Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So just last week I was thinking to myself how lucky I’ve been with this pregnancy. Right from the start, this baby has been healthy and strong and very easy. I’m hoping he or she continues this trend outside of the womb too. I never really had morning sickness or any other sort of pregnancy ailments. I’m healthy, the baby’s healthy, what more could I ask for?

I totally jinxed myself.

Perhaps because I was thinking how wonderful everything has been, the universe decided to intervene and make things a bit more difficult for me. Last Wednesday, I received a telephone call from the director of the birthing center. She was calling to let me know that the birthing center had a bad fire, which burned down part of the building. The timeline for necessary renovations would mean that the birthing center wouldn’t be available until the middle or end of January. Ha! Of course the birthing center burned down two weeks before I’m supposed to give birth, of course it did.

So instead of giving birth in the comforts of an old Victorian home, I’ll be having the baby at the hospital across the street. Actually, all things considering, I’m fine with this. The care will still be the same, meaning I’ll still be giving birth naturally with a midwife. Plus, the director said the hospital gave the birthing center two rooms and they’ve brought over a bunch of things from the birthing center and decorated the rooms to make them look as much as possible like the rooms at the birthing center. During my appointment tomorrow we’ll be able to check out the rooms.

I think the director felt really bad about the whole situation. But I told her, what could she do, it's not their fault there was a fire. These things happen. Stressing about it is not going to solve anything.

Being a parent is learning to adjust on the fly, right? So we adjust. As long as I am still able to have a natural birth and the baby comes out healthy, all is well. It really doesn’t matter where I have the baby. As I told Matthew, one benefit of having the baby at the hospital is that the hallways are longer, which means I’ll be able to walk around more. (I’m trying to look on the bright side here.)You have to laugh though, it’s almost too funny.

Christmas Recap

This post is more for posterity than anything, so feel free to skim (or skip).

We had a lovely Christmas. In fact, we had a lovely Advent Season. In some ways, it felt like our first real Christmas together (as a married couple). Last year I was working right up until Christmas Eve and then we flew out to California, so there wasn’t much time to prepare and anticipate the birth of the Christ child during December like there was this year. Being able to fully celebrate Advent made all the difference.

On Christmas Eve we went to Mass at our local parish. The church is an old stone building with stunning stained glass windows and it was decorated so beautifully for Christmas. I’m in love with this church. I took a picture after Mass because a light snowfall had covered the church and the scene was absolutely breathtaking.

After Mass, we went home and dined on salmon, mashed potatoes and a delicious goat cheese salad. We decided this meal would be an annual Christmas Eve tradition. After dinner, we each opened one small present from one another. After our gift giving exchange, I made a pumpkin pie and we watched Elf (another Christmas Eve tradition). We love that movie, Matthew thinks Will Ferrell should have won an Oscar for that role. All in all, Christmas Eve was nearly perfect, a wonderfully relaxing evening.

Bright and early Christmas morning, we awoke to find Santa had indeed visited our house. We must have been good this year because we were blessed with many a presents. We had left out Christmas cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and found that Santa had enjoyed the cookies and the reindeer had left a few carrots out on the balcony as they flew away. Haha, we’re such dorks. Anyways, we enjoyed a nice slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast as we opened our presents together. I think we both enjoy giving thoughtful and creative presents more than we do receiving them, so we had a lot of fun Christmas morning. Matthew gave me a new pair of running shoes (which is what I had asked for) a new fleece jacket, an exercise ball (do you sense a theme here?) and several other small items like a book and a movie. I gave him a new black sweater and a rugby shirt along with a new wallet and a gift card to a ski resort in New Hampshire. I told him after the baby is born I want him to take a day trip and go skiing. That’s my real gift, a day off to go skiing.

After opening presents we went to Matthew’s mom’s house for brunch and unfortunately ate too much because later when we went over to his sister’s house for an early dinner there was so much delicious food, but sadly we just weren't hungry. It was nice visiting with all the in-laws and I'll admit, I had more fun than I thought I would. It was also nice to be able to talk to Matthew's sister and sister-in-law about childbirth and babies because let's face it, women are just better to talk to about these things. The family took a baby poll as to what (boy or girl) and when they thought our baby would come. One of Matthew’s nephews chose January 32nd as the birthdate, good luck to him.

After celebrating at my sister in law’s, we came home and were so tired, but still wanted to spend a little time with my family in California. So we had arranged a Skype date with my entire family who was busy enjoying Christmas dinner at my parents'. During our Skype session my siblings and Matthew and I opened our Kris Kringle gift and the gifts from my parents. My parents gave us a child bike seat, it’s so cute and perfect because we really love riding our bikes. Hopefully we can use it this summer!

Christmas really was wonderful this year and I can’t wait until next Christmas when we have a little one who will make the season all the more magical.

Considering it’s Christmas for 12 days, I’m still trying to carry on the celebration. But with about one week left in this pregnancy, I’ve been so exhausted lately, so the celebration has been, unfortunately, kept to a minimum. Although, we’re hoping to have a Thanksgiving type meal on the Feast of the Epiphany. Only this baby knows if that will happen.

**On a side note, my husband was involved in a campaign this year called Stand For Christmas. It’s sponsored by Focus on the Family and it involves rating and reviewing retailers with regards to their Christmas spirit, or complete lack thereof. I just checked out the website for the first time yesterday and it’s actually really informative and will definitely affect how I shop next year. Check it out here.

