Monday, December 28, 2009

The Holidays and looking forward to 2010

Well, another Christmas season has come and gone. I hope everyone had a great time with their loved ones. We divided up our time over the past 4 days in Kokomo with Matt's family and in Valpo with mine. It always seems to go by so quickly, gone in a flash.
This Christmas was extra-special to me because it's the last one I will have before becoming a mom and I got to spend the holidays knowing I am with child. Hubby and I slept in really late on Christmas morning, thinking this will probably be the last where we'll be able to get up and shower and take our time, before the chaos of Christmas begins as parents.
I had such a great time with everyone, we really are so blessed to have our families and everyone be happy and healthy. I got some really awesome baby gifts, including baby's first Winnie-the-Pooh bear, a CD of lullaby music, some onesies (my first!) and some great baby books including the Dr. Oz/Dr. Roizen one which I already can't put down. Hubby gave me Inglorious Basterds which I already started watching last night, a bunch of clothes and books, perfume, etc. We have friends who say they don't exchange gifts with their spouse, but for us, we really enjoy giving each other a few special gifts we've chosen and Christmas only happens one time a year, so why not?
Another great highlight of this trip for me was seeing my little nephew Mark and spending lots of time with him. He's always been kind of reserved and quiet around Matt and me, and this time he really opened up and was so animated. Watching him really take to Matt was so cute and I know we will have such a great time raising a little boy or girl of our own. It melts my heart watching those two together.
This week, I'm working a short week so that will be nice. Wednesday we get out early and then I have Thursday-Sunday off. I'm sure I'll need to clean my house over that time, it's been a little neglected with all the traveling and holiday preparations...not looking forward to taking my tree down..maybe I'll leave it up another week or two longer :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What do you crave?

So today I have been thinking about cravings and how I have been enjoying all my favorite foods in this pregnancy, to no end.
I started out in the first trimester having NO appetite at ALL and while that would be great for a woman trying to lose a few pounds, for a growing life that is no way to live. I basically survived on crackers and celery for the first several weeks, but it felt like months. My poor husband would try and come up with these amazing dinner ideas, but the thought of them made my stomach turn. Nothing sounded good. Mashed potatoes-are you kidding me? Even chicken (one of my favorites!) sounded disgusting.
Then I went through the phase of liking nacho cheese on everything. Tortilla chips, hot pretzel, you name it, I could not get enough nacho cheese.
Presently, I am really starting to get back into food and my appetite has come back full force!! I start to worry when I will get my next meal :) My in-laws do not do a big sit-down dinner on Christmas Eve like my family, so hubby embarrassed me by asking his mom on my behalf what's for dinner because "Jen was wondering how often she will get to eat." Gee, thanks. I just wondered because we're going on a long road trip and church is that evening, so I need to plan how to feed myself and my baby and should I bring some nachos for the road? :)

On the negative side, I have been bombarded with sweets lately and while I love candy, cookies and chocolate, I am feeling that these are not such good things to be introducing to a fetus. Will they even be able to get teeth at all if I keep this up? Mostly though, I want savory, not sweet. Why can't someone bring me a big bucket of popcorn or salted pretzels instead? Why hasn't that become the new holiday tradition? I should start it, seriously.

Well, I digress, but I hope everyone has a great enjoyable holiday season. I probably won't post on here until after the holiday but who knows. The in-laws have a cozy little computer nook and I might get the urge to blog around 3am after my 4th pee run of the night. Been feeling a little restless at night these days. I thought I was supposed to get a LOT of sleep right now because later I won't have that luxury, but all my body wants to do is lie awake. I guess it's doing it's job of preparing me for 2am feedings so I'm not in total shock when it becomes a reality!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wow, I really need to blog more..

Yikes! I can't believe it's been about a year since I last posted on this thing. You can expect that to all change soon enough. I have plenty to write about now! As you may have heard, I am currently 16 weeks pregnant and counting!!
The time since I found out has just FLEW by and I honestly still cannot believe that this miracle is happening inside of me. It's almost like it's not really real until the day you meet this new life.
So, as you can understand, my time has been consumed by the holiday season and the prospect of parenthood.
I have been anxiously trying to get caught up on all my baby shows, baby books, mommy blogs, etc. (As if that's going to even prepare me for what's in store!) In the meantime, hubby and I are just enjoying this bit of time we have left as a couple, going to dinner, sleeping in, spending quality time in front of the T.V. with our pets, etc. before our lives are about to change.
I'm really thrilled with this whole concept, of parenthood, of all that comes with it. I'm READY for this step in my life and while I may have been a bit of a pessimist in the past, I have nothing but high hopes for what's ahead in life.
It's funny too, all the changes that women go through while expecting. For the most part, I've been privy to them all, but the funniest one that gets me so far, is that as women, we're already a bit self-conscious about our figures and what not. Then to get these weekly emails stating where I'm at in the pregnancy and "Your baby is now the size of a ____ (insert slightly larger fruit here)." Ok, I get it. He/she is an avocado! That gives me some point of reference I suppose....but why then does my stomach look bloated and fat like it's already carrying a canteloupe? Can we use something else to talk about this besides fruit please? So then when I look down at my tummy that does not resemble an avocado but a bundle of them, I won't feel so bad? Kthanks.
All that body image stuff aside, I feel absolutely wonderful and can't wait to start preparing the baby's room. I hope you will join me on this journey and see what what develops in our lives, give me some advice (please?) and laugh at me when my baby-cluelessness rears its head. Lord knows it will, MANY times. Thanks and wish me luck!! AHH!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 and looking ahead...

