Wednesday, April 29, 2009

21 Weeks

We had my 21 week appointment with Dr. B yesterday morning..Just a quick one this time, weight, BP, pulse, doppler ( and yes, her heart is beating strong!!) and fundal height measurement. Passed with flying colors. Weight gain is right on track and he said that I am eating prudently, which, of course, I interpreted as him reminding me not to pig out, while NZ says "he was complimenting you on your eating.."

Duh, me.

So, all is well..and I check back in 4 more weeks for an ultrasound and more of the same stuff.
We made it past the half way mark!!!!!!

I think the funniest part of my appointment was Dr. B commenting on NZ's super sweet sideburns. He said that he sported them in his twenties, and told NZ he had something he wanted to show him after my appointment....So, of course, he sped through my appointment and then got to business..He showed us back into his office, where he pulled out his desk drawer and handed photo after photo of himself in the 70's to NZ...and yes, by golly, Dr. B had some bad ass sideburns back in the day. LOL. Who woulda known?

This turns into NZ telling him he "looks like that actor".." you know, that actor"..." the one in Saving Private Ryan...the Jewish guy..."

Not being able to recollect the actor's true name, Dr. B gets on his computer ( mind you, he has other patient's waiting) and googles "Saving Private Ryan" and looks up the cast members trying to figure out his celebrity look-a-like. NZ says the actor is also in one of those "Dazed and confused" type movies too, and his homework before our next appointment is to find out who the actor is and bring a photo.

Those two guys are too much for me (=. They'll make a good team come delivery time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New FAVORITE song ( of the day)

Yay for new favorite songs!

I've been playing this one over and over and over all week since hearing it on KNCI's livestream last weekend. As much as I love living in Southern CA again, I do miss my Sacramento friends and all things country...especially KNCI.

Believe it or not, Nick and I used to be regulars at a local Country bar, and even enrolled in a class to learn the Cowboy Cha-Cha, Two step and some line dances. Loved it!

Country concerts, rodeos, cowboy boots and hats...I miss them. I miss that lifestyle...but at the same time, I love where we're at today, and couldn't imagine living any other way. We're back to our roots...the beach, and it feels unbelievable..

I just can't help but get a little nostalgic when I hear a song like Eric Church's " Love your Love the Most" because it reminds me of my wonderful husband and our countrified way of life up north.

I'm Youtube inept, so you can click on this link for the video:

Here are the lyrics for the lazy readers...

"Love Your Love the Most" Eric Church
I love sleeping in on Saturdays
And I love college football games
I love not acting my age
And good barbecue
Yea I'm a fan of Faulkner books
And anything my mama cooks
Small mouthed bass have got me hooked on Sunday afternoons
Yes I love good cold beer
And mustard on my fries
I love a good loud honky tonky rock song Friday nights
And hell yes I love my truck but I want you to know

Honey I love your love the most

Man I love how Redman tastes
Dam I love my Nascar race
Any song sung by George Strait is country at it's best
Yes I love good cold beer
And mustard on my fries
I love a good loud honky tonky rock song Friday nights
And hell yes I love my truck but I want you to know

Honey I love your love the most

Yea I love scuffed up cowboy boots
And broken torn up jeans
My 4-wheel drive and 8 point bucks
And rocky road ice cream
And hell yes I love my dog (cat)
And Jack D in my Coke

But honey I love your love
Yea I love your love
I love your love the most
I love your love the most

Friday, April 24, 2009

Too many choices...

I was texting my sister earlier this week and she mentioned that granny would like to buy my crib bedding for me...I started to seriously look at bedding, rather than the browsing I have been up to for the past few weeks..but shhhhh..I wasn't supposed to be looking at baby stuff until I knew what we were having!'s all too dang cute!
I'm torn.
I have two front runners and many "close-behinds". And yes, I know that bumpers can be hazardous, however, I am choosing to use one, if only for a short time...So leave me be (=
I fell in love with "Brooke" from PBkids. Seen below, it's got the greens ( which match Baby Z's walls) , polka dots which are my "thing"and also the mod/retro look going on with the appliqued trees and little birdies..Loooove it!
The sheet is hard to see, but there are owls intermixed with the little colorful trees.
Tied for 1st, but only available on ebay since PBkids discontinued the pattern, is "Ashley". I can get the complete set for a fraction of the price of Brooke, but ehhhhh, not so sure about all the hearts...I may need to tone it down a bit. ( photo below)

A "close-behind" is from The Land of Nod...called "Tiki Floral". I would only be purchasing the bumper pad from this collection, and using a plain pink crib sheet. (photo below)

So, as I said when I first began...tooo many choices! Especially for something that is really not all that important in the grand scheme of things..but hellllllp! I can't decide!
On another note...My brother and sister in law dropped off a bag of baby goodies, a swing, a bumbo and a carseat for us to take a look at tonight...It felt like Christmas! So flippin' sweet of them to share.

