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Saturday, August 31, 2013

He passed!

Congrats to Will on successfully passing the bar exam! 

. . . and another one bites the dust! 

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Edge of the Precipice

Linking up with Jen once again this Friday with 7 Quick Takes. We have lots going on in September. Let's get up to speed.

1. Well, the day has come. Today is my last day of work. This will be the first time in my life I am officially unemployed. Ever since I was fourteen, with the exception of one summer when I was fifteen and recovering from knee surgery, I have either been in school or working a summer job. Besides making for a lengthy security clearance questionnaire, I think it's shaped my personality. 

But this labor day, I will no longer be a laborer. How do we commemorate such an occasion? Well, Will is making me breakfast in the morning before work, work is throwing me a goodbye breakfast with all my coworkers, my coworkers are taking me out to lunch, and then it's happy hour for dinner. To summarize: we eatAnd I wonder how I've been gaining so much pregnancy weight. Just kidding. I know how. 

2. Why am I leaving my job with nothing lined up? Oh, it's just that little ditty about my husband starting his military career. If all goes according to plan, he will be receiving his bar results in the next couple of days, his MPRE results in the next couple of weeks, and promptly swearing in to the North Carolina bar. (Hello, road trip!) Once he swears in as a lawyer, he then swears in as an Air Force officer (or so we are told). Then it's either to JAG School in Alabama or to our first base assignment wherever. I know it's a lot of confusing information with a lot of swearing. Suffice it to say I repeat it a lot and will be repeating it again in the future. 

3. Yes, this blog will may finally begin to get interesting. <-- Don't want to make any guarantees. After all that swearing, we should receive our first base assignment. Our fingers are crossed for Tampa or D.C., but we're keeping things realistic by envisioning life in Wichita Falls, Texas, or rural Louisiana.

4. We will also be finding out Baby Brez's gender. I first mentioned not sharing the baby's gender but our lovely Miami friends have offered to throw us a gender reveal party, which we just could not turn down. One of the hostesses with the mostesses asked me if booze should be served at the party, to which I responded "Hellz yes !!!" via text message. Very mature. In a last-ditch effort to appear sophisticated enough to raise and educate progeny, I added that alcohol could come in handy should our ultrasound tech be unable to determine gender. I mean, green cake and balloons with no alcohol and a large group of twenty-somethings would just be awkward. It could easily be turned into a September St. Patrick's Day party. Just remember some O'Doul's for Yours Truly.

5. I thought I wouldn't be, but I'm ready to move. We've only been in our current apartment for a little over a year, but I'm looking forward to the change. I'm even looking forward to purging and packing our belongings. I am even hoping to move into a smaller place so that we keep our belongings to a minimum, all part of the nomadic lifestyle. But, with two dogs, a fenced-in back yard sounds pretty nice and I'm sure they are hard to come by with a small house.

6. I finally looked into requirements for traveling abroad with pets now that we are getting closer to our move. Someone had scared the bejeezus out of me by telling me that dogs had to be quarantined for three to four months before they could go to places like England or Japan. Well, that was a big fat lie. They will probably not have to be quarantined at all. But doggy passports? Those are real, folks.

7. Since I bogged your Friday morning down with all these words today (well, I did bless you with doggy passports - are you not entertained?), I will conclude with this adorable #flashbackfriday pic:

Ace's first night home. Daisy's expectations of his future behavior were more realistic than ours.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

14 Weeks

Good Morning and Happy Sunday! We're back for week 14 with a necessary change of scenery. Welcome to our office/guest room.

See that bump? That's mostly baby, with probably some French fries mixed in, too. I am definitely seeing some rounding out compared to last week. Wearing something without a waste band and striking the customary pregnancy pose is probably helping my case.

This week, the baby graduated from peach status and is now the size of a lemon. (I guess the GMO peaches I am used to seeing are not what those Bump folks had in mind? I always thought peaches were larger than lemons.) Also, I didn't want to throw anyone off and/or blow-dry my hair, so I'm rocking the same hairstyle as last week. 

