Friday, December 30, 2011

Our little family has (almost) landed!

Well, it has been a whirlwind over the last few weeks. Paul frantically packed up the house, I finished my stint at Merrill Lynch, and started my new (old) job at OppenheimerFunds. Well, I don't know if I have really started...I just went in yesterday so I could make an appearance before year-end for administrative purposes. Since I technically started before year-end, they are reinstating my benefits and granting me maternity leave when Miss Parker arrives in January. What a blessing. I mean, let's be realistic here. Who hires a woman who is seven months pregnant? I suppose after a rough time this year, our family deserved a break.

Paul really had his work cut out for him. Because of the pregnancy, I have been really limited as to what I can do to help him pack up the house. As my belly has been growing substantially, bending, turning, tying my shoes,picking things up...these have all become more difficult. And as Parker grows, she is taking up more space in my abdomen, leaving less room for things like my stomach,my lungs, etc. So I get out of breath quite easily.

But back to my original point, Paul deserves a freaking medal for pretty much packing up the whole PA house and loading it into two PODS. All I did was pack up my shoes (VERY important) and a few things here snd there around the house. He is currently driving across the country, towing the Mini Cooper with the dog and two cats in the truck. I do not envy him and am so grateful for his willingness to get shit done.

Doesn't this look like the exact opposite of fun?
What a hot mess.
He will arrive on New Year's Day - what a great way to start off 2012!

Since my spoiled self just had to get on an airplane and fly back to Colorado...I have had the past couple of days to spend with friends and family. Below is a picture of me and Jes finally accomplishing the "Belly Bump" that we have been talking about for the past six months or so.

Belly bump!!
So while we wait for Paul and our household items to arrive (PODS get here on the 12th), I am getting to spend some much-needed time with friends and family.  I stay with my parents on the weekend, and with Matt and Jes during the week, since it's much closer to my work.  Lucky Matt and Paul - two pregnant ladies under the same roof!

Mumsie and Dad get a kick out of how active Parker is...sometimes my Dad just looks at my belly and laughs.  It is pretty comical - I am really starting to look ridiculous!!

But it's great to be back.  When I flew in, I of course had to take an aisle seat...and the people next to me slept with the window closed the whole way, so I wasn't able to see the scenery below until we started our approach into Denver.  They opened the shade, I saw the mountains and downtown Denver and started crying once I realized that I didn't have to leave again in a few days.  I was a pregnant mess. :)  But a happy mess, which I think is totally acceptable.

THEN - I saw an old friend on my way home from work the other day...when you're away you really forget what a large mountain Pikes Peak is.  And not just tall, (14,110 ft for my friends outside of Colorado,) but it's also one of the largest in terms of land mass.  It's just freaking huge.  And gorgeous with the snow on it.  *sigh*

So once Paul gets here, I'll feel a little more settled.  I already have a doctor here, and I'll see her on Tuesday to make sure Parker is still on track.  Also - it's super exciting that I will be having her at Sky Ridge hospital. It's a really nice hospital, close to home, and there's a chance that Jes and I could have our girls at the same time! Wouldn't that just be cool??

Monday, December 12, 2011

Parker is going to be a Colorado native!!

It's official - we're packing up and moving back to Colorado!  Well, let me rephrase that.  I'm getting on an airplane December 28th and Paul will be packing up and moving us back to Colorado shortly thereafter.

It's been a long day today, and I'm pretty tired - but here's the quick version of the update.  On Friday, I got a job offer from OppenheimerFunds, I accepted, and today I resigned from my job at Merrill Lynch.  My last day there is the 23rd.  I start at Oppenheimer on the 30th.  Why start on the last business day of the year?  Well, without getting into too much detail, it has to do with health benefits, vacation and maternity leave.  It just made sense for me to start in 2011.

Between now and then, Paul is furiously packing away, the cats are stressing out, and I'm going to do what little my pregnant self can to help.

More details and posts to come...a lot has gone down in the past few days (all good things!!) and I'm just really tired and Parker and I need to rest.

