Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday night I told Jeremy what to pack, and we got the house and pets ready for my brother to come stay. Saturday morning Jeremy loaded our stuff up in the car and I squished my big ol' belly behind the wheel and off we went.
First stop was Casa Alvarez in Boulder for lunch. I've read great reviews about it, and the food didn't let us down. The spinach and rice chimichanga I got was HUGE and delicious. When we were done with lunch, we once again hit the road. It didn't take Jeremy long to figure out where we were going. The man is IMPOSSIBLE to surprise. But it was still fun trying.
We arrived in Estes Park around 1pm. I had booked a room at the Stanley Hotel (yes, the haunted hotel that Stephen King based The Shining on), but our room wasn't quite ready yet. So we sat out in the comfy chairs on the wide front porch and watched the light drizzle wash over the breathtaking view in front of us. It was in the 90's in Boulder that day, but it was in the mid-70's in Estes Park, and it was absolute heaven.
The rain stopped right before 2pm, and our room was ready shortly after. We brought our stuff in from the car and headed downstairs to the tour office. I had booked a ghost tour for us -- something Jeremy has always wanted to do. I did it about 7 years ago, but the tour we went on this weekend was completely different than I remember. They had a lot more ghost stories to share. In fact, we learned that the Manor House, where our room was located, is where most of the more "aggressive" ghost activity happens. Apparently the ghosts like to pick on men in particular. Jeremy was very excited about this. He was dying to see a ghost.
After the tour ended, we got some drinks from the cafe in the hotel and did some more exploring. Jeremy is really into photography right now, so he was having a heyday with our digital SLR camera. I'll post a few of the shots he got when we get them downloaded from the disk. Once we'd walked all over the grounds of the Stanley, the sun was at a great angle for mountain photos, and we weren't quite ready for dinner yet, so we decided to explore by car. We headed east and followed the Fall River, stopping every so often to take pictures. I wish I could bottle that mountain air. It was intoxicating.
On our way back into Estes Park, we went to Lonigan's for dinner. It's a little Irish pub on the main drag. The dinner was okay, but the onion rings were to die for. Back at the hotel, we rested for about an hour and then went down to the bar. We got a couple of drinks (I got a soda, don't worry), and sat back out on the front porch. We just talked and looked at the moon. It was as romantic as you can get.
Sunday morning we slept in a little, then checked out of the hotel. We hit The Egg & I for breakfast, then it was off to Rocky Mountain National Park. We set our course for Bear Lake, and stopped all along the way to take more pictures. Jeremy's favorite photography subjects are water and wildflowers -- and he got some great shots. When we made it to Bear Lake, the area was just swarming with people. The large parking lot was packed (though we did manage to get a parking space), and there were tour buses dropping off big groups of people. Neither one of us has much patience for inconsiderate or oblivious people, so our patience was tried right off the bat. You know how it is -- the more people there are, the higher percentage of morons you encounter. The lake is pretty small, and the trail looked pretty flat, so I told Jeremy I'd like to walk around it. He argued with me at first, saying I'd pay for it too much later. I argued that I'm 3 weeks away from having this baby, and I hurt every day without doing anything -- so dammit if I hurt from hiking, at least it would be for a good reason! He gave in (the lake was so beautiful, he wanted to walk around it just as much as I did -- so it didn't take TOO much convincing) and we hiked around the lake. Again he got some really great photos as we hiked. Between barreling through throngs of oblivious tourists on the narrow trail, that is.
All in all, our anniversary was so much fun. It's not often I get to treat Jeremy like that. He is always taking care of me these days -- it was nice to be able to do something nice for him. And it's going to be a long time before he and I can get away with just the two of us again, so it's good we were able to take advantage of this opportunity and log a little romance time. And of course, escaping the heat in the absolutely perfect weather in the mountains was appreciated too!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Jeremy came and picked me up from the salon at about 1:30 and we went to lunch at Jose Muldoon's. They have excellent vegetarian enchiladas. Then it was back to Jeremy's parents' house to get changed, and off to a wedding in Green Mountain Falls.
