Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I have to take a moment here and just say... life is beautiful. I have so very much to be thankful for. SO much. I have an incredible family, and what friends I have are so amazing, they might as well be family too. Jon and I have stable jobs that we actually enjoy, and we are right where we want to be at this point in our lives. We are healthy, we are happy. We are blessed.
This week has been a whirlwind of positive experiences and as I sit here, I feel so in awe at how a single path in life can have so many twists and turns before it all comes together and makes sense.
Last week, we got an offer on our house that we accepted. So, neato, this house is under contract. Huge relief, and now we are just hoping that the process goes over smoothly and it all works out. I think it will.
So, then we started house hunting. Last time it was super easy because we weren't necessarily looking for long term, just something for a few years while Jon was in school (not that he's actually done with school, but whatever) that would be no more expensive than what we were paying to rent our apartment. This time we are thinking very long term. It's just different. This is the house that we will raise our family in, build memories in, literally the place my kids will be born. It's just a much bigger decision than last time. I care about more things. I care about the schools (undecided on if my kids will be in public school, but I want that option open anyway) and the neighborhood, and just things that didn't really matter with our starter home.
We went and saw a few an were pretty sure we really liked two of them but then after really thinking about it, there were just a couple things that we worried we might regret compromising on- like adequate dining space for the size family we think we want, and a yard that had a lot of potential but would be an insane amount of work.Ultimately, we ended up back at square one in a market that moves so fast you have to be fast and aggressive to even get an offer in. So, at a loss I had pretty much accepted that our house was simply not listed yet, and that we would have to figure out a plan for the in limbo time that was growing by the day. Our Realtor has been great to work with, and has been patient with our needs, and my inability to be objective when I like what I see. I told him that I'd go see anything that he thought might work for us. I gave him our very short list of what we need, (4 bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, decent yard, not a dump. Really, quite reasonable) and pretty much removed myself from the search and put it in his hands.
He took us to a home in Pleasant Grove and honestly, we fell in love with it before we even went inside. We were there early and drove around the adorable neighborhood. The more we saw, the more I loved it. Now THIS is a place to raise a family. <3 Once inside, I knew it was perfect for us. The yard will work, the house itself has plenty of space to grow into, it's just perfect for this chapter of our lives. So we called Grandpa Albert to come look at it. Even though we are using a different lender this time, his opinion is incredibly important to me and I don't think I could make a home purchase without his input. He came down, and didn't have a single negative thing to say about the property, inside or out, other than the water softener will be difficult (but not impossible!) to install. He actually said "This is exactly what I was hoping you'd find." So, with that, we made an offer. A fairly aggressive offer that we could financially manage.
It was accepted this morning, and everything is signed. We are officially under contract. If all goes well then this summer I will become a resident of Pleasant Grove, Utah, in the cutest neighborhood of all time, in the best house ever. Not that I'm a fan or anything...

Also, yesterday my fetal doppler came in the mail. I tried once in the afternoon to find the heartbeat and I couldn't, but it is still really early. (11 weeks today, pictures 10 weeks 5 days) Last night after I got out of the shower, Jon wanted to try. I quickly found the woosh woosh of the placenta, and after a few minutes of fishing around, we heard it.... the rapid gallop of a perfectly healthy heartbeat. In the privacy of our own home, just the two of us, we heard our baby's heart for the first time. In that moment my own heart was so overwhelmingly full of love- love for my Heavenly Father who has blessed us with this pregnancy, love for my husband who has stood by my side through some crazy hard trials to get to this point, and an immense amount of love for this baby growing inside me. It is all so real now. Through the "morning sickness" (which has subsided to mostly ONLY night time sickness and I feel pretty great all day now!) and fatigue, it felt more and more real every day, but hearing that heartbeat- that pure indication...proof... that there is LIFE inside me, it doesn't get more real than that.

