Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Santa's Bakeshop

We were Santa's little baking elves the weekend before Christmas!

Jeff's favorite Christmas cookie is spritz. You know, the little butter cookies you put in a gun and press out.

And when I say "butter", I mean butter:

This is for a quadruple batch by the way.  I definitely had enough to bring to my Bunco Christmas party (which was the idea!).

We used real butter this year instead of margarine. I think they taste so so so much better!  But the dough behaved differently - it spread out more when it was baked, and the dough was very tough to put in the gun.  

We used Land O Lakes salted butter this year, but made sure to eliminate the salt in the recipe so they turned out fine.  (Next time though we will used unsalted butter.)

We have a great set up - three trays going (one in the oven, one being prepped, and one cooling on the counter).  Using a cool tray is key with these cookies otherwise they tend to spread and crisp up on the bottom.

I think I mentioned before but Jeff is a master spritz gun shooter...he gets everything ready, then I sprinkle and decorate.  While he manages the in-and-out of the oven, I usually either scoop onto trays or put batches away.  It works great!

We also made a triple batch of peanut butter blossoms...about 30% of our guests can't eat peanuts but they are my favorites so I'm making them!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm also planning on making sour cream cutout cookies for New Years ! 

Ups and downs - 28 weeks

Well - a bit delayed but here is the 28 weeks picture.  

Down - I'm pretty sure this will be the last time to wear this suit - the pants were big to start with but now are too snug!  And the jacket didn't close entirely...but it worked for a big meeting I had!

Up - passing into the 3rd trimester with ease-ish

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A few quick updates!

Peanut has more presents under the tree than anyone else...thanks Grandparents!

He passed his "practice breathing test" during our ultrasound yesterday. They wanted to see the diaphragm move (like breathing) continuously for 30 seconds. It took a good long while to get 30 seconds but he did it! They will re-measure him next week.

My Christmas to-do list is getting very small now: send a few more Christmas cards, put out a cute snowman post thingy, print out the scavenger hunt clues, wrap gifts, hang a new shower curtain, and get groceries for the Christmas week. VERY manageable (especially since Jeff is doing a lot of these...).

I missed my personal training this week on Monday because of a last minute 8AM meeting scheduled, but was able to reschedule to FRIDAY! Yippee!

I'm getting my hair done tonight...the blond/grey roots need it :)

I'm so excited for my friend Angela, who has announced her new baby is due in May!!! They are keeping the gender a surprise (GAH I CAN'T IMAGINE!).

I am loving two Christmas albums - Katherine Jenkins' album from 2012 and the new Pentatonix album!  Check them out...much better than just putting on "Sounds of the Season". 

Speaking of, anyone else watching The Sing-off?? I think the Filharmonics will win!

That's all for now, peeps!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I love breakfast

I'm pretty sure when Peanut arrives he will probably think there are 3 categories of food in the world: breakfast, snacks, and everything else.

Here is what I'm eating now (for the most part):

  • Eggs - lots of them! Hard boiled, scrambled, poached in salsa...yum... 
  • English muffins with peanut butter and honey 
  • Apples 
  • Oatmeal (Have you tried Earnest Eats cups??? Love, love, love the Green Tea flavor. Order online or find them at Target) 
  • Stoneyfield blueberry Greek yogurt 
  • Green and/or fruit smoothies 
  • Carrots and Hummus Roasted chicken, with or without BBQ sauce 
  • Birds Eye Asian Stir Fry medley 
  • Horizon cheddar cheese sticks 
  • Steamed Broccoli with cheese sauce or cheesy popcorn seasoning 
  • Baked chicken with BBQ, Italian, Low Fat Sesame Ginger...any kind of sauce really 
  • Bananas 
  • Veggie soup - Amy's brand is the best! 
  • Coffee with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (only one per day, and NOT every day! Heartburn...) 
  • Popcorn - microwave minis or oil-popped Dried apricots and roasted, salted pepitas (DIY trail mix)
Hmmmmmm...it occurs to me that not much of this is "cooked" food in the traditional sense. No wonder I struggle with being excited about dinner time meals and recipes.

28 weeks this week with a 20 lb gain so far...

Hopefully the kid comes out liking real food, even if it is mostly snack-y (and not the random cookies I eat)!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ups and Downs - 27 weeks

Up - Thanksgiving!!! Meant 4 days off work!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 Down - The weather had us cancel our camping trip to FDR State Park - it was going to be a 'last hurrah' of sorts but it was too cold!!!!!!!! So it was just Jeff and I at our holiday table. But we got a lot of Christmas stuff done and spent a lot of time relaxing. 

 Up - Did I mention 4 days off work!? 

 Down - Mother F'er. I got sick on Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend with a really Bad Cold - and you know what? YOU CAN'T TAKE ANYTHING WHILE PREGNANT! Except like throat lozenges and Tylenol cold. Which are totally inferior medicines in my opinion (I long for ibuprofen so much).

 So I actually had 5-1/2 days off work, with 3 of them spent feeling lousy. 

 And now today (over a week later) I'm 99% certain I have a raging sinus infection because it literally HURTS to touch my face and I can't chew, my teeth hurt so bad. OUCH OUCH OUCH. I have my OB appointment tomorrow and I'm gonna make them take a look and tell me if I can get drugs. Yes I know I'm a big whiner but being sick SUCKS. 

 At least I looked cute before I got sick...happy end of 2nd trimester!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Preparations

We are hosting my family at Christmas this year. So I have wanted to be super-prepared - I feel like I have been really organized and on the ball, and then today I just realized: THEY ARE ARRIVING NEXT SATURDAY! Holy cow!!!

Good thing I've been prepping already otherwise I'd REALLY be feeling the stress this week. And I seem to poop out fast, so I'm glad to I don't have to scrunch it all into a few days. 

We have our tree up, our inside items all placed, and our outside decorated. We re-did our outside wreaths this year. We have a large wreath on our garage, and then wreaths along the porch (all lit) that have poinsettias, ribbon, red balls, and gold sparkly things. I pretty much replaced everything on the wreaths this year except the lights, and that was quite a project! Hopefully we will get another 5 years out of them. 

Jeff really LOVES Christmas, and is always on the lookout for more stuff to decorate with. He doesn't think we have that much (until he had to haul it all upstairs this year by himself)...and then when our friends said, "Boy, it's really Christmassy around here!". 

I have all of the presents ordered or purchased, except for 2 small things. HELLO AMAZON! I love it. And, am I the only one that pre-shops a bit online for ideas, then makes a spreadsheet for each person, item, source, and cost, and then tracks what I have ordered versus what has shipped versus what has arrived? I might be a little Excel obsessive. But it keeps me organized, on budget, and on time! 

