Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baby Updates

Yes, that's updates, since I thought I'd splash out some pics of Haruki too. Have I mentioned that we spoil her? Like, ridiculously? I mean, the dog has two separate "beds," both of which were expensive and are intended to make sure she has a really cush and a moderately cush place to lay down. She is also allowed on the couches and the beds, though I suspect that this might change once baby arrives. And, thanks to my sister-in-law, we also have some "games" that are just for Haruki and which are meant to be enriching. We played one of those games this morning already.

Here is Haruki prior to the game, probably thinking, "Really? I'm the one who is being forced to play silly board games?"

The board game:

The trick is to hide small pieces of food behind the moveable circle pieces, so Haruki has to use her nose to find and eat the treats.


I don't know about you guys, but we never did stuff like this for our dogs while I was growing up. We definitely didn't try to "enrich" our dogs, excepting for all the bologna that we gave them. (And, in the case of at least one of our family dogs, that "enrichment" wasn't really a good thing...)

Anyhow, on to the human baby. I am twenty-two weeks and one day pregnant today. That means only eighteen more weeks to go, approximately 126 days. And, only fifteen more weeks until I'll be "full term." Whew. I have a friend who is currently thirty-seven weeks and I'm very, very jealous. Pregnancy is still my least favorite thing and I'll be glad when all my systems are back to their normal places and functions.

The good news is that I went against my doctor's orders and went on my first pregnant outdoor bike ride. (Don't tell my doctor.) Apparently her worry is that any cycling crash would put me at risk for a broken bone, which would in turn necessitate X-rays and pain meds, both of which aren't baby's favorite things.

I don't feel comfortable doing several things that I used to do while riding: 1) riding my road bike. My road bike is sweet and super light, but since my balance is wonky I think riding my sturdier mountain bike is safer; 2) riding with other people, i.e. my family, or on a public bike trail. I don't trust my balance or other peoples' balance right now. Thus I'll only be riding my bike up our canyon road, which is a dirt road with little traffic and which I'll only be riding with David for company; 3) riding fast downhill. Since the road from our house only goes up, I'll be pretty safe doing that at a snail's pace. On the way home, however, I'll be forced to ride my breaks instead of screaming downhill as fast as possible.

So, all in all, not too bad. Despite my complaints I am still grateful to be able to ride at all...even with all the looks I get while riding with a belly:

On the bike it's not clear that that pooch is a baby. In fact, it looks more like a huge muffin top. And, to be fair, some of it is from muffins:-)

*Do you do anything to "enrich" your dog or pet?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pardon Me

For my super long absence, friends! Last week, as I mentioned before, was a bit crazy work-wise, and left me completely exhausted by the time I got home every night. I was planning on resuming "normal" programming on Friday and yesterday, but the holiday weekend got the best of me. Moving forward I'm not sure if I'll be posting on exactly the same days I usually do, but depending on my work schedule I'm still going to aim for 4-5 posts per week. 

Whew! With that, how was every one's Memorial Day? Our was filled with several social engagements, but not so many that it wasn't also relaxing. 

Haruki started the weekend off with a deer leg.

Uck. Isn't that nasty? This is not one of the perks of living in the mountains. It sure did make Haruki happy though.

Human-food-wise, I made a few things this weekend, though you can barely call it cooking or baking. The first was roasted zucchini with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. I dunked olive oil bread into this mixture, and it was good.

I also made some banana blueberry bread, which I--unusually, for me--slathered in some Earth Balance.

On Sunday David and I made a trip down to town to meet my family at the Boulder Creek Festival. The "Creek Fest," as everyone around here refers to it, is just a huge party all Memorial Day weekend, with rides, food, vendors, etc. My nieces Riley and Morgan were especially enchanted with a "ride" in which they were placed into huge sealed balls and then rolled into a big swimming pool.

The adults were more entertained by the beer garden, though of course I didn't partake in any:-( David and I had a wok-fired stir-fry for dinner, and even got to watch the chef work his magic by slicing veggies directly over a very large flame.

This is not the big flame. I wasn't fast enough to get that picture.

