click on these

pine cones

  • Learn to like coffee without sugar. I completely vouch for this method. I now drink my coffee with only nut milk. Only when I want a treat, will I put a teaspoon of sugar and that’ll be sweet enough for me.
  • 90’s peeps: You can now play the Oregon Trail in your browser. You’re welcome! I was obsessed with this game.(Word of advice: the game seems to work in some browsers and not others. It worked for me in Chrome)

Happy weekend!

 

a big thank you + other updates

party2

  • I just wanted to say another “thank you” to everyone who wished us well on the last post. I replied to each and every one that commented, however, I felt it necessary to say it again in this way. Because you can never thank someone enough for their kindness and time. I am beaming. THANK YOU.

party5

  • I would love to pose a question to all the mothers out there: the flu shot; have you gotten it while pregnant? I’ve been strongly advised for it (mostly by my doctors) and against it (by almost everyone else). Normally, I’d be inclined to take a doctor’s advice but in this case there are a lot of convincing arguments for not getting it. I’m not comfortable with the idea of putting things like thimerosal and formaldehyde into my body (or rather into the little body inside of me). The flu shot this year has been shown be not as effective at preventing the flu.  And I’ve been healthy without it for years, doing things like washing my hands regularly and eating anti-inflammatory foods. Most importantly, the vaccine has not been officially tested on pregnant women (sources here and here). On the other hand, the strain of flu that’s going around these days is pretty severe.  Being pregnant suppresses the immune system—so I’ve read—, which makes me more susceptible to contagious disease and that worries me. So my point is, did you get a flu shot when you were pregnant? Did you find that you or your child were at all affected by it? Did you actually have the flu while pregnant?  There are plenty of reports and articles out there about flu shots during pregnancy and it’s difficult to separate the fact from fiction. At this point, I’m considering the thimerosal/preservative-free flu shot, but I’m still not completely sold on it.  Would so love your thoughts on this!

party4

  • I’ve been pretty into this fruit smoothie combination in the mornings lately: apple + frozen strawberries + clementines + frozen cherries (optional). I’m really cramming in as much vitamin C as I can, most especially in the mornings on an empty stomach. This is when the nutrients  in fruit are most easily absorbed and digested. Next time, I might throw in some spinach for good measure. Blend it, strain it, drink it. Semi-recipe on my Instagram.

party1

  • House update: we have an inspection on the house coming up this weekend. Moment of truth! We might have an idea come Saturday after the inspection, but we’ll most definitely know for certain by next week if we will buy the house or not. I’m not expecting an A+ report, but it’d be nice if repairs to the house are not too costly. Our exchanges with the seller’s agent haven’t been the most pleasant and we’ve had a lot of back-and-forths for the past few months, so it’d be great to be rewarded with our own house at the end of this. It’ll hurt to have gone through all the trouble just to have to walk away from it.
  • These pics are from our house party that Bob and I had at our place with some close friends. The party started out great. We broke the big news to everyone so there was a lot of excitement all around. Until! We got a knock on our door from a disgruntled neighbor who started threatening Bob because our party was too noisy (admittedly, we were all talking pretty loudly). At that point, a lot of angry words were exchanged and the mood of the party changed from celebratory to annoyed and tense. The next knock on our door was from six police officers who claimed that the complaint called  in was for a “domestic dispute” (I don’t think this needs to be said, but that was complete and utter BS). Ugh. Things got hairy, but fortunately  no one was arrested or issued a summons. The night just left me soured. Had the neighbor been a gentleman about it asked us  to lower the volume without the empty threats, we would have respected that and there would have been no need for six (SIX!) officers to waste their time and ours. We ended up seeing that neighbor a couple days later in our hallway and he politely held the front door for us without saying a word. Bygones, I guess. I’m still mad our awesome party was ruined though!

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  • On a lighter note, you might notice some of these pics were taken in the same area by our jankety makeshift garland curtain. That was my lame attempt at making a holiday-themed “photo-booth” aka just a pretty place in the apartment where we could all take pictures!
  • I’d really like to get into my regular blogging schedule again, but I’m finding it surprisingly hard. There are times when I have absolutely nothing to say and there are times when I have too much to say but I don’t know how to organize my thoughts well. Can I just blame it on pregnancy brain?

 

the reason I haven’t blogged all that much recently

It all started with this.

preg test

And that’s when shit got real.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of emotions and pregnancy symptoms. I was up, down, nauseous, tired and then did it all over again the next day. It was exhausting. So much so that I didn’t have the energy to cook my own meals or stay up past 8:30pm, let alone blog. I can’t even tell you how I survived long work days. The whole time, I felt like I was in a fog.

