Monday, September 29, 2014

Things I Learned on my Sickbed

I'm happy to be writing this on the other side of a pretty awful five days; and more so that I can sit up and not cough long enough to write. A tickle in my throat Tuesday turned into a pretty crummy feeling Wednesday which had me in my doctor's office Thursday with a diagnosis of bronchitis and possible pre-pneumonia. Pretty scary stuff, especially at 12 weeks pregnant! I was given antibiotics and told to stay home the rest of the week but by Friday night I could barely breathe. It was painful and terrifying so after being up all night we headed into the ER in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday where I was told I had full-blown pneumonia. I spent 8 hours doing breathing treatments, and getting IV antibiotics and steroids to open me up. I was able to feel better enough at the end of all that to convince my Dr. I could avoid being admitted overnight, and now I'm feeling loads better; I even walked to the park at the corner without getting winded tonight! Such a sad accomplishment for a marathoner who hasn't had bronchitis in about 20 years!
I had a lot of time on my hands, so here is what I took away from all this sick time. 

In sickness and in health is real. 
I have a very awesome husband and the way he took care of me, Maddie and everything that needed to happen for me to get better was nothing short of heroic. It's awful to be sick, even more so when pregnant and worse yet when you have a two year old who has no concept of leaving Mama alone. Matty did everything for me, even getting sick himself in the process and I could not love him more for it. 

Family saves the day. 
My AIL was kind enough to throw her weekend out the window to take Maddie while we were at the ER so I wouldn't have to be alone and Maddie could have some time to run around and be a kid. Then, she even took her for a few hours on Sunday so we could rest and Maddie could to the aquarium. What would we do without her? No, really, I can't even comprehend a world without her!

I don't do "nothing" well. 
There are only so many blogs to read, episodes of Six Feet Under to binge watch and social media to peruse before I lose my mind. I had to miss out on two birthday parties, hours of painting the house and so many miles of running this weekend! It was miserable. I seriously start getting depressed and melancholy when I can't do stuff...hence the groceries and house cleaning and slow cooker dinners at the world's slowest pace yesterday. I just don't have that off switch! I sucked it up and did what I needed for me and this baby I'm growing, but goodness was it tough.

So, I'm feeling a lot better and happy/terrified of my desk for going back to work tomorrow. Thanks to all my lovely friends and family who texted and offered help; it was much appreciated and will be reciprocated in chicken soup whenever you need it!

My little nurse keeping watch over Mama with her iPad and cuddles. 

Hooray for feeling better and a few minutes at the park!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Currently: First Trimester Edition

You guys, I am so excited that the cat is out of the bag about this bun in my oven so I can finally talk about it over here! The funny thing about second pregnancies is how much less emphasis there is on everything; the first time around it was all I thought about all the time and was SO amazing every time it crossed my mind. It is still amazing and wonderful and all those things now, but I have been there/done that/know what to expect and I am so busy chasing a toddler around that there is little time to lay around and eat golden grapes off a chaise lounge like the baby-making goddess I am.

I thought I would start with a little catch up of how this first trimester has been (the good and the bad!) as I approach the 12 week marks and things start getting real!


Reading: I am still trying to work my way through  a book about the ballerina Alicia Markova that I first read about in Vogue. It is a really great book and such an interesting story but it is soooo long that I only get about 1/1,000,000th through on my subway commute and reading at night is, well, not a possibility since I can't even be bothered to be awake much past 9pm these days.

Eating: ALL THE THINGS! Now that I am feeling less crummy I am definitely eating more, though I find that stuffing myself immediately leads me to a bad place, so I have been trying to cut down my portions from their usual pre-pregnant huge amounts in order to avoid any gross feeling. Unlike my last pregnancy I have no food aversions so far (last time it was chicken on the bone that made me want to run and scream) though there are times when I see something that I would normally eat and think it is the worst idea ever. My previous craving for Subway turkey sandwiches is back in full swing though, so thank goodness there is one right across from my office!

Thinking About: Getting our new place painted and organized before this new little human comes home and we have to reorganize everything again! I still haven't painted Maddie's room and would really like to make better use of the huge closet that she has. I am hoping that cooler weather and a slowing down social calendar (someday) will mean more weekend days at home and time to focus on the important things like crown molding and throw pillows. I guess nesting comes earlier the second time around, just like the bump!