Dinner close up:

Yum, right? I really appreciate it when veggie dishes have lots of veggies in them.

*Tell me the best thing you ate this weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Weekend and Sugar Gliders

Good morning, friends! It's Friday! And here in Colorado it looks like it will be a really pretty and summery weekend, filled with the smell of cut grass and lots of recreational baseball games.

I took this picture a few weekends ago when I was still pretty worried that it was going to snow again. Luckily, it hasn't, though it is supposed to get a bit rainy here next week.

I wish I could say I had lots of plans for my three-day weekend, but part of me wants to minimize plans so I can get lots of rest before next week's long work week. We do already have some plans, though, including dinner tonight with David's aunt and cousin and a lunch tomorrow with our neighbors and our friends David and Christine.

Before dinner tonight, however, I'm going to my regular bootcamp class, followed by an OB appointment at 11:30. I'll post a picture of this soon, but I've really "popped" in the last few weeks. I'm nearly twenty one weeks pregnant, and it's really starting to get obvious. Actually, a lady at the gym asked when I'm due yesterday, which is the first time a stranger has risked asking that question:-)

I still can't believe I'm pregnant, even though I have lots of evidence that I am, including this most recent ultrasound picture:

Apparently our daughter is quite round, both in the mid-section and in the head. Lucky for me--I like plump babies with big round heads. Let's just hope it doesn't get too big or too round before she makes her exit from my...errr, before she makes her debut.

And finally, before I sign off and get my things ready for the gym, just a reminder that there is a very good chance that you won't hear from me until next Friday. Again, sorry about that. I just really doubt I'll have the energy to post after working ten hour days. I'm working on getting the wi-fi password for my work so I could maybe post on my lunch break, but so far that has been unsuccessful.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend, filled with cut grass, burger cook outs, and oatmeal raisin cookie crumb... (Yum!)

*Is it weird that I think it's weird that I'll basically be carrying around my future daughter in my abdomen all summer? I mean, she's not a zygote anymore--she's moving around, drinking amniotic fluid, hiccuping, swallowing--and she's just going to hang out in my belly all summer. It's like I have a built-in anatomical "purse" in which I can carry her around.

On another note, have you all heard of sugar gliders? If not, check them out here: They are basically small flying marsupials. You can have them for pets, even, though some municipalities make them illegal. I like to ponder how much Haruki would enjoy having a flying marsupial around the house...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Thursday?

So for many of you this may not be true, but I sure am glad it's Thursday. For this week and next Thursday is "my Friday," and I really can't express how much more relaxed I am tonight knowing that I'm off from work tomorrow and not in a mad rush to eat, relax, and get things ready for work tomorrow. I really need to send a present to my Dad for working in a job he hated for twenty years just so he could help support us. I truly don't know if I could work in a job that I didn't like, for forty hours a week, for any lengthy amount of time. I know I'd be a more miserable person.

That being said, and now that I've finished my first week of work at the Humane Society, I already feel glad and lucky to be working for such a stellar institution. The people are great, the benefactors of my labor are totally deserving, and it does make long hours or tedious tasks much more palatable. Talk to me next week, however, after I've worked ten hours a day for four days in a row. Heh. Barring a freakish increase in energy between now and then I think you all might have to do without me for those four days. Sorry. I know you'll pull through somehow though:-)

I have a feeling that meals next week will look a lot like this:

Yah. That's toast with olive oil and salt, plus refried beans covered in this:

Super creative and well-rounded, right? 

Speaking of meals, guess who I ate lunch to this afternoon? These guys:

That's two chickens in there in case you can't see them both. The reddish one is obstructing the little white one underneath. They made excellent lunchtime companions.

*With whom did you eat lunch today?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cherry Vanilla Almond Goodness

New product alert, people! Look what I found:

In case you're too challenged (or likely uninterested) in reading the fine print, that's cherry vanilla almond butter! Yah! It looks like this in the jar:

And, as you might imagine, it's pretty tasty! It just has regular ingredients too--almonds, sea salt, vanilla extract, cherries, etc. No added sugar or added crap in general. It tastes pretty good out of the jar, but recently I've taken to eating it on bananas before I work out at six a.m. this week.