But! I was and still am ecstatic. About the baby, not the symptoms.

For most of my life, I was content with the thought of never becoming a parent. It’s just not something I had strongly desired. I’d feel joy for other people when they gave birth to their kids, but I always thought, Meh, probably not for me. It wasn’t until very recently when I started thinking, Maybe I do want a kid…maybe. In time. Then Bebop happened (Bebop is the pet name we’ve given this little nugget growing in my belly) and that time was suddenly NOW. I honestly panicked when I saw those two pink lines on that test. After hyperventilating and pacing the house for a few minutes, I called my friend Jen who was the calm to my panicky, crying self. But after processing it, all I felt was happiness and excitement (mixed with a little bit of fear, of course). Bob, who had a much calmer reaction to the news when I told him the next day, feels exactly the same. After seeing our tiny Bebop’s hummingbird heart beat on the first ultrasound, it was love at first sight. Since then, I look forward to every appointment when I can see this little guy or girl’s progress. In the latest, I saw Bebop bouncing around and kicking like a little maniac. The doctor warned me, “I hope you have enough energy because this one looks like it’s going to be feisty!”

bebop at 13 weeks

 Bebop at 13 weeks ↑

So now I’m 16 weeks, which means I’m in my second trimester. I’m feeling much better now. I’m still easily fatigued, but the constant nausea and the food aversions are mostly gone which is a relief. After subsisting on cereal, popsicles, crackers, chocolate milk, grapefruit and pomegranates for months, it feels good to be cooking and eating healthy again. Although I’m still craving lots of chocolate milk and pepperoni these days.

It also feels good to finally get this out in the open. It was hard to keep it a secret, but it was important to both of us to tell all of our friends and family first. We told our parents in November and the rest of our family and friends on or right after Christmas.

At the end of this week, we get to find out the sex of our baby. Almost everyone we know says it’s a girl. If we’re basing it on most old wives’ tales like what I’m craving or how fast the baby’s heart is pumping, then sure I’m having a girl. Although I did the “key pick up” test and that told me I’m having a boy, so…who knows?  It’s also funny how some people will confidently ask me, “How’s that little girl doing in there?” But you know what? I can’t help but think it’s a boy. Wives’ tale or no, I’ve already started referring to him as “him”. Ha! I read somewhere that the mother’s guess turns out to be accurate in over 70% of cases. Either way, if it’s healthy then I’m happy. That’s all anyone really wants.

But it is fun to place to bets, isn’t it? I can’t wait to finally say, “It’s a ___!”

 

the met

me

Bob and I had the most amazing summer, going out and enjoying ourselves every chance we got. I figured we’d continue our fun streak into the winter, but lately we’ve been such homebodies and only going out to catch a movie or quick dinner on the weekends. But I think we’d both had enough of our hibernation because last weekend, we eagerly made plans to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Neither of us had been in a while and since the weather was cold and wet, being inside looking at art all day sounded ideal. I mistakenly thought, now that’s it’s after New Year’s and all the tourists are clearing out, it’ll be nice and empty. Wrong. Still as packed and touristy as ever! But it didn’t bother me. Crowded or not, The Met is a huge museum filled with beautiful, thought-provoking art and I can enjoy that either way. Realistically, this place is probably never not crowded, but it’s for good reason.

crowded

It’s difficult to see the entire museum in one visit, so we made sure to get around to collections that we hadn’t seen before or that we hadn’t seen in a long time. The Renaissance art and stained glass windows stood out to me the most this time around. I could stare at stained glass windows all day. They are just so amazing to look at.

tortured

heads

Also worth mentioning (though sadly not pictured), a phenomenon Bob likes to call Art Butts. The abundance of bare butts in art. True story (and you know it).
lookingthick layers
golden2golden
head

Bob’s favorite Pollack.pollack

 It was such a nice day. Having not done something like this for a while made it that much sweeter.  It brought me back to our old dating days when we’d spend hours in the city just walking, talking, eating and experiencing everything New York had to offer. In those days, we’d meet up early and stay out late until we were both bone-tired. I never wanted to go home because I wanted to make the most of our time together (in the early days, we only saw eachother about once a week). Although things are slightly different now, especially now that we live together, they’re still just as fun and the exhaustion at the end of the day feels just as good!