Listening: To my body, a lot. I am continuing to run and it is one heck of a humbling experience. I am not a fast runner by any means, but after my last marathon I finally started doing some speed work and was getting fast for me. I knew that we were going to be trying for another baby at some point so I didn't throw everything into it since I knew I would have to start over postpartum, but I was still making some progress. Those speedy miles are now long gone, and I really have to get over myself and just be glad that I am still dragging myself out of bed most mornings and putting those miles in, no matter how slow because this is about keeping that baby safe and healthy, not the number on my watch (which I quit wearing for a while to get back to listening to my body and not watching a pace). Yes, I am going to be that super pregnant woman running down the street bump out, and no, I do not want to hear about why I should be at home with my feet up. Pregnancy is not an excuse to be lazy or feed into that whole disability bullshit our culture spins :)

Watching: Preferably, the backs of my eye lids, but also a lot of Frozen (Maddie finally got around to being obsessed with it, especially the reindeer Sven). Last weekend at the grocery store Maddie busted into a mash up of 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman' and 'Frosty the Snowman', which was pretty epic. Other than that, I barely make it to Maddie's bedtime these days, so I watch what she watches in the 20 minutes between tubbie and books and then call it a night!

Loving: The fact that we are going to have a sweet, snuggly baby to bring home in 6 months! There seem to be a lot of pictures of babies going around on my Facebook feed lately and it is getting me pretty excited for those sweet newborn smells. I am also loving how Maddie is really starting to get into the idea of being a big sister; she kisses my belly and asks me how the baby feels and it really is just about the sweetest thing in the world. As an only child this is a totally foreign situation to me but I am thankful that I am going to give Maddie someone that will (hopefully) be a best friend for life.

I leave you with this sweet picture of Maddie snuggling her new Lady dog that she got as a gift in the mail the same day as her Lady and the Tramp DVD. So stoked to watch this a bunch of times this weekend :)
Happy Friday, y'all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

About That Pregnancy

We definitely could not be anymore excited to tell everyone the news that we are adding a fourth member to our family. Not one to like to keep any sort of good news to myself, I enlisted Maddie to help spread the word to all our friends and family on Facebook. I think her face says it all! Big sister status is exciting stuff!

Although we were trying, the fact that I am pregnant came as a pretty big surprise,  especially since the stress and sleepless nights of the home buying situation were not what I considered prime conditions under which to make a baby. But, lo and behold, we got exactly what we wished for and found out the first morning in our new house, which is a pretty funny story:

Matty had taken a quick trip back to the old place to get the rest of our things that the awful movers couldn't fit in the truc the day before. As he did that I did a little unpacking while also getting us ready to go to the Newport Jazz Fest. I happened to be in the bathroom and came across the pregnancy tests that I bought in anticipation of our plan and decided to take one since I was a couple of days late (which I had  honestly chalked up to the stress of the move). What a surprise when I came back to check on it and saw that one little word that had changed our life a few years before. PREGNANT! Of course, Matty was not home yet so I called him and tried to play it cool while trying to figure out when he was going to be back because I absolutely cannot keep anything from him, especially something like this! I paced around like a crazy woman until he got home and then non-chalantly asked him if he had remembered seeing the bin of maternity clothes we store in the basement. It took him a minute to figure out why  was asking such an obscure question in the middle of all the moving chaos, but when it hit him, he lit up just as I knew he would and we had a little "holy crap we did it and this is all happening and  ahhhhhhh!!!!" moment together. 

And now, here we are!

My first pregnancy was a dream with not one iota of sickness and all the time in the world to pamper myself, sleep and act like I was the first pregnant  woman to ever grace the planet with my fertile presence.  This one, well, not so much. While I have not been so sick as to throw up, I spent the first 8 weeks in a constant state of wishing I would just puke and feel better or that I could just lay down and not get up for 9 months. Unfortunately, a busy toddler, a new house, a progressing career and a triathlon to train for made all of that completely impossible. I sucked it up as best I could, let myself be a hot mess in the confines of our new house, and luckily had a pretty great upswing at the 8 week mark. Lucky for us, my Mom had been with us for the 7th week and helped us out a ton and then on the way to take her to the airport and spend a long weekend in Vermont I bought Sea Bands and ginger lozenges that combined pretty awesomely with fresh mountain air and three days of naps and relaxation. We drove home from Vermont to make my first doctor appointment and I was already feeling so much more human and ready to hear that sweet little heartbeat. Talk about tears of joy when the nurse picked up that sound and then pulled Maddie in for a listen!

