Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pregnancy Week 15

This week has been the loveliest...celebrating seven years of marriage, eating good southern food, getting lost on old country roads, hiking in the mountains, moving into week 16 of my pregnancy and daydreaming about the future.

My all-day sickness has been a stranger lately, and I've been all too happy to see it go. I'm back to cooking and devouring my favorite meals again: homemade pizzas, lentil samosas, big pots of veggie soup and later this week I'm cooking up some Tikka Masala. Oh food, how I've missed you!

I'm still tired all the time and it's hard for me to sit through an entire movie night with T. Although this week I did manage to watch and enjoy all of True Grit (Cohen Brother's style). Still having trouble sleeping at night though, but when I do I have the most fantastic dreams. This week I dreamed I was dating Squiggy of Lenny and Squiggy fame (not that fantastic), and last night I dreamed I was on the train on my way home from work and Bob Dylan was sitting in the seat across from me reading a biography of Henry Winkler called, Jump the Shark (that one was pretty fantastic).

T took this picture of me on our Anniversary Hike to Dingmann's Falls. We'd just spent a good long time playing the creek and looking for salamanders.

Also this week I whipped up a small batch of belly butter, using the recipe from Stephanie Tourles's Organic Body Care Recipes.

I didn't get any stretch marks with Mr. S, but I'm still not taking any chances. My belly is itching like crazy, so if nothing else this belly butter should soothe my skin. I used avocado oil as my base oil, which I've also been using in my lip balm recipes lately too, and it really does soften better than anything else I've tried. For my belly butter I also added lavendar essential oil and it smells amazing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny from Small Things this week for another Wednesday Yarn-Along...

On the Needles: Joined a second ball of yarn on the Pine Forest Baby Blanket I'm making for a friend. This pattern is knitting up nicely and I'm enjoying it so much I'll probably start working on it at home instead of on the train. The lacy gull stitch repeat is nice and simple...I'm guessing simple enough to knit while watching a movie or being the voice of plastic mama T-rex while my son plays the baby T-rex.

From the Bookshelf: About to finish up Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and then I don't know what book to start next; thinking of reading Geoffrey Wolff's Duke of Deception; it's a biography written by Tobias Wolff's brother.

In the meantime, I'm plowing through Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Husband-Coached Childbirth (although husband is about to take this one away from me and start reading it himself). And Seamus has been devouring his Little Golden Field Guides. Whales and Insects are his favorites so far, and last night I walked past his room around 10pm and he was sitting up in his bed "reading" the field guide to spiders and their kin by night light. He told me he was just reading in bed like I do every night.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Anniversary Hike

For our seventh wedding anniversary T and I decided to take the family hiking. Of course, we'll use any excuse we can find to go hike around the woods and play in creeks. This time we drove out to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River Water Gap. But not before getting thoroughly lost in New Jersey. Let's just say that when it comes to country roads Googlemaps sucks. Every time we get lost in New Jersey I lament the fact that we don't have a GPS, and every time T reminds me that we do have a good map of the entire state. Consequently we've found some very interesting routes and my map reading skills have vastly improved.

This trip we got turned around on Route 521 South, but it was such a beautiful road we didn't mind being lost. We took in all the old farm houses, found all sorts of little fruit stands and saw someone selling raw honey in their front yard. At one point, we drove past a beautiful little house with white hydrangeas so bountiful they were spilling into the road. T slowed the car down and told me he'd always wanted a house with flowers like those. I have too, and I had no idea he did as well. Also on this road, we came upon this little lady, who practically posed for my photo:

We finally made it to Dingmann's Falls, ate a quick picnic lunch and hit the trail.

Right away we knew this was the trail for us. It wasn't nearly as touristy as Bushkill Falls, had a good mix of boardwalk trail, Applachian Trail and uphill climb. Plus there were Rhododendron everywhere, two magnificent waterfalls to see along the way and a good portion of the trail that followed a creek.

Silverthread Falls was the first fall we came to.

Then we hiked around the base of Dingmann's Falls...

...and up to the top of the falls.

Afterwards, we took the trail along Dingmann's Creek and stopped for a good couple of hours to play in the water.

Mr. S loved looking under rocks and throwing rocks into the creek. He kept hoping to find his own salamander but never did.

When he found this old piece of creek glass, he thought he'd struck gold.

T and I enjoyed looking under rocks too.

We found all sorts of salamanders, including a Red-Back in its lead phase and this juvenile Dusky:

We also found a few crawdads:

It was a beautiful hike and just what we needed after a long week of urban living. And we daydreamed, just as we always do, about moving out to the country and having a little house close to a creek and lots of trees to get lost in, but this time our yard full of hydrangeas.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ten years ago today...

...I went on a first date with the love of my life.

Seven years ago today I married him.

Happy Anniversary, Sweet T! I love you.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pregnancy: Week 14

Week 14 was so good to me, I hate to say good-bye to it. No nausea whatsoever! This week I've eaten Italian food, Vietnamese food and, best of all, a Father's Day veggie dog with veggie chili, organic crinkle cut fries and a pickle on the side. Aside from the pickle, these are all things I've not been able to stand the smell of, thought of or taste for for three months. I think it's safe to say the all-day sickness is gone. I've just started week 15 and still feel pretty sturdy.

