Reasons to get out of bed…

Archive for April, 2013

Baby Shower Tips – Time Frame

I just had my baby shower this past weekend (I had a great time! I promise to post all about it) – but I also had to do a lot of the planning. I’ve planned baby showers for some of my friends, but it was interesting to see it from both sides. I learned a lot of lessons and I thought I would share those with the internet in case anyone out there is looking for some tips.

Why did I do a lot of the planning for my own baby shower? Well, because my friend and my mother wanted to hold the shower a week or two before my due date and that stressed me out! So I jumped up and started arranging things myself.

After finding out it was slated to be so late, I immediately sat down with my mother, created some invitations, and we picked the closest possible date that would allow the invitations to arrive, be addressed, mailed out, and then give people a little time to consider their schedules. Had anyone asked me ahead of time, I would have requested the baby shower be held a month earlier (I’m due at the end of May, the shower was at the end of April, and I would have preferred the shower in March).

The first thing I learned is that some people think of a due date similarly to a wedding date – the shower just has to be before that date. But due dates for babies aren’t really the same at all because babies can come whenever they feel like it.

The “due date” is really just the date of the 40th week. An average, healthy baby will typically arrive anytime between the 38th week and the 42nd week. Also, as informed by my doctor, if a baby reaches 34 weeks of gestation and decides it’s time, the medical staff isn’t going to stop labor. If the baby wants to show up at week 34, it’s showing up at week 34!

The baby shower was on my 35th week so I was having all sorts of stress dreams that the baby would show up before the shower (or in some of the dreams, AT the shower) and I would be completely unprepared.

My friend wanted the party so late because “everyone wants to see you as big as possible.” I get the reasoning, I do. However, the bigger the pregnant lady, the more uncomfortable she is and the easier she gets tired.

There is also an entire list of things that the pregnant lady will have to do after the party. I imagine all of these things are easier to do pregnant than with a baby:

  • Write thank you cards to everyone
  • Figure out where all of these lovely gifts will live (aka set up the nursery)
  • Wash the baby clothes
  • Assemble anything that needs assembling (cribs, swings, pack and plays, etc) – yes, this might be done by the father or any other handy friends and/or family, but they still need some time
  • Assess the gifts: are there any duplicates that she needs to return? Did she receive a lot of “nice to have” items but none of the “need to have” items? (For example, you can’t take a baby home from the hospital without a car seat…) Were the majority of her gifts gift cards that she’ll need to go spend on the “need to have” items? (Wandering around a store while your core muscles are carrying around something as big as a large piece of fruit can be exhausting)

So for those reasons and others, I would recommend having the baby shower at least 2 months before the due date.

Good luck and happy planning!

My Story About Living in the Boston Area Last Friday

I originally wasn’t going to write this, because it’s sooooo dull! But then I was thinking about all of the people who read this blog regularly enough that it feels like we’re friends (the 2 of you?) and you might live far enough away that you haven’t heard a ton of these stories from all of your friends/family/neighbors like I have.

This really all started because Jill and sent me an e-mail last Friday (when the city of Boston was on lockdown for the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – aka the second Boston Marathon bomber). Jill so sweet that she was checking in to make sure I was alright! I was fine. But it really made me think about how we worry about people we’ve never actually met because they feel like real friends! If this happened in Pittsburgh, I would have been worrying about Jill.

So if anyone has been curious about my “harrowing ordeal” here it is:

Timeline of my day on Friday:

6:05 am – My wonderful boyfriend woke me up to let me know that the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority – aka our public transportation) was shut down for the day. He wanted my opinion on if I thought he should drive to work (because he normally takes a train into Boston). I’m not a morning person and my response was a groggy mess.

6:15 – T gets an e-mail from his office letting him know that the city is locked down and his office was closed for the day. He then mentioned to me that since he works in (an area of the city aptly named) “Government Center” – his sidewalks have been flooded with Homeland Security and FBI employees with weapons literally hanging off of them all week. I’m glad he didn’t tell me that sooner… (By 7: 05, my boss had sent me a text telling me to work from home even though our office is in the suburbs, she didn’t think it was work commuting on that kind of day).

