Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Week 11

Baby is the size of a lime...now we're getting somewhere!

Showing in Rockefeller Center

Week 10 - Christmas!!

Baby is the size of a prune...I'd prefer to skip this one myself.
Christmas Eve
Drinking...PA Dutch Birch Beer

Week 9

Baby has grown from the size of a blueberry to a raspberry and a green olive.

Climbing at Ralph Stover

Getting My First (of many) Blood Tests

Week 6

Baby is the size of a sweet pea

Week 5 - The Test

Baby is the size of an appleseed

Says It All

Week 4

Practicing with Joel, Kristi and Frank's new addition!

Week 3

Baby is the size of a Poppyseed

Sarah's Recital

Election Day

Week 2

Super Parents - To - Be

Relaxing on a Crash Pad at Haycock Mountain

Week 1

The Quinn Wedding

Graeme Park

The Falconio Wedding

My Expanding Waistline So Far

It seems like my waistline is playing tricks on me. Baby is growing, but my belly seems to go out, and then in again. Not a bad problem to have, but it does make growth difficult to document. Here are the photos so far - more will come each week as that week occurs. Here are weeks 1-11.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baby Gami

I purchased (with the help of a Barnes and Noble gift card) a book called Baby-Gami which is primarily about baby swaddling techniques and baby slinging techniques. I'm excited for both. Baby slings are awfully expensive, though to be fair I'm sure I'll still buy them - but it's nice to know how to DIY. A friend advised me that her niece is as happy as she is because of mom's yoga and swaddling, so I'm doing my best to get an early crack at the happy potion. Now I've just about got my energy back to embark on my pre-natal yoga and I've just got to find the dvd I like best. Happy baby - here we come!

The Belly Book

A friend purchased a book called "The Belly Book" to record my growing midsection's progress to oblivion. I went back through pictures that may have caught me in the past few weeks and I'm only missing two weeks. Had I but known I should have started recording progression shots each week at a specific time with a specific background. Now I can begin...muhahaha. I took my first intentional side belly shot in front of a Christmas tree, so it will be easy to remember when it was taken. I'll plan to post "belly" shots here as well. Don't worry - I don't anticipate that these will be bare belly shots.

New Traditions

In an attempt to start some sentimental things a little early, I took my moms (not like that...) my mom and my mother - in - law downtown to center city Philadelphia for a day downtown complete with a trip to the light show and Dickens exhibit in Macy's and the new Holiday Spectacular at the Comcast Center. We also went to the Constitution Center, but I don't know that baby/kid will be up for that in his/her close future. A day in the city over the holidays will be a nice tradition to continue next year and for the foreseeable future. I'm looking forward to more such endeavors. We also plan to have a Christmas morning breakfast at our house with any grandparents and aunts/uncles who may like to attend as well. I'm excited to embark on new adventures for baby.

Tis the Season to Tell

Our plan was to tell everyone through the holidays. It's trickier than it may seem though because of trying to tell as many people as possible in person. You don't always see people in the "appropriate" order, but such is life. All in all, we're hoping to tell everyone that we might be apt to tell by New Years. So, this site too will go public on/after New Years. It's out there...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Regular Sickness

Definitely not morning sickness. A virus has been going around school and it seems it hit me along the way. And then it hit me each hour on the hour for 6 hours, then it took a break for 6 hours and hit one more time. I can only hope that this ends soon, especially since I can't keep any food down, so baby is not getting the nutrition he/she needs right now. I really feel like I've been hit by a bus, because just last night I was feeling great - loads of energy and a great appetite. Can't have it all.

Doctor's Visit

We went to the doctor on Tuesday night for our first pre-natal appointment. The doctor was able to feel my uterus and determine that I was indeed 9-10 weeks along. We also discussed questions and concerns and future tests and screenings. I went next door to get blood taken and a family friend was there to do the honors. Hippa prevents her from saying anything, but nonetheless I felt it important to break the news to my aunt/godmother. I'm still planning to tell others between Christmas and New Years. My announcement/photo card may have to be a Valentine's Day card though as the screening including an ultrasound won't come until January 15th - a smidge late for the holiday season.

What Does It All Mean??

