It’s Thanksgiving Eve and I Couldn’t be Happier (or More Thankful!)

Talk about a year to be thankful… this year I married the weirdest, most amazingly perfect man ever… we bought and moved into a perfect house that we absolutely adore… we celebrated 6 months of marriage in Fiji where we swam 100 ft under the ocean… and we found our we’re having a little baby. Oh, I also got a new job in there, too! Talk about a lot to be thankful for… I’m literally overwhelmed and overflowing with pure gratitude and love this Thanksgiving.

If it’s not obvious, Thanksgiving is literally my favorite day of the year. While I love my birthday and celebrate the entire month of May (which we refer to as Maylissa), Thanksgiving trumps all of that by a long shot. In our family, we squeeze anywhere from 15-25 people around one table and literally feast. This feasting is usually laced with some cocktails, so you can imagine how loud and rowdy it can become. At the end of the meal, as we serve up dessert, we go around the table and everyone says what they’re thankful for. I’m sure this sounds like a lame tradition, but in our family, it’s become something we all cherish and look forward to. It’s great because depending on the person or the moment, the “thankfuls” can range from tear-jerking to hilarious. My dad, who usually takes the cake for the drunkest of the bunch, tends to start with some drunkly, sappy “thankful” and end with a cheers to gin and tonic. It’s heartwarming and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

So today, as I sit at work attempting to get focused and finish the one dang task I need to get done today, I can’t help but be thankful.

Prepare yourself for some cheese, because here’s my Top 10 List.

I’m thankful for…

  1. My husband and everything he brings to my life. Compassion, reason, love, protection, companionship, affection, sweet kisses, family, happiness, completeness. He’s literally my everything.

    My hubs <3

    My hubs ❤

  2. My parents. I am a very family-oriented person and couldn’t be more fortunate in this department. I live less than 15 minutes from my parents and see them at least once a week. They are amazing and supportive and fun. I can’t say enough about them. My mom takes my sis and me for manicures every week, she listens to every little thing I want to bitch about, she hangs out with me whenever, and she is just perfect. And my pops… I am literally him in female form… well, maybe version 3.0… but still, our humor and work ethic and thought processes are so similar. My success to date is a direct reflection of the qualities I received from my dad. Not to mention the fact that he’s hilarious (although I would never tell him that), fun, and provides such perspective.
    My amazing parents.

    My pops.

    mom and mel

    Me & the Momma.

  3. My siblings. My sister has been so amazing and supportive and helpful during these first couple months of pregnancy. It’s so amazing to not have to Google everything… I mean, I do anyway, but I don’t have to! And my brother bear, who has named our baby Mattilda Geraldine (his name is Matt)… he brings the perfect level of humor-laced concern and care to my life and I really appreciate that. Of course, my family doesn’t end there. I have the most IT-savvy and funny brother in law out there who was 50% of the cause of the cutest dang niece and nephew a girl could ask for.
    My siblings (and parents)!

    My siblings (and parents)!

    With the Gabbers.

    With the Gabbers.

    Can you tell I love him a little?

    Can you tell I love him a little?

     

  4. The other part of my family. I am also seriously blessed to have married into an amazing family. My MILly (Mother In Law) is literally the sweetest and most caring woman around. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for her calm presence in my life. And Pop, Mark’s 96-year-old gramps… he calls both my puppy and I “Short Stuff” and I just totally love him. He has the best stories and such a great vibe. Then there’s Mark’s dad, Ivan, and stepmom, Amy… just the sweetest people to be around. And so fun. Amy and I have a similar love of shopping. Two peas in a pod. And of course my sister in law, her husband and their two sweet little princesses. What a perfect group of people to “acquire” into my inner circle.

    Pop's missing from this one... but how cute are the rest of 'em?

    Pop’s missing from this one… but how cute are the rest of ’em?

  5. My grandparents. While it hasn’t been easy, my Grams and Gramps recently made the move to Wisconsin and I couldn’t be more excited. Although they don’t know it yet, they are going to be able to be a part of not only my pregnancy, but also the life of another great grandchild. I’ve never gotten to live in the same state or even region as them, and this feels like the perfect time for it to finally happen.

    How cute are they?

