Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Frumptastic

I miss my regular wardrobe.  Especially my pre-maternity work attire.  I have some great skirts and dresses and work pants - plenty of mix and match staples that provided a plethora of cute work clothes.  But none of these clothes fit anymore since Baby Swan has taken up residence in my uterus.

And now, I just feel frumpy.  I have four dresses that are in rotation - a black dress, the same black dress but with white polka dots, a purple dress and a black and white non-maternity dress that I should probably stop wearing.  And then I have a pair of black pants and a pair of black capris.  Most of my shirts aren't work appropriate, but I can get away with some non-maternity blousy shirts.  And that's about it in the work clothes category.

I bought a handful of clothes from old navy maternity online, but they are by no means work appropriate.  Not sure what I was thinking there.  So I think its time to hit up the maternity stores for some work clothes in hopes of finding something moderately cute. 

I also think half of the problem is my shoes.  I'm trying to steer clear of my high heels, but I'm a high heels wearing kind of girl.  I love shoes.  Especially the high ones.  And these flat sandals I have on just add to the frump factor.  My boss kept commenting on my high heels and telling me I'd need to hang them up soon enough.  And my feet have started to grow a little, so some of my heels don't fit quite right.  So I bought this pair of black comfortable, yet kind of stylish flat sandals.  But they're just not me. 

I think the solution is a new pair of heels in a half size bigger than normal.  Now if only I could find a pair of comfortable, high heels for a cheap price...

Off to the mall I go. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Day Has Come

I don't really have it in me to write today.  I've tried unsuccessfully to post 3 different times already.  I've gotten as far as:

Today my brother and his family are moving to California.  I'm very sad.

And then I just start crying (again).  But I seem to be OK right now, so I'll try to put a few of my feelings into words.

Last night we all got together for dinner at my parents.  It was a wonderful evening - not fully of sadness.  There was lots of joy and laughs.  Stu and Mr. Cob invented a new game.  My grandparents were even there to celebrate.  I'll miss these dinners. 

The hardest part of the evening was saying "goodnight"/goodbye to Stu.  We all read him a bedtime story (Toy Story 2) and then he gave his snuggles.  He, of course, didn't know that it was the last hug he'd give his Aunt Ryry for months, but it was all I could think about.  He's such a sweet soul and my life won't be the same now that he's not in it regularly. 

But Mr. Cob made a good point - now seeing him (and B and A) will be that much more special.  We won't take for granted the time we do get to spend together.  And it'll be an "event" to all get together.

I wish them all the best and much love and light on their upcoming journey. 

Good-byes are never easy.  I'm just trying to look forward to the next hello hug.  And hopefully it won't be too far away.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beet It

We had a wonderful weekend in Savannah, GA, which I'll tell you all about once I upload some of the pictures later this week.  And we even got back in time for me to cook a healthy stir fry of red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, water chestnuts and mung beans over brown rice for dinner.  This baby is going to be fed healthy here on out!  And to go with our stir fry, I tried my hand at a roasted beet salad.

The recipe is from one of the Vegan cookbooks I have.  (Back in college I found out I have an "intolerance" to eggs and casein (the protein in dairy products), so I followed a vegan diet for a few years since this was the easiest way to make sure I wasn't eating anything with eggs or dairy.  I still ate meat, so it wasn't exactly a "vegan" diet, but when I was making recipes, vegan cookbooks were my staple go to books.  I no longer steer clear of eggs and dairy as my intolerance seemed to go away once I stopped taking birth control pills.  I now strongly believe the medicines we take can have strange side effects on our bodies.)

The recipe was very simple and the outcome was great.  Although next time I would roast the beet longer.  I think it would help to have used a few smaller beets rather than one large one.  The one caveat when working with beets is that the purple color gets on EVERYTHING - gloves would have come in handy!

BEET SALAD:

3-4 medium beets (or 1 large one), scrubbed and rinsed
1-2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 cup fresh basil, parsley and dill (I just used dried herbs)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
Wrap beet(s) in aluminum foil and roast in oven on baking sheet until tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.  (I roasted my one large beet for about 1 hour and 15 minutes and it still could've been cooked longer).
Meanwhile, whisk all other ingredients in bowl.  Set aside.
Once beets are finished roasting, open foil and let cool.  Once beets are cool enough to handle, remove skin and coarsely chop.  Mix beets with dressing and let sit 30 minutes.  Serve warm or chill for later.
Enjoy!

This still wasn't as good as my roasted beet salad from Eclipse di Luna, so I may try another recipe here soon.  I don't know where this new found love of roasted beets came from, but they really are delicious!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Home Improvement

Today begins yet another big home improvement project to the Swans' nest.  And the best part is, Mr. Cob and I won't have anything to do with it.  In fact, we won't even be around.  This project is one for the pros.  We're having our entire downstairs heating and air system redone.  This may not sound exciting to you, but its a big deal to us! 

The heating expert came out to the house, took one look at our "system" and just kind of shook his head.  The whole thing was wrong.  The wrong coil, the wrong duct work, the wrong filter.  The heating vents are even in the wrong places!  So we decided to just tear it down and start from scratch.  The main reason is the lack of heat and air into the soon-to-be nursery.  So it seemed like the perfect time.