The wedding was at the gazebo at the lake in Green Mountain Falls -- outside in the beating sun, and the only chairs were there for the immediate family. Luckily someone took pity on me and gave me a seat on one of the benches that lined the lake. FINALLY people are starting to notice that I'm pregnant! Jeremy stood and blocked the sun for me, too, so I survived the short ceremony without dying of heat stroke. LOL
We went to the reception afterward for a couple of hours. It was nice seeing some of my old Bunco friends and some of Jeremy's family that I don't see often. And the food was very good. This was the first time I've been at any kind of event and had people notice and comment on the fact that Jeremy and I are expecting a child. I'm so used to people not being sure if I'm pregnant or not (and thus not saying anything), that all the comments took me by surprise. But they were all nice comments! One woman, who I had never met before, stopped me on my way between the buffet and our table and said "You are so beautiful!" Imagine how great that made me feel after months of lugging this child around and no one noticing. The bride looked like a million bucks that day, but I FELT like a million bucks. :)
We left the reception shortly after 8pm and went to Jeremy's parents' house to stay the night. At 1am, I was having really bad heartburn, so Jeremy ran to Safeway to get me some Tums. He takes such good care of me!
Sunday morning we had a big Father's Day breakfast with the Mehring family and several of Frank's (our brother-in-law's) family members. Janet makes the most amazing breakfasts! It was delicious.
Of course, since the twins were there I completely overdid it. I can't help it! It's hard for me to not push myself as it is -- but when you add in adorable 9-month-old twin boys, it's a recipe for me to hurt myself. I was crawling after Baby David, chasing him while he squealed in delight, when my lower back started to twinge. All of a sudden it dawned on me that I have 25 extra pounds hanging from my middle -- it's probably not good for my lower back to be crawling after a baby. To compound the problem I was holding the babies a lot and they are squiggly little boys. Trying to balance them on my belly and not let Scarlett get kicked too hard was a challenge. Needless to say my back was in bad shape by the time we left that afternoon.
Jeremy's sister Emily sent us home with a bunch of baby gear -- a swing and a bouncer, and a playpen and a changing table that we're picking up later on. We were SO happy to get that stuff, I can't even tell you. Everything we get for the baby is a godsend right now.
After we left the Springs on Sunday, we went to my parents' house in Castle Rock for a Father's Day BBQ. My brothers grilled a Mahi Mahi steak for me that was absolutely divine. And my parents took us completely by surprise with a big chocolate cake, strawberries and champagne to celebrate Jeremy's and my anniversary (which happened to fall the day after Father's Day this year). We were having so much fun, it was hard to leave.
Of course on the way home there was an accident that closed I-25 at Speer. We didn't make it home until about 9pm. We were exhausted, but it was so great to spend the whole weekend with family. Who knows when we'll be able to do that again.
Monday was my 36-wk prenatal appointment. Once again, everything was deemed "perfect". My weight increase is holding at 25lbs, my belly size is 36", and they did an ultrasound to make sure Scarlett was in the right position (which she was). We didn't get to see a whole lot on the ultrasound because the baby is so big now, but we did get to see her little leg. We saw her foot flex and point, and I about died from the cuteness. The docs still haven't said how big they think she is, or is going to be. Maybe they'll tell me in 2 weeks at my next appointment. The crazy thing is after this week she could come any time. Scarlett is now considered full term.
Yesterday was Jeremy's and my 2nd anniversary. Since we're doing our big celebration this weekend (I've got a surprise weekend trip arranged), we stayed in and cuddled up. I got our favorite guilty pleasure from a Boulder restaurant and we ate it in bed while we watched episodes of Fringe on DVD. That might not sound like a celebration, but after the busy weekend it was absolute heaven. Jeremy also gave me a beautiful red rose and a sweet card.
This morning was full of good stuff. Several of my coworkers got together and sent us a gift certificate to Babies 'R Us. Now we can go get the bathtub that we've been wanting! And on Friday I received the most beautiful handmade card from Heather with more gift certificates. Annnnd Allison is sending me another baby necessity that would have cost us an arm and a leg in the store. I was stressing about not having money for some of the things I knew we were going to need, and now that stress is gone. I really do have the most amazing people in my life. I'm so blessed!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I've always held the firm belief that if you don't take care of yourself first, you're useless to take care of anyone else. I realize this will be much more difficult after the baby is born, but frankly I don't think that particular value is going to shift for me. If I'm not healthy and happy, more than likely my family won't be either. That's not fair to anyone.
