Monday, January 28, 2013

It's really cold and I miss skiing.

Here we are in January again... and it's cold. I really don't like the Winter anymore. It's really darned cold. I am writing this a few days before I plan on posting, but I will tell you it is 6 degrees today. Six. That should be illegal. We live in NJ, not Northern Canada for goodness sake. I really never used to mind the Winter so much, but I also skied for years and I welcomed the cold weather back then, always counting down the days until I could go skiing.

It used to really make Winter very enjoyable. I loved skiing, and I still do. The other night, Brian and I drove by a local ski resort here in NJ (which calling it a 'resort' is really a far stretch considering its all man-made ice, long lift lines and overpriced). After we drove by seeing it all lit up at night, and the skiers walking with their skis to and from their cars... I got a little sad. I remember going to Vermont so many times and feeling the anticipation of arriving at the resort for the first lift line when it opened... being the first one up to the top... skiing on freshly groomed snow. What an amazing feeling- there is nothing like it. I really miss it. I started skiing when I was 25 (yeah kinda late)... bought my first pair of skis at 26, and loved it from the get-go. I loved taking the last run down right before the lifts closed & skiing to the Lodge and relaxing by the fire with a nice mug of hot cocoa... Then you go back to your hotel and take a hot shower, and get ready for a fun night out in a local restaurant... There was always a good steak place (Wobbly Barn - omg!) with a great band to be found.

My favorite place to ski is Killington, VT... it's the best place on the East coast as far as I'm concerned. Brian and I would love to ski out west someday. Oh and - one thing everyone assumes is that when you ski, you're cold. Well, your not. Not even close. You dress in your ski clothes that are completely thermal and insulated. I wouldn't think of going skiing in a lightweight coat or without the proper ski attire. I can assure you, you do not get cold ever if you have the right gear.

A few years ago (5 I think), Brian hurt his knee pretty bad during a work accident. He went through months of physical therapy and more months of getting back to 100% knee usage. We haven't skied since then... and then I got pregnant and we had Julianna. And now... the boy is on his way. I kind of put skiing on the back burner and forgot about it ... I assume now, we won't be going any year soon. Not to mention, it is an expensive sport, I can't even imagine how much a simple weekend in Killington with 2 kids in tow would be (rentals, kid lessons, food, etc)! More than I want to spend you can be sure. Times change. Brian and I talk about once the boy is here, maybe next year having his mom watch the kids for a weekend while we go skiing up in Vermont... that's a nice goal. Start small. Hmmm I wonder if I can even fit into my ski pants??HAHAA that ought to be interesting!

In the meantime, we will enjoy the warm weather when it gets here, boating and (less expensive) family oriented activities. I have grown to hate the cold probably because I miss skiing so much deep down inside. We do also plan on moving south once the housing market here in NJ recovers... so there is a possibility that we may not ski again for a long time.

Do you ski? If so, where have you gone? Do you bring your kids?

Here are some pictures from the last time we went to Killington & Okemo Vermont -
The pictures show a date of 12/08 - Is that really possible it's been that long?? Bummer.

This was the view from the main lot - always loved driving up and seeing this - it got me so excited! 

Me in my cool ski jacket- I wonder if this thing would even fit me now (well, once I have the baby haha) 

Me at the top of Killington. 

Me & Brian. If this was truly 2008, then it was the first winter we were married. I question the dates on these photos since they've been moved from PC to PC several times... it might have been 2006? 

Me again! I love that view! 

Me... so peaceful skiing down with no one around. Love it! 

Here we go! 

Again - the view always made me stop to take pictures. I laugh b/c I had a teeny pocket digital camera then.... WHAT in the world would I do now? I sure would't be able to bring my Canon T2i up there - I would be scared of it getting damaged. Maybe for one run, then stick it back in the locker?? Something to consider for next time... if there's a next time.

Here is the top of Okemo Mountain. 
That day was overcast, but you can see we were above the clouds. It was pretty neat! 

Okemo again. 

Ah the memories.
We have been to Sunday River, Maine as well - but I will say, that was a very far drive and the "Apre's Ski" was not the same as Killington. Killington by far has the best nightlife, food & restaurants!

Friday, January 25, 2013

23 weeks (Only 16 more to go!)

