My Sister’s Weekend

My sister, Laura, is getting married in May! She asked me to be the maid (ugh, I guess it’s actually matron) of honor, and of course I happily accepted! 

With my sister’s input, I planned a fun-filled bachelorette party day. It was go-go-go from the late morning, and it was so much fun!

We started out enjoying a delicious brunch at Graze for whoever was in town already. Laura had never been, and I knew she (and everyone else) would love it. We had some drinks (a “magic” coffee for me), shared beignets, and filled our bellies. Two of us had the eggs Benedict (including me) and two had the breakfast sandwich.  Me, my mom, Laura, and Laura’s friend Lauren

Back at my house, we met up with more of Laura’s friends, piled into two cars, and drove to Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona.

We didn’t make the 1pm your like I had planned, but no one seemed to mind. Everyone drank their beers and chatted. We went on the 2pm tour, which was fun. I can’t say I learned anything new, but it was neat to see their relatively new facilities.  Watching the informational video on the tour  

So much beer!

The weather wasn’t the warmest, but we sat outside for a few minutes and talked about what a great spot it’d be to come in the summer.   

Our group – big sign, little people

Next up was a visit to Capital Brewery. I knew the chances of us getting in on the 4pm tour were slim, and sure enough, it was full. Laura didn’t mind though, and the ladies all had a beer in the bar area. I had to drive back with a friend of Laura’s who forgot her card at Wisconsin Brewing Company. We’ve all been there, right? 

After a quick pit stop at home to freshen up and pick up more friends, we made it downtown for dinner at Paisan’s. They don’t take reservations, but as I was hoping, the party room was available for our party of 14 to be seated. Score!

It was a nice dinner, and everyone got a chance to talk about how they know Laura. Laura’s always been such a social person, and it was awesome to have her friends from different stages and parts of her life come together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. 

Next up was the “craft” portion of the day. For Christmas, I ordered a reclaimed board from The Crafty Project for Brody. I love it in our entryway! While in contact with the owner, Jenny, around the holidays, she mentioned she was going to start hosting craft parties for people to make their own boards. Laura agreed this would be something fun and different (seems like almost everyone has done a Paint Nite already). 

It was held in the Juneberry Market and Studio in Madison, and Jenny does such a lovely job setting up for the event.   Ribbons, fresh flowers, and candles – adorable!

Jenny led the group through the various steps and worked with us individually when needed.

  The bride (wearing a crown Jenny made for her!!!) with two of her bridesmaids

Two of Laura’s friends and Jenny working diligently   Concentrating and maybe thinking how awesome this will look in the baby’s nursery!

We needed up being there for three hours, and everyone was very happy with their boards. Thanks again to Jenny with The Crafty Project!  

Like I said, a fun day! But boy, was I exhausted! And I don’t think it was just because I’m pregnant. 

Sunday was the bridal shower, and my mom helped me a lot with this. For food we had a taco bar with shredded chicken, beef, and all the fixings. For desserts we had brownies, cupcakes, cheesecake bites, and salted brown butter Rice Krispie treats (that I had made for the night before).  Sorry Kailee – I caught you mid-bite.  

Kitchen islands are the best for hosting. 

After lunch, we played a couple games, ate dessert, and watched Laura open gifts.  Sisters 😄

We made Laura put a piece of gum in her mouth with every wrong answer to the Fiancé Quiz game.

I was happy to plan a weekend all about my sister, and I hope she had a great time!

High School Friends Reunion

When I left for college, I remember being told my life-long friends would be college friends, not those from high school. They were so wrong.

No matter how much time goes by, when I see my friends from high school, it’s like we were all together yesterday. *Luckily, this is also the case with my college friends.

On Friday night, I went over to Kelly’s apartment and spent a couple hours drinking wine with her and Ashley, who had driven in from the Chicago area.

By Saturday, everyone was in town and ready to get the weekend started. We met for lunch at The Free House in Middleton (which is only a couple miles from our temporary house). I brought Finley who was so well behaved; she ate a ton of food, didn’t need her paci once, and was happy being held by all my friends.