6:20 am – T reads the news story about the first shoot out in Watertown that mortally injured the older brother.

We are both so grateful for the timing of our move! We moved way out to the suburbs on April 1st! Our rental was one block from Watertown. Whenever I used to talk about my favorite running path (that I walked a block to), that was in Watertown!

To be honest, I felt completely safe the entire time – because we were so far away (at least… 30 minutes feels far away).

I did spend a lot of the day reading my friend Stacy’s Facebook feed though. It turns out that she lives 5 houses away from where the second kid was found hiding in that boat. Stacy had SWAT teams in and constantly outside of her house starting at 2 am on Friday morning. She also said that she felt safe the entire time and the only major bummer was that she couldn’t order pizza delivery! That’s Stacy’s sense of humor for you!

Maybe we wouldn’t have felt as safe if this had gone on for an insane amount of time or if they had never found the culprits. But less than a week of craziness really wasn’t that unbearable.

Things that have driven me a little crazy though:

I hate hearing the news describe Watertown as “a sleepy little hamlet,” “a peaceful, out of the way suburb,” etc. Don’t get me wrong, Watertown is awesome and I recommend it to anyone as a sweet place to live. But a hamlet, really? Watertown is by no means “back woods!” It literally borders Boston! Here is the description of Watertown from the town’s website:

Watertown population

Sure, it’s no Brooklyn, but it’s also not a cow town for goodness sakes!

Also, I hate that politicians feel free to make comments like this:

Politician Tweet

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, to be fair. However, I imagine most of the people inside the “perimeter” were happy to have SWAT teams!!! And as a civilian, I’m glad other civilians didn’t have massive assault weapons – I would have been worried about the safety of the SWAT men and women! But that’s just me. I’m not trying to start a political debate. I just wish others wouldn’t say something so callous while our city felt a little under attack… just saying…

I have loved all of the outpouring of wonderful from all over the country. Runners holding races to honor the marathon victims. Any sports team or media outlet that said everyone was a Boston sports fan that week. Anyone with a sign saying “Boston Strong,” “We are Boston,” or anything else the felt like love towards the people of Boston. Thank you all! It was so appreciated!

Also, I find things like this enjoyable:

And I think that includes all of the federal agents who helped as well!


So thank you for your concern! We’re doing well here in Massachusetts and invite you to visit! We’re safe! And despite the rumors, we’re actually kind of friendly… 🙂

Crazy Wishes

Since I’ve already shared some of my less popular feelings about babies, I thought I would tell you about all of my silly hopes for this baby.

I assume that every parent hopes their baby is healthy, happy, is completely baked, and has all of their anatomy built correctly. I’m sure at least most parents hope their child is some combination of  smart, funny, nice, driven, sympathetic, compassionate, witty, humane, etc. And of course I hope for all of those things, too. But here are some of my sillier hopes, and I hope you get a kick out of my nutty list:

I hope that Booger gets either my dark hair or my wonderful boyfriend’s predominant freckles. T and I are both PALE people (T literally glows blue in the sunlight and I have NEVER had a tan in my entire life). If Booger gets my weak freckles and T’s light brown hair, I’m not sure we’ll ever see this transparent child.  

This is an old picture from when I tried to rock a pixie cut like a decade ago (I failed). But look at the glow on that skin! There's no filter used... that's just what I look like in the sunlight...

This is an old picture from when I tried to rock a pixie cut like a decade ago (I failed). But look at the glow on that skin! There’s no filter used… that’s just what I look like in the sunlight…

I hope Booger gets my eyesight and T’s perfect teeth. I don’t wear glasses or contacts (T does) and the dentist practically sings love songs to T’s teeth whenever he’s in there for a cleaning.