Lesson learned - when you buy an old house that has been "renovated down to the studs", make sure you have a really good home inspector and some folks who know a thing or two about houses to check it out for you before you buy.  I do love our house, and eventually, once we fix all the problems, it'll be even more perfect for us.  But I can't say it hasn't been a pain at times.

But we've made progress - even since my last home improvement post on April 29.  We've done everything that is crossed out below (or will have had it done by the end of the weekend):

A. Paint the downstairs hallway and breakfast nook;




C. Finish the basement, including adding Mr. Cob’s brew shop;

D. Rework the heating and air duct system and add more registers in the living room and baby’s room ;

E. Find a permanent solution for the “dummy door” in the baby’s room; however, we now have to implement said solution.  We've decided to seal up the door and then Mr. Cob and his dad are going to build built in bookshelves for all the baby's stuff!

F. Paint the baby’s room and the downstairs bathroom, oh and the laundry room and sunroom while we’re at it;

G. Fence in the back yard; repave and widen the driveway; build a lower-level deck or seating area of some sort;

H. Replace all the door knobs downstairs (we did purchase new knobs this week);

I. And any other project I whimsically decide to add to our list. Yup, I've added some...
  • Build the bookshelves in the nursery
  • Replace the carpet in the nursery
  • Replace the upstairs carpet (master suite, office & stairwell)
We're getting there...though I should probably stop adding more things to our list!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pieces of the Puzzle

I really wish I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  I wish I could figure out what that one thing was that made my heart leap and just went for it.  But I have no idea what that "thing" is.  And have to admit I'm jealous of others who know what they want and go for it.

And no, being a lawyer is not my life dream.  And today affirmed that.  It's not my job that I don't like - I enjoy my job most days.  I really like the people I work with.  The law I practice "fits" with my background/education of finance.  But I hate the adversary side of it.  I never thought I wanted to be a litigator because litigation centers around conflict.  So I thought it was perfect when I became a transactional attorney.  What I failed to realize at the time, is that transactional law is actually more confrontational than litigation.  At least on a day-to-day basis.  I negotiate with other lawyers every day of my job.  Some days those discussions go smoothly.  And other days they make me want to crawl into a hole. 

This evening I received a voice mail message from an opposing counsel on a deal.  He pretty much called me a liar and wanted to let me know "lawyer to lawyer" that this was bad practice.  This is the same man who just a few days ago, used the negotiating tactic of telling me that he had 30 years experience as an attorney (read: he was trying to intimidate me into changing my position) and that if I had a problem with this one particular issue I could call one of my partners in one of our other offices and he would "tell me how it is."  So, yes, I realize this guy is less than kind and genuine himself.  But the fact that he put into question my ethics and morals as an attorney, really infuriated me.  Especially when I did not do or say what he is accusing me of.  I know that all I can do is handle my own reaction to this man's misunderstanding/twisting of the facts.  But it just makes me a little defeated that there are people out there like this.  He is one of the reasons people have a distaste for lawyers.  He is one of the reasons I question my career path.

I hope one day I figure out what I want to do with my life.  Or at least grow a thicker skin so that people like him don't affect me so much.  I just wish everyone could be a bit nicer.  The world would be a much better place.

Week 21 Pictures

I was able to grab Mr. Cob for two quick pictures this morning before he headed out the door.  Here I am at 21 weeks.  19 to go!  As Mr. Cob noticed, I look more pregnant today than in the last pictures I posted.  I suppose that'll happen!





Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Raw Cocoa Balls

The past few days I've been craving sweets.  I've also been craving beets.  No seriously.  I didn't just write that to make a rhythm.  A few weeks ago I had a roasted beet salad from Eclipse di Luna and have been craving it ever since.  I bought a beet tonight and plan on roasting it and trying my hand at making my own beet salad later this week.  But more on that later.

Back to the sweets.  I've been craving them like crazy.  Yesterday I gave in and bought a big chocolate chip cookie from Publix.  Ok, so I bought a sugar cookie too, but didn't eat the whole thing.  After lunch today I was craving sweets again and almost went to buy a snickerdoodle cookie from the American Cookie Company, but opted for the gym instead.  I figured I could sweat myself out of the craving.  It worked until after dinner.  I had the craving again.

And of course we having nothing sweet in the house.  So I went to the store and bought all the ingredients to make a healthy snack my friend Ashley emailed me about recently.  Raw Cocoa Balls.  I was skeptical at first, but figured they were worth a shot.  And she said they were yummy.  And its a simple "no-cook" recipe.

Here's what you need:




  • 2 cups pitted dates

  • 2 cups nuts (I used 1/2 cup each of almonds, pecans, cashews and pistachios)

  • 4 Tablespoons Cocoa

  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
Here's what you do:  Place everything in a blender and chop away.  Form into balls.






They may not look too great, but they taste great!  Definitely satisfied the sweet craving and even had a little kick of saltiness for you salt lovers.  I finished off this little snack with a glass of milk and felt great about all my food choices today.   Happy eating!  Thanks for the recipe Ashley!  Keep um coming!

Up next in my recipe watch 2010, attack of the beets.   Now what does one do with a beet....hum.  Something to ponder.

Red Bumps

I have a new pregnancy side effect.  At least I think its due to the little boy.  I'm blaming most odd things on him these days.  He's an easy target.

Yesterday during work I started itching on the inside of my right arm - the opposite side of the elbow.  (Side now, what is this part of your body called?  Is it the inbow?)  Anyway, I didn't think much of it.  I had these little red bumps and my skin got splotchy.  But it went away after a while and didn't bother me too much.

