Friday, November 29, 2019

30 Weeks and Thanksgiving

Happy Day-After Thanksgiving! 
Ours was filled with the usual extended family and gluttony. 

Obligatory family photo at my parents' house: 

But the Thanksgiving fun doesn't end 
because tonight is Adam's family's Thanksgiving. 
So Saturday starts the true Christmas season 
(aka: Christmas decorating!) 

30 Weeks

Baby Size: Zucchini

Current Weight: 168.6
Weight Baby #2: 154.5
Weight Baby #1: 162.5

Holdin' steady at a 6 lbs gap 
between my weight with Aaron 
and my weight with this baby.

Not good this week. 
Several nights of waking up at 2:30am, 
unable to go back to sleep. 

Thanksgiving food. 

Symptoms of the Week:
Ankle pain. 
Lots of waking up with sore ankles. 
I suspect this is fluid pooling. 

Back pain pops up here and there, 
particularly if I've been on my feet a lot 
or if I stay in the same position too long. 

The good news is that my constipation is getting smoother
Or at least, my bowel movements are more consistent. 
I've been keeping up with prunes, apples, and oranges, 
although my two-day Thanksgiving diet may clog my progress. 
(How many poop puns can I put in a paragraph?)

All the time. 
This little guy is busy and pushy. 
Everyone has felt this belly moving. 

Exercise Status:
I went to Hot Power Yoga this week again 
and while I could still only do 50% of the poses, 
it really relaxed my body. 
I think it moves around the pregnancy fluid. 

Unfortunately, I did not go for my run/walk/podcast time at all. 
A combination of sleep, weather, and holidays kept me sedated. 

Excited For
Finishing Room Transition! 

The bunk beds were delivered Wednesday 2pm 
and Adam being Adam, 
he decided to dive into building right away. 
Adam finished around 8pm, 
barely in time for bed 
(which meant little time for cleanup). 
While normally I'd spend Black Friday decorating for Christmas, 
I'll instead spend today wrapping up the room transition. 
Pictures to come! 

General Mood

On the non-pregnancy front, 

I'm in a great mood. 
I love holidays. 
I love holiday cooking. 
I love Christmas decorating. 
I love present wrapping. 
I love the Pandora Christmas stations. 

On the pregnancy front, 
I'm sick of being uncomfortable. 
I'm sick of normal things being difficult 
(like putting on pants or picking stuff off the floor). 
2 more months to go!

30 Weeks with Oliver here 

30 Weeks with Aaron here

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Books I Read (November)

Total Books Read for November: 6

One Second After 
By William R. Forstchen 

This is Adam's ideal genre:
 the post-apocalyptic, disaster, survival-style genre. 
Not so much. 
But my best friend loved this book 
so I gave it a shot. 
It was on my Original 10 goal list
and after checking it out twice before, 
something clicked this time 
and I blew through it in 48 hours. 
After, Adam borrowed it and finished it in a weekend. 

Plot: the US suffers an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack, 
rendering all electronics dead: 
cell phones, medical equipment, any car newer than 1980. 
A man, his family, and a small NC town 
learn to cope in the aftermath, 
with food shortages, 
medicine shortages, 
and rampant disease.

Some of the community planing was really interesting, 
from disease prevention to food rations. 

That said, the author was very clearly an old white man, 
whose policies and values I often disagreed with. 
Plus some of his female descriptions reminded me of this gem: 

So yeah... there's that. 
Obviously Adam did not share this complaint. 

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
By Lori Gottlieb 

I loved this book! 
Yes, it's a book about therapy, 
but it's also about transformation. 
Characters that start out annoying and unlikable 
(including the author/narrator) 
transform throughout the book, 
leading to a very beautiful ending. 

This book was recommended to me by 
Emily Schuman at Cupcakes & Cashmere
a social media influencer who quite literally 
influenced me into getting my own therapist 
by openly sharing her positive experience 
(this is, IMO, the best outcome of social media). 

As someone who attends therapy, 
it was fascinating to learn about the behind-the-scenes 
of therapy and the therapists mindset working with patients. 