We finished our Christmas letter and got most of the cards addressed. We pared back our recipient list this year to mostly family and a few friends because postage is really expensive! (I'll post our letter on the blog later in December though.)

I got all of the house preparations finished - enough towels, sheets, blankets, pillows for everyone, a new bath mat, guest bathroom drawer organizers, rearranged some shelves for people to put wallets / purses, pruned houseplants, hooked up cable in the guest bedroom, got more alarm clock...trying to make it comfortable!

I made all of our meal plans and grocery list, and the activity list for the 5 days everyone will be here. Some families like to simply hang out together - not us. Several people get grumpy / bored / annoyed when they don't feel like they have accomplished anything. So I have quite the schedule lined up! Of course, it's flexible, but it will give us some options of stuff to choose to do each day. (More on that later...) 

All of the supplies are purchased to make goodies - Spritz, Cut-out cookies, and Peanut Blossoms are on the list this year (we'll see how ambitious I feel though!). I literally had NO baking supplies. I never do it anymore - so we had to buy everything from flour and vanilla to sprinkles.

Jeff (again LOVES Christmas) is the ultimate cookie helper. Or actually, I'm in charge but he does a lot / at least half / ok most of the work. For spritz, we make the dough together, then he runs the gun and I decorate. For cut-out cookies, we make the dough together, I roll and cut out, and he manages in the in-and-out of the oven and cooling set up on the table. For Peanut Blossoms, I ball the dough and he punches the chocolate down. It's a team effort on all 3!!! 

Making cookies is probably the last "big" thing left to do before everyone arrives. Other than that - I think we are on a good pace to get everything done. How about you!?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Simple Food Guidelines

I had an interesting conversation with my mom when she was here last time.

She has done an AWESOME job at weight loss in the last year(ish). She started with Weight Watchers and has figured out how to incorporate their guidelines into her life. She has calculated her normal breakfasts and lunches out to a "T" for the points values, and knows roughly how many points she has for the rest of the day. Then she uses her favorite Weight Watchers cookbooks - which she literally RAVES about (and which I agree, contain deliciousness) to finish out dinner.

I think it's amazing she has learned to cook in a completely new way, and that she and my dad have been so open and accepting of new things...Curry! Capers! Almond Milk! Quinoa! Who would've thought an old farmer would eat quinoa!?

Anyway, I couldn't be prouder of her for taking control of her food-lifestyle. It's obviously worked for her, 60+ lbs later. But we got to talking - what's next? How do you get over the next plateau? How do you make it exciting again? How do you FEEL BETTER?

I've been on the journey long enough that my thinking has evolved from 'counting points' to 'counting calories' to 'eating to nourish'...(and admittedly, counting calories SUCKS while pregnant).

But I think my mantra going forward, post-baby, is going to be fairly simple:
1. Don't eat too many calories.
2. Eat real food and don't eat chemicals.
3. Figure out what works for you.

The USDA, Weight Watchers, and a host of other experts will tell you
 - eat whole grains! They're good for you! But for my friend with wheat intolerance, they are poison.
- lots of vegetables are the key to success! Especially cruciferous! But for my mom, they are poison.
- consume nuts in moderation! The healthy fats are good for you! But for my dad and sister, they are poison.
- drink dairy! The calcium and Vitamin D are good for you! But for me (in excess), they are poison.
- eggs are a super food! A complete source of protein that is good for you! But for my friend's daughter with allergies, they are poison.

Just because an expert - even a doctor, or a nutritionist, or another paid professional - gives you advice about how to eat healthy, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT WILL WORK FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Losing weight and finding what is healthy for you are three different things.  They CAN be the same, but not necessarily.

Conventional wisdom is for the masses. It's not individualized. It can't be.

So, if eating a Subway sandwich makes you go to the bathroom uncontrollably - I don't care how "healthy" you think it is - don't eat it. I don't care if it helps you control calories. Find another way. Because it's poison for YOU.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! + 26 weeks

Thanksgiving is usually such a wonderful time.  It's probably becoming one of my favorite holidays!

1 - it's (usually) our anniversary weekend.  This year we celebrated NINE years on November 27th.  We kept it very easy by exchanging cards and going out to dinner at an Italian restaurant.  No wine for me this year though!

2 - Thanksgiving is a nice long break, but without all of the 'official-ness' that Christmas usually brings.  This year, I didn't want to travel so we booked ourselves a campsite at FDR State Park.  However, the weather was not cooperating, and with lows in the 20's and highs in the 40's - we decided to cancel at the last minute.  Time to cook Thanksgiving dinner at home!

3 - Since we ended up not traveling anywhere, we got all our Christmas decorations up inside and outside.  We are totally festive around here and ready to host family in a few weeks!!

4 - We had a chance to just BE together.  I was reminded how much Jeff makes me laugh by some of these...I think we are awesome...

Overheard in the Hartman household this weekend:

"Hotboxing" - Going #2 in a small powder room while the furnace is running (not pleasant).

"There's a 'Top Sexy' video marathon on this channel. Late 90's Britney's I'm a Slave 4 U song was followed by late 90's Christina's Dirrty song. How is there not a sex tape?"

After hearing "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" for the 21st time...still uncontrollable laughter.

"Somewhere inside me, there is still a 9 year old boy that wants to play video games all day long. My 33 year old eyes get too dry though."

"I feel like a pack mule employed by the Grand Canyon.  We have a lot of Christmas stuff downstairs."

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ups and Downs - 25 weeks

Oopsie, I'm well into my 26th week and did not give a recap of my 25th! Well, here goes anyway...

UP - major, major up! I had a prenatal massage!!!!!!!!!! For like 3 hours post massage, it was like I wasn't pregnant - literally NO pain in my hips. It was awesome.

UP - my mom was here and helped me host Bunco, put finishing touches on the house, and finalize everything for the nursery. We are almost done - just need her to make the curtains and we need to order a couple more things, but we are 90% set!

DOWN - when my mom is here I want to be so productive that I push myself way too hard. My tiredness level is crazy...I'm good until probably lunchtime, then crash hardcore every hour until I go to bed!!! And of course physically that pushing makes me not just tired, but definitely manifests itself in right hip pain. BOOOOOO.

DOWN - It's cold. My winter coat doesn't fit. I hung on to a "fat" coat from a couple years ago, so I guess that's what I will use.

DOWN - Weighed in today at my appointment (26 weeks 2 days) and have gained 18 lbs total.  Whaaaaat?  I have done literally nothing different so how did I gain 6 lbs in a month?  This is crazy. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I play Bunco with the neighborhood ladies once a month, and November was my turn to host.

What does a full-time working pregnant lady doesn't have time or energy to do host and entertain properly do? OUTSOURCE!!!

