Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Visit to the High Line: 2012

Throughout my 12 or so weeks of morning sickness, I went from being confined to the apartment each weekend to being content to stay in the neighborhood. Even when the worst of the morning sickness was over, I still got queasy on the subway and was loathe to take it when I didn't have to. So I never did on the weekends.

But after a week of feeling completely back to normal -- so long as you don't count my insatiable hunger -- I was ready for a weekend adventure into Manhattan. So Paul and I took a walk along the High Line on the West Side for the first time in about a year.

I've posted lots of photos of the High Line (see here, here and here), but I managed to catch a few more lovely views this time around. Here are my favorites.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Preparations Begin

After we announced the pregnancy, a few people asked whether we were going to move -- the thought being, of course, that New York City apartments are rarely large enough for the people who live in them, let alone +1.

Luckily, that hasn't been a concern for us. We chose a three-bedroom in a nice, middle-class (read: not trendy or extra-expensive) neighborhood when we moved to Brooklyn almost five years ago, and we stayed put. So we had our own bedroom, a spare bedroom with a twin bed for guests, and an extra room where we stored our desk, books, bookcases and whatever other odds and ends we collected.

Of course a baby upends our nice separation of spaces, but not necessarily for the worst. The reorganization of our apartment started this past weekend, with the Saturday delivery of our new rocker-recliner. To fit that in the living room, we had to move one of the other chairs out. The more comfortable of the two, we decided, would go into what will become the nursery (the former spare room).

And so after the delivery men left, we started in. We moved the bookcases against one wall in the third room and the desk against the other. Paul took apart the spare bed and carried each piece to the room at the front of the apartment, upending our entire space. The result: the new spare room is pleasantly crowded (and probably a lot quieter for our guests, since it faces the side street instead of the busy Fifth Avenue), and the old spare room/eventual nursery, is full of the baby stuff we've accumulated from my parents and Paul's sister.

The "nursery," however, is far from assembled. Paul's video game system and the small TV it's hooked to is still in there, waiting to be moved to the new spare room closer to the delivery date. And we still need a new dresser, let alone a place for the baby to actually sleep!

But things are slowly coming together. Next up: rearranging our own bedroom.

Friday, June 22, 2012

And the Gender Is (90%) Revealed

So long as this pregnancy progressed as uneventfully as it has so far, last Thursday was going to be the last doctor's appointment that Paul accompanied me on. It was an exciting one: We were going to find out baby's gender!

Unfortunately, baby wouldn't cooperate and would barely move during the ultrasound. No gender reveal that day. Fortunately, I had a follow-up screening at another doctor's office the following Monday, so maybe baby would be rockin' and rollin' at that time.

Paul met me at the office on Monday, and we both hoped for better luck. Of course -- need I really say this? -- the baby's health is our main concern, and everything's right on track. With that established, the tech asked if we wanted to know the gender. I responded with a resounding, "YES!"

Girl, she said. She was 90 to 95 percent sure.

I was ecstatic, although my ardor has cooled enough that I now truly believe I would have been equally happy with either a boy or girl. With absolutely no experience to back me up, I figure a girl is probably more fun to raise as a baby and toddler (Dresses! Bows! Frills!) and much, much harder as a tween and teen. As frequent users of sarcasm ourselves, Paul and I figure that's just one more thing we'll be bequeathing.

Paul simply wants someone he can play catch with. That, I remind him, isn't out just because we'll have a girl. But, he reminds me, I never liked that kind of stuff when I was a kid. What makes me think our daughter will?

I don't know that she will. But there's no guarantee a son would have either. In any case, I think we'll see a ball and glove once all is said and done.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

View of a Bridge

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from 4th Avenue and about 101st St. in Bay Ridge, on a beautiful spring afternoon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Watching "Prometheus" in 3-D

Good deals are still to be found in New York City, and I snagged one a few months ago on Groupon -- two movie tickets and two small popcorns for $12 at the Bay Ridge theater about 10 blocks away. It's not the same as the $2 tickets we used to get in Bryan, Ohio, but I'm not complaining.

I bought four tickets, intending to use two of them to see "The Hunger Games." But then my 10 weeks of morning sickness began, and the tickets sat unused, with an expiration date of June 30.

Time to see some movies.

So Saturday night Paul and I saw "Prometheus." I wasn't so sure -- I like sci-fi shows like "Fringe" and "Battlestar Galactica," but I hate scary movies. I decided to take a chance, especially since it was showing in 3-D. I'd never seen a 3-D movie outside of Disney World.

I liked it OK. It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it was interesting. And it wasn't too scary, although I did hide my eyes at a few parts. Spoiler: I'm not a fan of watching giant alien-snakes being extracted from someone's abdomen.

The 3-D was anticlimactic. I didn't feel like it added anything to the show, and the glasses were a tad bit uncomfortable over my own specs. I'd be interested to know if there's been any movie in which the 3-D really did add to the movie-going experience. I suppose it'll be so common in a few years that I'll think it was funny that I was ever excited to see a whole 3-D feature film in the first place.

The best part of the movie? Being home again after a short, pleasant 10-minute walk.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Morning Bull

My new occasional morning routine is to get off the subway two stops before work, grab a chocolate chip muffin at the farmer's market in the plaza every Tuesday and Thursday, and then leisurely make the 8-minute walk up Broadway to the office.

This brings me right by the famous Wall Street bull, and there's always a crowd -- even at 9 in the morning. Now there's fences to the side and behind the bull, but I'm not sure why. In any case, it prevents the always popular bull butt shot.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Alone

This was Paul's third annual weekend in Lake Placid, this time to run the full marathon. Despite the five hour drive upstate, he understandably enjoys running a scenic destination race while spending some time with friends.