Yuck - threw up this morning (may still be throwing up, not quite sure). I can't tell quite what it means though - is it morning sickness, or am I sick? There's been a bug going around school. I'll see if I have to vomit again before getting a shower this AM and then decide. Hmmm. I wish there was a test to tell the difference. Is there?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feeling Good

I am feeling much better these days. I have more energy and I'm back to eating good! I'm excited to enjoy food again, but I should be careful what with the holidays - though a baby is a perfect excuse/reason to pack on the pounds, I probably shouldn't pack them all on prior to January 1st.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I think (think) that I've had a taste of nausea/morning sickness/food aversions in order to genuinely appreciate what many woman go through to an extreme and on a daily basis through much of pregnancy. Luckily, I've been able to enjoy food today (believe me - I'm knocking on everything available right now). It seems that I can't seem to picture myself eating my regular home made salads at lunch, but I can eat salads from Salad Works, Buca Di Beppo, and even the high school. Puzzling! We'll see how this develops in the near future. Today, I'm 8 weeks pregnant or as Jeff prefers to state - two months! The baby is now the size of a raspberry :)

Babies R Us...coming soon

As we were driving home tonight, I noticed a sign less than a mile from our home indicating the building site of a new Babies R Us/Toys R Us. How exciting! Not that the current location is that far, but really - how convenient does it get?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Never Say Never

Yesterday morning, Thursday, I threw up...everything I had just eaten for breakfast. Ahhh, so this is morning sickness. Fortunately though, today there was not a repeat performance. Fingers crossed that this won't be too consistently the case. But again - I know, I know, it's a "good" sign.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Brownie Points

Brownie points for brownies! After working through the morning, I was distracted enough not to feel ill and upon encountering a tray of brownies in the faculty room I successfully downed quite a few. I know - I deserve a pat on the back. But sincerely, even sweets have been turning my stomach at home. Score one for sugar! We'll see what lunch time brings...

Spoke Too Soon

Evidently I'm no different than other pregnant women. Nausea - all day, every day. Looking at food, thinking about food, preparing food, trying to eat food - yuck. I now understand why many pregnant women scoff at the adjective "morning" before sickness. I'm feeling terribly sorry for myself and I'm not sure why - I know this is all part of the process. I am amused at how much enjoyment others get out of my feeling not well. "Well, that's a good thing!" Yes - I get it...now I'm "really" pregnant. Last night, I watched my husband thoroughly enjoying the dinner I prepared - a meal I normally enjoy just as voraciously. I was jealous. You never do appreciate what you've got until it's gone - in this case my appetite. With all that said, I haven't thrown up, so that's a plus. Of course, now that I've said that - I will. Just wait. I'm also highly emotional, mostly in regard to what a wonderful husband I have. I mean this sincerely. I realize it could come off sounding quite sarcastic. He's great. The best! I don't know that I could do it quite as well. I just love him so much for being so wonderful. I'm starting to tear up now just thinking about it. Did I mention I'm emotional?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Well, in my pre-public days I'm rather uneventful. I was all prepared for morning sickness and headaches. My symptoms have included fatigue, which due to my sometimes silly schedule I've had to just kind of push through - though I'm trying to really catch up on resting on weekend days like today. I've sat, pretty much, all day. I know - it's rough. I do also realize that now that I'm putting in print how smoothly everything has been going, I'll start vomiting right away tomorrow morning. Will keep you posted, for sure, if that happens. I have felt cramping, but I've been reading on The Bump that that is the normal feeling associated with a growing uterus...and it will continue. Yay! I look forward to a continually growing uterus for the next 33 weeks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Posting in Private

For the time being, I'm posting in private to record this very special time in our lives. We're having a baby!! Jeff and I found out on Saturday, November 15th that we'll be having a baby in July. Since it is early (very early) we're keeping it under wraps until after our doctor's visit. We're planning to tell more people over the holidays. So far we have let our parents in on the secret. It's kind of nice to keep this to ourselves. I feel like once I tell everyone that's all they'll want to talk about - similar to wedding planning. Right now I can pretend to be a "normal" person, not just a pregnant person. Soon enough, baby will make itself quite evident. Our first prenatal appointment is December 16th, a full month after we found out! From what I've read, it's even possible that we'll have an ultrasound then - time will tell. Today I am 7 weeks along. A website called "The Bump" (from the people who brought you The Nest/The Knot) has a chart to illustrate "How Big is Baby?" in fruit and veggies. I love it - I have a blueberry right now. Check it out!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Step It Up

Pedometer found - now I can step it up with the steps! Just in time for a walk tomorrow to our diving meet!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh, right...and Health

A lot of people ask how this choice can be healthy and where I get my iron and protein from...man oh man, we made it without fire, didn't we? Spinach salads provide a great source of iron and nuts and beans provide me with all the protein I need. Like many others I was concerned about the health consequences of my choices, because we've all been brainwashed by our marketing system here in the good ole U.S. of A. I went to my doctor last January to get blood work done to make sure everything was copasetic...and it was. I also consulted with my doctor to see if it was "OK" to be doing this, and it is. Which leads me to the preview I recently saw of a documentary coming out called "The Beautiful Truth." It pretty much explains in a much more mind-blowing way everything I've been saying in these last couple of posts. Check it out! The basics, our government system controlled by lobbyists including dairy, and meat won't let the people know that a plant based diet could be best because, well, then what would they do?


