You May Say I’m a Dreamer

I don’t know a lot anything about dreams. Except, I know that my mastiff has them…I watch her whimper in her sleep while kicking her long legs as if she’s running. I assume she’s chasing bunnies….or maybe she’s chasing pugs?

My spouse doesn’t really dream. He can’t remember his dreams in the morning and, thus, never entertains me with tales of his nocturnal adventures. I, on the other hand, have incredibly vivid, wildly absurd dreams. I can recall the intricate details of my dreams almost every night. In fact, sometimes I have such real dreams that I confuse reality with made-up events that were created in slumber (read: AWKWARD).

And whenever I dream about another person, I get this bizarre feeling when I run into them in the real world that they know that I dreamt about them. Suddenly, I wonder if they know what I know. Did they dream the same thing? Should I be suspicious of their motives and friendship……. Regardless of what happened in the dream, I’m clearly the creep in the situation.

But, I’ve gotten used to all that. What I am not used to is the pregnancy dreams.

via

Pregnant ladies have CRAZY dreams. Since I got knocked up, my dreams have been absolutely nuts! I’m talking dreams about my future child, creepy (and sometimes naughty) dreams about my favorite people, and nightmares about my most feared situations (read: anything involving a snake). Blech.

Then there’s the stress dream. Oh, the stress dream! I’ve had the same recurring nightmare for, like, ten years. I have it every time I’m tapped out emotionally. I shared this dream recently with someone. The response: hesitation, nervous laughter, followed by a look of concern.

I’m stuck in the servers’ area of a restaurant that I waited tables in for several years. There are invisible walls around the servers’ area and I can’t get to my tables who all need attention. One needs to order, one table is waiting on drinks, another is requesting more ranch dressing. The more I try to escape my invisible cell, the louder the calls for service are. The stress mounts. My shoulders tense. I’m screaming to get out of the cell!!!!

It’s awful. Since becoming pregnant, that dream has intensified. I wake up dripping in sweat, heart racing, and thanking God that I no longer wait tables for a living.

Then there’s the nonsensical dreams. The ones that seem normal at first and then take you on a disconnected journey to weirdville. You know, like when you dream you’re walking in a convention hall but then exit an airplane to go to a speech your coworker is giving and halfway through the speech you realize you’re actually at a Spanish rock concert and your coworker is the lead singer.

Weird. Preggo dreams are weird to say the very least. I was never told about this little side-effect of growing a human, so, I wanted to give all the other hot mama’s out there some peace of mind.

Don’t think you’ve lost it when wake up after having a dream about your child coming out with red hair and freckles (read: Chucky) and bouncing across giant mushrooms like Super Mario. You’re probably fine.

Crazy dreams are just another part of the pregnancy roller coaster. At least, I think they are. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to experience the wacky side of bedtime while pregnant….am I?

What are your dreams? Did you have more vivid or wild dreams while pregnant?

Random Ramblings

First, I stole the title of this post from my friend, Tina. You should check out her blogs here and here.

Second, I heard Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning which means six more weeks of winter.

But, wait. Is he right? Conflicting woodchuck weather reports have been coming in all morning. Some of Phil’s weather-predicting-rodent competitors had a different shadow experience than Phil….. meaning an early spring? Who do you believe?

Phil seems to have more credibility than New York’s Island State Chuck or Wisconsin’s Wynter the Groundhog and Phil’s been going at it for, like, 100 years. So, I’d say he’s probably the most accurate.

Since I’m on Team Phil, I’m prepped for six more weeks of winter and am looking forward to the snowstorm that’s expected to blow into CO this afternoon.

Third, I want to go to where ever this cup of coffee is, jump into the cup, and swim around.

via

Only five more weeks until I can get all tweaked out on java again. Oh, sweet coffee, how I long for a pot of thee. Limiting myself to under 200 milligrams of caffeine a day isn’t cutting it for this tubby lady (who can no longer sleep through the night thanks to the pangs of extreme weight gain). Oy.