But then, as I was cooking dinner last night (homemade turkey meatballs and pasta - yum), my belly started itching.  Sure enough, about a 3 inch circle of red bumpy blotchy skin had appeared.  This time the rash lasted about an hour and a half and was only relieved by some calamine lotion. 

I was now convinced I either had an allergic reaction to something I'd eaten, or the pregnancy was getting the best of me.

So first I looked at all the food I'd eaten that day.  Nothing odd aside from a glass of Odwalla Superfood which contains wheatgrass and other oddities.  And I had that first thing in the morning - hours before any sign of a rash.

I vaguely remembered a friend who's sister had such bad itching rashes during her pregnancy that it was unbearable.  Mr. Cob told me to calm down and not jump to conclusions.  So I then turned to the internet to find out about pregnancy rashes.  

And I'm now convinced it might be  "Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), also known as polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, ...the most common rash in pregnant women."  Some more info on PUPPP:  "It normally occurs in first pregnancies during the third trimester with an average onset of 35 weeks.  The rash of PUPPP almost always begins in the stretch marks (striae) of the abdomen. It does not involve the belly button distinguishing it from other common rashes of pregnancy. The rash itself consists of small, red wheals in the stretch marks that grow together to form larger wheals on the abdomen. Sometimes the rash can include small vesicles. Over the next several days, the rash can spread over the thighs, buttocks, breasts, and arms."

Ok, ok, so I'm not 35 weeks...still 14 to go before that point.  And it didn't start on my abdomen - but it traveled there later! 

And today, the rash appeared on my left inbow.  So there's goes your theory of random incidence of hives.  Two days in a row means something is going on.  Then again, I did drink the Superfood this morning, so maybe its an allergy. 

Or maybe its PUPPP. 

I'm not paranoid.  Really. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nursery News

Baby Swan's nursery is starting to come together.  Well not exactly.  It still looks exactly the same and has the appearance of a TV room/game room/dog's room/music room, with the addition of the glider (the only baby-related thing in the nursery at this moment).  But we now have all the main big-ticket furniture items.  Which means we bought a crib this weekend!  We already have a dresser, night stand and desk from my furniture in high school/college/law school that we're using.  With a little ingenuity the desk will convert into a changing table and the night stand will go next to the glider.  And the glider was given to us as a hand-me-down gift.  So that just left the crib.

We looked for cribs at Babies R Us, New Baby Products, Georgia Baby and Kids, Target, Walmart, Pottery Barn Kids and The Babies Room, as well as many online stores and sites.  I had decided I wanted either a colored crib (i.e. blue or green) or a black crib.  The furniture we already have is "natural wood" Bassett furniture, and while Bassett baby does make cribs, I didn't like any of the cribs that came in the natural finish.  So I figured that it would be best to find a colored crib or a black crib, rather than trying to match up the woods.  I also think white cribs are more girly and wasn't finding any white ones I loved.  My other big "issue" was that I do not like the really high backed cribs, and most cribs tend to have the high back.

So after a discouraging shopping trip on Saturday, I realized I really wanted the Stanley Young America crib in blue.  Isn't it dreamy?
Well its also pricey.  I could get the non-convertible crib for around $676 plus tax and shipping.  So in the end, we'd be looking at at least $700 for the crib, not including the mattress.  But this is the only piece of furniture we need to buy for the baby's room, so I had convinced myself that it was rational to purchase this crib.  And I was in love with it.  It's for our first baby.  I'm going to be birthing said baby, so I deserve it, right?  Well we decided to sleep on it and I was going to look again on Sunday with my mom.

After a good night sleep and some serious thinking, I still thought I deserved the crib and was justified in purchasing it, even if it would be the most expensive piece of furniture that we'd purchased for our house (aside from our couches).  But mom and I went looking anyway.  I should have known that an afternoon shopping with the savvy smart deal shopping queen would turn out the way it did.  Mom never pays full price for anything and she's passed this on to me.  TJMaxx and Marshalls are two of our favorite stores.  And better yet when we can find things on clearance.  We both like nice things, we just don't like to pay big bucks for them.

So it shouldn't have been a shock to me that we found a crib at Babies R Us that I decided I could work with.  It was $329, which was much more reasonable.  And I liked it.  I didn't love it, but did I really need to love my baby's crib?  I figured I could cutesy it up with bedding and be totally in love with the final nursery product.  The crib was just a single part of the bigger picture.  So this was the front runner as of about noon yesterday:


And then we went to The Baby's Room in Kennesaw.  They had the Stanley cribs in all the bright colors and I again started leaning towards these expensive, beautiful cribs.  And then I found a black crib that I really liked.  I don't know if I'd say I loved it, but I was very much in deep like with it.  And it is black, which I do love.  A black baby crib feels so posh (or maybe I'm just deluded).  The crib was very sturdy and I felt comfortable that Baby Swan would be safe sleeping in it.  I was starting to really like this crib.  And then I saw the price.  Originally $329.  On sale for $279.  Limited time offer of $199.  And at that point I fell in love with the crib.  I sent a picture to Mr. Cob for his approval and he gave me the thumbs up.  And I then bought said crib.  And now I'm happy.


I've realized that I am my mother's daughter.  Just call me the bargain basement princess.  If there's a deal to be had, I'll find it, especially if the savvy shopping queen is with me! 