Many people ask if I'm vegan. I like to say I'm vegan-ish. I still have a weakness for cheese, I've found that yogurt may be truly important, and when creating recipes if I can't find the proper substitute then I'm going to use the "real deal." Also, if I'm invited over for dinner to a person's home, I'm not going to dictate the menu or make a host/hostess create a separate dish for me. I figure I ate meat and processed junk for a long time, if it's what's being served then you won't hear a peep from me. Also - irony of all ironies - the only place I still intentionally eat meat is at Saladworks. Funny, right? The Tivoli Salad. I get it without ham or turkey, but I keep the pepperoni. Some things never change.

Healthy Movin'

In addition to a change in eating habits, consistency of exercise is a key to a healthy lifestyle. I wear a pedometer (though as of late it's gone missing), do push ups, crunches, and stretches, and do yoga or pilates each day. I try to walk more and more intentionally. If I'm out to do food shopping or in any sort of parking lot, I try to park as far away as possible for the extra walking distance. I walk wherever it is feasible. Not only does this help my health, but it also helps my gas tank. Think about it. As is true with voting, if you don't get out and do something about it, then you can't complain for the next four years.

Healthy Eatin'

Since last November, I've embraced a plant based, whole foods diet. At first, the instructor advised us of a plan - 6 days on, 1 day off - to manageably ease into a vegan lifestyle. So, that's how it started - 6 days of plant based diet, and 1 day of whatever I want. I found that I felt healthier and stronger. I decided to learn as much as I could. Through the course of the last year, I've read other books supporting this ideal: Michael Pollan's books - The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food as well as Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon. There are more on my waiting list: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and Slow Food Nation. Additionally, I've begun research into a local CSA and have invested in a winter share for my husband and I. One of the suggestions that the instructor gave was to prepare - if you prepare fresh fruits and vegetables for the week in portions, then there are no excuses. It is what is available in the house. Likewise, if you don't buy things that you know are unhealthy, then they're not there making it that much less likely that you'll indulge. If you want to make a change - be smart about it!

Healthy Learnin'

About a year ago, I was part of a graduate class with a very enticing name: "It's All About You: Health and Wellness for the Educator." Now, I'm not typically the kind of person who wants it to be "all about me," but for three credits, I could deal with it. Within the context of the course, we read a book called "The China Study." This book reveals the results of research that took place in the 70s. This research was intended to show that by exposing people in Asia to animal protein, it would exponentially improve their health. Unfortunately for those researchers, exactly the opposite occurred. After introducing animal protein, the subject's health declined and many "western diseases" resulted - heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. They continued the study to see if the opposite would hold true - and it did. A plant based diet resulted in the disappearance of cancer. The course also delved into a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise of different varieties. As students, we were challenged to change our lifestyles and document it, and I did.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VOTE - for real this time!

It's that time again - time to exercise your right as a citizen of the United States of America and make a difference in the way our country is run. However you choose to vote, make sure to do so...and make sure you have the facts. Don't believe information that is emailed to you from an unreliable source. Just because something is in type does not make it true. Find out the facts for yourself. A strong example - a friend of mine is running for state representative and has been the target of several personal, inflammatory, and (most importantly of all) untrue attacks. Among the underhanded tactics of his opponents - sign stealing, accusations of owning and renting low income housing, and being a "tax deadbeat." The news sources who originally printed such unfounded advertisements have since caught on and formally endorsed my friend and pulled the ads from their pages. In the meantime, the attacks and counter advertising that it necessitated cost him and his wife both money, poll points, time, and energy. I hope that the voters of Northeast Philadelphia can inform themselves and recognize the value that Brendan Boyle can add to their area if they vote for him as state representative. Brendan's record can stand alone to show the effort and passion he will bring to the job. I plan to stand up and support he and his wife, my good friend Jen, on Tuesday by assisting at a polling place. I hope that you too can stand up for a candidate that you support and get out to vote.

NOT a Tax Deadbeat Article

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Direct Link

Here's a link directly to the info about the show.

