Thursday, January 22, 2015

MEGAN'S 30TH, BY WAY OF A DISPOSABLE CAMERA


Fridaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!! 

Wow, talk about a slow crawl. But we've made it and I feel self-congratulatory about getting here. I have this plan, and it's to try to enjoy the heck out of this weekend. This weekend, Ken is coming back, we are having several meals with friends, we are getting our usual errands done, I might clean out my closet and there might be some time logged on the couch with a pint of ice cream. 

On the subject of Friday's, let me take you back to last Friday, which was a whole different kind of fun - the kind of fun wherein red lipstick, 90s hip hop, and creaky knees are all involved. It was my friend Megan's birthday and she had the right idea of having everyone help her dance her way into her 30s. The party was in this great space, good times were had by all, and I danced my little heart and legs out. At one point, Ken showed off some aggressive breakdancing moves. 

Do you remember the disposable camera? The plastic kind that you would take to camp? And where you have to hold down the button to prep the flash? That's what I was doing intermittently throughout the night in order to capture these gems. Once in a while I love going the route of the disposable camera in order to change things up and I like what I get back. Oh the thrill of waiting for your photos to develop! 

These photos remind me of high school, but nope, it's just a bunch of 30ish folk, doing our thing and feeling pretty good about it. 



The birthday girl! I wish I had a photo of her with a real camera, because her makeup looked amazing. 





Ken took a minute to play DJ for the night. 







Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THESE DAYS AND 4 MONTHS OF PREGNANCY #2





I'm happy to report that I am feeling so much better these days. The first couple of weeks of 2015 were spent in a fog of 'I never want to leave the house' because I was so sick and congested and felt so awful. But somewhere in the middle of last week, I looked around and thought, oh I can actually SEE things around me, and knew I was on the road to recovery. I am ever so grateful that I can breathe through my nose again; there's nothing like a good bout of sickness to make you grateful for health. Recovery is like the New Years in that way, I'm feeling more aware, resolving to drink more water and sleep more, and making lists. Yes, I'm back to making to-do lists and planning ahead in my calendar with my trusty bullet journey, back to feeling like I want to write, take pictures, cook and exercise, which is wonderful. Although, there is still this lingering feeling of not feeling completely like myself - I'll attribute 20% of that to the pregnancy and 80% of the fact that it is still winter. Pregnancy has a way of making me feel a little disconnected from my body, especially when I'm exercising, and winter has a way of dampening my soul. (Cue hand to the forehead). 

In the midst of me trying to get my bearings, we got the news that Ken is going to have to be doing a whole lot of traveling for the next six months, on and off, right up until the baby comes and that really threw us for a loop. I am having all sorts of feelings about this, almost all of them negative, but I know like everything else, we will get used to it. Plus, this is the first week of him being away for this project and we're doing it, getting through it, even though Sloane and I both miss him terribly. 


Before Ken left on Sunday, we went out together for lunch at Mellow Mushroom, and got to spend some time together over pizza and walk the streets for fresh air. When the weather isn't too cold, and the company just right, a good walk can do you a world of good. 











And I know I just blogged about month 3, but those sentiments were from a while month ago, and now I'm in month 4! And I want to record here that with the second trimester comes the relief from the exhaustion of the first trimester, even though that 2pm slump is no joke and I am desperate for a quick nap, every afternoon.  Here is the photo we snapped after lunch....that belly is definitely being all, here I am!


A word about what I'm eating...

I don't think I'm prone to having huge cravings or food aversions while I'm pregnant. There were a few things here and there that I wanted more than usual when I was pregnant with Sloane (like randomly, I would NEED a cupcake), and the only food I couldn't eat was cooked spinach, but other than that it was business as usual. This time around, like last time (and like always), I'm always wanting fruit, but I've also noticed a couple of other cravings that have been fun to take note of. 