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Everyone shared the details about the big things going on in their lives:

Rena: Getting married in July!!!
Jeana: Pregnant with baby #2, who she announced is a boy!!!
Susan: Also pregnant with baby #2!!! She doesn’t know the sex yet.
Ashley: Recently moved into a new house!!! She stays busy with boys who are 14 month apart.
Bree: Her and the hubby have lots of home projects and have a wedding planning business. They’re so crafty!!!
Kelly: This ambitious friend of mine has her own dental practice!!!

Next up were mani/pedis. My feet needed some loving, so I was super excited for this part of the weekend. I made reservations for everyone at KLC Nail and Spa on Odana, and like the other time I went there, it was great. They even do a paraffin wax treatment on your feet.

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After the pampering, we went our separate ways to get ready for a night out. Susan was our DD for the night, so she picked me up, and we made our way downtown.

A visit to the Terrace was a must, and we all shared a pitcher of Spotted Cow. It was busy, but that’s to be expected for a Saturday night.

For dinner we had reservations at Eldorado Grill. I’ve been there a lot recently, but I’m not complaining. As always, I started out with a blackberry margarita. Mmmm… For dinner, and after LOTS of chips and salsa, I had fish tacos. They were very good. Oh, and I had a second margarita.

Bree swore Weary Traveler was only a couple blocks away, but it ended up being more of a walk. I didn’t mind, though; a walk after the big meal felt good. Once we got there, we saw Jolly Bob‘s across the street and decided that’d be a better spot. Ashley persuaded the bouncer to let us all in for $12 instead of $5/person.

Jolly Bob’s has a beautiful back patio, so we ordered drinks, a Painkiller for me, and found a table. Some guy ended up buying us a round of Lemon Drops. I hadn’t taken a shot in such a long time, and I’m not a huge fan, but this shot is actually a favorite.

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The last stop of the night was Weary Traveler across the street. I had my last drink of the night (some ginger concoction) and we played Cards Against Humanity, which is the best game ever.

We were out until 2am! Of course, Finley decided to start the day at 5:45am. My amazing husband got up with her and I slept in until 8:30am.

To finish out the weekend, Jeana had everyone (except Susan who went back to her dad’s in Oshkosh) over for brunch. Finley had fun playing with Avery, and us ladies chatted away.

I have awesome friends.

Pasta Cooking Class

Brody and I took a break from packing and stressing about our housing situation to make pasta. Finley stayed home with a babysitter, and we did some eating of gluten and drinking of booze. It was fun!

At a charity event for Make a Wish months ago, we went in with two other couples for a silent auction item: a pasta cooking class at A Pig in a Fur Coat. The class was for up to fifteen people, but we ended up having ten. Brody and I had eaten there once before and loved it, so we were excited to learn from a professional how to make a food we don’t eat anymore. Ha! But it’s not like we can’t and won’t eat pasta anymore; we just do in very sparingly.

A Pig in a Fur Coat recently finished the space behind the restaurant. We were technically their guinea pigs, as we were the first class they taught. Chef Dan shared a little about his background in the food business, and then we got going.

First we made the dough and let it rest for a bit. To make the pasta, we split into boys and girls. There was butternut squash ravioli, ricotta ravioli, and something similar to linguine.

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We watched Chef Dan cook our pasta, and he showed us the sauces each would be paired with. The pesto smelled incredible! We learned he doesn’t put pinenuts in his pesto. The brown butter sage sauce smelled heavenly, and it was so easy to make. The third, a simple tomato sauce, was very fresh.

A table in the actual restaurant was set up for us to eat the pasta we made. Chef Dan also brought out bread with chorizo and an heirloom tomato salad. It was a delicious mid-afternoon meal. Our babysitter had mentioned that she loved their fries (cooked in duck fat!), so I put in an order for those. Everything was so yummy! The three glasses of wine I drank while there weren’t too shabby either.

To continue the afternoon of fun, we moved the party to Old Sugar Distillery. We’ve been there a handful of times already, and they make a mean cocktail. They have outdoor seating as well. I ordered the Honey Cap – so good.