Six weeks of winter, five weeks of pregnancy, three weather-predicting hamsters, and a couple of blog shout outs. Random? Yes.

Tasty Tuesday: I Miss Beer

I’m a beer drinker. I like it…a lot. And not because it makes my head feel floaty or because it’s easier to make bad decisions after having a few. Nope, I’m not into beer for the alcohol alone…I like the taste of beer.

I’ve been labeled a bit of a “beer snob” or “beer geek” by those that genuinely enjoy a Bud Light, but truth be told, I’m really not all that knowledgeable about the brown bottle. Living in the Napa Valley of beers, I’m surround by actual ‘beer geeks’ who know far more than I do….I just like a good beer.

I like it hoppy and a little malty. I love Pale Ales, Reds and IPA. I enjoy the light flavor of a Stella on a hot day and heavy creaminess of a Guinness in March. I have dreams about Yeungling (only available east of the Mississippi). And when I’m feelin’ fancy, I’ll bust open a bottle of Chimay. Mmm….

And, as many of you know, my spouse is a home-brewer so we often have two home-brews on tap at the house. Lately, because he’s a real sweetie, he has one beer on tap and a home-made root beer on the other for his expecting wife. Awwww.

But root beer doesn’t always cut it. Over the last eight months, I’ve missed my hoppy elixir of malted grain and in efforts to satisfy my craving I’ve tried about every non-alcoholic beverage under the sun. Today, I thought I’d share my findings so you lovely beer guzzlin’ gals will have some guidance when it comes to spirits if you suddenly find yourself with child.

Non-Alcoholic Beer

In order of preference:

St. Pauli Girl – Hands down, my favorite NA. It’s a little odd, given my affinity for the heavier, hoppier microbrews, but I have to say when it comes to “beer” taste, St. Pauli Girl gets it the closest. It’s a lightweight malt beverage, perfect for a hot day or with a meal. I’ve knocked back quite a few of these green bottles in the last eight months and will definitely be trying regular St. Pauli Girl post-pregnancy. I’ve never really considered regular St. Pauli Girl beer before and can honestly say I have no idea what it tastes like.

O’Doul’s – Probably the most famous of the NA’s, you can find O’Doul’s at almost every bar, restaurant, or liquor store. For those that typically imbibe on the more flavorful selections, I’d recommend trying the Amber O’Doul’s (comes in a brown bottle). It has a lot more ‘beer’ flavor and has more substantial weight on the tongue than O’Doul’s Premium (green bottle).

Kaliber – An interesting spin on NA if you ask me. This swig will definitely give you some taste, but it’s not what you’d expect. Created by the folks who bring us Guinness, this slightly darker ale has a coffee-infused flavor and aftertaste. While the flavor of Kaliber is stronger than that of most of the other NA’s, it’s still a very light-weight brew and won’t fill you up.

Bitburger – I just stumbled upon this one recently. Bitburger is a German beer with more hops than most NA’s and quite a bite. The flavor is definitely strong….it takes some getting used to…but it grows on you as you sip down this bubbly beverage. It’s the only beer I’ve found that is 0.0% ABV (most NA’s are less than 0.5% ABV).

Becks – I’m not a huge fan of Becks NA. It’s a light amber but a little too light in flavor. Also, there is something of an unsettling aftertaste with this brew. I wouldn’t necessarily turn it down but it’s not the first one I’d ask for.

Sharps – By far, the worst beer I’ve ever had (and I had a Hamm’s once pre-pregnancy). Unfortunately for Miller, their NA beer is just as bad as their regular beer. I assumed that the domestic beer giants (Budweiser, MillerCoors) would make a terrible NA because their regular beer sucks, so I avoided the majority of their products while preggo. In Vegas, I was accidentally served a Sharps when I mistakenly asked for a NA brew without asking what the options were. I made it less than half-way through the bottle before paying a ridiculous Vegas-price and leaving it to be dumped out.