And really, does a baby need to sleep in a more expensive bed than his parents?  Wait, his parents don't really have a "bed"....just a mattress and box spring.  Hum, maybe we can take the saved money and buy a headboard for ourselves! 

23 to go

This weekend I finished The Handmaid's Tale.  So that's 7 books down, 23 to go (and 11ish months). 

For anyone who hasn't read this book, I would definitely recommend it.  Think 1984 but from a feminist sort of view.  Or something like that.

I realized after reading this book in particular, that it would be helpful to read some of these books with other people.  This is the type of book that would be a great discussion starter and I fear that I "missed" some things that others might have picked up on, or interpreted differently.  Oh well, I can always read online discussions of the book.

Not sure what to read next - I'm thinking maybe the Hitchhikers Guide...something light and funny.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Calling all Mommas

I need some help.  Yes, yes, I could use help in general.  But I'm referring to some specific help I need.  I need to hear from you mommas out there.  (Or you daddy's.  No discriminating here.)

Baby Boy Swan is coming in 20ish weeks.  And from what I've heard, babies need lots of stuff.  But seeing as how I've never been a mom, I have no clue what to register for/purchase for this babe.  And I'm seeking your input.

So far we have already gotten some big ticket hand-me-down items.  Stroller.  Car seat.  Baby bathtub.  Glider.  Tons of clothes (a perk of having a nephew and sister-in-law with great taste who is willing to give you ALL of her sons clothes!)  Other than that, we're really lost. 

I'd love to know: (1) what are the baby things you got and LOVED? (2) what did you get and not use? (3) Things that are good to have but not necessary essential.  (4) any other random baby advice you'd care to share.

Thanks for your help!

Hormonal or Just Emotional?

[Disclaimer to B&A (and mom, who should probably just not read this) - I know you guys read these posts, so please know this post isn't meant to make this highly emotional time more difficult.  I just thought it might help me to write about my feelings, which all come from deep rooted love.]

I've been having a rough couple of days.  Everything with the pregnancy is just fine and Baby boy Swan is great.  I've just been an emotional wreck since about Tuesday. 

Two weeks from this past Tuesday (so 11 days from today), my brother, sister-in-law and nephew will board a plane and officially move to California.  I've known about the move for almost four months now, but the reality is now really sinking in.  Up until this week it has been this thing that will happen in the future.  This thing that I just kept avoiding.  But the future is here.  This thing is real.  And I can't stop crying.

Earlier this week I emailed A and B and asked if I could watch my nephew one last time before the move.  We've had weekly Wednesday night babysitting dates for about the past six months, and I wanted one more special night with him.  So Wednesday they dropped him off and we played.  We played the piano.  He played with Wrigs and gave her big hugs and love.  He played his game of hiding in Wrigley's crate.  We ate dinner.  We gave the doggy treats.  We sang songs and counted to ten.  We danced.  I answered his new favorite question ("What's this Ryry") about 100 times.  And we cuddled.  Lots of hugs.  I couldn't bring myself to make him go to sleep, I just wanted to spend that time with him.  So he was still wide awake at 9:50pm when his daddy came to pick him up.  I figure aunties are allowed to spoil their nephews and keep them up way past their bedtime.

Last night B and A's friends threw them a going away party.  All week I was kind of dreading the party.  I know this move is something to celebrate, as they are following their hearts and career-wise, its a better place for my brother.  Still, it's hard to celebrate when you are feeling such sadness.  So I waited for Mr. Cob to get home from work and we went over to the party.  I was fine the whole ride over.  Quiet, but fine.  And my brother was at the door when we arrived and I was fine.  I hugged him and chatted for a minute.   I was fine.  But then as I walked into the main room and A came over to hug me, I just lost it and started to bawl.  It was something about the mix of joy and sorrow in her eyes, and the hug itself.  And I had to leave.  I was not fine.  So Mr. Cob took me home and did his best to cheer me up.  I really thought I could handle the party.  Clearly, I was wrong.

All last night and this morning I keep randomly bursting into tears.  I know that I'll talk to them on a regular basis and see them as much as possible, but it just won't be the same as having them live down the street.  I worry that Stu won't remember his Auntie Ryry.  He's not even 2 yet.  I'm sad that B and A won't get to know my son the way I've gotten to know theirs.  I'm sad our boys won't grow up "together."

I know that I need to make the most of the time I do have with them.  So we'll be spending a lot of time together this weekend.  And hopefully the tears will have dried up.

I've moved so much in my life and said so many good byes that I thought this one wouldn't be this difficult.  But it is.  And that's ok. 

It just makes me think about what is important in life.  And how lucky I am to have such a special family who I feel so strongly about.  I've been blessed to have them live near me for so many years.  And the one thing I have learned, is that you never know what the future holds, or where it will bring you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Check that off the list

I finished The Little Prince this week.  So that means I've knocked 6 books off my list of 30.  And for those of you counting, this means I have 24 books left, and less than 11 months to do it.  Did I mention I have a baby on the way that might derail this challenge?  I'm going to do everything in my might to read all 30 before I'm 30.  I started The Handmaiden's Tale last night and am revved up for reading again.  For the past 4 months I've been really absorbed in pregnancy books, but have kind of gotten over them for now, so this leaves more time for my challenge.