Brody and I got home at 6pm to a very happy Finley. She was in such a good mood! Although she was a little crabby after we left, she took a great nap for Emma and woke up smiling.

Finley went to sleep around 7pm, and Brody and I continued our gluttonous ways and ate Salvatore’s pizza for dinner.

It was a very nice day.

Friday Facts [11-1-13]

1. We switched our dental insurance (we were on mine) and needed to find a new dentist office. I love our new place but do not love the new insurance. Two cavities = $240!!!! Apparently they only cover a certain kind of cavity fill that most dental offices do not even OFFER! What the heck? Ridiculous. I’ve never been a regular flosser, but that bill has become the kind of incentive I need to keep up this healthy habit.

2. Brody and I have a date night planned for Saturday night! My mom is coming to visit this weekend and suggested we go out while she babysits Finley. On the agenda: dinner at Umami or Alchemy (or some place in the Willy St. area) and the UW men’s hockey game.

3. Finley and I went to Brody’s office for a little trick or treating. She wasn’t into the head piece of her costume but otherwise held it together while being shown off.
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This was after she took the penguin costume off.
All of the new faces were likely very stimulating, and with it being nap time when we left, she passed out in the car on the way home.

4. You know how I was all frustrated with Finley’s naps? Well as I type this, she’s been asleep for 52 minutes. She transitioned into a second sleep cycle! Edited to add: She slept for 90 minutes – wahoo!

5. I’ve got four almost too ripe bananas that I’m planning on baking with, and I’m thinking banana pumpkin bread. The zucchini pumpkin bread I made last week turned out so well, but I think the banana may be even better.

6. How is it already November? I was thinking yesterday what I’d likely be doing if I was teaching. The newness of the year would’ve worn off, Homecoming would be past, and we’d be looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. I would also have developed good relationships with my classes, be enjoying B lunch with my coworkers, and spent many hours brainstorming and problem solving with close friends/English teachers. I do miss these aspects of my former career, but as I’ve said, I love what I’m doing now too.

7. Yesterday I picked up a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (sorry Brody) on my way to Mother Baby Hour. I’m not sure if they’re offered anymore with October being done, but even if they are, I think it’ll have been my last one of the year. I did find one pumpkin-flavored food I do not like: these. I brought them to girls weekend, and everyone agreed they were super funky. They had a strange, sour after taste. So disappointing.

8. We bought FLOR carpets squares for the family room. I love the color and graphic pattern.
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Brody’s also going to make a new coffee table (the crate one that’s all over the interweb). The one we have right now has a glass tabletop and isn’t very kid-friendly. Although Finley isn’t mobile yet, it’ll happen soon. Plus, the kid I’m watching part time is walking. Being able to wheel the coffee table (yup, he’s putting wheels on it – so smart!) over to the side will provide a good space to play.

9. Frankie has a vet appointment next week. He now has two wellness appointments a year because at eight years old, he’s considered a senior dog.
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He’s such a sweet dog (notice his front paw over Brody’s leg), but he has the worst breath ever.

10. On Monday night, Brody and I went to see The Head and the Heart play at the Orpheum. They were incredible! The female vocalist blew the roof off the place during “Rivers and Roads.”

I made it to ten – success! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Madison Moms Blog Playdate at Blackbird Yoga

A couple weeks ago, I stumbled on Madison Moms Blog and added it to my Feedly. There are a handful of women who write for the blog, and I have enjoyed reading about their mom-related experiences. Plus, they have tons of giveaways!

When I read about their playdate at Blackbird Yoga, I immediately signed up. Two friends with kids went to this yoga studio’s “mommy and baby” yoga and recommended it to me; I was excited to see what it was like and try something new.

On the way, I ate a protein bar in the car. While the flavor was good, the texture was a little funky and chalky. Good thing I only paid 25 cents for it (courtesy of the reduced bins at Woodman’s).