Reely Rockin' Show

This Friday night, the Reel Rock Tour films will be showing at the Doylestown Rock Gym. Be there or...don't. Your loss if you're not there - with the newly lowered cost, it's essentially a discounted climbing night at the gym too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Leaving For Las Vegas

Jeff left on Wednesday morning for a two week trip, first to Las Vegas and then on to Bishop (a climbing area in California) and Utah. As I hear more about the trip from him, I'll share here. Wednesday was a looong day what with taking him to the train at 4:30 a.m. and staying late for Back to School Night until well after 9:00 p.m. I'm looking forward to a more regular and predictable schedule now that things are getting back to normal. Normal of course being a very relative term!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reel Rock Show - Coming to a Theater Near You...if you are local to the Doylestown Area

Doylestown Rock Gym will be hosting a stop on the Reel Rock Tour featuring Jeff's film. DRG is one of Jeff's employers. He is a setter there and works with different rock climbing classes too. We can't wait to share this experience with our friends and family. Mark your calendars: October 10th at 7:00.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Climb Up So Kids Can Grow Up - Coming Soon to a Mountain Near You

Jeff and I are headed out to Haycock Mountain this Sunday to climb up...so kids can grow up. Fortunately for us, the fundraising continues until December, b/c we have not yet hit the mark so to speak. With everything going on, it's been a bit hectic. Hopefully after we actually complete the climbing we can get back into the fundraising game and make a dent in our thermometer. If you are interested in donating (or joining our team and coming with on Sunday), check out the links to the right. We also have some neat thank you gifts as an added incentive for anyone toeing the line. Asante sana (thank you very much in Kiswashili)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Side Bar

On a different note, I have some reflections on our very short trip to Boulder the second time around. Mountain Sun Brewery on Pearl Street has the BEST salsa I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. I am planning to attempt to acquire the recipe. On a down note, the taxi service in Boulder stinks. Short and sweet.

The Reel Deal

Last night, Jeff and I attended the Premier of the Reel Rock Tour in Boulder, CO. We met a new friend in line, Corey and witnessed the line wrap around the building with a surge from the sold out crowd. The event was exciting! We met Joc (short for Jocelyn) who Jeff has been in contact with to get put on "the list" for our tickets. When they announced the winners of the contest, I started tearing up and when they showed the video, I couldn't hold the tears back. What a long journey this has been, not just making the video - but everything that Jeff and I have been through since he got GBS in October of 2006. I really felt like he deserved this and also that it will bring attention to something that not many people know about. I was/am so proud of him for doing this - it's hard to watch after having lived it, but Jeff is now at a place where he can share and (hopefully) help others cope as well. I think this could be just the beginning. Jeff explained that it was all such a blur when they announced the winners and he didn't even comprehend what they were saying. I just wanted to extend a thank you to EVERYONE out there who took some time out of their day to vote. All of the support we received - both from those we know and those we don't - means so much and shows us what a huge (and ever expanding) network of love is out there. THANK YOU!!!
(When/if I remember to take a pic of the "Rock Wall" that my kids [in class, let's not get ahead of ourselves here] made for us, I'll post that here too)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Reel Rock Premier

Tomorrow, Jeff and I head to Colorado for the Reel Rock Premier in Boulder. Wish us luck!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Surprise!

This past weekend was my sister's surprise party - and boy, was she surprised! Chris did a great job planning, and everyone did a great job keeping it a secret. Only we would go to Long Island during its first hurricane in quite some time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Last Chance

Today, you have one last chance...well maybe tomorrow too - we're not all that sure....to vote for Jeff's video "Back On My Feet" for inclusion in the Reel Rock Tour. If "Back on my Feet" wins, it will be included in a film festival that will travel around the world to 100 different cities. How exciting! We'll be going to the premier in Boulder, CO on September 10th to find out and I'll let you know when I know. Do your part and vote. Voting ends September 1st. We're not sure yet if that means midnight tonight, or tomorrow. So, if you can continue to vote on September 1st, I'll post tomorrow to let you know.

Eagles Go Green

I was very impressed with the Eagles emphasis on going green when we attended the game on Thursday night. Check out a few of the ads they had up about recycling and our own wastefulness as a society. Jeff even noted that he felt bad for teams for whom "green" wasn't going to be an easy segway like the Eagles.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pennypack Farm

I signed up this evening for a CSA small share at Pennypack Farm in Horsham. Pennypack is a CSA. Everything (good and beyond organic) that I read about in "The Omnivore's Dilemma" was present there when I visited and I'm so excited to begin my winter CSA share at Pennypack! Check it out and see if a CSA share is for you.

Ship Magazine Article

Jeff wrote an article for Ship Magazine in the Crow's Nest. Don't forget to vote for his video!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Vote for Jeff at the Reel Rock Website. His video is "Back On My Feet."

The Valley of Vail

For the last leg of our trip to Colorado, we lived it up at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa. We spent the first evening at the weekly "Hot Summer Nights" concert series featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. On our second day in Vail, we rode a gondola to the top of the mountain. While at the top, we jumped on the trampoline, played disc golf, and ate lunch. Upon our return to the valley, we shopped in Vail Village and walked the Alpine Garden. Definitely a relaxing finish to a busy trip!