Total Weight Gain: We are at around 7-8 pounds right now, meaning I haven't gained much since my appointment a week and a half ago. I read on another blog that your first trimester weight gain is more closely linked to the size of your newborn than any other trimester. I consulted Dr. Google and we found this study confirming. I was expecting it all along (Will and I were both big babies - close to 9 lbs) but now even more. And I am afraid, very afraid.

Cravings: Homemade kettle corn in my Whirley Pop! There is only a quarter cup of sugar in a whole huge batch. That's less than 200 calories of sugar, so I consider this a relatively healthy indulgence and partake in it accordingly. Will likes me for it, because I can't eat a whole batch by myself. YET.

I still crave sour gummy worms, but I haven't indulged. I did finish off a bag of salt 'n' vinegar kettle corn chips in three days (oops).

Aversions: None, really.

Exercise: Met my goal of three workouts this week. Two long walks with the dogs (one in 91 degree heat - why, Florida, why?) and a 3 mile jog. Lots of squats! I'm finding that I'd much rather walk 3 miles in an hour than run 3 miles in 30 minutes these days. I'm so sad to see my love of running disappear, but if I'm "listening to my body," it's telling me "I don't like this! You should stop and walk. It's not you, it's me." I feel like I have to pee the whole time and my hips get really achy.

Strange Observations:
  • Related to my exercise notes, I have lots of soreness and achiness in my abdomen and back. I thought that didn't come until the third tri! Lots of twinges, too. I think I'm experiencing round ligament pain. At least my ab muscles aren't as sore as they were before.
  • My nails are growing like crazy! I heard this happens during pregnancy. Can my hair follow suit now? Having serious haircut regret.
  • I now officially cannot kneel and sing at the same time at Mass. I will faint and it will be awkward for all involved! Okay, mostly me. I get so out of breath. It's like if my body isn't moving, my heart doesn't understand it needs to beat faster to keep me conscious. 
Other Highlights:
  • We got to meet my cousin's new baby on Friday! {Click the Instagram tab for a pic and a vid.} He is so adorable! It makes us even more excited to meet our lil' guy or gal. I don't even hold it against him that he immediately farted on me once he settled into my arms. Will thought it was me, which was Will asking for it I guess because Will ended up getting the worst of it when I passed little cousin Matthew over to him. 
  • That same cousin unloaded a huge amount of maternity clothes on me! ("I knowwww!") I held out as long as I could to wear maternity clothes, but WOW, was I missing out. I never ever want to wear real pants again. The ability to tuck in your shirt is entirely overrated. Many of the items were a little too tight on me, so I am shipping a big box of clothes to my sister in Arizona. 
  • Our nosy neighbor asked us on Friday as we were walking our dogs if we were having a baby. And so it begins. (If I could turn back time I would probably give her a crazy look so that her heart skipped a beat before excitedly telling her that yes, we are!)

Daisy joined in the photo shoot fun for some WIWS shenans. {Linking up with FLAP.}

Shirt - Old Navy, Maxi Skirt - Motherhood Maternity, Necklace - old J.Crew, Sandals - Marshalls, Dogs - Tri-County Humane Society. 

We attended the Saturday vigil Mass yesterday. (So, I'm actually 13 weeks, 6 days in the photos, forgive me, forgive me!) We discovered that a priest that sometimes visited our parish in Miami will now be regularly giving Mass as "Weekend Assistance" at our home parish where we live now (further north). He is a treat, and even taught law at a neighboring law school, so we are pretty excited about the new addition. FOR EXAMPLE, he compares Christianity to a long, rocky road that we are climbing to get to Heaven. Therefore, after Mass it's appropriate to eat what he calls a Rocky Road Sunday. It must be THREE scoops of vanilla Blue Bell ice cream (we are Trinitarians, after all), topped with hot fudge, powdered malt, warm cashews, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. In all his Masses we've attended, he has never once failed to mention Blue Bell ice cream. Monsignor Anderson also says there is no broccoli in heaven. We like him. 

