Friday, January 31, 2014

35 weeks.

Happy Lunar New Year to those who are celebrating! How exciting that my daughter will be a Horse!

And oh my goodness, today has that really good Friday feeling that sticks around until Saturday morning {logically}; the one where it is so amazing to think about how there are two full mornings with no alarm clocks ahead of use {I realize that our own un-turn-off-able alarm clock will be making her appearance before long but let me relish in this for now please!} and I can do whatever I want tonight and not rush to get stuff done and be in bed at a reasonable hour. Not that we stay up or go out ever…but still.

It was frigid here again this week and we even got some good snow over one night {and a delayed start the next morning – thank you weather gods for those extra two hours!!!!}. Today warmed up a bit and even though it’s slated to get cool again and maybe even snow some here, it’s nothing like the teens and single digits we’ve had several times in January.

Aaaaaaand…we made it to end of blah-u-ary. Yea. Even though my birthday is in this month and it’s a great time to reflect on the past year/look ahead to the next, it’s my least favorite month. I try not to grump too much about it but…it’s still dark and cold and I can’t even say that “next month” brings the good tidings of spring because next month is still winter. But February! In a matter hours, next month will bring a new season both literally and figuratively. Wow. Tonight I’m feeling so excited and happy about things to come.

In other news, be glad I’m not in dingy house clothes for the picture; my photographer came home earlier than I had thought he would and I was already out of my jeans {we had a glorious dress-down day at work today} but it was early enough that I felt some oomph to squeeze back into them. The legs fit fine, actually, but it’s the darned “belly panel”, this stretchy spandexy area attached to the waistline {if you can call it that} that no longer fits over my belly.

So let’s move on to the update.

How far along: 35 weeks


·      Trying to stay alive at work? I’m still working a ton. Even though I’ve been teaching since 2006, this is a new school and textbook so for some of my classes I’m really creating a lot as we go along. Plus even if I’m using material from co-workers {THANK YOU SO MUCH COWORKERS!}, I’m making new plans because the pacing is different from what I had done for so long.
·      Also not really a symptom but I’m trying to get those substitute plans in order. Slowly but surely, though that surely needs to come quickly the later it gets.
·      Baby is pressing on my bladder…it’s such a weird feeling. It’s as though I need to go to the bathroom but different.
·      Upper back pain is still here and it’s aggravated by the seats in our car; I possibly mentioned this last week but don’t feel like looking at the last post I made to figure it out.
·      It’s hard to stand up? Like, after I’ve been sitting or lying down for a while, getting up just hurts. It must be the muscle strain and those relaxed muscles I’ve mentioned.
·      As has been the case throughout this pregnancy, I’m hungry! And thirsty. I’ve been eating lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches {on toasted bread, natch} and downing tons of water.

Wait gain: 167; I’ve gained a pound in two weeks. The midwife didn’t seem concerned and actually even told me that the baby is measuring big {a week ahead} so I think this is OK.

Size of baby: a coconut or a honeydew melon.

Exercise: not much walking at all; it was so cold! But I did have a fleeting desire this week to swim; I think the idea of being weightless sounds wonderful actually so maybe it was a not-so-fleeting yen. I might look into any indoor pools open. But the problem is that I’m a horrible swimmer {too much coordination}…I might give it a try anyway though because it just seems like it would feel so good.

Milestones: I don’t think there’s anything…little Miss Melamed is apparently head down and that makes me one happy mama but it ain’t a milestone so…

What I miss
: lying on my tummy. I just wanted to flop on my bed and read junky stuff online this afternoon and had to make-do with laying on my side and alternating when my arm would get tired.

Sex: one girl, coming up soon!

Movement: she’s going at it still. There have been some big rolling movements and I love it.

Thoughts/questions/concerns: car sear car seat car seat! And we need to get our birth center consent forms filled out. Even though the midwife told me that our daughter is a bit big, I'm more happy than worried; I'm just glad to know that she's on her way to being big and healthy. I may change my mind when go-time gets here but for now, I'm at peace with it.