They're ba-a-ack

The moment I have been dreading since oh, let's say..last September.
For any of you that followed my myspace blog, we had an issue with raccoons last summer..It lasted from June through September, when Nick finally put away the live animal trap ( which had only managed to catch Beav) and his "Coon Stick" aka. broken off shovel handle. We had given in for the season, and it seemed that they were gone...

But I have had this sinking feeling ever since our weather has been getting nicer again, that they'd be back...

And guess what? They are.
Last night as we had our sliding door cracked open for Beaver to come and go as he pleased, I see my darling kitty jet back in our house faster than a fat kid eats cake...I look out the window and the little masked felon is right outside the door looking in at Nick and me. My immediate reaction was to turn into a Sailor and swear up a storm as Nick ran and grabbed the "stick". He looked like an old school animaniacs cartoon chasing the raccoon with the "stick" but just like the Survivor mantra, the 'coon " Outsmarted, Outwitted and Outlasted" him and made it over the fence to the neighbors.

I do not want to live another summer spent checking live animal traps, closing the cat door ( and keeping Beav inside at night..which defeats our recent goal of kicking him out so we can uncover our new couches!) out of fear those nasty boys will kick his ass...and eat our cat food IN OUR HOUSE. How gross is that? Flea ridden, Rabies carrying, your house?!

I've got word for you, Mr. Coon & co. It's game on. We're gonna win this time...and send you packing to the hills for good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quiet Book: Workday Three

What a day!
It is absolutely gorgeous here in California!!! I made a point to get some much needed sun before holing up in the house to work on my Quiet Book. With Nick at the Grand Prix in Long Beach for the afternoon, I've had the entire day to myself.
It's just been me, my sewing machine, and country music blasting...oh, and the cat. Yes, Beav's decided he is going to "help" me, aka. "get in the way and lay on mom's page layouts". But what can I do, he loves me...

Progress so far:
1. I assembled the cover of the book. My original Quiet book had a corderoy outer cover, most likley for durability, and "Popeye the Sailor Man" poplin as the inside of the book cover. I chose a gender neutral corderoy of my very favorite print...POLKA DOTS! The inside of the cover is a contrasting poplin print, which reminds me of something my mom would have bought circa 1977. Very vintage- retro, at 20th century prices..Man fabric is expensive!

(Note: the cover was MUCH easier than anticipated. I took my time to iron out the fabrics and keep the seam width equal while sewing. Once turned inside out, I ironed once again, pressing seams down. I followed up with a straight stich around the perimeter of the book, to assure that the cover stays rectangular.)

2. I tackled the zipper page. I have NEVER in my life been successful at sewing in a zipper on the first try. Someone up above was looking out for me and my frustration levels today, because Holy cannoli, I did it on the first try!

I re-inforced the end of the zipper's tracks at each end to assure that repeated pullage won't pull my poor ladybug off the page. Inside the Mama Bug, I sandwiched together two layers of red felt and polka dot corderoy to make babybugs. Now, not only is it a zipper activity, it also incorporates counting. Each baby bug has a different number of spots to count as well.

3. I got numbers on the "clock", punched grommets into my lacing page ( football), and purchased the miniature clothes pins for the pincher page ( which are little felt "clothes" that need to be hung on the clothes line).

4. The flower pot is coming along. Still waiting for paint to dry so I can sew on my button "centers".

5. Currently working on the mailbox. I have the flag attached with a brad ( taken from my scrapbooking supplies) to allow for the flag to be moved up and down. Awaiting some paint to dry on the page and I will assemble the rest of the mailbox ( a pocket to slip "mail" into..which utilizes threading skills on a larger scale)..and then lastly, attach a "door" to the mailbox which will be velcroed shut.

6. I got my Clifford page started, but am least happy with it of all my pages. I ended up having to make him into an iron- on transfer ( using transfer paper) and am crossing my fingers that once I applique him on the page and attach the clasp for the "collar" that it looks better.