So, there ya have it…my NA beer reviews! Like I mentioned, I never explored the typical domestics so I’m not sure what Coors Light NA tastes like (but I’d venture to guess, based on the taste of regular Coors Light, it’d be…..water-flavored?). And I’m sure you can find more flavorful, zany brews if you really dig through the NA aisle but I think the selection above captures most of the widely available NA’s.

I know for sure, the brews near the top of the list will definitely quench your thirst when you’re a sober sister in need of cold one.

Here’s to 28 Weeks!

Two trimesters down, one to go!

I’ve been growing steadily now for…well…28 weeks (who counts in weeks…seriously?). But, I swear it was just in the last month or so that I’ve gone from a little bump to a full on pregnant belly. It’s like it happened over night! I looked down and WOW!

It’s weird to look back at 13 weeks, 20 weeks, and 24 weeks and see the progress the little man has made (he’s very productive..he built a whole body in 7 months…not too shabby). And seriously, I cannot believe my body can stretch this far (I’ve stocked up on cocoa butter). What’s truly shocking (and somewhat concerning) is knowing that I still have a whole trimester to go! I’m going to be huge!

But it’s all good. Aside from being terrified about actually raising a child, my pregnancy has been stress free and very healthy. I couldn’t be more thankful for the good fortune we’ve had. And I cannot wait to meet the little boy who keeps kicking me every night before bedtime (hopefully once he’s here he becomes less of a night-owl and more of a day-timer).

Seven months ago, I had no idea I’d be two-thirds of the way through a pregnancy by Christmas. I can’t believe how quickly the last 28 weeks went by and I’m excited/nervous/curious/terrified to find out what the next 12 weeks will bring! Wish us luck!

“Before you were born….I loved you.” ~ Author Unknown

Cheers!

Baby List Update: #9

Well, I did it.

I broke down and finally bought maternity clothes. Gasp!

You may be wondering how I’ve made it this far (almost 6.5 months!) without purchasing a few things from the maternity section. Honestly, I got hooked up from my girlfriends and sister (who have recently been pregnant). Those lovely ladies unloaded stacks of only-been-worn-for-a-few-months maternity gear on me.

In addition to scoring a bunch of free garb, I’ve been very selective in my clothes shopping; opting for styles like cardigan sweaters, over-sized tees, and stretch pants that can be worn while with child but also post-baby and perhaps next fall. And thanks to the tips  from this book/website, I’ve splurged on accessories and shoes to give my newly unstructured look a bit of flair. If you’re preggo and haven’t read Bump it Up, you’re missing out! It’s full of enormously helpful fashion tips!

But despite these efforts and my commitment to #9 on the Baby List, the time for me to snag a few preggo clothes of my own has come. I want to be sure to pass on some cute stuff to the next gal who gets knocked up, right?

Not surprisingly, I wasn’t impressed with the maternity selections in most stores (read: cheap fabric and overpriced). However, I did manage to snag two sweaters and few…uhm…..undergarments. Not a huge splurge but a start!

Sweater 1 & Sweater 2

Exciting stuff. Truly riveting material here, huh?

Anyway, next on the shopping list? Baby Shower Outfit!!!

My first shower is next weekend and I’m not quite sure what to wear. I’ve started to formulate a plan thanks to a sparkly skirt I recently spotted on Zara. I found a maternity version at A Pea in the Pod, but I’m not totally sold yet. Working on the plan…I’ll be sure to update you when I’ve figured it out!

Have a great Tuesday!

The Good, The Fun, & The Perky

You’ve heard all the crazy side effects of pregnancy, right? Morning sickness, swelling, weird food cravings, mood swings, etc, etc. It’s pretty common knowledge that the majority of women will experience some or all of these unpleasant symptoms during the process of growing a human.

I say it’s also pretty common to find yourself among a group of young women telling the tales of their pukey first trimester or their uncomfortable last month. Those who have never been pregnant tilt their heads and smile sympathetically while secretly deciding to never have children. Those who have kids nod in empathetic agreement and say, “But it’s so worth it.”