And if anyone is keeping track, this is three moves in just over two years.  :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Parker's first Thanksgiving...well...sort of.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends old and new...and family near and far.  Well, mostly far. :)

It's been a really fun day.  Kelly joined us for Thanksgiving this year, and showed me how to make my mother's stuffing.  Isn't it a crime that a close friend had to show me how to make the stuffing?   Here's a picture of it before cooking, doesn't it look amazing?
Mumsie's amazing stuffing! Brought to you by Kelly Edwards.
So the bird is in the oven, loaded with herbed butter under the skin. Cookies are made, pies were baked all that's left is to make the corn pudding and mashed potatoes.  SWEET.

I almost died laughing when I turned around and Paul was standing here with a "please make us martinis" look on his face!
Pretty please?
The men enjoying their afternoon martinis and snacks.
Right now I am sitting here it inappropriate to have pie as an appetizer??

Kelly bought us a really nice bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue for Thanksgiving.  Paul isn't a scotch person, but he's really enjoying it too.  However, it could be the two martinis he had first...
Busting out the Blue
Rhyme has been drooling since I put the turkey in the oven this morning.  Once I took it out, I had his undivided attention.
Carving away!  The belly did push the roasting pan at one point.  It was pretty funny
Is any of that for me? It is my Birthday, after all.
Quite the spread!!  Charlie was eyeing the dinner.
And of course, after dinner...the animals had to have their plate.  Since today is also Rhymes birthday, Paul made him an extra special plate, with lots of gravy.
Rhyme waiting patiently
The animal chef at work.
And now, it's time for a well-deserved nap.  And then pie.  Maybe two slices of pie.  Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.  And, in case you were wondering...Parker loves Turkey.  She was dancing around in excitement and is now experiencing her first food coma.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yep. That's a pregant belly.

There's a baby girl in there!
So I'm just about 23 weeks (that's a little over 5 months now) and it's pretty clear that there's a baby on board. 

She's starting to become pretty active these days. She loves to headbutt my bladder on a regular basis, especially when I'm at work...usually on a conference call or on the phone with a client. Pretty much when it's most inconvenient. She also loves to wiggle around when I settle into bed for the night.  Since her inner ear is developing, it's probably because she senses the shift in my position and is getting comfortable herself. Paul can feel her kick, and the other morning she kicked me so hard that I saw my stomach move.  It was kind of creepy. But really cool.

Been trying to stay active, but I'm just so freaking tired this week.  We did go to our neighbors' wedding last weekend and had a blast.  Was so much fun, even being the DD! In between the ceremony and the reception, we hit up the bar. Naturally.
Smile!  You have a designated driver!
As my belly grows, I'm dealing with the usual stuff...round ligament pain (NOT FUN), bloating, back pain, general crankiness.  But, all things considered I am still very healthy and lucky to be feeling as good as I do.  Sometimes when I start complaining about back pain and stuff, I feel like a real asshole because there are so many women out there who would do anything to be pregnant...

If you've read this far - WOW.

For those of you who haven't heard, we have decided to name our daughter Parker Morgan.  Morgan is Mumsie's maiden name...and Parker was just kind of pulled out of thin air. Needless to say, Mumsie was really excited that we chose Morgan as a middle name.  She'd been hinting, sometimes subtly, sometimes not, that we should name the baby after her in some way.  What she didn't know, is that we had that picked out long before she decided to drop a hint. ;)

Okay.  I'm really tired.  We had a big night - it's Paul's birthday so we went out for Hibachi at Kome Steak was delicious.  I am not looking forward to the soy-induced bloating in the morning.  Guess it's time to go fill my water glass...

Until next time - wish us and little Parker well!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's A.........


We had our 20-week ultrasound today and it was determined that the baby is a girl! Now, I just have to stop calling her "the baby".  I really had to work at not calling the baby "it" or "he" or "she" for almost 5 months now, it's kind of a hard habit to break.  Harder than you'd think.  Here are pictures of her and her various body parts. 
Little baby!
She has long legs like her mom and dad. Look at how the little bones are already there. CRAZY.
In the middle there is a foot, toes and all.
The "gender" picture.  The ultrasound tech was nice enough to put a little pointing hand to show that there's no penis here!