    How cute are they?

  6. My friends. I have the most perfect blend of girlies in my inner circle. Each of us has a unique strength that ensures that there is always someone there for you for every type of happening… whether sad, happy, exciting, overwhelming, angering… you name it. And, they’re seriously fun. Not many people have the support circle that I’m lucky enough to lean on. It’s pretty amazing.
    One sweet face is missing, but here's the bulk of them.

    How gorg are these girls?

    girlies

    The sassy bridesmaids.

  7. Health. I am so lucky that all of the people I love in this world are in relatively good health.
  8. My job. While I complain about work quite a bit, I have to admit that I’m pretty damn lucky. I get paid to do what I love and to do what I’m good at… I get paid to be creative, to go against the grain, to be a pain in the ass and to say what people don’t want to hear. Not to mention the fact that I get to do it with some pretty cool people. People that aren’t just cool based on the surroundings. My “counterpart” at work is one of the goofier people I know and I totally love that about her. She definitely makes work feel less like work and more like I’m getting paid to hang out with a friend.
  9. My pup and kitty. Seriously, they are so cute. And even when they wake us up super early or throw up on our stuff, I still just love them so much. They bring so much joy into every day. I never had pets growing up, so the fact that I get to come home every day to a wagging tail and purring kitty is just amazing.

    Our little family.

    Our little family.

  10. Our baby. When I was young, I once took every stuffed animal out (about 30+) and used hot loops to attach them all together. I then dragged my entire brood around the house and claimed they were all my babies. Even then, I knew that I was destined to be a mom. While I love my job and the excitement of career, my life’s aspirations lie within family. I want to be an amazing wife and an even more amazing (and patient) mother. For years, I have had this looming fear that I wouldn’t be able to have children and look at me now… pregnant after our first month of trying. I am literally the luckiest girl in the world.
My cousin and I practicing our care giving skills.

My cousin and I practicing our care giving skills.

Symptoms

Who cares!! I’m having a baby 🙂

Another Picture of the Baby Boo & a Weekend Recap

Baby "Blob" Lang! Ultrasound #2

Baby “Blob” Lang! Ultrasound #2

Today was our second ultrasound appointment, and my doctor’s way of appeasing my stubborn mind. As I’ve mentioned before, I was not convinced by the due date given at our last ultrasound appointment, so my doctor had suggested we do another one. Well, turns out the ultrasound tech and the fancy machinery is staying pretty consistent. My most recent due date was June 30th and today it was adjusted to June 27th. As I stated before, I am totally prepared to accept June 27th as the day and begin tracking the baby’s growth accordingly.

So, here’s where we’re at… I’m officially 9 weeks and 3 days pregnant, our baby is just over an inch from head to rump, and the heartbeat was 174 beats per minute.

Ultrasound 1 vs Ultrasound 2

Ultrasound 1 vs Ultrasound 2

It must be mentioned, that my mom is now convinced it’s going to be a girl! Only 10 more weeks until we find out! Also, I didn’t really see the heart beat last time, although my hubs did. This time, it was so clear and amazing to see. That little heart is working hard and was totally crazy and wonderful to be able to watch.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think we might have another ultrasound at 12 weeks for the nuchal screening. Can’t wait until the babe looks a little less like a blob and a little more like a sweet baby.

Weekend Recap

It was, once again, a pretty busy weekend. We were still furiously working to get my grandparents set up in their new place. Here’s some progress…

The desk is actually standing now, but this is the most updated photo I have...

The desk is actually standing now, but this is the most updated photo I have…

Despite all the work, we got to spend a little time together and the grandparents got to enjoy some quality time with their great grand pup!

Gramps, Toby & Grammy

Gramps, Toby & Grammy

We also had time for a visit with Mark’s momma… she made the most amazing Philly cheese steaks. Mmmm…

Mark and his Ma cooking up lunch!

Mark and his Ma cooking up lunch!

My husband getting goofy.

My husband getting goofy.

Symptoms

Enough said.

Enough said.

Big Brother is Watching…

I know what you Googled last summer...

