Mini Monday: Hippo Take Over

Early in my pregnancy I was really hungry all the time, so we joked that the baby made me a hungry, hungry hippo and a perfect nickname for the baby was born.

As we count down the final days until our sweet hippo joins us, I realized we have really started something. Between onesies, burp cloths, books and various other items this kid had better not have a fear of hippos or we are going to have a problem!



30 Days

You may recall that a few weeks ago we had some hot water heater issues. Well, those issues persisted for quite some time, leaving us sans hot water for 30 — that’s right 30 — days. Oh the joys of home ownership! The need to shower elsewhere lasted so long that at one point my husband asked if I was moving out since all my toiletries had slowly migrated down the block to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s place.

The back story: Our tankless water heater (which was just over 5 years old, the warranty had expired 2 months earlier…) died on me mid-shower one Sunday afternoon. We had our plumber out the next day and he determined that a filter was no longer working which didn’t surprise us too much. In our research the evening before this had come up as a common problem for units like ours. Lucky us. He ordered the part and it was installed at the end of the week. It produced hot water while the plumber was here so I thought everything was fixed and, despite the fact that we had to go down the street to shower for 5 days, I figured there were worse things we could have had to deal with.

And I was right.

The new problem: A few hours passed and I was doing the dishes. Lo and behold there was no hot water to be found. Of course, at that point it was Friday evening so the plumber couldn’t get back out until Monday and I continued the routine of showering down the block. Thank goodness that was an option!

Over the weekend my husband and our electrician neighbor inspected the unit and determined that something was shorting inside the water heater panel because the switch was popping anytime it tried to turn on and produce hot water. On Monday the plumber called the company again and ordered us a new switch. But wait for it — the switch was on back order. Back order! And there was no estimated delivery date available. Needless to say my husband and I spent the next week and a half terrified we were going to be without hot water for months.

The solution (finally!!): Fortunately the back order didn’t last for months, but when the piece was sent two-day shipping an entire week went by and it still hadn’t arrived. The plumber called the company (again) and requested that they resend the part. This time they sent it overnight. It took 5 days, which can partially be blamed on the holiday weekend, but it did finally come. The new switch was installed on Monday and the water heater seems to be fixed. Needless to say I’ve never been so happy to take a shower in my own home. And run the dishwasher! During our hot-water free month we joked that it was like we were back in college — needing to go down the hall to take a shower — I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t be doing that again anytime soon…

Mini Monday: Celebrate!

Yesterday was my birthday. Now combine that with a holiday weekend, my parents being in town, and a baby shower and the last few days have been a (very busy) blast!

On July 4 the weather was phenomenal, I can’t even get over what a great day it was for summer in DC. In the evening we enjoyed delicious BBQ with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law before heading down to the Capitol. From there we had the most amazing view of the fireworks display we’ve experienced in all our years of living in Washington, DC, and since we were at the Capitol we could hear the National Symphony Orchestra play while we watched the fireworks go off. Top that off with the perfect — and I mean perfect — weather and it was an amazing evening.

Saturday after teaching Jazzercise and running errands I rested while my mom and my husband put up an adorable decal in the nursery. I’m so grateful that they were able to get the many many pieces onto the wall without too much difficulty and that it looks so sweet. In the afternoon I had a southern baby shower with a group of wonderful women from church and the baby (and I) were spoiled with gifts, advice, and chocolate chocolate cupcakes.

Yesterday I woke up and opened birthday cards and a few small presents, then my husband and I walked to the local coffee shop where my birthday was announced on their menu board! It was so thoughtful, but I was really glad my husband was with me because I think I might have missed it —  despite how big it was — if he hadn’t pointed it out… Baby brain leaves me so distracted sometimes! The rest of the day consisted of a lovely French brunch with my folks, flourless chocolate cakes that my hubby made and topped with chocolate chip gelato with the in-laws (who gave me the sweetest alphabet book that they had created for the baby hippo with pictures of us and our favorite things representing the letters), dinner with my parents, and finally a movie to wrap up the day.

Now the birthday fun may be over, but I’m 32 years old and 32 weeks pregnant and I am loving life (even if it’s Monday)!


The Final Escape

My husband and I love to travel and with the baby coming we knew that travel time (at least big, international trips) would probably be put on the back burner for the next few years, so we decided to squeeze in one more pre-baby international trip to the not-very-far-away Quebec in May. I thought that would be my final getaway, but we ended up taking a last-minute trip to California about a week after getting back from Canada and last weekend we managed to take one final mini vacation.

We caught the train up to New York City on Saturday morning and spent the weekend catching up with our great friends and their uber happy 7 month old daughter — we can only hope our little hippo will be so joyful! The visit included lots of talking and eating (of course), exploring the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens where we were all inspired to do a million more things to our backyard gardens, checking out the Ai Weiwei exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, enjoying a slice (or three) of funfetti cake and watching movies.


Now I am stuck at home for the foreseeable future, but I’m hoping these last few months before the baby arrives race by because I can’t wait to meet the little guy and read to him about Harry the Hippo who loves to play hide and seek.

Mini Monday: 30 Weeks Pregnant


I really don’t want to be one of those people — you know, the ones who talk exclusively about pregnancy, babies and baby things — but today I’ve simply got baby on the brain so you’re getting a mini-earful of baby news.

• I’m at 30 weeks today and am still getting lots of kicks from my cucumber/cabbage size baby (and no, those two veggies are not similar in size at all…) who is approximately 2.75 pounds (which seems like an awfully heavy cucumber or cabbage…) and is about 16 inches long.

