Monday, February 25, 2008

I went out!

That's right, I went out. To a sort-of bar. Ben played a show this evening at a local Tea Bar (thankfully non-smoking) and I mustered up the energy to go. I didn't realize until I saw all of our "bar friends" that it has been a really long time (6.5 months) since I have been to any bar. I guess I didn't miss it that much (since I didn't really notice) but it was weird and a little sad to be there and to know that it will never be the same again. Awww, drinking and waking up with a hangover- I kinda miss you. :)

It was fun to hear some live music. Ben has a friend that plays violin on some of the pieces and it really sounds beautiful. I realized that I love the inherent sadness of the violin. All the more sad set against Ben's lyrics, I guess. I don't know why, but sad, sappy music is my favorite. I love the emotion of it, maybe? I'm feeling very JLWS saying I love sad stuff. :) I love you JLWS.

Everyone was happy to see me tonight and asking about the baby. I always love having people excited about him. It is a lot of fun. I got a laugh out of hearing a friend of a friend say, "you must be the pregnant friend!" It's nice to know I am still remembered even though I can't hang out! :)

Today was a good day off. I went to the doctor this morning and had a check up. Everything looks good and Cooper's heartbeat sounds great. I still look forward to and love hearing his little heart beat. It always makes me think about how important that little organ is and how it will not stop beating until he's old and gray. It is just amazing. My belly was measured for the first time today. Supposedly, the belly (from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus) measures in centimeters the number of weeks you are pregnant. I'm 26 weeks and my belly measured 25cm. Pretty neat math in nature, huh? I now will see the doctor every 2 weeks (as opposed to every 4) and I have to take the blood-glucose test next time to see if I am gestational diabetes-free. Hopefully I am!

I spent a little time today looking for an outfit for the baby to wear when he comes home from the hospital. I like this one and this one plus orange hat so far. Zutano has some really cute sets that are made just for their little newbie bodies. So precious! I can picture his royal cuteness in one of those little sleepers now...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life Update

It's been raining all day here. And I mean ALL day. Which has been great for the extremely dry state of Georgia. I am really hoping for more rain this year- mostly for my poor parents who own a lawnmower retail store and repair shop. Last year was a major bust and it has been a long, hard year for them. I don't think I have ever seen them so stressed as they are right now. Crossing my fingers for an early, wet spring for them.

Work has been particularly slow since I got back from vacation. It has been kinda depressing. I just keep thinking about when Cooper gets here and how I will NOT want to sit at work all day with nothing to do when he is here at home. Even when I have no clients I am required to stay at the salon all day. Grrr. It is frustrating that the salon doesn't seem to be getting much busier 2 years into the process. I keep thinking it will get better. Maybe it will...

My friend and ultimate baby-having helper,Kelly, helped me this past weekend to finish up my baby registry. What a relief! Thank you, Kelly! I knew I was spending a lot of time obsessing over the perfect items for Cooper but I had no idea how much it was weighing on my mind. Pretty much every night before bed I would spend 2 or 3 hours reading reviews of products online and hesitating waaaay to long before adding to my registry. I finally topped off the whole review process by devouring a 500 page book in 3 days called "Baby Bargains". Very helpful book BTW but, oh my goodness could I obsess any more? Needless to say, once the registry was done, I felt a tremendous sense of relief and accomplishment. I guess I am just weird like that. I needed to have that giant check mark to relax a little bit. The other thing I did this week was decide on a stroller. Yet another baby item I had *really* researched way too much. I get to see it in person tomorrow when I get to Fayette Mower and I am really excited! A reason to get to work on time for once. :)

I can't believe how much my belly is growing every week. It is completely ridiculous. And I still have 15 weeks to go! Time does seem as though it is passing a lot faster now, though. This week is my last in the second trimester. It seems unreal. I am still feeling pretty good, though I am not sleeping well at all. I think I woke up every 1.5 hours last night from 10pm until 9am this morning. Jeez. I know, I know, it is nature's way of preparing me for waking up with the baby. But, hey, I think I could use a few nights of uninterrupted sleep BEFORE he gets here, right?

Thought I'd end with a few pics of my sweet niece, Eva. Seth and Emily are lucky to have this little cutie. Here she is at my salon wearing a color apron I tied up for her.

Bryan and Eva at the bowling alley. She loved it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wrapping up the Last Hurrah

Well, it is Saturday night- the last evening of our vacation before this little turkey is born. We have had an amazing time and really have gotten to relax. I think this is the most active we have ever been on a beach vacation, though. Besides all of our water-sporting, we must have walked 50 miles or more this week around the island. Goodness! We have walked EVERYWHERE!

We ended up getting detoured a little bit for the Dry Tortugas day trip. There are 2 companies here that make the trip out there every day and the one we picked ($50 cheaper) happened to blow an engine about 30 minutes into the trip Wednesday morning. Luckily the boat had one engine left that was able to get us back to "the Bight". We had to go on the more expensive boat the next day. But, we did get a free sunset sail trip that night for our trouble- so that was pretty awesome. We enjoyed watching the infamous Key West sunset from a boat perspective and Bryan got to drink free booze! Yay! And I got to drink free gingerale!

Here's my belly compared to the sun setting on the horizon- it's huge!