My recent food hankerings could be totally unrelated to the pregnancy, but I thought it was funny that during the 2nd month, all of a sudden out of nowhere, I wanted sour cream and onion potato chips. I honestly can't remember the last time I wanted these - maybe college? And then I went through a phase where I dreamed about cheesy pizza (super thin, with extra cheese dripping off of it) with grapefruit juice. I wanted that combination exactly, and then when I got it, poof, my craving was gone. I also wanted Thai drunken noodles a lot, and I wanted it spicy. I also thought about tart frozen yogurt a lot. 

At 4 months, I'm still hankering after the spicy and the tart (the other day, randomly, I found myself getting a pack of Warhead sour gummy strips) but the biggest thing is that I'm craving vegetables. I want green juice packed with greens, I want vegetables piled high on my pizza, and I want lots of fresh salad. I've been making these giant salads for lunch everyday and it is probably my favorite thing to eat right now. I could lose snacking on the occasional sour candy, but I hope this vegetable phase lasts throughout the pregnancy ! 










Sunday, January 18, 2015

PREGNANCY #2: 3 MONTHS


i'm actually about 4 months now, but i took these pictures and wrote this up last month when i hit the 3 month mark, and since i shared the news yesterday, i thought i'd do a flashback and share what my thoughts were like a month ago:  

the moment i found out i was pregnant for the second time, when i held the pregnancy test in my hand and watched the faint line appear to make two intersecting lines, was so very different from the first time i held a positive pregnancy test for the first time, there had been terror and tears that first time; this time, i couldn't stop a goofy smile from spreading across my face.  

so many things about this second pregnancy feels different.  from my initial reaction, to my attitude about the entire process. most of the first pregnancy was about me getting used to the idea that this monumental shift was going to happen to me: i resented being pregnant, i was uncomfortable with the pregnancy taking over my body, and quick to complain about all the changes and restrictions in diet.  this time around, it's different. i don't feel any friendlier about being pregnant for 10 months, but now, i don't harbor those resentments about not being able to drink alcohol or eat sushi.  it just feels very natural that i would shift my habits to get ready for this baby. and i have the first baby to thank for that.  because that is what the difference stems from: this time, i know what glorious, wonderful, miraculous thing awaits me on the other side.  with all of my imagination, and all the things that i had heard from friends, i couldn't have imagined what it's actually like to fall in love with a baby. now i know.  and it makes a world of difference in my perspective for this second one. 

unfortunately, another difference has been the bouts of nausea that has been coming and going. i didn't have one iota of nausea with sloane, and i am not having fun with nausea on this one. it is draining and exhausting. i am thankful that it comes and goes, and it has stayed away for the past couple of weeks; the only being difference is that my appetite is not as good as it once was. 

what has remained the same is the exhaustion-i remember being really tired during my first trimester with sloane, and that has been the same. i am so tired, all. the. time.  this time though, it is coinciding with my inability to cope with the winter, and this combination results in the kind of desire that wants to go to bed as soon as i get home and never leave the house. i am looking forward to spring, as if it's a trip i'm planning and depending on for reprieve.  



i'm going to try to keep account of the passing months, like i did last time.  but how funny it is to reflect on how much has changed. like that sweet girl in the background, for one!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

FAMILY UPDATE, FAMILY UPGRADE



The three of us have something to tell you....


We're....


...having a baby!!!


We love our little family...




....and can't wait to grow it together.


We're expecting to meet the new member of the family in July :) 



Thursday, January 15, 2015

THE NEW YORK HOURS




To my surprise, I made it up to New York this past month. My single self loved that city so hard and now my married and mother of one self reminices the heck out of what once was. I used to go up there quite a lot, all of which came to a screeching halt when 1) I had baby and 2) I realized Ken was not the 'travel-to-NYC-for-the-wknd' type.  We did make a trip up there together when Sloane was 5 months old and our time up there was sweet but it was way too short of a trip (36 hours) for the 12 hour ride up and 12 hour ride back down (!!) that it took for us to travel that particular weekend. With these life changes, it takes a little more wrangling to get me to spend time in that city, so even though I've been feeling the winter blues extra hard this year, or maybe because of that, when it looked like I was going to be able to make that visit, AND see my sister, AND make the trip with my parents, I told myself to pull it together and make it happen. 