I definitely had to call in reinforcements - my mom with the cooking and fluffing and preparation, and Jeff to sous chef, hang drapes, set up tables, trim bushes and blow leaves, and general fix-it stuff. Thanks to their help, everything went off perfectly!

We had 4 tables - 16 people (including mom and me), and a taco bar before the game started.

Here was the menu:
Softshell tacos, salad, or nachos
Shredded Crock Pot Taco Chicken (Jeff made this and people RAVED!)
All the Fixin's - lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, salsa
Crock Pot Queso
Crock Pot Black Beans
Cream Cheese Taco Dip - one with olives, one without
Veggie Tray and Dip - with carrots, celery, green and red peppers, and sugar snap peas
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Water, Wine, Coke / Coke Zero / Sprite

OOOEEE, it was so yummy!

I also had M&M's table snacks - did you know there are well over 4 kinds of M&M's now? We chose Plain, Peanut, Pretzel, and Peanut Butter.

After everyone had their fill, we started the game promptly at 7:30PM. We play 3 rounds of 6, and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes with 4 tables.

By 9PM, time for neighborhood announcements and the game was finished - just to award the prizes.

The loser's basket theme was anything BLUE or starting with a B...for BOY!!!!!!!!! The basket had a bunch of funny stuff in it (it always does) - like some blue plastic plates, a Butterfinger box of candy, some blue spa socks...sometimes getting the loser's basket is more fun than money! But I didn't win it this time. Bummer.

The big winner of the night was................MY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She got an unprecedented FIVE Bunco's - which I don't think has been done in the 20 year history of the group. It was amazing! So she walked away with $20 from the night - not bad payment for a day's worth of work.

I am so grateful for their help - no way would I have been able to pull this off without them - ummm - literally working all day on Tuesday.
We joked that if I was by myself (like I probably will be next time) it would be a hummus and pita chip, deviled egg, cold ham slider kind of party!

I feel so special and loved that my mom helped "teach" me her hostessing skills. Her holidays and gatherings are always perfect - and now I know why. I kept saying "its good enough" but then she would do those extra touches ...and it was better.  I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with her and learn all of her tricks of the trade - it's something those with moms nearby take for granted, but I definitely do not.

And I will be putting my new knowledge to good use soon when we host our first Christmas family holiday in December!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ups and Downs - 24 weeks

Yikes! I'm a little late with this weekly update...but things have been going really well so I can't wait to share! 

UP - I took my one-hour gestational diabetes test this week and PASSED with flying colors! I was at 105, and for pregnancy, anything under 130 is doing well. As a matter of fact 90-100 is good for NON pregnancy, so I was really pleased. We will probably re-test again at least once due to higher risk factors, but I have a great start! (Good to know the Halloween candy didn't affect it too much!)

UP - I also had a 3rd anatomy scan to check Peanut's heart and spine (plus a few other things). At the second scan 3 weeks ago, they couldn't get clear pictures of either one, so this re-test was to check all the blood flow and make sure the spine went all the way down - both were great! And we got an AWESOME picture:

DOWN - The bit of downer news was the doctor estimated Peanut was a little small - 11th percentile. Anything "normal" is between 10th and 90th percentiles, so he just barely squeaked by at 1lb, 4oz. They want to keep an eye on his growth so we are going in for ANOTHER ultrasound to measure him next month. Hopefully everything is just fine. They did not seem too concerned as it's an estimate at this point.

UP - My mom is visiting us this weekend to help finish the nursery, and help me prepare and host Bunco on Tuesday. She is making her AWESOME pumpkin bars and I can't wait. (Her baking might be better than the decorating help!!!!!!!! Just kidding. Sort of.) We also found PERFECT coordinating fabric to our theme at Joann Fabrics, and she has committed to sewing (or having someone sew) custom curtains for the nursery. Hopefully she will be able to bring the completed curtains with her when she comes back at Christmas.

DOWN - This isn't REALLY pregnancy related but it's annoying to me, so I'm sharing...we ordered a new dining room set (for our kitchen, since our dining room is really our "fish tank viewing room"), a rug, and some new pillows from Bassett furniture. We worked with them before for a new sofa and it was a super great experience - all the furniture is customized, from colors and fabric to general structure and finish. So we were glad to go back and do the same with the dining room set. However, something got messed up with our order and the 30-day lead time for shipping has crept into 45-days and we still don't have a firm date...now it will not be here in time for Bunco!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOOOOOO. It's taken a lot of phone calls, time, and effort to get it cleared up and it's just annoying. Especially because it's probably the last "big" home purchase we will make for quite a few years. 

I'm not loving the selfie this week - I couldn't get any good ones. My belly is getting big! But mostly it still looks fat in most of my clothes which TOTALLY SUCKS. I am NOT one of those people that looks like they have a cute little basketball under their shirt. I think I will actually look "pregnant" maybe a week before birth. Sheesh.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Biggest Loser gets it wrong

I like The Biggest Loser. I like seeing the transformations, the personal journeys and stories, people fighting for their lives...

I also love the trainers. They have so much knowledge, empathy, and skill. I wish I could bottle them up and dose them to me daily!

And fact of the matter is, I lost weight. Not on a ranch or by putting my life on hiatus, but with Time, Weight Watchers, the gym, My Fitness Pal, working with my trainer (hi Carla!)...80 lbs is a lot of weight to lose but I did it.

I'm still heavy. I still have a long way to go. And I know it won't be any easier post-partum, with a new baby, and going back to my new job.

It truly inspires me to see someone my size KILLING IT in the gym. And going through the same struggles as me. And getting to a place physically (and sometimes mentally) where I haven't gotten yet...it's awesome.

But here's where The Biggest Loser gets is wrong for me:

1. The weigh ins. Seriously - why does it take 25 minutes of show to weigh in? I guess it makes for efficient Tivo-ing but it's a waste of airtime.

2. The challenges. These are stupid. I guess it is a "gameshow" so it's probably not going away, but when in real life do you have to open pumpkins and force yourself to eat candy in order to win something? Real temptation success is in the weeks leading up to Halloween where you avoid the candy displays at the grocery store and don't come home with candy in your cart.

3. The education. I wish-wish-wish they would focus more on the nutrition piece of what it takes to "eat right" to lose weight (I bet you the trainers don't follow Myplate.gov). And how do they track calories burned? How do they cycle workouts? How much do they burn per day versus consumption? What about water? Do they have rest and recovery periods? DO THEY USE SUPPLEMENTS????????????????????????

4. The drama. If the show were more transparent about what it takes to take someone who is morbidly obese and change their physicality, the drama of last week's 'cheating scandal' wouldn't have occurred. I have never ever heard of any "rules" on the show - so a "rules violation" to me was crazy. (And seemed like a ruse to bring Ruben back, although I love him too.) Add in nastiness that 'occasionally' occurs in the house, or the true competitiveness, and guess what...I'm Tivo-ing through all of the show again.