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A few moms from the Mother Baby Hour I go to every Tuesday at the Meriter Business Center were there (I shared the event at last week’s meeting), so I chatted with one for a while. Not too much later, the owner of the studio announced that a yoga class would be starting soon.

It was a short fifteen minute class that included sun salutations, downward dog, mountain pose, warrior, and savashana. Finley hung out on her back while I moved through the poses. The teacher had a couple of songs that went along with poses; it was very cute to see the older kids doing yoga and singing along. This studio is on the far west side of Madison and a thirty minute drive from my house. Luckily, they are opening one on the east side by Happy Bambino! I’d be fun to go to a weekly yoga class with Finley. Plus, they have free childcare for when you want to take a class on your own – AMAZING! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another Groupon soon.

Yoga was apparently exhausting for Finley. She fell asleep in my arms after the class.

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While she slept, the founders of Madison Moms Blog drew names for the giveaways. I must be on a winning streak because I won! My goodie bag included cute gray yoga pants, a gift certificate for four Gigi’s cupcakes, foot scrub and cream from Pink Papaya, and body wash from Pink Papaya. So fun!

Finley woke up after a forty-five minute nap and was ready for some tummy time. She hung out, and I talked with a few moms.

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Everyone, including the babies/kids, received gift bags which included candy, dental care items, and Menchie’s coupons.

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I had a great time at this event; thanks to Madison Moms Blog for putting it together!

Pi Phi Reunion Weekend

Twelve years ago, I was about to start my first year at UW Madison. At the recommendation of a few friends a year older than me, I went through sorority recruitment (it was called rush back then). Although I was initially unhappy with the bid card that read Pi Beta Phi, I quickly found friends with whom I am still close to today.

We’re now all over the country: Tina is in California; Sara and Jen are in Colorado; Kristen (who wasn’t a Pi Phi but basically could’ve been), Claire, and Amy are in Illinois; Lizzie (who sadly wasn’t able to make it) is in Maryland; and Nicole and I are in Wisconsin. Somehow, the stars aligned and we all came together this weekend. To be honest, Claire and Amy drunkenly demanded via video this weekend happen back in the fall. Good decisions can happen when alcohol is involved (like our decision to run a half marathon while drinking at The Stadium – RIP).

Jen’s parents bought a house on Lake Waubesa, which was kind of the home base for the weekend. Everyone stayed there except for Tina and her son, Carter, who stayed at my house.

Friday night everyone got in at different times and came over to my house. We hung out, chatted, ordered pizza from Salvatore’s, drank a little wine, and played with the babies.

Saturday morning was the first Wisconsin Badgers home game. Two of the girls went to the game, and everyone but me went to Jordans Big10. Before Tina and Carter took off, we snapped a photo of our two future Badgers.20130902-103625.jpg

Brody, Finley, and I headed to Barret and Kelly’s to watch the game. Finley brought her Badger chair along (thanks again Kristen, Dave, and Brady!).20130902-102800.jpg

Later on, we all met back up at Jen’s parents’ house. When Claire, Tina, and I arrived, all the other ladies were on a boat ride, so we headed to the “Relaxation Station” which is a big floating raft with lounge chairs all facing the middle. It felt nice to chill in the sun on the water while Finley napped in her carseat under the watchful eye of Jen’s mom.

Finley woke up and I forced her to take a picture with me. Claire picked out this outfit, and I thought she looked adorable in it. I can’t remember who got it for her, so if you did and you read my blog, thank you again!20130902-102740.jpg

The sun was going down as we hung out on a blanket on the grass under a tree. Carter and Finley had a little play date.20130902-102924.jpg

The rest of the night included dinner and Cards Against Humanity. LOVE this game! It’s very similar to Apples to Apples but more offensive and inappropriate. We played it for a couple hours, and guess who won?!?! Me! This is surprising because I am not a funny person. When I told Brody that I won, he didn’t believe it, and also said “But you’re not funny.”

On Sunday morning, Nicole, who couldn’t come for the whole weekend, was able to drive to Madison for a few hours. We all met at Bluephies for breakfast. I had the Avocado Extravagance scrambler; it was delicious and I ate it all. Thank you, breastfeeding.

