Monday, December 12, 2011

Go Me!

I have always waited until dinner time to figure out what is for dinner.  It was always stressful for me, but I did not think about planning ahead.  A week ago I started planning our dinners a few days in advance.  I have wanted to try it for a while now, but I just have not gotten around to actually doing it.  What really made me finally take the plunge was to get start eating healthier.  I also want the practice so by the time our kids are big enough to eat with us, we will have many months worth of meal ideas.

We go to the grocery store on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (or Sunday) and plan the dinners the night before for the next couple of nights until the next grocery trip.  I am definitely eating more vegetables than I was before (which is great since I tend to avoid the vegetables).  And the nice thing about going to the grocery store a few times a week is that the produce is fresher and that I do not have so many groceries in one trip.  I am definitely the one to throw things in the cart that are not on my list.  It is easier for me to avoid doing just that when my list is short (especially since I avoid going up and down every aisle).  
I have been putting down everything we have for dinner in an Excel calendar for future reference.  I am so proud of myself for how organized I have been thus far (and the whole planning in advance and eating healthier).  One step at a time to making my life more organized.

I am addicted to Pinterest.  When I first started, I did not understand all of the hype.  After spending some time on it, I cannot stay away!  There are so many great ideas in many categories.  Chris even likes looking at all of the pins with me.  

I am thirty-three weeks along today.  It is crazy how fast my pregnancy is going.  Less than two months and we will get to meet our first baby.  Unbelievable.  Overall I have had a great pregnancy.  I expect to have as equally great of a labor, due to my amazing genes.  Last Friday, Chris and I slipped on ice walking back to our flat.  I had a hard landing on my side, mainly my right elbow.  My muscles are still sore from it.  What is comical is that my mom had a fall onto her right elbow when she was seven months along with me, though it fractured.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I woke up this morning to a strange smell.  A few minutes later I heard sirens stop in front of the flats.  Fire trucks had come to the flats before without it being anything, but I got a little scared because of the smell.  I opened up the blinds and saw the fire trucks right below and a crowd of people across the street.  What really scared me was seeing smoke coming from a flat near mine.  I quickly got dressed and got out of there as fast as I could.  When I got to the stairs, a fireman was coming from above and asked if everyone was out of the apartment.  I said yes and continued downstairs, passing by more firemen coming up with hoses.  I went across the street and saw that it was the flat diagonally above ours.  Unfortunately the fire was in the bedroom, which was the room closest to our bedroom.  I called Chris and he picked me up at took me to work (I was in flip flops and a bit cold).  I am so thankful that I was able to wake up and that the fire was contained really well.  My breathing hasn't been great since then, but the baby should be fine.  Our next appointment is Monday.

A month ago my hard drive failed on my laptop.  I'm so glad that it happened a week before my warranty ended.  I haven't received the replacement hard drive yet, which was shipped a couple of weeks ago.  It's really hard to receive packages at the flat as the shipping companies can't get into the building.  So, I'm never notified if a delivery has even been attempted.  I emailed the customer service guy asking the company used and the tracking number, but he was no help.  So it's probably in some depot and will be sent back sometime.  I've been using Chris' laptop when he doesn't take it into work.

I got Chris a DSLR camera for his anniversary/birthday/Christmas present.  His aunt and uncle brought it over when they visited us a few weeks ago.  Chris was shocked, to say the least.  He's been having a lot of fun figuring out everything on it.  And now he has a list of all these camera things he wants.  Oh, what have I created?  For our anniversary, which was the end of September, Chris was going to get me a Claddagh ring.  When we traveled to Derry, I found the perfect one!

We went to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher last weekend.  It was something that was planned the day we left.  I had mentioned to Chris the week before that we need to go before it gets cold and I get too big.  It just worked out well that we could go last weekend.  We had a great time and the weather was beautiful!

I'm 29 weeks on Monday.  We've been trying to take week by week pictures, but I can't get the slideshow to work on our blog.  I feel like I'm still pretty small for how far along I am.  I definitely look pregnant now, though.  I can still see my feet and don't feel huge.  The baby will slide his foot down against my tummy.  It feels so weird.  I like to poke at him when a body part is right up against my tummy.  Tonight, he finally stuck a foot out when Chris was around.  I had Chris feel it and he took his hand back right away because it felt weird.  He's been kicking more lately near my bladder.  The first time he kicked my bladder was so strange.

Pictures to come when I finally get my laptop working.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I’m still at that point where it’s not obvious yet that I’m pregnant.  I kind of expected that I’d be a lot bigger by now (not that I’m complaining, not at all).

Museum 082

I think I look pretty well for being 20 weeks along, though my waist has increased by three inches.  Chris has taken week by week pictures of me, but I just haven’t put them up yet. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It’s a Boy!