Baby Updates

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Maybe it’s because Christmas was so busy, but I’ve been exhausted these past couple of days. I’ve been taking at least an hour nap every day, which is a bit unusual for me. Although I read that one sign of impending labor is alternating feelings of exhaustion and spurts of energy, during which you clean. That sounds about right. Last night I was feeling a bit nauseous, but still insisted on cleaning the bathroom. And good grief, I vacuum like it’s going out of style, but I just can’t help myself.

For about the past week, I’ve been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re not painful or uncomfortable, but feel more like my muscles are doing a situp. And the baby has been moving a ton lately. I was reading that as labor nears, the baby’s activity is supposed to slow down, well not this kid. He or she is having a ball in there and seems to be wide awake a lot more often these days. Plus, the baby has been having the hiccups about three times a day , so I’m not sure if that’s keeping him/her awake. Actually, the hiccups are pretty cute, and apparently, they’re a good sign that the baby’s lungs and nervous system are mature. But I do feel a little bad every time the baby gets them, it must be at least a little annoying to get the hiccups so often.

I have another midwife appointment on Thursday, so hopefully I’ll find out if I’ve made any more progress. I can’t believe the due date is almost here. It’s a bit scary. I told Matthew that I almost want to just stay pregnant because at least it’s familiar. “Almost” being the key word there. Seeing as this is my first time giving birth, I really have little or no idea what to expect. I’ll admit, I’m a little frightened of the pain and of something going wrong. Not to mention, that once the baby’s is born, I’m going to be fully responsible for her or him. Having a little person who is completely dependent upon me is just a tad bit intimidating, to say the least.

But I keep reminding myself, I’m doing all of this out of love for my child (and my husband too). I’m willing to endure the pains of childbirth and immensity of parenthood because this child is worth it. Gosh, I sound like a full fledged mother already.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Friday, December 25, 2009

I made this birthday cake for Jesus today. I thought it would be fun for the little ones. It was a big hit with the 12 and under crowd, but I think the adults enjoyed it too. Although, a few of them asked me, "whose birthday is it?" I was like, "umm, Jesus's."

Joy to the World!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"He has become so small- you see: a Child- so that you can approach him with confidence."
~St. Josemaria Escriva
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I love my husband and he's the smartest person I know. He has many talents and is extremely capable. However, wrap a present, he cannot.

(In his defense, he is getting better with practice. He also wanted me to take this picture.)

The Visitation

The Visitation is one of my favorite biblical readings and mysteries of the Rosary. The Angel Gabriel had just announced to Mary, a young virgin, that she would bear the Messiah, the awaited Anointed One of the Jewish people and what does she do? She immediately travels “with haste” to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who is also with child. Her thoughts turn immediately towards those of another expectant mother, perhaps one who may have needed some extra assistance due to her “advanced age”. Perhaps Mary performs this act of charity because she carries the Christ child within her, but I like to think she would have gone to visit Elizabeth regardless. She has such a generous heart, Our Lady. She, like Christ, gives fully and entirely of herself.

Something else that caught my attention in Sunday’s Gospel reading was the mention that Mary traveled to the hill country to see her cousin. The phrase “to the hill country” really struck me because it means that she was traveling through difficult terrain during the early weeks of pregnancy. I remember being newly pregnant and huffing and puffing just to reach the top of the subway stairs. Before I actually found out that I was pregnant, I just thought I was really, really out of shape. (Little science lesson: the extra progesterone in a pregnant woman’s body along with an increased blood flow to the uterus can make breathing a bit more difficult in an expectant mother.) Surely, Mary would have struggled to trek through the hilly landscape and surely it would have caused her to become a little winded while doing so. Yet, she continued, she did not hesitate, despite the difficulty, in order to reach her cousin.

Mary’s generosity is something every woman should try to emulate. Even when we find ourselves in challenging or uncertain times, we should always be ready and willing to give ourselves freely to others. I admit that I could have and should have done more during this pregnancy to reach out to other expectant mothers. Theses last six months or so, I have felt a great tugging on my heart to return to volunteering within the pro-life movement. But selfishly, I have used the excuse that because I’m pregnant now is not really a good time. Where is my “haste”?

Inspired by Sunday’s Gospel reading, I have once again begun to look into volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center. I found one in particular that offers Mom-to-Mom counseling and I intend to start volunteering there as soon as I get a few months of momhood under my belt. So while perhaps I did not fully utilize the time available to me while I was pregnant, I intend to offer myself more generously in the New Year.

Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Nesting Much?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today I scrubbed our stove top and cleaned underneath the burners, washed a ton of dishes, vacuumed the living room and entry way twice and am still planning on mopping the kitchen floor tonight.

I think I'm nesting...


Sunday, December 20, 2009
We got about 8 inches of snow last night and the flakes are still coming...We're hoping this means it will be a white Christmas! This morning, we decided to brave the cold and trek to a nearby breakfast cafe. Here are a couple videos from our little adventure.

Almost 37 Weeks

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Almost 37 Weeks update:
My midwife said the baby did indeed drop and while its head is still at a negative station, the baby's floating right where it should be. And the good news is that my cervix is 50% effaced and soft (which was more than I was expecting), but not dilated. I guess it's normal in a first pregnancy to efface and then dilate, subsequent pregnancies efface and dilate at the same time (or so I read). My Mom said that she didn't start dilating until she was actually in labor, so I'm guessing I'll be the same way. All in all, great news! I'm going to keep up all the walking I've been doing because I'm convinced it's helping move things along. Can't wait to meet this little person!