And I have a new resolve to complete it.  Mr. Cob recently pointed out that I'm not really good about finishing things I start.  I was extremely offended at first, but then I realized, he's right. 

Examples:

Over a year ago I bought a table and four chairs at a yard sale with the intent of "refurbishing" them.  For a good week after my purchase I'd work on the table every night after work. Sanding the paint off, cleaning the grout between the tiles and looking at paint swatches.  And then nothing.  The table is sitting in the basement unhappily unfinished.

We started our "church search" many months ago and have made zero progress.  (Ok, we went to one church.  One church does not a church search make.)

I've started writing two books in the past year.  Both extremely unfinished.

I collected all the mementos from my trip to Europe with Mr. Cob in 2007, with the intention of making a scrapbook.  Mementos are still in bag and I never even bought the scrapbook.  And then I repeated the process for our wedding in 2008 - all the mementos from my showers, bachelorette party, wedding and honeymoon all sit in a box in our office.

I'm a starter.  Not so much a finisher.

But I don't like that about myself.  So starting today, June 17, my new resolution is to become a finisher. 

Who ever said you needed the new year to make a new resolution?  Silly conformists.

With that, I will finish the 30 books challenge.  Just watch me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

20 week pic on hold

Mr. Cob had an early meeting this morning and I haven't taught the dog how to operate the new camera, plus the battery was dead which mean the self-timer option was out, so that means I don't have a good 20 week picture for you yet.  I'll try to post one tonight or tomorrow morning.

But for now, here are some bad phone pics taken by me ...



The pooch is looking kind of lumpy....maybe its the dress...definitely the dress.

Pretend you didn't see these. 

Maybe I should just take them down....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Half Way to Baby

Today marks the half way point of this 40 week baby building adventure!  20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go.  Or 18 weeks to go.  Or 21 weeks to go.  So really, we may not be "half" way done, or we could be beyond half way.  But for arguments sake, we'll mark today as the half way point.

Some thoughts on my pregnancy up to this point.  The first 11-12 weeks went by incredibly slow.  As in the days just dragged by and the weeks didn't seem to flip fast enough.  I was anxious before each appointment with the doctor - convinced that something had happened to the baby.  The miscarriage rates are not exactly comforting, so all you can do is hope (and pray) that everything in those early weeks is progressing "normally."  Luckily, we have been blessed with a healthy baby boy up to this point. 

The first trimester wasn't really marked by anything specific.  I more or less felt like my non-pregnant self.  No morning sickness or vomiting.  My energy levels were lower than normal, but not to the point that I couldn't function at my regular pace.  The biggest change was the lack of stamina when I was working out.  My 9 mile runs quickly turned into 5 miles and then to 3 mile walk/runs and eventually 1-2 mile walks with the occasional "jog" thrown in.  The most prominent two side effects were serious bloating and gas and acne - a wonderful combination to make a girl feel pretty.

The second trimester has seemed to go by more quickly.  The weeks are just passing by and I feel like the baby is going to be here before I know it...and I worry that I won't be prepared.  (Let's be honest, I won't be prepared.  Are any new parents really prepared for their first child?)  I just feel like we haven't done anything for the nursery yet, which we haven't.  We need to register and pick out a crib, paint the room, build the bookcases, etc. etc. etc.  The list seems never ending.  But at the same time, we do still have 4-5 months, so I'm sure we'll put it into high gear in the next two months.

As far as my physical/emotional state, the second trimester has been marked by more side effects than the first.  My energy level has been lower.  My sleep has been disruptive.  Acne is still in effect, though not as bad.  And this weekend I was lucky enough to get my first dose of heartburn - ouch!  I was really hoping it was just a fluke and wouldn't come back, but it did.  Looks like mylanta and zantac might be my new best friends.

But on the whole, I'd say I've had it pretty easy in the pregnancy department.  I just hope the next 20 weeks go as smoothly as the first.  Oh, and the coolest thing so far, has been starting to feel the baby boy moving around - he's an active one and I'm now able to feel him on a daily basis.  I think he has his days and nights mixed up, because he's always active when I lay down to go to bed at night.  I hope that Mr. Cob will be able to feel him move sometime soon - I know its harder for the daddy-to-be to feel connected to the baby, and I think feeling him move would help.

Next up in preparing for baby - picking a name...a much harder task than I ever anticipated!  I just have to convince Mr. Cob that Magnus is not a proper child's name, even if it is Swedish.

Monday, June 14, 2010

No Cruise For You

Mr. Cob’s parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Mr. Cob and I have another 28+ years to go, but hopefully will follow in their footsteps (and my parents for that matter – they’ll celebrate 38 years this Fall!). So as a gift, Mr. Cob and his siblings are taking their parents on a family Caribbean cruise. I have a mild to moderate case of claustrophobia and the thought of being in a small cabin room on a cruise scares me. And the thought of being in one pregnant, causes me to go into a near panic attack. So after some discussion, Mr. Cob and I decided it would be best if I stay on dry land while the Swan family cruises.

Well, as it turns out, it was a good decision because I wouldn’t have been allowed to board the cruise ship had I booked a ticket! I randomly stumbled upon an article today about cruise ships having “pregnancy policies” and proceed to peruse Royal Caribbean’s website for such a policy. Sure enough, women who are or will be in their 24th week of pregnancy are not allowed on the cruise! And if you are pregnant, prior to your 24th week, you have to have physician’s “fit to travel” note in order to board. I’ll be 30th weeks when the family cruise leaves port…definitely past the 24 week mark.