Sleep: I’m up every two to three hours for the bathroom and to drink water because I’m thirsty. It’s a vicious cycle. I also need to flip over because my hips start to hurt.

Goals: wash clothes, get cars eat in, build bassinet.

Random: I have some work to do this weekend, beyond just baby stuff, and I’m so excited to get it done and then laze around watching the superbowl…I’m pretty easy to please!!!

xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, January 30, 2014

It doesn't work.

One of the go-to dinners in our home is the tuna melt.
See how it just sits on top?
It's so easy and Mikey makes a good tuna and when we make a veggie on the side, it's a nice little dinner.

We were out of the usual shredded cheese we get at Costco and since we have a trip to the warehouse headquarters planned for this weekend I ran into Safeway the other night while on a walk to get some queso. We love smoked gouda and I thought it sounded like a delicious topper to our open-faced sandwiches.

And we found out tonight that gouda does not melt {at least ours didn't}. Nor does it top tuna well.

Live and learn.

And save the gouda for cheese plates.
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Small things.

Yesterday on my drive home I thought maybe it was a wee bit lighter than the last time I bothered to notice.
But it couldn't's still January and I don't want to get excited about the very first harbingers of spring.

But I decided to look it up anyway; tomorrow's sunrise is 7:17 AM and the week we came back from Christmas break the sunrise was at 7:27 AM. The sunset tomorrow is set for 5:26 PM and the week we came back it was at 5:01 PM. 

So the morning difference is less than the afternoon difference, which is really interesting to me {why?!}. And I'll gladly take that afternoon difference of more than 20 minutes!

Stay warm tonight folks and keep your eyes out for those extra minutes of daylight.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 27, 2014


We're about to get another couple of days of frigid temperatures so let's think about something happy tonight.

1. Using some long-saved wedding gift cards, paying a bit more, and taking advantage of a free-shipping sale we snagged ourselves this pretty lady. 
Don't mind the clutter everywhere {cooler, camp chairs, and Maker's Mark [a baby shower gift, actually] in the background}.
This is exciting because our old guy was a much smaller {but still useful!} capacity and this makes salsa making a breeze since the recipe I use is a big batch. 

Plus I hear there's a ton more we can do with our new toy. Not that we were languishing prior, we could make-do just fine with a smaller food processor or nothing, even, but I do enjoy some kitchen play.

2.  I'm noshing on a toasted peanut butter and raspberry jelly sandwich. I wouldn't call this a legitimate craving, but it's something I've been loving for the past week. Really loving.

3. Not pictured amongst the small appliances I also got a replacement carafe for our blender. I broke the old one and that husband of mine didn't realize it's possible to order just one replacement piece instead of scrapping it all and getting a new blender; huzzah!

4. I got in a video chat with my beautiful Fencey friend last week. I love that girl.♥

5. This is my last Monday in January without a child. This sounds weird not that I've written it out and read it. But I still think it's really exciting!

I hope you're well today, reader, and staying warm. Unless you're back home in California and then I'm just slightly jealous of you.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Today was an almost-all-day-jammies day.
Post bowling.
About which I'm wanting to feel guilty but I know that this decadent time wasting is fast dwindling luxury and I'll take advantage of it while I can.

Plus at around seven PM I decided to get productive and do several hours of school work so all was not lost.

On that late note, let's gooooo Monday! 
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Following a tradition that dates back to last year, today we went bowling for my birthday.
But unlike all other bowling experiences I've ever had, this was different - we went duckpin bowling. This iteration of bowling is unique to several states in the northwest, Mayland/DC, and, according to Wikipedia, Wisconsin {?}.

You can't really see it in this poorly taken picture but with duckpin bowling things are different - the pins are smaller, there is only one bowling ball available to everyone {it's about the size and color and weight of a coconut} and it has no holes, each player gets three rolls per turn {since the pins are lighter and smaller it's harder to get them all down}, and the pins don't reset after each roll {which makes things go a wee bit faster and is  really satisfying for an inpatient person}. 