Breastfeeding & Lost

Monday, December 14, 2009
Our birth center hosts a free breastfeeding class once a month. The class is taught by a nurse midwife and certified lactation consultant (yes, they’re actually called that) and is designed to help expectant mothers learn the basics of breastfeeding. I definitely intend to breastfeed, in fact I don’t have any bottles or formula in the house, so breastfeeding is really our only option at this point. Last week I attended the class and it was so helpful. Certain tips and strategies, which I won’t go into detail here to spare people, were really helpful. One thing the nurse mentioned was that it takes about 2 weeks for mom and baby to really get the hang of breastfeeding and that during that time it’s really important for the mom to stay focused while the baby latches on and feeds so that she can learn the baby’s cues and such. I was thinking, “okay, I can do that”. Then she added, “so that means actually paying attention to the baby and not catching up on the latest episodes of Lost”. Ha! I was like,” oh crud, she found me out”. Seriously, that was my plan, to nurse the baby as I caught up on season 2 of Lost. Now what am I going to do?

Gaudete Sunday

Sunday, December 13, 2009

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God” (Phil. 4: 4 – 6)

Duggar Family

Call me corny, but I really love this Arkansas family and their TLC show, 18 Kids and Counting. The mother, Michelle, was expecting their 19th child and unfortunately the baby had to be delivered early (at only 25 weeks) in an emergency C-section. The baby, a girl named, Josie Brooklyn, weighs only 1 pound 6 ounces, but is in stable condition. Prayers are appreciated for the family.

Almost Positive

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm almost sure that the baby has "dropped", as they say, into my pelvis. I am definitely having an easier time breathing and the little kicks and punches feel much lower now. Not to mention there's a lot more pressure on my pelvic floor. Although, none of this indicates that the baby is coming soon. First babies tend to drop early, so who knows, we're probably still looking at an early January due date. I have a midwife appointment next week, so hopefully I'll find out more then.

Here's a picture of how my baby may be positioned right now.Looks comfortable, doesn't it?

Say What?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The two Senators from the great state of California are demonstrating quite clearly that they are becoming a tad senile in their old age.

Senator Feinstein stated that it is "morally correct" to force taxpayers to fund abortion. And the crazy lady, Senator Boxer, compared denying women (taxpayer funded) abortion coverage under the health care plan as the equivalent of men being denied Viagra under their pharmaceutical plan. Say what? That doesn't even make sense, ma'am.

Time to vote the old ladies out of office.


This morning I awoke to this beautiful view. And apparently, it snowed a few days ago in my hometown in California, which pretty much never happens, ever. So much for global warming...

Our Tree!

We've been celebrating the Christmas season in style this year. Last weekend we went to hear the Back Bay Ringers perform their annual Christmas concert. It was wonderful. We also attended a free Christmas performance of Handel's Messiah, which was incredible. I've never heard the entire piece performed, so it was such a treat. Except when this guy in a Santa hat interrupted the performance by stomping his feet and yelling "stop", that was weird, but he was quickly escorted out. I also visited our church Christmas Fair and bought a few trinkets.

We also celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas. Matthew had never heard of the tradition of putting your shoes out and night, so we tried it this year, and guess what? St. Nicholas came and left some Hershey's kisses and candy canes in our shoes. When we woke up in the morning to check our shoes, I feigned excitement and surprise that St. Nicholas visited us. And then I told Matthew that this will be a lot more fun when we have kids.

And finally...we went and bought a real Christmas tree this year! Last year we had a sort of Charlie Brown Christmas bush, so this year is a huge improvement. It's such a beautiful tree and we put it up in front of our sliding glass door so that other people can enjoy its beauty. Matthew also surprised me with Christmas stockings. They're so cute and he had them monogrammed to read "Mom" and "Dad". How cute is that? It's fun to think that next year there will be another little stocking to add to the mix.

So we've been decorating the tree and drinking hot apple cider and eggnog, eating pumpkin pie, watching all sorts of Christmas movies and thoroughly enjoying this Christmas season. I love this time of year!

If you click on the picture you can see that our stockings say "Mom" and "Dad".

Baby Dreams

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Last night I dreamed the baby was a girl. Again, the baby came out about 2 and a half years old, but still, a beautiful little girl. She had brown curlyish hair and big blue eyes (Kerry, I remember actually thinking in the dream that she looked a lot like Isabel:), probably because I went to sleep thinking about you guys and your upcoming move!) So of course I woke up thinking, if my kid is going to be that cute, I want a girl. Usually, I’m an equal opportunity dreamer, if I have one dream in the course of the night that the baby is a girl, then usually I will have another dream later the same night that the baby is a boy. But last night, just a girl baby dream. So that puts the score at:
Baby Girl Dreams: 3
Baby Boy Dreams: 2
We’ll find out soon enough!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting, I’ve come to learn, is not my forte. It’s not that I’m an impatient person, per se, but I just don’t wait very well. I fuss and muss, check the clock and the calendar, attempting in any way I can to manipulate time to speed up. It is fitting, therefore, that I am compelled to endure these last few weeks of my pregnancy during the Advent Season, a time when all are called to wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Lord.

Initially, I felt a little guilty that our child was going to be born right after Christmas. From what I’ve heard, most Christmas time birthdays tend to get neglected or brushed aside. Either birthday presents are combined with Christmas presents or family and friends are just too tired from celebrating Christmas to have much energy to rejoice in yet another birthday.