So, if you have a yearning to go on a cruise, better to get it out of the way before getting knocked up. And cross “cruise” off the list for babymoon options. So I guess this explains the lack of baby bumps on cruise ships. In case you were wondering.

Small Things

It was a very busy weekend for the Swans between the World Cup party and soccer games and celebrating a friend's baby shower.  And somewhere in the mix I think I got a mild case of food poisoning, so I'm not feeling so hot today.  I'll post full recaps of the weekend later this week when my creative writing is back on track.

But for today, I just wanted to share something with you. Something that made me smile today.  My car has been near empty for a few days now.  And I was not looking forward to having to stop and fill up on my way in to work this moring, especially considering I was running very late.  To my delight, when I started my car this morning I realized that my sweet husband filled up my car with gas last night.  It's the small things in life that really count.  Like filling up your pregnant wife's car for her.  Thanks Mr. Cob.  I love you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Light it Up

We have a serious lamp problem in our house.  They're all ugly and do not match the rest of the decor.  But they were mostly all hand-me-downs (read: free) and for some reason I have a really difficult time picking out lamps that I like.  I also don't enjoy spending money on something like a new lamp.  But its time to remove all the ugly lamps and replace them with new fabulous lamps.  Or in the case of our guest room, to add a lamp on the bedside table.

Exhibit A:



Exhibit B:


Exhibit C:



Exhibit D:


Just pitiful, I know.  My mother, being the interior decorator that she is, is quite ashamed of my lamp collection.  So when she spotted a pair of beauties at HomeGoods (such a great store!  It's TJMaxx but for, well, goods for the home, hence the name...), for only $29.99 each, she jumped on them and insisted that I buy them for our bedroom.  And I couldn't aruge with the price, or the fact that they matched our bedroom perfectly.  So slowly I'm getting out of my lamp rut!




Yes, we still need a bed/headboard...all things in time.



So two lamps down, at least three to go...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

GOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL

I don't know about you, but the World Cup is big in my house.  And by big, I mean huge.  Mr. Cob's "sport" growing up was soccer, as was his brother's and sister's.  And it just so happens, that my brother was also a huge soccer star.  So not only did I grow up watching the sport (and even playing for a few years myself, until we moved to Virginia where girls soccer wasn't really a hit), but I married a soccer lover.  Mr. Cob and my brother even played on the same team here in the ATL until Mr. Cob's unfortunate soccer injury last year.  And my dad, brother and husband are all already teaching my 23 month old nephew how to kick a soccer ball (or any ball for that matter).  It's never too young to start loving the sport!  (I wouldn't be surprised if Baby Boy Swan has a soccer themed nursery...)

So as I was saying, soccer is huge in our house.  And the 2010 World Cup starts in exactly 3 days.  And Mr. Cob has been planning a World Cup party for....drum roll please....SIX MONTHS!  That's right.  He sent out an evite for a party six months in advance.  It's hard to believe it's actually here.  Saturday afternoon the USA will take on England in their first round match-up and its sure to be a great game.  Mr. Cob spent at least a few hours creating this elaborate evite and I felt that his artistry deserved to be shared with the world.

So you know what we'll be doing on Saturday - cheering on the USA!  I feel like they're going to make it far this year.  And if you have some free time, you should fill out a bracket on espn: http://games.espn.go.com/bpredictor/en-us/frontpage - it always makes tournaments more fun when you have something/one to root for and bracket bragging rights to earn!  Here's to hoping Argentina wins it all!

19 weeks Pictures

Yesterday a stranger asked me how far along I was.  So apparently I'm officially looking pregnant, which I much prefer to "a little on the chubbie side."

Here I am at 19 weeks...


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Delicious Dip

I thought it was time for a non-baby related post and as the other #1 thing in my life right now is food, I thought a recipe was appropriate.  This weekend was my friend C's baby shower - she's due in about 7 weeks and is killing her mother by not finding out if baby G is a girl or a boy.  Grandmothers do not like secrets!  Cec might be the cutest pregnant girl I know - doesn't she look great!

Anyway, I said this wasn't a baby post - sorry, I get easily distracted.  Anyway, for the shower, my friend Lindsay made this AMAZING artichoke dip.  I think everyone at the shower asked her for the recipe - it really was that good.  Turns out the secret ingredient was feta! 

So here's the recipe for Hot Feta Artichoke Dip - enjoy!

What You Need!
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) ATHENOS Traditional Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
1/2 cup DI GIORNO Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimientos, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
TRISCUIT Thin Crisps (we had the dip with tortilla chips which was great!)

Directions...
HEAT oven to 350°F. COMBINE all ingredients except crackers.  SPOON into 9-inch pie plate.  BAKE 20 to 25 min. or until heated through and lightly browned. Serve with crackers or chips.

Easy and delicious!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Baby S is a ....

BOY!!!! 

All the predictions were wrong.  My gut instinct was right all along - we are having a baby boy!  We are both so happy (and would have been if we were having a daughter instead of a son).  It suddenly feels very real.  I can now start referring to the baby as he or him rather than "it".  And the best part of the appointment was seeing our little boy on the ultrasound.  He was quite active, and most important, he's healthy.  He was moving so much that they couldn't get great pictures of his heart, so I get to go back in 4 weeks for another ultrasound!  And not to worry - she said the pictures they did get of his heart look good, they'd just prefer a few more.

