Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 20 (!)

Halfway... How did we get to halfway? And so quickly too. Before you know it, our world will be turned completely upside down, which it kind of feels like already (I know I am kidding myself. We are like any first time expectant parents: not sure of anything!).

This week's snapshots (please note, I am wearing a tighter ensemble after some complaints to the contrary):

Musings on weekly photo: Maternity stretch leggings AND my Golden Girls shirt? You're welcome. Consider it a midweek treat.

Size of baby: BBS is officially about 7 inches long (can YOU guess what size fruit all these websites claim he is comparable to currently?) and about 12-13 ounces.

Movement: Well, my doctor confirmed that the reason I am feeling so much movement is due to the way Mr. Man is placed. He's really close to the surface of my stomach as opposed to the back near my spine, which makes it much easier to feel him kicking and moving around. If you really want to get imaginative, he's facing out at the world with his cute little head underneath my belly button and his butt near my bladder. I'm certain he will be hyperactive out of the womb as well (it's in his genes, help me, it's in his genes!).

Cravings: My cravings have not changed, but I have had to alter them per doctor's orders. After an unexpected accelerated weight gain this month, I got an unnecessary scolding from my doctor about nutrition. I assured him I have not been going to town on the indulging and that I eat a healthy diet. After the appointment, however, I realized the culprit is probably all the juice (100% fruit juice, but still) I've been downing. Again, the scale continues to amaze me with its constant creep towards higher and higher numbers that I've never before seen in my life.

Annoyance: Heartburn continues to pester me, but I will say my skin seems to be clearing up a tad and I have not been attacked by a leg cramp since last week. Thanks, Body, for chilling out slightly. I appreciate it. Oh, and giving up juice has been the biggest annoyance by far.

Highlight of the week: $6 pho dinner with my preggo friend, Tavia. It's been nice to be able to chat with someone who's going through the same things I am, face to face, and it's also nice to compare horror stories (ok, the not so scary stuff too). These books tell you what "could" be happening, but you still end up feeling alone on this journey some of the time. I appreciate her conversational skills, blog recommendations and enjoyment of noodles (her parking, on the other hand, could use some work). 

Fears: Funnily enough, name selection has become a ridiculous worry of mine. Kyle and I haven't even talked about it, but the more time passes, the more I feel like we're suddenly gonna have a kid in our arms whose parents STILL haven't come up with a freaking name!

Happy Hump Day and remember: Stay Golden

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Apology and An Announcement

I've spent the last couple days thinking about this blog: reflecting on what it originally started out as, reflecting on what it's turning into, and I've come up with the following.

This blog is officially 10 months old (ok, almost 10 months old). If you'll remember my first post, it was a proclamation of sorts. The week prior to RISD's creation, I had quit a miserable job. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made, but not entirely expected. I found myself without work, without money and without a plan.

A month later, my husband received a job offer and we scurried ourselves from frenetic and harried Los Angeles down to mellow San Diego, only to be hit with the realization that (1) landlords are unlikely to rent to you if you own a pitbull and (2) we needed to save some cash for our African adventure.

So we moved in with Kyle's parents (who I cannot thank enough).

At the same time, a friend of mine reached out for some assistance with her business and I realized a few things: I was good at it, I could do it from home and it offered me the flexibility I needed to focus on a different business I was helping to get off the ground. Woot!

Suddenly, July was October, and we were in Africa. In November, we moved into our new house (dog included!). And suddenly, it was December and Kyle and I found out we were going to be parents.

2011 was quite a year, folks. It was quite a year.

Which brings me to what I've been reflecting on for the last couple days. The last half of 2011 was all about transition and change and essentially, TAKING ON THE WORLD like a badass! And it was fun to chronicle that journey for the most part. It was uncomfortable at times, and some of the things I've written about that needed follow up haven't been taken care of yet, but overall, I've been loving this blog. And I still do, by the way.

However, in going through old posts, its obvious which were quality and which posts were filler, and I need to get away from the pithy writing. I need to get away from feeling like I have to post every day and that I'm a failure if I don't. And this, of course, brings me to the obvious content change that has happened since we made our big announcement in February.

