Thursday, October 30, 2008

State of the Uterus - Week 24

Since we were too early to really see much (except that the baby was a boy) last time at our ultrasound, we got to go back for another one today. It was so much fun! The baby was moving a ton, playing with his arms and legs and - how cute is this - trying to suck his thumb!! My parents may not think that is cute as they remember the bills from my retainer to fix the damage MY thumb sucking caused. Anyways, the ultrasound tech said babies are very clumsy at this stage and a lot of times can't quite get their thumbs in the mouth so will suck on whatever - their wrist, their hand, etc. The baby had one hand up by his face like he was about to tell a secret, and the other hand was moving all around trying to get thumb to mouth. His left foot swung up and around at one point too. We also saw, again, confirmation that the baby is in fact a boy. 

So check out the money shots!

He weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces and is perfect in every way. We are so lucky. Brad may be a teensy bit more lucky than I am since he did not have to gain six pounds in four weeks for such perfection to be possible. He may find himself excommunicated from future doctor visits if he doesn't quit telling me I am gaining 40 pounds no problem by the time I give birth. He was even flashing four 10's with his hands behind the doctor's back while she was talking to me and finding himself completely hilarious.  As Stephen Colbert would say, Brad you are ON NOTICE!

I am hesitant to even go here because I think babycenter has officially gone off the deep end with this comparison, but the baby is now the size of a mango. Did I miss something or is a spaghetti squash sooooo much bigger then a mango? I mean, I don't want to be a high maintenance subscriber or anything, it just seems so obvious. Oh well. The mango pictures were boring, so I'm posting what REALLY sounds good! A Mango Margarita!

It has been a truly exhausting week and I know both of us are ready for it to be the weekend. I had to go out of town for work and it just really takes it out of me at this point - I am so sleepy! We both have fun weekends planned, though - I am leaving for New York tomorrow to meet up with my mom and visit my sister Meredith in Brooklyn! She got us tickets to see In the Heights and we are just going to shop and check things out and probably have some very yummy food. Brad is going out with some friends, attending our friend Emily's 30th birthday party and having some guys over for football and wings on Sunday. So very action packed and fun, no rest for the weary, etc. etc. That's all for now folks! Have a great weekend yourselves!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Craptastic Monday

All that yard work I was so pleased to blog about yesterday has left me in serious back pain. I think I overdid it. I had the heating pad on for 2 hours last night and Brad put the massager thing on my back for a while too. I slept ok, but work up sore. Sitting in my chair at work was such a picnic! I kept thinking, I will find an excuse to leave early and go take it easy with clear conscience at home. But I never did and actually left late because it was Craptastic Monday! 

You know those days when you wake up with a pit in your stomach because it's the beginning of the week and you fully realize all that it's going to take to get you to Friday? That was this morning. It was dark out, I remembered the meetings I had today that I really didn't want to attend, the icky project I have been procrastinating on forever because it stinks and I have to go out of town tomorrow for a brutal all day meeting on Wednesday. On Long Island. And not the good part. 

The drive to work was pleasant with all the trees in their bright fall colors, but then it got really cold and yucky here during the day today as some cold front came through. A cold front that has my Facebook friends in Texas and Arkansas ecstatic enough to post weather-related statuses. I could do without the wet and just take some cold, but I guess that's fall for you. No walk for the poodles tonight. Frozen french bread pizza and Two and a Half Men reruns for me.

So my gift to you on Craptastic Monday - a boring blog post. Enjoy! I'm going to go read one of my borrowed books about how make babies stop screaming. Sounds like a good way to top off the day. Anticipating the future! I'm really not even in the mood for Gossip Girl - that's saying something.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who emailed or posted on the fabric. It's pretty much hands down unanimous for the top fabric with the lime green. And then when the baby is ready to move to his big boy room I will either recover it, move it to a different room or have another baby, which must be a girl so I can put a pink pillow on the chair, which would be so cute! I can just hear that argument one day - But Brad, we HAVE to have another baby now - what else are we going to do with that chair????

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nursery Decorating Dilemma

**Warning** This blog entry may be extremely boring if you don't like decorating....

I have been a little perplexed today with a pressing nursery decision: color scheme. It's what my friend Kristy would call a Middle Class White Girl Problem. And isn't it ever? Something to obsess about that has absolutely no impact on just about anyone.  

