Sunday, October 25, 2009

What A Sleepy Sunday...

Today has been a sleepy Sunday for me. My body definitely gets worn out more easily than it used to now that I'm 18 weeks pregnant. Last night we went to a Sweet 16 Masquerade ball which was fun, but it sure wiped me out today! I did have some of the best sleep ever last night, though, and it was good to discover that A.R. and I still have our moves on the dance floor. :) We did a little Merengue and Bachata and it felt great to be dancing together again. I sure hope our little one likes to dance!
Toasting the birthday girl with Sparkling Apple Cidar- YUMMY!
To go along with my sleepy Sunday here are our two peas in a pod snoozing in their two favorite spots. I have yet to catch a shot of them curled up is absolutely adorable when they snuggle together in their beds at night.
Yes, that is our Lily monster ON TOP of the couch. She learned that from Sebastian (RIP kitty!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

17 Weeks & Counting

It's been awhile since I posted about our bun in the oven so here's a little update...

As of today I'm 17 weeks along and feeling great despite tiring easily. I just can't hang with the big dogs (ah-hem my husband) and stay up past 10pm anymore. I used to be a night owl so it's been an adjustment for me. This week our little one is the size of an onion and growing fast. I can't believe how fast the time is going by and that I'm 3 weeks away from the half way mark (20 weeks).
16 week belly shot
After driving A.R. crazy with my indecisiveness and perusing hundreds of neutral crib bedding sets online we finally purchased one today. It ended up being the first crib bedding set we both liked from JC Penny over a month ago :). We're going with a frog and duck theme in greens and yellows.

A.R. actually found a furniture set online (Da Vinci Parker collection) that we both fell in love with. It's a honey finish and we plan on getting the crib changing table and dresser. Also, I think we decided on how we want to paint the nursery, but won't finalize the colors until we receive the bedding set to match them.

A couple of weeks ago we went to Babies R Us to walk around and see what we could see. We wanted to see if the crib we liked was on the show room floor and if they had one of the bedding sets there in person that we were interested in. I think we both walked out of there a little overwhelmed. It is so surreal that in 4 short months we'll be parents responsible for a teeny tiny human being that will fit into all those teeny tiny clothes and the strollers and carseats and baby swings.

We like this paint job, but most likely the stripes will be green and yellow...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 9: St. Croix

Our last day on the cruise ship was once again cloudy :( as we docked in St. Croix. Despite the clouds we packed our beach bag and headed ashore to hit the beaches. It was so humid I was pretty uncomfortable, but we had pre-purchased transfers from the pier to our choice of beaches along the coast line of St. Croix.
Once on the beach we got hooked up with the BEST beach chairs ever. They had pillows, foot rests, and reclined but weren't low to the sand. To keep the passing rain showers off of us we also rented an umbrella. We went for a swim in the ocean which was quite rough and had a strong under tow due to Tropical Storm Erica which had passed over the island the day before. Despite the weather, the water was still warm and nice! After my swim I laid back in the beach chair to enjoy the crystal blue water and our last day in the Caribbean. Within seconds I was asleep and stayed knocked out for a good two hours! Ahhh, the joys of being pregnant in the first trimester. There is nothing better than a nap on the beach. :)

On the last night of the trip we snapped a shot of our assistan table waiter and head waitress who were fabulous. A.R. and I were both a little disappointed with the overall food offered in the main dining hall compared to the quality we've both experienced on past cruises with Royal Caribbean, but the staff was still wonderful.

Our asst. waiter, German (L) and head waitress, Oono (R)

Day 8: St. Maarten

After the thunderstorms on Thursday night we woke up to overcast skies on Friday in St. Maarten. We had cancelled our tour we previously booked as it wasn't safe for pregnant ladies and decided to just check out the island on our own and do some shopping. Once again we hit up the Windjammer Cafe for breakfast and then headed ashore.

By the time we ate and got outside it had started to rain again (the rain storms were the leftovers from Tropical Storm Erica) so we hailed a cab to the shopping district. St. Maarten looked very much like St. Lucia with the mountainous terrain and was quite beautiful even in the rain. We started to browse the shops downtown on the Dutch side of the island. Within seconds of starting to shop it started to down pour, so we slipped into a shop and I was met with knock off purse heaven. They had Prada, Coach, Gucci, etc. and of course I had to indulge. I got a cute new brown Coach purse.
Next, we started to browse some jewelry shops which was just about every other shop on an entire block, but the rain wouldn't let up and to go from shop to shop we kept getting soaked. Considering we already had colds and afternoon spa appointments coming up back on the ship we decided to call it a day and head back to the port. It's a shame the weather wasn't better as we would've seen more of the island and probably even gone to enjoy the beach.
After we got back on the ship we went to the spa for our massages. A.R. got a hot stone massage (totally jealous!) while I got a Swedish massage. They wouldn't let me have a stone massage as it could possibly over stimulate me and cause preterm labor. :( Either way my massage was wonderful!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 7: Unexpected Day at Sea

