Showing posts from 2013

Baby Gear

Before our baby was born, we started getting ready for her arrival by spending tons of money on baby gear. We managed to get the basics before her early arrival, and caught up on the rest later. Though it's misleading to say that we "caught up" as we are still hemorrhaging money on baby stuff on a regular basis (my credit card statements look like this: Target, Amazon, Amazon, Target, Target, Netflix, Amazon, Amazon, Target, Amazon, etc). Here is my review of some of the "essential" baby items that we've purchased: Baby gear 1. One of the first items that we purchased was a crib. Keeping in mind our color scheme for the baby room (white/gray/turquoise/yellow), we decided that we wanted a white crib with a modern look to it. I searched for a crib that was made of solid wood (to avoid potential fumes from glue used in MDF) and had extra storage (as we live in a small place and always lack storage space). After much research, we decided to go with Bab

Maternity Leave

If I had taken the "standard" 12 week, unpaid maternity leave that is available to (some) women in the United States, I would have been back at work by now. But, I did not qualify for maternity leave. Instead, I quit my job. How is it possible that I did not qualify for maternity leave? Well, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a primary caregiver is entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave under some circumstances, including a birth of a child, with a few caveats. One of those caveats is that you had to have worked at your current company for at least 1 year before taking leave. I was only there for seven months, so strike one against me. Individual states have their own maternity leave policies in addition to the FMLA. In Massachusetts, there is the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), which allows for 8 weeks of unpaid leave (woo hoo, how generous). My employer told me that to be eligible for MMLA, I had to have worked at the company for 6 months after the proba

Pregnancy and Weight Gain

If there is one thing I learned during pregnancy, it's that we have so little control over how the body functions. At least, that was my experience. Everyone talks about the food cravings, but I hardly imagined how powerful those cravings would be. In the second trimester, once the nausea wore off, my body craved croissants on an almost daily basis. How convenient it was that my work was located around the corner from a delicious bakery! Anyway, I would like to talk about pregnancy weight gain, not my cravings for croissants. (I'm sure the two have nothing to do with each other...) According to the Babycenter website, I should have expected to gain an average of 25 to 35 pounds over nine months, almost all of it in the second and third trimester, and the weight gain was supposed to be more or less linear. That is not what happened. What happened was this: True to my nature, I charted my weight gain throughout pregnancy. During the first trimester, I lost a couple of p

34 weeks - maternity photoshoot

This post is much belated since I am obviously no longer pregnant , but I wanted to share these photos with you. At 34 weeks, we had our maternity photoshoot (none too soon, as our daughter made an appearance less than two weeks later). My brother-in-law is a photographer, and he did a wonderful job with the photoshoot, especially considering how not photogenic I am. I was going to write this post as soon as we got the photos, but guess what? We got the photos on the day our little lady was born! So, without further ado, here is what I looked like at 34 weeks pregnant: ready to pop.

Welcome to the world, little one

my favorite tiny toes A month before her due date, our little lady surprised us and made an appearance into the world. She weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces, and measured 19 inches long. We are completely in love and totally sleep deprived. Slowly but surely, we are adjusting to our new role as parents. I have many blog posts swirling around in my head. The trick now is to find the time to write them.

32 to 33 weeks - Forever pregnant

I hear that when women reach the middle of the third trimester, they either feel like their pregnancy is flying by or that it's dragging on. Turns out I'm in the latter camp, feeling like I will be forever pregnant. Time has slowed down to a crawl, and we are now impatiently awaiting the arrival of our daughter. Not that we are at all ready for her arrival or anything. I have yet to wash her crib sheets, clothes, and blankets. We still don't have a changing pad. The car seat is not installed (at least, it's been purchased). The house is in a state of permanent disarray, with rooms covered in boxes. Of course, the hospital bag hasn't been packed. You get the picture. I have to say, though, that aside from the occasional back ache, I've been feeling pretty good. I did notice the need to slow down overall. I walk slower, I can't lift objects I used to be able to handle easily (like shopping bags), and painting any other room is out of the question at this p

Painting the baby room

As I mentioned in my last post , we painted the baby room. We chose to do it over the long Independence Day weekend because we knew that the prep and the painting would take a couple of days. But first, we had to choose a paint color. After much discussion, we settled on a potential color scheme for the baby room: gray, white, yellow, and turquoise. Yep, we are having a girl, and there is not a hint of pink in sight! Let's just say neither of us is a fan of pink. We knew that the white color would show up in the furniture, as we planned to get a white crib and a white daybed (the baby room will also function as a guest room). We decided that yellow and turquoise would make great accent colors, and we could bring those colors to the room in a rug, pillows, bedding, lamps, etc. And we thought that a well-chosen gray color would create a serene environment for the baby, and it would make a great neutral background for the bright accent colors. Finding the right shade of gray turne

27 to 29 weeks - Hello, third trimester!