But here's the gist: First, please excuse the paint splattered step stool I have the fabric laying on. The fabric in the middle I love love love and will be made into curtains for the two windows. What I need to figure out is a fabric to cover my swivel rocker and tie that in to some crib bedding. Trying to decide between the top and bottom fabrics for that. 

The bedding is going to be (I think) either this light blue or navy blue gingham/dot combo.  I like the top fabric because it is lighter colored and has the lime green in it - very cute and nursery-ish. The bottom fabric, which is Brad's favorite, almost feels nautical, which is fun, and would transition well into a big boy room. 

For further context, here is the wall color and the framed prints that I have had for 4 years awaiting my child's future nursery. They are both non-negotiables

And here is the darling duck rug, which we got cleaned and looks almost new. It's pretty neutral so has almost no bearing on the decision.

I just have to throw this in here too because I'm so pleased with myself! I found this jenny lind changing table on Craig's list for $15. I am going to paint it white and put cute little storage containers, such as these, full of supplies on the bottom shelves. So here's the before and the after picture will come later. 

Ok, that's all I've got. Now go to the comments section and be opinionated. This is one of those opportunities in life where you are being solicited for your opinion and it may be completely ignored! But I'd like to hear some different thoughts. 

Curb Appeal

Brad and I have been working on the front of our house for several months now and I think we are pretty close to reaching a stopping point. We have: cleared out around 15 trees, had rotted wood on the house replaced, had the shutters and front door repainted, had a new walkway to the front door installed, put in new beds by the house and up the driveway and removed a lot of ickiness. Today we planted along the driveway, mulched and Brad tried to get more of the azaleas on their last leg up out of the yard. So anyways, I wanted to share some photos to show the progress. I am quite irked I can not locate my 'before' pictures - I think they are on my work laptop.

Check out my salmon colored front door! I thought I was going to have to do something much closer to red for it to pass the Brad sniff test, but when I brought the swatches home, he liked this color! There was this salmon and blue colored bathroom at this hotel (Lodge at Koehle) we stayed at on our honeymoon in Hawaii and ever since then we've been trying to recreate some salmon magic. We tried with this little bathroom we had in Dallas, but there was no natural light in that room, so it just screamed SALMON at you when you walked in. The shutters on the house were this strange forest green color before, but are now true black.

Here are the new beds to the right, which the photo doesn't really give justice. There was a bunch of overgrown crap there before.

And the bed to the left, along with the new brick walkway. 

Now we are waiting for the new grass seed to grow and give us a more lush yard. Fewer trees will help with that. I think next year we're going to try and expand the yard into the treed area area at the front of the house and start working on the backyard. Right now, even in my full-out nesting obsession, the backyard feels too intimidating. It is large, it is wooded and it is neglected. It is a poodle paradise.