Speaking of six a.m., who knew that one of the benefits of being awake at five thirty a.m. was the total absence of any traffic? It's been a revelation, seriously. It is a little spooky to drive around what feels like a ghost town though. And don't think, for a second, that I'll keep getting up at five a.m. just so I can drive to the gym without traffic.

In other news, I'm working all day today and then meeting some friends at the Boulder Farmer's Market for dinner. It's actually a kind of party, since my friend Adam is turning thirty today and wanted to get his friends together for some food and commiseration. Thirty is, after all, not that bad when you actually hit it, but does get progressively more horrible when you realize that thirty was just a jumping off point for 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, etc.--all of which suck ass.

How's that for positivity?!! I hope youz all have a good day!

*What age did/do you expect to hate the most?

P.S. Happy Birthday, Adam!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Animal Teachin'

So. People. It's Tuesday. And Day 3 of my first training week at the Humane Society. I.Am.Beat. I don't think I mentioned this last week, but I'm afraid my posts this week may--OK, definitely will--be slightly abbreviated due to the long hours. Next week is even worse, too, since instead of working from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. I will be working from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Whew! So, the moral of the story is please bear with me for the next two weeks. I swear I'll pay you back with lots of pictures of puppies.

So, tonight's brief post will be a compendium of some of the things that I've learned this week during my training to become an adoption counselor.

1) Guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are _not_ the same thing. Whaaaaat???! I know, right?

2) Birds can become so agitated that they literally give themselves heart attacks and die. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel a lot better about the anxiety highs that I experience.

3) When cats are declawed, it is the human equivalent of amputating the fingers at the top joint. This is due to cat anatomy and often declawing the cat can lead to lifelong arthritis problems and even litter box issues.

4) Cats have sweat glands in their paws and on the sides of their faces, which is why they might either scratch things or rubs their faces on them as a way of marking their scent on them.

5) A kitten needs to be socialized early, i.e. before 16 weeks of age, or it will likely remain unsocialized for its entire life. Kittens learn so much before that time, but after it, even with intense behavioral therapy, they are unable to learn the proper socialization habits that would allow them to live successfully with other animals and humans.

Things I've learned about myself during training:

1) Maybe cats aren't so bad.

2) But still, I'm really glad that Haruki is not a cat.

3) My child will never own a rodent or small mammal.

4) Sitting down for several hours or standing still in the same spot for several hours is a $%^$# when you're pregnant.

5) The typical work week and work day is truly barbaric. We should all revolt and demand a workday that includes six, rather than eight or nine, hours. I mean, you barely get home in time to get ready for the next day! WTF?

*What have you learned at your job recently?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Fly-By

Heya friends! This is going to be a quick photo bomb. My apologies, but today was my second day of training for my new job. I woke up at five a.m., have just gotten home and eaten dinner, and it's already eight p.m. GAH! How do 9-5ers do it? No wonder most of us are slightly depressed and/or a little overweight. I'd quit going to the gym too if it meant that I had to workout every day at six a.m. or seven p.m. after getting off work at six p.m.

Um, anyway.

I made banana bread with blueberries in it:

I got flowers from my mom and dad for graduating:

(I'll post a pic or two of graduation once I get some photos from my dad.)

I treated myself to some of the cake that we got for my graduation pizza dinner. It was from the same bakery that did our wedding cake, and it was soooo good. Do yourself a favor if you live in the Boulder/Denver area and go get the carrot cake from Tee and Cakes.

Seriously. The whole carrot cake box smelled like cinnamon, and that chocolate cake had candied pretzels and peanut butter buttercream. So dreamy.

And lastly, we had our twenty-week anatomy scan. We are definitely having a baby, and they confirmed that it will be a girl baby. Who knew that they can actually see little baby labia on an ultrasound? Also, who knew how awkward it could get if your dad came along for the ultrasound and was there to stare at your baby's labia with you? Heh. Cough. Heh.

