Dec 282015
 

After much hemming and hawing I took Christmas Eve off from work. I was planning on saving as much time as possible for maternity leave but work was SO dead the day before Christmas Eve I knew Christmas Eve would be even more boring. I was glad I took it off. I slept in, went to the gym, got a haircut, ran some errands and then spent a few hours working on the soon-to-be-nursery. Lots of stuff to go through!

Christmas morning Michael and I opened presents. He got me a new camera! I LOVE it! It’s a Canon and a lot of the features are similar to my old Canon but it’s still going to take some time to figure it out. Michael said that there’s a feature on the new one that will make it easier to take pictures of moving targets–like babies and dogs. It’s so hard getting a good photo of Bella, even using all the tricks I know with my current camera, because she just moves too fast! I’m looking forward to practicing.

Fat Kitty enjoyed the wrapping paper and boxes. I got Bella a new squeak toy and she loved the sound but didn’t want to play with it, which was weird.

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We took Bella for a walk–thankfully it was finally NOT raining here in Portland, then my parents arrived from Seattle and the four of us went to Gracie’s for our annual brunch!

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We love Gracie’s. The food is always perfect and the service is as well. This year they had a champagne cocktail menu! Dang it! It looked so good. But I did splurge and order some freshly squeezed orange juice that was absolutely amazing.

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I ordered the ham and cheese omelette this year. It came with potatoes and I got sourdough toast. Michael got the Huevos Rancheros, of course, and my mom got the crab and avocado omelette. Everyone’s breakfast was fabulous. It was a nice, relaxing brunch. I’d kill for some more of that OJ.

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Back to the house for presents with my parents. Fat Kitty decided my dad’s lap was the best place to be, apparently. :)

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My parents got us a glider for the nursery (to be delivered next month when the nursery is finished). They also brought down this super cute chair and stool:

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One of my dad’s friends got it in Arizona and it’s so cute! It’s small but sturdy and will be a great addition to the nursery. After spending a few hours with my folks, they took off for the beach and Michael and I went to his mom’s house for dinner. There were deviled eggs, I made a veggie tray, Michael’s sister did these pork buns that were really good.

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It was a very full day but it was nice that we got to see everyone and spend time with them. I got to talk to my brother on the phone for awhile and that was good, too. Maybe one of these years we’ll all be together for Christmas. Who knows, things might look very different next year!

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Saturday evening Michael and I went out with another couple for dinner. Michael had been planning a big group dinner with some of his childhood friends and in the end it was just the four of us, which was nice! Much more intimate and it was nice to catch up with friends we wish we saw more than a few times a year–especially since it’s not like we live all that far from each other!

We went to East Burn for dinner. The three of them shared the goat cheese and prosciutto appetizer that looked really good:

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I wish I could have had some! For the entree Michael got the burger (I had a bite and it was quite tasty). I got the steelhead entree that was to die for. It was nestled on top of pumpkin risotto with cranberries. The dish sounded like it would be really sweet but it wasn’t. The pumpkin risotto was slightly sweet but tasted more like butternut squash than pumpkin and it was mild. The cranberries gave it a really nice, tart finish. There was brown sage butter drizzled on top and the steelhead was crispy and perfectly prepared. I LOVED my dish!

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It was so so good! I wonder if I can recreate a dish like this at home…

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We decided to share a dessert–the Fudge cake. It was giant! Thank goodness we split it four ways. It was really thick and rich.

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It was a nice evening and we spent a few hours hanging out with them, even after the food was done. It was also nice to pick their brains about birth and babies and such as they have two of their own. It was a decadent weekend!

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Dec 212015
 

Usually my huge family gets together for our annual Christmas party and white elephant gift exchange. There’s tons of food and drink and people and it’s a blast. For whatever reason that didn’t happen this year, so some of my cousins decided to throw our own little Cousins Christmas get-together. I’m glad they did! It was a small group of us because so many of us are scattered around the country (and world) but it was so good to see some of them!