Spooner Tails - October 26

What a fabulously lame weekend we are having! We have had this string of busy weekends and have some more busy weekends after this, but this weekend we have been at home, taking care of errands, doing projects around the house, being football watching slugs and otherwise not contributing to society. Here are the highlights of our nothing (cue the bullets):
  • Got my haircut with someone new and I have FINALLY found someone in Richmond who knows how to cut bangs. And she goes to the same OB/GYN I do! Dr. D received high marks for the delivery of my hairdresser's son 18 months ago, which is great, but kind of crazy that Richmond is THAT small. Anyways, it poured rain yesterday so cute haircut got sticky from all the product and now needs to be re-done. No pictures just yet.
  • After all the rain yesterday (which did not stop Brad from yard work) it's a beautiful day today! I think we're going to finish the yard finally and complete our episode of curb appeal. I'll post pics.
  • Also on tap today: cooking! 15 bean soup, turkey chili and my dad's mango jalapeno chutney to get revved up for the holidays. Think turkey is bland? Light it on fire with some of this!  I really do not like turkey, but with chutney it's ok. It's also excellent over a block of cream cheese with crackers. 
  • This week I'm going to New York twice. Tues-Weds for work (blah) and then on Friday with my mom to visit my sister! Stop me if I've talked about this before, but Meredith moved to Brooklyn recently to take a job with the Pratt Institute. She just got a little apartment in Park Slope with a roommate and my mom and I are staying nearby in a rental apartment. We're going to shop and check things out - it's going to be really fun.
  • When I'm in Brooklyn, I'm sure I'm going to see Michelle Williams, Maggie Gyllenhaal (who I read isn't particularly nice) and Keri Russell (yay Felicity!). Maybe they'll be nice to me because I'm pregnant. That theory sure is working with everyone at my work, after all. Of course, I don't hesitate to remind all of them that it is wrong to be mean to a pregnant person. Pregnant people don't have wine to make everyone else more tolerable. =)
  • Sweet Baby O next door has a new favorite activity - coming to visit the poodles. Her parents now have to be very careful when they promise to come over because she will hold them to it! She got very fussy with them last night. They walk over to the fence during the week and today she's coming over to the house. She calls the dogs 'yo-yo' (for Zoe and Ringo), which is so precious. My mom predicted she'd have a one syllable name for each dog. I think we need to build a little gate in our fence to make things easier on Kristen. Kids don't become less demanding as they get closer to 2, do they?
This week the baby is the length of a spaghetti squash. That vegetable we have all ignored except for that brief period during the low-carb boom when we tried to convince ourselves it REALLY did taste like spaghetti. Yeah. And mashed cauliflower is just like potatoes! It's probably my least favorite squash because how do you compete with butternut, acorn and summer squash?

Apparently whoever is responsible for the pictures on Google Images do not find the spaghetti squash as interesting as the rutabaga. I was hoping for a somewhat fun picture to break the monotony of whole vegetables I post here each week, but the best I could do was a small kid with a spaghetti squash. So parents be warned: Do not post pictures of your children with spaghetti squash unless you want them to end up on random blogs. It's all about knowing which fruits and vegetables is going to exploit in their weekly newsletter. Anyways, here's the kid, rolling a squash around like I hope nobody ever does to MY kid:

Happy weekend - go do something that makes you feel just a little bit guilty today!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bump Watch 2008 - Week 22

Brad took this picture right before we left our hotel to go to Lakshmy's surprise party. I feel like the bump is getting bigger, but in the pictures it doesn't seem like it's all that much bigger then four weeks ago.  But I am meeting more resistance when I try to get up off the sofa or out of Brad's car, so there's gotta be more of something there. These are my super cute maternity jeans and a long sweater that I found at TJ Maxx (non-maternity). 

After this weekend I've decided I need to hurry up and get some more sweaters - I really didn't have warm enough clothes for all this chilly weather. I have to order stuff online because the stores here don't carry anything. I hate not being able to touch the clothes before buying them. The Gap looks like it has some cute stuff, so I may try them. Mimi's return policy is for the birds, after all. You have 10 days to return for store credit only. Whatever. Laaaame.

The baby has been kicking up a storm lately and Brad has now felt the baby move twice.  Peanut is only partially cooperative - we couldn't get him to kick at all during Lakshmy's party for anyone. It's pretty funky feeling him move in my stomach - kind of like a heartwarming version of Alien.  It's really reassuring, though, to feel him move so much and I'm fairly certain I fall in love with him a little bit more each time I feel something.

Lakshmy's Birthday Party

We just got back from DC where we celebrated Lakshmy's 30th birthday with a surprise party thrown by her sweet hubby Mike. Lakshmy and Mike are our really good friends we went to Alaska with a couple of years ago. I met Lakshmy through a book club I found on Craig's list when we moved to DC. Pretty random. After a few meetings we discovered we had more hobbies in common then reading, such as drinking wine and gossiping, and we've been close friends ever since. 

So anyways, Mike was sweating pretty badly when we met up with him at Aroma Co. in Cleveland Park for the party - apparently Lakshmy did not leave their condo until 5:45 and the party started at 6:30! Mike's cover was that he was sick and couldn't go out to dinner that night. He said it was like Ferris Beuller hurrying to get ready and get to Cleveland Park after faking sick. Lakshmy got to the party spot with some girlfriends around 7:30 and seemed totally surprised! Her sister made her swear she didn't know and she did, so we must have pulled it off. You just don't lie to your sister about such things. 