As for my gender test experiments - THIS TEST LIES.  Don't waste your money.  I followed the directions to the letter. :) 

So if you're reading beyond the cute baby pictures, they also took 20+ pictures of the heart and brain and everything looks normal.  In fact, the baby is a little larger than usual...which the doctor says is a good thing.  I'm still on the fence.  :) Really though, I'm just happy she is healthy.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halfway there!

Wednesday marked another milestone - 20 weeks!  Which means I am halfway through the pregnancy.  It really went by quickly, though I hear the second half tends to drag out a bit at the end.  This also means that we find out the sex of the baby very very soon.  I go in for my 20-week ultrasound this coming Tuesday, I'm really excited.  In fact, I have even named that day "P or V Day".  You can probably guess what that means.

Mumsie and Dad were in town last weekend to check out my expanding belly.  We had a great time, spent the weekend wandering around.  Saturday I took them to downtown Bethlehem for the day, and it just so happened that it was the day of the "Mutt Strut"...a COSTUMED DOG PARADE.  It was pretty much amazing.  My loser self didn't take any pictures, so thank goodness D was there  snapping away like a proper Asian... :) I am really mad I didn't take more pictures because there were some AMAZING dog costumes.  One guy had a tiny dog dressed as a bee, and he had a full-blown beekeepers outfit.  Anyhow, here are some of D's pictures.

Me and Dad
Elvis dog

Sunday, we went up to Jim Thorpe for their Fall Foliage Festival.  It's freaking gorgeous up there.  Jim Thorpe is the same town where we went hiking a couple of weekends ago.  I took zero pictures and am really mad about that.  I'll have to get better at taking pictures. Paul took this really good one

Jim Thorpe

We also now have a crib and a dresser for the baby and Paul has been frantically getting the room ready.  It's amazing how much progress he has made.  I'm doing my best to hold off on posting pictures of the nursery in progress until we get the crib...which actually just arrived today.  We'll pick it up this weekend.

Here's my halfway point belly picture! It's growing pretty quickly...

Ack! Look at my fat arms!  I'll have to hold them out a little more for the next picture so they look smaller. Ha ha.
I still have a crazy desire to eat everything and anything spicy.  Thank goodness for my friend, Sriracha. Oh how I love how you make even the most boring dishes a delicious, fiery treat.  I hear that most pregnant women don't crave and can't tolerate spicy food.  I consider myself part of the lucky food.  Baby likes spicy!!

Hello, good friend.

Stay tuned for more info on "P or V Day!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trying to stay active while getting kicked in the belly

We've had some gorgeous weather this weekend, we're really lucky.  Slightly windy, but sunny and relatively warm.  Since I have overshot my weight gain, (a common problem for women who are lucky enough to not have morning sickness in the first trimester,) I have been trying to do things to stay active.  Little things like taking the stairs at work, doing activities on the weekend that involve walking (does shopping count?) and trying to go for little hikes on the weekend.

Saturday we went out to dinner with Jamie and her friend Brian in downtown Bethlehem at the Brew Works - YUM.  What I really wanted was a pumpkin beer (how I miss pumpkin beer) and a burger...but I settled for a water and a salad.  BORING.  Oh well!! It's for a good cause. Afterwards, we went on a one-hour Historic Haunts of Bethlehem walking tour.  It was nice to get out and walk and spend time with friends.

Sunday we got pumpkins to carve this week.  I thought Paul would want to get one or two - but we got a pumpkin for me, for him, for the dog and for the baby!  We also picked up several mini-pumpkins and have them all over the house.  I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!

There's a really cool little town in the Poconos called Jim Thorpe...and it's home to one of the most scenic hikes I have been on in a long time.  It's only 2.7 miles, but it's up the side of the Glen Onoko Falls.  It's not an easy hike, but I made it all the way to the top!  Here are some pictures.  The weather was perfect, warm and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. There was just the right amount of breeze to keep the bugs away and to romantically blow the yellow, orange and red leaves off the trees in a very picturesque manner.
Me and Rhyme.  Notice the strap above the belly.  Classy, right?

That's me and Rhyme at the top! Go Preggo!!

So we had a really good weekend - but it's quite distracting when you're regularly being kicked in the stomach by a bell-pepper sized baby who is growing like crazy.  Looks like all those calcium supplements have paid off, since the baby's bones are strong enough that I can really feel it moving around. In fact, the little one is at it right now!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The results are in - and it's all good news!