And while I miss him when he's gone, it's only for a couple of days. I generally plan something fun to do by myself that I know he doesn't enjoy -- maybe some shopping or making a special trip for a scone from Alice's Tea Cup.

This year, however, was an exception. I would never deny him the trip -- and I'm pretty sure he registered for the race before we knew I was pregnant anyway -- but I will admit to guilting him into coming home on Sunday instead of Monday. My "morning" sickness still isn't over, and in fact I've recently had some pretty bad evenings. I hadn't been left alone for more than a few hours at a time, and I wasn't sure how I would handle it. I know I'm supposed to be a big girl, but it sure doesn't feel like it when I'm hunched over the toilet (or, more likely, a trash can at the 59th Street subway stop).

As I write this on Sunday evening, I can say that the weekend went pretty well. Some of the credit goes to Paul -- he set me up with plenty of baked potatoes, as well as some leftover shredded chicken and pasta. Some more of the credit goes to Downton Abbey -- so I wasn't up for a trip to Manhattan, but at least I could entertain myself with part of the first season of a show I've been meaning to watch.

Maybe I'm a bad wife for doing my best to convince Paul to come home a day earlier than he wanted, but he's a good husband -- it didn't take much convincing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Most Relaxing Week Off

The last week we spent in Ohio was probably the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken -- even compared to our other trips to the state.

I had exactly two plans all week: a lunch date with a couple of friends, and a barbecue at my sister's house. I had other, vague plans -- some of which got done, and others that didn't -- but nothing else with a set day or time.

I enjoyed it even more than I expected.

Generally our trips home are chock full of plans. After all, we tend to go to Ohio for specific reasons -- usually a wedding or holiday. It's not unusual to have set plans every single day. I have no complaints about that. I want to take advantage of the visit and see as many people as I can.

But this time my most pressing obligation was sleep. On two separate nights I slept 12 hours. It was delightful.

By far the most stressful part of the trip were the drives: 9 1/2 hours to Columbus, 10 1/2 hours from Defiance. But it could have been worse. It could have been longer.

Now we're trying to decide where to go on vacation later this summer. Usually (and by that, I mean ALWAYS) I want to go somewhere with lots to see and lots to do. This year I'm not so sure. On that note, I'm off to research plane tickets.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All About My New Eating Habits

One of the biggest surprises since becoming pregnant is how much my eating schedule has necessarily changed. This became even clearer when we visited Ohio last week, and even more so in the few days since we've returned.

Before I was pregnant, I would get up on weekdays at 8 a.m. I may or may not eat breakfast as I got ready. Lunch would be at 4 p.m., supper at about 8:30. On weekends breakfast would be later and lunch earlier.

Now I get up at 7:30 a.m. and eat breakfast before I do anything else. I can't function without a bowl of cereal, and maybe some toast. Second breakfast starts when I get to work -- usually a giant muffin from the farmer's market, or a blueberry scone from Starbucks. I try to eat it slowly and make it last til at least 11.

By 12:30 I'm hungry again, so I snack on some animal crackers, or maybe some leftover pasta in the fridge if I have any. Lunch is at 2 and rarely later -- if I eat it too late, I know from experience that I'll be sick. I try to eat McDonald's or Burger King once or twice a week for the calories, or maybe get some soup and a pastry at Au Bon Pain. Yesterday I mixed it up and got some potato concoction and fried plantains at a Cuban place.

More animal crackers in the afternoon, and my new thing is munching on a mini bagel on the subway ride home (thanks, Mom). This is the iffiest part of the day. By the time I leave at 6 or 6:30, my stomach is a little lighter, and the jerky subway ride home doesn't help matters. By the time I get home, I often (but not always) feel awful and need a baked potato right away. Eating a potato also seems to be a good way to keep down my horse-pill of a prenatal vitamin (which, if you didn't know, is the most awful thing ever to puke, followed by tomato sauce and watermelon - luckily, not in combination).

If it was a bad trip home, it's difficult for me to eat the rest of the night. I can usually eat an ice cream sandwich very slowly. Maybe some frozen spinach. (But again, I must beware -- gag that, and it tastes like you just upchucked an iron bar, not to mention that it looks just awful in the toilet. It actually scared me when I saw it.) On a good night I can have pasta or chicken and rice or even tacos. Ah, the variety!

So that's my eating life right now. But it was so much better in Ohio! I was extremely concerned before we went. Both my and Paul's parents asked about my food preferences and aversions before we came, but it's still not the same as having a fridge full of your own food. Furthermore, I didn't want to be an inconvenience.

Luckily, it went fine -- I was actually able to eat better and a greater variety there than I'd been able to before or since. Almost everything Paul's mom suggested sounded great -- pesto, bacon, scrambled eggs, salad, meat and potatoes -- I don't even know what all. Really the only thing I nixed was lasagna. And my parents' house was the same way. I was addicted to the shredded pork sandwiches they made one night and tried my best to eat all the leftovers before we came back to New York. And one day for lunch we went to a Mexican restaurant, and the salsa tasted so good!

Of course, my eating schedule was different in Ohio. That is, I didn't have one. I pretty much just ate constantly. And there were a couple of nights in which I slept 12 hours. That probably didn't hurt either.

Now you know more than you ever wanted about my new eating habits. Whatever they are, they must be working. I still see men on the street who look more pregnant than I do, but my jeans sure are a tad bit cozier nowadays.


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