7. My "snapping shapes" page which focuses on the fine motor skill of snapping and unsnapping (not to mention color and shape recognition) is coming along. I used excess fabric from my inside cover to make a pocket to store the shapes in, and drew in the outlines of each shape on the page. All that is left to do is to sew the snaps on both the page and the felt shapes.
Not bad for 4 hours of work. I'm debating cleaning up my work area and calling it a day...or going back for more.
I really should do something more laundry or housework...But this is so much more fun!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

19 weeks of wondering....

It's official....We're having a baby girl. Due date changed to September 7, 2009.

Quiet Book Progress

I jetted over to JoAnn's fabrics during my lunch hour on Monday because the idea of working on the book was burning a hole in my brain..I could not wait to get started! So, armed with my list of notions and fabrics, I made the quickest trip ever in and out of JoAnn's and surprisingly didn't forget anything on my list!

Came home and got supper started and then took over the living room floor with my project...and guess what, it's still there..and will be for a few more nights.

I ironed and starched the fabric for the pages, and cut out 6 double width pages ( to be easily folded for the backside of the pages). I then got to work ironing wonder under fusible webbing to the backside of my appliques, and for re-inforcement of some of my felt activity pieces which will be double thickness for longevity.

I worked so hard I skipped supper and ended up eating a bowl of cereal at 8:30 p.m.! Guess I just got wrapped up in the fun!

So, although it doesn't look like much, here's a bit of what I accomplished last night. I have more applique pieces cut out, but not yet adhered to the pages. The flowers on the pot are not attached, but I have already cut the button hole slits in them so they are ready to go once I complete the next step. I need to sew "stems" and buttons to the end of the stems so that the "flowers" can be buttoned on like my mom's book in the previous post.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Quiet Book

When I was little, probably three or four years old, my mom made me a Quiet book. I still have my Quiet book, although it hasn't been used in ages. After researching Quiet books through Google, I found that they originated from the Church of LDS and were made by Mormon mothers who wanted to keep their children quiet during services. I'm not sure my mom knew the background on these books, or where she found the idea, since we're not Mormon, and did not attend church, but the book entertained me for hours as a kid.
Snap the shapes Button the Flowers Velcro the clothes

Feeling a little stir crazy and crafty myself since I am unable to be as active as much as I would like to during my pregnancy, I have decided to try making one of my own. Go figure I pick Easter weekend to get the craft bug, when all the fabric stores are closed....So, fabric and notion purchases will have to wait until this week..However, that didn't keep me from digging out my old Quiet book and getting ideas for the one I will be making.

Tie my Bow Unzip & count the ladybug babies inside

Quiet books are awesome because they teach fine motor skills, math and reading skills in fun ways that preschoolers can relate to. Each page is an activity in itself. I found a few ideas I will be adding to my project that have come along since 1981 when my mom made mine.

Counting from 1-10 and fine motor pinching skills

Thanks for the book and the love that was poured into the making of it mom! I'll post photos from the 2009 version as the project gets under way! I laid out the layout of my pages last night and made patterns for all the fabric pieces I will be needing, along with a shopping list. I am ready to hit JoAnn's and get the ball rolling!

19 weeks

Two more days until my big ultrasound, in which Nick and I hope to find out what we're having, whether it's healthy...when it's due..all that good stuff.

I'm thinking...Healthy baby girl, due September 5th. So we shall see what the ultrasound technician says, and how the baby measures. If my growth is any indication of what's going on inside, we're doin' alright.

Slowed down a bit this week energy wise. I made it to the gym for weights for the first time since December...but only went twice this past week..then that did me in for the rest of the week.

Sleeping is getting to be an interesting predicament..I'm tired, but getting comfy is somewhat of a challenge. Solved the issue so far with a pillow between my knees to take pressure off my hips, so phew! Disaster averted and my husband has a still somewhat manageable pregnant wife.

And finally, people, mostly patients in our practice, are no longer worried about offending me by asking if I am expecting. It's how shall I say... rather apparent that I am sportin' a baby bump, not a Michelen tire. I think up until a week or so ago, they weren't sure if I was or wasn't..I'm sure they sleep easier knowing the answer to one of life's major questions now, haha.

The big question these days is if I have felt he baby move. Well, ask me 3 weeks ago and I'd give it a "hellyeah!" but after talking to my OB/GYN at the last appointment, he said the twitches I was getting were too high in my abdomen to be baby, and more likely to be my muscles twitching as a reaction to stretching. So, damn you abdominal muscles! You had me all worked up! I have felt little weird things, somewhat twitch like in my lower abdomen, but am too afraid to cry wolf and say it's for sure Baby Z making his/her exsistence known. Soon there will be no question..I'm just waiting patiently for that day to come.