• I on the other hand cannot be compared to a fruit or vegetable as I feel that I am approximately the size of a beached whale, but other very kind people, my husband included, keep saying I look very fit for 30 weeks. I have lots of walking and Jazzercise to thank for that one! My fingers are crossed that the heat isn’t too bad this summer and I can keep up my exercise regime until the baby comes.

• To emphasize how “beached whaley” I am feeling, my husband and I were listening to classical musical for most of the afternoon yesterday and at one point, he started to dance with me. The next thing I knew there was a spin (no problem there) and a “lift.” Oh, my poor husband. I am pretty petite and stand 5′ tall whereas he is 6’1″ so typically a lift is no problem, but when he tried yesterday I’d say he got me about an inch off the ground and made such a horrible noise in his attempt to pick me up. Well, needless to say we both dissolved into laughter and I wasn’t feeling very petite anymore! He also said, “I definitely think this needs to go in the blog tomorrow.” So this one is for you, babe.

• It’s happened. I’ve started attracting the random belly rubs that I’ve been dreading all along and really, it is just plain weird. Why do strangers — and frankly even acquaintances — think that a woman wants them to rub her belly?? I’ve had good friends ask if they can touch my belly, which is fine, but people I barely know or don’t know at all? Paws off!

• Our baby hippo really likes being on the right hand side of my belly. I don’t know what it is — head, butt, elbow — but he frequently maneuvers himself so that I feel a huge hunk of baby sticking out. It’s always on the same side, usually in the same spot, and it is super weird. If I massage him, eventually he will find his way back into the normal realm of my belly space. All I can say is that creating a baby is definitely interesting!

• Over the weekend, my husband built the dresser that will also double as a changing table for our little hippo. Although we have a wall decal to put up for decoration, the room is pretty well put together. Now I can spend the rest of the summer (post-baby showers) washing tiny clothes and putting them, diapers and blankets where they belong. I’m trying to keep my nesting mania to a minimum for my hubby’s sake. I can see him rolling his eyes now.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!



How Pregnancy is Kind of Like Being a Toddler


As I spread some peanut butter on a piece of celery and topped it with dried cranberries the other day I thought, “I don’t think I’ve eaten this snack since I was approximately 4 years old.” But it was tasty and healthy and pretty much all I had the energy to put together, so it worked. With that in mind I started thinking about the other ways in which my pregnancy may somewhat resemble toddlerhood (at least behavior I have observed in other people’s toddlers since I don’t really remember my own toddler years terribly clearly):

• I pretty much always have a bag of cereal or crackers in my bag because I never know when I am going to suddenly be insatiably hungry.

• While it hasn’t happened more than 2 or 3 times during the past 29 weeks (my husband is probably rolling his eyes now, but I honestly think this is accurate) I’ve gone from totally happy to irrationally upset in the blink of an eye.

• Since I don’t really sleep at night I need naps, but I can’t seem to take them — what if I miss out on something amazing?

• My poor husband has to do so many things that any able bodied adult woman should be able to for herself—reach dishes that my belly and short T-Rex arms have now pushed out of my reach, pick things up off the floor that my toes can’t grab, and all sorts of other random things that just seem so hard these days.

• I spill on myself at an alarming rate — was I this messy before I was pregnant or did I just drop all sorts of food, water, whatever I am attempting to put in my mouth onto the floor because my belly wasn’t in the way to catch it?

The Past 13 Days…

photo 1

I hate to sound like a Debbie Downer, but things have been a bit rough around our house the past few weeks. It all started on June 6, when my husband’s bike lock was cut on our front porch and the seatless ride was stolen (he kept the seat and helmet in the house). Two days later our water heater stopped working in the middle of my shower and yes, I had conditioner in my hair when everything went ice cold. Needless to say, that was less than awesome. Now, 10 days later, despite three visits from the plumber last week which included 5 minutes of hot water when it was “fixed” Friday morning, we are still without a functioning unit. Maybe today will finally be the day when a new switch gets installed and, dear God, if that doesn’t solve the problem there will be a seriously cranky pregnant lady over here!

On top of that excitement I managed to break — and when I say break I really mean shatter — a large, seriously heavy duty duralex drinking glass INTO the dishwasher. Ah, the joys of home ownership…

Since I am well into a rant, let me add that I’m 29 weeks pregnant and it’s approximately a million degrees outside (again) so needless to say I am a little on the uncomfortable side.

With all those negative things floating around, I’m trying my best not to focus on the bad stuff (although it sure doesn’t sound like it in the previous paragraphs, does it?). There are many things I am grateful for this week:

• We can afford to fix our hot water heater (if anyone ever figures out exactly what is wrong with it…), that we have no shortage of water here in DC and that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live just down the block so we have somewhere to take warm showers (thanks guys!)
• Our garden is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to the numerous downpours last week. Also the flowers I planted around the outer borders of each bed are finally starting to bloom and add color to our backyard.
• Speaking of the garden, my hubby was able to pick an entire bowl of delicious, tart blueberries from one of our plots on Saturday morning. Yum.
• And speaking of my hubby, he finished re-painting our bedroom Saturday, taking us from red to a really lovely blue/gray. And with the help of my brother-in-law our furniture is no longer all in the middle of the room, which is a definite plus when it comes to navigating my many middle of the night trips to the bathroom.
• Work is busy, busy, busy which is always something to be pleased about.
• After living in DC for about 5 years, we finally have air conditioning in the house, which has been a huge relief.
• And our baby hippo is roughly the size of a butternut squash this week. Or an acorn squash, depending on what baby app I’m looking at. Also I am feeling lots of kicks and jabs and who knows what from the baby, which always makes me smile.

Speaking of hippos, look what came in the mail from our financial planner’s office the other day:

photo 2

Here’s to keeping the bright side in focus, even on rough days!