I remember about two years ago, when I brought up the idea of getting pregnant with my Rheumatologist at the University of Kentucky, she cautioned me that it would be a long road.  I had to taper off my methotrexate, which would take approximately six months, and then wait at least another three months for that medication to be totally out of my system before we could even start trying.  Then she said, not only would my reproductive system be considered "geriatric" by the time I'm 31, I would also be at a higher risk for having a Downs Syndrome baby.  Oh, and it would probably take several tries to get pregnant.

I just remember leaving the office that day and hearing "geriatric" echoing over and over in my head.  For days I thought about it almost constantly, and still think about it to this  day.  Honestly, it kinda bummed me out.  Over the past year and a half I had overcome quite a bit, the crippling arthritis, the nasty side effects from the medication, bouts with arthritis flare ups, and just getting back to being myself and having a normal life.  Lets face it, not all women with rheumatoid arthritis have successful pregnancies.  Many women have to deal with severe arthritis flare ups, since they can't take their main preventative measures.

I really consider myself absurdly lucky.  Not only did I have no trouble getting pregnant, but I haven't had a single flare up in almost five months now, and last week...I got some even better news.

Earlier this month, I went to get  blood work done as the second part of my screening tests for the previously mentioned "scary diseases"...and the genetic counselor called me around 9 am this morning.  Basically, I have about a 1/10,000 chance that the baby could have Downs Syndrome, which is really good considering most women my age have about a 1/1,000 chance.  Spina Bifida is about 1/9,000 - which is a huge relief for me because people who have taken methotrexate tend to be at a significantly higher risk factor for that disease because of what the drug does to your body. 

Even better - the genetic counselor said she was very suprised to look at my age after she read the blood work, since everything read about as low-risk as the labs would go.  She said if she didn't know any better, she would have thought I was 20-somethingGeriatric my ass!!

Here's a not-geriatric belly picture! I'm feeling a little bloated because Paul, Diane and I just DESTROYED a huge plate of nachos. So I didn't do the side view today. 
Looking pregnant!
Here are some progressive shots of the nachos we devoured. Just because - who doesn't love a picture of delicious nachos? 
Okay - now that you have a food coma just from looking at those pictures - I will leave you with one more piece of good news...on Wednesday I was woken up at 4 am....BECAUSE THE BABY KICKED ME!!! It was about the craziest thing I have ever felt.  The baby must know I'm talking about it, because I can feel it moving around right now.  Just in case you're wondering...the baby is about the size of a 5.5-inch bell pepper and is forming bones, and really is starting to look like a baby.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I want to eat everything in sight.

Sixteen Weeks!

Now at the end of my fourth month, the baby is about the size of an Avacado, and it's home is about the size of a small melon.  It's going to double in size over the coming two weeks. It can sense light, though its eyes aren't open yet. Eyebrows are growing too.  Looking more and more like a tiny person every day.

In the never ending battle between good vs. evil (read: healthy vs. junk food), I think right now it's about a tie. Today I ate a donut, yogurt and raspberries/strawberries, an apple, a small handful of peanut butter M&Ms and some leftover enchilada casserole. I think I need to start working some V8 in to my diet. 
Paul is really excited that my boobs are also about the size of a small melon... The Girfriends' Guide to Pregnancy calls that a visit from the titty fairy.  Apparently it's a reward for the dads-to-be for putting up with a crazy pregnant lady for 9 months.  And I definitely have enough crazy to go around. Okay.  Maybe that's too much information.

Tomorrow morning I go for an additional blood draw...shouldn't be a big deal.  Next visit to the doctor is next week, and we find out the sex of the baby on November 1st.  Stay tuned for updates and more ultrasound pictures.  Are you sick of ultrasound pictures yet??

In a few weeks, my parents will be here to visit.  I'm getting used to the fact that already people aren't really coming to visit me, they're coming to visit the baby.  The baby will probably be moving around by that point, I'm sure they'll like that!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kissing regular clothes good-bye

Over the past few days, I have really learned to embrace elastic-waistband clothes.  You know, the ridiculous maternity pants with the 12-inch elastic panel at the waistline.  The ones that I always thought looked completely ridiculous.  Now they are the BEST THINGS EVER.