I've officially entered the third trimester of this pregnancy, which means we are in the home stretch now! (And woefully unprepared! We have yet to buy most baby items...) I have to say that I understand now why the second trimester is called the "honeymoon trimester". I didn't blog much about it and that's because it was mostly comfortable and blissfully uneventful. There were times when I would forget that I was pregnant, that's how normal I felt. Third trimester has been pretty good so far as well, but I am noticing some differences. My belly is growing larger every day, and it is beginning to interfere with some daily activities, like sleeping, getting (rolling) out of bed, reaching for plates in the upper kitchen cabinets. These are all minor details, though, and in general I'm feeling pretty good! Here I am at 27 weeks: 27 weeks This photo was taken in the future baby room, and as you can tell from the swatches, we are planning to paint

On breakfast, elsewhere

The lovely Amanda, of Poppies and Ice-cream , asked me to contribute to her breakfast club series, and so I happily sent along a recipe that includes some of my favorite foods: tomatoes, bacon, and eggs. :) Check it out here .

26 weeks - The Pregnancy Brain

Forget-me-nots Pregnancy brain - a continuous, progressive condition in which you forget what you were thinking five seconds ago. May result in awkward pauses in conversations and poor hygiene. The only known cure is giving birth. I forgot to put on deodorant this morning. And I did not even realize this until lunch time. This is what I call pregnancy brain. I have to say that second trimester has been pretty great to me, I definitely lucked out. After the nausea went away, all the good stuff kicked in, sometimes literally. Like feeling the baby kick and having more energy. There is only one part of the second trimester that hasn't been kind to me, and it's affecting my brain. When I first read about pregnancy brain in my book, it was described as a feeling of absentmindedness. This sounded so innocuous that I mostly dismissed it. As it turned out, though, "absentmindedness" is a severe understatement, at least in my case. It started out subtly enough. I

First Year of Marriage - A Roller Coaster

Dancing at our wedding Yesterday, D and I celebrated our one year anniversary. The weather cooperated with us once again this year, and so we packed a picnic lunch (complete with a quaint basket) and spent the afternoon in the park where we got married. It has been one roller coaster of a year for us. In June, we got married and went on our honeymoon to Virginia and Washington, DC. In July, D started a new job, and I got laid off . In August, we celebrated the wedding of D's sister. My grandmother passed away in September after a battle with ALS. The roller coaster hit rock bottom at that point. In October, hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, and my stepdad's mom's house was destroyed. She has been living with my parents ever since (there is just now finally some hope of rebuilding). We also started looking for a house to buy at around that time. The next couple of months were all about family. My grandfather, having just lost the love of his life, visited m

Our new house: a clean slate

So we bought a condo and moved in a couple of weeks ago. But before we moved in, on the day that we officially closed, we stopped by our new place to take some photos before all of our stuff got piled into every nook and cranny. But let me tell you about the place first. It's a small (826 square feet), 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo that is on the first floor of a double-decker. For all of you who don't live in the Boston area, double-decker means there are only two units in this condo association. The house is really old - records say it was built approximately in 1900, which is what usually goes into records when houses are so old that they were built before any record keeping. So it may even be older than that. With age come some issues, but also some really awesome features. We love the fact that our ceilings are 9 feet tall! We also have some really awesome baseboards, chair rail, and trim around the doorways and windows. Without further ado, here is our condo:   Tha

Holy crap, we are home owners!

That's right, we finally did it! After actively searching for a place to buy since the end of September, we finally found our humble abode that we are calling home. Everything happened rather quickly once we made the offer, and we were lucky to have found this place before our lease ran out at the end of this month. We actually closed last week and moved in this past weekend. We are now living out of boxes and diving head first into all the aspects of home ownership (seriously, so many things have happened already, and we haven't even lived in our new place for a week). More details to come on how we found our place, the crazy Boston area market, what it's like to move while five months pregnant (hint: I don't recommend it), and of course, photos! I made sure to take photos of our new place before we moved in while it was still empty, so that we would capture the true "before" look. Stay tuned!

19 to 20 weeks - XX or XY?

I'm writing in real time now! Yay! First, I just want to acknowledge that I am at 20 weeks now, which means that we have made it half way through this pregnancy, and that seems kind of unbelievable. The second trimester continues to be much better than the first. I feel a hundred times better, the nausea is all gone, my appetite is back, and sometimes I feel so normal that I forget that I'm pregnant. (At least, until the next time my back starts hurting or I can't get myself comfortable in bed despite the fort of pillows I build around myself every night.) So, early on in this pregnancy, I got it into my head that we are having a girl. I don't know where this "knowledge" came from, but I was just so sure of it. The rational side of me kept saying that it could be a boy, and I would be happy either way, of course. But my intuition told me it was a girl. Well, a couple of weeks ago, we finally found out the gender of our baby! And what do you know... we ar