It was my first time bowling duckpin and even though I was no better at it than at ten-pin {regular}bowling {which is pretty crummy}, I had so much fun with the smaller ball that I could almost throw down the lane. It was fun learning a few good techniques because what works in regular bowling doesn't always knock down the pins in duckpin. Plus it's always fun to hang out at a bowling alley.

Then we went to Chevy's for dinner because I felt like having a thoroughly suburban celebration, probably a by-product of living in a city surrounded by all sorts of people swooning over the next greatest new restaurant.

All in all, it was exactly the kind of cumpleaños celebration I wanted {low-key} and I'll always look back fondly on my 30th  birthday.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, January 24, 2014

34 weeks.

We’re in the middle of another polar vortex. Yippee skipee. And I’m now a 30 year-old woman; whoa! It’s been a great week of being at home and enjoying our apartment’s heater. I also caught Michael’s cold in the past two days And to give an update…
How far along: 34 weeks


·      The nesting urge is still there but I’m working hard to funnel that energy into getting substitute plans ready which counts as nesting {right?}. But it was real hard to sit and work all during my two snow days this week instead of washing cute newborn outfits and putting together our pack n’ play.
·      A few cramps here and there but only if I don’t drink enough water.
·      I feel really uncomfortable anytime I get up off of the couch or out of a chair I’ve been sitting in for a while…I’m not quite sure if this is pregnancy relate? But if my “condition” causes muscles and ligaments to relax, maybe it does.
·      Our daughter has been pressing on my bladder a lot; it could be that she’s getting bigger and there’s less space in there. Whatever the reason, it’s almost unbearable if I’ve been drinking a lot {of water!}, which I almost always am!
·      My upper back/shoulders hurt sooooooo bad. Laying down on my sides {is there any other way now?!} is the only thing that seems to help. Driving really exacerbates it. I was wondering maybe if it is le bébé pressing on a nerve but I think it’s the extra weight I’ve been lugging around for almost eight months.
·      That funny tingly feeling at the top of my rib cage has never gone away; though it’s been less frequent this week than before.
·      I have an outie belly button! I’ve had this situation going on for quite a while, I just never mentioned it!

Wait gain: 166…same as last week

Size of baby: a cantaloupe or a butternut squash.

Exercise: a bit of walking here and there; I ventured out several times during my snow days and also puttered around the mall for a while today…which I’m counting {my how times have changed}.

Milestones: I’m now the age I’ll be when we have our little one…that’s pretty cool to me. I

What I miss
: nothing =)

Sex: there is one girl inside of me.

Movement: baby’s going around and around in there. I’m still feeling here in a sideways position, though not too often. I don’t think she dropped like I mentioned last week but she certainly is going at my bladder; when said organ is full it makes walking really uncomfortable!

Thoughts/questions/concerns: we did not get the car seat set up last week and we actually might wait a few more weeks since we drive people around here and there and the car seat takes up prime backseat real estate. I also want to make sure I feel like I have enough newborn clothing around. And the pack n’ play! Since that will be her bed, I feel an urge to get it going.

Sleep: though my pillow is still great, I’m waking up every two hours to use the bathroom and to flip over. And all that relaxin makes for some gross mouth breathing. Boo.

Goals: get a couple of pieces of furniture at Ikea, continue working on my substitute plans for work, maybe start washing the newborn clothes, and maybe get the pack n’ play started.

Random: I’m looking forward to this cold setting sail and towards the temperatures outside to creep up a bit higher than what they’re at. 

Also, I got a bit freaked out today when a coworker mentioned that in three weeks I'll be full term. Obviously we want our daughter to cook for the whole six weeks we've got left, it's kind of intimidating to think that in half that time she'd be's true that she'd likely be very OK if she were to come now but I also calculated how early I cango out at work and it's only two weeks prior to my due date {& even that's a stretch!} so she reallllllly needs to stay put!!

xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, January 23, 2014


We're caught in another polar vortex and it's COLD outside!!! But it was so warm inside tonight with friends over for pupusas and cupcakes; yum!

I have some birthday musings rumbling around in my head so perhaps this weekend I'll get them written down for posterity's sake.