One thing we all wanted to do this weekend was go back to the Pi Phi house on campus. All of us lived in the house for at least a semester; many of us were there for two years (like me). The sorority houses on Madison’s campus are gorgeous, but in my opinion, Pi Phi is one of the best because of the location. It is directly behind the Langdon dorm, right on the Lake Mendota. It is the only sorority house with a dock.

After breakfast we made our way downtown. While walking past another sorority house, we realized recruitment was going on. This was kind of timely considering that’s when and how we all met. Unfortunately, we didn’t go in the Pi Phi house because they were busy getting ready for the future rushees (not sure what the new name is for future sorority girls) but headed to the back of the house to see the dock and patio overlooking the lake. That’s when we saw Shirley, our house mom, through the window.

All of us had thought she had left but we were obviously wrong. She remembered all of our faces and even my name. We reminisced about the “good ol’ days”: Jen stepping on a nail the night after the Mifflin Street Block Party (also RIP) and the Kappa Sig panty raid that resulted in a dance party in the foyer and a lap dance for Shirley. Good times.

We said goodbye to the Pi Phi house, Shirley, Nicole, and her son, Silas, and on our way to the Terrace, made a pit stop at MacTaggart’s for water.20130902-102949.jpg

At the Terrace, we found a table in the shade and enjoyed our ice cream.20130902-103002.jpg

I attempted to take a few candid shots but was caught. Claire and Jen then pretended to act natural which resulted in a fake smile and a posed hand position. 20130902-103022.jpg

We had a lovely afternoon hanging out and wished we could do it more often. This will definitely be an annual thing (just not always on Labor Day weekend and not always in Madison).

20130902-103605.jpgWho’s who (clockwise from bottom left): Amy, Tina, Claire, Jen, me, Sara (who is holding Finley), and Lindsay. #piphilove

It was a fun-filled weekend, and I feel so lucky to have these girls as my friends. With the weddings almost done, we have nothing that forces us to come together. This is why we are determined to have an annual reunion weekend.

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Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival

Good Sunday afternoon!

Yesterday, Brody and I finally made it to Madison’s famous beer festival in Olin Park. We had lots of fun!

Bridget and JP were (and still are) in town from Cinci. We’ve traveled to Europe with them for the last two summers but skipped the European vacation because of Finley. Instead they came to visit us – what great friends! It just so happened their trip coincided with the Great Taste, so Brody bought four tickets through Craigslist.

Originally we had planned on bringing Finley but after realizing the nightmarish logistics of driving and parking with a newborn and a stroller, we decided to get a babysitter. This was a very, very good decision. I always feel a little guilty when she’s in her car seat for hours, and Brody and I were able to enjoy ourselves without worrying about her. She had a lovely time at home with her college-aged babysitter and even took a bottle with little fussing.

We arrived at the Taste around 1:30, got our wristbands, set down a couple camping chairs (which went unused the whole time), and got to drinking!

I made pretzel necklaces for Brody, Bridget and I the night before. They helped to soak up some of the beer, cleansed our palates between tastings, and were stylish.

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Some people went above and beyond the simple pretzel necklace and added beef jerky, cheese sticks, and bags of trail mix to theirs.

Bridget and JP had the genius idea to bring packs with water bladders which made it much easier to stay hydrated.

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We drank lots of water, and luckily there were lots of porta potties.

These tasting glasses got lots of use, with many IPAs, some fruity beers, and a few stouts and porters.

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The boys also drank lots of IPAs.

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Things, not surprisingly, got a little silly.

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Bridget demonstrated Warrior 2 (or her bathroom problems?) while Brody photo-bombed her.

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Pop quiz: This guy a) did not have a Camelbak of water, b) did not have a pretzel necklace to help absorb the beer, c) had too many samples of Urine Trouble (a very strong beer by Surly and 3 Floyds) or d) all of the above.

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JP reenacted a friend’s drunken fall that occurred at Brody and my rehearsal dinner (which was at the pavilion at Olin Park) five years ago.