This little one will be here right around Easter and with a second-time baby bump already pushing out, I am starting to get pretty excited. I cannot wait to see Maddie in a sibling role and watch that amazing husband of mine become an amazing Daddy to another little one. 

As for me, I am on a train from NYC to Boston and sat next to the cafe car for a reason :)

Thanks for sharing in this excitement with us!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Friday!

These two and their shenanigans. I just had to post this cuteness.

Hi y'all!

Just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a happy Friday, mostly because I just really love typing that it is finally Friday. It has been a very busy week between work, Matty back in classes and trying to not sleep through my half-marathon training runs (the weather is just so crisp and perfect for sleeping at night!).

Today is our four year wedding anniversary, and to celebrate we are going to my AIL's house to do laundry and not make our own dinner. I know, it IS heavenly. Then tomorrow we get to go out on a dinner date to canoodle and talk about how incredibly awesome the last four years have been. I am so proud of everything that we have accomplished together: a healthy child, our own home, growing careers and so much travel, laughs and memories. I really, really love that man of mine and am amazed at how these years are flying by.

Four years ago!
We have absolutely not one single thing on the iCal for Sunday, which has not happened in at least a couple of months. I am hoping to get some more unpacking and organizing done and maybe get some more painting done. Whatever we do, I just hope it involves a nap!

Monday I am off to NYC for work meetings, staying overnight and then heading home Tuesday afternoon on the Acela, which I plan on taking lots of pictures of for Maddie, because trains, duh. I don't get a lot of time in NYC to myself but I am excited to do my little five miler Tuesday morning around Manhattan; running in other cities is so fun to me, and getting lost in NYC is so hard, so really it is the perfect combination.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend planned, too!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Long Weekend in Vermont

This past weekend our little family drove up to the Brattleboro, VT area to spend the long weekend and see our nanny get married. We dropped my Mom off at the airport Saturday morning (booo) and were up there in the great wide open in time for lunch. We had such a wonderful time, so much in fact that we are already planning our next visit (which is saying a lot since a certain husband person usually doesn't care much about non-beach side destinations.

Our trip was made extra awesome due to where we stayed, which was a lovely loft house attached to a farmhouse in Putney, VT. The house was great for us - two bedrooms, a full kitchen and the most beautiful views. The farm had horses, chickens, a dog, cats and goats, which were the highlight of Maddie's experience when she got to walk them on a leash! We were allowed to get fresh eggs out of the chicken coop, which were absolutely delicious. There really is nothing like farm fresh eggs, and having Maddie go help Dada get them and connect exactly where eggs come from was pretty neat!

The wedding was on Saturday so after we got checked in and had some time to recharge and get ready, we were off to another beautiful property to celebrate. It was the first Quaker wedding I have attended and I probably cried more happy tears than anyone there; it was so intimate, beautiful and inclusive of everyone in attendance, including our little flower girl, who may have been so excited that she passed out before the cake was even cut. It was such an honor for us to be there and get to meet so many wonderful people in both their families since we already consider them members of ours! 
The one picture I took! It was nice to be unplugged though :)
The dinner was all sourced from the groom's cousin's farm and was absolutely to die for delicious. I feel like we are at an age where we get to attend a lot of weddings, and I am always judging the food against what we had at our wedding (hello, raw bar), and this dinner was right up there in its amazingness. Even the salad, which included edible flowers, was so fresh and delicious! It was seriously so good, and we got to sit with the farmer and his sweet wife and ask them all sort of questions about farm life. They even invited us to come out to the farm to see it for ourselves, which we ended up doing! We ended up leaving the wedding pretty early since Maddie was passed out in her Dada's lap, but we had such an amazing time and I am so excited to see pictures when they get them!

Sunday morning all of us slept in and then went back to the wedding venue for breakfast and to see the newly married couple off for a mini-moon. It was a nice chance to see everyone again and get to spend some more time on the beautiful property. I also got a chance to get some of the cake with maple frosting that I missed out on, so I was very happy for that! Afterwards we went back to the house for a nap (well, at least I took one) and then spent the rest of the day and evening playing around the farm and cooking dinner together. 

