January 12th, 2012

Here we are again. A new year - a new 12X12 photo project. I wasn't going to do this but my dear friend Meili reminded me how great it would be to document Millie's first year. So here we are. Last year I relied on Meili to format these pictures into a fancy grid for me. Well this year I am not going to put the pics in a fancy grid. I'm a rebel. (I just don't have photoshop or cool program to edit them). Please pretend these are being presented to you in a fancy way.

1. Being 9 months pregnant has it's ups and downs. A down is swollen face, feet and hands. Seriously my hands get so swollen that they actually get numb. I haven't been able to write for days. My hands get numb when I am cooking, sleeping, drying my hair, cleaning, etc. You get the picture.
2. It seems that all of my food ends up on my tummy. Wearing a white shirt while consuming Costa Vida is surely a hazard. The napkin helped.

3. I am so in love with Millie's nursery. We have just a few more things to do to finalize it but I love it. Sometimes I just go sit in it and look at her stuff. Why can't she be here now!?

4. Today I had the pleasure of getting a prenatal massage. My back was killing me and this was really a little piece of heaven. Celeste is a miracle worker - and comes to your house! You like my giant new sectional!? Please ignore the pink blinds. We haven't replaced those quite yet.

5. They don't call me "The Lion" for nothing. This is what happens when you curl your hair and then get a head massage. Yowza! Man I would have been so hot in the 80s!

6. This my friends, is a clean basement. For years this basement has served as a space for our renters. We recently took it over but for 2 months it has been covered in construction dust and mess. We didn't redo this but dang is nice to have it clean again!

7. Seth worked until 10:00pm tonight. I decided now that the house was clean that I was going to relax all night. And I did. I never take a whole night off but I needed it. I didn't cook dinner or anything (well I made a sandwich). I read, I watched TV, I read some more. It was lovely.

8. Oh I did wash my fish bowl. This is Buddy & Jovi. I won them as white elephant gifts in December. I love fish. I haven't had the heart to get new fish since Lewis died. He was a really good fish. These goldfish don't really like me. I think they are terrified of me. I won't be too sad when they die. Look at Buddy staring at me with the stink eye!

9. This is what it looks like to be 9 months pregnant. Holy crap. Big old baby - in there. I can't even remember what it feels like to not have a giant belly.

10. Seth's home! After working 15 hours he finally made it. Here is our new piece of heaven. The chaise lounge.

11. One of our favorite new hobbies - Harry Potter Lego game. It's amazing. I never thought I would love a video game so much.

12. Bed time. Tube Bunny lives upstairs and now that we have finished our downstairs he was telling us how neglected he feels. So we brought him to bed. Good old Tubbie.

That was a pretty boring day. However I think it'll be quite telling to see how drastically our lives are going to change by February 12th. I don't think Harry Potter Lego will be in the cards much longer.

My Favorite Awkward Pregnancy Moment

I've mentioned before that pregnancy brings out the "awkward" in people. Awkward stares at the belly, inappropriate touching of the belly, really awkward comments, etc.

Yesterday's run in at Dans Food & Drug took the cake though.

Let me preface this story by saying that the last 2 days were some of the hardest of the pregnancy. Being 3 weeks away from my due date means life generally isn't very comfortable right now. Yet being weeks away from having a baby really puts me into "nesting" mode. Not to mention the sense of panic that she could certainly show up anytime. I've been working hard - too hard. So hard that at the end of the night I want to cry my body hurts so much. Anyways, yesterday was a rough day. I wasn't feeling well. I was extremely tired because I only slept about 3 hours the night before, on the couch. I made it through a long day at work and stopped by Dan's on the way home to pick up some meds. Thanks pregnancy for giving me some of the worst heartburn I have ever experienced!

I walked into Dans and saw this cute black guy in his late 20s - pushing his kid in a shopping cart. The little boy must have been about 3. I smiled at them as we passed each other in the aisle.

After we passed I heard "Excuse me, ma'am?"

I turn around to see that the gentleman has stopped. He walks towards me with his arms open and a big smile on his face. Initially I thought, "OMG he is going to walk up to me and either hug me or touch my belly!"

He shakes his head at me proudly and sizes me up before saying "You don't have a fat face!"

I'm thinking, "What the? Did he really just say that!?"

He continues in a shocked voice, "No really, your face isn't fat! Most women that are 5 to 7 months pregnant have fat faces! But you, you don't!"

Not only am I laughing inside because he thinks I'm only 5-7 months pregnant (I think he was just trying to be nice) but inside I'm laughing because I totally have gained some unattractive water-weight so I say in return, "Oh come on now, you don't know me so you don't know how I looked before. I definitely have filled out in my face. Ha ha ha."

He continues to shake his head, "No way. I don't believe it. Good job. You look great."

I reply, "Well thanks? I appreciate it!"

And he walks away.

And I walk away and just laugh and laugh.

Water weight is no fun. My feet are totally swollen (luckily no one has commented on my cankels) - my fingers look like giant sausages and my face looks chubby.