All this said, I don't know anyone who has read the book that isn't in therapy, 
but I do think it would still be interesting to non-therapy people! 
The patient stories are great 
(there's a couple that had me tearing me!). 
The psychological insights are great. 
And overall I think it was well-written. 

Where the Forest Meets the Stars 
By Glendy Vanderah 

Absolutely breath-takingly beautiful fiction! 
I devoured this book 
and loved every second reading it. 
I also stayed up wayyyy too late to finish it 
(the sign of a really good book!). 
I love the character, quirky as they are. 
I was so vested in the characters' outcome, 
that I had straight up anxious heart palpitations in the final chapters. 
Highly highly recommend! 

You've Been Volunteered 
By Laurie Gelman 

Cute and witty just like her first novel (reviewed here). 
My friend and I were reading it at the same time 
and we agreed the beginning was quite slow. 
I think the book picked up about halfway, 
and then it thoroughly entertained me to the end. 
If you like the first one, you'll like the second. 

Things You Save in a Fire 
By Katherine Center 

Sucked me in 
and I finished it in 24 hours. 
I had heard mixed reviews (I forget where from) 
but I ended up loving it. 
As an anti-romantic,
 I immediately connected with the practical main character 
and her logic throughout the book 
(even with the romance!). 
It is a great story with a great ending. 

The Great Alone 
By Kristin Hannah 

Such a beautiful book! 

Despite it's tremendous reviews, 
I was hesitant to read 
because I knew there was a substantial amount of abuse 
and the story was told through the eyes of a child/teen. 
Any form of child abuse and I'm out
But this is spousal abuse which doesn't bother me at all. 
(I mean, yes, spousal abuse is still terrible, 
but it doesn't give me haunting nightmares like child abuse.) 

It's beautifully written. 
The tension is palpable 
and the storyline captivating. 

It's been years since I read her other famous book 
"The Nightingale" (review here
so I can't really compare the two. 
I did read The Nightingale in one night, 
while I spaced this book over several days. 


Books I Didn't Finish

The Testaments 
By Margaret Atwood

I had read The Handmaid's Tale over three years ago 
and didn't love it (reviewed here). 
I do want to watch the TV show, 
but we don't have Hulu 
and I haven't requested the DVDs from the library yet. 

That said, with all the publicity surrounding this new book, 
I decided to try it. 
I could tell immediately that I liked the writing better than the first book. 
The only problem is that it had been so long since I read the first one 
(and without the TV series to keep me updated) 
I was totally lost. 

Eventually, I decided to return it 
and check it out after re-reading The Handmaid's Tale again. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

29 Weeks

29 Weeks

Baby Size: Acorn Squash

Current Weight: 167.0 lbs
Weight Baby #2: 154.0 lbs
Weight Baby #1: 161.0 lbs

Hooray for slowly closing the gap between 
my weight with Aaron and my weight now! 
Of course I say that with Thanksgiving around the corner so... LOL. 

2 bad nights, 
1 from back pain 
and 1 just overall poor sleep. 
Other nights not too bad. 


Symptoms of the Week:

Two biggies: 

1. Back Pain. 

Back pain reared its ugly head one night. 
It was absolutely excruciating 
and I woke up every hour in pain. 
During one wake-up at 3am, 
I booked myself a yoga class for 9:30am that morning. 
Yoga is the one thing can cures all of my physical ailments [so far]. 
It was Hot Power Yoga 
and I could do maybe 50% of the poses, 
but it totally fixed whatever the hell was wrong with my back. 

2. Constipation 

I had another system cleanout last Saturday, 
which was 8 days since my previous system cleanout. 

I'm trying to stay more on top of it going forward. 
Lots of apples, lots of prunes, lots of water, 
and generally that seems to be helping. 
A little. 

I look forward to the days where
 I no longer clog the toilet every time I poop. 

Tons of kicks and jabs and movement all over the place. 

