Sunday, February 2, 2014

Baby Shower & Deco

My friend Marika  is an amazing sewer and has an adorable Etsy shop for baby clothes and accessories. (Click on her name to view it!)
She was sweet enough to send me a few items for our baby boy that is on the way.

This is one of my favorite Heather Ross prints. The fabric is organic cotton from Spoon Flower and o my goodness it is so soft! Can't wait to put him in this snuggly little outfit when he gets here!

Last week I also received this awesome little surprise in the mail. She knows how  much I love foxes ... aren't these the coolest pants you've ever seen??

It is wonderful having thoughtful and talented friends who make you baby stuff. I enjoy making quilts and similar items, but have never tried clothes. She is a genius at coming up with new ideas for her shop and I love everything she makes. Will definitely post pictures in the future of him sporting these cute little MOCCreations items!

I also had my baby shower this past weekend which was a lot of fun. Lots of my closest local friends showed up and we had a great time.

My mom was in charge of the decorations and with the help of her creative genius and Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, here are some of the decorations she made, which now adorn the baby corner of our craft/guest/baby multi-purpose room.

I love everything she made for the shower. The banner and monster wreath are my favorites! Here are a few more pictures of some of the cool decorations she made ~ it is awesome having a talented mom who loves crafty things too!

Aren't those cupcake eyes so cute? I hate throwing them away after I eat the cupcakes (woo hoo for leftovers haha). And the pompom monsters were spread out throughout my friend's house ... too cute! 

Still trying to figure out what I can do with these 3 for an additional baby room decorations ~ they match the current decor perfectly!

As you have probably guessed, the theme was monsters because I am sure any child of mine will be a little monster :) Plus I love anything dino/monster related! A friend who knows me o so well made the monster in the crib picture above - it has a see through plastic pouch on its belly for holding items - such as the pacifiers she put in there as an additional gift. Such a cute and cool baby gift!

Another friend crocheted this adorable monster hat with matching slippers, love them!!

Last but not least, I made a couple small monsters as prizes for the games we played. It was hard to give them away, they would fit with the baby decor so well! Guess I'll just have to make more!

So as you can see, lots of crafty goodness being enjoyed around here lately as we get ready for our little monster to join the family. I have several other projects I'd like to work on for him before he gets here, but I lack the energy and motivation most days at work ... so we'll see what happens. 

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe with all this widespread crazy weather we've been having across the USA lately! They are calling for 4-6 more inches of snow tomorrow in our area, I am soooooooooo hoping they are wrong!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Goodbye 2013 - Hello 2014!

I just looked over my 30 by 30 goals and 2013 running goals and all I can say is wow… 2013 turned out to be WAY different than I ever could have imagined!

Running goals were killed by being injured/recovering for the first half of the year and pregnant for the second half of the year. No races, but I did hit some new treadmill PRs and also got down to my goal weight by my 30th birthday so it wasn't a total bust. Not even going to mention how slow I waddle now on the treadmill with my 28 week pregnant belly, nor how high up the scale has gone since that 30th birthday weigh-in tho ;-)

Lukas got an awesome new job and we had big plans for a 6 year anniversary “belated honeymoon” trip and saving up money to get ready to buy a house in a few years. That big trip turned into a partially good and partially disappointing trip to Quebec. Saving up money to buy a house turned into paying off our car and one of my small school loans before we have a baby next year, both very good things.  More than anything, I am super grateful for that new job and the peace of mind it gave us when we found out that I was pregnant.

So maybe I didn't hit the majority of my goals for 2013 but there were lots of good things that came out of last year, most especially getting pregnant with Henry, so I truly cannot complain. Goals are good to have but I don’t let myself get down about not meeting them – they keep me motivated, even if I end up using that motivation to accomplish other good things instead.

To say goodbye to 2013 we had a great New Year’s Eve party with our friends the Werrett’s. The festivities included good friends, our raclette grill, lots of yummy food, and a crazy playoff of games consisting of kitchen bowling, 3d connect four, and racing remote control cars to name a few things.

And now on to 2014 and all the craziness it will bring with it!

Do I have goals for this year? Of course J
  1.  Save money to prepare for Henry
  2.  Give birth to a healthy baby Henry Lukas at the end of March/early April
  3.  Figure out how the heck to take care of a baby and enjoy/survive all the joys and trials that will come with it – with the support of my wonderful husband Lukas J
  4.  Lose the baby weight and get back into running – with hopefully at least one half marathon by the end of the year

… and that’s about it. 2014 will be the year of Henry and will bring a lot of change to our little one fish, two fish, dog fish lives. Can’t say I’m ready, can’t say I’m ALWAYS excited about it… but it is coming and I’ll let you know how it goes along the way.