I wasn't sure if I was going to do one of these 'status' things while I was pregnant, but I decided to do it so I can look back and read how I felt in the middle and end. I don't think I will forget how I felt in the beginning... or maybe I want to forget, which is why I didn't write about it at all. Haha. And yes, my math is right, I only have 16 weeks left due to the fact I am having a repeat C-Section (had an unplanned one the first time).

how far along: 23 weeks (Here's the obligatory pregnancy photo)

size of baby: He should be about 11-12 inches long - and about the size of a papaya (according to

weight gain: Total weight gain has only been 2 lbs up until right now. The reason being is I lost 8-9 lbs in the first trimester due to how I felt like dog ass for about 8 weeks. So I gained that loss back slowly and now I am up 2 more total. Not bad I guess. Last time I gained about 30, because I felt great the whole time and ate my way through every restaurant in NJ! I doubt I will gain 28 in the next 16 weeks. Our 20 week ultrasound showed the baby to be right on target and no issues! YAY!

maternity clothes: Um yes. Dooohh. I envy those people that wear normal clothes until they hit like 30 weeks- WTH?! Not me. I have been wearing maternity of some sort since like 8 weeks b/c I was feeling so lousy, I couldn't handle anything tight on my waist. I needed comfort.

symptoms: Hmmm. Nothing off the charts... Just some bloating (I still can't eat a lot of food at once). My hips feel like they are going to separate from my body at night when I sleep. Oh, I woke up uncontrollably shivering in the middle of the night the other night - not sure what that was all about! I have a sight case of "pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome" (Double WTH!?). I feel like I got hit by a train some days, but I also chalk that up to my age. I don't think 42 year old's are supposed to be pregnant (just a joke folks!!). I had some rib pain the other day, probably from a foot or arm pushing into them - I'm short and I hear us short ones get that fun stuff. Occasional back aches & heartburn (Praise Zantac!) pop up. I can handle most of this as long as I don't go back to feeling how I did in the first trimester. UGH!

exercise: Ummm... Not much. Bad me, I know. We do get out on the weekends and walk around when we can. That's about the extent of it. God, I am a lazy thing.

cravings/aversions: Not too many weird cravings. I like love blue cheese dressing on my salad - a lot of it. I like chocolate smidgens. I love corn english muffins toasted with butter. Mmmmm. I love those little crunchy onion thingies you put on salads and on green bean casseroles. Hehe. I have been wanting Lucky Charms lately - not sure why, but I feel like I could eat a box of them! Oh - I love red grapes. I am pretty sure I'm single handed keeping the Red Grape crop in South America in business lately.

movement: He's kicking a lot lately. I feel like Brian should be able to feel him sometimes from the outside, but no go yet. Soon enough.

sleep: Some nights I sleep great, and other nights I get up to pee, and just can not get back to sleep. For a few nights last week, I was up listening to my daughter coughing all night. Ugh. Other nights, I sit up worrying about stupid stuff that I probably shouldn't be worrying about at 2am!

gender: Still a boy.

looking forward to: choosing a name, having the baby and having my life (mainly my body) back to normal. I won't lie, I am looking forward to taking off of work for 16 weeks with my new baby and my older baby! :)

worries: I am a super-duper worry-wart! Darn hormones. I worry about everything. EVERY. THING.  I make myself miserable because I worry about things that normally wouldn't put me over the edge like this. I just have to keep telling myself it's hormones and ignore it (HAHAHAHA!). Easier said than done. My patience threshold is very low- I have little tolerance for 2 and 1/2 year old evil toddler tantrums and wining lately.

what's different this time: Everything. It's no lie when they say 'Each pregnancy is different'. I feel totally different. The only things that are the same this time so far are the achy hurting hips and heartburn. But my heartburn was way worse last time and I was on Prilosec by this time.

milestones: None that I can think of other than I am too old for this - haha.

best moment this week: Visiting my midwives. I love going there. I wish everyone could go to them. I feel so comfortable and happy with husband likes going there too. It's kind of funny because I am sort of the 'anti-midwife'.  They do mostly natural, home & water births.... And in comes me who demanded drugs last time fro the get-go, had a c-section (unplanned) and will be having another section this time- Oh and I bottle fed too {GASP!!!!} - But I love going to my midwives for my prenatal care! And they are cool because they honor your requests no matter what.

something that bothers me: It bugs me when someone asks if we will be having more kids. Dudes, I am 42. One more just isn't going to happen. I can assure you the factory is closed. I am never going through pregnancy again. I plan on having my tubes tied during my C-section anyway. Modern medicine rocks. Amen. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top 12 photos of 2012 - Places & Things

I posted my top 12 favorite photos from this year earlier this week HERE.
I decided to break it up into 2 posts because I wanted to post my favorite "Places & Things" photos from this year separately.

Here are my personal favorite shots of places and things I took this year...

This was taken at my friend's farm in upstate NY early on a foggy morning. 
It was so peaceful & pretty there!

This was a gorgeous building that we came across on a walking tour of Charleston, SC.

This was a old-fashioned looking beach shot on Folly beach in South Carolina last March. 

These are 2 wild horses we drove by on Assateague Island in Maryland. This is one of the greatest places ever! So beautiful to see wild horses roaming everywhere! 

Walking down one of many great side-streets in Charleston, SC - end of March. 

Sunset over the boardwalk at Ocean City, MD. What a great evening that was!
I love all the kites flying in the sky. Each kite shop flies their kites all day long. 