I love so many things about New York - the same reasons why probably anyone loves (and also sometimes gets annoyed by) that city -  but I also have affection for it because of all the memories I have of that place with family and friends. We used to live in NJ, 20 minutes across the bridge into the city and made some memories as a family together there. And then all those times I visited my friend or my sister up there, I made sure to explore as many places as I possibly could and often feel a pang for that city.  Being able to go with my parents on a trip there was extra special for that reason - it sort of made me feel like a kid again. 

Even though it was especially cold while we were there, I really needed this trip. The day to day of December was hard because of work and the winter blues, and this trip - road tripping with my parents, spending uninterrupted time with my sister, feeling the energy of the city infuse into my bones, eating food I wouldn't be able to at home, walking a ton, getting to visit the MOMA and attending an amazing jazz show- refreshed me and reminded me of a part of myself that is really important to me. 

This is a total random assortment of photos, and they are not in order or anything, but I've gathered them together - from my phone and from my actual camera - and here they are. 


We tried twice to get into this place and it was ridiculously packed. We could barely walk in the door! We made up for it with a trip to Sables and Zabar and my craving for NY bagels and smoked fish was properly attended to. 


I love being squished in between my parents. And my sister's kitchen - I love the floors and the open pantry! 


Our fabulous hosts. Our last night, which also happened to be New Years, we made an assortment of delicious foods at their place and ate it all up while watching the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, for old time's sake. It was marvelous. 


My parents, who are game for anything. They are my inspiration. My dad is the best and most patient driver I have ever known. 


The tremendous spirit that is my mother.



                     My beauitful sister


MOMA's audio tour devices are on point. We went to see the Matisse exhibit, the Robert Gober exhibit and The Forever Now exhibit. I thought the Robert Gober exhibit was particularly amazing.



I WILL have your kokosh again, mark my words. 


This smoked trout and cream cheese on bagel and matzo ball soup from Sables was probably one of our favorite meals there. We visited zabar's afterwards for some grocery shopping and the whole place was covered in congetti.


A truly captivating show of The Bad Plus at The Village Vanguard. Made me resolve to get back to attending more live music shows. 


The windows at Barneys, this year set up by Baz Luhrmann. 



Us ladies.  








Tuesday, January 13, 2015

GREEN JUICE


Just looking at all the green makes me feel better. To me, this glass looks like hope and new life m. It looks like it's saying, hey spring is 65 days away! (That's right, I'm counting).

Since I've been sick, I've been wanting more juice, and I recently acquired a blender thanks to a friend, so first thing on the agenda was to make a green juice. Monday was the blight it usually is, I was fighting sleep all afternoon and trying to ignore the fact that my face was pulsating pain with what appears to be some sort of sinus infection, but I said you know what! I'm going to have a great evening with my daughter tonight. 

Just so you have the full picture, usually, my mantra is just lets make it through to bed! And this winter has been getting me so good that I'm not even keeping up with my to-do lists. But this particular day, it was a good day, because I didn't just survive (which is just as noteworthy), I got things done and had a lovely few hours with my daughter in between a rough work day and all of my chores before bed. She was so funny and talkative all evening and we had fun working together. After our juice, we made tuna patties, broccoli and salty baked potatoes for dinner and then I made breakfast sausages for the week, green beans for the next day and chicken and rice porridge for later on in the week, so you see, I was almost back to full form. (But then later on that night, I got to bed to late, Sloane had some sort of nightmare situation in the middle of the night, I didn't get enough sleep, I was late to work the next day and my sinus infection is in full form today, so you see, some days it's a victory, other days it's survival). 