On that note, here's to Friday tomorrow.
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A cheap fix.

I've been on the lookout for some black flats for quite a while. I'd been wearing Target's "Ona" in black patent but the sizing is a wee off and they'd always been snug, not to mention they lack a lot of support {which is another a teacher I should have shoes that have a great deal of support but I refuse, financially [since those are often more than I'm willing to pay since I'm super cheap] and aesthetically,  but mostly financially}.

Being pregnant my feet have grown a bit and in desperation I found a great $10-$15 {me not able to remember} pair at H & M last month. They had even less support but they were a shape I liked more than the "Ona" and they fit...glorious! 

Then I stepped in dog poop while wearing them last week.

And they have little ridges in the sole which would've made cleaning a {gross} challenge and they had started to look worn out already. I'm usually pretty good at taking care of inexpensive clothing to make it last longer {I'm cheap} {cold washes & air drying} but shoes are different and their fate was decided the other night while walking in our garden.

So the search began anew. I found this pair at Target this weekend. I had seen them before and really liked their shape, how they are a bit more substantial, and the faux-suede softness.
But they have gold hardware on them and I don't like that in a shoe {or any accessory} because I feel it limits my wardrobe options; then I want my clothes to match in hue {warm colors [or black] with gold, cold colors [or black] with silver} and I have to wear matching jewelry.
Edgy but wardrobe-limiting.
I wouldn't even really like the little studs, even if they came in black, but they were just right in all the other ways and I decided to get them. 

And a black paint pen. And then I painted over the gold {wearing an improvised face-mask even though it wasn't very fume-y at all}.
They're not as opaque as I'd like but it did the trick and now I feel OK about these black flats. Because of the flash, the pictures make it seem like there's more gold poking through than there really is.
Even though I'd like my feet to go back to their original size after I have le bébé {which I hear doesn't happen}, these are half a size up from my norm and I would also like them to last me for more than just the remainder of my pregnancy.

In other news, I'm snowed in today, getting school and personal work's to being safe out there in the weather and getting creative in here at home!
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 20, 2014

A big week.

So this is "happening here".
Weather never really pans out the way it's hyped up to.

But, school is cancelled and I'll not say "no" to another sleep in and some free hours to catch up on work.

And even though it'll end up feeling like a short week, there's a big thing happening...

1. I get to turn 30! I haven't thought about it much yet but I'll get there.

2. Snow is exciting, if it really happens, so here's to hoping!

3. I get to go bowling for my birthday this upcoming weekend! And go to Chevy's!! That's what I chose and let's not question an almost-30 pregnant woman.

4. Some friends are coming to visit us next month which I'm really looking forward to...hey friends! We're really excited about your visit!!

5. After this next mini polar vortex/snow storm, I'll start looking forward to Spring {it's a magic word!!!}...even though it's only 20s and 30s with one day that calls for 40  degrees in the 10-day forecast, February is fast approaching and days will get longer and then GREEN.

And a peaceful MLK day to you.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, January 19, 2014


It's been a really nice weekend. We spent a good full day today with friends, having brunch at our place with one group and then watching football with another group at someone else's home. 

We're watching the last seconds of the 49ers/Seahawks game and the suspense is getting to me so I'll cut this short.

Edited to add: the game just ended...major cringe.

If you have tomorrow off, enjoy your time and to all out there, think about why we're celebrating.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Taking over.

I mentioned it earlier but here's some proof. It's not a whole lot, as far as things go, but in our smallish space, the baby's stuff feels like a lot for us.
But we're so grateful for the gifts with which our daughter has been gifted and for the gift that she herself is.

Plus it's kind of fun paring down our own things even more and trying to figure out, tetris-style, how to fit in everything without making it look cluttered and while keeping things easily accesible.

In other random news, it's a big game day tomorrow - let's go 49ers and Patriots!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, January 17, 2014

33 weeks.