*What's the best sweet treat you've eaten lately?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dr. Ruki

The weekend is almost here, friends! If you live anywhere near me that means you're also looking forward to a respite from rain and a weekend filled with sunshine instead of clouds. Like, seriously, will summer finally show up this weekend?

The good news is that the summer fruits are definitely here, though perhaps not completely ripe just yet. Lately I've been eating a lot of strawberries, and most recently I bought cherries and a mini-watermelon.

Those little brownie looking things on the side are Goodbody Bites, which are just slightly healthified brownie pieces. I'm using them to stave off complete sugar binges, and so far it's been working. The bad part about being pregnant is that an upset or full stomach feels eight times worse than it does when you're not pregnant. And my stomach isn't even in my ribcage yet. I can't wait to find out how that affects my eating/appetite.

Ahem. Also of note lately? I went to get my cap and gown and Ph.D. hood yesterday.

It was pretty surreal. I keep trying to tell myself that this is all a big deal, but really I'm just no longer impressed. I suspect I'll be more impressed if I can keep my baby alive for the first year of its life.

Ruki is also not impressed with my new degree, especially since David and I tried to make her wear my cap this morning. Here is David giving her an initial sniff:

Here is Ruki giving it her initial brush off:

And here is Ruki just before she shook the cap off again and then proceeded to run around the house in an effort to avoid the cap.

We are so proud of her!

*Have you abused your pet in any way lately?

P.S. Because tomorrow is graduation day I'm not sure that I'll be able to post. I'll try to pop in if I can, else you'll all just have to imagine how f-ing cool I looked wearing that blue foreskin-like hat in front of all my family and friends.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Car Wrecks and Chinese

So guess what happened to David the other morning?

He got rear-ended by a cement truck. Heh. He's okay so it's okay that I find the cement truck part funny, right? Sadly his poor little Subaru Outback, which is still sitting crumpled in our garage, looks like it will probably be totaled. Boo. Am I the only one who thinks that it really sucks when you get into an accident--especially one that is not your fault--and your car is totaled? This happened to me when I was approximately twenty years old. My car was trusty and reliable though not technically valuable, and instead of getting a check from insurance that represented that reliability, I got a check for two thousand dollars which, as you might know, is a paltry sum to go car shopping with. Sigh. The bad news for us is that if they do total the car we will be forced to get a new car and probably make payments on it. (I don't mean a really "new" car, since we would never buy a brand new car.)

Anyway, it is lucky that David is okay. Haruki was in the car with him at the time and luckily she was in her dog seat belt/harness. Apparently she was pretty shaken up and immediately planted her entire (long and 50 lb.) body into David's lap.

Since it's WIAW I thought I'd also share what I ate for lunch and dinner yesterday.


Yep, that's chicken people. I ate chicken. The more important lesson here is that one should never eat Indian-spiced chicken before working out. (That weird lump in the upper right hand corner is two pieces of potato.)


Last night's dinner was courtesy of our friend Brian, who came over to cook Chinese food for us. He even brought a real wok and a huge butcher's knife! From the left: broccoli with fermented soybeans and garlic (my favorite--sooo good!), cumin tilapia fish with celery, and refreshing salad-y thing of cabbage. With brown rice. It was delicious, and luckily Brian left us with a copy of the recipes that he works from.

On a non-food note, I also wanted to share another mountain photo that I took from the car on the way to the ultrasound appointment yesterday.

Cross your fingers that it stays this pretty (and non-rainy) until my graduation day on Friday!!

*When was the last time you were in a car accident, if ever?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

20 Week Ultrasound

Well, actually, I'm nineteen weeks pregnant, but it turns out that "20 Week Ultrasound" is really a misnomer, and actually occurs anywhere between 18 and 22 weeks.