When I got home, we took Rusty on a walk. It was raining, it was totally dark and it was cold, but Sloane and I held hands, she was a trooper and Rusty got to prance and pull us around to his heart's delight. This is the three of us when we came back in. Sloane is so good at giving him hugs!


Then we got to work on our juice. I chopped and she helped me put everything in the blender. Our juice had: 1 cucumber, 2 handfuls of kale, 2 apples, 1 inch of ginger, half a lemon juice, 1 cup of water and a few grapes.  


She was all, wow! When she saw the fruit and vegetables turn into pulp in the blender.


Cheers!



We were quite pleased with ourselves.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RECENT RECAP AND RESOLUTIONS




Have you noticed it's been a little quiet over in these parts? I got back from a lovely few days in New York visiting my sister with my parents, got back last Thursday and fell into a sickness that just wouldn't quit. I'm still feeling the effects of it, a week later, but I'm happy to report, I am no longer laying splayed out on my bed surrounded by a sea of gross tissues and I have been wearing real clothes for two days now.  Being sick means I find myself in the middle of the work day so worn out by the congestion and coughing that my brain is foggy and I know my co-workers must be thinking all sorts of vengeful thoughts against me for showing up at work (trust me! I would love to not be at work, too), but I hike up my big girl pants (technically, my pants plus my fleece lined tights), eat an orange, tell myself to thank all my lucky stars that at least I'm sitting in a warm building, and make it through one more day. I'm making it, one day at a time.

It is also worth noting that earlier this week, I couldn't even fathom the idea of opening up a laptop in order to string sentences together, but here I am! so it's a marked improvement overall.

I have lots to say about things, but I want to sum up a few things here before they fly the coop; good things. Let's categorize them as the highlights of these past few weeks.


1.  I already mentioned this, but I keep reflecting on how special that time was after my parents flew in and a bunch of us got together for a few days in a way that warmed even the coldest of my bones.

2. I got to go up to NYC with my parents for a few days. We used to do this a lot when I was younger and living in NJ, so there was a lot of reminiscing and even the road trip up with the expansive and rare car time with my parents was so sweet. 

3. I got to visit my sister and Paul and see their apartment. They had so many great corners and nooks in their place but for some reason I only took a couple of shots of their kitchen nook, which are the photos here in this post. My sister did the floors in that first photo above; aren't they gorgeous? 

4. Sloane and Ken stayed in Richmond and Ken's mom came up and stayed with them while I was gone and was much appreciated by both Sloane and Ken. I talked to Sloane on the phone everyday while I was gone and kept getting astonished at the fact that we can apparently have conversations on the phone now!

5. We had a great visit with my sister and Paul and I have lots of good things to mull over. I'll share more about our trip later.

6. My parents were able to spend another week with us back in Richmond after we returned and thank goodness because I got sick and they were of such great help and comfort.

7. The coldest winter day so far happened yesterday, and I survived!


Other things of note.

8. I read four books over the past couple of weeks. It felt so dang good to be able to carve out pockets of time to read. If you're curious, the books were:

'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed
'Me Before You' by JoJo Moyes
'Lila' by Marilynne Robinson
'First: What It Takes To Win' by Rich Froning. 


9. Albums I keep coming back to recently: Ben Howard's 'I Forgot Where We Where' and Sun Kil Moon's 'Benjj'.


10. And looking ahead, in the spirit of resolutions, things I've been thinking recently that I would like to do more of:

Read even more books. My list is long.

Attempt to be even more disciplined about writing.

Try to make a photo book. Or maybe even attempt srapbooking? 

Get real comfy and cozy with my bible. I got a new one for Christmas and I want to wear it out.

Organize. Another thing I got for Christmas is a label maker (!!) and I'm  excited about it. 

Simplify. Get more minimal with material things: quality over quantity, true necessities, etc.