13 to 15 weeks - These clothes ain't fitting on me

I wrote this post on March 31, 2013. I am officially in my second trimester, and I couldn't be happier about it! First of all, it means that we can finally tell people about the pregnancy (we chose to wait until the end of the first trimester in order to get past the riskiest part of the pregnancy). But even more importantly, I am feeling much, much better these days. The morning sickness lasted over two months. During that time, I didn't throw up once, but I was constantly nauseous (this is not an exaggeration). I did learn to function with the nausea, but it was hard to eat, never mind enjoy food. The fatigue that I experienced in the first half of the first trimester let up somewhat, so I was able to stay up until a more reasonable hour, but I still got tired faster and easier than normal. The nausea finally let up a few days ago, around 15 weeks. I thought it would slowly go away, but it was actually kind of a sudden transition. One day, I woke up and the nausea was

7 to 9 weeks - More of the same

I wrote this post on February 18, 2013. The blog has been silent for most of the month of February, and there are two reasons for it. One is that I started a new job at seven weeks pregnant. All of a sudden, I have a lot less free time on my hands than I did during unemployment. But it is also the nature of the job - I sit and stare at the computer screen for over eight hours in a row, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is more of the same thing. The eye strain is incredible. The other reason for my radio silence is the effect of pregnancy. I've actually learned how to function with nausea (more or less), but the fatigue is inescapable. When I get home from work, all I want to do is take a nap on the couch. I've even been going to bed at some geriatric hour of the evening, which is highly unusual for a night owl like me. I know you won't read this blog post until at least the second half of March, but I hope that when you do, you will understand and forg

6 weeks - To eat or not to eat

I wrote this post on January 29, 2013. Week 6 of pregnancy has definitely taught me to take it one day at a time. One day, I feel mostly normal and like my usual self (except for the pregnancy truck induced fatigue), and the next day everything makes me nauseous. I haven't experienced any real morning sickness yet, as I've managed to keep the food down, but it hasn't been an easy task. [Correction: apparently being nauseous counts as morning sickness, even if you are not vomiting.] Some of my favorite foods, like pork and beets, became surprisingly intolerable at times. But then, on other days, I would eat an entire burger. Go figure. On the worst days, eating bland food has helped. In my case, that was matzoh (my Jewish version of crackers). Keeping pieces of matzoh in a ziploc bag on my nightstand to eat first thing in the morning before I get out of bed no longer seems like a ludicrous idea. Here I am at 6 weeks: 6 weeks That's not a baby belly yet, that

5 Weeks - My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard...

I wrote this post on January 22, 2013. ... No, they don't. Probably because I don't have a yard. But ohmygod, holy boobs! The symptom of the week has definitely been a growth spurt in my bbs. That's 'boobies' in pregnancy forum speak, for all the uninitiated folks. By the way, the number of acronyms on the pregnancy and TTC (trying to conceive) forums could easily rival the military. But back to the boobs. They are in pain and they are growing out of control. I am only five weeks along, and already I am busting out of my regular bras. And those bras had some wiggle room to begin with. I knew that breasts increase in size during pregnancy, but I didn't expect it to happen so early on. What am I going to look like in eight months??? (Update from the present: now that I am in my second trimester, the boobs have grown two cup sizes.) I should stop complaining, though, because really this is the bombshell stage of pregnancy. The belly bump isn't showing ye

The Ultimate DIY Project

I wrote this post on January 14, 2013. We just embarked on the biggest adventure of our life, and I am over the moon! I can't believe it finally happened, but the proof is in the pee stick pudding. A week ago we found out that I'm pregnant! I'm still a bit in disbelief because the journey to that little word was a bumpy one. People always tell you that getting pregnant is the fun part, and it certainly was in the beginning. But when all that fun was not resulting in a pregnancy, I began to worry that something was wrong. After several months of disappointment, I bought Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler (I highly recommend this book) and started learning about my body. And boy, did I learn a LOT. Some things my body was doing right, and some it wasn't. I turned the conception process into a science experiment, me being the primary guinea pig. Every month, I tweaked a variable and noted observations. Every month, my hypotheses failed. Until now

A little blog award

The lovely Amanda at Poppies and Ice-cream nominated me for a little blog award a week and a half ago, and I am embarrassed to say that it's taken me this long to finally post about it. Shame on me. I do have a couple of possibly legitimate reasons for my blog radio silence lately. One is that I started a new job after being unemployed for half a year, and it is taking a lot of my time and energy. The other reason is a secret project that I cannot reveal to you just yet, but will hopefully be able to tell you about it in about a month or so. Stay tuned! Anyway, as a nominee of the award, you have to mention the blogger who nominated you, tell 11 random things about yourself, answer the 11 questions by the blogger who nominated you, pass on the award to 11 other bloggers, and ask them your own 11 questions. So, here are some random things about myself: - I really, really, really want a cat. I've been wanting a cat for years, but the landlords in our area te