So NBC, hear me out - please consider toning down the rhetoric for TV ratings, and increase the focus on weight loss and how it's happening.

You might just be able take your enormous success and change lives.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Magic of Foam Rolling

I was first introduced to foam rolling in the spring by my trainer (hi Carla!) after I started Personal Training for the FitTrip challenge. After our hour long sessions, I was in TOUGH SHAPE for a couple days (DOMS).

I mentioned it to her after the first few sessions, and we marched right over to the long ignored mats where there were a variety of bands, balls, rings, and tube things.

Little did I know the tube things would change everything!  I swore by foam rolling after tough workouts or on light cardio days following a workout to get lots of soreness relief.

And now, even though I'm not 'killing it' at the gym, I still needed some relief for my low back, sciatica, and hip pain.  I can't afford to get a zillion prenatal massages, and going to the chiro once a week is plenty.  My trainer has recently modified some of the rolling techniques (but not by much) and it has helped so, so, so much.

You can get ones that look like this for smaller and more sensitive areas

Or you can get a big ol cheap one (like I did) for BIG areas (did I mention it's my butt that hurts?).

Basically, what you do is - whatever freaking hurts, lay on it and roll.  Or have someone roll it on for you.  It's called self myofascial release and it's the bomb.  Ok, it REALLY hurts while you're doing it, so you have to be gentle at first and then put more of your body weight on it as you progress through the session.  But I'm telling you - it works.

For example, my sciatica is doing much better but my hips are starting to really hurt - especially my right one, right where my leg connects and pivots in the joint.  Jeff rolled it out for me last night (I laid on my left side in bed, he stood over me and used the roller like he was rolling out cookie dough on my hip) and it felt soooo much better this morning.  Not to mention I had to pee like 7 times during the night - because it took the inflammation and swelling down so much.  I semi-sprang out of bed this morning, best in like a week.

If you have specific issues just google "foam rolling" and "hips" (or whatever hurts) and watch like a minute or two of Youtube videos for some techniques to work it out.

I've prepared some examples here:

This one is basically what I do for my low back and hip pain

Other hip and sciatica exercises and stretches

Look for others for the glutes and hips - you won't regret it!

Happy Rolling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ups and Downs - 23 weeks

It's been a pretty quiet week. I had a lot of late nights at work so it was just a work-sleep-maintain kind of week. But Peanut is not letting me forget about him, oh no!  More and more thumps every day. 

UP - Our crib and nursing glider & ottoman arrived this week. This means the nursery is ALMOST complete!!!!!!!! We have all the pieces, and have rearranged the furniture, but are still struggling with what to put on the twin bed in terms of sheets / comforter / etc.

UP - We went hiking again :). Only probably 2 miles or so, and we went really slowly, but it was great to get out and hear the creek, see the leaves, and enjoy the fall weather.

DOWN - I'm swollen. My legs, ankles, and feet are quite poofy by the end of the day. Exercise and excessive water intake seem to help, as do elevating and footrubs when I get home.

DOWN - My belly is getting big. I've been eating well and exercising, but I continue to worry about weight gain.  I FEEL like I've gained a lot.  I have my next monthly appointment this week, so we will see where I weigh in and what the doctor says. Between the bit of extra weight and general swelling, I don't feel like I'm getting around very well (plus my right hip is a killer). It's too early to do the waddle!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm dreaming of gear

No, not baby gear. I'm obsessed...with fitness, camping, and hiking gear! (Um, hello, there's a reason we got - ahem - $80 back from our 2012 purchases at REI!).

Enter For Two Fitness!!!  Maternity workout clothes that are cute, and of course, sassy.

I'm uber bummed it does not appear they have plus or extended-chest sizes...but in any case here are some of my favorites on my wish list.  (Maybe next time around, HAHAHAHA!)

I would TOTALLY wear this during my personal training days!

Peanut loves to Zumba in my belly as much as I love to Zumba at Maria's class!!!  (Which I am delinquent in attendance recently but whatever.  I'm still a Zumba-er at heart.)

And of course I could always use some workout capris...even though my "chubbier" workout pants are still working ok :)

Love it!  Wish I could wear them NOW!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Perfect Fall Weekend

Fort Mountain State Park. Located at the top of Fort Mountain just outside Chatsworth, GA - it's probably my most serene and favorite place to visit in the North Georgia Mountains.
I convinced Jeff I felt well enough (at 22, almost 23 weeks pregnant) to take me Fall camping.  I'm so, so glad we did!!!!
Cool Springs Overlook / Gahuti Trail - Fort Mountain State Park

The weather was perfect - hi 65 lo 42, the leaves were at peak beauty, we had smores and campfires and RELAXED, we walked and hiked every day..............I couldn't ask for a better time.

We arrived just after lunch on Friday, and found a great spot.  We were on the lake loop, with a bit of seclusion provided by the hillside.

After setting up, we took a really long walk around the 2 campgrounds, met our neighbors who were avid college football fans, and relaxed by starting a campfire.  After a quick taco dinner, we had smores and went to bed by 9:30 (hey, I AM pregnant after all!).

On Saturday, we awoke to chilly temperatures.  After breakfast, we put on our hiking gear and did a bit of exploring.

Our exploring also included driving to the top of an overlook - not just for the beauty of it, but also for ordering some nursery furniture while it was still on sale (oopsie, I procrastinated that one a bit too long).  We needed cell phone signal and this overlook was the only place we had reception.  Not a bad place to do business!

Later Saturday evening, a storm felt like it was blowing in, so we made dinner early on our little charcoal grill, had an early campfire, and escaped the swirling smoke by 9-ish and hit the sack early again :)

Sunday was a leisurely day with a brisk temperatured walk, tearing down, and heading home.

It was such a beautiful, peaceful weekend.  Jeff and I really had a chance to reconnect, put a lot of the recent worry away, and just BE with each other.  I feel so lucky that I have a built-in best friend.  And I feel even luckier that I think we're better together today than 9 years ago when we got married.

It's been a joy to grow individually, and to grow together at the same time.  And I can't wait to grow even more as our little family of 2 welcomes our baby in a few months.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ups and Downs - 22 weeks

Wow this week went so fast!  This whole thing we call LIFE is starting to feel a bit more 'routine' (which is ok after weeks and months of craziness) - but if we've learned ANYTHING, that means it's all about to change!  So we will see what this week brings...

Ok, so here's the pregnancy ups and downs this week

UP - HUGE, HUGE, HUGE - we went CAMPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I even got to hike at my favorite state park, Fort Mountain...a short, non strenuous lake loop but still...it was hiking!!!