I'm just so happy. I hope that all goes well and smoothly with moving, that the couple that is buying my house loves it, that our new house passes all the inspections and whatnot, and we can slide on into the next chapter. I can't wait to write it. It will be beautiful. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Whale of a Good Time

Can I just say that life is WONDERFUL? No, really. I mean, life is truly and completely fantastic. Here I am, in a beautiful hotel room, in beautiful San Diego, eating a delicious lemon creme brulee with blueberries on top, amazingly supportive husband by my side, and I feel so overwhelmingly HAPPY. I mean, so much happy I'm not even sure if I can contain it all. I might explode.
Today was incredible- one of those days that surely I will remember for the rest of my life, and look back on fondly.
We arrived in California last night and are staying at the Dane Hotel on Mission Bay. It's beautiful. The weather has been perfect, really couldn't dream it better if I tried. Blue skies, sun shining, but not blisteringly hot, occasional cool breeze, not too humid. It's just perfect. Picture a perfectly comfortable, beautiful sunny day and that's what today (and yesterday) has been.
Today we went to Sea World. Anyone who knows me knows I have a HUGE affection for marine life. I'm infatuated with the sea and its creatures. I'd rather go to Sea World than Disneyland. By a lot. I started the day a little nauseous, but toughed it out through the morning and by noon was feeling pretty darn good.
At 1:45pm, we had to meet in our swimsuits for the Beluga Interaction Program. We arrived on time, and our small group trickled in and then the trainers showed up. Off we go!
The first part of the program was a bit of behind the scenes stuff at the Wild Arctic exhibit. We met their 3000lb male walrus first, and got to feed him, and he even gave kisses. In case you didn't know, 3000 lbs is kind of... massive. He was a sweetheart, though. It was funny to watch the other people in our group stand as far away as possible from him. I wanted to crawl right in his enclosure and get to know the big guy!
Then we went to the polar bear habitat. Obviously we didn't get to meet their resident polar bear, Snowflake, but we learned about how her habitat works, what their procedures are to ensure all her caretakers are safe, and learned  bit about their Polar Bear breeding efforts. Apparently Snowflake was just recently inseminated and their other female (don't remember the name) was sent to Pittsburgh for a live mating, so if either or both take they will be expecting cubs! That's great for the species, which is in big trouble in the wild.
I don't like the concept of animals in captivity to be spectacles for people to gawk at their whole lives, and I know a lot of zoos and entertainment places are like that. But, the more I learn about the inner workings of a lot of these places (ok, so mostly I'm talking about the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, because those are the only places I've had personal inside looks at, the more I see that the whole theme park aspect is really just the financial support for their more important efforts in conservation, rehabilitation, and education. I have a lot of respect for that, and what they do is admirable.
After that, it was off to the Belugas! When we signed up, we had to give our sizes so they could have the appropriate wet suits ready for us. Right now, my jeans are a very comfortable size 4, but I figured "meh. Wet suits are pretty snug, I better go up a size or two. Plus, I'd rather have to ask for a SMALLER suit than a bigger one." I put Women's 8. So, I go in my dressing room and there hanging on the shower rod was the suit of death. It was tiny, it was curvy, and it looked terrifying. Challenge, accepted. I've never even WORN a wetsuit, but boy was I glad they literally had a video playing in the dressing room explaining how to crawl into this contraption. There was a timer on the screen, too. Ten minutes. That's when we had to be ready. I took the suit off the hanger, put one foot in, then the other. I must have fat ankles because they didn't even want to go on. But, alas, I made it. Whew. Seven minutes to go. Wait, seven minutes?! It took me three minutes to get my ANKLES into this thing!?I better hurry. I shimmy my way into the suit. I am certain I looked absolutely ridiculous as I twisted and turned, pulled and pushed, shimmied and shook my way into this wetsuit. Finally, it was up to my waist. Three minutes left. I had three minutes to pour the rest of my body into this thing. I pulled it up my arms, sweating and tired. But it was on. And with two seconds to spare. I spilled out of the door, and was the last to meet my group. I felt like I had put myself in a vacuum packer. I was like 10 gallons of hot mess shoved into an 8 gallon bucket. I walked over to Jon, feeling accomplished. Then I had a daunting thought: how was I going to get OUT of this thing, especially wet?! I leaned over and told Jon I'd definitely need help peeling myself out of this contraption. Then I remembered this silly thing was supposed to be two sizes bigger than the jeans I was wearing! What. a. joke.
But, our group was ready, and all us vacuum packed folks made our way to the beluga habitat where we were given some ground rules and instructions. They let us know their baby beluga had not been ready to be a part of the interactions yet, but if she did well with her trainer we may get to see her up close, but were not to reach out and touch her. Eek. Baby whale?!
We spent the next 20 minutes in the water, waist deep, interacting with and admiring these beautiful animals. You really can not grasp how incredible these animals are until you're up close with them. They are stunning. Super sensitive, and so gentile. It's inspiring to see how trusting and docile they are towards people. It is such a shame that there aren't more efforts put forth by people to protect marine life. These animals are so amazing. It breaks my heart that we as a society are so selfish and careless and oblivious to the fact that our ways are destroying natural habitat. It's one of those things I've ALWAYS cared about, respect for animals of ALL kinds (except spiders. Screw those guys....) is huge to me, always have been, but something about today just snapped it back to the forefront of my mind. We NEED to care more.
After a while the baby beluga, Pearl, had been attentive enough with her trainer that we were offered a rare treat. She was going to come over to the ledge we were standing on so we could see her up close! Compared to the massive animals we had been interacting with she was just a little bitty thing. It was amazing to see how much individual personalities there were between the three of the whales we met. They were nothing alike, and "little" Pearl was a goofball.
She liked to play and splash and spit water at us, even if she wasn't asked to. She was so cute. It was very interesting to watch her trainers shape her behavior through positive reinforcement only. They used special whistles instead of clickers, but it was essentially they same. Her trainer told us we could reach out and touch her gently at one point, which we didn't think we were going to be able to do, but gladly grabbed the opportunity. She was so soft to the touch, her flawless skin such a pretty shade of grey. The touch startled her (they are VERY sensitive creatures) so her trainer had us try again, this time marking the touch with her whistle, which told
Pearl that this was a GOOD thing, and that GOOD things (food reward) come from these strange people touching her. After that she was completely comfortable with it. From my understanding (and I COULD be wrong) we were the first guests to touch baby Beluga Pearl.
Today was one of the best days ever. My heart is happy. I love my life.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Eight Weeks