I hope Booger gets T’s musical and sports abilities. T can play 5 instruments and I’ve taken lessons for 4 instruments but can’t play any of them. I have zero rhythm! T used to play songs for me on the guitar and even if it was my favorite song I wouldn’t know it unless he sang the words (seriously – I’m musically stupid. I’m mostly ok with it). And when it comes to sports, I can pretty much only catch a ball with my face! My wonderful boyfriend, on the other hand, played sports from 5th grade through the end of high school and was actually good!

I hope Booger can draw like T as well. When we were in college (and had absolutely no money), T used to draw flowers for me and they were so lovely I still have them. He’s an architect… I think an ability to draw might be a prerequisite.

I hope Booger is a deep sleeper like I am instead of a crazy light sleeper like T.

This is me and my sweet boy cat. I'm not actually sleeping since the light is on (and I'm propped up on an additional pillow) but T thought it would make for a better picture... but I do often sleep with the cat like that - he puts himself there and I just enjoy it

This is me and my sweet boy cat. I’m not actually sleeping since the light is on (and I’m propped up on an additional pillow) but T thought it would make for a better picture… but I do often sleep with the cat like that – he puts himself there and I just enjoy it

I hope Booger likes to cook, because I sure as heck don’t!

I hope Booger has a love of animals. I’m pretty sure that’s a learned trait though… so I think we’ll be ok.

I hope Booger is willing to try new things from foods to adventures like T and I are.

Of course I will love my child completely even if he/she doesn’t get a single one of these traits… although I’m really hoping for the dark hair or dark freckles… otherwise he/she might just be too transparent to find!

Do you have any silly wishes for your kids (real or hypothetical)? Any traits of yours or your partner’s that you’d want passed along?

I’m Not That Lady – Baby Crazy

Disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with being “that lady.” In fact, I think in all of the situations where I think about “that lady,” “she” is the standard and I’m the odd duck. And feeling like an odd duck, I thought I would take to the blogging world to hopefully find other odd ducks with me. I’m not trying to bash “that lady,” I think the world wants me to be “that lady” and I’m just not good at it. If you are that lady, rock out and go you! Read the others in this series: Counting in Weeks and Passionate About Birth Plans

When I first started telling everyone that I was pregnant, many people had the same reaction: “Are you super excited for a baby?!”

Well actually… no…

Don’t get me wrong! I’m super excited for a child, I’m just not super excited for a baby. (Although everyone always jumps to tell me that I’ll love my own… yes, I’m sure that’s true. I’m pretty sure nature designs it that way.)

To me, new babies sleep and eat and poo and are still working on brain development so they aren’t super exciting (plus, whenever I hold other people’s babies, they always start wailing!). I’m not one of those ladies that simply lives to smell a baby’s head. I saw a National Geographic documentary on Netflix that described a baby that is less than 3 months old as still a fetus – because they are still so dependant on someone. It makes complete sense to me. And I’m not faulting babies for that – he/she is busy building a big brain! I’m just not most enthusiastic about that stage of care-taking.

Babies seem like a lot of work to me (rightfully so!). In fact, the only reason I thought I could take on that daunting task was because of an interaction I had with my cat one day. When my sweet little girl cat was about 8 months old (not really a full-sized cat, but she had grown out of the baby phase), she fell asleep in my arms on her back. Her little face was close to mine and I literally watched her breathe for 15 full minutes, she was enchanting. I figured if I could get that much pleasure out of watching my cat, surely I could muster up the same or more for my own kid.

But I’m SUPER excited about having a little person. I’m really looking forward to bad knock-knock jokes and stories about how their day went at school, and watching all of the learning that takes place from learning to walk to tying their shoes to driving. That all seems amazing to me!

One night, I literally stressed out about “how old do they have to be before I can teach them about satire?!”

This thought was brought on this book:

Seriously, if you’ve never read it, you should. It’s terrific in all the wrong ways. Here’s an example of the back cover, but the whole book is so entertaining:

ABZ back cover

So I’m probably a terrible person for admitting it. I’m not one of those ladies who is most looking forward to the first few months of my child’s life (although I absolutely plan to be committed to that time frame and I’m sure I will love him/her). But I am 100% looking forward to every year after that!