So, stay tuned...52 hours until we know if he's a she, or she's a he!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It was an itsy bitsy teeny weeny.... blingy bikini!

I can't believe I am parting with the last of my figure bikinis! I have held onto my favorite two piece since my last show which was July 2007 USA's. Not sure why I have sentimental attachment since I wore it only once on stage, during finals, but I loooove this suit..The color, the stonework...

I've gotta admit, it wasn't my best fitting suit ( the rear had a tiny bit too much fabric length wise for me) but I adored this one.

And now, folks, I have decided that it is better off being worn, than not at all.

But hold your horses, you won't find me wearing it anytime soon on the beaches of Kah-lee-fornia ( As only Arnold can say).

So, when a fellow competitor posted a want add for a 2 piece suit, I thought to myself...c'mon Brie..You can do this...You have a suit..You're not wearing it...You won't be wearing it anytime soon.....It's time to let go of the itty bitty teeny weeny blue sparkly bikini!

After a few internal arguments with myself, I determined that selling the suit is by no means throwing in the towel to ever competing just means that next time I prep for a show, I have to buy a new suit..that's not a bad thing ..It just costs money!

I think part of the fun of prepping for a show IS the suit selection. Ordering a new suit, deciding which company to have design it...which color, how much bling....all the fun little girly details. I would be willing to bet that suit selection is one of the highlights of doing a show for almost every competitor...

The best part is when the suit arrives, all perfectly packaged, reeking of E600 glue with freshly glued stones...The debate has always been whether to try it on right away or wait until my contest date is closer...because these babies aren't made for anything other than show day.. Trying one on too early into your prep can cause severe mental anguish when the body you felt was tight 5 minutes ago, somehow manages to produce a muffin roll over the straps a bit when you're still 8 weeks out. ( photo taken at 5 weeks out from USA's)

What do I do, then ??

Try it on, of course.

I am the queen of self loathing.

It's usually not so bad, and it's really really fun to watch your body transform over the course of prep, and slowly but surely tighten up so much that the suit that you worried about being too small at 8 weeks out, it suddenly fitting like a glove one week out..and by show day.... ( photo to the right)

I feel like a million bucks in my itty bitty blue sparkly does every other woman out there in her suit.

We may fork out a small fortune for 2 inches of fabric, but the feeling of achieving a goal and stepping on stage in that 2 inches of fabric is indescribable.

So, goodbye 'ol blue. I'll miss you.

I hope you love your new owner and give her that same million dollar feeling when she steps on stage this summer!

2007 USA Bodybuilding and Figure Championships, Las Vegas, NV.

52 Competitors in Figure Class A ( 5'2" and under)..

bottom row, 9th from the left

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Steeler Country

Seeing as his/her dad is one of the biggest Steeler fans out there, our baby is definitely gonna need it's own gameday outfit...

I knew they made stuff for little boys, but check out the bows on the little girl onesies!
Does it get any cuter?

Life's a Garden...dig it

Our backyard is getting a garden!
We've been talking about one ever since we moved in ( well, that and the fact that I want chickens, but dunno if that dream will come true) and have even gotten so far as to buy seeds, but in order to get the garden we want, Nick had some serious digging and rearranging of garden sheds to do.

He spent 2 days straight digging into the hillside and clearing brush to add about 10 more feet of prime garden land to our property...Definitely a labor of love...of fresh tomatoes? Snap peas? or Me? Who knows, but he worked really hard and is failry close to getting the shed moved into it's new home about 10 feet away from it's current location.
Then with a bit of rototilling and good soil, we'll be ready for a summer crop of veggies, tomatoes and fruits! YAY!

I'm so super excited!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Genius! posted a photo of an advertisement for a health club chain in the Virginia/DC area called Fitness First.

Check it out... There's a scale in the bus stop bench, showing everyone what the seated person weighs..Now if that isn't motivation to get up off your butt and do something, I don't know what is.
Not sure how long the bus stop will stay up before someone sues for defamation of character or some bull$hit reason, but I think it's a pretty good advertisement from Fitness First.
Gets the point across.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

10 years? Really?

I 've been trying to do some spring cleaning and organization of my photo files, when I ran across a bunch taken during my years at UC Davis.

It's been fun going through them, and enjoying the shenanigans we all got ourselves into, and thankfully..out of..