But now as the time of my child’s birth is quickly approaching, I realize what a gift it is, for both my child and me, to be sharing the journey of birth with Our Lady and her most beloved Son. The Christmas season seems all the more real as I imagine Mary and I enduring these last few weeks of our pregnancies together. How blessed am I that I am allowed to share all the little trials of pregnancy right along with her? Together we experience the struggle to get comfortable, the sore feet and back, the anxieties of preparing the home for an infant and making sure the baby will have everything he needs. (Granted, I don’t have to worry about traveling hundreds of miles on a donkey in the winter cold, or being forced to give birth in an unheated manger with oxen and lambs as birthing attendants.)

And if my child should be born on or near Christmas Day, what a blessing for my child, to share a birthday with God! It seems that there are numerous women in the blogsphere expecting Christmas time babies and I can’t help but wonder if God planned it that way. If He wishes to share his birthday with as many little children as He can? What a lovely image.

So during this 2009 Advent Season, I bind myself ever closer to Our Lady as I wait, as she waits, as the whole world waits and I realize that perhaps this year I will learn to wait gracefully.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

I did it! I made a Thanksgiving turkey! It was quite good, if I do say so myself, thank you very much. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, squash (which didn't turn out so well), homemade cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. It was delicious. I feel so domestic. Look out cooking world!

Happy Birthday, Libby!

Happy 21st Birthday, Lib, Libber, Liberty, Bones, Libby! I love you!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On this day there is so much for which to be grateful and to give thanks to God! Personally, I am so thankful for my faith, my Church, my husband, my child, my parents and siblings, my grandparents and extended family, my friends, my health, my freedoms, the list goes on and on...

Let us give thanks to God, for it is right to give Him thanks and praise.

Baby Uggs

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is a comparison shot of the baby uggs we were given at the baby shower and a pair of my own slippers, but this picture doesn't quite do the baby uggs justice. In real life the uggs are so much more tiny and so much cuter too. But you get the idea.


The mice are back. Or rather, they never left. Last week we caught the baby (mouse) in the living room. (Don't worry Mom, we haven't seen any mice in the guest bedroom:)) It came crawling out of a little hole near the heater. I felt a little bad about it, killing the baby mouse that is, but Matthew reminded me, “do you know how quickly that baby would have grown into a full grown mouse?” Good point. But since then we’ve seen one maybe two more mice in the kitchen. Yuck. A couple of weeks ago, the exterminator came and put bait down and the maintenance men supposedly plugged up the holes that the mice were coming out of, but apparently they didn’t do such a hot job because the mice have been finding a way to get through. So we took matters into our own hands. Matthew bought about 20 heavy duty mouse traps. They’re called Tomcat mouse traps and there’s a really mean looking picture of a cat on the box, so I’m hoping these traps will work. We set one in the kitchen, so hopefully that will do the trick. The maintenance men and exterminator came back this morning and reboarded up the holes and the exterminator said the bait he left last time was eaten, so that’s a good sign. I really can’t have mice in my house with a newborn baby, I just don’t want to have to deal with it. So hopefully this is the last we see of the mice. Okay, that was a really long post on our mice problem, but it’s been such a pain for us these last few weeks.

These mice are messin' with the wrong family.

Surprise Baby Shower

Monday, November 23, 2009
Last Sunday my mother in law threw me a surprise baby shower. Usually I tend to anticipate surprises or find a way to figure out the surprise before it actually happens, but not this time. I love surprises, but I also love knowing when and where they’re going to happen, I know, I’m a walking contradiction. I was the kid who would search high and low every year until I found my Christmas presents. Poor Santa, he never had a chance with me. But this time, I was absolutely and completely surprised.

My husband (who was in on the whole thing) told me we were stopping by his mother’s to pick up his niece, whom we were going to take into Boston for the day. Thank goodness I actually took a shower and put on makeup because even though my hair looks a bit horrendous in the baby shower video, it could have been a lot worse, let me tell you. I was in shock when we walked in the door, and a bit disoriented for a good 20 minutes. At first I didn’t want to look like I just assumed that “oh yes, this surprise baby shower is for me” (because what if it wasn’t) so I tried to play a bit aloof for a while. Fortunately, my MIL promptly sat me down in a chair and started handing me presents. It was so fun opening all the presents. Baby showers are so much better than bridal showers. There’s nothing cute or exciting about a set of plates, but little baby booties and itty bitty clothes, now that’s something women can ooh and ahh about. And we did just that, for about 45 minutes. I was given so many nice gifts and was truly touched by everyone’s generosity.

Matthew’s family has always been so kind to me, despite the fact that I’m a lot younger than most of them. At most family functions, I tend to hang out with his 18 year old niece because one, she’s probably the female relative closest in age to me and two, she reminds me of my sisters. Speaking of which, I do wish my mom and grandmothers and sisters could have been there. Maybe we’ll have a California baby shower for the next baby.

Anyways, a few of my favorite gifts were our stroller. Oh my gosh, I love this stroller. I want to take it for a walk along the beach near our house just to practice using it, I love it that much. But that may look a little weird, a pregnant lady pushing an empty stroller. Whatever. We were also given a beautiful glider that I insisted everyone try out because it’s that comfortable. Plus a set of baby uggs, that no camera can capture how cute they are, and a million and one other super nice gifts. I feel like we’re almost ready for baby, almost.

Here's a pic of our beloved stroller:

Happy Birthday, Jacqui!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Jacqui! She's 23 today!