We had our appointment at 19 weeks yesterday.  Everything looks great.  He looks about 19 weeks along and very healthy.  The baby was very cooperative and she could see everything she needed to really well.  She said that he’s very active, and I should enjoy not being able to feel him just yet.  She also said that he has long legs (not sure where he’s getting those from).  Our baby looks so athletic right now.  I’m sure he’s going to be a handful once he learns how to crawl and walk.  It looks like we’re going to have the baby in Belfast.  We have a couple of names picked out, but we don’t plan on revealing the official name until birth.  Our next appointment is in 3 weeks.

Chris completed his first 10k on Sunday.  It was cold and a only a little rainy, but at least it wasn’t windy.  He finished just under 52 minutes.  He managed to run with a terrible side cramp for the last half of the race.

Nothing much going on right now.  Our anniversary is in 3 weeks (the day of our next baby appointment), but it looks like we’re not going to go anywhere for it.  Chris may be working that weekend and we don’t want to make plans because of that.  We are planning on doing a one night stay at a hotel with a Groupon I bought in mid-October.  We’re hoping to go to Germany for Christmas to visit Valentina and Joerg.  I also want to show Chris the Christmas markets as he has never been.  That was one of my favorite things while in Germany.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

4 Months Down, 5 to go!

So far, second trimester has been great.  I’ve been feeling crappy (like really bad allergies) once or twice a week.  I think I’ve figured out why, though.  Anytime I have popcorn, the next day my whole head hurts and I’m stuffed up.  We’ve been having popcorn more often the past month.  Apparently I’m allergic to corn, but I never really noticed symptoms like this before.

Our last antenatal appointment was on August 1, and our next one is on September 5.  We may be able to find out the sex at this next appointment (I’ll be 19 weeks along).  We really like our antenatal care, though it’s very expensive.  And it’s in pounds, to boot! 

We went to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum last Sunday.  We had a lot of fun.  I found Bon Bons in the candy shop!  They were tasty and didn’t last long.

Chris and I signed up for the Warrior Dash.  It’s the end of July.  I just hope I’ll be ready by then.  It will be only six months after baby To-be-named-later is due. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Irish Fetus

I can’t believe I’m almost three months along already (1/3rd of the way done)!  I’m starting to feel better, though I’m still exhausted a lot of the time.  I never threw up, but I was suffering from nausea for several weeks.  My next appointment is the 1st of August. 

We’ll find out in two months the gender of the baby.  What’s funny is that before I was pregnant, we both wanted to wait to find out the sex.  Now, Chris wants to know immediately.  He’s finding it hard to wait even two months more.  I’m excited to know, though I’m not as impatient as he is.  I’ve only had one gender dream and the baby was a girl (Chris wants a boy so he didn’t like that dream).

I’m due the 30th of January.  If it’s really early, it could fall on Kimberly’s birthday (the 23rd) or even my birthday (the 18th).  We shall see.  I just hope that my little parasite isn’t born late.  Or would leech be a better nickname?  We really are excited for this fetus (I’m sure Chris will be shaking his head at my choice of words).

We’re not sure when we’re going to reveal the name, perhaps at birth.  We have a few picked out, but we won’t seriously think about names until we know the gender.

We don’t know when we’ll be back in the states, but the plan is to stop by Arizona first and then drive to Washington.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First Weeks in Belfast

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for sixteen days already.  We’ve been so busy.  Chris has worked every day except last Saturday since we got here (not complaining, just pointing out that we’ve been busy).  I’ve been pretty busy, too, getting everything in order and picking people up from the airport.  It’s so pretty here.  The weather hasn’t been too terrible.

There are so many places we want to see.  The only problem is our weekends are usually busy with work.  We switched flats about a week after we got here.  I wanted the one we’re in now because it has a more open floor plan.  There’s a lot of noise (in terms of neighbors going in and out and cars), but it’s worth it. 

Back in Washington, Chris is about a thirty minute drive away from work.  Here, we’re less than two miles away from the work site.  I even walked to work and back one day!  It’s great being so close.

I’ll try and update after we do or go somewhere different.  Perhaps next time I’ll post pictures of our flat (but that won’t be until I have everything put away).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fence Installed!

We’re definitely excited that the fence was installed while still being here.  Now the neighborhood kids won’t be running through our backyard and shed while we’re gone (and even while we’re here).  I’m hoping the picket fence in the front will help keep them out of our front yard.  They can still enter our yard on the side, where the hill is. 



Because of the easement, we needed to put the picket fence back 6 feet.  I plan on taking out the grass (and trees) and putting a bunch of plants in front of the fence. 


Our neighbors can still see into our yard.  I plan on putting some plants that give us more privacy.



I really want to start on my yard projects now!  I’ll probably start this fall, when we get back from Belfast.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The fence people are coming tomorrow!  We got a call this afternoon to see if we were available tomorrow morning at 8 for them to come and put posts in.  Not much warning time, but we don’t care.  It’s finally going to be put in!  I was afraid it wouldn’t happen by the time we left (which should hopefully be sometime in March).  They’re coming back on Friday to finish the rest.  I’m so excited!  No more kids running through our backyard and going through our shed (which we put locks on after the fact).  Right now the backyard is only partially fenced, what the neighbors have fenced.  We’re going to finish fencing the back yard.  Also, we’re going to have a picket fence put in that will go just in our grass area.  The kids will still be able to get into our front yard via the hill of dirt on the side.  I plan on putting a retaining wall up after we get back.  That should keep them out for good.  Pictures to come shortly!