Note to y'all who might get knocked up someday? That gel they put on your belly is really sticky, and it gets everywhere. In other important news, our baby is definitely a girl and she is completely healthy. She is apparently quite active and likes to put her hands near her face. Maybe she is shielding her face with embarrassment at her parents' jokes already? Since that's what David spent the entire ultrasound doing--cracking jokes for my Dad (who also came along) and the ultrasound tech. Impending fatherhood clearly doesn't have him overly worried:-)

I know this is a straight-up baby topic, but I did want to say a bit about the experience of having the ultrasound. It's not my first ultrasound--actually it's the fourth since becoming pregnant--but I have to say that it doesn't get any less strange. I wonder if I'm the only mom-to-be who looks at the screen and feels stumped about what's really inside her body, but that's what it feels like--just weird. I mean, I can see the pictures, even pictures with the baby moving, and I know that in theory the pictures are "streaming" directly from the wand that's pressing on my belly. But there's some kind of disconnect that makes me lay there and think "Is that thing really in my belly?" I bet it's kind of like cancer, when they show you an x-ray or MRI and you go home thinking "Is there really a big tumor in my brain, or has there been a mix up at the hospital?" If you can't see it, is it really there? Obviously I have lots of symptoms that point to me being pregnant, though because my placenta--or the baby's placenta, I guess--is in an anterior position (that means against the front the my abdomen where all the nerve endings are) I'm not able to feel the baby kick as early or as frequently as some other mamacitas. Here's to hoping that once I do start to feel kicks more frequently I'll really start to believe that there's a baby where my intestines used to be.

And with that I'm going to sign off. We're having two friends over for dinner tonight and I ought to cut up some watermelon for dessert. OK, for our pseudo-dessert, since we all know that watermelon isn't _really_ a dessert.

*Have you ever had something in or going on within your body that you had a hard time believing was real? (Or did I just lose my last reader?)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Busy Bee

Yah, that's me! Sorta. It was a pretty full weekend, though, excepting about twelve hours on Sunday when I did nothing except watch TV/movies and drive to Alfalfa's to get kale salad. On the way back from Alfalfa's I did remember how lucky I am to look at this as I drive home:

Another reminder that I'm lucky? These flowers, which David brought home for me last night.

To be honest and less cliche, I didn't really feel lucky per se when David brought these home. Actually, I told him beforehand that he should bring me flowers. He had asked if he could do anything nice for me and I chose flowers, though he reminded me that when we started dating I once told him _never_ to get me flowers because they're dumb and a waste of money. My my how my hormones things have changed. Now I'm just happy because they're pretty.

Less pretty was Haruki's weekend activities, which included a lot of digging in the dirt. David says he's always wanted a Dalmatian.

Can you see the spots on her legs and back?

Saturday night was an improvised date night, or, I should say, afternoon, since David preferred to see a matinee movie followed by dinner. We saw The Company You Keep. It was pretty good. Afterwards we hit up Native Foods for a quick dinner...ummm...buffet:

Lucky for me David is okay with sharing. Close up on those sweet potato fries:

They look really tasty, right? But for some reason I found them less than wonderful. Lucky for David, who snarfed them all. By the way, which kind of fry eater are you--one at a time, or a big clump at a time? I like to eat fries one by one to really savor that I'm eating fries and that they're really delicious. You know, so the fries hit all the fat/sugar/pleasure triggers in my brain.

*What did you do for Cinco de Mayo?

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Hummus Destroyer

Woo-hoo! It's Friday! And it's feels especially nice because hopefully spring and summer are finally here! Look--fresh strawberries!!!

Are you all eating like a pound of strawberries every day too?! No? Just me? Well I chalk it up to being knocked up. I just want to eat lots of fruit--all the time, and any kind. I don't think my parents _ever_ brought a kiwi into our house as a child, but now I'm hooked on at least one kiwi per day. This baby I'm schlepping about better be a freaking genius is all I can say...

On a related note, people keep asking me if I'm craving strange foods or strange combinations of foods. I can't speak for all pregnant women, but so far I can say that pregnancy cravings aren't much different from regular cravings. I mean, sometimes I want to eat something a lot, but I wouldn't say, for instance, that my husband had to drive fifty miles in a blizzard to get it. Instead, I just keep having these short rotations of cravings, e.g. for about a week straight I'll want to eat only x for breakfast. Lately I've been wanting to eat hummus, like a lot.