For awhile I was able to get away with wearing my old pants with a belly band.  For those of you who don't know, the belly band is an AMAZING contraption that allows you to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes just a little bit longer.  You know, so you can hold on to 'skinny you' just a little bit longer.   It's basically a stretchy ring of fabric that is about 18 inches long.  What you do, is you pull on your old pants, leave them un-zipped and then pull the belly band over it to hold them up.  and VOILA.  This was a great plan until this week.  Now my lower abdomen (below my belly button) has grown significantly as the baby continues to grow like a maniac (it's now the size of a apple), and even unzipped my old pants dig into baby territory.  Every day, the pregnancy becomes more and more real.

While this is kind of a bummer (the old pants digging into me part, not the growing baby part...of course), there is a bit of satisfaction in knowing that I'm leaving the "Is she fat, or is she pregnant?" stage of my pregnancy and into the "Look at that pregnant lady!" stage.  Since I have become extra sensitive about my weight since I lost about 60 pounds a year ago, this is a HUGE relief for me.  Yeah, it's a bit shallow, but hey.  I'm dealing with serious hormones here.  At least my maternity clothes are still a Size 2. Size 2 with an AMAZING ELASTIC WAISTBAND.

Since you've been asking, here is what the belly is shaping up to these days.  I was waiting for a time when I looked all cute, but that hasn't happened since I started writing this post on Monday.  SO, this is me in my comfy yoga pants before bedtime.
Love how the shirt is bunched up over my belly?
Belly size varies day to day.  It depends on how bloated I am, and how much energy I have to 'suck it in' on any given day.

Paul and I took our typical weekend trip to Cabela's last weekend.  Because they were giving out $25 Cabelas gift cards for signing up for a $25 NRA membership, Paul and I both signed up.  They gave away free hats, that say "NRA" in huge yellow letters...they are hilarious.  What I really wanted was a "Future NRA Member" T-Shirt with an arrow pointing to my belly.  Slightly redneck-ish, but Paul and I both had a good laugh at that idea.  Funny, they wouldn't give us another gift card for signing up our unborn child.  You think they'd be excited about the idea of a lifetime member.  Just kidding.

I was STUNNED to learn that the baby is now 4 inches long and is the size of an apple.  I could feel it start to kick in the next couple of weeks, which is VERY exciting.  I'll keep you posted.

Now that the first trimester is over, I'm supposed to start 'feeling better'.  Though, I have to say I was really fortunate to never really have felt all that bad, just really really tired.  Well, and my blood pressure was very low before so I was having dizzy spells whenever I stood up.  Almost fainted a couple of times at work and it was a really strange feeling.  So the doctor told me to eat more salt - OKAY!!  My hunger has subsided a bit (thank GOODNESS), though I still cringe whenever anyone brings pastries into the office because I know I'll break down and half at least half a doughnut.  Oh well.

Oh yeah, and Paul is sitting right here and said I have to mention my ridiculous gas problem.  So there.  Now everyone knows.  One of the pregnancy books I read said something like the pregnancy gods are fair.  If you're fortunate enough not to have morning sickness, you'll be blessed with uncontrollable gas.  Well, they were right. Oh well, we all know I have no shame anyway.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baby's first road trip.

The lime-sized baby, Paul, Rhyme and I piled into the truck this Labor Day weekend for a quick road trip to Kentucky.   I thought riding in the car for an extended period of time would be a challenging endeavor, with my 'frequent pottying' and general puffyness...but it really wasn't that bad.  We split up the trip and left Allentown on Friday night, shaving about 4 hours off of our 9.5-10 hour drive. 

Arriving in Kentucky Saturday afternoon, we stopped at Wendy's for lunch.  I was IMMEDIATELY in culture shock - I forgot how polite and nice the people are out here.  Even the lady in the Wendy's drive through, OVER THE SPEAKER BOX, said "Thank you, have a nice day!".  I thought I was on another planet there for a little while, people on the East Coast are generally so rude and discourteous.  Sometimes I really miss it here.