Anyways, it was a great party and we got to see lots of people we hadn't seen in a while. I hope to have some fun pictures to post later - most of them were taken on my friends' cameras. 

We spent the night in Bethesda and got up this morning and walked around a bit, reminiscing. When Brad and I first moved to DC we were in corporate housing in Bethesda for 3 months and had so much fun. We walked everywhere with Zoe and his work was just down the street. We'd meet up at night after he finished work and try new places for dinner. Ahhh Bethesda we love you. I think we would have stayed longer this morning but it was COLD! So we grabbed some breakfast at Old Georgetown Grille and headed towards Richmond. On the way home we dropped by IKEA to return the dresser I bought when I thought for sure I was having a girl and pick one for a boy. I'm sure the top of Brad's to-do list is to assemble it. 

I think the rest of today we're going to do some stuff around the house and have football on. I'm making this scallop and corn chowder recipe that you serve over mashed potatoes for dinner. It's from Susan Branch's Autumn book. I love all her books - if you haven't ready any of them, you should, they are full of great ideas for cooking and decorating. They also make lovely gifts. It is all chilly and crisp outside and the leaves are changing colors. I may have to make pumpkin bread too, I just don't know. You can let a beautiful Sunday like this pass you by! 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plano/McKinney/Dallas Trip

I found out late last week that I needed to go to Plano for work for 2 days this week and I was so excited because my parents are living in McKinney and my sister is in Dallas and I haven't really gotten to go see them since they moved there. It was a really fun trip! Because I adore writing in bullet format, here is a list of the highlights:
  • I got to see my parent's new house, which they moved into in September and is so cute! They are working hard to decorate before Christmas, when we will all be together. They got some beautiful rugs and sofas when I was there and have more furniture on the way. The house backs up to a wooded area that is very peaceful and my dad seems to enjoy it when he's out back with the smoker. They have a lot of wildlife in the wooded area, much of which would love to get their paws on my mom's shih tzu Odie. 
  • I also got to see my sister's cute little apartment, which is about 5 minutes from where Brad and I lived in Lakewood Heights. It's on Gaston Avenue, which was so ghetto when we lived there, but has been really cleaned up. I was happy to see that because it is only one street over from the beautiful Swiss Avenue. I always thought it was a shame Gaston was in such disrepair just one block over. Anyways, Megan's apartment is darling and cozy - she is a cute little decorator! She has a very neat balcony with lots of plants and a chair to relax and drink wine.
  • I got to eat at some of my favorite places while I was there: Tin Star, Gloria's and my dad's kitchen! He made fish tacos! I also had Pei Wei up in Plano and frankly it was disappointing. I won't bother next time - there's too much good food to choose from there. 
  • My mom felt the baby kick! I didn't think anyone would be able to this early, but she put her hand on my tummy and started singing and sure enough, that got some kicks going! I came home and told Brad tonight he had to put his hand on my tummy and he was able to feel a couple of kicks too! 
  • My mom also pulled out some things from the bedrooms when my sisters and I were small for me to bring home. There were 2 sets of bookends and 2 decorative wooden hangers. I think all the items are German. My aunt and uncle lived in Germany when I was a kid and we have some of the most beautiful painted wooden things from there. My family has little wooden Christmas ornaments, Easter tree ornaments, toys, etc. I'm excited to put these in the nursery - I'll have to post some pics. 
  • I had 4 on time flights - 2 going and 2 coming home. Feels like nothing short of a miracle. 
Now I'm back and the rest of the work week is proving to be brutal. My outlook calendar is a blob of back to back meetings. I am so worn out - can't wait to sleep in on Saturday! 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spooner Tails - Horrendously Overdue Special Edition

