order. Now that the season of severe illness has passed I've been able to take back some of my slack (this weekend I did the laundry, some picking up, etc.) but I've literally only done what it takes to keep our apartment from reaching 'condemned' territory. Part of me hopes this phase passes soon, but I mostly just want to nap.

Monday, January 23, 2012

the reactions

We were able to capture our families reactions to the news on tape. This was very important to me because I'm an advocate of catching all of life's major events on film--Jon taped his proposal, we have a tape of our wedding, and naturally this was next on the "do to" list. Also, we all know Youtube pregnancy announcements, military homecomings, and wedding proposals are my weakness. So without further adieu, I give you the reactions:

If you want descriptions how we announced it exactly, you can click each video and it will take you to my Youtube page. The video descriptions explain everything.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

catching up

I've been delaying publishing this post for literally weeks. By now I think you know why. Since we waited to share the great news, I decided to keep a running draft of the things I'm feeling in the meantime.

Black Friday 2011 - Easily the BF I'll always remember. I was sick with an unknown bug for weeks leading up to today and finally it messed with my asthma in all the worst ways. I went to an Urgent Care to get some medical attention.They ran tests. The doctor returned. "I have an early Christmas present for you..." I drove straight to Jon's work where I broke down in tears. I could barely get the words out. "We're going to have a baby." I collapse in Jon's arms, sobbing. I'm exactly 4 weeks pregnant.

11/26/11 - I took a 2nd test today. Just to make sure.

11/28/11 - I went to the doctor today for blood work to see if I'm "pregnant enough" to schedule my first ultrasound. I may have called the doctor's office 13 times before they opened to schedule my appointment. Oops.

11/29/11 -  Guess who's "pregnant enough"?  I'm blood type O-, I'm Rh negative (which could mean complications down the road) and my HCG level was 598. We scheduled our first ultrasound for December 19 at 9:15 am. It's finally hitting me. Tonight I yelled at Jon that our apartment is much too small, our furniture is much too big, and I'm starting to get anxious about all of this. Then I made a mental note to beg my mom to re-arrange our apartment to make it feel bigger once we break the news to everyone at Christmas. Baby, you've been keeping me up at night for nearly 4 days now, but I'm not tired during the day. It's a strange switch from the chronic fatigue I always seemed to battle...

12/2/11 - Today I'm 5 weeks. I think the fatigue is finally starting to hit. I haven't been sleeping well--lots and lots of bathroom runs. I can only imagine what life will be like when baby's big enough to sit on my bladder!

12/6/11 - We saw Jon's parents over the weekend. It was the first time we saw them since we found out. It was SO hard not saying anything. I've also started to have cravings for things like vegetables. I've probably eaten my weight in veggies over the last few days. I seriously can't get enough. Thus far I've had no encounters with morning sickness or anything of the like, for which I am eternally grateful. I hope it stays that away!

12/9/11 - 6 weeks! Morning sickness is officially in full force. Along with the morning sickness are some serious food aversions. Grocery shopping is a nightmare. Nothing sounds appetizing. I've been eating lots of saltines and cuties which are thus far tolerable, but some of my normally favorite foods (orange chicken, asparagus, hobo burritos, etc.) are definitely on the "not a chance" list right now.

12/16/11 - 7 weeks! You're the size of a blueberry today, Baby Flip. You also still make me VERY nauseous most of the time--I have no appetite for just about anything! And yet, I've gained 2 pounds since I became pregnant. I don't understand. I also hope there aren't two of you in there--Mommy probably can't handle two at first. My family is celebrating Christmas on Sunday night--that's when we're telling them about you. I'm very nervous about it, not sure how they'll react. Don't worry, though, we're going to video tape it so you can see how Gram & Gramps TRULY felt about you at first ;)

12/18/11 - Today we told my family about you. To do this, we wrapped up this present and handed it to them:

They were all happy. At first my mom thought we got them ear plugs as a bit of a gag gift because my parents are both notorious snorers. We got their reactions on tape but I'm not sure how the audio checked out. I need to check it. Tomorrow we get to see the babe in an ultrasound for the first time. I'm very nervous that something will be wrong. Please let that sweet heart of yours be beating, my dear...