This was a new container of hummus just after I started lunch today:

And this is what it looked like once I was finished with lunch:

Uhhh...whoops? Guess it's better than a cream-filled donut, but let me just say that I barely stopped myself from finishing the whole thing. That's twelve servings, people!

We also got new bar stools in the mail (two days ago). After some prodding from David, without which I might've left those chairs in their boxes in the doorway until third trimester nesting struck, I opened them up and began the arduous task of, well, simply removing them from the box and setting them on the floor. Sometimes it's the dumbest tasks that seem so challenging before you do them, right? But, in my defense, I did think there might be assembly required, which, in case the English degree didn't clue you in, is not my strongest suit.

What do you guys think?

I plan to eat many pancake breakfasts from these guys...

*What have you eaten nearly twelve servings of at once? Also, are there any tasks or chores that aren't that difficult but which, for some reason, you have a hard time making yourself do? (In other words, make me feel better about my own gluttony and laziness, please.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Positive Thoughts

OK, so my bad on all the weather boo-hooing yesterday. I realized after I posted how tactless it was to make jokes about crashing in the snow. So it snowed again. Maybe that means that next winter, when I'm taking care of an infant, there will be fewer snow storms that keep me housebound. How's that for positive thinking? OK, semi-positive thinking.

I did take a few pictures yesterday, including of the Winter Wonderland.


And of my face as I tried to avoid the snow flakes while walking to get my hair cut.

Speaking of other positive news, I passed my drug screen for my job at the Humane Society! Whew! That really had me worried...haha. I asked the tech who took my pee sample and from the sound of it, being a drug user is pretty stressful. I would've had to use some pretty sophisticated measures in order to "beat" the drug test, and the whole time I was there I just kept thinking what a relief it was to know that I never had to worry that I might not pass. It was, however, kind of strange to take a drug test at all, seeing as how I'm a thirty-two year old pregnant lady.

But the best news of yesterday? I ran into these at the store yesterday:

Thank you, sweet Jesus, it's finally cherry season!!! These cherries are like a diet plan in themselves, since cherries in the summer prolly stop me from eating about sixty after dinner muffins between May and August. But don't tell David--they're not organic. He's a bit of a stickler when it comes to organic, though excepting the "dirty dozen" of pesticides and fruits/veggies I will occasionally buy non-organic fruits/veggies.

*What's your policy on organics? Will you only eat organic stuff, do you sometimes eat "conventional" produce, or are you all about the pesticides? :-)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


OK, not so much on the fresh starts and spring veggies around here:

This is from inside our house, looking up at the mini cliff behind the house.

Really?! I knew it was supposed to snow, but I was all, like, "Well, it is just getting to be May now, perhaps the forecasters are mistaken and it will all fall as rain." Eighty degrees on Monday and now I'm forced to drive to the gym in blowing snow on roads that are icy from it having rained before it snowed. Part of me hopes I crash and die because if it snows again after this I'm going to have to injure myself anyhow. Show of hands, by the way, how many of you are sick of hearing me complain about the snowy weather? Sorry.

On the plus side, I am getting my hair cut after my bootcamp class! Yes. I could really use a head rub right now. And someone putting fruity-smelling hair products on my head.

So! People! What should I do with this snow day? Sitting here and thinking about how much I complain about the snow makes me realize that most people would be glad for a snow day if it meant that they didn't have to go to work. I have the next week and a half to do whatever I want before starting my new job, so perhaps I should soak up the snow as a reason to do nothing and eat whatever I want? Hmmm? I could bake some bread. I could watch some movies. I could dress up Haruki in t-shirts that are too small for her...

*What are you doing today, and what would you do if it was a snow day and you were stuck inside for most of the day? (I should clarify that I'm not completely stuck inside, but because David needs to go down to town for meetings from 2-8 p.m. I either need to be back before then with his car, which is the better snow car, or I would have to go with him and basically camp out somewhere in town until he was ready to go home. Since I get tired more easily now the second option isn't really much of an option to me.)