I'm delayed in getting this (last) week's tails up, mainly because I completely overdid it this past weekend, took on too much and am still in a black hole of exhaustion. In my haze, this is what I think is going on: 
  • Last weekend was about 5 minutes long. What we crammed in: dinner with the Franks, Komen Race Cabinet Retreat, TJ Maxx (me), golf (Brad), dinner with Brad's dad for his birthday, soccer game (Brad), helping Sue make invitations (me), disassemble fence (Brad), pick up nursery prints from framers, plants for the yard, power cord, dinner (me), pot mums (me), work on driveway beds with new plants, do laundry (Brad - isn't he awesome?), pack for Dallas (me). Phew!
  • I finally figured out what the poodles have been so excited about in the back yard. We have a mole or some other kind of small animal building burrows in the back of the yard. The poodles discovered this and tried to dig the burrows out and find the animal. Our neighbor said it was hilarious - she kept grabbing these giant roots in her mouth and enthusiastically tugging on them. This is the same dog (Zoe) who completely chewed up and destroyed our downspout to get to a mouse or squirrel that was stuck in there, so I guess this doesn't surprise me. I blame her because she was the dirty one last week. Ringo typically lets her do all the work. Such a man! Oh, kidding!!
  • We are trying to finish up the front yard before it gets too chilly. It's hard because the weekends have been so busy. I think we'll give it until next weekend and then just live with it. I have nesting to do inside, too, you know! I potted some maroon and white mums - Whoop and Go Hogs!
  • My mom and I booked our trip to Brooklyn to visit my sister Meredith! We are going over Halloween weekend and have rented an apartment off of craig's list. I hope it's ok and they don't take our money and run, but Meredith lives close by and can harass them if they do. 
  • I think that's it. Glad it's almost the weekend again. Fridays mean another week of pregnancy complete! Last week a banana, this week a carrot. That refers only to length so it's not as much fun as the round fruit and vegetable comparisons.
To jazz things up, I have picked some carrot art off of Google Images. This is called 'Mr. and Mrs. Carrot'. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Station Break

I would like to take a moment to thank our new sponsor, the Gentle Leader dog harness, for improving our quality of dog walks. Those of you who have had the arm stretching, muscle building experience of walking my dogs would think they had been possessed and taken over by some other, well-behaved life form. We are still working out the kinks and the dogs are a little confused, but I think here in a few months I will be able to do what I assumed would be impossible - walk 2 55 pound dogs while pushing a stroller. You'll have to see it to believe it! 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spooner Tails - October 5

It has been a big week around here! I think I hit some sort of emotional climax on Thursday with finding out the sex of the baby and seeing the ultrasound because I have been pooped ever since! But here is what has been going on with us besides all that:
  • After my maternity shopping debacle last weekend, my friend Lakshmy invited us up to DC on Saturday to do some shopping at Tyson's Corner, have dinner and stay with them at their condo in Columbia Heights. We had an awesome time and I found sooo many cute things! Lots of cute pants for work, some corduroys and a couple of cute sweaters. I found just about everything at Pea in the Pod. I hope to get back up there again soon because while the Tyson's H&M doesn't carry maternity, the one in the city does. We just ran out of time since it was such a quick trip.
  • Baby boy Spooner got his first little boy outfit! Lakshmy found him these adorable onesies and this little fleece that has a hood with ears. That was definitely Brad's favorite. He can't wait to see our baby wearing something with ears, I can tell.  They are perfect newborn February/March clothes.
  • We have the best neighbors ever. In addition to letting us use their daughter as a guinea pig to train the poodles and having us over for frequent dinners, they lent us a TON of baby stuff to use when the baby gets here. We're talking a stroller,  infant car seats, play mat, carrier, books on the first year, etc. It is so awesome. Kristen also offered to help me register for the baby, which was so nice of her. We are working on their Neighbor of the Year nomination now. 
  • Brad is heading down to New Orleans this week for work. Sounds like it will be a pretty tiring trip and very busy, so maybe not as much enjoying New Orleans as he would like. 
  • We have all our holiday plane tickets booked - Little Rock for Thanksgiving and Dallas for Christmas! I already can't wait! It's going to be so fun to see so many friends and family during our trips. And I will be big as a house. 
  • My memory and mental capacity is fading fast. I have to edit the heck out of these posts and emails I send at work to make sure they make sense. I leave out entire words! Brad is constantly reminding me of things I said - that is definitely brand new. I guess it's true - you do get a little dumb when you're pregnant. 
  • Lots of sweet little kicks going on in the belly this week. They may not seem so sweet when this baby is a lot bigger! But I feel them all day long and they are so nice and reassuring. Friday night I had my hand on my belly and could feel the kick from the outside - it was a big one! I can't wait for Brad to be able to feel them. He will really get a kick out of it. Get it? Get it?
I think that's all we have going on. Lil' baby spooner is now the size of a large heirloom tomato. Where do the newsletters get these fruit and vegetable references? Heirloom tomato size is so subjective - I used to buy them at the Takoma Park farmer's market in the summers and they are all sizes - even the large ones. But I digress....

