Archive | April 2014

Mini Monday: The Seven Year Itch

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I just couldn’t resist using this as the title for a post about our seventh wedding anniversary, even though research has shown that the “3 year glitch” is the new “7 year itch” when it comes to marital woes. So phew, I guess we’ve made it honey!

As we enter our seventh year of marriage, the most exciting thing on the horizon is the little bundle of joy that is scheduled to join our family in September. We are keeping things pretty low key this year in terms of anniversary celebrations, but the traditional seventh anniversary gift is copper and my husband just happened upon a super shiny penny from the year we got married the other day. I thought it was such a sweet gesture (I was really just impressed that he knew copper was the appropriate gift… I had no idea!). During the weekend we picked up this little copper heart from a vendor at Eastern Market to put in the nursery. It was our small, but sweet, gift to each other.

But I wanted to do something to surprise to him, and I decided that would be putting two tulips — purple like the day we got married — in the bud vase we were given on our wedding day.

As the years tick by, I know I couldn’t have asked for a better partner — who else would stay up until 11 pm working to assemble an Ikea bed? Or spend his entire weekend organizing and cleaning the house from top to bottom because there are so many things I can’t move or clean properly these days? Or who encouraged me to quit my full-time job to start my own freelance firm? Or who is willing to get up at 6:30 am on a Saturday to help me set up my Jazzercise class? Or who puts his hand on my belly and talks to our son in crazy voices (at first I was worried that our son wouldn’t recognize my husband’s voice when after being born, but then I realized he’s still going to talk to the baby with crazy voices so we should be good)? The list goes on and on and I am more grateful to have him in my life with every passing day.

 

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The Baby, in Fruit

In an effort to not stress about things I can’t control I’ve tried to follow my doctor’s advice during the pregnancy — instead of reading book after book with conflicting advice and information, I should use common sense, look things up on the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and ask the doctor when I have questions. I did want to have a little more frequent information about what was going on with the baby, so I downloaded an app that gives me daily tips (sometimes they are really helpful, I mean who knew I needed to eat 70 g of protein a day? and other times ridiculously gender stereotyped) as well as a weekly update about how the baby is developing and what is happening to my body.

All in all, it’s been a good resource, but one aspect of theweeksfruit app drives my husband totally nuts — the baby to fruit comparison. Yes, each week it compares the size of the baby to a piece of fruit. In week 21 the app has deemed that the baby is the size of a banana, but in week 20 it was the size of a cantaloupe. Even I find that transition slightly flawed. There was also a week where my husband repeatedly said, “Have they ever seen a peach?! How is a lemon bigger than a peach?!”

I receive another weekly email from thebump.com which I initially thought was linked to the app but apparently isn’t because they also compare my unborn child to fruit, but this week our little hippo transitioned from a banana to a pomegranate according to them. Again, what? A 10.5 inch pomegranate?!

I have to admit that I look forward to seeing how these websites will compare the baby to fruit more for my husband’s exasperated reaction than for me to have a greater understanding of the baby’s size. Thanks for the laughs, baby!

Happy Administrative Assistant Day — To Me!

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Being self-employed means I am responsible for everything involved in my business life. Not only do I need to make sure I complete my actual projects in a timely fashion (which is pretty important), but I am also my own IT department and responsible for taking care of all the mundane tasks involved in keeping a business afloat like invoicing, tracking expenses, filing my taxes, etc. You know, the really fun stuff.

So when I was reminded that today is administrative assistant day, I thought I’d better let myself know I am appreciated! I’m enjoying working from our new breakfast room this morning with my sweet treat thanks to my awesome boss — a peanut butter chocolate cupcake (totally good for the baby, think of all the iron and protein in the peanut butter!) and a (decaf) iced mocha. Also, I managed to get “I Am My Own Best Friend” from Chicago stuck in my head this morning. Of course, I am belting out “I am my own administrative assistant!” to myself which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Happy administrative assistant day!

Spring Flowers

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A house that is (sort-of) in our neighborhood has a beautiful array of tulips in their front yard each spring. I’ve been walking by every few days in hopes of catching them all in bloom, but they were a little slow to open this year. Looks like I finally succeeded! A sunny morning walk with all these bright tulips? What a great start to this spring day!

Mini Monday: Ikea Furniture Assembly

photo 1Well the title of this post pretty much sums it up — Ikea furniture assembly is a true test of understanding directions with no words, boxes with an endless amount of parts and, typically, missing or broken pieces.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. A few months ago we decided that it was about time we upgraded from our full bed to a queen. After 7 years, my hubby (who is 6’1″) and I could really use just a little more room — particularly since my body pillow is now taking up more than its fair share of space.

But I digress, we purchased said bed during the government shutdown when my husband had time to go to Ikea during a weekday. Since then it’s been sitting around in boxes waiting for our renovation to be complete and yesterday evening after a delicious, ham-filled Easter meal we finally got the ball rolling on setting up the new bed. (And by “we” I clearly mean “he” got the ball rolling. I *did* vacuum the carpet when the old bed was moved out. Five years of dust bunnies — pretty terrifying!)