Through my 4 years at UC Davis, I lived in oh....say....five rental properties. I had trouble staying in one place long enough to grow any roots. When I moved away from home in 1995, I was quiet, shy and in some ways, sheltered by my own when I signed up for a dorm assignment, the words "Extended Quiet Hours" appealed to me. Little did I know, it would be the most boring dorm EVER. I think I spent the majority of my time at Tercero with Lynn & the F crew, or with Bridg & Dawn wherever we decided to bounce around.

Sophomore year was spent at Lakeshore, with Missy " Pissy Sue" and Dawn " Mac"...We were the vicitims of some pretty heinous pranks, but always came back with something better to assault the opposing team with. We may have come home to a kitchen full of suds a time or two, but we won the war on the "Welcome to Our Nest" doormat belonging to Kiko & Brian.

Junior year was the "ghetto" year. It was also my first year as a with gymnasts. To say it was easy being in that situation would be a lie. To add to the difficulty of living with two great friends who had something I could no longer have...I had to have radiation for my thyroid and contemplated ( per mom's suggestion) not going back to school for a while. I did, however, and am really happy that I pushed through. I had some fun times with Jen & Meghers and our Drake Ghetto neighbors, the basketball girls.

Senior year, however was my favorite. 5 girls, yes FIVE...Under one roof. Lynn, Heather, Hali, Sara and Me. Pure Awesomeness.

We created, out of boredom..our very own Sorority and named ourselves, Sigma Epsilon Chi. I've loved all my roomates, but haven't always gotten along with them all the time..This group however...never fought. We had no battles, wars or hurt feelings amongst us the entire year. We all just jelled. Towards the end of the year, we got together and did some photos around campus like complete dorks, in matching outfits...but we didn't care. We were all superstars in our own right.

Some of us were headed to grad school, some to other countries, some to marriage and others were going to continue finding their way for a while...
It's hard to believe that it's been TEN years this spring, and we're all still in touch whether it be in person, through a phone call, facebook or e-mail. I'd say that's pretty awesome.

I love my girls!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

11 days and counting....

I went Tuesday morning for my 17 week check-up, and both "Baby Z" and I are "right on track " according to my OB/GYN.

When I initially became pregnant, I thought that it would be in my best interest NOT to see my weight creep up. I had this whole plan to stand backwards on the scale, and have the M.A. tell me if I was gaining too little, or too much...Seeing as I have a past riddled with weight issues, I just thought it would be best to avoid such a situation. However, everytime I step on that dang scale, my eyes make a B-line to the numbers flickering and finally settling on a weight value. To my surprise, I am actually okay with it. I mean, there's an obvious reason for my gain, and it means everything is going well if I make steady gains, right? My Dr. actually told me that whatever I am doing is working, as my weight gain the first trimester was applaudable ( is that even a word?)..Little does he know that I indulged on TBell burritos, donut nights and bagels with no exercise whatsoever! Anyhow, now that my second tri is under way, I have backed off the burritos and am back into my fairly healthy food choices with a reasonable exercise schedule for myself. I'm hoping to continue the applaudable gains throughout.

My blood pressure was great, and my belly was measured and on target for the proper growth for someone who is 17 weeks pregnant.

And my favorite part-- the doppler.

I get soooo anxious prior to my appointments, and my anxiety is eased within seconds of the Dr. placing the doppler over my belly and letting me listen to a nice strong heartbeat...but I can't help but wonder...Is it a girl's heartbeat or a boy's heartbeat?? It's fast, and I've heard old Wive's tales that indicates it's a girl....but, we shall find out....

Which brings me to the title of my post...

11 days and counting till my next Ultrasound...hoping to find out the sex then!

Best Stuff on Earth

Aside from egg whites, I think that oatmeal is quite possibly the best stuff on earth.

It's been my staple breakfast ( and an occasional late night treat) for the past 4 years..Making the perfect bowl is an art, one of which I have not yet mastered 100%. Somedays it's thick & others it's soupy...mmmm, soupy....just the way I like it...Add in some Splenda and cinnamon and it's Heaven.

One of the clues that I was pregnant was my sudden aversion to my favorite breakfast. How on earth could I not want oatmeal? I've entertained the thought of trying it again for quite some time since becoming pregnant, with one unsuccessful attempt last month...

Fast forward to Monday, March 31st..A beautiful sunny morning....nothing sounded better than...
a bowl of oatmeal..
I thought to myself, Could it be? Was I really craving oatmeal again??? I just had to try it. Worst case scenario, I dump it in the trash and head for the bagels, right?

Three Words.

Welcome Back Oatmeal.