We came out here to visit Mila and Sarah, two of my colleagues from my job out here that have remained good friends...even though now I've actually been gone longer than I actually lived in Kentucky. It's funny how some people you just know you'll always be in touch with over the years. Rhyme is also enjoying his visit with Jasper, Mila's cat. I don't think Jasper is enjoying Rhyme's visit nearly as much.
This is Jasper: Petite and adorable!  Not Rhyme's best friend.
Of course, the baby has been very well-fed since we've been out here. Last night we went over to Scott and Heather's (two other colleagues/friends from when we lived here) for dinner and baby got to try a Smoked Habanero BBQ-something sauce. I know most pregnant women cannot deal with spicy food, but that's ALL I crave day and night. There was also a fabulous 'pregnant lady drink'. It had lemonade, limeade ginger ale and something else in it. Almost tasted like a margarita, and Heather reminded me that it's even better with vodka in it. :) OF COURSE IT IS! I certainly miss being able to have a drink with dinner...but who am I kidding. I never had A drink with dinner. Haha.   Anyhow it was a great night, fun to reconnect with old friends.

In Lexington, a Frozen Yogurt craze has taken over.  A local ice cream chain went out of business, and most of the vacant storefronts have been filled with a Frozen Yogurt chain called Orange Leaf.    Let me just say, that this is PREGNANT LADY HEAVEN.  There are about 10-15 different flavors of frozen yogurt (and, of course, you can twist together amazing combinations like Birthday Cake Batter and Brownie Batter, Granny Smith Apple and Caramel, and more), a whole buffet of toppings and it's SELF SERVE.  Freaking genius.  The spoons are appropriately shaped like shovels. Preggo like.  I told Paul he should open up one of these places in Allentown, it would be a huge success.  Though, he should probably not do it while I'm pregnant because I'd just eat all the profits.

You're not allowed to visit Lexington without visiting a good restaurant with amazing Southern Ramsey's.  This is a Hot Brown.  It's pretty much one of the most amazing things you will ever eat.  It consists of (starting from the bottom) two pieces of grilled bread, a slice of ham, a slice of turkey, cream gravy, twp tomatoes (gotta have something healthy on there), and is topped with cheese and two slices of delicious bacon.  Yes, it's a heart attack on a plate, but everything in moderation...
Preggo hungry
Preggo full...
We had a great time on the trip - and look forward to going back sometime in the near future.   But another 9-10-hour road trip probably won't be happening again for a long time. And...I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Everyone is healthy!!

Had my 12-week ultrasound today, and it's all good news - baby is healthy, mom is healthy, and everything is on track.

Just me, lounging around.
Today's ultrasound was just about the craziest thing I have ever seen.  Baby was moving around like a gymnast.  If it was the 1980's you would have thought Jazzercise was happening in my stomach.  Paul and I were totally stunned.  Apparently, 12-14 weeks tends to be when the baby moves around the most and is the most active...but the baby is too small for me to really feel anything. It's a shame because it's chaos in there. AND the baby's heart is going at around 157 BPM now.

No more tail!  That big thing behind me is the umbilical cord.

Look!  I have arms!  I call this one "Wax on, wax off"

So that's little baby.  We're really happy that everything is moving along as expected. 

Some measurements of the Neural Tube were taken today, and they don't see any signs of what I call "The Big Scary Diseases"...things like Spina Bifida, Downs Syndrome, or Trisomy 18 (I really don't know exactly what that is, but it sounds scary).  They also took some blood to check a few other things.  If I don't hear anything back on that blood work, no news is good news.  In another two months they'll probably do some additional tests, including Amniocentesis (which involves a long needle) and some more blood draws.  

My waistline continues to expand, and my wardrobe choices get smaller and smaller every day.  On Tuesday I went to a client meeting and felt like I was there in my pajamas (because I don't have a maternity suit yet).  I think I may have to go shopping for one rather soon because it felt really awkward, especially since I really don't look all that "pregnant" yet.  I just look "plump".

I finally gave in and bought some 'sensible' shoes the other day...meaning shoes that don't have 4-inch heels.  They're kind of boring,  but it's probably better that I don't teeter around in sky-high heels as I continue to become more top-heavy.