The weather was perfect: mid-70s, partly sunny, and low humidity.

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Maybe the four of us will have to make this an annual thing.

Beer + friends + good weather = successful afternoon.

Questions:
Have you been to a beer festival? Which one(s) and where?
What’d you do on Saturday?

Recently

…my pretty, sleepy baby has been stealing my heart (better than “melting my heart” Brody?)

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…we were lame and did nothing remotely patriotic for the 4th of July. We did eat corn on the cob – does that count?

…Moose got a Thundershirt, and it works!

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…Brody, his mom (who is visiting from Ohio), Finley, and I ate at Stalzy’s, and I finally tried their corned beef Reuben – so amazing and incredibly buttery.

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…(speaking of food) Brody grilled some yummy sausages, including green chorizo, from Underground Meat. Such an awesome butcher shop!

…I need coffee but not too much since I’m nursing.

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…I have realized I NEED a nap almost every day. I didn’t have the chance to nap Friday or Saturday, and let’s just say I was a big old hot mess Saturday night.

Question:
What’s something you’ve been up to recently?

A Photo Every Hour {6/14/2013}

I decided to copy Chelsey’s post, which was actually Katie’s idea. This way you can all see the ridiculousness of my life at the moment. Yes, I know it is all about to change drastically in ways I could never imagine, but for now, please appreciate, scoff, or relish in the supreme laziness that is my current life.

7:00am

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After a decent night’s sleep (read: four trips to the bathroom), I arose a little after 6:15am. I made Brody’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ate a toasted cinnamon and raisin bagel, drank an iced coffee, watched the news, and at 7:00am, was getting the dogs ready for the park.

8:00am

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The three of us met up with my favorite dog park people, all of whom are over the age of 60. Not sure what that says about me – I’m an “old soul”? I walked about two miles with them, and here we are on our way back to the car.

9:00am

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I took a quick bird bath (aka a shower where you don’t wash your hair) and plopped down for some Today Show entertainment and blog reading. A snack of cheese and Triscuits happened around this time too.

10:00am

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I left the house for the second time in one day – woot woot! While browsing the clothing section of Target would normally take at least twenty minutes, I had no reason to even glance in that direction. As I’ve been told, I shouldn’t expect to be wearing my normal clothes for a while. Sad face. Instead I bought interesting things like printer ink, crackers (on sale), Manwich, and yogurt covered raisins (for Brody). Also, if you are wondering, 9:30am is prime time for pregnant women and moms with newborns. We were everywhere in that store!

11:00am

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Back at home, back on the couch. I did a little reading about induction methods and going beyond your due date and watched TLC’s What Not to Wear.

12:00pm

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Post-lunch, I moved my pregnant butt outside to the back deck. I finished Gone Girl yesterday (so good but quite eff’ed up characters) and started a YA book called If I Stay. I randomly found half a bag of M&Ms in the lazy susan with my cooking supplies – how I forgot they were there blows my mind. They were a perfect sweet treat for my sweet tooth.

1:00pm

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Still outside and still reading. I was also doing quite a bit of texting with Brody and various friends. It seems like everyone has a life and stuff to do as no one was able to come hang out with me or meet me somewhere.

2:00pm
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My pregnant college friend, Tina, called and we chatted for a while about pregnancy and baby things. Her due date is approaching and she was planning on getting reflexology done. This is one “natural” induction method I hadn’t read about. I did some research and found a massage clinic that also does reflexology just a few miles from my house. They don’t open until 4pm, though, so I need to wait to see if they can fit me in soon (like this afternoon still – ha!).

3:00pm

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Frankie and I spent some quality time on the back deck together. I moved into the shade and ate a grapefruit.

4:00pm

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I worked on this post for a while before calling the reflexology place. Good news! She got me in at 9am tomorrow!!!

5:00pm
I failed to take a picture this hour but was talking to Brody who had just gotten home from work.

6:00pm
Again, no photo. I was getting ready to leave the house for the third time in the day.