We decided anything to hilly, rocky, or slippery was out, so we had this beautiful leaf covered loop that we did instead :).  It still felt great - although my daypack hip strap is NOT fitting quite right LOL...I'll report more on our camping trip tomorrow.

UP - also HUGE HUGE HUGE...my sciatica pain is about 90% better.  I think a combination of the baby moving around more, icing, heating, FOAM ROLLING, stretching, walking, working out.......................who knows what worked, but I'm gonna keep it all up.  I really really hope it doesn't come back.

DOWN - I keep putting pants away.  It sucks.  Finding plus sized maternity wear suitable for work also sucks.  I have purchased 3 pairs of dress pants and 2 pairs of jeans now (which are seriously not that cute) - and which were all about $40-$50 each - plus now I need to get them shortened.  UGH.  (Another) unexpected expense.

DOWN - At my appointment, I weighed in (of course), and at 22 weeks I have gained 8 lbs since my first appointment / pre pregnancy.  Which I thought was really quite good, as I've been trying hard to stay a little active and eat pretty well.  But my doctor said "No More" weight gain...how am I gonna do that???  Yikes.

I've been tracking my food again (MyFitnessPal), aiming to stay at 1600 calories per day, but ending up more at 1900 calories most days.  I'm eating pretty good 'whole foods' - eggs, protein, veggies, fruits, a few snacks (popcorn, yes please).  I'm getting quite worried about the gain, because I want to be as healthy as possible this whole time, and keep all my progress somewhat in check.  But who knows.  I think what will happen will happen and I can just hope for the best.  So please send out some little thoughts of encouragement to me on that front please!

That's it for this week.  Hartmans out!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Holy Productive Weekend

Remember that massive Honey-Do list? Well, we knocked it down (Jeff in particular) this weekend.

This is going to sound like a laundry list - because it is! I want to take the time to CELEBRATE all of the good work the hubby has been doing.

The nursery is PAINTED! (It looks super fab, even if the color we chose is Martha Stewart's "File Cabinet" tan from Home Depot.)

My childhood bookcase is repaired and repainted an awesome light turquioise / bright blue (covering up the lead paint that was likely on there before LOL). Apparently the shelves were in tough condition, and Jeff had to wood glue and hammer together some fixes on the trim as well.

The guest bathroom paint was touched up (had been damaged by bleach cleaner around the toilet).

The bathroom shower handles were repaired and are no longer leaking!

The kitchen paint that was dinged because I leaned my purse against it too soon after painting was touched up.

The lawn is trimmed up for fall - probably another mow is required to chop leaves but we might be about done.

My car got cleaned, vacuumed, and fully detailed inside by the hubby (it was a bit funky!).

Purchased a foot pedal switch for the fish tank room lamp (long story) and bamboo wood roman shades from Home Depot.

We ordered a crib. :)

We purchased a crib mattress, changing pad, and cover.

We started a baby registry (mostly to just keep track of what we will need to buy, and to take advantage of the discounts when we ordered the crib!).

I bought another pair of jeans and another pair of work pants from Motherhood Maternity (aye-yie-yie).

We tried out a new restaurant - Newk's in Newnan (and it is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

I went to the bank, picked up my fancy shampoo and conditioner, stopped by the farmer's market for my weekly egg supply, bought birdseed (with a coupon!!), and dropped off more stuff at Goodwill.

I started a baby blanket crochet project and purchased YARN and a BOOK for a new project for Peanut.

Washed 4 loads of clothes.

We had dinner with friends and their kids (OMG, I LOVE LITTLE 3-4 YEAR OLDS! THEY ARE HILARIOUS!!!).

Took a nap!!! Ok, maybe 2.

Honestly it kind of felt good to be at work on Monday...all of that stuff made me tired (and I only did about 15% of it!).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ups and Downs - 21 weeks

This week's edition of the Pregnancy Ups and Downs!  I have a lot to report...

Up - Baby is moving! He is most 'awake' around lunchtime till about 2PM, then again in the evenings (haha, he takes after mom and dad!).

Up - My sister in law HOOKED ME UP! I got a glorious package with TONS of boy baby clothes for 0-3 months, and a bunch of maternity tops that I will be able to put to very good use soon :). She also sent me a couple pairs of jeans - but since she has no butt, and I (ahem) do...they didn't fit. But I will tuck them away in the closet just in case anyway!

Down - I have a crazy metallic taste in my mouth like, ALL THE TIME! So weird.

Down - we had our 2nd anatomy scan ultrasound on Thursday but Baby will STILL not cooperating. We have to go back a 3rd time - in 3 weeks - to get better pictures of his heart and spine. Apparently he was standing straight up, feet down, to the left, and facing forward - so no good photos.

Down - I have been a real bitch this week.  Jeff gave me the "you're being totally crazy" look more than once but bless his heart, has hung in there like a champ.  I'm going to try to do better this week...or at least be cognizant of when it's happening to try and cut it off at the pass.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 25, 2013

I wish I was domesticated.


I think Gina is a genius.  The photos are food porn.  The meal ideas are family-friendly.  The recipes are HEALTHY and EASY (my two requirements).

Some of my favorite recipes from her site are crock pot barbacoa, Italian turkey meatballs, and huevos rancheros.

But she has outdone herself again with these awesome little Mummy Cake Balls.  (3 points per mummy)

I really really really want to eat these.  Probably partially because I'm pregnant but also because I just want them!

Here's the problem: I don't want to make them!  I don't have any baking ingredients at all in the house (trust me, it's better that way).  Plus I'm totally lazy.

So I will just tell yall about them, have you try them, and then tell me how easy it was so I'm inspired enough to possibly try them!!!!!!!!

Uh, a domestic housewife I am not.  But I totally appreciate those who are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great Georgia Airshow

Saturday before last we went to the Great Georgia Airshow in Peachtree City. 

Jeff calls it it the Good-not-Great Georgia Airshow.  After a year hiatus to "reorganize", they were back! But not in full effect.

Because of the reorganization - and the budget cuts and furloughs - there were NO military planes or shows on display.  What a bummer, because those are truly some of the coolest parts about air shows.

But the other acts did not disappoint!

This was an 4-plane aerobatic team that did tons of passes in various formations and was really cool.

This glider plane is TINY!  I don't think I could even fit in the cockpit.  And it did some amazing stuff.  It was probably Jeff's favorite due to the majestic arcing and diving this one did over and over.  I loved the two trails it left all across the sky - very cool.

This little stunt plane was probably my favorite.  I love seeing knife edge passes and crazy stuff that I'm sure is dangerous!

The one that made jump up and about pee my pants was this guy - THE JET TRUCK.