Sunset in Ocean City, MD - while out to dinner in July. 

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ - I am pretty sure this beach is entirely gone now. So sad. 

Point Pleasant again... Julianna sitting in her chair watching the waves. 

A family stopped to take a break from boating on the lake. 

A nice sunset on our lake here - I think I took this in August some time. 

Fall pumpkin picking ... This farm lines these pumpkins up every year the same way. And I think hundreds of people take the same shot every year- just like I do! 

I decided to add one more ... (Baker's Dozen?!) I don't often get in pictures at all for many reasons which I won't got into here... but anyway, here is an OK self-portrait we took of Brian and I on our friend's ATV this past fall. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Top 12 of 2012 pictures - Julianna

I was going to do one post on the top 12 photos from this year but I had a hard time narrowing them down - and realized I had 2 types of pictures I picke out. I have pictures of Julianna and/or my husband.... or pictures of places we've been this year. So I decided to break it up into 2 separate posts.

So .... today's post is my top 12 favorite photos from 2012 that I loved & why...
Do you ever go back through your photos from the year and pick out your favorites?

This was a picture of one of the first warmer days of 2012- We went to a local state park and had a picnic and walked around. We even brought Pepper with us that day. I remember it being a fun day because we actually got to get out of the house and it felt springy. I think it was the beginning of March & I love this one because it was when Julianna first discovered this year that she loves sunglasses! 

 This is from June sometime - I took it at my mother in law's house at her pool. 
I miss the warm weather so much. I love Julianna's golden hair in this shot and how it curls up. 

 This was taken on the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland on our vacation. 
She was having so much fun on the boardwalk eating french fries and ice cream! 

 This was in Ocean City too - Julianna was the perfect little model for me that afternoon.

 Julianna holding daddy's hand - at the farm one night this summer. 

 I love this close-up of Julianna's face from this past summer. 

 Here she is running on the boardwalk in Lake Mohawk - the next town over from us. WHat a nice summer day that was. 

 Apple picking sunshine 

 Julianna is helping Daddy in the garden - he's showing her celery after it comes right out of the ground. 

 Pretty Autumn sunset glowing light - Julianna in the local park. 

 Carrousel at the zoo. This might be my favorite picture from the entire year even though it is not 'perfect' by any means! 

 This was at the nursery on Mother's Day weekend picking out or annual flowers to plant. 
Julianna's favorite giraffe came along for the ride. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some of my favorite things {currently}

Here in NJ, it's very cold, ugly and wintery. I could really use some warm and happy!
Here are some of my favorite things that make me happy.

Nice warm crackling fires in our Wood Stove.
On a cold day or night, Brian will get a fire going, and then at night after Julianna goes to bed, we will sit by the fire and read or talk. It's a enjoyable way to end off the night and stay warm.

When Julianna snuggles with her stuffed animals and tells me she loves her giraffe because he's so soft, it makes my heart melt.

When Julianna gives me an unsolicited hug and kiss - it makes me glow with happiness! It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it makes my day.

Julianna has her favorite books she loves. She likes Clifford (the big red dog) books lately, Tractor books, and Llama Mama books. She wakes up in the morning and reads quietly in her bed, but sometimes we hear her saying "Llama mama! Oh no" while we are laying in bed - too cute!

Snuggling under a big cozy blanket at night watching tv with my husband (and Pepper snuggles with us to keep us warm). Notice a "warm" trend in my thoughts here- I need to be warm - always!

Reading a nice book on my kindle that has nothing to do with toddlers or maternity.

Cooking a tasty meal for dinner for my family - especially in my dutch oven. This Columbian Flank Steak recipe is one of my husband's favorites - Try it if you can!

My Iphone & MAC make me happy. They really do! Sad, I know.

Looking at photos from spring and summer, and thinking we are not that far away from blooming flowers and green grass... and boating. This time of year (winter) really makes me bummed out, and I look forward to warmer weather.... I count down the minutes.

Feeling the baby kick makes me happy. Knowing I am more than half way done with being pregnant makes me happier - hehe.

Hearing that the housing market may actually take an upturn in the NorthEast this year makes me very happy. Maybe we will be able to actually sell our house in the next couple of years!

Reading photo blogs & seeing beautiful photography makes me happy.

What makes you happy in the Winter time?
How do you feel about this font? I'm not sure I like it yet. Kind of squirrely on the eyes.
Here are some reminders of warmer weather....

OK time to go back to Winter now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

21 weeks - more than halfway there!

I am 20 21 weeks pregnant. (I started writing this when I was 20 weeks... oops) 
More than half way there.
Yippee. Yahoo!
I really enjoyed being pregnant with Julianna. Not true this time around. I am feeling better no doubt, but I really just am not feeling the joy this time. It's hard to explain, but this just feels more like a function of life rather than a fabulous experience. I am looking forward to not being pregnant anymore in May.... and thinking thank goodness I never have to do this again. haha! I might actually get you all a pregnancy picture soon too - gasp!