This is also something I've encouraged Jeremy about over the years. He often feels guilty when he wants to go out with his friends or have a night to himself, and no matter how many times I tell him those are GOOD things and I WANT him to have that and there is NO REASON to have any guilt whatsoever, he still hesitates. I want him to find a balance between taking care of himself and taking care of us. So sometimes I kick him out for his own good. LOL
This morning Jeremy had an interview with an airport shuttle service. At this point he needs a job to pay the bills and to maintain his sanity -- but whatever job he gets, it's just going to be temporary until his business is off the ground. I am still very confident this business will happen. It's just a matter of when. After his interview, he came back home for lunch and then took advantage of his free time to go hiking (Yes! Jeremy! Hiking twice in one week!). He went back to Eldorado Canyon to explore a trail he had seen during his last trip there, and to take more photos. I love it when he gets passionate about things. :)
I'm trying not to be too jealous that he's out in nature on this beautiful summer day while I'm trying to work with a pregnancy-addled brain. But I'm so proud of him today, jealousy is easy to put aside. Even when I've had to send this project to my creative agency three times because I keep realizing I left something out. I feel like I play off my failing focus pretty well. No one has had any complaints so far. And I'm a very very organized (Virgo!) person to begin with, so as long as I remember to put things in my day planner, they get done. Nothing has been late or really screwed up. The frustration is all my own. I like to think of myself as a top performer, and it is difficult for me to slow down even this much. As I wind my projects down in anticipation of maternity leave, I can't help feeling guilty that I'm not adding new projects to my list. But the closer Scarlett's due date comes, the less guilt I feel about that. So yes, I'll get over it. I'm a workaholic, but I'm not nuts.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, gasping, confusing, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, rumbling, rambling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning...searching, perching, besmirching, grinding grinding grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO...Try and tickle something inside you, your "weird humor." You belong in the most secret part of you. Don't worry about cool, make your own uncool...If you fear, make it work for you--draw and paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as "to decide on a purpose and way of life..." You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO! I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work. The worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell.
~Letter from sculptor Sol Lewitt to friend and artist Eva Hesse
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Second, I am glad I took my friend Stacy's advice (and the recent nurse's advice) and got good chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments have made a world of difference in the pelvic pain I was feeling, and have drastically increased my mobility.
With that said, I am sadly too far along to enjoy the hiking I am used to being able to do in the summer. On days like today, when it's warm out and there is a cool breeze, I ache to explore the trails in our new home here in Boulder County. But it's just too much for my body now. The baby pulls on my abdominal muscles and they get strained easily. So light walks are as far as I can push it. Jeremy took the camera out to Eldorado Canyon today, to photograph the wildflowers (have I mentioned he's getting really into nature photography lately?) and just to get out of the house. I'm so proud of him for getting all that exercise, and for exploring his new hobby -- but man I was jealous!
This last Saturday Jeremy wasn't feeling too well. He was run down and spent a lot of the day resting. But since it was our one weekend this month where we didn't have any obligations, he took pity on this poor, housebound pregnant lady and went to Pearl Street with me. We walked around for a bit in the light rain and did some window shopping. Then we went to Best Buy and got Wolfman with the RewardZone certificate we had. When we got home we made some dinner and watched our new movie. Wolfman was eh.
Sunday I slept in and then went to my prenatal yoga class. It gets harder and harder every week, but I still get so much out of it. I'm sure I'll go right up until I give birth. After yoga Jeremy and I splurged a little and went to Denny's for Moons Over MyHammy (mine without ham of course). It's our guilty pleasure. We stopped at the Sprouts there in Boulder right after we ate and stocked up on produce -- blackberries were 2 for $3!
We are crazy busy for the next two weekends, so I'm glad we got some relaxation and couple-time in this weekend. By the time we have another free weekend, I'll be so close to my due date we probably won't be able to do much.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Here I am at 35 weeks. I have gained 25lbs. All the literature says the baby's movements should be slowing down right about now because she's running out of room -- but that is definitely not true for me. Scarlett is just as active as ever!
Friday, June 11, 2010
I had my piano lesson today and got a little sad when I realized I only have two more before I take a break for a while. I'm planning on starting back up again once I know how Scarlett's schedule and my work schedule interact. But that means I won't be taking lessons for about two months. My piano lessons have given me a sense of accomplishment while so much of my life has fallen by the wayside during this pregnancy. And my teacher, Heather, has become a dear friend. I can't wait until Scarlett can start taking lessons from her too!
I am officially into the uncomfortable part of pregnancy. Everything I eat and drink goes right to the baby -- I never feel like I've got enough nutrients for myself. This leaves me feeling weak and muddle-headed, while Scarlett continues to be a little squiggle worm all the time. There is definitely a correspondence between her energy level and my own. When hers goes up, mine goes down. Also, she's so big now my lungs and stomach have very little room. I often feel out of breath, and I can't eat much in one sitting. I find eating a little bit every two hours seems to help me feel better, but it's also a struggle to find things I want to eat. It's like it was in the first trimester again -- most food makes me gag.