I know what you Googled last summer…

I work a desk job, which means I spend at least 45 or so hours a week in front of the computer. Being that this is my first child, I’m sure you can imagine how many questions pass through my mind (and my Google search bar) during those 45+ hours. Sometimes I think about our IT guy and wonder whether he’s paying attention to my odd, very pregnant-focused searches, but my curiosity always trumps my fear that he might be monitoring my browsing.

Now, I don’t think that Chris, the IT guy, just sits around checking up on me or my colleagues, but Chris recently made a comment that made me question whether he was “watching.”

Being the sailor that I am, I dropped some profanity (the details escape me) and he replied with, “Hey, we’re at work… you need to be appropriate, just like your Internet browsing.” I brushed it off, but definitely thought it was more than just a random comment. And, being that I’m not looking at anything that could actually be considered “inappropriate” in the broad, world-wide-web-way, I figured he must be referring to my constant pregnancy searches.

Anyway, yesterday, I was melting down over a project that just totally sucked and he seemed overly concerned with helping me deal with my stress. He very kindly came over to my cube and asked how he could help. I made a sassy comment about him making it so I never had to work with a certain person who was running said project. I quickly added in an apology for being a little harsh, and he replied with, “Whoa! What are you pregnant?”

The conversation continued…

Me: Yes, I’m pregnant. Or I’m just so sick of this project blowing up all over the place.

Him: You seem like you have some crazy pregnancy emotions running amok. (Okay, those weren’t his exact words, but the gist was the same.)

Now, in his defense, I totally had some crazy pregnancy emotions running amok, but I have never been accused of such things. PMS’ing, for sure. Being bitchy or high strung in general, many times. But this just felt weird and a little too coincidental.

SO… in conclusion, I’d like to make a plea to the dear Chris… if you are monitoring my browsing and reading my blog, I ask that you keep my secret for a bit longer. You will know when I’m ready to share such news, as I will bring in some sort of mini, baby-sized treat and send a little announcement email to the office. Until then, no more public pregnancy accusations. Deal?

Symptoms

As displayed above, my emotions have been a bit out of whack lately. I’m feeling overly sensitive, and a bit bi-polar. Also, I think I gained about 10 lbs yesterday. Suddenly my stomach feels about 4 months pregnant. It’s a little overwhelming. Other than that, the nausea has settled down and I’m feeling good. Definitely looking forward to my Hunger Games afternoon and a little R&R this weekend.

Suckle a Wolverine

Ughh! Bad work day. I’m working on the world’s worst project and am not happy about it. On the positive, I found this article as I was trying to salvage my brain from combustion…

Suck it! The REAL Way to Prep for Nursing!

Obviously the key here is rubbing sandpaper on your nipples and suckling a wolverine. While I might not enjoy the painful nipple action, I did get a much-needed laugh out of this article.

Boy or Girl?

The homemade, improvised ring swing points to a girl!

The homemade, improvised ring swing points to a girl!

My friend Carrie, who is also pregnant, has her 19 week ultrasound tomorrow, at which point she will hopefully find out the sex of her baby. This has obviously gotten me thinking about my own little nugget. Will I have a sweet little girl or an adventurous little boy? My mom is convinced (already) that it’s a boy.

I looked online and found some fun old wives tales about determining the sex of the baby, so obviously, I had to test some of them out…