And the story-telling  gets worse when you get knocked up. Once the words, “I’m pregnant!” leave your lips, the floodgates open and the previously “too-graphic for my friends without kids” stories somehow become appropriate lunch conversation. It makes pregnancy sound….pretty awful.

But I’m here to tell you it’s not all bad. In fact, for me (and I know I’ve been extremely lucky) it’s been really good and quite enjoyable! Since you’ve all heard the horror stories, I thought I’d let you in on some of the perks to let you know that it’s not really that terrible.

At almost six months pregnant, here’s a list of my six fave things about being with child:

1. Everyone is Nice – People smile at you for no reason (once you start to show). They give you extra attention, ask how you’re feeling, take heavy items from your hands, insist you put your feet up, and offer to get you a snack or drink. Enjoy the pampering, I’m sure it won’t last!

2. Huge Boobs – I’ve never had much in the ol’ cleavage department. This fact has been pointed out to me by everyone from friends to my grandmother. Whatev….I got over this early in life because each body is different and, well, I can get a boob job. But, guess what!? Now I don’t have to (at least not yet). For the first time in my life, I am filling out tops (we’re talking a SOLID B cup, people) and rocking the cleave like a champ. I don’t even feel bad about the exposed decolletage. In fact, I embrace it (except the other day at church…realized that was a little inappropriate and tightened up the sweater).

3. Awesome Hair – Seriously, I’ve had a good hair day for six months. Not joking. Wind, rain, it doesn’t matter. It’s thick and shiny. It holds a curl or lays stick straight….whatever I want it to do!

4. Unexpected (and possibly undeserved) Praise – You get complimented if you wear high heels. Really. Isn’t that odd? If you manage to waddle down the street in your favorite kitten heels or 2.5-inch wedges, people will stop you and say things along the lines of, “Wow, you’re a trooper!” and “Good for you!” as if you are doing something extremely noble.

Same goes for working out or showing restraint when it comes to indulging in treats. People seem to be shocked and overly impressed by these two extremely common practices. I say, just go with it and say, “Thanks!” Keep those healthy habits up for your little one and rock those heels for a slimming effect, if nothing else.

5. Registering for Gifts – There are two times in your life that you can not only ask people to give you stuff but you can go and pick out exactly what the stuff you want is. One – Wedding. Two – Baby Shower. The best part is, whatever people don’t buy you, you can usually go and buy for yourself later and the store will actually give you a discount just because it was on your registry!? Does this even make sense? No!! But it’s AWESOME!

6. Feeling the Baby Move – Most of these topics are pretty superficial but with this one I’ll get a little serious. There is nothing quite like feeling your little one kick around inside you. You are suddenly smitten with someone you haven’t even met and anxiously crave the next time they’ll treat you with a little movement. It’s like having a crush on your own bump…I’ve become addicted.

And, as if feeling the baby wasn’t awesome enough, the closeness you feel to your spouse when he rubs your tummy and the baby pushes against his daddy’s hands is a moment so precious that I cannot capture it in words. I will never, ever forget the first time that happened.

So, not so bad, right? Sounds good…doesn’t it? Remember to enjoy this time, whether you planned it or not (I’m one of the ‘nots’). Remember to share some of the good stuff when the story-telling starts (for the sake of your never-been-preggo friends, please share the good!) and reflect on the good inside you when the tough stuff feels too rough.

via Keep Calm

How Not to Go Insane – A List of Good Baby Books

Apparently, when you get pregnant you have to read one billion books on how to be pregnant.

You need to understand all the options out there! How will  you dress the bump!? Your doctor won’t tell you everything! What does it mean when you…..?? You need to know what to expect! Really? I’m pretty sure women were having babies long before the bookshelves were stocked with every manual possible for surviving this nine month process.

Perhaps I’m being a bit sarcastic? Maybe. If I’m being honest, I overwhelmed myself. Within one week of announcing my pregnancy to close friends and family I received a stack of books about three feet tall and I’ve been terrified that if I don’t read them I’ll be a bad mom. Really. I convinced myself that if I wasn’t suddenly an expert on all things in-utero that it was somehow going to result in a failed child-rearing experience. Oh hi, I’m crazy.