And both the ultrasound tech and the doctor commented on how big he was!  My mom and I went looking at baby clothes/furniture after the appointment and I held up a newborn onesies to my belly and asked my mom, "Is he really going to be that big when he arrives?!?!"  She bluntly told me, probably bigger.  Yikes!

So now its time to start concentrating on boy names and give this kid a name!

Here are a few pics - Mr. Cob has the CD of all the pictures, these are just from the few printouts I have on me.






Anxiously Awaiting

I really should have made my doctor's appointment for first thing in the morning.  Waiting for 1:15 to roll around has been very hard.  All I can think about is baby S and the fact that we'll know its sex very soon!

Check back tonight for the reveal!  Any bets/thoughts/predictions?

A gender prediction quiz I took online last night said girl.

The woman who I bought my breakfast from this morning said girl.

The Chinese gender prediction chart said girl.

So these very scentific methods are all predicting girl...we'll just have to wait and see!  Keep your fingers crossed that Baby S cooperates during the ultrasound!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Big Reveal

Tomorrow is a big day for the Swans.  Tomorrow we find out whether Baby S is a boy or a girl!!!  This is all assuming Baby S cooperates and is in the correct position.

As this day approaches, I've been thinking a lot about whether I'd prefer a boy or a girl.  It also seems that everyone has been asking what I'd prefer.  Mr. Cob has absolutely no preference.  He said today that he feels bad that he doesn't have a preference, but I told him it was better that way - he can't be disappointed.  For a while I really thought I wanted a boy.  I think it has a lot to do with our nephew.  Watching him grow up the past two years has been so fun and amazing.  He has this sweet little personality and I think there's a special bond between little boys and their mommas.  But I also have this other side that really wants a little girl...especially when I see all the adorable baby girl clothes out there.  And when I think of tu-tus and ballerinas.  Girls are just so precious.

I'll be happy either way.  In the end I just want a healthy baby.  Boy or Girl.  It makes no difference to me.  I'm just ecstatic that this time tomorrow we'll know the big secret!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Feather Baby

This week I stumbled upon a new store that I have to share with you all. Wednesday after work I was out looking for baby shower gifts for two friends of mine. They both have registries, but I’m a rebel and would prefer to pick something out myself – just to make their lives difficult…I wouldn’t want to give them something I know they’ll like :). (And the reality of the situation is that there is no Babies R Us in-town and I was on a tight schedule, so I wanted to find a cute store close to my house).


After stopping at the one baby store I knew of in Decatur, which closes at 5pm (seriously? Who closes at 5pm? When are working women supposed to shop????), I tried a non-baby store that has some baby stuff. But most of their stuff is kitsch and not exactly shower appropriate. Though I did briefly consider these onesies:






But quickly decided they were inappropriate for a shower gift.

So feeling defeated (and hungry) I decided to just head home and tackle the shopping over the weekend. But as I was driving home, I stopped at a red light (like good drivers should do) and looked to my right only to see a BABY STORE! So I quickly pulled around the block, found a parking spot and ran in, hoping they were still open at 6:40pm. I was in luck!


The store is called Feather Baby and it just opened a last month. It is located at 431 W. Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030 – next to Fleet Feet and the scooter shop (not sure of the name). It’s in the same building as Decatur Hot Yoga and next door to Goat Feathers and across the street from The Marlay (formerly known as The Grange, f/k/a The Angel). And while we’re at it, the new Farm Burger (amazing) is just down the street.

The store is absolutely precious! The owner, Sude, and her family just moved to Atlanta from New York six weeks ago. Sude has 5 year old triplets and was as nice as can be. Along with being the owner, Sude is also the designer of the Feather Baby organic clothing line, which she of course carries in the store. The fabric patterns were adorable and some were very posh, but sweet at the same time. There honestly wasn’t one thing in the store that I wouldn’t want for my baby! And I found shower gifts for both of my friends – it was the perfect store for such an occasion.


 
So if you live in the area, I encourage you to check out Feather Baby the next time you’re in Decatur or in need of a baby gift or just some stylish cute clothes for a baby. And if you don’t live in the area, please visit her website – http://www.featherbaby.com/ – to see a list of locations in your area that carry the Feather Baby line, or to purchase the clothes directly from the website. She has her collections posted on the website (the two pieces above are from her line) and if you take a quick look, I know you’ll love them too!

Happy Shopping. I may just have to stop back in on Monday after I find out if Baby S is a boy or a girl and pick up a little treat…


Thursday, June 3, 2010

The New Black...

My friend Shannon recently said to me, “Pregnant seems to be the new black.” Seriously, pregnant women are everywhere. Something is in the water here in Atlanta. Two of my old roommates/sorority sisters from college are currently pregnant (one due in July, the other 2 weeks after me in November). Another really good friend of ours is due in December. And my friend Lauren who’s husband went to law school with Mr. Cob and I, is preggo and due early August. And then there’s the multitude of pregnant women I see everywhere I go and random facebook “friends” who are expecting. I guess we’re at that age when people start to procreate. It was bound to happen eventually.

As we know from my recent post, I have a love/hate relationship with bump pictures. Well, I think I have found the cutest bump picture of all time and had to share with you all. Here is Lauren and her hubs Eugene at her recent baby shower. Isn’t this just adorable?!?!?!