First, I went to the gym. 40 minutes of weight lifting (a mixture of body weight exercises like squats, some free weights and then weight machines) and then 30 minutes “running” on the treadmill. Jog/walk intervals about 2-4 minutes each. I did 1.4 miles on the treadmill.

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Then Michael and went out to my aunt’s house for the festivities, Mexican food themed. Yum!

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It was nice of my aunt letting us crash her house for our party. I had cousins come from Seattle, Eugene and Salem. When we arrived my grandma was also there! That was a nice surprise I wasn’t expecting. My aunt had picked her up in Seattle and was taking her to the farm south of Portland to spend Christmas with them. It was great to be able to see my grandma (who I think turned 95 this month) for a little bit. My grandma tried to pawn off her Moscow Mule drink to me and I kind of laughed and pointed to my belly and she said she’d forgotten. Ha!  They left and it was just us cousins for the rest of the day.

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Lunch was so tasty. My cousin Di made tamales. Michael made his amazing guacamole. My cousin Anna made taco salad. I made a bean thing –four different kinds of beans, Mexican spices and Rotel cooked up. Everything was delicious. I was famished and the food hit the spot and satisfied my Mexican food craving.

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My cousin’s husband works at Sound Brewery and brought some beers. I liked the label with the frog on it. :) We spent a few hours just hanging out and catching up, having fun and then called it good. The rest of them were going out to a show that evening. Michael is getting over a cold and I wasn’t feeling up to going out for a late night (as much fun as it did sound to hang out with everyone longer) so we took some pictures and said goodbye.

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LOL My aunt took that photo. Too much egg nog?? :) We were laughing so hard. It took several tries but we finally got a good photo:

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It was so much fun. I’m glad we organized something and got together instead of just skipping it this year. I wish it could have been the whole family, but maybe next year.  Michael and I went home and I immediately got in my PJs, turned on the heating pad and put my aching feet up. Exciting Saturday night for us!

Sunday

Sunday morning I did 4.5 miles on the elliptical:

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And then Michael and I went to the hospital for our tour of Labor and Delivery! I was excited for the tour because I had no idea what to expect and I hate the unknowns. It’s the control freak in me. I really wanted to see what the delivery rooms looked like and the recovery rooms.

The tour started with an introduction on where to park, how to check in, etc. We walked over to Labor and Delivery and got to see where the check in is, and then see the room where you labor. It was a really big room. I’m guessing because there are often a lot of people in that room when things get going for real.

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The guide talked about what to expect and that there was a tub in the labor room, plus there were labor rooms that had big tubs like this one:

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There were a lot of things to assist with the birth. A ton of different kinds of bouncy balls, apparently there’s a squat bar that can attach to the bed for different positions.

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There was a little incubator for the baby with a heating pad under the blanket. They don’t have a “nursery” and the baby pretty much stays with you the entire time, unless you have to go to NICU. I like that. They also had a padded couch/lounger thing for the dad to sleep on if necessary.

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The guide said that they try and give the baby to mom immediately and then everyone leaves the room for about an hour to bond and stuff. Then they come back and do all the testing things they normally do for the baby. After a few hours they move you to the recovery room, where you’ll stay for a few days. That room was a lot smaller.

I’m glad we did the tour and got an idea of what to expect. I admit, I was a bit overwhelmed and anxious at the beginning of the tour but once we got to the rooms I relaxed a bit and by the end of the tour I felt ok. Of course, things don’t always go as planned but it’s nice to see what everything looks like. One weird thing — it was SUPER quiet. I didn’t hear a peep the entire time we were at the hospital. I wasn’t expecting screaming women but not even a baby crying? It was very odd.

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After the tour we turned in our pre-registration forms and then went to lunch at McMenamin’s.  Michael got the Italian salad. I got the grilled Tuna melt sandwich on rye with cajun tots. The tots are fabulous!

Overall it was a good weekend, even if it was busy busy busy. The next thing to check off our to-do list is the birthing classes! Those start in January.

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