Well, I passed another milestone today. Ok, so I'm not sure in what world (other than my own) 8 weeks is a milestone, but it pretty much marks the end of another month so in my book, it counts as a milestone. I'm going with it. It's also the exact one month mark from the day we got our first positive home pregnancy test. Which... for the record is undoubtedly in the running for being the best day of my life up until this point.
It's been a somewhat uneventful month looking back. I have written in my journal a ton. I just bought a new one and I'm pretty sure it won't last two months. If that. I just have been doing so much soul searching and thinking and looking at the world completely differently. I feel like the last 6 months have been hugely progressive in self-discovery and I am really embracing it. I feel like for the first time in a long time... I make no apologies on who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for. It's liberating. I feel like my priorities are clear, and I understand what is truly important to me, and where everything falls on that list.
I've had pretty awful morning sickness. I'm not sure why they even call it that when clearly it lasts all day long. Until about 1-5pm just depending on the day, I have ZERO interest in food. And by zero interest, I mean if I so much as see or smell any food item, I'm running for the nearest puke container. Except, I don't usually actually get sick, usually I just FEEL like I'm going to have have nausea to the point of not being able to focus on or do anything else. Then, it subsides, and for a few hours I want to eat (just about) EVERYTHING. Then right before bed I feel a little queasy. Not terribly bad. I just take it as my que to go to bed, and problem solved. It is so worth it though. I try not to complain because this will pass, and is such a small price to pay. It's the strangest thing because on one hand, I'm kneeling in the bathroom determining if it's coming up or not, feeling like absolute dirt, and on the other, I can't help but smile because it's just so real that this is really finally happening. I keep to myself a lot during the day, partly because I really don't want to complain, and partly because I really am enjoying the quiet alone time in which to reflect on everything that is going on. I'm usually HIGHLY dependent on human interaction, and never want to be alone if there's an alternate option, but I'm finding comfort and peace in the quiet these days. I am SO glad that I'm able to take this time and embrace all that's going on without my schedule obligated to anyone or anything else right now. I'm so thankful for that. I love Ruff House, I do. (well, most of the time.) But this is a time that I am most thankful for my wonderful manager who makes it possible for me to step away and focus on things most important to my heart right now. Life is wonderful.

I copied this questionnaire from the internet, and figured it might be fun to do once a month or so, just for kicks. I mean, not that much is really happening yet, but soon!