Monday morning I made it out for a run, despite having a bit of a head cold. Silly me forgot that Vermont has this thing called elevation, in addition to a whole lot of hills, so let's just say my run was not my best, but I made it out and my butt muscles are still sore! After I recovered we cashed in our invite and headed to The Bunker Farm; we had perfect timing and pulled up just as a bunch of the wedding guests and their kids showed up, so Maddie got to run around and see the animals with some other kiddos. We saw chickens, turkeys, sheep, cows and the biggest pigs I have ever seen in my life, Maddie was pretty brave and pet everyone she could reach after a little help from Dada. She especially loved the cows, who were very responsive to her pats on their heads! 
Talking to the sheep.
Patting the cows.
After our farm adventure we headed across the border to Walpole, NH to get some ice cream at the suggestion of our AirBnB hosts. We decided on the Walpole Creamery and were super happy with our choice once we saw the size of those scoops! Matt got one scoop and this is how huge it was. Let's just say my two scoops was an absurd amount that I managed to polish off with the help of my selfless husband. 
One delicious scoop for one handsome dude.
Waiting for our scoops!
After our big ice cream lunch we headed back for another bit of napping and relaxing and then decided to go out for an early dinner at a brew pub that I had looked up before the trip that was also endorsed by our lovely hosts. Turns out I chose right, and had the best burger and fries that I have had in a while at Whetstone Station. They had some great beers that they brew on-site and a really great menu; Matty got bratwurst, which he really liked and the kid's menu came with a yummy cookie that was not easily shared with Mama. The building actually sits on the VT/NH border so the border line runs right through the restaurant, which reminded me of the CalNeva in Tahoe and how cool I thought that was when I was a kid (Maddie thought her grilled cheese was cooler; maybe next visit). 

Since our hosts offered us such a great deal, we ended up staying until Tuesday, which I was so glad for. We did a whole lot of relaxing, breathing in fresh air and just enjoying being together. It was the perfect way to unwind after the excitement of home buying, moving and then having my Mom with us, and made me feel really recharged and ready to get back to business at home, work and with my new half marathon training (especially after that sad excuse for 6 miles!). 
We are definitely looking forward to going back again someday - thanks, Vermont, for a lovely trip!
Hanging out on the porch of our rental. 
Maddie hanging out with one of her goat friends. 
The view from the back door included these pretty horses.

The house had this AND a wooden rocking horse. Maddie was in heaven.
Farm fresh eggs and locally canned strawberry rhubarb jam!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Currently: End of Summer Edition

I cannot believe that Labor Day weekend is just a few days away! So much has happened this Summer since my last Currently post and I can honestly say this has been a Summer for the books! Here is what we are up to as the summer rolls out and pumpkin everything  Fall comes in behind it.

Reading: I am a couple hundred pages away from completing Allegiant, which is the final book in a trilogy by Veronica Roth, and it is due back at the library tomorrow so I better hurry! Most of my friends had a decline in their enjoyment of the books as the trilogy went on, and while I do agree that the first one was the best, I am actually still into the second and third. As with a lot of YA books, I do get a little annoyed at the brooding, poor decision, boy-crazy female protagonist, but it made for some good summer reading.

Eating: I am trying to get in all the yummy summer fruits before they are gone, and have been incorporating lots of random berries into my morning smoothies. Also, I started prepping them in freezer bags after seeing this hack and it has made my mornings so much smoother (ha! get it?). I am going to be asking Santa for a smoothie blender for Christmas to replace our regular ol' one; any suggestions on what to ask for?

Thinking About: Fall! I do love the summer, but Fall in New England is the cat's pajamas. Cooler weather, my favorite fashion season, pumpkin everything, and less chaotic weekends; yes, please. I feel like things are going to be SO fun with Maddie this year: apple picking, Halloween, leaf peeping, all those things Matty and I love to do but through the eyes of our little adventurer. I am loving the warm weather this week, but I am definitely eyeballing those boots in my closet.

Listening: Maddie has the best party trick in which she sings the chorus to Knock on Wood (in the vein of Otis Redding); is is by far the cutest thing I have ever seen, so I play it a lot to get her to do it. That led to more Otis, and then some James Brown, and before I knew it my Amazon Prime was like Soul Train. No complaints here though, if she wants to get down to Papa's Got a Brand New Bag over any new popular music I will gladly indulge her.