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The dreaded "glucose test" and other pregnancy fun...

I had my one hour glucose screen today for gestational diabetes. I read a lot about it beforehand, which always seems to be a bad idea but I do it anyway ;-) Everyone was saying how nasty the liquid is that you have to drink but really, it tasted just like normal fruit punch and I kind of liked it. I'm no stranger to sugar tho so maybe my tolerance is high haha. A lot of people mentioned throwing up, getting dizzy, etc. from it which seems crazy to me after having just had it... but I guess everyone's body is different.

I am hoping I pass this screen test and don't have to go in for the 3 hour test. Obviously I also hope I don't have gestational diabetes, but the majority of people who fail the 1 hour screen and go in for the 3 hour test don't have it and pass just fine... so I'd rather avoid that part all together. I don't want to take a half day off work for another appointment, and I especially don't want to get blood drawn 4 times in a 3 hour period! Keep your fingers crossed that I don't hear anything on Monday from the Doctor's office because no news = good news!

Otherwise, things are progressing just fine on this little journey called pregnancy. I am in my 3rd trimester now and have only 13 more weeks to go! When I say "only", that is just relative to the 40 weeks total... it still feels like FOREVER!!

Henry is moving around a lot lately which is mostly fun, sometimes a little uncomfortable, and most definitely distracting at work. He is measuring normally during my appointments and his heart beat is nice and strong so nothing to worry about as far as we know. I'm not having any abnormal symptoms... just lots of cramping from ligament stretching which ranges from painful to uncomfortable and really puts a damper on my nights and weekends... but o well, what can you do.

I was a bit concerned that I've gained so much weight already and still have 3 months left to go but the doctors are not concerned at all since my weight was low for my height when I started and Henry isn't measuring too big or anything like that. I've been working out a lot more lately, getting in 9-12 miles of cardio a week during my lunch breaks, but even that doesn't slow down the weight gain so I give up. I figure after the holidays I'll go back to eating healthier, keep working out... and it is what it is in the end. I already have plans for a half marathon in the fall and a full in December if all goes well so at least I know I will be motivated to get off my butt and work out when I'm allowed to again after delivery. Even if it doesn't change the scale any, working out def. helps me feel better - physically and mentally - during this trimester so I'm glad I have that opportunity to go to the gym on my lunch breaks.

All in all, I'm definitely ready to be done with this pregnancy... it hasn't been awful but it sure hasn't been fun and not sure it is something I want to/will repeat in the future. On the other hand, I am soooooooooooo not ready to have an infant in the house, so maybe I will trying to enjoy the next 13 weeks of non-parent status a little more ;-)

My mom thoughtfully gave us some gift cards for a few more date nights before Henry gets here in March so we'll be taking advantage of those opportunities for sure. Tomorrow we are going to see Part 2 of The Hobbit. As much as I love going to see movies, I dread trying to sit still without lying down or taking a bazillion bathroom breaks during a 3 hour move... but hopefully it will be fun anyway :)

That is all for my second trimester update. If I feel chattier you may hear from me in the next few months and if not... get ready for a "Henry is here!!" post in March/April :)

Happy New Year everyone ... hope 2013 treated you well and 2014 starts off swell!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Absolutely torn... thoughts?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and no easy one for most people either. But it is the question that is on my mind constantly and so I figure I will throw it out to bloggyland and see what comes back ... or at least throw it out to no one and get it out of my head!

To become a SAHM or to be a working-mom ~ that is the question.

First of all, I recognize what an amazing privilege it is that I can even make this choice. At the beginning of this year Lukas and I couldn't even afford childcare and now being a SAHM with his new job is a slight possibility. I will probably have to go back to work for at least half a year but after that, I can choose to continue or stay home.

Having the choice however doesn't automatically make the decision for me, as I know it would for some people. Some women feel their destiny is to stay at home and raise their children and that is the right place for them and always has been. They may also have husbands who are doctors and lawyers (aka tons of my friends) and be more financially secure, which makes the decision a bit easier to swallow. On the other hand, some women have great careers and love what they are doing and know that with extra time and effort, they can do well at both work at home responsibilities. They find work to be rewarding and enjoyable and therefore worth the effort.