And the caption underneath the picture on facebook, posted by Lauren’s mom, read “Who’s belly is bigger?” Too cute!

Painting Party

This weekend I finally crossed two more household projects off my list – painting the guest bathroom and the breakfast nook. The guest bathroom painting was a spur of the moment decision. We were half way through painting the breakfast nook and realized we needed more paint and lucky for us, Sherwin-Williams was having a 25% off Memorial Day sale. So I decided 25% off was good enough reason to buy paint for the bathroom and tackle one more project. I figured I should use my worker bee (aka my mom) while she was there and willing to paint!






My original thought was to paint the bathroom a pale green, but as that might be the baby’s room color, I decided to go in a different direction. We decided on Cottage Creole – sounds so exotic doesn’t it? Well lesson #1 from this painting project was quickly learned when we opened the paint can and started painting – the color you choose at the store always looks a little different once its in your house (and it goes on lighter than it dries, which can cause for some panic while the paint is still wet and you fear you’re going to end up with a pale pink/peach bathroom). Mom and I both thought Cottage Creole would be a deeper color than it was, but were happy with the final product. I ended up with much lighter bathroom than I’d intended, but once the paint dried, I loved the color. I also decided that with the new paint job, the bathroom mirror needed to be replaced. It now looks like an entirely new bathroom!




Our second project was painting the breakfast nook. I’d picked out the paint (Mexican Sand) and bought it moths ago, back when I purchased the paint for the kitchen and living room. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the paint had sat in the house for three months, or if the existing white paint on the walls was so horrible, but this paint did not go on easily. And I quickly learned lesson #2 of the weekend. As much as you may hate it, you must blue tape the walls, ceilings and molding, especially if you are painting with darker colored paint. Mom tried to convince me to tape the room before we started painting, but I can be hard-headed and told her we could do it with the fancy edging tools we had. Well, lets just say, mother’s always right! The paint was dark enough that we had to put on a second coat, so we decided to tape the entire room for the second coat and the results were much better and cleaner!


However, once the paint dried, I learned lesson #3 of the weekend. If you are painting two rooms that touch each other, and you are choosing colors in the same color family, make sure they contrast enough so that they look like two different colors. The breakfast nook “Mexican Sand” looks almost exactly like the kitchen/dining room “Tamarind” and you can barely tell that the breakfast nook is a darker, redder shade. In the end, its not worth repainting and everyone will probably think that it’s the same color, but I’ll know the truth, and now, so will you.

(the paint on the right is the "darker" color...or is supposed to be)

After painting we rearranged the furniture. I moved the china cabinet to the dining room, moved the table to sit in the corner of the room rather than the center, which had blocked traffic to the back patio, and moved the side table to where the china cabinet used to be. I now need to find some big baskets or a sideboard to keep all of Wrigley’s food in. And I could use some plants and some artwork – but slowly I’m getting this house decorated!



Next up, the baby’s room…the blue or pink path will be revealed on Monday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Belly Pic

I don't know how I feel about belly pictures of pregnant woman.  On the one hand, some of them really annoy me and I feel like the posts/pictures are somehow self promoting.  I think my main problem with the belly pics is the ones of the bare belly. Something about them freaks me out.  But on the other hand, I'll admit that I love seeing belly pics of other people.  (It's similar to being facebook friends with people you never talk to - viewing these pictures, or their facebook profile, feels like I'm getting a glimpse into their life that I otherwise wouldn't be privy to, especially if its belly pics of someone who lives far away and I don't actually see in person.  I also just think pregnant women are cute.  And, seeing normally slender ladies with growing bellies is very intriguing).  

So I've been debating on whether or not I should take and share belly pics as my stomach continues to grow.  I've been told to at least take them for myself so that I can see how I change and supposedly I'll appreciate them after Baby S is here.  I've also been getting emails and phone calls from friends and family asking to see more pics of the belly.  So, with that, I've decided to post a "Weekly Pooch Pic" (yes, I hate the word pooch, but I'm embracing it and rolling with it - beside, pooch pic sounds cuter than belly pic...)

So here I am at 18 weeks:



And see, I'm not only giving you one, but I'm giving you two pics!  I'm so nice. 

Bugs Be Gone

A few months ago, if you will remember, Mr. Cob and his dad screened in our side porch.  And I finally have the pictures to prove it!  They did an AMAZING job!  The porch has now become one of our favorite places to eat dinner, read a book or chat on the phone.  It will be the perfect place to have a glass of wine and relax after a long day of work...once I can have wine again...for now its a great place to drink a virgin bloody mary!



The table and chairs are from Ikea.  The table opens up to seat 4-6 people.  The rug was a birthday present from my dad!


The couch was a hand-me-down from my brother and Ana Lisa - thanks guys!  We've gotten a lot of use out of it!


Didn't they do a great job with their handywork?!  It looks professionally finished!

Wrigley is also a fan of the porch...


Luckily the fan was already installed when we bought the house.


And now some pictrues looking at the house from the street.


I was so happy that Mr. Cob and his dad were able to create a screened-in-look that matched the style of the house.  It looks like its always been there.



And we finally finished re-mulching the beds in the front yard!

 
It feels great to have this big project crossed off our list!  Later today I'll share pictures of the final prodcut from our painting extraveganza this past weekend!