Despite not starting the assembly process until around 5 or 5:30 and having a 30 minute interruption when our neighbors came by the check out the house, my husband worked continuously on that bed throughout the evening because he knew how much I wanted to be able to sleep in it. And he ALMOST had it ready for us too, but the screws for some of the support beams were not included… I believe this was discovered around step 48. He kept going and took care of everything else involved in the 53 step process, but we spent our evening in the basement sleeping in our old bed. This morning I was off to Ikea straight away for replacement screws. Fingers crossed that they gave me the right ones! Then we can cross one more thing off our lengthy to-do list.

 

Getting the Garden Going

After such a long, cold winter I’ve been anxious to get going on our garden. It’s as if I can see green then somehow that will force spring along. This method doesn’t seem to be working out for me at all (when I woke up it was 30 degrees and felt like 19… brr!).

On top of the weather not being too interested in our spending time outdoors, with all of the work that happened on our house from November to March, our backyard was pretty much trashed. We weren’t thrilled about the plants that were crushed by construction supplies or the giant mud pit that used to be the grassy side of our yard, but most frustrating was the state of our garden plots. The one closest to the house was in particular trouble as it had gone from wonderful, clean soil (after much hard work by my husband) to being filled with clay as well as bits of insulation, nails, staples, and trash—just what a girl wants to grow her food in the midst of…

As soon as it was warm enough, my hubby was outside cleaning out that plot and during the past two weekends we have been able to plant all of the items we wanted to start from seed. (Due to the construction, we didn’t bother with seedlings this year so we will see how our growing season goes.) We’ve planted almost everything we are hoping to grow this year—with tomatoes and peppers being the exception—including salad greens, herbs, cucumbers, snap peas, green beans, and a variety of flowers. Of course, we managed to do this just in time for the weather to dip more than 50 degrees and provide us with yet another frost last night.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the frost blanketsphoto-2 I already had out to keep the birds from simply eating all of the seeds was enough to keep those little guys alive. We also brought in the strawberry plants and flowers that were in pots of the front porch and redecorated our entry hall. Lovely, isn’t it? I figure this great “spring” weather can’t be any worse than last year when I did grow seedlings only to plant them in late March and have it snow the very next day killing them all (despite the frost blankets) because I was departing for 2 weeks in Turkey and Greece and would not be around the care for them.

Only time will tell what will become of all our little plants (and spring for that matter). Hopefully next week when I pull back the frost blankets to water I’ll start seeing some green!

Mini Monday: Five Month Hiatus

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Hi there! It’s me again. I know we haven’t connected this way since early December … sorry about that! I’m mulling over the list of things I should have been blogging about since then and it’s a good one. So here’s a rundown of what’s been going on and I am hoping with this mini post, I’ll get my blogging booty back in gear!

Since my last post:

• Our house renovation has been completed! And it looks amazing! We are just starting to get used to having (and using) our new space. It’s wonderful to have the extra light and a much more open feeling to our floor plan than we had before the remodel. It’s leading to some interesting projects … more on those in a future post!

• In other “addition” news, my hubby and I found out in January that we are expecting our first little one in September! I’m so grateful that, despite being tired and hungry, I haven’t had any morning sickness or complications so far. At the beginning of the pregnancy the baby was making me so hungry that we nicknamed him/her the hungry, hungry hippo. Hopefully tomorrow our little hippo cooperates and we will find out whether we are having a boy or a girl. I can’t wait to know!

• Okay so back to the house, the contractor’s portion of the work was completed in mid-March. Now we (and I use the term “we” loosely as it is mostly my husband) are still taking care of all the little things — re-arranging rooms, hanging art, putting things away, yard work. Thankfully we received A LOT of help from my amazing in-laws and my mom who were all visiting in March. Quite a few things got crossed off the to-do list during their time in DC — painting, cleaning, hanging new ceiling fans, the list goes on and on. Now it’s just the two of us plowing through what remains of the list, so thank goodness for weekends allowing us to continue making progress!

• After a terribly long winter (it snowed like crazy on March 30!!) spring has finally sprung in DC. While our yard was a total wreck because of the construction, the garden beds have been cleaned up and planted (with the exception of tomatoes and peppers) and we have flowers going in pots and planters, too. The other side of the yard is still in need of a lot of TLC. One thing at a time!

• We briefly escaped DC for a long weekend in Florida, in fact we managed to depart while it was snowing and returned just in time for yet another snow storm. It was great to catch up with the family and friends we visited in the Sarasota/Tampa area and I made a new friend while we were there — Cliff the Penguin!

 

Phew! I told you that we have had a lot going on! It may be a Monday, but I can still say I’m grateful to have ice cream in the freezer (hey, I’m pregnant, don’t judge my four different pints…okay, okay there are five…) and for being able to have the windows open while I work. Hope you are all having a great start to the week!