I'm somewhere in the middle...

I don't enjoy my job and it isn't a career, it is a paycheck. There is no room for growth, creativity, change. Half my pay would go to daycare each month, so basically I would be working for 50% less money than pre-baby which is sickening to think about. However, that is money we would be able to save for a house and pay towards a mortgage in a couple years when we are ready to buy one. It means safety and security in case anything happens to one of us, the baby, the dog, the car, etc. And sure, it means money for fun stuff too that wouldn't be possible if I was a SAHM since our budget will include "necessities and minor savings for emergencies - end of story".

However, I'm also not a baby/kid person. I refuse to accept callings at church that involve anyone younger than tween/teenagers. I don't look forward to long hours of screaming, diapers, feeding, cleaning and all the other "work" that comes with being a SAHM mom. Our income will also be drastically reduced and it will probably take us another 5 years to be able to afford a house on just Lukas' salary, as long as everything goes well. But the thought of mixing the two - work stress that is unrewarding and with 50% less pay and then going home to a screaming needy baby and a messy house ... just sounds like an awful concoction to me.

This sounds like a no-win situation to me and I am absolutely stuck and frustrated every time I go over it in my head.

Do I stay at work and deal with the stress and guilt?
Babies in daycare get sick more often, but otherwise they survive. I grew up going to daycares and while I didn't particularly like it, I wasn't scarred for life. And I don't know that staying at home all day with just my sisters for company would have benefited me much either on the flipside.

Do I stay home and deal with the stress and guilt?
Those are MY school loans eating away our paycheck each month. I have a decent paying job for someone who studied languages and is working outside of their field. I feel like I should contribute financially to our family budget. If I leave my job now, I will most likely end up with a lower paying job should I decide to go back to the working world in a few years. Working from home isn't a viable option, neither is working part-time. It is all or nothing, no option to "try it and see".

So while I do have a CHOICE ... I mostly feel like I just have GUILT no matter what I choose and it is disheartening. I'm trying to be excited about this baby, trying to look forward to it all... but mostly I'm just stressed out, worried about everything under the sun, and wishing ... I guess for a perfect life that no one has ;-)

Anyway... stay at home moms... any thoughts? Working moms... any thoughts?

Announcing ~ the Fischer parasite epidemic! :)

Wow, it has been a long time since I've posted on here! Anyone still out there? :)

The main reason for me being MIA for a few months is this ~ a long-term parasite that has set up residence in my lower regions ... aka I'm 15 weeks pregnant haha.

Fortunately I haven't thrown up once, but I was pretty nauseated for a few months and the medicine I was taking made me dizzy and over tired so that was difficult to deal with as well, especially getting up and ready for work and making it through the day.

I still have no energy but fortunately the main bouts of nausea and the need for regular medication are gone, woo hoo! I'm trying to find a little extra energy to exercise now that I'm in the second trimester, which still seems impossible but necessary, as I'm steadily gaining weight and would prefer not to gain excessively... as well as I know it is good for me, the baby, and delivery to have been active during pregnancy. But sleeping or lazing about on the couch before/after work just sounds SO much better haha.

As you can guess, this news derailed all of my training plans for a race in October and December, espec. as I was feeling so cruddy I haven't been able to run for months now. Some people are stronger or less sick or maybe just more determined and running during the first trimester is definitely safe and possible... but I just couldn't do it so I didn't :-/ I was a bit frustrated with myself in the beginning but after I got sicker and sicker I finally just gave up and realized 1 year of my life off of running isn't going to kill me and I have more important things to worry about right now, whether I want to or not.

Lukas is over the moon thrilled because he's wanted kids for years. We are finally financially in a place where we can at least afford daycare, but as far as being otherwise "ready" ... I can't say that I am but at this point, that is a moot point haha. I'm sure when the baby gets here I'll figure it all out and eventually be ok with having our happy home of 3  (Lukas, me and Winston) disrupted ... but for now I'm switching between "yay" and "FREAKING OUT" haha.

We should find out the gender at the end of the month if the baby is cooperating so look forward to an update then. Otherwise there isn't much going on so not much else to report. I will NOT be taking nor posting weekly "bump" pictures, espec. as right now the only "showing" I'm doing is an extra layer of fat on my stomach that I'm not altogether excited about :-p

Friday, August 16, 2013

Alive in here somewhere.... :)

Wow ~ we've had a crazy summer and it just keeps getting crazier!