12/19/11 - Dear baby: We got to see you today. We also got to hear your heartbeat! The second the ultrasound tech turned on the screen she said, "I already see the heartbeat!" More comforting words have never been spoken. She said everything looks great, your heartbeat was 159 beats per minute. I panicked at first when I saw your yolk sac because I thought you had a sibling in there. The tech reassured me that it was indeed just a yolk sac and that you're the only bean in my belly. She confirmed I am approximately 7 weeks, 3 days pregnant and due around August 3. The next time we'll get to see you is at 20 weeks for an "anatomical" scan. I have appointments about once per month for check-ups, though, so we can make sure I stay healthy for you.

12/21/11 - Baby Flip, today you made me fall off my rocker. I have been craving an eggnog latte (decaf, obviously) for about two weeks now so on my lunch I ventured to Starbucks, gift card in hand, to obtain one. What do I order, instead? Gingerbread latte. What do TWO separate baristas ask me? "So you had the gingerbread latte?" How do I respond? "Yep!" When does it hit me? When I notice the "GL" on the cup. How do I react? Sobs. Pathetic, uncontrollable, call-Jon-about-how-irrational-my-life-has-become sobs. And the worst part is I know how much it was my fault (seriously; they asked me THREE TIMES) and how irrational my emotional response is. All Jon said was, "it's just your pregnancy brain and hormones. It's okay." He's right, but this is just sad. In related news, this tall, decaf, gingerbread latte is pretty good.

12/23/11 - 8 weeks! Still dealing with the nausea and also a pregnancy-related UTI. The antibiotics they have me on upset my stomach, but I'm trying to hang in there. These food aversions have gotten out of hand. I'm down 6 pounds since finding out you exist.

12/25/11 - We told Jon's parents and his extended family last night and the rest of his family today. We also broke the news to several of our friends today. Everyone is pretty excited about you, little one. We're pretty excited about you, too.

12/27/11 - Misery. Today marks the first time I have actually gotten physically sick with this morning sickness. I also called my doctor because I'm having all sorts of lady part problems. She called in another prescription for me and I'm hoping this will take care of all these issues once and for all. All I know is that right now I am absolutely falling apart. August 3 can't come soon enough.

12/29/11 - Threw up again today despite starting a vitamin B6/Unisom regimen that seemed to help with the nausea aspect of morning sickness last night. I also have a horrendous cold and am entirely worn out. I told Jon last night we must be having a boy because it feels like this baby is sucking the life out of me. Jon said that sounds more indicative of a girl. We'll know in about 7 months.

12/30/11 - 9 weeks. I was too sick to get the 8 week picture. Oops.

1/5/12 - I realized today that Girl Scout cookie season is upon us. As a result, this is what I've been looking at for 20 minutes:
I signed up to find 'dem cookies. This website is seriously my pregnancy porn. BUT WHO DOESN'T LOVE A COOKIE WITH A MISSION??

1/10/12 - We hit 10 weeks on Friday but haven't taken a picture yet. Oops! I had a check-up today and I got to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler! I panicked at first because it took the nurse about 30 seconds to find it. Once she did, though, it was clear as day. Today is the first day I think it's actually hit me. It hasn't completely hit me, just a little. Nonetheless, we're having a baby!!

1/22/12 - If this seems to end abruptly it's because it does--morning sickness has really kept me down and out lately. We super dropped the ball on belly photos. We're 12 weeks and 2 days today and so glad we can finally openly talk about this huge event in our lives.

so about my absence lately...

There's a little something I've been keeping from you for the past 8-odd weeks. Something that's both as small as a plum but also very, very big. I've been so excited to tell you that I actually wrote this entry on January 5th and delayed posting it until today.