Exercise Status:
I'm very proud of myself for finding a workout routine I can stick to. 
I look forward to my 0.50 run/2.5 mile walk 
mostly because of the podcasts. 
I also did a run/walk with my running buddy, 
who is very gracious about the fact that our 6-8 mile weekend runs 
have turned into 3 mile walks. 

I went to a new local gym with my friend (as a guest). 
While I enjoyed chatting with my friends 
on the stair stepper and treadmill, 
it reaffirmed that I HATE TREADMILLS. 
I will only go to an indoor gym if it can be social hour. 

Excited For
This weekend we have our annual Penn State Party, 
where we invite all of Adam's college buddies 
(and their spouses and children)
over to watch the game and serve up tons of food. 
The Extrovert in me is always up for a social afternoon with food. 
It would be nice to be able to throw back a few beers 
(football and beer are synonymous, IMO) 
but I'll have to stick with one, I guess. 

Oh and of course next week is Thanksgiving! 
Which also means Room Consolidation Weekend! 
The bunk bed should arrive next Wednesday 
and I think Saturday is the planned assembly day. 

Lastly, I LOVE holiday shopping, 
so I'm really excited about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, 
all of which I plan to take advantage of from the comforts of my laptop. 

General Mood
Cranky Pregnant Emily is here. 
I'm sooooooo over being pregnant. 
It's just inconvenient and uncomfortable now. 

29 Weeks with Oliver here 
29 Weeks with Aaron here

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Mamas Mornings Off: Early November

Another 2 weeks documenting my Mama's Mornings Off 
while Oliver is at Nature Preschool. 

This was not my best time utilization. 
I want to spend most of my time on house projects, 
but instead spent a lot on errands and wasted time. 

Category explanations here 

Mon, Nov 4th:
2.5 hours Errands (Wegmans, Ulta, etc) 
0.5 hour wasted time
 (chatting with my cleaning lady) 

Wed, Nov 6th:
1 hr 45 minutes Appointment (Aaron Dentist) 
The remainder split evenly between 
errands, house chores, eating, and wasted time. 

Fri, Nov 8th:
30 minute "appointment"
 (meeting cousin for B'nai mitzvah setup) 
1 hour 15 minutes House Projects (see below)
The remainder split evenly between
house chores, eating, and wasted time. 

Mon, Nov 11th:
Errands (Target & J Crew) - 1.5 hours
Cooking (Make chocolate banana muffins) - 30 minutes
"Appointment" (my mother-in-law locked herself out) - 30 minutes
The rest was house chores. 

Wed, Nov 13th
3 hours Errands
 (Wegmans & mall returns)

Fri, Nov 15th
2 hours Exercise
 (1.5 hours Hot Power Yoga, 30 min shower/get ready after)
Remainder time split as house chores, eating, and wasted time. 

House Projects

These house projects were super small projects, 
all on November 8th. 
Small, but appreciated projects!

First: Lunch-making Cabinet 

Every day, I make 2-3 lunches. 
Adam & Aaron are 5 days of M-F 
and Oliver is 3 days at MWF. 

(Yes, I make my husband's lunch. 
Yes, this is annoyingly domestic of me. 
I do it because it ensures he eats healthy 
and I'd rather a healthy husband than not.) 

This cabinet is the most used 
and thus the fastest to get out of control. 
Most was pulling out items we don't need anymore, 
and reorganizing the items we had left. 

Second: My nightstand 

Again, this was mostly removing items I don't use anymore. 
Do you see that "Babydust Method" book in the upper left? 
LOL. That was out attempt to have Baby #3 be a girl. 
You can see how that turned out, hmm? 

Friday, November 15, 2019

28 Weeks - Third Trimester

28 Weeks - Third Trimester

After whizzing by early on, 
this pregnancy is now dragging
...Just like my ginormous belly when it hangs over my pants. 

Baby Size: Eggplant

Current Weight: 167.4 lbs
Weight Baby #2: 152.5 lbs
Weight Baby #1: 160.0 lbs

15 lbs baby coming right up! 
I'll just pack Size 2 diapers 
and 9-month clothing for the hospital. 