High fives for ice cream!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shots from Saturday: Juno Beach

I mentioned previously how I drove Will up north to his last bar licensing test and met up with Daija, who I know from law school and work (though not for much longer! - mixed feelings here). We met in Juno Beach first for a huge, delicious "earlybird" breakfast. (Indeed, we were the only people under the age of 50 in the diner. Gotta love Florida.)

Daija recently purchased a dSLR in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Ireland (jealous times a thou'!!) and we went to walk off our huge breakfasts on the beach, cameras in hand. We'd planned on our excursion lasting the entirety of Will's two hour exam, but Mother Nature poopooed our plans by way of 8 million degree weather at 9 in the morning on the Florida coast with nary a breeze.
In all my infinite camera wisdom (oh, did I say infinite? I meant 6 months' experience) I showed Daija how to work her camera in aperture mode. Basically a life changer from those days in Auto. My shots from the day are below, and whenever Daija makes her blog public I will link to her photos as well. (Can I express my disdain for the private page enough??? DAIJAAA???)
^^^Rumor has it Tiger Woods' ex-wife bought a unit to the left for a beach pad.

^^^Not my footprint.

Not too many shots were taken in the heat of the Florida summer. We spent the rest of the morning watching nature shows in the sweet sweet air conditioning of Daija's condo.
Go figure.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Ethan's Third Birthday

Happy {Belated} Third Birthday to Will's godson, Ethan! 

Will's favorite birthday was his Jurassic Park themed birthday at the bowling alley. "I had a Jurassic Park cake and party stuff and I bowled a 300. Maybe, hehe!"- Will. I think Ethan's party gave Jurassic Park bowling alley party a run for its money. Will doubts it, but you can judge for yourself (totally unbiased and all) after seeing these snapshots from Ethan's party . . . . 

^^^Super hero theme.

I mean, there was a BOUNCE HOUSE. What kid doesn't dream of a party with a bounce house with all her friends, only taking breaks for cake and cookies?

^^^Even Will, child trapped in an adult's body, got in on the bounce house action. 

^^^Mad hops.

Nope, I sadly did not make it into the bounce house. I did, however, get bit by a vicious ant while I was snapping these pics. The bite still itches! I am expecting my superpowers to kick in any day now . . .  super ant strength, able to communicate with my mind, work nonstop and never sleep, etc. When it happens I probably won't share it on my blog in order to protect you. With great power comes great responsibility. (Oh, I killed this joke three sentences ago?) Taylor is not impressed:

Ethan seems okay with it, though. (He humors me.)

Next came gifts and singing happy birthday! We got Ethan The Action Bible. It was a super hero themed party after all. He is definitely too young to read the words, but it's never too early to introduce him to our favorite super hero of all, Jesus Christ.

^^^Big sister seemed very concerned about her little brother's ability to blow out the candles.
. . . He did just fine!

And was the cake yummy? I'll let the lil' guy himself answer that for you:


Happy Birthday!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

13 Weeks

Swallowing my pride for a super cheesy pregnancy update. Give the people what they want, ya know. (Everyone secretly loves cheesy pregnancy updates.)

Well, we are 13 weeks along today! Even though the experts say we have one more week in the first trimester, I feel solidly afoot in the second tri, in my own humble opinion. I haven't felt nauseous in a few weeks, I've seen an upswing in energy, and overall I feel 1,309,384 (estimated) times better than I did a month ago.

{My pregnancy weeks happen to line up on Sundays, and my thus my belly photos just so happen to contain What I Wore Sunday, so I'm linking up with FLAP. Blouse is Marshall's, jeans are Gap, black tank is Blanqi.}

Here is yours truly at four weeks for comparison:

"Smile for the camera building you're staring at!"

I could suck in still, and I was. I can still button my pants, I just very much prefer not to. I still have a few pairs of "fat pants" that fit comfortably. So, not a huge difference. I don't think you'd know I was pregnant unless I told you. You'd just think I was eating a lot of these:

When in Durham.

And these:

I talked myself into thinking this was "healthy" during the first tri.

And oh yeah, you'd be right.