See that plum? That's how big our baby is. That's right--today marks 12 weeks (and a few odd days) of our first pregnancy!

Obviously, a big part of why I've been so miserably sick for the last 2 months has to do with our little plum. It's also why I've been so absent from YNP--a combination of nausea, fatigue, general discomfort, and the fact that this pregnancy is the biggest thing that's happening in my life and we felt it was best to wait to break the news to the internet world. Well, now that the cat's out of the bag (and I'm so close to what will hopefully be a MUCH easier 2nd trimester!) you can expect lots and lots of annoying posts from now on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

shout out

I started [my last semester of grad school] classes yesterday so the next few days are bound to be hectic as I transition back into student mode. Jon started a week or two ago so he's well into the swing of things.

However, I wanted to take a second and make a few shout outs, namely:

Happy birthday to the best mom a girl could ever ask for!
You and Dad have done an incredible job raising me. You gave me everything I ever asked for (within reason) but still taught me the value of being independent and providing for myself. I have so many great memories from growing up. I don't know how you tolerated my clinginess and separation anxiety for as many years as you did, but I'm very glad you didn't kill me. My only hope is that eventually I will be the kind of mom you are. I love you!

And also happy birthday to the best father-in-law a girl could ever ask for!
You and MIL have done an incredible job raising Jon to be exactly the man I need him to be. It's almost like you knew what a basket case he'd marry from a young age so you gave him the genetic code/tools he'd need to deal with his now-wife! I am so grateful that I don't have any my-in-laws-are-crazy stories like so many others do. You make it easy being a part of the family!

And yes, Jon's dad and my mom were born on the same exact date, down to the year. They were even born around the same time--just an ocean apart.Crazy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

the much-overdue christmas post

Given it's 15 days into the new year, I figured it's about time I give a recap of our Christmas with Jon's family.

It's Polish tradition to have a meatless Christmas eve. Since several of us 'kids' don't like fish, the family has catered to our needs with french fries, macaroni and cheese, pierogies, etc. We have a feast (followed by a 2nd feast of dessert) then exchange gifts. It's always really fun and Jon's family is priceless.


Kelly & Marc
Do you notice a similarity in the brothers' expressions?
Typically, since my family celebrates Christmas early, we spend Christmas day in Youngstown with the Puerto Rican side of Jon's family. They are hilarious and I love being exposed to a different take on Christmas dinner--pork, rice and beans, plantains, etc. I'm particularly fond of plantains.


This Christmas was definitely a memorable one. We are so blessed to be surrounded by our families and friends and are very aware of how loving they've been to us over the past several years.

Monday, January 9, 2012

angela & the zoo

My weekend with Angela was amazing. I feel pretty bad because I wasn't feeling too well so I was a pretty lame host, but she was a great sport!

She got in Friday night and brought me 2 bags of the most delicious tortilla chips ever that you can't get in Ohio. We mostly chatted and caught up. On Saturday we got breakfast, ran a few errands, got Thai for dinner, and hung out around the apartment. That night we met up with Nikki & Desiree, Nikki's husband, Jim, and their friend Alex at the Barley House in Akron for drinks and dancing. Sadly Jon had to work a ridiculously long/late shift and couldn't join us. We talked and talked until dancing started and then danced our faces off until 12:30--such a feat for me!! It ended up being a really fun time and I hope to do it again soon!

On Sunday Jon had to work again and I was wiped from the night before so we had a very low key day around the house. We ended up going to Olive Garden for dinner to get our spaghetti on:

When we got home we watched Angels and Demons and seized the opportunity for another photo:

Today we went to the Rainforest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. I was shocked when I got home to realize I had taken 85 photos. I've selected some of my favorites:

That breastfeeding looks painful. 

I dropped Angela off at the airport at 4:30. I was sad to see her go! We agreed that next time I'm in Chicago we will coordinate so that she can be there, too.