All I want to write about is my baby. My BOY! I did not expect it to be such an all consuming thing mentally, but it is. I think the all consuming physical part goes without saying.

Things have mellowed out for me and for Kyle, and while we are still trying to figure out life the best two twentysomethings can, I can't deny that writing about uninteresting things, that taking a short cut with content and that putting shit on this blog just to say that I did has been making me feel icky.

It's been making me feel like a blowhard.

Thus, here are the decisions I've made and I know they will affect my readership considerably.

(1) I am done with posting links to this blog on Facebook. I figure if you like RISD enough to keep coming back, you will.
(2) I am done with boring, irrelevant posts. Yes, it will mean not posting every week day. But I feel it will up the quality considerably.
(3) I have to give in to the fact that this may become a baby blog. Or a family blog. And I have to be ok with that and embrace it for what it is: my life now.

It's funny because I find myself asking the same question I did in that first post, almost a year ago...

Care to join me?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 19

This is officially the last post until we've reached the halfway mark... which is exciting and terrifying (as I've mentioned before). Now that we know we're having a dude and not a dudette, this whole "we're having a baby thing" is much more real than before.

Saying "I'm going to have a son" is surreal.

On to the photos:

Musings on weekly photo: All I can think about are the following: (1) I feel like such an ass when I take these and (2) I don't even take them properly! You should see the outtakes. It's like Stevie Wonder on a photo assignment.

Size of baby: Baby Boy Sutherland is the size and weight of a can of soda! I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he promptly pointed out that that is also the size of a can of beer. Maybe baby's new nickname is Coors Light?

Movement: It may be completely created by my imagination, but Coors Light is hyperactive and possibly a dancer. I can only assume the songs playing in his not-fully-formed brain are similar to mine (you know, like this, this and this).

Cravings: Full disclosure (in all its white trashiness): Pat and Oscar's Breadsticks. Oh mah GOD, they are good! The fat kid in me especially loves that I get a free breadstick while waiting in line to order my bag of breadsticks. It really doesn't get much better than that.

Annoyance: Forget heartburn: I've officially entered leg cramp hell. The other night, I woke up to the sound of me screaming at the top of my lungs due to the ungodly pain in my right calf. Needless to say, I scared the crap out of Kyle. It was the WORST charlie horse I have ever had in my life, and this is coming from someone who trained for/ran a marathon (notice how I drop that in wherever I can? I ran a marathon. I RAN A MARATHON!!!).

Highlight of the week: Finding out we were having a boy was the ultimate highlight of the month. I don't know how it could possibly be topped. Seeing him move around on the monitor was all kinds of cray too, and having our moms and sisters there to share with us made it all the more special.

Fears: I am straight up terrified of facial swelling (and I'm pretty sure it's already happening). This cookie face has the potential to do BIG things, let me tell ya.

Additional notes: I legitimately started researching baby gear and a possible nursery set up this week. It was not as overwhelming as I expected it to be; major kudos to people who take these projects on in stride. Also, I have been shocked at how rock hard my stomach gets after eating; it is the strangest feeling in the world.

And finally, apologies for this blog suddenly becoming "all things baby." Aside from having a severe case of baby brain (i.e. forgetting everything the moment I think it), it's been hard to come up with any readable material. Oh, apologies as well for my out of control roots. It's official: my hairdresser is fired and I'm on the lookout for a new one.

HELLO Morrison Hair.

Happy hump (bump) day, everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 18

Officially almost halfway to the most daunting physical challenge of my life. Let's get straight to the pictures, shall we?

I'm taking a page out of my friend Brittney's book. She's also a blogger (hilarious, FYI) and expecting a baby in May. She's good at getting straight to the point which I confess, I am not. My thoughts and writing sometimes... meanders? Thus, for your weekly reading pleasure:

How far along: For those who didn't read the title, 18 weeks.

