Wednesday, March 21, 2018

happy spring, jerks!

23 weeks
It's been a bitterly cold winter. But the beginning of daylight savings time, some sunshine, and hearing the birds chirping in the mornings over the past few weeks had me feeling hopeful that I'd made it! I'd survived another winter! But on the first day of spring, Mother Nature dumped a pile of snow on us.
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23 weeks down, 17ish to go

It was actually our first/only significant snow of the year. This winter was cold, but we only got a few dustings of snow - the kind that melted before you could even put your boots on and head outside. I always get suspicious that there will be a spring snowstorm if we have a snowless winter. If it's going to be cold, I don't mind there being snow in the winter, but once it's spring - no thanks! I lived through five Syracuse winters where it snowed from October through May, and there's a reason I left that city behind when I graduated from college!
23 weeks
But it was nice to have Larry home from work and to cozy up with my family - dogs napping, fire in the fireplace, chili simmering on the stove, peanut butter blondies baking in the oven.
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23 weeks
23 weeks
23 weeks
The snow will be melted by tomorrow, and hopefully Mother Nature gets the message that winter is over. I'm ready to bust out my Tevas for real! Here's what I'm looking forward to this spring:

+ A belated fifth anniversary trip to California in April. It's not Hawaii as we'd originally planned, and I won't be drinking virgin tropical drinks or wearing sundresses on the beach, but staying in a cabin among the redwoods and exploring Big Sur still sounds pretty relaxing. Plus, it doesn't require an 11 hour flight to get there!

+ I feel like I've finally hit the sweet spot of pregnancy. The first trimester (and let's be honest, beginning of second trimester, too) symptoms are gone, and I'm not yet feeling heavy and uncomfortable. (Yes, I know I look huge in the photos, but maternity shirts do a really excellent job of accentuating the bump! So far I've gained a quarter of the recommended weight, which means the belly will quadruple in size over the next 17 weeks. Yikes!) But right now, during the day I'm starting to forget that I'm pregnant, until I see my own reflection and think WHOAH! Thankful to be feeling pretty good right now and hoping to make the most of it.

+ Getting back on the trail! I can't wait to get outside and hike this spring. My regular winter walking loop around my neighborhood has gotten so boring, so I'm looking forward to a change in scenery. And maybe I can find some friends to walk with so I can get in some social time, too. It's been a long and lonely winter.

+ Getting back in the pool. When I first found out I was pregnant, I said to myself "I'm going to swim and eat spinach salads every day!" Yeah, that lasted about a week. Then I spent two months lying on the couch and surviving on scrambled eggs and pears and bread. But it's not too late for me to start swimming again. I just need to see if I can squeeze into my swimsuit!

+ Trying new recipes and reading more books. I'm finally starting to enjoy cooking and reading again! I've been making lots of trips to the library and am looking forward to spring at the farmers market and eating fresh veggies. (Maybe I'll finally start eating those spinach salads again!)

+ Creative projects. Creativity has taken the back burner lately, and starting up on painting/drawing/sewing projects again sounds daunting. My brain and hand feel rusty. I need to make this happen.

+ A last hurrah getaway with Larry. I don't know if I'll feel like traveling in May, but I'd love to go to Savannah for a long weekend. I hate the term babymoon, and last hurrah makes it sound like Larry and I won't have any fun after the baby is born (hopefully this isn't true - we're looking forward to doing fun things and traveling with the baby), but a short trip for just the two of us before finishing up the baby prep sounds great. If we can't make Savannah happen, then maybe we'll just take a road trip to somewhere within driving distance of home. The Eastern Shore? West Virginia? We'll see...

Speaking of baby prep, we haven't started yet, so that's also on the schedule for spring. I feel like we have to finish all the house projects that we haven't done over the past 10 years of living here, get our shit together, AND get ready for the baby. Overwhelming!

Lots to do and look forward to. Happy Spring!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

telling the grandparents

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We told the grandparents we were expecting at Christmas. I was 11 weeks pregnant and honestly would've liked to wait a few more weeks to share our news, but the holidays were such a perfect time to make the announcement.

I generally shy away from big announcements, so I felt a little uncomfortable with all the attention. But there isn't a lot of exciting news in either of our families very often, so I was also looking forward to sharing something worth celebrating with them. Especially since this news was a huge surprise that I knew none of them were expecting!

I actually came up with the announcement gifts completely on my own and they turned out perfectly. So many pregnancy reveals are kind of cheesy, but cheesy or not, I'm so glad that our parents each got to open a little gift and have a souvenir to commemorate the news.