I still have that other first trimester symptom however. Exhaustion has me falling asleep on the train, falling asleep while knitting, while reading S a story and anytime of day except bedtime, and then I'm wired for some reason, and T and I end up talking all night and I go to bed late. Now that I have three-day weekends, I have to arrive at work earlier Monday-Thursday, which means getting up at 5am instead of 5:30. Staying up late talking with husband shouldn't be an option. But I don't see him all day, and I miss him. Unfortunatley I don't see this symptom going away anytime soon. I was tired with S all the way through my pregnancy, and of course it only got worse after he arrived.

I'm still having terrible aversions to smells, especially perfume and cologne and even strong clothing detergents and lotions.

Also this week I've felt definite quickening. I knew last week I was feeling those first flutters of movement, but I thought for sure it was too early to be feeling any little jabs. However, this week those movements and flutters have gotten stronger and more frequent, and I always feel them when I'm resting or sitting down, just as I did when I was pregnant with S.

I've been continuing my exercise routine, doing prenatal yoga, pilates and cardio to get myself ready for the big day. I'm hoping for a natural labor and delivery this time and have been reading Bradley books and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, all of which are very inspiring. I labored naturally with Seamus (and not by choice--the epidural medication never entered my body), but didn't deliver naturally, and even though I had to be induced with him and those contractions were a bitch, I missed them when the last-minute epidural kicked in and I didn't know when to push. This time around I think I'll be better off listening to the information my body gives me even if it is excruciating. Of course, that's so easy to say now, here in July when December's due date is so far away.

T took these pictures of me at the water park on Father's Day. What you don't see is Seamus in the background peeling the bark from a giant Oak tree and looking for bugs. I love my guys so much, and these simple weekend days with them spent playing in the park, eating ice cream, relaxing at home are the best days of my week. I can't wait to share it all with a new little someone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yarn Along

Yarning along with Ginny from Small Things this week:

On the Needles: The Pine Forest Baby Blanket in Knit Picks Organic Cotton. The color is Wave Heather and definitely has a beachy feel to it. This will be a gift for a friend whose baby is due in October.

From the Library: Still working on Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams, which I'm LOVING. Because this is my train read and I only read it on my commute, it's taking me forever to finish. At home I'm working on a pile of natrual birthing books and the newest issue of Poets & Writers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New York, New York

On Thursday of last week, T's mother and unlce made a spur-of-the-moment trip up from TN to visit us. They were only able to stay for two full days, but we made the most of it. We took them into the City and packed the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Paul's Chaple of Trinity Church, China Town and Pearl River, a yummy Vietnamese lunch, the USS Intrepid and a drive around the City into two days.

Friday was kind of a miserable day however. It stormed most of the day and so we decided to do something indoors. Of all the museums in the City I chose the Met because I thought it would hold the most interest for everyone. Seamus loves the African Art and sculpture and everyone loves classical paintings. Also, the Alexander McQueen exhibit was going on, and I'd been wanting to see it. Unfortunately, I failed to take into account what an ordeal it is getting into that part of town from Jersey. Three train rides and one grouchy, nappless 4-year-old do not mix.

The last time we visited the Met, S was stroller-bound, and we had no fear of him touching a priceless sculpture and he could lay back and take a nap whenever he pleased. This time no stroller and Seamus was hungry and punch-drunk tired the entire time we were in the museum. He wouldn't listen to a thing I said. We were snapped at by the guards on three ocassions, mostly because Seamus was standing too close to the paintings, and then the guards starting following me and S around like we were going to steal something. Finally, it got so uncomfortable we decided to leave after only 30 minutes of seeing exhibits, but right at that moment it started storming pretty hard. None of us wanted to walk in the rain, so we ended up waiting the storm out in the museum cafeteria. Note to self: The Met is NOT a place for strollerless children.

Before we landed at the Met we passed by one of the City's oldest graveyards; St. Paul's Chaple of Trinity Church had graves from the 1700s, and inside you could see the pew where George Washington sat. It was an amazing place, and we were lucky to have happened upon it on our way to the Fulton Street Station.

The next day T drove us into the city where we visited Pearl River...

...and where I bought this $2.50 sun hat.

We walked around China Town and ate the most delicious Vietmese food.

Then it was onto 45th Street and the USS Intredpid Museum. T is a WWII buff and Freddie is a former Navy man; so the guys really enjoyed this part of the trip.

On the way home T drove us through Times Square and all the wall down 7th Avenue back to the Holland Tunnel. We all agreed NYC by car was the best way to see the sites. We passed by the usual suspects:

And now I'm happy to be home. I did an hour of yoga yesterday to decompress after the sensory-overload that is NYC on the weekends. And now that I've heard familiar voices and seen familiar faces, I'm missing TN more than ever. If we can't arrange a last minute trip down south (and I doubt that we can), this will be the first summer we've missed visiting TN.

But I have a good reason for saving up all my vacation time and personal days. I'll be a thankful mama when this new baby gets here.
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