Not much else has happened besides the fence.  We still have no idea when we’re leaving for Belfast.  I’ll keep you updated!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Artsy Wine Stuff and Yard

We’ve been saving the bottles of wine we drink.  I applied an adhesive to some of the labels several months ago.  Then, after waiting a couple months, I tried to take them off.  It didn’t work that well.  I filled the bottles with boiling water, which helped take the label off.  Unfortunately they don’t look perfect, but that’s probably as good as I’m going to get them.  I still have a lot more bottles left.  I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do with the labels.

Chris and I have been saving the corks as well.  I hadn’t really thought about what to use them for.  I figured I would figure it out someday.  The other day I randomly got a thought for what to do with some of them.  It’s going to be pretty difficult and time consuming, but I think it’s worth it.  I want to take the outline of a wood letter and fill the inside with the corks.  I didn’t find my idea online, so I printed out my own letter, cut it, and stuck corks in it.

DSCN9816    No, B is not for Boy.  I am not pregnant (though I know a few who wish I was).

I’m not sure how we’re going to do the wood.  One option is to get block letters and cut out everything but a thick border.  I’ll have to see what Michael’s has.  It’ll be a pain to measure and cut all the corks so that they fit and look nice (as well as the wood). 

We had the utility people come out and mark the lines where the utilities run.  The good news, it doesn’t interfere with our plans to finish building the backyard fence.  The bad news, it basically ruins most of my plans for our side yard.  I figured this would happen, so I was trying not to get my hopes up.

DSCN9818Looks like someone went crazy

DSCN9822  Our front yard.  I had planned on doing a picket fence around our front yard.  That way we can play with our dog in the front yard and not worry about him getting hit by a car.  Also, I have always wanted a picket fence.  Now, we’ll have to bring the fence 5 feet into our yard.  I think it’s worth it; Chris hates how much it would come in.  If we do that, I plan on taking out the grass in front of the fence and putting in pretty border plants. 

DSCN9828  I can live with everything else.  This is the cable that completely ruins my plans.  It runs right through the middle of our yard to the corner of the house.  It’s the communication cable, which I’ll pay to have moved.  The hill on the side of the yard is better viewed on the second picture.  I had planned to bring in the bricks about 6 feet to make it even with the other part.  Then, put a bunch of retaining walls up to make it look nicer.  I plan on planting mostly vegetables in that area.  Also, I plan on taking out the flower bed that’s in the middle of the lawn and putting grass in. 

We’ll see how everything all works out.  I plan on measuring and recording slopes and where everything is before we leave so that way I can plan while we’re in Belfast.  I love planning things, even if they don’t happen.  I just like thinking about it.  Chris hates planning and listening to my plans because all he thinks about is how expensive it will be.  I try not to let it get me down. 

Monday, January 17, 2011


So I’ve lived in Washington for over a year now and lately I’ve been thinking about what I like here and what I miss from living in Arizona.

What I’ve grown to like about living in Washington

-  The fact that I can grow so much here!  I love being able to have a garden and not have to do much with it (besides getting rid of all the weeds).  I love how green it is.

-  Spring – I never appreciated the different seasons much until I came here (appreciated it in Germany, too)

-  I guess Chris being here with me.  Though I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.

-  Walking around barefoot at night and not worry about stepping on a scorpion.

-  Having my own house and yard (technically it’s Chris’).  I have so many plans for them!

What I loved about living in Arizona

-  Getting to see my family and friends often.

-  How not humid it is.  I also loved the weather.  The sun.  Monsoon season.

-  The cacti and the mountains and the awesome sunsets (the desert in general).

-  How clear the nights are and being able to see so many stars in the desert.

-  Wearing a jacket in the winter because it’s “cold” (in the 70’s).

-  The citrus trees at my parents house.  I never bought a navel from the grocery store until I moved to Washington.  Even now I don’t like to do it because they’re so bleh.  And the lemons are so small!

And now for my observation.  In Washington there are a lot of Asians.  I haven’t seen this many in one place since I was in China.  On the other side of that, there definitely aren’t as many Mexicans here as there were in Arizona.  I guess I do miss that about living in Arizona. 

Another observation (this one more of a con):  People from Washington do NOT know how to drive in the rain.  It’s rather irritating.  Come on people, you drive in this every day!  I mean, it makes sense in Arizona.  I just don’t get it.  They also love to slow down for the curves on the highway.  And yes, there are a lot of curves on the highway.

Well there you go.  I’m sure I’m missing some things from my lists.  There are just the major ones that I can remember for the time being.