Ahh, well here we are, the first day of a new year. It's always a little exciting to start off fresh, to get a new start. To make the next 365 days count. To have no regrets and to live each day completely and fully.

As I think back to 2008 and all that went on in my little world, I smile and I also frown. But it's this thing called life, and it will always have its ups and downs. Some of the things that changed me and that come to mind when recapping this year include...

My 31st b-day: We were motorin' at the karaoke joint where you get your own private room. Ended up going there another time last year, and if the girls have any say in it, it won't be the last...

Sometime around March, I decided that my dream of owning a pug were to finally become a reality and I started to look much harder for the puppy I needed to own. After making a visit to the breeder's house, we fell in love with our little Bijou. The first few months were a little tough, but we've since gotten over the hump and now have our wonderful little baby Bijou to enjoy and love. It's hard to believe she will be a year old later in January '09 and I can't wait to see what she does next to crack me up!

April in Vegas for Whitey's b-day: It was my first overnight trip with the ladies in who knows how long. Despite getting food poisoning late Saturday night, I still had a blast, and learned that I can play a pretty mean game of Texas Hold 'Em Bonus Poker. It was quite the memorable trip and one I hope to take again in the years to come. Vegas is what you make of it, and we made it a blast!

May-Mary's wedding: This was my baby sister's big day and it was amazing to say the least. Everything, from the ceremony, to riding in the limo with the wedding party, to the crazy reception where the whole family managed to bond and catch a mean buzz, made for a very memorable night. We are so blessed to have such a close knit family and for all that we are blessed with.

And soon after the wedding, was PARIS! My second big trip that year, was Paris, France. It was a long time coming, but we finally went to Europe. This was probably my highlight of the year, and it was so incredibly special to me and Matt as well. We did everything on our own terms and even got to sneak in a Radiohead concert that week as well!! Part of me knows it won't be my last trip to this amazing city. Just from that moment we walked out of the train and onto the cobblestone street to our apartment, I knew that we were somewhere special. It was like falling into another era, a different world, something completely opposite the bustling city of Chicago. I can't wait to explore more of Europe!

July brought the festive 4th of July, more BBQs and lots of sun!!
August was Lollapalooza-a highlight for me-something to look forward to every year, and a hop, skip and a jump from our place! Ok, well, maybe a train ride away, but still!
A few other great highlights that month included the birth of our friend Brandi's baby, and another wedding, this time in Kansas City!! Our friends Tim and Blaise got married here and we had a blast. It was so much fun being part of their special day.

September brought some of the downs to this month, due to Grandma falling more and more ill each day. I will never forget the last moment I saw her and kissed her goodbye. I left that room with a huge amount of guilt and anger at myself, for being so consumed in my world that I forgot to make more time for others. I loved her very much, and only wish I would have spent more time telling her that and being with her, vs. not being with her. Rest in peace, Grandma. That same day we lost her, I also lost my job. I had taken a different route, career-wise, and ventured into the world of advertising. This company was my life for the past 4 years, so it was hard to be let go, but with every ending comes a new beginning, and while the next month would be very difficult for me, I had to keep my head up and know that there had to be something better along the way.
In November, we made CHANGE happen and elected Barack Obama as our new president. This was extremely important to me, and an election I couldn't help but watch closely. America voted for change, and the rest of the world took notice. I hope that the next 4 years bring the goodness we need to the U.S, and we get out of this war, and more economic stimulation to the country.
With no time wasted on my little mini-vacation from work, I sent out tons of resumes and met with plenty of recruiters. Finally, something came along that had promise and potential. I have been at this new job for about 60 days now, and things are going great. It is not the full-time with benefits job I had hoped for, but in this economy, it was a great offer to accept and had the potential to turn into something longer term. For the meantime, it is enough for me, and I am happy. I have had quite enough unemployment in my lifetime, thankyouverymuch.
The holidays this year went very quickly, as they always do. We had a great holiday party and I finally learned how to make pierogis. Christmas Eve was a good time to be with family and Christmas in Kokomo was wonderful as well. I also learned that I kind of love Guitar Hero and need to play that again like, soon!
New Years Eve we had Rob and Sarah and Tim and Blaise over and we ate, drank and danced some Charlie Brown dances ;) then went to the Justice NYE show at the Congress. It was a blast. And now, I am tired and I have plenty to be thankful for. I am ending 2008 knowing that I can't change what's past, but I CAN change what happens in the future. I am hopeful that a few good things will happen in 2009 and that we can only look forward and never look back....