We might have to rename the blog

Saturday morning Brad and I had a dog trainer over to the house to help us with some of the issues that make the bad poodles so BAD! Namely how excited they get over things - like someone coming over (especially children), people walking by the house (especially the elderly) and things the in yard that create such enthusiasm the only logical response is to dig a hole in the ground. So we hired this company called K-9 consultants and they came over for what had to be the most productive hour of the week for the Spooner fam. 

I think it was as much 'train the parents' as it was 'train the dogs' and we have to make a lot of changes in order for this to work. Some highlights from the visit:
  • Our neighbors brought their cute little 15 month old, Baby O, to the house during the session. She is really intrigued by the dogs and loves to imitate them barking, but we have just worried the dogs would be so excited to see her the would knock her down. With the tricks the trainer was using, they dogs were really good around her! She was thrilled and kept chasing the dogs around. Zoe gave her several little licks on the cheek, but wouldn't get closer then that. Ringo decided she wasn't worth the effort after a few water bottle squirts. That may be the end of their relationship, but we'll have to see. 
  • Zoe had a hard time deciding at first whether she wanted to be in charge or please the dog trainer. It was like watching a devil and an angel on her shoulders duke it out.  The angel ended up winning, but not without a fight.
  • Ringo was a big wuss. If there were any deterrents to whatever bad activity he did, he would just abandon the activity all together and try to leave the room. He actually ran upstairs when Baby O was over because trying to check her out too closely let to a water bottle squirt. He is also not very food motivated so treats do not persuade him like they do Zoe.
  • The dog trainer said the best preparation for the baby coming was to have Baby O and any other kids come over in the coming months so the dogs don't associate discipline with the new baby. The kids should stand on the leash, just like we are supposed to do (it's called grounding and lets the dog know who is in charge) so the dogs realize even these little people call the shots before they do.
  • Brad and I have to stop giving the poodles free love, which is going to be SO hard! We love to just shower affection on our poodles! Instead the dogs have earn praise by doing something good. They have to ask to come up on the sofa, sit before they go outside, etc. We also have to cut down on the treats and give them 15 minutes a day to eat, right after we eat dinner, so we are the established pack leaders. 
  • No more retractable leashes. 4 foot fabric leashes for them and they have to wear them the whole time we are home. That way if they start to get out of hand, we can ground them, get their attention, etc. 
If things go well, I guess we may need to rename the blog Good Poodle. But it will be so worth it! 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Littlest Spooner....

Color me (and 71% of blog voters) wrong, it's a boy! The ultrasound tech said she wished she had a camera to take a picture of our faces when she told us. We were both in shock! I had no idea Brad was taking me so seriously when I said it was a girl! But I really did believe it and apparently so did he!  I found out today my whole family thought it was a boy - I was the only one thinking girl! Here are the ultrasound pics:

In that first picture you can kind of see the spine and on the left end of the spine, hanging down, there's the you know what, that tells us, without a doubt, we have a little spooner boy! So the baby is kind hanging upside down and all curled up. The bottom pic is hard to decipher, but the little legs are crossed at the shins or ankles. The baby is actually in a position identical to the Baby Ticker over on the right side column of the blog.

Most importantly, everything looks so healthy! The baby moved a bunch and is very active. Since we were a little early for this ultrasound, I'm going to have another one in 4 weeks to give them a better view inside the head and check the kidneys. I think the baby moves up some - he's still tucked kind of low in my belly with his head wedged in. 

The baby weighs 9 ounces and is still measuring for the February 26 due date. The heartbeat was 148 bpm, nice and healthy, even and strong. I gained a buncha weight, which I suspected because my belly has popped some and I've been more hungry lately. So I think I've gained about 12 pounds total, which the doctor is happy with. But really, not to sound horribly vain, but Eeek. 

Well I've got some nursery shopping to do! And I really need to start evaluating boy names. we had our girl name all picked out, but we'll just save that for another day. =)