Musings on weekly photo: This photo demonstrates two things of which I am hyper aware: my unstraightened hair and my now constantly broken out skin. Yes, it would have taken me 5 minutes to bust out the iron, but I spent those 5 minutes making a smoothie. Sue me.

Weight gain: Brittney gets major props for divulging her weight every week. This little lady just doesn't have the balls (literally).

Fruit of the week/Size of baby: For fear of ruining trips to the grocery store for produce for the rest of you (like it has for me), I'll just say it's almost half a pound and roughly the size of my palm (although I have child-like hands as Kyle always points out, so it's probably closer to the size of your palm... unless you are a child. Or a little person)!

Movement: More and more by the day! And it's no longer one of those things that I have to strain to recognize. It's very apparent when Baby S. is making him/herself known. Each one makes me feel more grounded, more excited and more reassured.

Cravings: Still the fruitiest of fruity drinks. Smoothies are my best friend. Soberitas (my non-alcoholic limeade and frozen fruit mixture) have been my go-to dessert. And what's more relaxing than a glass of pomegranate juice in a wine glass after a hard day of work? Ummm, a glass of real freaking red wine, that's what. Will have to wait until August, though.

Annoyance: Heartburn is evil. When I was a kid, there were a few trips to Mexico when I can remember having this horrible feeling in my throat and chest after eating, and when I would try to explain it to my parents, they wouldn't know what I was trying to describe. I now know I was describing heartburn.

Highlight of the week: Allow me to get mushy for just a second. I have been super appreciative of my husband this week. His patience and love are worth more than their weight in gold (pretty sure patience and love don't have actual weights, but I digress). I am a lucky girl. 

Additional notes: More maternity clothing arrived this week, thank goodness! Which brings me up to two pairs of pants and a shirt. Repeat central is where it's at... Also, as you can see, Moe does not leave my side these days for the most part. He has been ultra-clingy in the last couple months, and I love him for it (even if it drives me a tad bonkers).

Happy hump (bump) day, everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pink or Blue?

So there's one week until we know for certain:

Miss Piggy...

or Kermit?


or Charlie Bucket?

Return to Oz...

or Willow?

To be honest, I'm hoping the answer is yes to every single option above, but the real question is girl or boy?

I'm about to put my money on the table and say my gut is telling me boy. Boy, I said it, boy. I think I'm having a boy. I've thought it since the beginning, and though I've had bouts of extreme doubt since then, the closer I get to next week's appointment, the more certain I am that we are expecting Baby Boy Sutherland in August.

However, I will say, I would be very stoked to be completely wrong. So who knows?

I thought it might be fun to play a little game. I'm going to say the winner gets a box of homemade salted caramels made my moi (they've been known to cause groans of pleasure from those who taste them) shipped directly to their residence. But not until August. For you see, to win you have to properly guess the sex of the baby, and guess closest to the due date.

Wanna play? Wanna win some caramels? Answer the following questions in the comments of this post and see what happens. Comments on Facebook will not be accepted... sorry :)

Question 1: Boy or Girl?

Question 2: Due Date (you can include the time if you want)

So for the hell of it, my guess is baby boy born at 4:12pm on August 24.

And may the gender and date odds be ever in your favor.

Friday, March 9, 2012

San Diego: Hen Weekend Special

One of my best friends, Miss Jenny herself, is coming down for the weekend and I am ever so excited. We've been meaning to have a weekend sans husbands for quite some time and the fact that our all our guy friends (our men included) are heading to Vegas to bid "farewell" to my husband's life sans child gave us the opportunity!

We have lucky husbands.

So, a quick breakdown of my tentative plans for us. Apologies to any of you (Jenny included) if it sounds a little less than... exciting? Pregnancy kind of takes the party, party, party out of you for the most part.

I am no longer a baller, shot caller, if you will.


Pick Jenny up from airport with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies waiting in the front seat. This recipe to be exact. Vegas boys, you may be lucky enough to receive some in the goody package I may have packed for you. This is also a good way for me to find out if any of you read my blog.