January is half gone and our due date is, for all intents and purposes, the end of's actually March 7th but I keep thinking about how all I have to do is get to the end of February. This means that we’re getting close {but not too close} to meeting this child of ours. In other news this week, we both stayed pretty really {think tuna melt and sandwich dinners} busy at work and I had another appointment with the midwife. And now, without further adieu, a bit of an update.
How far along: 33 weeks


·      Nesting has set in but it’s at battle with some third trimester exhaustion that’s rearing its ugly head. I was never as bone-tired as I read I would be in my first trimester but I think I’m getting some of it now. It was actually worse last week and I forgot to write it down, and it could also have been from a really busy week right after getting back from break, but I’ve gotten some good sleep this week and these eyes still try to close when they need to be open.
·      Baby’s hiccupping which I can feel low down in my tummy, though they’re not too frequent.
·      I’m hungry hungry hungry!!!! And still craving protein.
·      The soles of my feet still hurt, as does my upper back/shoulder. It’s the worst when I’m driving, which I do almost two hours a day, so I end up doing some funny {but safe!} arm, shoulder, and neck stretches while I’m commuting.
·      I’m smelling things really strongly. This has been one that has come and gone, or maybe I’ve noticed it at times and then not at others. I could smell tuna that had been eaten hours earlier in our apartment.
·      I’ve been HOT this week. I read somewhere that my metabolic rate is raging this week, hence the heat.
·      The baby might have dropped a bit; I thought I had felt it and then someone at work remarked on it but in looking at pictures and thinking about it, I think it’s just her position of the day that maybe makes me look like I’m carrying slightly higher or slightly lower. 

Wait gain: 166

Size of baby: a durian fruit {they’re the stinky ones, I’m pretty sure} or a pineapple.

Exercise: some walking and I got in a great trek around the mall last weekend.

Milestones: hitting 33 weeks and also getting some drawers filled with clothes for little girl. They all need to be washed still but I got them out of the suitcase and box {from travel since our showers [thank you SO MUCH friends and families]} and into drawers according to size.

What I miss
: nothing =)

Sex: it’s a girl.

Movement: she’s still at it. I think she’s been in a good head-down position though I still feel her creeping over to my sides. Some days are a bit slower and others she’s more active, which is how she’s always been.

Thoughts/questions/concerns: getting everything washed/set up for her which means we need to haul out a bunch of our crud in our apartment. By “haul out” I mean clean and clear. There is very little storage in our spacious one bedroom {I’m not being facetious; it really does feel spacious because of an open floor plan and lots of windows}. There’s such little time during the work week, if any, so it’s down to weekends for us to get our act together. The pack n’ play should be set up too, and we need to get her cars eat put in…I think we might get the car cleaned and try to do that last task this weekend.

Sleep: not too shabby. I’ve really come to love my pregnancy pillow.

Goals: same as last week – drink water, walk more, keep working. And get some stuff in order at work for when I leave, or at least start to, and get that car seat ready.

Random: I have a birthday coming up; I get to turn the age I’ll be when I have my first child. And there’s a three-day weekend ahead of me, how lovely!

xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I was driving home today and decided on a whim to switch from the All Things Considered I usually listen to in the afternoons. Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was on and I was loooooooooooving it. 

I think I forgot what listening to music is like? It's so sad! I've been in an NPR rut, which is great and educational, but music makes me so happy and it seems I had totally forgotten that; what a happy discovery this afternoon!

Reader, do you rock the tunes or the news? 
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mental challenges.

Who knew that being about eight months pregnant and working at the same causes one's mind to be pulled in various and many places {distractions much?}?

Now I do!

I think I'm simultaneously trying to nest, keep up with school work, and stay awake; that exhaustion everyone says happens in the first part of pregnancy that never really hit me seems to be rearing its head these days - I'm pooped! But it's all for a good cause and it was just yesterday that I was talking about how darn quickly these days seem to be passing.

In other random news to add to this hodge podge of a post, our poor little apartment is going through some stuff; it's slowly recovering from our travel {after a really busy first week back suitcases are being emptied} and quickly being taken over by baby stuff. I have a plan of places for everything to go {and everything in its place!} but I think we actually have to buy a few of those actual places {Ikea} and we have some other things to get organized/put away. At least there's a vision!

