Tall Mom tiny baby: November 2012

How to get your husband incredibly upset in five seconds

Monday, November 26, 2012

"I love you so f'n much" was all my patient Boston accented husband could say to me this afternoon. Generally with a head shake, and I kind of deserved it.

We are going on a vacation soon, outside of the country, for our babymoon...and thanks to my pregnancy brain and moving during my first trimester...I completely misplaced my passport.  I started to worry about it a couple of weeks ago, and remember it being in a bag of some sort, along with other important information.  I had no idea where that bag was. 
Blake came home from work, smelling of munchkins, and noticed I was in absolute distress in my closet.   I could swear that the bag full of important items, including the one document I couldn't travel without, was somewhere in this little room. To a normal person, searching for an item in their closet may not be a daunting task. For me - it's like getting a root canal. I hate it!  My closet hides what used to be my deep dark secret, that I am a complete and utter mess when it comes to organizing clothing and personal items. Friends who have known me for years joke about my messy closet, and have even applauded the fact that you can often see some of the floor. Trust me, this is a huge improvement. Most people are messy when they are teenagers, and I am sad to say that I have never outgrown it.
Together we went through the entire closet, through all of the bins in storage in the basement, and finally through the trunk of my car. Did I say I had one secret mess? Well, it's actually two. My closet, and my car.  Inside my car was a wetsuit (please note: it's November), curlers, countless pairs of shoes (because sometimes I need to change my footwear), money, enough water bottles with which to take a bath, countless packets of orbit bubblemint gum (I hate bad breath!), and at very bottom was a magical bag filled with important information - including my passport.

Blake kept grumbling "I f'n love you, you're so lucky I f'n love you," but he said it with a smile. My foul mouthed husband couldn't be any more different than me. A mouth like a sailor, a thick accent that causes some people to think he's from a different country, and his closet is spotless. I am lucky that I have him, and that he quickly forgave me - after I promised to spend an hour each day cleaning my closet this week. 

Received bad news from my doctor

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I don't know how I was able to keep my cool, and drive, but somehow I managed to have a serious and scary conversation with my OBGYn about some issues with our recent ultrasound.

The ultrasound was beautiful to me and Blake. Our itty-bitty baby was growing, and actually was starting to look like a human. We giggled, and looked at the little black and white blobs, listening to the tech as she pointed out what we were looking at.  My baby is beautiful, and I couldn't have been happier. I now understand that the ultrasound isn't intended to make the parents happy, but instead to make sure that the baby is alright.

Without going into details, because to be honest, I will start crying again while I type - there is a possibility that something may be wrong with our baby. My doctor urged me not to lose sleep over the bad news, but her wish hasn't come true.  I've woken up each morning from a nightmare, and cry into Blake's arms.

We are going in for more tests tomorrow, and will hopefully have answers - whatever they may be - soon.  The hardest part is not knowing, and not being able to do anything about it.  I feel like a bad mother already. I can't put on a bandaid and kiss it better, serve he or she chicken soup, or take it's temperature.  I hate not knowing, but what I hate more is pretending that everything is alright. People will ask me about our baby, what we will name it, when we will start putting together our registry or nursery. What they don't know is that I am fearful the nursery and items will not even be put to use. I get melancholy when I see parents with young children or babies at the market, and have to remind myself to stay strong and stay positive.
Blake reminds me that we have nothing to worry about yet, because so much is still unknown. I wonder if it's different for partners who aren't carrying a baby. Maybe they are able to keep a clearer head due to the lack of increased hormones.  Or maybe it's stronger and scarier for me because the baby is inside of me, and I am it's protector.

Prayers and positive vibes are greatly welcome over the next couple of days.  Trust me, every little bit will go a long way.  But, in terms of me and my personal insecurities, fear not, I have my husband and that's all I need to reassure me.  We're in this together and I wouldn't have it any other way.  In the end, I hope tomorrow's appointment goes smoothly, and we find out that our itty-bitty family has nothing to fear after all.

Until then, I'll try to keep my spirits up, and stay positive - especially by looking at pictures like this one below - which always make me smile.

We were in a performance of The Nutcracker

The weekend after Thanksgiving jumpstarts the Christmas season - especially for my itty-bitty family.  We put up the tree and decorate the house, start playing some of my favorite holiday music, and watch classic films. 