Heeelllllo? Guys?


Sleep in.

Little Italy Farmer's Market! Our plan is to pick up ingredients for a fantastic Saturday night dinner. According to the link, Little Italy in San Diego is a "hip and historic neighborhood."

We shall be the judge of this statement.

After moseying about, my next guess is pedicures, but where we will get pedicures has been undetermined. This strategy didn't work out for us in San Francisco a couple weekends ago, but here's to hoping! If it's sunny, I'm thinking picnic in Balboa Park.

Dinner will be masterfully crafted by us complete with tasty, but non-alcoholic beverages. I DO have wine and beer for Jenny though.

I would never expect her to suffer on my behalf.

We may watch a movie, we may just prattle on to our hearts content... who knows? It's a girls' weekend after all!


Sleep in. 

Brunch at Searsucker... which I am mucho excited about.  

The more I type, the more I realize how this weekend revolves around eating.

I'm ok with this, and I'm hoping she is too!

Either way, as long as the weekend involves some bit of shake face and air guitar, I'm good.

Photos courtesy of famed photographer, Dawn "Butt Cut" McGaw

Happy weekend to all, and to get it started on the right foot, why not listen to this?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Drunk Baby

Sometimes, you just need a laugh.

It's an oldie, but a goody. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 17

I thought I might use up a day's worth of blogging by posting a weekly "bumpdate." I don't want to claim I came up with this term, but I have yet to see it used, so I am patting myself on the back for my clever wit. [insert eyeroll here]

In being one of those people who like to mark milestones, I thought it might be cool to have a play by play set of photos for Baby Sutherland as his/her mother got fatter and fatter carrying him or her.

Or maybe I'm completely kidding myself.

Either way, week 17's bumpdate(s):

As you can tell, while I am certainly larger than I was when I released the "big news," for the most part, I just look thick-waisted. Like one too many beers and bags of Doritos thick-waisted. However, the beauty of being forced to post these each week is that there will come a day when I suddenly look pregnant, not just chubby.

And that will be awesome.

Things to note:

(1) I felt Baby Sutherland move for the first time last week! The only way I can describe the feeling is the first one felt like a piece of popcorn popping in my stomach. And since then, it goes back and forth between fluttering and the occasional finger flick. Either way, it was a confirmation that there's actually something in there. And it's alive. ALIVE! A bit sci-fi, truly.

(2) I've given up on my old pants (except for my black Gap jeggings which have been very kind to me with their multitudinous amount of stretch. I think I love you, Gap jeggings). Yes, they still button, but they are the most uncomfortable things to wear while sitting down, and as my job finds me sitting in front of a computer for the majority of the day, I had to say "sayonara" to them. I can only hope we will meet again at some point in the distant future (I also hope my waist comes running back to me with open arms; it's not goodbye forever... it's just goodbye, for now).

(3) Baby shower talk started this week, and I have to admit that creating a registry is a somewhat daunting task. I remembered feeling this way when I got married... apparently, I have anxiety issues when it comes to this relatively simple activity. I will say I have created a book registry and it was the easiest and simultaneously most exciting thing ever. Kyle and I are both avid readers and want to instill a love of books (real books. You know, the kind that are made from trees and do not require charging?) in our child. Luckily, having worked with kids on and off for the last decade of my life, I have a good handle on which current reads are fabulous, as well as fond memories of my favorites growing up.

(4) Still loving quality prosciutto. And have been downing this like it's no one's business.

(5) In the "what they don't tell you department," I must admit the being out of breath for no reason has been a bit of a shocker. I'm not out of breath all the time, but I will say that I have gone to bed many a night gasping for air after simply brushing my teeth or grabbing a glass of water. In all that is totally bizarre because of pregnancy, it's caused by my organs which shift on their own (... again, sci-fi central) to make room for Baby, and occasionally put pressure on my lungs. What. The. Hell, man?!

(6) And finally, I feel I should mention how some of these "pregnancy" websites update you each week on the progression of your baby's growth. They compare it to a piece of fruit, which has made both eating fruit and shopping for produce a dreaded chore. Feel like eating an apple? Imagine it's a 16-week fetus!