Jacqui, I'm not sure if you still read this blog, but I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you in February! And I'd send you all this ice cream on your birthday, if I could:)

Zelie Martin

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I finally jumped on the bandwagon and entered myself in the drawing for a patron saint for 2010. I couldn't resist and wanted in on the action. The woman who writes this blog, hosts a drawing every year and prayerfully selects a patron saint for each person. It seems that each saint chosen relates in some way to the person to whom he or she is assigned. My saint for 2010 is (drumroll please)…Zelie Martin! The mother of St. Therese! Although, I think to be entirely accurate, Zelie is not yet a saint, but rather a Blessed. She and her husband, Louis, are both on the path to sainthood and, from what I’ve read so far, would be the only married (to each other) couple ever canonized. They are both a lovely and heroic testament to marriage and parenthood.

Here are some other interesting notes I read about Zelie.
ZĂ©lie was a tremendously energetic woman who put everything she had into whatever she was doing. She was running a business, and at the same time raising a large family. Her mother-in-law died, so she brought her father-in-law into her home and took care of him. Though busy, she was faithful to prayer, daily Mass, and prayers with the children. Her letters reveal her concern for the realities of life and of the world in which she lived. At the same time, that world is permeated with a spirit of faith.

I can't wait to learn more about her. Blessed Zelie, pray for us!

War & Peace

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My new goal to accomplish before the baby is born is to read War and Peace. I attempted to read it several years ago and got about halfway through before I gave up. I got confused with all the different characters' nicknames. Every character has like 5 pet names. But I love Tolstoy and am determined to give it another go. I find Russian history and culture so intriguing, especially during the latter half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century (pre Russian Revolution). I think Russian culture during that era was just so beautiful and communism went and ruined it, but hey, that's an entirely separate post.

Off to read...

Around the House

Our bedroom, which we think is HUGE, especially compared to our tiny bedroom in NYC. Oh, and I tried to include a shot of our new stroller, which we(I) love!

Our beautiful kitchen. Notice the white Christmas lights I've put up already?

Proof that we really are bootleggers and storing the beer in the baby's closet no less. I'm sure our child will be bringing along this pic to his or her therapist in due time, "my parents stored beer in my closet!"


Friday, November 13, 2009
Reason number 19,348 I love my husband:

Because he throws out the dead mouse in the mouse trap before I wake up so I don't have to see it.

Nice View

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our new apartment complex is about a block away from this view. I took this picture this morning, isn't it beautiful? There's a walkway that runs along the beach, which we frequent quite often. We look for any excuse to go for a walk along the beach, wouldn't you?

God Bless Our Troops

Thank you to our Veterans! God Bless our troops, God Bless America!

31 1/2 Weeks

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Okay fam, here's a shot of my belly at 31 and a half weeks. I had another midwife appointment today and the baby is still head down (yay) AND I only gained 2 pounds since my last appointment, which is a huge accomplishment for me. All that swimming is starting to pay off.

Stupak-Pitts Amendment

Saturday, November 7, 2009
I just received an email this morning from the Susan B. Anthony List regarding the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that is up for a vote in the House today. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment is the only amendment that would explicitly exclude funding for abortion under PelosiCare. I encourage all of you to contact your Representative (via phone) and urge them to vote "Yes" on this amendment. I just called my rep and a real live person picked up and thanked me for calling. Every little bit helps.

"Tell your Representative to vote YES on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.

This vote is going to be VERY close, so please call right now. Representatives will be keeping track today of how many calls they receive from back home and if they are undecided on how to vote, how many folks call them will make a difference.

Here are your talking points:

•The Pitts-Stupak Amendment is the only amendment that provides clear language that prohibits federal funding of elective abortions and plans that cover elective abortions.
•Vote YES on the Pitts-Stupak Amendment."

It's that easy and just may influence how your Representative votes.

"Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them."- Susan B. Anthony, 1889

Random But True

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Random but true happenings in the R household:

~We have a mouse in our kitchen. I'm not too happy about it, but the maintenance men came and boarded up the hole, so I'm hoping that's the last we see of the measly rodent. (Hmm, come to think of it, is a mouse a rodent?)

~I put the flannel sheets on our beds. We splurged and bought the Martha Stewart flannel sheets from Macy's and they are totally worth it. We love our flannel sheets!

~We're brewing beer in the baby's room. Ha, that sounds a little odd. We brewed some beer last Saturday and now it's fermenting for the next few days...in the baby's room. On Friday we're supposed to bottle the beer and put some carbonation drops into each bottle and let it sit for another 2 weeks before it's ready to drink. We can't wait! Or, I guess Matthew can't wait since I probably won't be drinking too much of our homemade brew.:)

~Made some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins yesterday. Matthew gave the muffins an A+.

~We have a ton of squirrels in our new apartment complex. They're busy little creatures, constantly scavenging for acorns and burying them. They're cute, but it is a little disconcerting how many of them there are. It's kinda like a Hitchcock movie outside, The Squirrels.

~Got a new library card for our local library. Libraries are one of my favorite things. And our local library is amazing, it has a cafe for goodness sakes. I checked out the 3rd season of Lost and have been busy watching and trying to piece together everything from the show. Good times.

~Dr. Peter Kreeft (a Catholic apologist, love him) is speaking at a local Boston chapel this Saturday and we're planning on going. Can't wait!

That's about it. Happy Wednesday!