This year was incredibly special for my husband and I because we were asked to take on very special roles in Island Moving Company's performance of The Nutcracker.
It was held at the gorgeous and majestic Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport Mansions are always transformed into stunning works of art this time of year, and this building is extra special because a ballet takes place inside of it.  Rather than a traditional stage, Island Moving Company believes that the audience can truly be a part of the production.  We would move room to room, following the performers as they travel throughout their Christmas Eve celebration - from the welcoming of the guests, to the unveiling of Christmas gifts under the tree. 
When midnight strikes, the Nutcracker comes alive to face the Rat King. A vicious battle takes place on  the Rosecliff Mansion's famous staircase. One can't help but be in awe of the magnificent artistry that it took to create such a building. While the mice and soldiers fought on the stairs, Blake and I were hiding up in the wings...waiting for our cue!
We were the Snow King and Queen, and were able to make a grand entrance down that staircase. We followed behind a snow fairy, greeted the rest of audience, and were even dressed in formal wear, complete with capes - and for me - a darling tiara!  
My intern from The Rhode Show, Kelly, came along with us for the performance, and was able to record the ballet. 
Blake and I had been asked to dress in something relatively fancy, which wasn't a problem for my hubby, but it could have been for my newly budding pregnant body.  I own many gowns and dresses, all of which are flashy colors, and meant more for cruises than formal events.  My go-to dress store, Sonya's, has always had something for me to wear - but I wanted to jump back in my closet and try my own dresses on one last time.  At the very end of the line was this black dress, which screamed winter formal/snow queen to me.  Believe it or not, it still fit!
We sat in thrones for the snowflake scene, and I was the happiest I had been all week! I knew that Blake, as embarrassed as he may have been with all eyes on him, was living out a dream - pretending to be a king in a castle! As for me, someone who adores snow and winter, I couldn't help but smile and think about how I can't wait to tell our child about this experience one day. How his/her mom, who still thinks snowflakes are magical, was a *Snow Queen!*

The Sugar Plum fairy and the rest of the dancers put on an extraordinary show for us all, and I don't think I will ever be able to see a more interesting and breathtaking performance of the Nutcracker.  Being in a relatively small group of about 150 or so, having an intermission where cookies, cider, and egg nog are served, and watching the little children sit on pillows - inches from the dancers - is an experience I will never forget. 
 Our itty-bitty family is filled with holiday cheer!

When I felt my baby kick for the first time - Prenatal Yoga

Saturday, November 24, 2012

During my first trimester, I would come home from work each day exhausted, barely able to even think about having a pregnancy workout routine.  I'd give myself a big pat on the back if I managed to take a walk around the block before resting my head on my pillow. Working out wasn't really in the cards.
As my second trimester approached, newfound energy entered my body. I was able to stay up past 7pm, and I was determined to get involved in prenatal yoga.  Prenatal yoga is one of the most recommended activities for pregnant women. All of my books and smartphone applications remind me almost weekly to get involed. I signed up, brought my yoga mat, and was ready to get stretchy!  There was only one problem...I didn't exactly fit in.

Everyone had a bump, and a big one at that. We went around the room saying our name and how far along we were. Remember that Seasame Street song - one of these things is not like the other? That one thing was me.

Their babies had names, genders, and rooms all set up for them. I was still in disbelief that there even was a baby inside of me. Aside from my 5 pregnancy tests, I hadn't really had any proof. It didn't have a name, and I felt left out, but decided to give it a try nonetheless. We did various poses, and had to "move our babies around", which felt more like hula hooping to me. The class ended with us doing the corpse pose - where you just lie down. At this point, the instructor began singing a lovely yet haunting song.
That's when I felt my baby move for the rest time. Two strong bumps. And soon after, several bump like soft tickles.

I silently cried a few happy tears, and brought my hand to my belly. I did belong in this class. My belly may not have been that large (yet), and I may not have a name, know the gender,  have a registry or nursery color scheme...but I did have a child growing inside of me....and it sure does love prenatal yoga!

When was the first time you felt your little baby move?

A Thanksgiving Tradition - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One of my favorite events of the holidays season is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have always loved parades, even as a young child. In high school and college, I participated in my schools' marching bands, and my appreciation grew even more.  Sure, the singers in the Macy's parade are lip-syncing, but the bands are playing for real, and those broadway dancers sure do know how to shake their stuff!
I love how this televised celebration has become a true American tradition.  This event is what many people watch while they are cooking their turkey, or setting their tables. For others, Thanksgiving is finally a day they can sleep in, and they wake up to bright colors and fun sounds, as they eat their breakfast in their pjs, preparing their stomach for the multitude of foods ahead.

Growing up, I used to watch the event while making my favorite appetizer - the celery sticks. My mom would slice up the olives, give me a big block of Philadelphia cream cheese, chopped stalks of cleaned celery, and a butter knife.

I never knew what this appetizer was called until now - Frogs on a Log. Nor have I had them at other holidays, or anyone else's house.  However, they are delicious! The saltiness of the olives, mixed with the creamy cheese and crunchy celery - delicious! I highly recommend you use this recipe, even if its just to keep your kids busy! Afterwards, they will have a healthy snack that they can be proud of.