(However, during the last ultrasound, we got to see Booger‘s little lips in action – and at first I thought they were making a little kissy face, but then the tongue started doing its thing and it looked more like he/she was trying to lick something off his/her bottom lip – I pictured it as a practice run for apple sauce. I’m sure it was more of a practice run for nursing… but my mind went to apple sauce first… And that was pretty neat! Of course I was flooded with love, just as I fully expect to be once I get to meet him/her – but doesn’t the potty-trained stage of a person’s life seem so much more enchanting?!)

Body Image – Part 4

I’ve finally hit the point where I feel huge. I feel like I waddle everywhere. In my last preggo update I was about to be tested for gestational diabetes. I passed! I don’t have it! Yay! When I got the results, my wonderful boyfriend and I celebrated with a cookie… seems reasonable, no?

My latest physical obsession: My ankles. Or rather, my cankles. This process started slowly… I would come home from work at the end of the day and I felt like I had muffin tops over my socks.

picture this… but as my calves over my socks

And it was weird… but that phase has long passed. After the muffin top ankles, I lost my ankle bones on the inside. Then I lost the ankle bones on the outside. I miss seeing those bones. I hope they come back someday. Now I have puffy ankles… and puffy feet (seriously, I think my feet are an inch taller on the top!) and puffy little toes. This little piggy isn’t going to the market or going wee, wee, wee. It’s staying home, elevated, on the couch! I’ve grown out of all but one pair of shoes. Luckily T’s 11-year-old niece has bigger feet than I do, so I was gifted a pair of shoes that she grew out of. Yay!

How I feel physically: Generally, I’m feeling good, but tired. Because of the move (and my regular yoga class was cancelled), I’ve missed about a month of yoga classes and I can feel it! I’m starting to get all of those lame aches and pains associated with pregnancy, but nothing major so I’m not complaining!

My current bit of crazy worry: We started our childbirth classes last Sunday. We were 20 minutes late and forgot to bring the recommended pillows and yoga mat, but remembered snacks… sigh, I’m sure this hints towards some “awesome” parenting skills… We missed the introductions so we don’t know when the 7 other couples are due, but I feel like I have the smallest belly in the room (T agrees). I worry a lot about my pregnancy weight. I feel enormous, but everyone says I look small. My doctor said that by my due date, I should gain 25-35 pounds. I have a month left to go and I’ve already gained 32 pounds (I’m pretty sure 10 of those pounds are in my ankles and feet alone though). It’s rough to feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to and still not be doing it right.

On a related note, they’ve started to “weigh” Booger. On the bell curve of baby weight, Booger is around the 30%. The doctor is ok with this (they only worry at 10%), but it made me really nervous. Do I need more vitamins? What aren’t I doing that I should be doing? A minor spiral of crazy happened. And then I thought about it a little more rationally. As a child, I was always below average for weight. No eating disorders, I just have tiny little bones (like my parents). As a fun example, I learned once that the average female ring size is a 7, most jewelers don’t carry a ring below a size 5 and I wear a 3 1/2. Yeah… little bones! So I shouldn’t be too surprised that a child I would create would be small as well.

My current bit of additional crazy happy thought: I still have an “innie” belly button! It’s super shallow but it’s not an outie!

Booger’s Movement: Still super active (which actually does make the doctor really happy – she’s says it’s a better indicator than weight, so I should stop my worrying). We’ve started to be able to see Booger move (without the ultrasound)! Such a trip! Booger also gets the hiccups a lot (websites say it doesn’t bother Booger, but I hate when I get the hiccups, so I can’t image that he/she likes them!) As of last week, I can now watch Booger’s hiccups (my belly bounces) – so odd!

Food: No odd food cravings as of yet. Everyone asks, but nope – I’m still loving everything I’ve always normally loved and I’m happy with variety. I will admit that I have eaten pickles and ice cream… but I’ve been doing that since I was 7, so I don’t think it counts!