  1. If you’re carrying high, it’s a girl. If you’re carrying low, it’s a boy. Seeing how I’m not carrying much at this point, I can’t play this game yet.
  2. Typically girly girls have a faster heart beat, SO, they say that if the heartbeat is 140 beats or more per minute, it’s a girl. Anything less is a boy. Our little chick-a-dee’s heart rate was 124. First sign leading to a boy.
  3. Those craving ice cream and sweets every day are said to be having a girl. Those who want the sour and salt are said to be having a boy. I haven’t had any overwhelming cravings, but I have been leaning towards sweeter… vanilla cappuccino, sweet pickles… I think when I crave, it’s usually sweet. But I haven’t been to crave crazy either way. We’ll give a point to a girl for that one.
  4. The old ancient Chinese birth chart. I tried it here with a conception month of September AND October, just to be safe, and both said I’m having a girl! My Chinese horoscope is always right, so that’s one point for a girl!
  5. Okay, this one is super weird. You’re supposed to pee in a cup and mix 1 tablespoon of Drain-o in… if it turns green, it’s a girl! If it turns blue, you’re having a boy. Being that I’m at work on my lunch break, I’ll probably have to hold off on this one.
  6. Legend has it that the Mayans determined a baby’s sex by looking at the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it’s a girl. If one’s even and one’s odd, it’s a boy. I conceived at 28 in 2013… another point for a boy!
  7. This is hard to test on yourself, but it’s based on whether you pick up a key by the narrow or the round part. I think I’m a round part kinda girl, which points towards a boy in this odd old wives tale.
  8. If you’re breaking out a lot, it’s supposedly from your girl trying to steal your beauty. I’m not 100% sure how to measure this, but I have consistently had at least one zit taking over my face at all times. So, I’ll give that point to a girly.
  9. The wedding ring test… you have to take your ring off, tie it to a string (or your headphones cord if you’re at work) and if it moves in a circle, it’s a boy… if it moves back and forth, it’s a girl. I quickly tested this one twice at my desk and both times that ring swayed back and forth, pointing to a girl once again.
  10. Horribly sick during the first trimester means you’re having a girl and feeling healthy as ever means you’ve got a boy in there. While I haven’t thrown up at all, I’ve spent at least a few hours most days feeling like I was going to be sick. I don’t have anything to measure this against, but I think that leans towards a girl, right?

Okay, time to tally up the results…

Boy: 3

Girl: 5

So, weighing all of these, it looks like I’ve got a little girl in me… however, the only one that appears to be remotely scientific – the heart rate measurement – leans towards a boy. Sheesh. Guess I need to go home and pull out the drain-o. That will solve this mystery!

Symptoms

Mornings and evenings (post-dinner) have been a bit uneasy lately. Last night I literally felt incapable of digesting anything. Thankfully, the feeling passed after about an hour or so. Other than that, I’m still totally zonked. We didn’t get much sleep last night and with dinners with friends tonight and tomorrow, I’m guessing we won’t be catching up on sleep then, either. At least it’s hump day… that means only two more days until the weekend. AND, Friday afternoon, my friend at work and our boss will be ditching out early to go see the new Hunger Games movie. So, I can’t complain too much.

Entering Recovery Mode

To say that I’m exhausted after this weekend is a total understatement. This weekend was my mother’s 60th birthday party, which brought my aunt, uncle and cousin in from California for the weekend and my aunt, uncle and cousin in from Chicago for the party. As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, this weekend was also the big moving weekend for my grandparents. My mother’s parents arrived on Thursday evening from sunny Florida to their new permanent residence of Wisconsin. This move came because both my grandma and grandpa were no longer at a point that they could manage on their own and it was time to enter assisted living.

Grams & Gramps sold most of their stuff (furniture, etc) in Florida, leaving them with a pretty empty apartment. This meant that our charge this weekend was to get them settled and get their apartment furnished. To say we rallied would be a total understatement. We divided and conquered and together, purchased just about all of their furniture and equipped their home with essential and non-essential items to get them going. This entailed 2.5 days of solid work (and shopping)…

Gramps trying out his new sofa!

Gramps trying out his new sofa!

As for the party, what can I say? It was a blast. Although, I will say, I almost cracked (or snapped) under the pressure of my family to tell my aunt and uncle about my bun in the oven. Prior to the event, I had decided I was going to wait to tell them until Thanksgiving. That way, I would have another ultrasound under my belt, I’d be further along, and my announcement wouldn’t come at such a stressful/overwhelming time. However, when I got to the party, it was starting to feel as if I might need to tell them. I was feeling uncomfortable, pressured and rushed and finally decided I was going to stick to my original plan. Unfortunately, my family didn’t get the memo. For the first 3 or 4 (of 6) courses, my mother, sister and father kept trying to “cue me in” for the announcement. Thankfully, between Mark and I, we were able to send the message to each of them that there was no announcement coming. Instead, I pretended to drink the wine or beer that was paired with each course and carried on conversation as the table became more and more intoxicated. In the end, it was a blast. It’s quite silly to be on the sober end of things, but I’m not going to lie, at the end of the night, I was ready to crash. The pressure of an announcement and my attempt at slyly making sure each course was pasteurized or cooked well done enough or some other form of pregnancy safe, left me ready to snooze.