All Saints Day

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On this day let us revive in ourselves an attraction toward Heaven that calls us to carry on in our earthly pilgrimage. Let us lift in our hearts the desire to always unite ourselves to the family of the saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part.
~Pope Benedict XVI

I remember one particular confession where I admitted that I was afraid to become too holy (not that it's really a problem) because I feared becoming "too nerdy" or "uncool" somehow. I was afraid that working to become a saint would mean sacrificing my winning personality and becoming dull and boring. I'll never forget the priests response to my inane comment. He asked if I thought Mother Teresa was "uncool"? "Of course not," I replied. He said it was the sinners who were really all the same, it is the Saints who are truly unique. The Saints are remembered throughout all of history, the sinners are forgotten. So which really is cooler, to be remembered or forgotten?

Jesus said he came so that we may "have life and have it more abundantly"(John 10:10). The Saints are a wonderful representation of his abundant life. Their individuality and personality is magnified by their love of God, not diminished by it. Today on this day, and all days, we should look to the Saints and pray to be inspired by their devotion and faith.

All ye holy men and women, pray for us.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I thought this little trick-or-treater was too cute, especially considering we live in New England.

Cranberry Sauce

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I made cranberry sauce today and I'm quite proud of myself, thank you very much. I love, love cranberry sauce, especially on my turkey sandwiches. I think a cranberry turkey sandwich tastes divine. We have all these cranberries from the Cape Cod Cranberry Festival, so I'm constantly trying to find ways to include cranberries in different recipes. Making cranberry sauce was way easier than I thought. Here's the recipe (from my Very Cranberry Cookbook) in case anyone would like to try it:
1/2 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Dry Red Wine (I used Charles Shaw Cabernet- 2 buck chuck, can't go wrong)
4 Cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries

In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the red wine and cranberries. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Serve now, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Isn't that easy? And now I can enjoy my turkey cranberry sandwiches every day for lunch. Yum!

A Mover & A Shaker

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This baby loves to move. They (the baby experts) say the baby is starting to develop its sleep and wake patterns that it will have when it’s a newborn. This baby loves to play in the early morning hours, so I figure she’s going to be an early bird like her dad. I tend to refer to the baby as “she” because my husband is CONVINCED the baby is a boy (he refers to the baby as Matt Jr. for goodness sakes). I’m just trying to even things out. We were sorting some laundry last weekend and Matthew found a little pink baby T-shirt I had washed and was like, “umm, who’s this for? Matt Jr. can’t wear this.” I keep telling him he’s in for the surprise of his life when this baby comes out a girl.

Anyways, I digress. The baby has been really active the entire pregnancy. She likes to practice her soccer kicks and karate chops in there, especially around dinner time. For the past day or so, she’s been elbowing me in the side (at least it feels like an elbow). It feels like she has her head propped up on her hand and is just leaning into the side of my belly. Just relaxing, pondering the meaning of life. I’m sure she’s running out of room in there, poor thing, and is trying to figure out the best positions in which to get comfortable.

I can’t wait to meet this little person for a million reasons, but one being I can’t wait to see what type of personality she has. To see if she is a little tomboy like her actions indicate or if it is, in fact, an active little boy in there. Only 2 more months to go!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Two special birthdays in a row! My mom turns 53 today, but you would never guess it. She’s so youthful looking, people always mistake her for being much younger than she is (I hope I look as good as she when I’m 53). She’s fun and active (she’s on an over 50 water polo team) and a fantastic mother.

Being an almost mom, I’ve come to appreciate all the little sacrifices my mom went through for each one of her children. Not only can I appreciate the carrying us each for nine months part, but the little day in day out parts of being a mother, like taking us to the pool, or driving us to soccer practice, or making dinner for a family of eight every single night of the week. Plus, there were countless little acts of love, many of which I intend to copy with my own children. One of my favorite things my mom did for us when we growing up was to leave little notes in our lunches. On our napkin she would write things like, “good luck on your spelling test,” or just a simple “I love you!” Of course, at the time (being 8 or 9 years old), I would oftentimes become slightly embarrassed by these notes and try to jam them back into my lunchbox. But here we are, 20 years later, and I fully intend to leave the same little love notes for my children.

One thing I look forward to most about having the baby (besides being able to sleep on my stomach and put on my shoes more easily) is my mom coming to visit. I swear, I am just as excited about my mom coming out here as I am about the baby coming. There’s just something about having a baby that makes a woman want her mother. It’s been hard being so far away from her. Having had six children herself, my mom knows so much about pregnancy, babies and motherhood, she’s a wealth of information. She’s going to be such a wonderful grandmother. I feel so blessed that my child will have her as a "Grams".

Happy, happy birthday, Mom! I love you and can’t wait to see you in January!

Happy Birthday To My Nane!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Nane!

Today is my grandmother’s 80th birthday! My Nane is one of my favorite people in the entire world. When I was little and would get into trouble my parents would always sigh and say, “what are we going to do with you? “ Apparently, I would reply, “give me away. Give me away to Nane.” It seemed like such a natural solution in my own mind and definitely a bargain for me. I could eat chocolate chip cookies and swim in Nane’s pool and my days of getting into trouble would be over.

Needless to say, my parents never gave me away (although on more than one occasion I wished they would). But even as I grew up, Nane remained a constant ally and source of support in my life. She is the epitome of what a grandmother should be and exactly the type of grandmother I hope to be some day. When we were little, she would take us out on lunch dates and shopping on our birthdays. (In fact, we still do this. She thought once we were older we wouldn’t want to go out to lunch with her anymore, yet it’s something all of her grandchildren look forward to every year.) She would play kick the can with us and take us on walks along the old railroad tracks and even have us over for sleepovers where we would stay up late, watch movies and eat popcorn and apples with caramel sauce. Those sleepovers were the best.