Anyway, my apologies for a not very interesting post but such is life these days!
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 13, 2014


We had such a great weekend with our visitor, one of my nearest and dearest.

Then Monday came.

And now Monday's almost gone - it's funny how days do that.

And, on an unrelated note, I'm loving on these paws tonight...
In other news, a list of things I love, not just today, but always:

1} Doggies...paws and everything else.

2} Half-gingerale-half-club soda spritzers. These have been my drink of choice this pregnancy and they're so refreshing.

3} Couch time.

4} Nice walks.

5} Looking forward to running again and getting back to the runner I used to can will happen.

What's pleases you Reader?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, January 12, 2014


To continue educating my friend about where we live, we headed down to the monuments today. It wasn't that cold, in the 50s I think, and the sun felt nice when it wasn't playing chase with the clouds.

I didn't take any pictures mostly because I feel so bulky these days and getting out my phone is just, eh.

But! We saw some great things...a start at the Washington Monument took us over to the World War II memorial, followed by a walk around the tidal basin to get to the FDR memorial. Then we checked out the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which I always love. Our next stop was the Korean War Memorial, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, and finally the Vietnam War Memorial.

That seems like a lot!! I guess it's ok that I was totally pooped afterwards? It's always nice to get down and enjoy the history and meaningfulness that's all around us.

And now, on to the workweek; I wish us all luck!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Football and portraits.

One of my oldest {not in age!} and best and dearest friends is in town. Last night we lazed and enjoyed the feeling of a Friday and today we got out a bit.

After a look through the National Portrait Gallery we headed over to my brother-in-law's to watch football for the rest of the was a lot of pigskin! And quite the contrast from what we did earlier in the day.

And now it's way past bedtime...on to a good day tomorrow!!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, January 10, 2014

32 weeks.

We survived the Polar Vortex; way to go us. The week flew by which I knew it would since I went back to work. When vacation flies by no one likes it but it’s kind of nice when mundane and tiring workweeks zip on by. In other news, here’s the update!
How far along: 32 weeks


·      My upper back/shoulders hurt SO bad and this week it’s been mostly while I’m driving; and that’s a total of two hours a day! I can’t figure out if it’s the extra weight on the front end of my body pulling on my back muscles or if it’s actually something nerve related, like the baby is pushing on something weird in there. I’m doubting the second idea I have since I’ve been feeling this since 16 weeks.
·      Bending/leaning over hurts my tummy.
·      My legs get a little restless when sitting on the couch.

Wait gain: 163

Size of baby: squash or a large jicama.

Exercise: Some walking around the mall and a quick one around the neighborhood before the polar vortex hit us.

Milestones: not anything this week I think.

What I miss
: nothing =)

Sex: girl girl girl girl.

Movement: this baby is moving in some big ways. I’m still getting lots of little kicks and pokes, some really fast, but she’s obviously bigger because there are some huge roly-poly movements. Also, it feels like she might actually be moving around more, as in she’s no longer lodged in my right side. I even feel her in an upright position {head down hopefully} but no placement hs been permanent.

Thoughts/questions/concerns: I have 8 {I distinctly remember telling Michael’s parents when I was 8 weeks along and had 32 weeks left, not the other way around!} weeks left {eeeeeeeeeek!} and I really want our daughter to take her time in there. I also want to make sure that I have enough leave time at work and with my due date {March 7th} to the end of the school year when I would go off my leave, I’m cutting it pretty close. 

Sleep: it’s been pretty ok this week; I’ve been EXHAUSTED so that helps.

Goals: drink water, walk more, keep working.

Random: going back to work has been very tiring but good. Whenever I’m gone from work for a period of time I get this feeling in the last few days that I’ve somehow lost my ability to do my job {I’m not the only one who feels this, I’ve asked around}. Then I go back on the first day and no matter how challenging it is, I realize I haven’t actually forgotten how to do anything and it’s such a relief.

xoxo, natty ♥