Quick recap ~ because I have no fun pictures yet but will post them once I do :)

June - Lukas started a new job at Siemens Healthcare in Pennsylvania. Other than the hour commute each way, he is loving his job! He just had a few days of training in North Carolina and is now headed off to Germany to see his family for the weekend and then for a week long work conference ~ very convenient!

July - We moved apartments! Better neighborhood/apartment complex, bigger, more storage, central air, dishwasher, washer/dryer in apartment... we are pretty happy. I'd say we are about 80% moved in at this point. I still have a few boxes to unpack with clothes, etc., my whole sewing room to assemble, as well as lots of pictures to hang on the wall. We couldn't have gotten everything moved and cleaned without the help of our friends from church ~ thank you guys!!

I also turned 30 in July ... scary! I was a bit of a cranky pants, as well as sick, so it wasn't such a great birthday overall. Considering the fact that Lukas has a new job, we have a new place to live, and I have an amazing new sewing machine from my dad and fitted table to match it from Lukas... I'll keep my grumblings to myself and look forward to an eventful 30th year in life :)

August - Other than Lukas traveling around (see June), this month hasn't been too crazy. I've been sick for a bit so that hasn't been too much fun, and my best friend is moving this weekend so I'll head over to help her into her new home. My mom is coming over on Sunday to see the new place and my new machine, so that will be fun to spend time with her and show her around the new pad.

Running has falling off the radar lately. I've been so exhausted from everything going on as well as not feeling well, so for the past 3 weeks I've basically given up. I do get Winston to the dog park near us almost every day, as long as it isn't raining or super muddy, so that is good. We also go walking off and on at a really nice jogging path park by us as a family so that is good. Hoping to get out more as the weather cools down and I start feeling better. No races on the radar and no running goals right now ~ just want to stay active and be healthy and focus on that for a bit without stressing myself out over the other stuff.

Hopefully some fun pictures of Germany and our new apartment to come!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Slimy Saturday Running

Whew ~ made it through a humid and slightly hilly 5 mile run today and boy are we 2 slimy people right now!  This humidity and heat is nasty but I am so proud of myself for making it through the 5 miles and just walking when I need to and not getting ticked off about it ~ a big accomplishment for me physically and mentally. Lukas has seen way too many tantrums in the past during hot/humid runs, and I haven't been able to get through 5 miles in the past 7 months due to IT band issues, so I get an A for the day in both categories lol.

A coworker suggested I try my knee band again to see if that helps my IT Band not rub on my knee so much and he is a genius... it felt a little irritated at the end of our run, but I think that was mostly due to me being super tired and having bad form. Otherwise tho, no pain and I didn't feel like I was bothering it as much as before. I really think strength training is slowly helping, so I will keep at that and hope the band helps me in the meantime as well. I purchased this band in 2011 when I was having major pain and we had to cancel our half marathon plans the first time. I think if I'd known about the foam roller back then, it and this band could have gotten me through the rest of my training but o well... hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Anyway, since then I completely forgot I had this thing until my coworker mentioned using one for his issues and how much it helps if you are doing all the stretching/rolling/strengthening you can and just need something extra while running. Genius man... genius :)

I haven't been able to follow my half marathon schedule exactly in the past 3 weeks, but I've had a lot of good runs, made a lot of good effort, and am still pretty much on target. Hoping to have a successful week of 5ks in the morning and then another 5 miler next Saturday. It is nice to be back to training again, these past 3 weeks have been fun getting more runs in than usual but weird also because I'm exercising less than I was the few weeks before that. I need to get more strength training in and not focus so much on cardio as I have in the past and hopefully that will give my muscles the rest they need from cardio, as well as the strength they need to overcome muscle imbalances and keep me injury free!

I also think I'm going to try and get one run a week in on the treadmill, it helps so much for speed training without making me pass out due to the weather. I ran a new treadmill 5k PR on Friday - 9:16 average at 28:44~ woo hoo! That might be slow for most runners but I'm super happy about it ~ and I didn't have any pain and didn't walk at all which is great. The more I work on speed inside, the faster I will be outside once I get used to the weather and am able to push a bit more, espec. if my knee decides to cooperate.

Happy happy happy... but also tired tired tired haha. Time for a sewing break and then some homework before a nice relaxing nap at the pool. Life is good over at the Fischer's today ~ hope your Saturday is equally as enjoyable and relaxing!