The truck was racing the above red stunt plane.  The stunt plane was just barely off the ground, above the truck.  As they made the final pass, the JET TRUCK overtook the stunt plane and OHMYGOD A WALL OF FIRE JUST BROKE OUT ACROSS THE WAY WITH A HUMONGOUS BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

The heat flashed in front of us, and the smoke obscured the hot sun for probably 15 seconds.  Ok, ok, it was planned pyrotechnics - but I almost lost my shit as much as the 8-year-olds sitting behind us.  WHOA DUDE!


After a good four hours out in the bright fall sun, and 3 liters of water - we packed up our chairs and headed home.  A super fun day!

PS - Four hours of afternoon sun in October sans sunscreen will still give you a KILLER sunburn.  (This note is for Jeff for next year!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ups and Downs - 20 weeks

Ok, time for this week's pregnancy Ups and Downs. We have made it halfway!

20 weeks. Wow. It seems like it has gone fast, and slow, all at the same time.

I guess that's what happens when you get busy with life, and start a new job, and go on vacation, and also spend 80% of the summer napping...

Well, the Downs this week were a bit of a doozy...but turned out in the best possible way they could have.

Down - on Thursday morning I had spotting. And tummy cramps. And back cramps. PANIC! I called the OB office right away and they wanted me to come in to get checked out.

So we showed up - and had to get worked in...so we waited probably about an hour (which isn't crazy) but by that point Jeff and I were very distraught, but trying NOT to be. We just had our 20 week appointment on Monday and everything was good, so to have this scare just a few days later was so sucky.

We got an ultrasound - and there was Peanut waving, and wiggling, and little heart beating at 166. Long story short - everything is fine! I have what they call a "friable cervix" (which means my cervix is sensitive, and with the increased blood volume just about anything can make it bleed).

So, it's possible I will have these symptoms again, and it will be ok again. They of course said to come in if I get worried, but I have some reassurance now that if it does happen again within the parameters that everything is probably FINE.

Up - I love this little baby so much already. I don't feel super 'bonded' yet, exactly, but he is so wanted by Jeff and me, and with this scare this week I found out how much my heart has grown already.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Honey-Do List

Our honey-do list in advance of the baby grows!  It seems like we are so busy during the week (with my new job and Jeff has been REALLY busy at work lately) we don't have mental or physical energy to tackle a lot of this, so we save it up for the weekend.  But on the WEEKENDS, I want to have FUN!  And I insist on going out and doing fun stuff instead of honey-dos.  So stuff doesn't get crossed off very fast.

AND unfortunately with my being a bit out of commission the past two weeks with sciatica, I haven't felt up to doing much...so Jeff has been handling the brunt of it!  He is a champ though - #1 husband if you ask me. :)

Since I have a terrible memory anyway (which is NOT improved with the pregnancy), I have made a list.  Truthfully, when I put everything on a list - in one place - I got a LOT overwhelmed.

I'm hoping when my family comes for the holidays they may be able to help a bit with some of this stuff too - especially the outdoor stuff (Dad, I know you like to be busy, and you like to be outside...it's for the best!).

Here's where our list stacks up today:

Peanut's room
  • Repair and prep for painting
  • Paint walls 
  • Hang new light fixture 
  • Modify new roman shades with ribbon 
  • Prep and organize mural 
  • Paint mural
  • Hang quilt on wall 
  • Buy crib
  • Buy rocking chair
  • Shop for daybed frame
  • Shop for daybed bedding that matches our theme (click HERE for the super cute nursery stuff we got) (but we don't have the bumper, bedskirt, curtains, diaper hanger, or mobile because it's been DISCONTINUED! Blerg)

  • Purchase and lay down pine straw 
  • Redo front mailbox bed / border 
  • Trim front bushes down the hill
  • Power wash and paint the front porch and steps 
  • Cut apart fallen tree on property line 
  • Repair fence 
  • Chainsaw downed tree in back 
  • Gather and burn limbs and sticks 
  • Clean gutters 
Guest room
  • Dresser – polish and buff
  • Hartman table - polish and buff
  • Complete DIY headboard 
  • Look for side lamps 
  • Buy and Install Wood Blinds (4)
  • New office chair 
  • Artwork over desk 
  • Look for another downstairs rocking chair / glider
  • Run new network cable to upstairs bedrooms
  • Have another garage sale, including a mower, TV, night stand, dining room tabl and chairs (in addition to the other stuff that didn't sell)
  • Begin researching all baby products
  • Start baby registry
  • Crochet blanket
  • Crochet booties and hat
  • Make a Goodwill dropoff
It's a big list, but I know we have plenty of time to tackle it.  Right? Right? Right?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

It's FALL! Weather is starting get cooler (ok, low 70's here but like 50's in the morning!) and I love to have a hot breakfast.

I found a version of this recipe on the internet (of course) and modified it just a bit for my liking.

It uses a crock pot - which I love for ease of use in cooking and the quantity of leftovers it makes! I got about 5 servings from this batch.


In a medium crock pot (coated with nonstick spray) layer in the following:

2 medium apples, sliced

(Mixed together)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup Quaker steel cut oats

4 cups of water (maybe a bit more)

Cook 6-8 hours on low, or until desired thickness. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have been eating all week for either breakfast or lunch (since I LOVE breakfast foods all day) and it is so filling and fall-like.

And it's a great way to use up some apples from our orchard visit (without making pie or crisp)!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to Know When to Move

I am so incredibly happy for my sister. She has FINALLY made the decision to move out of the city (WELCOME TO SURBURBIA!!!).

Most "hip" people would say - why???? Why would someone EVER pack up and leave the city, with all its restaurants, and good vibes, and stuff to do???

Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Move to the Burbs.

1. Your commute SUCKS.

Seriously.  You drive one hour, one way, in heavy traffic...twice a day?  That's a true drain on your quality of life...  Dealing with idiots.  Noxious gases.  Stress.  Inevitable fender benders.  Gas money.  Reclaim 10 hours of your life back already.  It's YOUR LIFE.  You only have one.  Make the most of it.

2. Your support system isn't physically nearby.

If you can, move to where your support people are at.  Or where you can access them semi-easily.  Sometimes you just need someone to come jump your car.

3. You want to save money.

Have you SEEN the rates for apartments in the city?  Rent a townhome in the burbs for the same money, twice as much space.  Or same space, half the money.  And don't get me started on the awesomeness of eating out - I love it, and I love being able to walk anywhere or order in anything.  But your health and pocketbook will thank you if you just get groceries and cook more.

4. You own a car in a wintry environment.

Off street parking is stupid.  Otherwise it would be available in the city, right?  The burbs are sprawling land masses for a reason...get a garage.  Or at least a parking space nearby.  And for god's sake, hire someone to shovel.