A couple of Thanksgivings ago I actually attended the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was on my bucket list, and I was already in the city the night before. Elated, I woke up at 5am, bundled up, grabbed myself a hot coffee and bagel from  Dunkin Donuts, and hit the subway.  Here's what I learned from that experience:
  1. The singing and broadway performances happen right in front of Macy's, and a few other locations.
  2. To actually see these performances, you will want to come exceptionally early.
  3. Bundle up more than you think - it's freezing!
  4. If you come early enough, bring low chairs
  5. Bring a cooler on wheels to carry your snacks, and it will also work as a seat when your legs get tired
  6. For me, seeing the Thanksgiving parade in person was nice, but from now on I'll stick to watching it on TV.  The mass of people only allowed me to see the balloons, and I was worried about loosing my spot to use a restroom. I'm glad I did it, but find sitting in my pajamas at home and being able to see the performances a bit more enjoyable!

    One of the best parts about the parade is Santa's arrival!  He is the last person in the parade, and truly kicks off the Christmas season.  Thanksgiving also means that it is finally time for me to start decorating my house with lights, garland, and wreaths!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

    A Thanksgiving Tradition: Preparing the Plumb Pudding

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Now bring us some figgy pudding ... may be a familiar lyric, but in my household - the dessert everyone wants is plumb pudding!
    My deceased mother in law made it, so did my husband's paternal grandmother, and so did the paternal grandmother before that.  The tradition of plumb pudding and hard sauce has been in my new family for hundreds of years.  It is passed down through the first woman married into the family, and being that my husband was the only male born into the family, I have now inherited the holiday dessert.  The Thanksgiving and Christmas plumb pudding will be made in our household until we have a son, and that son chooses a partner.  If I only have daughters, I'm outta luck until the end of my years.

    Plumb pudding doesn't have plums in it, nor is it a pudding.  It is a steamed fruit cake, rich tasting with old spices. The cake takes at least 6 hours to cook, but has taken well over 8 hours since I've inherited it.  After mixing flour, molasses, raisins, spices, and the rest of the ingredients, the pudding is then put inside a special pan, which is then placed inside a pot of boiling water.  It needs to be boiled until the entire cake is cooked.

    Last year's Thanksgiving plumb pudding was devastating! After cooking the pudding for more than enough time, we took it out of the mold to find out that the entire bottom was soggy and wet.  There was a tiny crack in the old mold, and water seeped in during all of those hours on the stove.  We mixed up another batch, and tried to bake it in a water bath - in a bread pan of all things.  The pudding tasted the same, but the consistency was different. My husband was so upset, and my in-laws didn't seem to care for the baked pudding.

    This year I ordered two new molds, and am ready to tackle this beast of a recipe.

    It takes a great deal of work, and to be honest, I'm not a big fan of the pudding. The tastes aren't familiar to me, nor is the texture. I make it because I love my husband, and the taste of this dessert reminds him of happy times, his mom, and symbolizes holidays. However, I am secretly crossing my fingers that we are having a son...maybe then I'll only have to make it 60 more times...480 more hours of plumb pudding cooking!

    Pregnancy isn't always beautiful

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    A coworker of mine told me today how much she missed being pregnant, and how it was the best time of her life. She wished she could be pregnant again, and told me to soak it up!

    For the most part, these past couple of months have been a walk in the park. A tiring walk in the park, but relatively easy going.  My one qualm that has stuck with me since the very beginning has been my pregnancy acne.

    Annoying, sometimes painful, and downright gross - these pimples have been quite the pain! Normally I would just let my skin breathe, make sure it was being properly hydrated and cleansed, and wear minimal makeup.  However, since my job requires me to look high definition ready - I have to wear a fair amount of makeup each day.

    I know that my daily primer, foundation, bronzer, blush, and setting powder are taking a toll on my already sensitive skin. Add pregnancy and rushing/gushing/sometimes overwhelming hormones, and we have ourselves a perfectly perfect pimple concoction.

    What's a girl to do?  I drink tons of water, wash my face twice a day, and am doing everything I'm supposed to. In the meantime, I'll just smile, because deep down I know that that little pimple is there because of my little baby :)

    Here's a picture of me with all of my makeup, and attempting to cover the pesky pimples.

    What beauty and skincare products did you find useful during pregnancy?

    Harry Potter's favorite sport is quickly becoming mine as well

    Saturday, November 17, 2012


    Tim Tebow signed a deal with TiVo, Tom Brady with anyone who pays...professional athletes don't just love the game, they also love the pomp and circumstance. Who can blame them, right?

    Sometimes though, I just want an athlete who pushes the boundaries, even when there aren't any screaming fans around. Give me someone passionate, strong, and determined, and a huge Harry Potter fan!

    The sport of Muggle Quidditch has quickly taken my heart. So much so, that I will be going to the Northeast Regional Tournament this weekend.  25 collegiate teams from the Northeast played at Fort Adams in Newport. It was brilliant.