While it was very sweet of so many caring people to give me books and really quite helpful in many cases, I definitely have overdone it. I realized this last night when I burst into tears because my spouse didn’t understand why I felt it was urgent to plan out my maternity leave  right now (my due date is March 9th). While I explained the state of emergency I was in by listing off the twenty other things I’ve read that I’m supposed to accomplish between weeks 20-24 (such as locate a day care, register for gifts, start the nursery, and sign up for birthing classes), I realized I’ve become something of a monster.

As a method of de-stressing, I logged on to Facebook to see what the non-crazy, non-pregnant world was up to and saw that yet another gal I know is expecting. There are a lot of pregnant ladies out there. And since I personally  know at least ten of these knocked-up beauties, I decided to do a little list of books that are worth checking out to save you some of the time I’ve spent with my nose in a book.

Hope this is helpful, ladies, and keeps you from driving yourselves insane!

Very Helpful – Read from Cover to Cover:

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – A great guide to understand what’s happening in-utero and to your body, nutrition and health advice, and good information about delivery options, complications, etc.

The Hot Mom to Be Handbook – Partly just for fun but so full of great tips I have to put it on a must-read list. Advice on everything from nursing bras to gadgets for dad and taking much-needed downtime to maintaining a romantic relationship with your partner. Also includes info for purchasing baby necessities in super-luxe, eco-friendly, and budget-conscious options.

Just for Fun:

Belly Laughs – Wondering if all the gross stuff that’s happening has happened to anyone else? This book will keep you giggling while explaining that everything you’re feeling is completely normal (the pregnancy definition of normal, that is).

Bump It Up A guide for how to dress your baby bump from hiding the extra weight in the first trimester to flaunting that beautiful belly in the third. Great advice on how not to over-spend when it comes to maternity clothes.


For Reference:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Regular Edition & Eating Well Edition – Really good information but A LOT of it. Easy to be overwhelmed so I keep them nearby as a reference to look up questions and get guidance as needed.

Baby Bargains – Advice on what a baby really needs, how long they’ll actually use it , and where/how to get the best deals on the truckloads of stuff you’ll “need.” (Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this book. I’ve only thumbed through parts of it and plan to use it when I register.)

Websites:

Babycenter.com – All things baby-related including planning lists, Q&A, health and nutrition questions, and the most fun part of all – naming the baby! I’ve used this site to search for names much more than a book because it explains what’s the most popular (whether you want to avoid the popular or choose a popular name), name origins, and what goes well with sibling names. Plus they have an app you can download to your phone.

Babble.com – Love their pregnancy blogs. Their long list of bloggers will keep you up to date on everything including breastfeeding options, delivery stories, fashionable diaper bags, baby announcement designs, and helping older kids or pets get ready for a new baby.

BIG Announcement!

I’ve got a secret. I’ve kept it from you all for a few months, I’m sorry.

Some of you may already be suspicious with my recent cravings for oatmeal, pizza, and scaled back workouts….so here it is:

I am pregnant! My spouse and I are expecting our little baby on February 29, 2012. Yup, Leap Year! I laughed out loud at the doctor when he told us the day….like, really? Of all the days?

The past couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotions.  We hadn’t exactly planned to start a family just yet so you can imagine our surprise when we found out the news. After the shock wore off, we got excited and I got really, really tired. Pregnancy is exhausting! Thankfully tiredness has been my only symptom so far; no morning sickness or other ailments for me.

I’m pumped to finally be able to talk about our little one with you all. But don’t worry, I won’t be turning this into a pregnancy blog…although I am considering a Pre-Baby LIST (I mean, would you expect anything less?). I’ll be sure to update you from time to time on how things are going!

I hope you all have a terrific day! In the tradition of Thankful Thursday, I am thankful to be a mom-to-be!