5. You have access to public transportation TO and FROM the city.

Are you REALLY missing out on late night bar crawls if you can still catch the train or cab home?  Hey, what, that's what you do now?  In the city?  Might as well do it to the burbs.  Oh, and when you hit 30...just sayin...10PM on a Saturday is about the end of the night anyway.

Even if you check only a few of these boxes...you'll know when the time is right. Just like my sister did.

Ups and Downs - 19 Weeks

I have been listening to Pregtastic podcast (which sadly is no longer in production) and they have a segment that I LOVE - Ups and Downs.

As someone who had NO IDEA WHAT PREGNANCY WAS REALLY LIKE, it has been super helpful to hear other women going through similar things...or things that don't apply to me at all but similarly suck or are exciting.

Anywho, as we prepare to cross into the HALFWAY POINT (eeeek) I thought I would bring you my new segment............

Ups and Downs - 19 weeks

I'll start with my Downs so I can end on a positive note:

Down - Sciatica pain.  WHOA MAMA.  I spent one night in my chair - that helped.  My chair has like anti-gravity or something - no pressure points.  I have been icing and heating.  I saw my chiro.  Yikes, I really hope it doesn't continue!  I called my massage therapist who is injured :( and she advised some stretches and foam rolling with either a roller or a tennis ball (I have both).  That is totally on the docket this week.

Down - Remember when I couldn't go potty?  Now I can't stop.  I probably have been sneaking into too much "wheat and dairy"...known trigger points for gut distress and inflammation.  Bad Jessie.  Will work on that one this week.

Up - It's a BOY!  As long as he never brings me snakes or mice to "look at", I cannot WAIT!  Boy Scouts, baseball, piano lessons, camping, swimming, starting campfires, being dirty...it's going to be fun :) :)

Up - Great Georgia Airshow!  I have been feeling GREAT for the most part, and we have been going out and doing fun stuff again. So we booked some upcoming fall campground weekends, and are going to the airshow in Peachtree City.  Jeff is sooooo excited for the show...I hope the weather holds and we have a great time!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

And the winner is

BOY OR GIRL??????????????????????????????????????????

It's pretty easy to tell....

We can't really tell who he looks like yet though.  He would NOT cooperate!

We are so excited!!!  And, for me, this week it's all starting to feel more...real.

I had a realization a couple days ago.  You know when you're sick and feeling crappy, you look forward to when things go back to "normal", you feel like "yourself again", you can go back to "your routine", you can have "fun again" with your spouse instead of laying around miserable?  Usually I can't WAIT for that moment when you turn the corner.

Turning the corner this time means...

When I feel "normal" - I will no longer be pregnant.

When I feel like "myself again" - I will have a baby. 

When I go back to my "routine" - I will be a mother. 

When we have fun again - there will be three of us. 

Holy shit. Everything is changing. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Activities!

On Saturday we did one of my FAVORITE fall activities - pick your apples in North Georgia!  Ellijay - and Hwy 52 specifically - sits nestled in the foothills of the mountains and must have the perfect climate for apples.  Any further south and it's just not possible to grow them!

We again went to R&A Orchards - bypassing the madness of the other orchards (think: petting zoos, bouncy houses, milk-your-own-cow) and enjoyed the simplicity of a family farm that features apples, apple cider, some canned stuff, and a bit of other produce.  

Beautiful, eh?

We drove the almost 3 hours with traffic in the morning but had a SUPER QUICK (ha!) stop at REI...except this time we were looking for baby gear!!!

Enter...our new stroller!

Our first baby purchase was from REI (how appropriate) and it was quasi-gear because it will very necessary to take Peanut out camping, hiking, and walking on the gravel.

Anyway, after that detour we finally arrived at the orchard.  We picked Rome Beauty and Stayman Winesap, and then purchased some Galas.

We relaxed and people-watched while we shared a milk and fried pies (apple fried pie for me and chocolate pudding fried pie for Jeff).  Yes.  That's right - Fried Pie.  Mmmmm, baby likey.

We had planned to also stop by Burt's Pumpkin Farm to get some ginormous pumpkins - but by that time it was already after 4PM, we had a 2-hour drive back home, and I was pooped (of course).

And, we remembered that last year we paid a ridiculous amount for GIANT PUMPKINS (which were awesome by the way) but we are definitely trying to scale back and save some dough.  So we bypassed the patch this year.

But - Jeff has PROMISED to be my photographer next year when we can plop Peanut on huge pumpkins for photo ops.  I have no shame there...and we'll probably go to the petting zoo, bouncy house, and milk-your-own-cow too...in our new stroller.  Next year.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Trimester Scares

When we saw the positive test laying on the bathroom counter - after Jeff grinned at me and said "Did you see this?" - I didn't know what to do next.

So I slyly asked some of my friends (who happened to recently have babies) who their 'lady doctors' were, and if they liked her. (Turns out I wasn't so sly - and Jeff brought over some food in the sack that had the receipt for the 3 tests in it to one of our friends' house so they TOTALLY knew right away too, although they let us wait to tell them!)

Anyway, I called the new OB/GYN office. They asked when was your last menstrual period? I checked my app and told them. They said to wait 2 more weeks.



So we waited. And then went in at the first possible time. There was no heartbeat. They were too small to see or tell yet. Yes, I said THEY. Two sacs.

One was empty.

So in the very beginning, we had twins...but no longer.  And now, we had to wait another week to come back and see if the baby was developing into a viable fetus or not.

After an agonizing week of waiting, we went in again.  Still no heartbeat heard - but we could see the faintest flutter on the monitor.  165.  Perfect.  But they still had concerns because the baby should be a bit further along according to the calendar.  So now we had to just continue to wait and see, and get to that sacred 12-week mark.

Granted, the risks really go down once the heartbeat is detected, but I have known too many people...so I did not let myself get fully excited - just anxious and excited.

The summer hummed along, with a spotting scare just a few short weeks after.  But - again the doctor said not to worry because it was short-lived and not volumetric.  Ok.  Keep on trucking.

We did!  With lots of resting, napping, sleeping, and grilled cheese / tomato soup combinations...we made it to 12 weeks.

And so far, things continue to go well.  I'm really happy to be in my 2nd trimester.  I feel a whole let better physically, and mentally a lot of worry has gone away.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to know when the time is right

That's one of my favorite quotes (from a movie I've never seen, so maybe it's out of context...but I don't care).

How did we know it was time to have a baby? After almost 9 years of marriage, and definitely over a decade together - what made us take the plunge? Truthfully, I wasn't sure when I wanted kids. I knew in some obscure way that it was in the plan, but just "not now".

After all, I had my career...and Jeff...and we were really happy to travel the world...and sleep in on weekends...and do basically whatever we wanted.

But about 2 years ago, my doctor asked me if I wanted to have kids. "Yes."

Do you know how many? "Maybe 2?"