The Dry Tortugas trip was interesting. The main island has a huge fort built upon it. It is the largest manmade brick structure in the western hemisphere. The impressive thing is that it was all constructed by hand and that there is absolutely NO fresh water anywhere on the islands. It sounded like a pretty miserable experience in paradise(?). For a little history lesson and to see the islands click here. We enjoyed the boat ride-2 hours each way-and the snorkeling around the island. It was pretty interesting being in such a remote area and knowing that civilization was so far away. There was really NOTHING on the island other than the fort. The snorkeling was good but we both had expected more fish. I didn't have the stamina to snorkel out way far into the ocean so I think we missed a little bit because of that. But, overall the adventure of it was just fun. I've realized that I am a pretty adventurous girl for being 6 months pregnant!

On to the food: After eating a few so-so meals, we decided to start following the recommendations of our innkeepers. They have compiled a short list of places that are off the beaten path of Duval Street (the main road in Old Town Key West). The first place we tried,Ricky's Blue Heaven, was an instant hit with me. I was sold the second we sat down and I saw baby chickens and their mommas running around the outdoor area where we were seated. So cute! The atmosphere was quirky and fun and the food turned out to be amazing. I had a Key West Pink Shrimp melt made on their homemade bread. It was really, really good! Since I can't imbibe these days, the food has gotta be good. We got to try out a few other spots on the list over the next few days and all turned out to be spot on. Bryan had a Key Lime Pie Martini last night that was so good we wrote down all of the ingredients to try to recreate it at home. That was at a place called Camille's. Can't wait to drink one post-baby!

This morning we ventured out for our final water sport- kayaking. We went on an eco-tour through a mangrove and on the open ocean with a small group and guide. It was pretty neat. Bryan did most of the paddling (thanks, babe!) so I felt like a little princess in the front of the kayak. We got to see all kinds of ocean creatures and even hold them. I didn't squeal once. Not even when I held a sea cucumber or a sea urchin. The mangroves were beautiful. They have little "rivers" that run through them where you can kayak and see all of the little animals that are living in there.

Well, I am getting sleepy so I'll have to finish this later. Here's some coconut ice cream in a coconut for your midnight-snack viewing pleasure. It was tasty in case you were curious! It is only one of nine hundred desserts I've eaten on this vacation. Most of the others were Key Lime Pie. Night-night!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Marathon and Key West

***I fixed it- here are the photos I promised! My fault of course...***

Hello from Key West, Florida! Bryan and I are just relaxing in our B&B watching a little TV. I thought I'd post a little something about our trip so far. We are having a really good time and relaxing a bunch. No agendas, no rushing anywhere, and most of all no work!

We flew into Miami on Sunday morning and rented a car for our adventure down to the Keys. Since this is our last little vacation for just the two of us we decided it would be best if we rented a red convertible Mustang. UPGRADE! We were laughing at our own frivolousness for at least the first 30 minutes of our ride out of Miami. But, we really have enjoyed it and it has made the sight-seeing and the sunshine most enjoyable on the way down.

The first beach we visited was on Bahia Honda Key. It is about 45 minutes north of Key West and about 10 minutes from Marathon Key where we spent our first 2 nights. We stayed in a cute little cottage at a place called Tropical Cottages. It had a very vintage feel and was owned by an incredibly sweet couple who treated us like family while we were there. Bryan would like me to mention that he heard a monster outside of our cottage the second night we were there. :) Something was shuffling on 2 feet in the leaves and had a cackle like no other animal he has ever heard. He was quite disturbed- luckily I was sound asleep because this would have not gone over well with me, either. Otherwise, Marathon was a pretty sleepy town with not a lot of action- especially compared to Key West. We saw a lot of bad hair-do's and bad tattoos while we were there! :) We got a real feel for the locals when we ate breakfast the first morning at a place called The Stuffed Pig. We had A LOT of pork products that morning. Too bad we didn't have the camera with us...

Here's Bryan digging us a sand chair at Bahia Honda Beach. It was very beautiful and natural. Not your average combed beach but beautiful in its own right.

Bryan and I saw a lot of Portuguese Man O Wars washed up on the beach. At first, we had no idea what the heck these things were. Neither of us had ever seen one before this trip. We had to google it to be sure of our conclusion. Here's me holding one like a dumb-dumb.

Yesterday we packed up our things and headed the rest of the way down to Key West. The drive was beautiful all the way down. Nothing quite gives me a happy, peaceful feeling like the tranquil blue waters of the ocean. Ahhhh. We are staying at a beautiful, friendly B&B in the heart of Key West called The Tropical Inn. Our room is comfortable and peaceful. When we woke up this morning (to no alarm, might I add) all I kept thinking about was how peaceful the room looked in the morning light. The yellow curtains give the room a really nice soft glow. It's nice. And breakfast is 5 paces out the bedroom door- served poolside. I hate to brag, people, but we are really enjoying ourselves.

We spent the day exploring a few touristy sights and then laying on the beach. Here's me petting a polydactyl cat on Hemingway's bed and then Bryan and I at the Southernmost point in the continental United States.

More to come in the next few days. We will be here until Sunday! Tomorrow we are taking a day trip out to the Dry Tortugas- an island 70 miles west of Key West that is a beautiful National Park where we will be snorkeling.