Surprisingly good. 
No insomnia killer nights. 

Unhealthy food

Symptoms of the Week:


Constipation! Constipation! Constipation! 

After last week's post, 
I had a "system-cleanout" on Friday afternoon. 
I swear I lost 5 lbs in one "sitting."
It was fantastic. 

Since then ... nothing
Maybe I've become one of those people 
who only poops once a week? 
Let's hope it happens again today. 

Prunes and apples! 
Prunes and apples!

All over the place. 
Everyone has felt this little guy wiggle and squirm. 
Oliver finds it absolutely delightful. 
He bursts into a great big belly laugh 
and it makes me so happy. 

Exercise Status:
Yesterday it was 20 degrees 
when I still went for my run/walk. 
0.5 mile run and 2.4 mile walk. 
Thank goodness for Jonathan VanNess 
keeping me hooked; 
I learned a lot about the upcoming census. 

Excited For

Holiday plans are being made. 
Holiday menus are being arranged. 
Gift buying is in full swing. 
I even listened to the "Christmas Today" 
station on Pandora yesterday. 
Our tree doesn't go up until Black Friday 
(my own self-imposed rules) 
but that's only 2 weeks away!

General Mood

While my holiday enthusiasm is raging, 

my pregnancy enthusiasm is diminishing. 
Third Trimester is not my favorite. 
Being so overweight is really weighing me down 
(pun intended). 
I'm so damn big 
and I'm so damn sick of it. 

I also know that the hardest part 
will be losing the weight postpartum, 
and that adds an extra layer of dread. 

"Enjoy your last pregnancy" people say. 

*Bonus Picture* 
We went to a B'nai Mitzvah last Saturday, 
and I loved my dress so much I snapped a photo of me in it too. 

28 Weeks with Oliver here 

28 Weeks with Aaron here

Friday, November 8, 2019

27 Weeks

27 Weeks

Baby Size: Lettuce 

Current Weight: 167.0 lbs
Weight Baby #2: 150.5 lbs
Weight Baby #1: 158.0 lbs


Suprisingly good.
It's cold out now and
If I can see my breath in the morning,
then the house is the perfect temperature.

DST was good to us
and it's helped me wake up earlier,
which I always prefer.

All that damn Halloween candy

Symptoms of the Week:
So uncomfortable and not going away. 
I am eating apples and pears and PRUNES 
and guzzling water 
and taking stool softeners 
and there is no end in sight. 
I am rapidly approaching the forced laxative area, 
which pregnant women are not supposed to do 
but DESPERATE TIMES, people. 

On Wednesday morning, 
Oliver cuddled with me in bed 
and Baby started kicking up a storm. 
Oliver had both hands on my belly 
and every time baby kicked or rolled or punched, 
Oliver broke out into hilarious fits of laughter. 
It was adorable. 
I want to bottle that up forever. 

Exercise Status:
I've been keeping up my walk/run with podcasts. 
On Tuesday I got up to 0.68 mile jog 
before lapsing into my walk (2.25 miles). 
I'm just loving the Jonathan Van Ness "Curious" podcasts. 
It keeps me so entertained. 

Excited For
My first Bar/Bat Mitzvah this weekend!
Adam's cousin's boy/girl twins are being called to the Torah tomorrow.
In my college days I catered Bar or Bat Mitzvahs celebrations,
but I've never attended one as a guest.
Adam, of course, being both Jewish
and growing up in a highly Jewish area,
has attended dozens
and does not share my same enthusiasm.
Apparently the ceremony (correct word? no)
is about 1.5-2 hours long.
And here I thought Catholics were the ones with long services!

General Mood
I'm rapidly approaching the 
"I'm sick of being pregnant" stage. 
Pants are difficult. 
Tying my running shoes is difficult. 
The constipation is a KILLER. 