7:00pm

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Brody’s involvement in the United Way brought us to a charity event, Berry Bash, at Heritage Hall in Camp Randall. I ordered a club soda and cranberry juice.

8:00pm

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This is the same dress I wore to last year’s Berry Bash. Obviously it’s not a maternity dress but is big enough (or had enough stretch) to fit over my pregnant belly.

9:00pm

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I actually remembered to get a picture of us.

10:00pm
No photo – we were still at Berry Bash, and I was probably eating a piece of cake.

11:00pm
No photo – I was in bed soon after this time.

There was my Friday, June 14. Although labor didn’t happen, it was a good day.

Pregnancy Update: Week 39

Hey, folks! I’m still here…still pregnant. Am I ready to have this baby? Yes. But am I happy that she’s holding out for exams to be done? Hell yes. Two more days, Baby – that’s all I ask.

How far along? 39 weeks and 2 days.
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Cheesy selfie of me drinking Amazing Grass
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More normal pic but with no makeup

Baby’s size? A watermelon. Really?!?! Do I look like I swallowed a watermelon? So cliche. She’s 19-21 inches and 6.2-9.2lbs.

Weight gained? Between 20-25 lbs. At last week’s appointment, my doctor said I had only gained a pound in the last three weeks. A student asked how much I had gained. When I told her (and the other few students at her table) 25lbs but that about 4lbs of it was extra blood, their faces were priceless. I’d like to think I may have just prevented at least one teen pregnancy.

Stretch marks? None. Wahoo!

Sleep? I’m up a lot more often, and lucky if I am out for more than three hours at a time. Strangely enough, I’m not tired at all during the day and have been going to bed around 10pm. While I’m tired, I’m not exhausted. Is my body prepping itself for life with a newborn?

Best moment(s) this week? Brody and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary on Friday! How quickly time goes by. I am one lucky lady to have such an incredible husband and best friend. To honor our marriage and enjoy some alone time, we headed to Nostrano for a nice dinner together.
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Nostrano’s menu
I failed to take any pictures besides this one – boo. However you can see the entree options – all sounded amazing. Brody had the Brodetto and I had the Braised Pancetta. Holy yum! For dessert we shared the Affogato: caramel gelato, espresso poured over it, sprinkled with sea salt, and served with three mini sugar-coated donuts. This dessert is on my top 50 food and drink items in Madison (which I am still adding to and will post eventually).

Miss anything? The same stuff, but I would like to share what I WON’T miss: my hair. It is freakin’ incredible! So thick and so much of it. It’ll be a sad day when it starts to fall out a couple months after birth. Brody suggested I get on Rogaine now.

Looking forward to? Meeting our baby and being done with school (and not “working” again until the end of January).

Movement? My belly is tight! She is squeezed in there, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room. I still feel her throughout the day, though – typically under my left rib cage where her feet and knees are.

Food cravings? Iced coffee, sugar (Sunday was a bad day for this – chocolate covered acai berries, homemade chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies, ice cream), and butter and honey on toast.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Chicken breasts still gross me out. I had a chicken gyro last week, and although I ate it, it was mainly because of the tzaziki sauce.

Exercise? Walking is all I do now. Jena and I did three laps at the park on Monday (over two miles), and that felt great. I am looking forward to running again eventually.

Gender? Girl.

Labor signs? I had lots of Braxton Hicks on Saturday. Then yesterday morning I felt what I believe were two real contractions; they felt more like period cramps and were low. I’ve also had a lower back ache since Monday. I think my body is getting ready!

Symptoms? “Watermelon” belly, some swelling in the feet, and then obviously the labor signs I just described.

Belly button in or out? Out. Also, I heard your belly button turns black after as it heals and goes back to normal. Is this true or did I misunderstand someone who was talking about the baby’s belly button?

Wedding rings on or off Off at night and on during the day.

Because a lot of my posts have been baby-centered recently, I’ll leave you with pics of Moose and Frankie that I took this morning. They are so excited to be big brothers!

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Happy Hump Day!