I want to thank this stranger. Not only did it throw me a hell of a laugh but it somehow made me feel better during this long and unattractive last month of pregnancy. You totally just made my day with your awkward comments. Thank you.

Year 2011 As A Youkstetter

2012 is here. Can you believe it?! I honestly can't believe how quickly this past year went. Last night Millie decided that she wanted the party to keep on going and didn't stop moving until about 2:30am. I finally gave up trying to sleep and made my way out to the couch for distraction. It got me thinking a lot about the last year and truthfully how wonderful 2011 was.

Here are some 2011 year-end highlights!

Work: Seth and I are fortunate to have jobs that we love, jobs that challenge us, jobs that fulfill us. I honestly don't know how people function in jobs that they can't stand. We are lucky that we are prospering in a time when so many would be thrilled to find a job. We are very luck. Don't get me wrong there are days when I would certainly rather stay home. But KUER has been a great adventure for me. I survived a full year of employment and feel like I really have my feet under me. It always takes a good year to really feel like you know what you are doing in a new job. I had a great year. I enjoyed 3 fund drives, countless events (KUER keeps me cultured), mailings, phonathons and they even let me on-air a bit. I love public radio. I'm lucky to work for a cause I am so passionate about. My big challenge in 2012 - learning to balance work with a new baby.

A new decade: I turned 30 this year. That felt like this was a big moment and in some ways it still does feel big. I look at my nephew and my little sisters and realize that they look at me and think that 30 is old. It really isn't. 30 was a great year for me. I was (definitely past tense) in one of the best shapes of my life (other than the year I ran a marathon) - I am happily married, I have great friends, a beautiful house and a baby on the way. In true form we celebrated the big day by playing an epic game of greed. I couldn't have found a better way to celebrate.

Staying Active: This year I did my first triathlon. It was a baby one but man did I love it. I loved training for it. I loved that I was working out solidly 5 days a week. Seth helped me swim and that has really become one of my favorite ways to work out. I find that it is so meditative, not to mention a very hard workout. I love it. I miss it. Here's a quick video of me starting my swim. I look damn sexy in a tri-suit and goggles don't I?


I also got really into biking and spent a lot of evenings out on the road. I didn't quite do a century ride but I did do a 60 and an 80 mile ride this year. I love it! It's officially my favorite way to work out. I can't wait to tackle Little Red this year. Hopefully I'll be in good enough shape post baby to pull it off.

Remodeling: This was certainly the year of remodeling. Seth and I have been under some state of construction since probably March? We still have a few things to finish up but we are SO CLOSE to being done. Construction can be one of the biggest stresses on a marriage. And that's when you don't have OCD like I do. It's been tough and it has certainly made me crazy. However I have to say that I am so grateful that we were able to refinance the house to have money to take on so many projects. Here's a list of what we accomplished this year: new roof, new windows, repainted the exterior, redid the front yard, remodeled the master bedroom, insulated Millie's room and painted, redid the bathroom (the project from hell), new carpet in the basement, new paint in the basement, new fireplace in the basement, and ripped out much of our backyard. I have to say everything is looking so great. The most difficult project was of course the bathroom. We had no functioning upstairs bathroom for 3 months. We did have the basement bathroom but being 4-7 months pregnant and peeing 3-5 times a night made this really difficult. But it turned out beautifully and I am so glad we made it. We certainly still have some projects for down the road but at least the majority of the work is done for now. Phew!

Vacations: 2011 was the year of Paris. Once we found out we were pregnant we knew we had to take some time together and get out of the country. I am so glad we did. I was wonderful and magical and romantic. However we also had some other great trips. We headed to McCall with some friends, I went to San Francisco with the family, I visited Pittsburgh for work, we went to Sun Valley for a week and I finished out the traveling with a great weekend in New York. I think it'll be nothing but road trips for us for awhile now. I'm glad we got in so many great cities!

Family: One of the best parts of 2011 is that we finally finally finally got my brother Christopher to move back to Salt Lake. After spending 15 years in San Francisco we were ready for him to be home. We even headed out there as a family in April to try and get his butt home. It took some time but he's here now! And who would have thought he would live about a block away from me. It's been great to have all of the siblings in one place. Fer really is the life of the party and brings so much fun and laughter to our family. I am happy Millie will know her Uncle Fer.
Millie: 2011 will be the year of being pregnant. What a ride it has been! From the moment we first found out we were having a baby through today when she really could arrive anytime - it's been exciting. We have watched her (well me rather) grow from a tiny poppyseed that made me nauseated, exhausted and hungry to the sweet potato that I first felt fluttering to the now 18 inch honeydew that keeps me up until 2:30 am. We've gone through every emotion possible with the anticipating of her and now are anxiously awaiting her arrival. The nursery is ready, I think we have almost all of the supplies we need. We are practicing our birth meditations. Now it's time to pack the hospital bag. Baby girl could make her appearance in 2-4 weeks.

2011 was pretty amazing but I have a hunch nothing will be 2012.