But not only is she a fabulous grandmother, she’s such a fun person as well. She’s so personable and amiable that everyone who meets her instantly likes her. She taught the 3rd grade at St. Mary’s Catholic School for 30 years and I still run into some of her former students. They all say the same thing, that she was their favorite teacher.

I could go on and on how grateful I am to have this woman in my life, but I’ll just sum it up by saying, I feel so blessed and lucky to have her as my grandmother and it makes me incredibly happy to know that our baby will have her as a great grandmother. So, happy birthday to you, dear Nane! Here’s to many more happy years! I love you!


There's a relatively new online program called Skype. It allows people to video chat online for free (at least it's free for now). So my parents and my siblings and I have been enjoying its use these past few weeks. The only problem with Skype is that sometimes the picture can be pretty fuzzy and the image will freeze every now and then. Of course, when the video image freezes it can make for some really funny pictures. Just last night I was talking to my sister, Libby, online and was able to take a few funny pictures of her during our Skype session. Libby, I love you, and now that I know you read this blog, I thought I'd post a picture for your enjoyment:) Don't kill me.

Pregnancy Updates

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I had my midwife appointment today and the good news is the baby is head down! At least, the midwife was pretty sure it was his/her head she was feeling. Although, she also said the baby could flip again between now and the next 10 weeks, but at least for now there's a head where it should be.

The bad, or not so good news, is that I'm a little anemic and, this is embarrassing, she's worried about my weight gain. So far I've gained...40 pounds! Yikes. Truth be told, I'm a little surprised by it too. I told her I eat healthy and exercise, but the scale keeps going up, up, up. I don't have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure or stretch marks for goodness sakes and I swear I don't feel fat, I mean, I know I've gained weight, but it doesn't feel unhealthy, at least not yet. I'm going to try cutting out sugar for the next month and see what happens.

What's reassuring is that with the Bradley Method (our childbirthing classes/approach), they say as long as you're healthy not to worry about the weight gain too much. I'll just have to work hard to lose all the baby weight come February. I'm already planning on running a marathon in October 2010, so I figure that should do it.

Breads And Cookies and Pies, Oh My!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I've baked in the last week:

Cinnamon Apple Bread
Pumpkin Bread with cranberries (yum)
Pumpkin bread with Chocolate Chips (double yum)
Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't know if this is part of the nesting phase or what, but I have been baking up a storm. I love, love having my own huge kitchen to bake in!

Respect Life Walk Recap

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I forgot to write an update on the Respect Life Walk in downtown Boston that happened two weeks ago. Matthew ended up coming with me (his first ever pro-life walk), which was fun. He made me laugh the whole time.

There was a pretty good turnout, maybe around 1,000 people and a good many priests were there too, which was reassuring. They had set up a bunch of tables with representatives from different pro-life organizations, so we toured around a little before the walk began. The man running the Walk, I forget his name, was Jewish, which I thought was great since Christians (particularly Catholics) tend to dominate the pro-life movement.

I tend to have mixed emotions when it comes to the infusing of religion into the movement. Of course, being Catholic, I love seeing other Catholics living out their faith, and I understand that one's faith is oftentimes inextricably linked to being pro-life, but at the same time, I don't think the pro-life movement needs to be a religious movement. Abortion is a human rights issue, without the right to life, all other rights are meaningless. I think if we were to keep the discussion on that level we might have more success converting people to our cause. Needless to say, it's important to pray to end abortion, but I don't know if we need to carry a picture of Mary through the streets to make our point. I fear that singing Ave Maria or praying the Rosary (out loud) during such walks can be polarizing to people of other faiths (like the aforementioned Jewish man), or people of no faith. I worry that such actions allow the opposition to typecast us as those crazy pro-lifers and religious nutcases and essentially ignore our message. Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? What do you think?

On a positive note, everyone was so nice to little ol' me. I must admit, it was quite fun being pregnant and attending the Walk. Everyone smiled and wanted to know when the baby was due, I felt a little like a celebrity. Ha. Hopefully next year we will have any even bigger turnout! I know there will be one more little pro-lifer in attendance next year.:)

Happiness is...

Sitting on the floor of our new apartment, eating lunch by candlelight with my husband while it storms outside.

Jim + Pam

Thursday, October 8, 2009

As every Office fan knows, Jim and Pam are getting married tonight. We're really excited over here at the R household. We love all Office episodes, but this is a special one hour event and from the looks of the promos, it's going to be really cute. Although, I hope that apart from being sentimental that it's funny too. It will be tough to compete with Phyllis's wedding episode. My favorite exchange from that episode was between Angela and Kelly.

Angela: I thought you weren't supposed to wear white to a wedding.
Kelly: Yeah, but it was an emergency.
Kelly (later to camera): I look really, really good in white.
Ha, I love Kelly, she's one of my favorite characters.

Anyways, I'm excited for tonight's episode. Apparently, my husband is too. He had a dream the other night that Pam came onto him. She wanted one last fling before her wedding day. Ha. (Needless to say, he turned her down.) It's funny, we talk about the Office characters like they're realy people, now we're dreaming about them as well.:)

My Husband, He's the Best

My cute husband surprised me with a prenatal massage yesterday. This is the second time (in the past two months) that he's arranged a massage for me. All I had to do was show up. It was divine. He thinks I should get a massage every week to two weeks, how can a girl argue with that?