That's all for now.  I just realized it's almost 9:00.  No wonder I'm so tired.  Quite a day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Boy or girl? Home tests and superstitions provide conflicting results

SO, as impatient as I am...I don't want to wait another month to find out the sex of the baby.  I want to know if I'm buying blue or pink things!  SO, I've tried out a couple of things.

1. Intelligender test.  Bought at Rite Aid for $29.99, this handy at-home gender test is yet another in a series of 'pee on this' or 'pee in this' tests that I'll have to contend with throughout being pregnant.  So, I followed the instructions and conducted the test first thing in the morning, went step by step, and here's what I saw:
That color looks like a match to me!
No match here!

According to the company, and the articles I read online about this test, it's 90% accurate after the 10th week.  I was at the end of my 11th week, so I'm curious to see if I will fall into the 90% or the 10%.

2. Needle test.  A couple of my coworkers insisted on having someone in to perform this gender prediction test on Friday.  Basically it's a needle stuck into the end of a pencil, attached to a string and wrapped around a finger.  You then take the contraption and hold it above your wrist.  If it swings one way, it's a girl.  The other, it's a boy.  It went in the direction of a girl.  Who knows.

Update - I just Googled this thing, and it said if it goes in a circle, it's a girl, and if it goes side to side, it's a boy.  This one went side to side.  So, again, who knows.

3. Chinese Calendar gender prediction.  I have decided that this is absolute hogwash.  Depending on which calendar you look at, you can get the answer you want.  I realized this after I looked at one, went to another link, found another calendar and got a completely different result with the same input.  Whatever.

Boy or girl?  Who knows.  I'll believe it when I see it.

Well, I suppose it's time to make this public.

As most of my close friends and family are aware...I'm pregnant!  I'm just about at the end of the first trimester, and I've been fortunate enough to not have to deal with any typical first-trimester issues...which mainly means - NO MORNING SICKNESS.  I think I'm close enough to the end of my first trimester that I can say that out loud without having to feel like I have to knock on wood immediately for fear of jinxing myself.

The pregnancy so far has been relatively uneventful...which is a good thing.  Well, let me rephrase that.  Not completely uneventful, but nothing bad has been going on. 

My waistline has started expanding, I'm hungry all the time, and I am getting up at least once (if not twice) a night to pee.  My doctor says that's a good thing because it means I am staying hydrated.  It feels like my body is punishing me for trying to be healthy.  Oh well. Speaking of being healthy...

Eating healthy is EX-PEN-SIVE.  Every time I go to Wegman's I spend at least $80.  Between all the fruits, vegetables, and dairy I am supposed to consume, along with all the whole adds up quickly. There are a lot of convenience foods I am supposed to skip (like macaroni and cheese - how I miss thee) and meats and veg are supposed to be all organic.  Truth be told, I skip the organic on a lot of stuff, but not on the meat.  I can always wash the fruits and vegetables really really well, but you can't wash the hormones out of a chicken breast (gross).

Doing my best to eat healthy.  The staples of my diet are water, Vietnamese Food, Chobani yogurt packed with fruit, home made trail mix and low-fat string cheese.  But sometimes this girl just wants a handful of Cheetos, or half a dozen chocolate chip cookies. Below is a picture of my water cup that follows me everywhere and is the reason I have to get up multiple times at night to pee.  Friend or foe?  You decide.
Friend or foe?
The first ultrasound was a few weeks ago.  It was an interesting experience...we got to hear the heart beat.  It was amazing because this tiny tiny heart was racing at around 138 BPM.  No wonder I'm so exhausted all the time!!  We got a few pictures...they're really fuzzy and it's hard to make out what the hell you're looking at, but oh well.  Figured I would post it anyway.  I should be getting some better pictures this coming week when I go in for some scary, but necessary, tests.
Tiny, tiny baby!  Just under 1 inch at this time. Don't laugh at my tail!  You had one when you were this small, too.
Since this picture was taken, the baby has now more than doubled in size, has human-like features (fingers, toes, arms, legs, knees, elbows, eyes, nose, ears,) and is moving around like crazy...thought I can't really feel it just yet.

Boy or girl?  Don't know yet...but I have tried a few tests to figure it out.  I can't wait to find out, hopefully they'll tell me next week.