Watching: It turns out that not having cable has been a really minor change, mostly because we still have access to Showtime and HBO, thanks to some friends' accounts, so I have been playing catch up with Nurse Jackie. I have also started to watch Six Feet Under on Amazon because I never finished the series after starting to watch it in that year I took off between undergrad and graduate school. Man, that show was good!
I will admit that I am a little sad to be missing out on Son's of Anarchy and some terrible E! shows, but maybe someone will give me access to their Verizon account? Any takers? ;)

Loving: Having my Mom here! Gramma is here for a week to watch Maddie while her nanny is getting wedding ready and Matty and I work, and it is just so awesome to have her here. Maddie adores her Gramma and I think that this time they get to spend together one-on-one is so wonderful and invaluable for the both of them. I am also really loving how easy my nights have been after work since all Maddie wants to do is play with Gramma! We will be so sad to see her go home on Saturday but looking forward to our next visit together already!

Well, that's it folks, happy Wednesday! Hope you get a beach day in before this weather is gone!

Picture credit to Gramma on Old Silver Beach.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On Street Harrassment

This was on everything I owned as a young woman and is still a favorite picture.
Kathleen Hanna circa 1992 (I was ten).
I have a memory in my late teens of eating at a local pizza place in Reno with my Mom when two men sat down next to us and started staring, leering and uttering that oh-so-charming "pssssttt" at us. As a feminist (riot grrl identified, thankyouverymuch) it made every sense in the world to me to look them directly in the eye and tell them to FUCK OFF, Kathleen Hanna style. My Mom was equal parts impressed but also worried; what if they retaliated? What if they got physical? My thoughts: let them try. Hell, bring it on, assholes; I will be happy to take you on or get you arrested for assaulting two women just trying to have a mother daughter lunch together.

Many years and one move to one of the country's most progressive cities and I am steal dealing with the same shit, and I am still as pissed off as ever. Actually, I am even more pissed because I have to wonder if I am going to be out to lunch with my own daughter in fifteen years and have to have the same scenario played out.

Today I had to make a run from my office over to one of the sites that I manage. I like to cut through an area by the local news station and as I was doing so I saw a local anchor, over whom my husband and I have an inside joke (he did the same tri as Matty and Matty beat his running time so we like to call him out on it). As I pulled out my phone to text Matty a young guy (definitely younger than me) walked by me and said "yo, whassup", which I just ignored because I was trying to text my husband. He got a little farther past me and stopped, turned around and yelled, "hey, girl, whassup?". This time I stopped, turned to face him and said in a very neutral tone "please stop. I do not like being harassed.". His response: "harassed? Bitch, please".

Right, because I am the bitch for making someone feel uncomfortable, threatened and overall bummed out.

I was livid. I still am livid. And as I walked back to my office next the the police station that is also right there, I almost lost my shit when another man, this time much older, yelled at me, did the "pssst" and then waved when I finally looked up. He got the middle finger wave right back, as I was too shocked to have this happen AGAIN in just a fifteen minute span.

I am a prime target for street harassment. I am tall, noticeably tattooed and a runner, which is like wearing a sign that says "please, honk at me and scare me and make me fear that I am going to be raped in the pre-dawn hours because I choose to train for marathons while my toddler is still asleep in her bed". My tattoos give people an excuse to talk about my body and assume that I had these put on to welcome unwelcome stares and comments. Being a tall woman means my long legs are visible when I wear dresses and skirts, which obviously makes me a slut for showing so much skin. THIS ENRAGES ME.

I try and be active against this behavior; I am quick to respond to men who behave like this with a middle finger or a shout to "please don't harass me". Sometimes I even let them know that I don't like to feel like a rape target in my own neighborhood, or that I am hurrying down the street because I am excited to get home to my husband and toddler and do they have a daughter or a wife?
I have yet to have anyone apologize and am usually just called a bitch for advocating for myself, but I will keep doing it. I will tell men over and over and over that just by virtue of me being outside of the house I am not a willing participant in their bullshit. I will SCREAM it from the rooftop that my running in a tank top down a busy street is not for their enjoyment but because I do not want to sweat to death as I knock off as many miles as I can before going to work, taking care of my kiddo, or spending time with my husband.

This is two thousand fucking fourteen and it was time to stop this shit A LONG TIME AGO.

Please, men and women alike, if you see someone being street harassed, do something. There is a wonderful organization out there called Hollaback that has these awesome tips for bystanders, as well as tips for when you are being harassed yourself (men or women, as I am very aware both genders are victims).

This is a very real problem that affects every woman you know, whether you think it does or not.

Please, please put this into your conscious and help.