How am I feeling? 
I feel pretty good I must say. A big change from a few weeks ago. I can go about my day to day activities like normal now and eat just about anything. The only thing I can't do is eat a lot. I have to eat really small bird meals or I feel super-duper-bloated. Because of that, I haven't really gained much weight - which is fine because I can afford to not gain a ton of weight this time around. I wasn't exactly 120 lbs pre-baby LOL!

This week.
I feel him kicking a lot every day. Like soccer kicking.
He is about the length of a banana. Great, I have a yellow banana shaped kid...
I am craving chocolate but what's new? I love blue cheese dressing & I also love apples - I could eat 5 a day. Not too exciting in the craving department, huh? Oh wait, I do love my smidgens chocolate ...
No names yet - boys names are hard to choose. NOTHING jumps out at us. We still have plenty of time - no worries.

The most exciting thing is - Julianna is talking about her baby brother for the first time. Before, when I asked her if she wanted a baby brother, she would say "No Mama!"
My husbands sister loaned us a portable swing and Julianna was all over the swing - she kept saying how the baby is going in there. Yay - she finally gets it! We also got our first hand me downs from her as well. I can't wait to go through the clothes and see what's there! This is the fun part!
Julianna got a baby doll from Grandma, and she loves it. She loves feeding it, and wrapping it up in a blanket for a nap. So adorable!! Julianna told us she will help babysit the baby. So cute. If she only knew I might take her up on that when mama goes nuts and runs away leaving her with the baby one day - haha. (OK folks, only kidding!)

I am making a list of some things (MANY things) we need before he comes in May.
One of the things I am splurging on is a carrier. Someone gave me one for Julianna and I didn't care for it- It was not ergonomic and we didn't get to use it that often. This time, since we have a toddler, I plan on using the carrier A LOT more, so it's worth it to get one that is comfortable and won't hurt my back. I have been doing some research and THIS Beco baby carrier is the one I want. I was going to go with the Ergo or the Baby Bjorn but both have it's downfalls (according to the reviews) with either comfort or not being able to use it comfortably with a newborn or not being able to face the baby forward. Then I found Beco. This is totally the one I am going to get. Done deal.

New Years Resolution - I don't like resolutions. I feel like I should be doing things to the best of my ability when I feel like I need to do it - not just on January 1st. So let's call it something else ... let's call it "New and fun things to look forward to".  I am looking forward to shooting my camera more as spring approaches or maybe shooting some more indoors since we are cooped up. I am looking forward to the baby being here. I'm looking forward to Julianna becoming a big sister. I am looking forward to spring and going boating.

Now that things are getting back to normal, I should be posting more regularly as well. (After checking on some of the blogs I visit often, I see I'm not alone here!!)

Oh - I did get a fabulous tripod for Christmas that I will be taking advantage of to do some indoor shooting during these cold few months!!

Coming soon .... my top 12 favorite photos of 2012.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Christmas Day

OK wow, yes it's been .... um ... about 2 weeks since I posted anything. But not without good reason! We had a very nice Christmas day here at our house with my family & my mom was here for a couple days. Then we had one set of grandparents visit us (Brian's father) for New Years Eve for Round 2 of Christmas. Then... the 2nd set of grandparents (Brian's mother) visited us this past weekend for Round 3 of Christmas. We ate lots of good food, opened tons of presents and had a wonderful time. Julianna had a blast opening all her presents from everyone. She is only lucky girl!! We are all Christmas'd out & I'm so ready to put the tree away for the year. I love Christmas but I am so ready to have my house back to normal.

One thing that was kind of a bummer was; Julianna had her first swim lesson scheduled for this past Saturday. Brian took her to the YMCA, they got changed, showered, and walked out to the swim area... but then they were told the swim lesson was canceled! Something happened in the previous class, and someone got hurt. The ambulance was on the way and they canceled the class that Julianna was in. Julianna was so upset and was crying that she didn't want to take off her bathing suit... Poor kid. We talked it up all morning and she was so excited, only to get let down once she was there. The lessons resume in 2 weekends for 10 weeks straight... I am looking forward to her going again.

Here are some pictures from Christmas Day ....

Opening her first present 

As she was opening every present, she would say "I know what it is" before she even saw it -  HAHAHA! 

This was by far her favorite gift from Santa... a wheelie car garage! She loves this thing! 

Squirrel puzzle. She loves it! 

Julianna with her wheelie garage! 

She loves coloring with her new markers on her Toy Story coloring pages! 

Julianna loves her Daddy! 

My mom's (somewhat robust) Chihuahua taking a much needed siesta on Christmas morning. 

I hope everyone's holiday was fabulous! 


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