Total Weight Gain: I've gained 7 pounds so far, mostly from eating what you see above, but I'm okay with it! In the first tri, all I wanted to eat was potatoes and pancakes and couldn't stand the sight of raw veggies. I'm getting over it, eating salads again (yay!) and exercising more now, so I'm hoping to staying close my midwife's recommendation of gaining about 10 pounds by 20 weeks. 

Cravings: Sour gummy worms. It's probably from playing too much candy crush.

Aversions: Potatoes. Must have ate them too often in the first trimester. (French fries don't count.)

Exercise: I mentioned in my last post that my midwife recommends heart rate elevation of above 140 for only twenty minutes. At our appointment Wednesday, I really pressed the issue and she basically said to do my own research on pregnancy and exercise and to do what I am comfortable with. Does it go without saying? That very night I went for a slow 30 minute jog. I stayed under 3 miles to make sure I wouldn't be too sore. I was surprised to feel fine the next day! So today was a 3+ mile jog, some planks, and my favorite Jillian arm workout ("Armed & Dangerous," rawr). I stay at about an 11:30 pace. Nice 'n' easy. Although, I told Will afterward, it did feel like a little leprechaun was dancing on my bladder the whole time. Leprechauns are so mischievous. I did stick to my goal of three workouts per week by taking a 40 minute walk with the dogs this week. Counting it. 

Strange Observations
  • I cannot kneel at church for more than a minute without feeling totally faint and having to do the ol' butt-on-the-pew-move, but I feel just fine jogging for 30-40 minutes. Strange, right?
  • The belly dance is at its last dying breath. If you know me in real life you know exactly what I'm talking about. Because I sent you a video. I'm weird.
Other Highlights
  • Hearing baby Brez's heart beat. It took a while to find, which prompted our midwife to tell us we have a "squirmy one" and it "must be a boy"! It was chugging along at 160bpm. Dad says, "That's a strong Nolan heart beat!" Okay. We will find out the sex in just one more month (but we probably won't be sharing).
  • Comparing belly shots with mah sis. Here is Shannon at 14 weeks!
She's the breast sis ever.
  • We shook on names! A boy was always going to be William. It's sort of a family tradition to name the first son after the dad. So yeah, my dad, brother, husband, and future son are Williams. It's also a family name on Will's side. His grandfather (the Mighty 8th Air Force pilot one) was William Hugh. So if it's a boy, he'll be William Hugh. Quite the no-brainer! Wilhelmina was a frontrunner for a girl's name (obviously, c'mon) but didn't quite make the cut. (We actually won't be sharing our girl name until her birthday. Sorry!)
  • A good law school friend shared her pregnancy news with me this week! Her due date is 3 days ahead of mine. God is good! (And hiiiii, if you're reading! Hope you are feeling great!)
  • Will finally finished all his bar licensing requirements. FREEEEDOMMM! He took the MPRE on Saturday and now we just wait for all the results. I was able to meet up with my law school friend/co-worker Daija (make your blog public!!!) who lives up north where Will took the test. We had breakfast and then hit the beach to play around with our cameras. I have another photography post on the way this week. Here's a sneak peek:

AT&T Girls says,

Stay tuned!

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Pregnancy & Exercise, or to Be Accurate, the Lack Thereof

First things first. Who googled "gargantuan belly pic week" to get to my blog? You better be a subscriber and super fan now because that is a hit to the old self-esteem. I'm only eleven weeks pregnant in the last photos of myself posted. While it certainly qualifies as "beer belly status" I think it's a far cry from "gargantuan" thankyouverymuch. 

Let's talk about exercise. Specifically, the overwhelming lack of exercise in my life that is a dark cloud over my fitness-minded conscience.

My workouts have been spotty since finding out we were pregnant. I was running maybe one day a week in the early weeks. Then I went to see our midwife for my 8 week ultrasound and she told me to (drumroll please):

Only keep my heart rate elevated above 140 for twenty minutes at a time.