Boston Respect Life Walk

Friday, October 2, 2009

On Sunday there is a Walk for Life in downtown Boston. It's a fundraiser to support local pregnancy centers, obviously a good cause. I'm really looking forward to it, even though I know no one going. I'm working on a long blog post about how being pregnant has taken my pro-life beliefs to a more visceral level. My mama bear instincts make me very protective of my little cub, and all little cubs for that matter.

Just now as I was looking up more info on the Respect Life Walk I came across a website for a counter-protest, sponsored by none other than the ACLU, of course. What kind of people protest fundraisers to help pregnant women in need?

If you're in the area, come out and support the walk. If you're out of town, you can always donate online:

Sister Elizabeth

One of my very best friends, Elizabeth, is a Religious Sister of Mercy in Alma, Michigan. It’s a beautiful and devout order and one that is growing! The Sisters are very highly educated, many have advanced degrees in Education and Medicine and they help to run the local hospitals and colleges. If you want to learn more about the order, check out their website.

Elizabeth entered the convent last September 1 (the birthday of Our lady) and since then we’ve only been able to write to each other through snail mail. All advanced forms of communication, cell phones, email, etc. were surrendered last August. A few weeks back, she wrote to tell me she will be staying for another year (not too surprising). This will be her second year, her novitiate year, which means she will un able to send or receive letters until September 2010. This is so that she may truly discern God’s call for her life. I can understand the need to be virtually cut off to really determine whether the religious life is for her, but it’s hard too. I miss her.

When she first told me she was considering becoming a nun, I was so excited for her. She converted to Catholicism in college and her faith has put me to shame ever since. Odd but true fact, sometimes I wish I were a convert. Anyways, I wasn’t very surprised to hear that she was considering the vocation because it fit her. And I was so very proud that my best friend would be a nun, I figured that had got to earn me some points in Heaven.

And now we get to the self-centered part of this blog post, I did not realize how difficult this journey would be for ME. I can’t just call her up to chat or tell her a funny story. And she was probably one of the last people to know that we’re having a baby because I had to force myself to sit down and write her a letter. And I can be pretty lazy about those sorts of things, so I think she found out when we were about 5 months pregnant. The girl at Starbucks knew I was pregnant before my best friend. Sad.

But I take solace in the fact that she is indeed following God’s call for her life. Fulfilling her vocation will bring her true happiness and that makes me happy. And I believe I will see her again soon. There is a chance her first station, so to speak, will be in either Boston or DC. She and I are both praying that will be the case. We have a plan that we’ll meet in a discreet location and that I’ll bring her a change of clothes and we’ll head out for a night on the town. Soon enough.

Elizabeth is the one on the far left, back row (partially hidden).

Is It Bad?

Thursday, October 1, 2009
Is it bad that I have to check my own blog to see how many weeks pregnant I am? I keep forgetting. Plus with all the odd ways they calculate a pregnancy, I tend to get a little confused. What's a girl to do?

Ode to October

Happy first day of October! Oh October, how I love thee. I love October weather, the smell of the crisp cool air. Going for a walk and hearing the sounds of the leaves crunch underfoot. I love being able to sip apple cider as I enjoy a slice of pumpkin bread. And cranberry pancakes, I could eat you all year long. I love watching the leaves change color,giving one last burst of life before succumbing to the cold winter weather. I love celebrating Halloween and Oktoberfest and my mom's and grandmother's birthdays. Pumpkin patches and apple picking and hayrides, oh my. Oh October, I hope you are good to us this year!

It's Been A While

Monday, September 28, 2009

So, I really do intend to start blogging more, but until then, here is a picture of my cute bebe for your viewing pleasure.

18 Weeks

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I didn't realize how big I was getting until I saw this picture of myself. My b**bs are getting quite big too. Pregnancy changes everything, I tell ya. My fingernails grow so fast now, random, but true. And my hair is out of control. I already have really, really thick hair, but I guess during pregnancy the hormones make your hair thicker, which may be nice for many women, but for me, it means I look like a lioness. Thankfully, I went and got my haircut yesterday. It's SO much better. The gay hairdresser really liked Matthew. Haha. Oh well, I can't blame him.

Birth Center

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We went to the informational session last night for the Cambridge Birth Center. The midwife was really interesting and well educated on natural birth. So, we're sold! I'm so excited to have my baby there. The Birth Center is in an old Victorian home, right across the street from the hospital, so if anything were to happen, they could easily transfer me to the hospital. It's right in the heart of Harvard square, which is such a hip place, it reminds me so much of Berkeley.

The more I read about natural birth (in a birth center) vs. a hospital birth, the more I feel adamnatly that this is the right move for my child and me. Matthew feels the same. We both agreed that having the baby in the birth center just feels right. I have nothing against women giving birth in hospital, it's just not for me. I trust my body to do what it needs to do without any interventions. This may sound weird, but I'm really excited to give birth and I cannot wait to meet this little person inside of me. Only 23 more weeks to go...

13 1/2 Weeks

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I think I defnitely look pregnant. Some people say I don't look it yet, I think they're crazy. M says it's just because I was so thin before, that I just look normal now. He won major points for that.

Plymouth- Bowman's House



Thursday, July 9, 2009

So, I'm actually about 13 weeks right now (this picture is the baby at 10 weeks), but I can't seem to get our scanner working to show our newest ultrasound pictures. Our little one is due in early January, and we can't wait to meet him or her!
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