We gave my mom a stocking full of treats and in the bottom was a silver fortune cookie which I told her was a New Year's gift and contained her fortune for 2018:
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Her expression was priceless. She was so excited. I've never seen her so happy in my life and she said it was the best news she's ever gotten (after finding out that she was expecting me and my brother).
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Next up was my dad. I couldn't resist this as a reveal gift:
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Ha! My dad is a pretty reserved guy and I think he was in total shock. As he was processing the news, his girlfriend was fist-pumping and yelling "YAY!" (And I was laughing like an awkward maniac.)
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I told him that he had to come up with his grandparent name and he said "Oh we have to do that, do we?" and I said "Well, you don't have to. We can pick a name for you. Or the baby can just call you Old Granddad!" and he said "No, no! I think I can come up with something better than that!"

We wanted to tell Larry's family the news in person, but we couldn't manage to get everyone together in one place, so we ended up calling them and telling them on speakerphone. Larry's mom said "Oh my lands!", his sister cried, and his brother responded with a hilarious stream of expletives and then said "I just want to drive down there right now and give you guys a hug!" They were all so excited and happy. A few weeks later, we were able to visit them and give Larry's mom the reveal gift (a ceramic bird), plus a bonus (a little egg with "It's a boy!" inside) since they didn't know the gender yet. Everyone cried again. I love that the Smiths are happy criers.
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These pictures make me teary and make me excited to have a son. I hope that our boy grows up to be as sweet as Larry is to his mama.

These photos are all screenshots from video taken on my phone, so they are not the best quality, but I am so glad to have captured the grandparents' reactions. I know our boy will be happy to have them one day. Telling our families is definitely one of the sweetest memories of this pregnancy so far. I really didn't anticipate just how excited they would be! If I had known that the grandparents would be this happy, maybe Larry and I would've considered having kids sooner!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

expanding our pack

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We're adding another hiking buddy to our pack of boys this summer. Baby Smith is due in July!

Surprise! I'm pregnant! (Emphasis on the surprise!) And yes, I lugged a tripod into the woods to take this picture, and it was extremely awkward, but I made sure we were deep enough into the trees so no one else could see us.

I'm 16 weeks along, and comfortably out of the first trimester, though I have yet to feel the "magical burst of energy" that was promised to me in the second tri. In fact, I'm just now starting to feel the slightest bit of relief from the absolute crushing fatigue that plagued me from weeks 7 through 15. I spent all of December and January lying on the sofa taking multiple naps each day and proclaiming to Larry that I felt like "rotten garbage." My rotten garbage analogy took on a life of its own when Larry would try to come up with a more disgusting analogy each day: "Do you feel like dirty poop today? A truck stop bathroom? A leaky porta-john?" Yes, yes, and yes. And it's a good thing we're having a boy because we both seem to have the sense of humor of five year old boys ourselves!

When I told Larry I was pregnant, he laughed. Then he said "You know one thing our kid will never do?" and I said "Go to Disney World?" and he said "How did you know?!" and then we high-fived and laughed. So we're already on the same page when it comes to parenting. Sorry, kid - we'll take you to as many national parks and foreign countries as we can afford, but never Disney!

Larry and I are both still in shock over the news and I probably will be until I give birth/for the next 18 years/forever.

Him: I don't think I'll believe you're pregnant until I have proof!
Me: You mean like seeing a human come out of my va--
Him: No! Like when you have a belly!
Me: Well I kind of already have a belly...
Him: No, I mean A BELLY. Like THIS! (Pats his own belly.)
Me: How many weeks gestation is that?
Him: 46 years!

Yeah, I went there. And I'm finding that the secret to surviving pregnancy (and I'm assuming childbirth and parenting, too) is to have a sense of humor. I'm so glad I have Larry to keep me laughing when I feel like rotten garbage.

P.S. I definitely don't plan on turning this into a baby blog, but right now this pregnancy is a big thing happening in my life, so I should probably document it. I know I'll be glad I did in a few years. This is a blog about my life and my family, so our baby will definitely appear here, but hopefully interspersed with and included in posts about our other interests: travel, art, books, music, food/cooking, hiking, etc. My goal as a parent is to integrate our child into the lifestyle we already enjoy and to include him in the things that we already love to do. But right now, I'm too mentally and physically exhausted to have other interests - the double whammy of pregnancy during my winter hibernation season left me unable to read, watch TV, put on real clothes, or do anything besides listen to music while lying under a blanket. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging the backlog of trips we've taken over the past few years soon, but I'll also share a couple posts per trimester about the pregnancy.