It makes for a lot of interesting mind-fucks, I'll tell you that much!

Oh, one more thing. I got the posed shot idea from this blog (it's one of my faves). She did a whole series last year when she was expecting her son, and I have to give her mad props because she made taking photos of herself like this look easy. Easy it is not, let me tell you.

Happy Hump/Bump Day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Recipe: Strawberry Limeade

The following photo is going to make you think I'm pining for summer on this blustery, cool day:

But you would be wrong (OH, ever so wrong!). I am not a summer fan. It is my least favorite season, in fact. I like some nip in the air, some rain in my forecast, some full length pants covering my consistently pasty legs.

Granted, seeing as I'm expecting a summer baby and all, I should probably try to look on the bright side. Summer does provide me with the most delicious fresh produce of the year and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love a late night dinner on a picnic blanket at the beach.

But the heat! And the sweating! And the constant fear of burning my paper-white skin! Also, with me being full-on preggers this summer, I have a true fear that I am going to look like this at some point:

Try to imagine the makeup smudged from sweat and the cheeks rosy with heat... got the visual? That's my prediction of me at nine months pregnant. At this point, I think Kyle's getting REAL excited about June, July and especially August!

Per usual, I digress. Over the weekend, my mom's neighbors gave me a huge bag of fresh limes. People ask me if I have any cravings and honestly, the only three things that I've craved are sour candy, fresh juice and prosciutto. I knew I wanted to make limeade w/the juice of said limes, but when I remembered that I had a ton of fresh strawberries in the fridge, I got extra excited.

A tall glass of freshly made strawberry limeade sounded like pure heaven to me. And let me say for those of you able to booze it currently, adding a shot of vodka to this would make for a fantastic summer-inspired cocktail.

Strawberry Limeade
(recipe makes one 12 ounce drink)

Fresh limes (just juice a ton; leftovers mean more limeade!)
3 strawberries, sliced
3 Tablespoons sugar

Juice the limes... Here's a visual for those of you having a hard time with this step:

Next, muddle the strawberries in a glass with the sugar:

If you don't have a tool to do the muddling like I do, the back of a large spoon should work. Next, add some lime juice. I usually pour it so that the glass is a little less than half full at this point.

Pour water in to the top. If it's not cold water, add some ice cubes, but make sure you don't add the ice until you ascertain the sugar is dissolved, which should (of course) be determined by tasting! I doubt anyone will find this recipe to be "too sweet," as I like my citrus drinks on the tart side, but if it's too sour, add a little more sugar, stir, taste, and make sure it's to your liking.

Finally, attempt not to slug this down as quickly as possible.

If you are like me in the slightest, it will look like this five minutes after you start drinking it.

Cheers! A toast to all that summer has in store for us.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Few Things on a Friday

March 2nd always means one thing for me and has for the last seven years: it's the day my grandma, Grammy, died. Every year it hits me in the same way, "I can't believe she's been gone for this long."

Because the truth is it doesn't feel that way. It feels like it happened a few days or weeks or months ago.

And then I think about the fact that she missed out on my college graduation, on my engagement, on my wedding... and now, my pending baby, and it doesn't seem so unreal that she's been gone for that long. It hurts more when I put it in that perspective, I think.

I hope that each one of you has someone like her in your life. For me, she equaled the best kind of love out there. She was fun and gracious and warm and caring, and whenever I catch myself being a total sassypants or (let's be honest) bitch, I try to channel her, because she was never those things. A rascal? Yes. But the best kind of rascal.

I felt it only appropriate I share "her song" with you all. My sister gets credit for making it such, because she was the one that burned it on a cd and blasted it while the three of us would jam out in the car. I have a distinct memory of an especially sweet dance sesh on the way to my Uncle Steve's 60th birthday, and whenever I hear this song, I think of her and it makes me happy.

I think she'd appreciate the image selected for this particular video, too.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend with the people you love most.
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