I was having a breakdown today. I was sitting at my desk in my studio/office, on a conference call, and I just felt weak. Like sitting up was taking all of my strength, and I could pass out at any moment. So I grabbed my laptop, daytimer and phone (on speaker) and started heading upstairs to work from bed, and when I was halfway up the stairs with my hands full, things started falling from my grip. I started to tear up. Jeremy immediately came rushing to my aid, grabbed everything and put it in the bedroom for me. Then he turned and hugged me and said "It's going to be okay. Let me get you some lunch and some tea." So I got settled into bed with all my work stuff (luckily no one on the conference call was addressing me). A few minutes later Jeremy brought me a big mug of my favorite tea and a mini pizza, kissed me on the head and went back to his reading. It's days like today that remind me how lucky I am. I will never take his love and care for granted.
On a less emotional note, Jeremy has discovered books. LOL. Okay, well, he's gotten into reading actual books, not just his comic books, this week. Anyone who knows my husband will be shocked to hear that this week he has read two regular (i.e. not graphic) novels. Two entire novels! Not only that, but he's REALLY excited about them and wants to get more. For a bibliophile like me, this is very exciting.
I read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer, this week. It is her most recent book, a short novella about a verrrrry minor character from Eclipse. It was interesting to get the different perspective of the familiar story, but knowing how it would end took some of the excitement out of it. It was nice to read something by Meyer again, though. She is just such a terrific writer. I wish she would publish a lot more! I just gobble her books up. Over and over and over...
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
See, every night before I go to sleep, Jeremy comes in and puts jojoba oil on my belly (originally it was to fade my surgery scars, and now it's also to prevent stretch marks), and after he's done he spends about 15 or 20 minutes with the baby. He talks to her, hums to her, pokes at her when he sees her move, puts his head on my belly and says "Kick Daddy in the head, Scarlett!" It's hilarious... and precious. I wouldn't trade that time for anything.
But it wasn't until last night that I realized how special that time was to Jeremy too. I am so blessed to have such a loving and involved husband. I really don't know how I could do this without him. Scarlett and I are lucky ladies.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
I left the theater at about 12:15am (yes, I was DYING of exhaustion -- pregnancy makes for much earlier nights) and made it home by 12:30. When I walked in the door, I noticed the downstairs was straightened up and something smelled really clean. I went upstairs and Jeremy was sitting on the couch, and the entire house was spotless. He had done all of the housework that we had planned for Saturday. And on top of that, he had finished painting the new coffee table and side table, put the old glass-topped ones out in our storage shed, and moved the new ones into the living room. He said "Now we can lounge around tomorrow." GOD I love my husband!
So that's exactly what we did on Saturday. We spent most of the day in bed watching movies and eating donuts. :) Later on that day Jeremy did all of the yard work and I started washing the new baby clothes, blankets and such, and putting the stuff in the baby's room away. I got really frustrated putting sheets on the crib mattress, though -- they make the mattresses so they fit tight against the railings, so I had to pull the mattress up to get the sheets on. Frustrated and just wanting to get it DONE, I pushed my body way too hard instead of asking Jeremy for help. So like a dumbass, I threw my back out. I never said I was the smartest person alive.
Sunday I went to prenatal yoga (bad back and all) and then my parents and brothers came up for a BBQ to celebrate my mom's birthday. It was so fun! That was the first time we have had a BBQ at this house (other than just the two of us, that is). The size and layout of our house ended up being perfect for just such an event. I made salad, pasta salad, and fruit salad, and my brothers brought steaks, bratwurst and fish to grill. My parents, Drew and I went for a walk around the lake while Jeremy and Chad stayed behind to get the grill going. It was a HOT walk, I won't lie. But it felt so good to get outside and to spend time with my family. When we got back, the boys grilled the meat, my dad poured some wine, I finished putting the salad together and we all had a great meal.
I am seeing a chiropractor for my pelvic pain now, and it's definitely helping. The adjustments haven't completely gotten rid of the pain, but they've made a significant improvement. Plus, since I feel so STIFF all the time right now, having my back and neck cracked and pelvis realigned is absolute heaven! I feel like a million bucks coming out of the chiropractor's office. I'm going once a week until the baby is born. And the doc has offered to come to the hospital to check Scarlett's alignment when she's born.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
We checked into Casa Benavides, our favorite B&B, and took off walking to find a place to eat. We walked to Michael's Kitchen on the north end of the main strip because several people had recommended it to us, but when we got there we found it was absolutely packed. So we ended up at Caffe Renato. The service was very slow, but we didn't mind because we had a table out on the back patio, with the light breeze blowing and the flowers blooming all around. It was a leisurely, delicious lunch and well worth waiting for. We did a little shopping on the way back to the B&B, then I rested for a bit before we went to afternoon tea. Casa Benavides has the most amazing afternoon tea -- a dozen different types of homemade pastries, cakes and cookies, hot tea, ice tea, and lemonade are laid out in the dining room, and the large enclosed patio is set up with tables and chairs to sit out and enjoy the beautiful weather with your treats.