On Wednesday evening it was brought to our attention that our cruise ship would not be docking in Antigua on Thursday as planned as the island was being hit by Tropical Storm Erica. Instead, we had been rerouted and planned to stop in Dominica. Our tour scheduled for Antigua was automatically cancelled and we signed up for river tubing in Dominica. I've heard it is beautiful there, so we were excited for the change in itinerary even though I had really wanted to see Antigua. On Thursday we woke up to stormy weather and the view outside our balcony despite the weather was beautiful. That view would be all we saw of Dominica as we slowly cruised past the island. The seas were too choppy for us to dock and we could see the waves were so high they were crashing over the pier where we would've walked to the shore. The ship's captain made an announcement that we would have a day at sea and the whole navigation crew was keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Erica, but she had slowed down overnight stalling over part of the Southern Caribbean.
The shore of Dominica with the waves crashing up into the road.
The mountains of Dominica covered in clouds
Since it was rainy outside we mainly watched movies, went ice skating, browsed and shopped on the Promenade deck, scheduled our spa appointments for the next day, played air hockey in the arcade, and enjoyed watching the storms and waves from our private balcony. I had caught A.R.'s cold so it was nice to just rest and relax all day. That night we went to the ice show (which was pretty good!) before getting ready for the second formal night. Our stateroom attendant surprised us with rose petals on our cabin bed that night with a card congratulating us on our first anniversary which was really sweet. After dinner the storms really picked up...there was so much lightening the sky was constantly lighting up and loud claps of thunder. We watched them from awhile on our balcony before going to bed. I even took a video where you can here the thunder and the wind whipping around. The next day we were hoping the storms from the outskirts of the hurricane would pass so we could dock in St. Maarten.
The cast of the ice show onboard the cruise ship.
A surprise from our Cabin Steward
Bright and early the next day the captain made an announcement that we had sailed through wind gusts of up to 80 knots the night before and that the closets we got to Tropical Storm Erica was around 75 miles. Most of you remember another tropical storm that visited us on our wedding day...Tropical Storm Hanna. She hit on the way to our reception and the storm raged outside while the party went on inside the reception hall. That night back at the hotel they had lost power and were on generator power, so we ate leftovers from the reception by just the bathroom light watching the storm outside. It was so very romantic!! How fitting we had a visit by another tropical storm on our first anniversary. :)
2nd Formal Night
Cool Towel Monkey rocking our shades.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Day 6: St. Lucia

We woke up to cloudy skies and a light drizzle in St. Lucia thanks to looming Tropical Storm Erica, but the view outside of our cabin from our balcony on Deck 9 was spectacular. The rolling mountains of St. Lucia are absolutely gorgeous and I would go back there again for a day or two stay in a resort before island hopping to another hot spot (um, St. Maarten!). After another breakfast of waffles and strawberries we headed off on our jeep safari excursion through St. Lucia. The streets were VERY crowded, bumpy, and tight and despite the fact that it was Wednesday it seemed nobody was at work except our tour guide staff. The downtown area where we docked looked quite poor which was sad to see, but I like to get the real story behind the places I visit.
On an overlook in St. Lucia
The crowded streets of St. Lucia
After a surprisingly bumpy jeep ride through some banana plantations where I seriously thought our child was going to make an early appearance (note to self: Jeep safari = NOT a bright idea when pregnant) we cruised up the side of one mountain and down the other en route to our destination. The scenery was beautiful (even after getting a mouth full of fruit flies in the middle of the banana fields). We got to see where all of St. Lucia's gas was brought in and stored, their water plant, the bay were one of the James Bond movies was filmed, and we even got to taste test some fresh coconut, bananas, and bread fruit. At one stop along the way we were accosted by a peddler trying to sell us some local goods. Of course our whole jeep caved in and got assorted hot sauces, a really yummy sauce called banana ketchup, and real local unsweetened cocoa in a stick form that smelled absolutely devine. A.R. and I brought home a thing of cocoa and got some sauces as a gift to some of our friends.
The bay where James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed
Hot & windblown on the jeep safari
Our last stop was to hike a short trail to view a waterfall in the rainforest of St. Lucia. After some more bumps in the jeep and seeing the houses precariously built on the side of the mountain on stilts (one house had stilts 3 stories high!) we arrived to our hiking spot. We each got a walking stick and made our way into the cool rainforest which was such a relief in the humidity. The waterfall was pretty, but not as spectacular as I thought it would be and the rocks were so slippery we didn't go that close up. We weren't allowed to swim in the water because it actually flowed into the town's drinking water suppy but we did walk through it and take some pictures. On the jeep ride back to the port we passed through more countryside and saw all the kids walking home from school for the day in their uniforms. Most of the schools there were built by the Hess gas company which I thought was pretty cool.
Hiking through the rain forest
The waterfall, we went further back after the other people left.
Once we got back to the boat we showered and had a huge lunch before we took a nap. A.R. had caught a cold after getting chilled on our snorkeling trip in Barbados in the pouring rain, so he wasn't feeling too well and I liked taking advantage of sleep since the 1st trimester can be so exhausting. :) We had the late seating at dinner so we had some time to kill since it had started raining by the time we got back to the cruise ship. We were supposed to go to the ice show that night on the boat but slept through it, so instead we played Quest after dinner which is like a huge adult scavenger hunt. It was so much fun even though our team didn't win. We also scored tickets to the ice show (it's free) the next night so I was happy.