    The castle like fortress of Fort Adams served as a perfect backdrop for this once magical game.  Incredible athleticism was displayed, all the while the players were running on a broom.

    My friend and I, as well as two preteens, attended the event. We were dressed in our finest Harry Potter gear, myself wearing a crocheted lion hat - which I pretend to be like Luna Lovegood's.  Food and beverages were for sales, as well as fun swag from the IQA - the International Quidditch Association. The tournament was a weekend long event, and teams came out dressed in real uniforms. There were referees, official quidditch brooms and hoops. We were even able to see Middlebury, pretty much the quidditch version of the Yankees, lose a game!

    I was able to attend the World Cup last year, and am unable to this year because it is taking place in Orlando.  Maybe I'll go next year, along with a budding quidditch player.

    I am amazed that a sport dreamt up by JK Rowling for her fictional books, has now become an international sensation. I'm also slightly jealous that it wasn't around when I was attending the University of Rhode Island.
    Hopefully the NE Regional Tournament is back at Fort Adams next year! I'll most certainly be back.

    What to wear to a black tie formal event, all the while hiding your belly

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    My cohosts and I were emcee's at a recent black tie gala, held at the Ocean House in Westerly, Rhode Island.  The venue is one of the most stunning as well as timeless locations on the East Coast, and was the perfect setting for such a special evening. The event was held to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House of Providence, who's programs and facilities allow families to spend time with their sick child.  It is a home away from home while their young loved one is hospitalized, complete with furniture, kitchens, and a sense of community.  Generous donors from all over the state attended the event, danced the night away to a delightful band, and enjoyed scrumptious food from the Ocean House staff.   People were decked out in their finest, and I was able to find a dress that fit the occasion.
    When the gala took place, I was still trying to hide my (incredibly small) pregnant belly. It didn't look like much at the time, but as we all know, gowns can hug any curve you have - and I needed to be careful.  After trying on countless dresses at home, I knew I needed professional input.  I went to a local boutique, Sonya's, where I have had dress success in the past. 
    Sonya's team has seen my body throughout the year, and knew right away that something was a tad bit different as they zipped me up into gorgeous gowns.   They pulled out this (non-maternity)  black bibbed gown. It was perfect for the event - floor length, had enough shine and sparkle without looking like I was going to prom.  It was very forgiving, by creating almost an illusion, and then clinging more to my legs than anything else.  I felt like a million bucks, as well as a secret spy, because I was able to hide my little belly for yet another week!

    I will be heading out on a cruise during my 20th week...and will need to figure out a dress for that occasion as well, but I learned to turn to the professionals. This may be my first time dressing in maternity & forgiving clothing, but to people like those who work in Sonya's - it's their job to dress every woman, no matter their size or stage in life - to their finest!

    Mommy to be Must haves!

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    If I still had AOL instant messenger, my away message would say "WOW!"
    I am so thrilled to share my pregnancy announcement with family, friends, coworkers, and all of you!  This being my first child, I've been feeling a bit like a fish out of water.  Thank goodness I have fellow friends and mommys to talk to and learn from.

    One of my fantastic coworkers and friends, Courtney Caliguri Buteau, has a fantastic mom blog called The Mod Mommy.  She has a site chock full of information for young families, and she is currently expecting her second child, a boy, who will be born in January.

    Courtney came on The Rhode Show this morning to share her favorite Mommy-to-be Must Haves!

    What other items should I be purchasing at this point? Was anything a saving grace for you?

    I announced that I'm pregnant on live television

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    I'm pregnant, and I want to scream it from the mountaintops.  However, when I first found out, I wanted to hide my little secret away from everyone besides my husband.

    Of course, we were beyond excited to be having a baby, but I was also overwhelmed with questions, and fears. I was afraid to tell others, and then to have something sad happen to the baby.  I didn't know how I would be able to handle telling others, and decided to keep our secret to just a few supportive and loving friends and family members. I was tired in the afternoons, and my poor husband lived with a sloth for a couple of months.

    At my last doctors appointment, she recommended that I come out to the rest of our family, friends, and coworkers.  She laughed and told me that I would most certainly start showing soon, and that people would rather hear it from my lips, then think I ate a couple of large burritos one day (I do love burritos though...so that may still happen.)

    So we had our closest friends and family on the phone or over for a party this weekend, and we shared our great news.  Today, I was able to share it with my coworkers, and our viewers on The Rhode Show.

    I am due in the middle of the spring, and will be pregnant all winter long. I can not wait to make our baby it's very own Christmas stocking, like how my mom did for me.  My books and smartphone applications say that it can already hear sounds, so I try to sing to it in the car.  We took a picture of my first "bump shot" last week, and I'm ready to see how my body will change to make room for this little person.

    I'm delighted to be a mommy to be!