Really? Well, that is basically a brisk walk for me. I'm big on heart rate monitors and I've seen my heart rate reach 192! So 140 is, literally, a cake walk. The excitement of cake + walking + chewing/swallowing at the same time must surpass 140. I'm sure walking my crazy dogs in the Florida summer heat elevates my heart rate above that for the duration of our twenty minute walk around the block. I mean, I must keep all muscles flexed to remain vigilant should they dash off after spotting a squirrel or lizard.
This one was a leaf blowing by. . . .  I know . . . . He's as crazy as he looks, folks.
(We have our 12 week appointment next week and I am going to inquire what "at a time" means, i.e., can I go 140+ for twenty minutes, take a ten minute break, and then go twenty more? Not that I want to work out an hour every day but it would be nice to do more on the rare occasion I have the energy.)
Last week, I ran two miles in my allotted twenty minutes and walked another mile through the in-laws' hilly neighborhood in North Carolina. It didn't feel like much at all at the time, but I was SORE! A couple days later I ran in Maryland (it was hot) and could only make it a mile. Okay, so it wasn't even a mile. This week's run was no more successful (although it did inspire my first pregnancy foot-rub c/o Will Brez).

Welcome to the world of NARP-dom. (NARP = Non-Athletic Regular Person c/o of high school jockdom. Shame on me, I know.)

I really hoped to continue running throughout this pregnancy because I was really happy with my pre-preg fitness level. I had already started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. And then . . . first trimester exhaustion. I did not realize the toll the first tri would take on my body! BUT! Because I am pretty much over the exhaustion at this point (only in bed by 8:30 one day a week rather than five, woot woot!), I am ready to give myself a routine and put some goals in place. No, I'm not talking training for a half marathon (those ladies are crazy and amazing and I will have to think of an acronym for them), just something to motivate myself to get off the couch in the evenings when I get home from work.
This post from Healthy Tipping Point gave me an idea of what to do for fitness goals. And it's to just do SOMETHING, ANYTHING a minimum of three days per week. What will qualify? Well, not cake walking (mmm) but certainly surpassing that 140 heart rate threshold for my alloted twenty minutes. Okay? Okay. Declared to the blogosphere for all eternity. (Or at least until I get embarrassed about this blog and decide to delete it forever. Either/or.)

Come September, I will probably increase this to four or five days, since I will no longer be working. (That's right, my last day of work in anticipation of our big Air Force move is August 30! It can't come soon enough---I am so over suit pants and skirts it could be the subject of an entirely different post.)

Happy cake walking!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shots from Sunday: Perch'd Outside on a Reel Nice Day

Do my puns impress you? What can I say? I'm hooked. (Will she stop? Never.) 
We went boating on Sunday afternoon to try and get Will to catch his first fish ever. Ask yourself: How does a Florida boy go 27 years without ever catching a fish? Will has lived within feet of the Atlantic Ocean for the vast majority of his life, yet never caught a fish. A conundrum for the masses. My fishing-obsessed step-father vowed to change all that. But here we are, six years later, without a fish to show for our efforts . . .
That is, until now.
(I got this foreshadow jam on lock.)

We went to a hot fishing spot at the mouth of the Rhode River in Maryland, known for its perch. We perch'd by this pier and tried to cast out by the rocks, where the fishes hang out. We were there for a couple hours and caught a whopping four fish.


^^^Somebody's got some nibbies!

(For the record, these are not my sunglasses. I am not a neon hipster teenager. I forgot sunglasses and had to borrow a pair from my 18-year-old sister, Trish, who had five pairs of sunglasses sitting on her dresser. She would only let me use "the cheap blue ones." Thanks, sis.)

^^^Our stoic captain.

^^^First catch of the day! And a keeper, had we been keeping.

^^^Still fishless but unfazed.

^^^My second catch! Please notice Will's jealousy evident in this photo (to your right).
Real mature.

^^^My mom took some creative license with some artsy cloud shots.
She should quit her day job.

Fortunately, Will did catch his first fish! Sadly, there is no photographic evidence. It will have to be one of those stories where the size of the fish goes from this:

To this:
To this:
("It was a whale!")

And, for the past two hours, every time I glance over at Will's laptop, he is doing one of two things: (1) fantasy baseball, or (2) checking out fishing gear online. We have a new angler on our hands.

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