christmas 2014

decoration

Happy New Year! It is a happy one, isn’t it? I’m definitely feeling 2015. But that’s probably because I came into the new year newly ENGAGED. Yes! On Christmas Eve morning, while still in my pjs and sitting on the couch, Bob asked me if I wanted to open up one of my gifts early. Of course I said yes and unwrapped a large handmade scrapbook. On the first page, was the most heart-meltingly beautiful letter I’ve ever read. Tear-inducing! And when I looked up, there was Bob sitting next to me and holding up the most gorgeous ring. Needless to say, I happily and excitedly accepted his proposal. People often ask me if I knew it was coming and I always say no way. Sure, we’ve discussed marriage for years but I always assumed a proposal would come sometime in the far-off future. It was always one of those things that I knew would happen eventually, but when the time actually came, I was completely caught off-guard! I love this guy, I really do. I’m sure that goes without saying, but sometimes you just need to put it out there. He truly is my favorite person.

Can you tell I’m still floating in the clouds?

tree and ring

Anyway, onto the Christmas day festivities. You know the story by now: tons of food, laughs, kids impatiently waiting to open their gifts and few rousing rounds of my new favorite party game Heads Up. Christmas was extra special this year for many reasons, but one being that I had a really great time giving gifts to the family this year. I carefully thought about each person I’d be giving to and shopping early really afforded me that.  I love getting the ol’, “this is exactly what I wanted/needed!” It’s just a good feeling to know you’re making someone’s day. I’ll have to make note of this for years to come: Start thinking about Christmas gifts in October. Earlier if possible!

the boys

sis and sis in lawmilesme and bobdinner2dinner

bob, tre and janeyheads up

tiny village

I’d declared early on in 2014 that it would be the year of new things and that was completely accurate. I experienced cool things like helicoptor rides, a Color Run and kayaking in the Hudson. I started writing my thoughts in a journal, which has helped me clear the clutter in my mind. I started looking for my first home purchase (and we’re thisclose to getting it!). I reconnected with some family that I’d been out of touch with for a few years. I improved my eating habits, thus improving my health and mood.  I got enagaged!

So…2015! Like I said, it’s going to be a good one. I’m actually really excited about it, more excited than I’ve been for any other year. I have a few major things coming up, but I’ll fill you in on all that later. For now, I hope all of your holiday celebrations were full of happiness and good memories!

all i want for christmas is y—a house!

rock center

We’re so close to this thing I can almost taste it.

A few weeks ago, right after the first inspector told us that the house could not be inspected unless the mold was remediated, we attempted to renegotiate a lower price with his recommendation in writing. We figured the bank might be more inclined to accept if they saw the words come from a respected inspector. It took a couple of weeks for them to get back to us, at which point they rejected the new offer because they had stipulated early on that the house was to come “as is”. Fair enough, but we had to try anyway. We weren’t all that surprised by the rejection and decided to proceed with the initial accepted offer, which was still an amazing price. We also decided to go with a new inspection company, one that agreed to inspect even with the toxic mold present.

Now it’s a matter of turning on the utilities inside the house, which has been a ridiculously slow process. Since the house has not been lived in for over a year, the utilities have not been in use, however it’s something we need to complete a full and thorough inspection. I don’t know why, but it has taken several weeks for them to just activate the electric, gas and water. Personally, I think that this should have been done ages ago. Then again, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and what the potential holdups are, but  it’s still frustrating to wait on other people when you’re raring to go.

The other day, I got word from our realtor that she just needed to confirm about the water being turned on and then we’d be good to go for the inspection. I’m really nervous about it because our buying of this house hinges on the inspection. If it turns out it needs more repairs than what it’s worth or what we can afford, then the deal’s off. This worries me because this house is our only prospect. It is the only place we’ve seen that meets our specific criteria. It’s tough to look for a home when you’re not allowed to be flexible, but that’s where we’re at right now. And if it doesn’t work out, then we’re going to revisit the idea of moving in with Bob’s mother and grandmother temporarily (if they’ll have us, of course). Like I’ve stated before, the upside is that we’d be able to save more money and perhaps be able to afford a better property down the line. The downside is that this area of Maspeth isn’t very convenient when it comes to public transportation and grocery shopping. But we will make it work if we have to.

Normally I don’t care about getting gifts for Christmas, but this year I’m feeling a little greedy. I want this house! A place to call all our own. A home to grow in. Somewhere we can stretch our legs. So I’m hoping that this holiday will bring us festive fun, joy and most of all, a positive inspection report!

Fingers (and toes) crossed.

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