That said, my mood overall is good, 
as I love the holiday season. 
I love gift buying 
and holiday parties 
and all that stuff. 
Plus this cooler weather is HEAVEN. 
We are supposed to see freezing temps next week 

27 Weeks with Oliver here 

27 Weeks with Aaron here

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Mamas Mornings Off: October

I didn't like how cluttered my previous post was. 
So being the nerd that I am, 
I made a spreadsheet and graphs 
to illustrate how I spend my Mama's Mornings Off. 


House Projects
My goal is to spend most of my time on house projects.
Big house projects are difficult to do with kids around, 
plus require a fair amount of time and concentration, 
but once done, they make our daily lives (mine in particular) soooo much easier. 
Previously as a Working Mom, 
I would take off the occasional Friday to tackle all of these. 

While errands can be done with kids 
I enjoy them so much more without kids. 
I do believe it's important for children
 to learn store etiquette 
as well as the valuable life lesson 
of coping with store boredom without a meltdown, 
but I'm good with leaving that teaching time to summer only. 

PTO (Parent-Teacher-Organization)
I'm co-Treasurer on the Board. 
Aside from the actual finances (easy to do on my laptop), 
being on the board requires odd jobs at the school 
to prep for upcoming parties or events. 

House Chores
These are things I would have to do anyway, 
even with kids hanging underfoot. 
I try to minimize my time spent here, 
because it feels wasteful of my alone time. 
Examples: laundry, dishes, small cleanup, etc. 

Because prepping, eating, and cleanup 
still takes time without children. 

Wasted Time
Obviously the category I want to avoid the most! 

These Last Two Weeks: 

Errands and PTO duties consumed a lot of my time! 

Mon, Oct 21st
1 hour errands (Target) 
15 minute house project (book rotation) 
15 minutes eating 
15 minutes house chores 
1.5 hours wasted time 

My cleaning lady was here that morning 
(she prefers the term "Domestic Goddess"). 
She's known Adam's family since he was in middle school 
and she's hilarious. 
If I'm home when she's here, 
I inevitably spend most of my time chatting with her. 

Wed, Oct 23rd
3 hours errands 
(Wine & Spirits, Wegmans, Trader Joe's) 

Fri, Oct 25th
2.5 hours PTO (Halloween party prep) 
15 minutes eating 
15 minutes house chores 

Mon, Oct 28th
2 hours house projects (see below) 
30 minutes errands (Target) 
15 minute eating 
15 minutes house chores 

Wed, Oct 30th
3 hours errands 
(Wegmans, H&M drop off old clothes, Nordstrom returns) 

Fri, Nov 1st
 2 hours 15 minutes house projects (see below) 
30 minutes house chores 
15 minutes eating 

House Project

Coming up in a few weeks, 
we will move Oliver into Aaron's room, 
replacing Aaron's single bed with bunk beds. 
I wanted to get a jump start on the clothes, 
specifically to see how much extra storage we would need. 
This also meant backfilling Oliver's space with new baby clothes (yay!). 

Step 1: Move Oliver's Clothes into Aaron's room 

Aaron's existing dresser has 5 drawers, 
The 3 on the bottom will be his 
and the two 2 will be Oliver's. 
The 2nd from the top I had already emptied. 
The top was holding "too big" clothes 
that I still haven't decided where to put 
(currently residing on the guest bed - UGH!)

Now filled with Oliver's clothes. 
Organizers by IKEA. 

Aaron's room has a tiny closet which may be interesting as the boys grow. 
I bought a 3-drawer organizer from Target 
to hold Oliver's nap & nighttime pull-ups, 
as well as swim clothes come summer. 

Step 2: Backfill Oliver's Dresser & Closet with Baby Clothes 

Look all those tiny baby socks!!!

And I very clearly do not need any more swaddle or regular blankets, huh?

Ohhh, tiny baby sleepers! 

Step 3: Sort Oliver's outgrown and incoming clothes 

And then Adam carries said sorted bins 
down two flights of stairs, 
to the unfinished portion of our basement
Everything labeled like the OCD freak I am!

That feels so good to have accomplished. 
For the next few weeks, 
Oliver will be dressing in Aaron's room 
but sleeping in his room. 
Given the size of our house, this is not a big trek.