More shopping ensued after tea, of course. Eventually we set out to find a place to have dinner, and were disappointed to find many of our favorite restaurants were either gone or being remodeled. This was odd, since there were so many new galleries and shops open. So we had to find a new place to have dinner. We ended up at the Bent Street Cafe. It was perfect! Tucked away on the edge of the square, plenty of outdoor seating, live music, few other customers and fast, friendly service. The food was fantastic, too. I had the creamy tomato basil soup and my mom and I split a hummus/baba ganoush plate.
Sunday morning we had an amazing breakfast at the B&B -- community-style with yogurt, homemade granola, fresh peaches and strawberries, eggs to order, fresh-squeezed OJ, coffee and tea. I would stay at this B&B if the rooms were terrible, just for the food. It just so happens the rooms are beautiful and comfortable.
After breakfast we headed to El Santuario de Chimayo, about an hour south of Taos. The drive was breathtaking, following the Rio Grande and passing by several wineries. We wound our way through the foothills of Espanola to the little town of Chimayo. The Santuario is a small adobe church built on healing land, and is considered the "Lourdes of America". People come from all over to pray for blessings and healing and to take home some of the holy dirt the church was built on. It is a uniquely spiritual experience just to step onto the grounds of the church. You get the feeling that many miracles have occurred in that place. It's an uplifting feeling rather than a somber religious experience. I rubbed some of the holy dirt in my hands and prayed for the health of my baby, for strength for my dear aunt Peg, and for the continued improvement of my mother's health -- and I swear I got a little lightheaded. As we walked away from the church and toward the parking lot, I got this overwhelming feeling that god was laughing. Like he/she was saying "I'm always here with you. You don't need to travel to places like this to talk to me. Silly people." Maybe I'm crazy, but it was a singular experience. And I told my mom, if giving birth to Scarlett is an uncomplicated experience, I'm going back to Chimayo with each of my pregnancies! Even if god laughs at me for it...
On our way back from Chimayo, we stopped at a Mexican food place called Tequila's on the south side of Taos. Super cheap food, and it was tasty. We rested back at the B&B for a bit, then went out to do more exploring/shopping. I bought the most beautiful pair of beaded bluebell earrings from a gallery called Natural Accents. The artist is Tina Erixon, the sister-in-law of the wonderfully friendly and helpful owner, Rodrigo. Finally we came back to the B&B for the afternoon tea and called it a day.
Monday morning was filled with more walking around, exploring and shopping. But I'll admit, my body gave out on me. I did so great Saturday and Sunday, but by Monday my poor body had had enough. Walking was painful -- I felt like my abdominal muscles were giving out. So my mom did some exploring on her own while I put my feet up in the room. I get so frustrated when I feel limited like that, but I know it's just part of being pregnant so I rested when my body told me to.
On our way back home Monday afternoon we passed a motorcycle accident just north of Colorado Springs. Thank GOODNESS the man was wearing a helmet! I really don't want to see brains on the cement. The Red River Bike Run happens during Memorial Day weekend every year, so we see a lot of bikers when we go down to New Mexico. A good portion of them do not wear helmets, and it makes me soooo nervous.
Jeremy has been working hard getting things ready for the baby while he has the free time. In the last week he's put the bassinet and the crib together, and he's almost done painting some tables to replace our glass-topped coffee and side tables in the living room. I feel bad because I know he loves those glass-topped tables (they weigh a metric ton with the iron base, though, and they're impossible to keep clean -- so I'm happy to have an excuse to replace them -- ssshhh), but they're just not safe with a baby coming.
Our yard has turned into an overgrown Eden. We have so much greenery, it's amazing. The front yard is xeriscaped, but the back yard is lawn, wildflowers and garden plots. I haven't planted anything because, 1) it takes all my effort just to keep up with the weeding, and 2) there are so many plants coming up on their own, there really isn't a need for more! Though I do want to plant something in the planter boxes on the railing of the front and back balconies... that reminds me I need to go look at my seed collection and figure out what will work there.
Here is a picture of part of our front yard, and these insane big orange flowers that just popped out yesterday: