Thursday, March 29, 2012
Lance and I are trying to go house hunting tomorrow, but he's having some internet difficulties. So, that's still up in the air, too. Things just don't seem to be going our way this week!
Other than my typical working out and errands, I haven't really ventured out and done anything. I've been exhausted due to 2 hours of sleep per night for the past 8 days, but thankfully, I got around 6 last night.
My new kick this week are smoothies made by our Magic Bullet. I've been making strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry smoothies mixed with either pineapples or bananas. Oh gosh, they are so delicious. I'm very impressed with my Magic Bullet's ability to blend these so well.
Tomorrow night, Tommy has "Freeze Night." Which, has something to do with fantasy baseball league kick offs...or something like that. So, Leia and I are going to have dinner at Table 3. It's a authentic French restaurant, so I'm excited to give it a try!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday was spent baking, cooking, and Tommy smoked chicken, sausage, and pulled pork. Leia and Zach came over, and it was fun to catch up. The pulled pork was so delicious! We will definitely do this again in the near future.
On Sunday, we headed to my parent's house for lunch and decided to look at a couple of open houses. And, my mother showed me her own decorated nursery for Madeline. It's so adorable. I'll take a photo of it once it's 100% complete. And, I'm jealous that she already has everything set up! The open houses were unsuccessful and are not on our list. But, we did pass by a few other potential homes, and I'm excited to give them a look. We have around 8-10 homes on our list, however, I'm not sure if any of them are under contract. Once we get an offer, Lance and I will take a day and knock out all the showings, I'll pick the Top 3, and then we'll take Tommy. Thankfully, Tommy and I both have the same taste, and want the same things in a home...so agreeing should be pretty easy.
It looks like Madeline is going to stick for the baby's name. I just love it! Unfortunately, I've dealt with morning sickness for the past 3 days. Symptoms can come and go anytime throughout pregnancy. And, my energy is not as high as it was last week, which is disappointing.
In other exciting news, Ray and Sandra generously purchased our Chicco Keyfit Travel System!!!
And, Nana is buying the chandelier I posted (currently out of stock)! I'm so excited! Thankfully, both sets of our parents are kindly storing items for us until we move. I love that our families are so excited about Madeline.
I'm taking it easy today since I'm sleep deprived and we've been so busy the past 2 weeks. I'll go for my walk later on today, and that will most likely be it.
Hopefully, my next post will be about officially being under contract. Our fingers are crossed. However, with the amount of showings we are having, I'm confident we will sell in the next 4-6 weeks. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Well, I fear that I have become the "mean lady" in our neighborhood. Our home is located on a corner lot, and it's become the neighborhood kid's meet up spot on a daily basis. They play in our yard, in our side yard, around our cars, and I've even caught them on our front porch. Once, I was trying to nap, and the kids were playing in our side yard (which is secluded from the road, much like a deep trench), and I asked them to leave. I just don't want to be responsible if someone were to get hurt...and they were playing with scissors as if it were a sword! Well, yesterday, one of the kids was playing a pellet gun and shooting it at out our for sale sign. I had had enough...and went out and told him to stop shooting our sign.
Sigh. Growing up, I was allowed to roam free in our neighborhood, as long as I was home by a certain time. However, my parents did not allow me to play in random people's yards. Certainly, times have changed. Or have they? Where are the parents? I've never once seen any of the parents watching their children play in the neighborhood. Even at night when they are playing in the street. Gosh, I don't even know where the kids live...they aren't our neighbors, that's for sure. I wasn't aware that parents were so lax nowadays about their kiddos. But, maybe I'm being hypersensitive and overprotective? When I was a child, you didn't hear about many abductions, rapes, etc. But...it's plastered all over the news now.
So, what is the appropriate way to supervise your children? Keep an eye casually on your child as they play? Be a helicopter parent? Or, just unsupervised?
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Speaking of slumber, this is where our precious little girl will be sleeping:
Today the mailman brought us an exciting surprise from Bran and Michelle - adorable baby clothes! Everything is so cute!
Looks like I'm going to have to start wearing sunscreen on my daily walks. My face, arms, shoulders, and back are burnt! While I enjoy getting a tan, I guess I do need to apply at least a 15 SPF to prevent sun damage. I just hope the warm weather stays with us.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Yesterday, I received my fabric swatches. They are even cuter in person! I was a little worried about the color of pink not being exactly what I wanted, but it's perfect. And, different than what was on my computer screen...hence why I thought it would be smart to order swatches to verify in person. I went ahead and ordered our bedding today. And, I was able to save a photo - pictured below. Now, I know it looks like a lot of pink and white, but the crib sheet, another throw blanket, walls, glider, pillows, and accessories will all be gray to contrast with all the pink. Also, ignore everything in the beige color - you can make custom items for these, but I prefer not to in order to prevent everything from looking too matchy-matchy. And, no more patterns/prints for the room, either. In addition, my mother found a perfect white chandelier which I'll eventually order (also pictured below). I love decorating rooms - I get this from my mother. She should have gone into interior design.
I didn't hear back from the agent on Sunday, but we did have another showing this morning...however, I don't think it was promising because they only stayed for about 10 minutes. Oh well, there will be others.
On Friday, I also attempted to go maternity shopping again. I hit up Motherhood. Well, they only carry size small in stores. Everything was massive on me. Okay, I realize they need to be large for growth, however, I do not have much hips or bum. My hips would literally need to grow about 8 inches for anything to look decent on me. Dresses looked like a sheet on me, and shorts bunched in a way that was not so flattering in the front (if you know what I mean) due to excessive fabrics. Same with tops. I headed home and decided to look online for XS - sure enough, I found some. And, A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood, sister companies, were having a Buy 1 Get 1 Free Bogo Sale on top of redline prices with free shipping. I ended up scoring 10 shirts with my $100 gift card. Unfortunately, all of their dresses are only available in smalls, and most of their shorts. But, I think once I start growing, I can get away with the rubberband trick with Bella Bands for bottoms. (Big thanks for Michelle for gifting me one)!
So now, I'm awaiting on many packages. My maternity order is shipping in 4 separate orders, I ordered a few baby items from Etsy, and my custom bedding should arrive in 4-6 weeks. But, no more shopping for me....time to save for baby.
Last, here's an actual photo of my baby bump at 17 Weeks.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Friday, I had to run errands and scored 3 outfits for the baby at Macy's for $9! They were having a winter clearance sale, but unfortunately, it was already picked over. I have a feeling this little girl's wardrobe is going to be just as massive as mine.
Saturday morning we headed out to Babies 'R' Us and met my mother. We began the registering process, and wow, it was crazy overwhelming. Of course, it was fun, but by the end of it all, my brain was fried. There are so many gizmos, gadgets, and basics that babies need. Also, we picked out our nursery furniture and my parents generously purchased it for us!!!! Thankfully, we don't have to store anything right now since our house is on the market. My parents are going to help out with this.
I was exhausted by the time we finally made it home (thanks to zero sleep the prior night). Today, we had another showing. I believe it was either a second showing from Thursday evenings' or the agent might have brought new clients (same agent). I called the agent on Thursday for feedback and didn't get a reply, and I didn't realize it was the same guy again when he called back to schedule another showing. Oh well....I'll try to get with him this afternoon. Overall, we haven't had any negative feedback on anything...not price, floorplan, upgrades, etc. Which, is a little surprising, but I'll take positive feedback!
I'm still waiting on my nursery swatches to arrive! I'd wish they'd get here so I could make a final decision on bedding...but I won't officially decide until I approve the swatches.
I think the remainder of the day will be a combination of working out, relaxing, and surfing the internet for cute baby finds!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Previously, I posted a custom baby girl bedding set. I've decided to go with a different company and fabrics. Unfortunately, they do not allow me to save my custom image. But, I can show you fabric swatches! I've decided to go with a hot pink, gray, and white themed room. Silvery gray walls, white furniture and accents, pink and white bedding/drapes, grey sheets, grey glider and pillows, and a white acrylic chandelier. I have this all visually prepared in my head....I hope it turns out exactly how I have it pictured. I might add in a touch of pale yellow (teeny bit of it), but I'm not sure yet. I ordered my swatches yesterday, so hopefully, they will be arriving soon. Below are my fabric swatches:
On Saturday, Tommy and I are going to go register at Babies R Us...we are so excited! I think this might be the only store we register at...I was a bit disappointed with Target and Babies R Us has a huge selection of everything we need. I've done my research on products and Shellie has been a big help, too.
Michelle and my Aunt Sandee are starting to plan our shower! Leia and Shelby also wanted to throw us a shower, but we'd prefer just one...so they'll help out. Our shower is scheduled for Saturday, June 9th. I'm so excited!
The past two days have been gorgeous....82 and sunny. I ditched the gym and my DVD and went for 1 hour walks each day, and I actually got some much needed sun! I have tan lines! Since it's going to be in the upper 70s for the next 10 days, I decided that I needed to do sunless tanning. In the past, I've used Versa Spa at Sun Tan City. It's truly awesome, but expensive. I ended my membership ($85 per month) when I was laid off last summer. If you want to try it, do the medium-clear with hydration. It's nothing like Mystic Tan which leaves you orange and only lasts for a couple of days. It would last anywhere from 8-12 days with proper moisturizing, and the color was very natural. So, instead, I'm using L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze. Previously, I've used the gel version, but I am out. I noticed that I had an unopened box of the towelettes, so I tried it. It's not as sticky as the gel, but it's hard to tell where you've applied it. And, the box said "For best results use within 6 months." I think I've probably had this stuff for over a year, so I might turn into an orange, splotchy oompa loompa. I'll find out before I shower in the morning.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
During the night, I tossed and turned. I had dreams all night long about the ultrasound. All dreams pointed to a baby boy. I got up early this morning, and anxiously awaited our appointment. I was so anxious I was getting nauseous!
My parents and Ray were able to meet us at the imaging facility to share the good news. We went into the room, and my nerves were soon calmed. The room was actually pretty cool - the parents sat on a couch with a big screen to stare out, while Tommy and I were behind them doing the actual ultrasound. So, it wasn't awkward at all with everyone staring at my tummy. And, the bed itself I was laying on was super comfortable.
During the beginning of the ultrasound, the baby was not cooperating. The baby has to be in a very particular position in order for the gender scan to be revealed. I had even eaten cereal for breakfast and had a tall glass of orange juice before we left (OJ is recommended so the baby will be active). So, I was beginning to think that were just weren't going to find out today. The ultrasound tech had me try shaking around, moving in other positions, etc. to get the baby to move....and FINALLY it worked.
We soon found out that we are having a little baby GIRL! My intuition all along was girl, and everyone around me thought the baby would be a girl...but I figured it was due to me being such a girly-girl and no one could picture me with a little boy. I asked the ultrasound tech how accurate this reading was, and he said 99.9% positive...and from the photos and screen...it was very evident that this is indeed a little girl.
I've always wanted a little girl, but always thought I'd end up having boys. So, this is super exciting! Tommy and I still disagreeing on names, and I'm sure we won't decide until birth at the rate we're going.
The ultrasound itself felt like an eternity....but we were only in there for 15 minutes! We received several photos and a DVD of the ultrasound. I'd also like to point out that this was an elective gender ultrasound. My next appointment with my OB is on April 2nd for our anatomy scan. While we already know the gender, the scan is to make sure everything formed appropriately. From what I've seen so far, I'm not really worried about this scan.
And finally - I'd like to introduce our little girl....
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Yesterday, I did use Sauve Professional's Keratin Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner, and Leave-In Conditioner. First, I'd like to point out that I have coarse, wavy, colored hair.
The shampoo had an excellent leather, however, it smelled like a men's bodywash. It was a little strange. The conditioner is thick and had a normal smell. The directions stated to leave in the condition for 1-3 minutes, so I went for 3 minutes, and rinsed. Next, I used the leave-in. It stated to only apply a dime sized amount....so that's exactly what I did. I also used Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Serum (highly recommend). My hair definitely felt softer and was easy to detangle when wet. My comb glided effortlessly through my hair.
Next, I let my hair air dry for about 30 minutes. I always do this to help protect my hair from heat damage. Then, I went to blow dry. Afterwards, my hair was definitely softer, less frizzy, and I virtually had zero flyaways. I always have tons of flyaways thanks to my natural waves and trying to blow dry my hair straight. And, my hair did not end up smelling like a man once dried...more of a normal just washed smell. Finally, I used my flat iron for the final touch. I could definitely tell a difference using these products and I'll continue to use them until emptied, and see if it improves my hair overall throughout time. Now, were these products just a effective as Coppola's Keratin Systems? No, but for the price - not bad. Results are below.
Today, I'm officially 16wks - 4 Months!!! This week, I've definitely noticed a little more belly...still looks like bloat or that I might have a gut. And, my tummy has been itchy, which means my skin is stretching. I fear that I'm heading into the "fat" stage of pregnancy. Meaning, I don't look pregnant, I just look like I have beer belly...lol. I hope this stage does not last too long.
Tomorrow, I have my 16wk check-up, and then Tuesday is the big "reveal" day. I'll update tomorrow about my appointment - I hope everything looks good.
And, I'm super excited about this:
Friday, March 9, 2012
Last night, I had delirious dreams about the baby's gender. One dream right after another...from a little baby boy to a little baby girl. I believe my last dream of the night was a girl. And, I cannot stop thinking about the gender!!! It has consumed all my thoughts.
I'm going crazy...must know NOW!
ONLY 4 MORE DAYS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Yesterday, I had a salon appointment, and then hit the mall afterwards. I went to A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood again, but no luck. I did find a pair of $98 maternity shorts that I did like, but I simply could not justify spending that amount on shorts that I will wear for just a few months. Plus, I don't think I've ever spent more than $60 on a pair of regular shorts, anyway.
I still had some energy left, and decided to head to Target on my way home. I ended up finding a cute sleeveless maternity top ($10) and a maternity dress that is so freaking cute on sale for $20. My local Target decided to relocate their shoe department directly across from the women's department. Smart move, because, I saw a few pairs of shoes that caught my eye. I have a confession. I, Ashley, have a shoe addiction. I own over 200 pairs of shoes....maybe even 250. Several still in boxes, never worn. I actually banned myself from shoe shopping last summer. I believe I've only bought 1-2 pairs since, and they were necessities for certain outfits. Well, yesterday I caved. Here's my justification: This Spring/Summer I will only be able to wear flats and wedges. No more heels. 98% of my shoe collection are heels....4 inch heels to be exact. So, I do *need* them. And, they were incredibly inexpensive. So, this is a positive step in the right direction for me (no pun intended).
Below are my purchased wedges. Each shoe was only $25, and surprisingly great quality. I've only bought summer flats from Target, so I hope these hold up.
Another reason for my trip to Target was to pick up Sauve Professional's Keratin 30 Day Smoothing Kit. My hair stylist used Coppola's Intense RX Keratin on my hair (leave in conditioner), and the results were so awesome. But, it's $50 for 1 oz., so I thought I'd try a discount version first. Unfortunately, I cannot use the Sauve Professional's Keratin 30 Day Smoothing Kit. Why? Read the warning below:
- Hair has been PERMED, CHEMICALLY STRAIGHTENED OR RELAXED (lye or no lye relaxers)
- Hair has been COLORED in the PAST WEEK
- Hair has EVER been BLEACHED, HIGHLIGHTED DOUBLE-PROCESSED, or HIGH LIFT color (including some extreme shades of red)
- Hair is EXTREMELY DRY, BRITTLE, or DAMAGED
- SCALP is irritated, sore or damaged.
- You are ALLERGIC to THIOGLYCOLATES, commonly found in perming products, or if you have ever had a reaction to a perm.
Unless you have "virgin" hair, I wouldn't suggest using this product. I do color my hair (it's a high lift), so I had to pass.
But, I am able to use Sauve's Keratin Shampoo, Conditioner, and Leave-In. They have other products in the line, but they were sold out, so I'll try these out this weekend.
Monday, March 5, 2012
In one week, we find out if our little baby is a boy or girl. I am so anxious, nervous, and excited! Thankfully, I have a busier week than usual, so at least my time will be occupied. AND - I am actually finally starting to feel better!
My mother cooked her phenomenal homemade chicken and dumplings for lunch for us. I ate two bowls, then we took a large batch home (I also ate them for dinner). I could eat them everyday. This is definitely my favorite childhood home cooked meal....well, and my mom's fried chicken tenders with fries.
Yesterday during our open house venture with my parents, we did stumble upon one home that has excellent potential. It was on my list, but did not have an open house yesterday, so we decided to drive by and just peak in. We looked through the windows in the front, then headed to the backyard. Of course, I just had to check to see if the back door was locked (agent's frequently forget to lock garages and back doors), and sure enough...it was open. Okay, so I know we probably shouldn't have gone in, but it saved Lance's time and the agent's time getting to see it on our own. At first glance, the house needs a lot of work. The kitchen needs updating, all new flooring in the home, new fixtures, paint, etc. If we spent around $20K on renovations, it would be an amazing house. But, the floorplan was phenomenal....I mean awesome. It really has a ton of potential. Lance is finding out a little more details on the home (it's a foreclosure, but the past activity on the home has been a little bizarre). Right now, it's our top contender.
We went to 3 other "real" open houses. I was really excited about one, however, the floorplan just did not work for us. So, that house is unfortunately out. The next home we went to was right next door to a main road and the house itself felt creepy. Not only creepy, but the layout was strange. Then, we passed by a few homes on our "list" to see if they'd still be contenders....the basement home and the pool home. The basement home is in an excellent neighborhood, but the pool home's right corner is up against a busy street, so that one is probably out. Tommy and I will still take a look at it nonetheless. Then, we decided to hit an open house that was in a neighborhood that we previously ruled out. Well, we actually liked the neighborhood once we went back.....the house was pretty good, had an amazing yard, but there are a few obstacles with it...but we'll keep it on our list for now. And now this neighborhood is back on our list, and there are two other "potential" homes in this neighborhood we'd like to see. For the time being, we're just looking at open houses.
It's difficult not to get too excited about a new home when we're still waiting to sell ours. But, we're still getting a lot of traffic, so we just need more showings and/or an offer from a previous showing. After visiting these open houses, I get what agent's mean when they say our house shows well. It really does.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Fried Calamari with Tomato Ragu and Pesto Aioli
Cafe Salad with Artisan Greens, Brioche Croutons, and Crispy Goat Cheese Ball
Braised Lamb Shank with Couscous and Green Chili Mac N Cheese
Park Cafe Creme Brulee with Custard layered with Almond Phyllo Dough
I was very happy with the calamari, goat cheese ball, lamb shank and mac n cheese. The cafe salad itself was bland, and I could have done without. Also disappointing, my creme brulee - which I usually am raving about. First, let me say that Park Cafe has significantly cut down on portion sizes. From our entree to dessert, it seemed as though our portions were cut in half. I was very disappointed with this once I received my brulee. The creme brulee just lacked flavor this time, and was a tiny portion. Oh well....I'll still definitely order this in the future.
Tonight was the first night in WEEKS that I have actually worn make up, fixed my hair, and I got to wear my nice jeans. I actually hadn't worn my nice jeans (Paige - Laurel Canyons - the best jeans ever) in over a month, and I wasn't sure if they'd actually fit me. But, they fit exactly as before. Yay for me! And, I took a photo of myself to start tracking my baby bump's progress on my my blog. Not big changes - I just look bloated. I bet I start showing more in about 4 weeks.
It's a Brad, Brad World on Bravo. I meant to post this earlier, but this is a must see. First, let me set this up for you. Brad's boyfriend, Gary, has been planning a big surprise for Brad for their 10-year anniversary. Gary isn't much of a sentimentalist...more so a complete control freak. Anyway, watch below and see Gary's big surprise for Brad (who had no idea) at their party. I don't know whether it was my pregnancy hormones or what, but I thought this was so touching and sweet....and pretty damn creative.
If for some reason the video did not post correctly on your computer, below is a link:
Tomorrow, Tommy and I are going to a couple of open houses with my parents. We actually have a showing ourselves tomorrow. And, my mom's making her famous homemade chicken and dumplings for lunch. I'm so excited to eat them!
It was nice to finally get out of the house tonight. But now, I'm going to go cuddle with Sophie on the couch :)
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Well, I'll start with my sickness. I'm finally starting to feel better. However, I fear saying this, because every time I mention that I'm getting well I end up sick the following morning. But, my fingers are crossed this time!
My dad's surgery went very well, and he's at home recovering. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the hospital. My parent's thought it would be in my best interest not to go to the hospital where hundreds of sick people are since I am myself, pregnant and sick.
The weather is beautiful today...70 degrees and sunny. It's actually been in the 70s all week, but yesterday we had a severe storm threat, including tornadoes. I will be the first to admit of my heightened fear of tornadoes. They terrify me. This is one reason I'd really love to have a basement home again, or perhaps a storm shelter of some sorts. While today is gorgeous, tomorrow night we have yet another severe storm threat including tornadoes. Yippee! (Insert sarcasm here).
This week, Tommy brought home different types of instant Pho from the local ethnic food market. Tommy is obsessed with Pho, and has to have it twice per week. I think it's just okay, but I do enjoy it from time to time. He also brought home authentic Pho soup bowls and spoons...they are really cute, and perfect for any soup. I decided to try one of the Phos, not expecting an excellent outcome. In the past, Oh Ricey! Pho has been my favorite, but the market was out. Surprisingly, this Pho (Pho Bo) was the best yet....great flavor. However, the directions were in Vietnamese, so I had to just guess on instructions based on my previous experiences. My noodles were undercooked, so I guess it needed to steam for another 2-3 minutes. But, the broth was so delicious. The only ingredient that I add to Pho is about teaspoon of Sriracha sauce.
I'd like to give a brief review on my Summer Sanders DVD I've mentioned before. Now that I've been doing it for 2 weeks, I can definitely tell a difference. I'm sore after each workout, and I'm starting to tone up again. I'm still trying the 1st Trimester Full Length Workout version, because I'd like to give it a full month of the workout before I move on to the next. During most of the workout, I'm cursing underneath my breath at Summer and Cary (instructors). It's really difficult!
We have a showing this evening, which I'm excited about. It's been slower the past two weeks, but generally, people start their new home searches in late March, so I'm very optimistic. Actually, I'm quite surprised that we've had so many showings in February. We've also received very positive feedback from the agents thus far, so that's a plus.
Since it's going to be a stormy evening tomorrow night, Tommy and I will most likely curl up on the couch with pizza and a movie. And, on Saturday evening....we get yummy Park Cafe. I'm so ready for some braised lamb shank, or perhaps I'll change it up with one of their specials for the evening. Not to mention...finally get out of this house and do something!!! Not sure what else what might be on the agenda.
Well, Sophie and I are going to take stroll around the neighborhood and soak up some sun. It would be nice if my pale skin could actually get some sun....