How far along? 8 weeks exactly

How big is baby? According to the tracker I downloaded, about the size of a kidney bean.

Total weight gain/loss: -6 so far, but last week I dropped 4 of that during what's been the worst of my nausea. This week hasn't been quite as intense as last, so I'm hopeful.

Maternity clothes? Lol. Not even close. I can't wait to get to that point, but I've got a LONG way to go.

Sleep: YES! Oh I'm actually sleeping better than I have in a long, long time. I'm feeling a bit tired once afternoon hits, but I'm finding that come bedtime when the lights go out, I actually FALL ASLEEP in a reasonable amount of time, and am waking up at much more reasonable hours without an alarm. I am absolutely loving it.

Best moment this week: Hmm, well. Not pregnancy related, but Jon got a job offer at a hospital in Murray so that's neat.

Movement: Not for about 12 more weeks, and I can't wait.

Food cravings: Not really having any intense food cravings at this point. The last couple days I've been on a bit of a PB&J kick, but that's fairly normal even not pregnant... where I just really enjoy them for several days in a row and then don't even think about them for months, so I don't know if that's even pregnancy related. Today Olive Garden sounded really really good, but I don't know that that was a true craving either.
I am enjoying cucumbers on a daily basis... but again, not pregnancy-exclusive because they're one of my absolute favorite foods to begin with so....

Food Aversions: eggs. I haven't tried boiled eggs yet and want to, because I like them.... but over easy eggs that I usually eat on a daily basis and can't get enough of... nope. They smell like urine while cooking and I can't handle it. 
And I don't know if it counts as a food aversion  but I had to switch to a lemon toothpaste, because I was gagging on the minty stuff.

Gender: Obviously way too early, but I have my suspicions.

Pregnancy Symptoms: Nausea regularly, other than that I just feel tired but not miserably so, just enough to really enjoy rest when I can, and be ready for bed at night. I'm not napping during the day. I also do feel a little weepy sometimes, but not terribly.

Belly Button in or out? In

What I miss: Hmm. Well. Energy I guess. The last year we made huge healthy changes that have stuck, so I didn't have any dangerous/ unhealthy habits to give up in the first place.

What I am looking forward to: SO MUCH! To find out what we're having, to finally get out of the first trimester, to start showing, EVERYTHING!

Upcoming appointments/events: First real appointment with my midwife is June 10th, at 12w 5d.

Milestones: completed two months! I'm 1/5 of the way done! that's 20%. woot!

Bump Picture: Um, no bump, but here's the pic. I'm bloated tonight, but that's certainly the only change. Apparently a single kidney bean doesn't change much from the outside. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Going a Little Batty

Lately, I feel like I might be going a little.... well.... nuts.
There's so much going on, with Jon applying for all manner of new jobs, and the house being on the market, and then the fact we still have to find a new house, and then my morning sickness is in absolute full swing. Though, I'm not sure why they even bother calling it morning sichness when it clearly lasts all flippin' day, but I digress.
First of all, every single day I struggle with the fact that ALL I want to do is get out of the house, but every little thing makes me nauseous so I can't, so I'm all sorts of stir crazy. Which, when I spend several hours a day kneeling in front of the toilet, there's plenty of time to think about a lot of things. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
One thing seriously bothering me is STUFF. How the heck Jon and I have acquired SO. MUCH. STUFF. in the last three and a half years is a serious mystery. Between what we've bought, and random things that have been given to us by family, I feel like we are drowning in STUFF. I want to get rid of all of it. Seriously, I want to move and take nothing with me. Nothing. I want to throw it all away and start from total scratch even if it means having absolutely nothing. That's how annoyed I am with STUFF. I don't know if it's early nesting, the fact we are moving, a mix of the two, or maybe I'm just totally losing my mind, but the more I look through closets and drawers in this house the more I'm convinced that we don't need ANY of it.
I feel a HUGE garage sale coming on. For real. That is, if I can even hang onto this junk that long. I really could go out right now, and load an ENTIRE truck full, take it to DI, and not care at all. That's how badly I want to declutter everything. When we finally do move, which hopefully since we reduced the price on our house won't be too much longer, I actually hope that we have a little more time this time around to move because I want to be able to go through everything and WASH everything before putting it away, and really simplify our lives by getting rid of excess. Seriously, who needs this much junk?