Pictures: I’m super behind on these. I was trying to do every odd week, but with fixing up the new house and then the move, I missed a week… so now it’s random weeks whenever I happen to remember…

I tucked in the shirt a little to better highlight the belly

I tucked in the shirt a little to better highlight the belly

After some home renovations, hence the crazy hair (I literally cropped a mountain of tools out of this picture). Also it's a sneak peak to the new paint job in our kitchen!

After some home renovations, hence the crazy hair (I literally cropped a mountain of tools out of this picture). Also it’s a sneak peak to the new paint job in our kitchen!

And for a little comparison:

Only a 3 week difference, but I feel like the belly got so much bigger! Plus, both pictures feature the "I'm not really awake yet" face!

Only a 3 week difference, but I feel like the belly got so much bigger! Plus, both pictures feature the “I’m not really awake yet” face!

The Aftermath of Monday

There is a lot of tragedy going on around here right now… If you’re not a regular reader (or even if you are… maybe I don’t mention it, I don’t know), I live and blog from right outside of Boston. The rental house that I just moved out of was 3 miles from the Boston City Line. I could have run there… except that there was a 1/2 mile that simply stank between me and the official line and the running path is UGLY over there… so I usually ran in the other direction. My new house is a bit farther away. I could try to prove to you how often I’ve been near that finish line, but it seems ridiculous to me.

Everyone I know is safe and sound. I know people who were spectators and I know people who were running (everyone is ok!). And I could share their stories with you, but it makes me sad and I don’t want to spread the sadness. I have to admit that I stopped watching the news coverage pretty early on. I saw one of the initial images of the sidewalks of Boylston St covered in blood and I was done. There are images during tragedies like this that you simply can never get rid of. Take, for example, the images of people jumping out of the Towers on 9/11. If you know what I’m talking about, it’s because you will also carry that horror with you forever. I don’t want any additional images like that. I don’t want to see the carnage – I know it’s there and that’s hard enough for me. The tagline of my blog is “reasons to get out of bed” and I can assure you if I glued myself to news, I’d never get out of bed due to the crippling depression, despair, and hopelessness.

So I’ll focus on the better things here. There are so many people who ran TOWARDS the victims to offer help. These people started the day as ordinary people and ended the day as heroes, at least in my book. There are people who completed the marathon and then ran over a mile to Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood for the victims. These are the stories I think we need to share.

Here are other rays of sunshine if you’re needing them:

Tha Atlantic Wire’s Stories of Kindness After the Bombing

The intro to the Colbert Report from 4/16/13

Patton Oswalt’s Facebook post about humanity

Boston-based author Dennis Lehane (Gone, Baby, Gone and Shutter Island among others) in the New York Times about Messing with the Wrong City.

Buzzfeeed’s 29 Reasons to Love Boston (number 28 is my personal favorite)

This Facebook post from a friend of mine:

Chrissy's Post

These images:

Batman Tweet2


And because, let’s be real, a Bostonian has to include at least a little attitude:

Pissed off runners

Good luck brightening your spirits and continuing forward during this tragedy.

I will be returning with my silly “slice of life” posts because that’s how I deal – by moving forward.

Marathon Monday…

I was originally going to post something today about how this is the first year in almost 5 years since I’ve lived almost on the Boston Marathon route… it seems ridiculous now.

If you haven’t heard, please check out the news from the Boston Marathon:

2 explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon around 4 hours and 9 minutes into the race. As of this minute, the Boston Police Department are reporting that 2 people have died and 28 are injured. Obviously that toll will continue to climb as the chaos is sorted.

Obviously, this is tragic. I’m saddened both for Bostonians and for the running community. My heart goes out to anyone who was in the area and was affected and their families. Additionally, my heart goes out to all of those people who had trained hard to make a dream come true and don’t get to finish after hours of running.

The few people I know to check on at the moment are safe.

My love and prayers to anyone (and their families) in that area!

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