June 18, 2013

26 weeks - The Pregnancy Brain


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 would find myself forgetting things I did several weeks before. No big deal, I thought, sometimes I forget what I had for dinner last night, even when I'm not pregnant. But as a precaution, I started writing things down at work, creating to-do lists to make sure I didn't forget to finish something important.

This was several months ago, and my memory has been deteriorating ever since. Nowadays, I find myself walking from one room to another, only to stop midway because I can't recall where I was going or why I was going there. About 70% of the time, it comes back to me. The rest of the time, I just give up. Conversations are becoming challenging as well. When someone is telling me a story, not only do I forget what I want to say in response, but also, by the time they finish talking, I forget what they just told me.

This scares me shitless. Especially because I have three more months to go. I might forget my name by that point. My only hope is that this "pregnancy brain" condition goes away right after birth.

June 10, 2013

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 me and my sister in our respective homes. There were a lot of firsts for him that month - first time on a train in the U.S., first domestic flight, and first time traveling on his own in this country. In December, we spent the holidays with our families: Christmas with D's family and New Year's with mine. So glad that this is one tradition we don't have to worry about splitting between families, as my family only celebrates New Year's, and his mainly focuses on Christmas.

The year 2013 promised a fresh start for us, and it didn't disappoint. In January, I finally got a new job (which I started in February), and embarked on a new career to boot. That was also the month we found out that we were pregnant.

In March, we made our first offer on a place, but it was rejected. Dozens of open houses and two offers later, we finally found our new home in April. And we also found out that we are having a girl!

Less than thirty days after submitting our offer, we closed on our condo and three days later, we moved in.

So to recap the roller coaster: in one year, we got married, lost a loved one, survived a layoff and a natural disaster, started new jobs, got pregnant, and became home owners. And at the end of the year, our relationship is stronger than ever. Here is to many more years of adventures together, to pulling through the hard times together, and to celebrating all that life has to offer.

June 6, 2013

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:
That is the hallway off the main entrance. I love that we have a coat closet. The chandelier is obviously outdated. Another thing to note is that in all of the rooms, we only have three light switches, 100% of which are poorly located. The rest of the lighting fixtures have pullcords.
From the hallway, you can see into the smaller bedroom, which will eventually become the baby room. Off the hallway on the left is the bathroom. I hesitate to show you the bathroom so early on in this "house tour" because it is...well...hideous. Let's just say that it hasn't been updated since at least the 1970s. I suspect that is because it's difficult to renovate a bathroom when there is only one in the house. But I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.
Behold, the avocado green bathtub surrounded by avocado green tile. But wait, there is more!
We also have an avocado green sink! And even though it may not be obvious from this photo, the sink actually overlaps with the toilet. So in order to sit straight on the toilet, you have to slide under the sink. Can't wait till I'm doing this nine months pregnant. Oh, and also, the window is right over the sink, which means the mirror is to the left of it. I wonder who designed this lovely room.

Anyway, enough about the bathroom (and yes, we plan to gut renovate it some day). Here is the baby room.
Although it's not obvious from the photo, it's actually been painted bright orange by the previous owners. In fact, the color scheme in this house needs an update in general. The room is not big, but it's functional and has awesome french doors (both bedrooms do).
The baby room has a small closet (it's not as deep as it looks because the toilet is right behind it). It also has a light that is completely off center. And the light switch is on the wall OPPOSITE the french doors. It makes no sense to me either. Actually, it does - this condo used to have only one bedroom, which was this room, except the room was bigger and had three entrances into it. So the light used to be centered, and the light switch used to be by one of the entrances. Our master bedroom used to be the living room, which means that what used to be the dining room became a living/dining room.
This small hallway connects the main hallway, the bathroom, the baby room (on the left) and the living/dining room. From the living room, you can see our master bedroom.
Don't you love the pink/green contrast? I think that was fashionable with teenagers when I was in high school. Too bad I never caught on to that trend. The bedroom is pretty large, has awesome french doors and a huge closet.
The master bedroom, living room, and kitchen have ceiling fans, which are all different, but almost equally ugly. I may be biased - I don't like ceiling fans. But we are keeping them for now because we don't have A/C and summer is coming.
From the bedroom, you can see the living room and straight into the kitchen. The living room has awesome bay windows.
Here is our kitchen.
The kitchen is a combination of awesome and WTF. It was renovated about ten years ago, and features really cool blue-gray granite. However, it is painfully obvious in this photo that the floor and ceiling are slanted (the cabinets are actually level). The floor has seen better days, and so have the appliances. Oh, also, there is a significant amount of mold in the cabinet under the sink (I think the bathroom and the mold are some of the reasons we were able to afford this place).
The kitchen does have three windows (including one over the sink), which I like.
This is the other side of the kitchen. Unfortunately, there is zero counter space next to the stove. But, we do have a pantry, which is in dire need of a paint job. Through the pantry, you can see the door that leads to our porch.
And that completes the tour of our empty house! Here is D looking very happy to be a home owner. (Sorry for the grainy iPhone photo.)
Three days later, the place looked like this...
We are still working on unpacking those boxes. Meanwhile, we are making so many plans on how to update our new place! Painting, setting up the baby room, and gutting that bathroom down the road are all on our long to-do list. It's going to be an adventure!