How far apart? "I dunno.  I haven't thought that far."

Well, you should really try to have them before you're 35 because there's this thing called 'Advanced Maternal Age' and...on and on... "Oh. Ok."

Enter my healthiness journey of the past 2 years. Enter the Weight Watchers plunge. Enter the focus on weight loss. Enter the focus on improving my overall health by eating less processed, more organic, more natural foods. Enter the focus on strength training.

All of this, not just for me, but to prepare myself to even be able to conceive, let alone carry a baby.

The other question the doctor asked - which my mom also said she saw on Oprah or Dr. Oz or someone was... Picture your holidays and your life when you are 65. Do you have grandchildren? If so, children come first...plan accordingly.

So. After some soul searching and looooooong discussions, we began trying to have a baby.  Nothing happened for almost a year. And then it did.

And we are amazed, excited, scared, nervous, and definitely NOT ready...but we're not waiting anymore.

Guess what...

..............WE'RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After almost a year, we are so excited to announce we are expecting a baby! Our due date right now is March 2nd - I'm at 18 weeks.

 Here are the Top 3 baby-related things that have happened this summer while we were keeping it a "secret".

1. We found out RIGHT AWAY. The pregnancy test kit (2 pack) that we had in the closet came back positive on a weekend...which was like maybe 4 days after a missed cycle. Of course, being the scientists we are, we wanted independent verification. So Jeff headed out the next day - after work - and picked up another test. Or should I say tests:

2. I knew NOTHING about pregnancy. Most of my friends who have had babies live far away from me, and I have therefore not been exposed to the daily or weekly updates about what is "normal". Which truthfully, has been totally ok with me.

Any time friends HAVE started talking about pregnancy stuff in the past, my eyes glazed over so I could go to my 'happy place' because I was NOT READY for that kind of chatter myself. Turns out, I'm still not ready but it's happening to me anyway!!! Thank god for the internet (although you have to be careful) (more to come - see #3).

3. Knowing nothing about pregnancy has been good and bad. Good as in, EVERYTHINGISNEWANDEXCITING. Bad as in, HOLYSHITISTHISNORMAL. Here are all of my particular experiences...(Amy probably will have the same someday LOL...apparently these things run in families?).

 - Morning sickness was not "morning" and was not "sickness". It was "all day nausea but mostly when I started getting hungry". But no barfing.

 - Fatigue is NOT TO BE UNDERESTIMATED. I have literally never been so pooped in my entire life. Including 2-a-day summer practices for sports in high school.

 - My heart rate while exercising immediately went to 140 like, with just walking. Annoying. I wasn't even sweating or breathing hard. (My trainer has helped me with all of that. Hi Carla! You're the bomb.)

 - My once-a-day dropping kids off at the pool...um...the pool closed for the summer. I. Could. Not. Go. Potty.

 - Cravings were not super present. Although I have always loved bacon, it now seemed like it should go on everything. Also chips (I tried to mostly have popcorn when I wanted chips though).

 - Aversions were definitely present. I could not eat salads. Or apples. Or pretty much anything good for you in the fruits and vegetables category. Jeff bought me a Ninja smoothie maker just to try and get some of those in (it totally helped and I highly recommend it).

 - Eliminating coffee is stupid. It makes me happy and in the middle of the miserableness I needed it (still do!). I still have a cup a day - which is about 100-110mg of caffeine - and stay below the limit of 200mg per day.

I definitely have more to tell - about our first appointment, some of the drama, why we waited FOREVER to have kids, and my more recent feelings both emotional and physical. But that is for tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beach Vaca

We took our camping "on the road"...to the BEACH!!!

We went to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in sunny Florida.  This park is located on the Gulf side, about an hour south of Panama City Beach.

After about a 6.5 hour drive, we pulled into our camping spot about 5PM on Thursday.  The drive took us a little longer than anticipated - between 2 gas stops, a lunch stop, and the HOT weather (95 degrees) limiting our speed of towing (no faster than about 62MPH).

And this is probably gross - but somewheres around Eufala, AL we hit a LOT of bugs...yuck...

Anyway, after we arrived, we set up pretty fast, cooked up a quick dinner, and then walked over to see how close the ocean waves were...it was probably less than a 5min walk from our site!!

We walked down just in time to watch the sunset over the calm water.  It was beautiful.

Also of course, being a peninsula, there is a bay side as well.  The bay is super shallow a long way out in places (we'll get to that later) but it is not walkable from the campground.

On Friday, we woke up to birds chirping and (G-D) yellow flies buzzing.  Those suckers BITE!  So we cranked on our A/C and had breakfast inside the camper...lame, I know, but it was already really hot and the bugs were impervious to Deet.

Our friend Anna came down from Tallahassee with her almost-4-year-old Owen and spent the day at the beach with us.  We had a ball!!!  Owen and Jeff were two peas in a pod - they both LOVE LOVE LOVE the water and don't want to come out if they don't have to.

We floated on rafts, jumped waves, chatted, and totally relaxed.  And - not too sunburned!

On Friday night, the bugs were having none of it so we decided to go into Port St Joe for a "date night".

We went to dinner at Sunset Coastal Grill.  You can see why it's named that!

In addition to the view being absolutely amazing, the food was so incredibly good.  Jeff had some sort of local white fish and I had the most excellent fried shrimp EVER.  I don't usually order that dish (anti-fried) but it sounded good and was a specialty.  I did not regret it!  So, so yummy.  So fresh and crisp and delicious...I'm hungry just thinking about it.

On Saturday, I learned to snorkel.  We headed to the bay side and (upon advice of someone who had been there) walked a small hiking trail to a secluded beach area.  We parked our stuff and waded in.  Boy, was I glad for the water shoes!  Those sea urchins were sharp - and the bay extended really really really far, so you could walk out and not hardly get more than waist deep.

We snorkeled, and snorkeled, and snorkeled...and snorkeled.  We came up really often to talk and exclaim how much fun we were having.  And, we took one break to eat a bit of our picnic lunch and reapply sunscreen back on shore (note to self for next time, put it almost IN the private bits because your tush literally sticks in the air the whole time).  (Also note - not really photo of me and Jeff but wanted to illustrate the tush idea.)

After probably 6 hours in the water, we were pooped.  We showered and headed into town again (damn bugs) to hit up Joe Mama's Wood Fired Pizza.  So good!  Food always tastes better when you're starving, but this was truly yummy.

On Sunday we woke up mega-early to mostly tear down so we could - you guessed it - snorkel some more!  We went to a different area of the bay, and saw TONS of stingrays - one so big it startled Jeff really bad...but luckily no real "encounters".

We had soooo much fun and feel super lucky to have the beach only 6 hours drive away.  It was a perfect way to spend a perfect weekend!  We can't wait to go back soon.