Mom making a wish!

Mom making a wish!

Mark, Cousin Stef and I enjoying each other's company at dinner.

Mark, Cousin Stef and I enjoying each other’s company at dinner.

Goofing off.

Goofing off.

All-in-all, it was a really lovely, important, special weekend spent with people I absolutely love and adore. I got quality time with my California family, who stayed with Mark and I, and Mark got the opportunity to really get to know the California family better. And oy. It must be mentioned how amazing my husband is. He was so patient and helpful the entire weekend. He happily came shopping with us, helped lift grams in and out of the car / her wheel chair, and kept us all smiling. He really is such a perfect guy.

Anyway, now, it’s Monday and I’m zonked.

Even my sweet little niece, Gabby, was zonked.

Even my sweet little niece, Gabby, was zonked.

My nephew, Judah, & Uncle Geoff hanging out before they headed back to Cali.

My nephew, Judah, & Uncle Geoff hanging out before they headed back to Cali.

My nephew, Judah, & Uncle Geoff hanging out before they headed back to Cali.

My nephew, Judah, & Uncle Geoff hanging out before they headed back to Cali.

Symptoms

I’ve been feeling pretty great. Bouts of nausea are becoming less frequent and really, I’m just feeling happy and excited. My body seems to be changing a bit. I’ve gotten on a pretty good pattern of working out, and am feeling fit, but definitely feel a tummy that wasn’t there before. I don’t think it’s baby, but I do think baby is pushing my guts and fat upwards to form said tummy. Other than that, it’s business as usual.

First Doc Appointment

Yesterday was our first doctor’s appointment and, turns out, I absolutely adore our doc. She’s totally down to earth, has a perfectly awkward laugh, is very sweet and so easy to talk to.

I had called ahead to figure out what to expect from the appointment, and they said that we would just be talking about the process, what to expect, etc. While we did talk about those things, there were a few items the receptionist failed to mention. First, I had to give a urine sample. Thankfully, my mom happened to join me at this appointment because I was about to run to the restroom when she informed me that I would likely have to give a sample. I explained that I had just given one last week and she laughed at me and urged me to check with reception. She was right.

The next surprise came on the nurse’s way out. She casually asked me to undress from the waist down in preparation for my vaginal exam. It ended up being very quick and not a big deal, but I would have appreciated seeing that one coming. Thankfully, everything looked good… she said my uterus felt, “nice and pregnant,” which seemed like a funny comment. Anyway, no biggy. It was quick and painless… just a little surprising.

The good part was that the doctor spent over an hour talking with me. I explained my concerns about the initial ultrasound and the frustration I felt not trusting in my revised due date. She talked me through their process and informed me that they do not adjust due dates later in pregnancy, so June 30, 2014 will pretty much be my due date going forward. Clearly, she could see or hear my distaste with her answer and suggested I go in for a second ultrasound in 10 days to double check. She said that at that point it will be easier to see progress and we can confirm the date, hear the heartbeat, and… GET MORE PICTURES!!

So, all-in-all, a VERY good doctor’s visit. And, in 10 days, we get to coo at our little baby again.

What a difference a year makes…

Today at work we had the long-awaited insurance renewal discussion. As expected, our insurance plan is not as great as this past year’s. What I did not expect was how much worse it would be. Now, I can promise you I am not trying to get into any kind of political discussion, so please, let’s not go there. I’m just feeling a little… irritated, frustrated, crabby… about what I learned.

Last year, my insurance plan provided a sample cost breakdown for having a baby. I was psyched to see that the entire process would only cost about $300! So, you can understand my surprise when I saw that this upcoming year, the same process is estimated to cost nearly $3,000! What the heck?

I guess that’s life, right? Good thing we’ve been putting money into our “children’s savings account”… although, my plan for that money was to take some additional, unpaid time off with the little babe and get the nursery all dolled up. Damn reality. Always getting in the way of my dreams.

Damn you, insurance!

Damn you, insurance!

 

Symptoms

Feeling good today! Got a little nauseous before lunch and almost cried / hit today. Other than that, feeling totally normal 🙂