Pregnancy Brain

I have a very serious condition that is starting to affect my work, home life, and state of well being. It is called pregnancy brain or in other words can't. remember. sh*t. Some examples of this rare but completely curable condition (it lasts all of 9 months and is only experienced by pregnant women):

Example 1: A.R. and I commute to work together on the days he doesn't have class. One fine Tuesday evening I was waiting for him to call me to tell me to meet him down in the lobby when I looked at the clock as it turned from 5:15 to 5:30 and onward. I kept trying to call him and just kept getting his voicemail. Figuring he forgot to tell me about a late meeting I started to get annoyed. Then I was starting to get pissed as my stomach growled with hunger pains and my eyes were heavy with fatigue. I thought about sending him a mean email to call me ASAP when at 5:45pm I realized that I had driven myself to work and A.R. was in class right where he was supposed to be. Yup, I'm an idiot!

Example 2: A.R.'s birthday was the 29th and since we couldn't do anything during the week with his classes and Lily's kindergarten (more to come on that) I promised his mom I'd bring a cake over and we could celebrate during our normal weekly get-together on Sunday. Well, Sunday dawned all bright and sunny and we went to church and then to his mom's as usual. We were chatting with my brother and sister-in-law and cooing over their newest little one when it started to get uncomfortable. A.R.'s other brother had had back surgery so we decided to all drive up to their house a good 15 minutes further north and visit. When I got there my sister-in-law whispered in my ear and asked me if I got the cake. My response, "What cake?" Her all knowing gaze told the story as she pointed towards my husband. Frickity Frick! I forgot my own husband's birthday cake for his celebration. What an arse I felt like. Luckily, my other brother-in-law was still in the car so he stopped to pick one up to save the day (and my reputation with my mother-in-law!).

Example 3: I was meeting one of my bestest buds for dinner this past Tuesday and going to a restaurant that I used to frequent say maybe 2-3 times a month for happy hour or salad bar at lunch time when I worked in the area. While driving there I got the bright idea to call my mom to wish her a belated birthday and catch up. Big mistake. Within 10 minutes I was headed in the wrong direction, then I hit traffic and got the bright idea on how to bypass it by going a mere 30 minutes out of my way. I have no idea what I was thinking and where I was going. I'm lucky I didn't hurt an innocent driver on their commute home because I was so clueless. Note to self: obey the law and STOP talking on your cell phone while least while you are still pregnant and have only half a brain! :)

Example 4: I ran out of contact solution last night and needed to get more before I could go to bed tonight so I head to CVS. While there I think it's a good idea to get the two birthday cards I need for upcoming kids birthday parties and I see a fall wreath and table runner on sale that would look great on our front door and new dining room table. Oh, and I get some candy to fill up my bowl at work. Only when I'm in the car about to drive out of the parking lot do I realize I FORGOT the one thing I went there to buy. Contact solution. And so I parked again, went in, and actually got what I had gone there to get.

Be careful ladies...some day this condition could affect you, too!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Day 5: Barbados

Our cruise ship: Adventure of the Seas
We woke up early on Day 5 in Barbados to snorkel and swim with sea turtles. After a hearty breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe (I think I had waffles with strawberries pretty much all 7 days on board the boat) we went portside to enjoy our day. It started off bright and sunny but the water was quite choppy. I started to feel queasy as soon as we got on the smaller boat (I was fine on the cruise ship), so I popped in a Preggie Pop Drop and was so relieved that it did the trick. Of course my darling husband was another story...
Before A.R.'s sea sickness kicked in
Our first stop on the snorkel excursion was swimming with sea turtles which was absolutely incredible. I actually got to pat one of them a couple times. A.R. was able to see them up close and personal until he just couldn't handle the water anymore. I finally found him back on the boat popping my Preggie Pop Drops like chocolate trying not to hurl over the side of the boat. He ended up eating all of the candies I had brought with me, so it's a good thing I was okay!! I wasn't supposed to tell anyone, so shhhh!
A.R. after the sea sickness kicks in...
Me snorkeling by the ship wrecks just before it rained.
The second snorkel stop was two ship wrecks off the shores of Barbados in a bay that used to be used to receive shipments and people before the pier was built. One of the wrecks was a tug boat and the other was a much older ship. A.R. was too queasy to get off the boat so I snorkeled alone as he took some pictures from the boat. About halfway through this stop it started to pour rain and our boat headed for the last stop of the day to a private beach. We spent our time there swimming in the rain in the bluest water you can imagine. If I hadn't been pregnant I would've been sipping some rum punch at the same time. :)
The sea turtles swimming with us
After our shore excursion was over, we headed back to the pier sopping wet and shivering and did some shopping. We ended up buying some souvenirs and even got a stuffed turtle for our little one. Then we got back on the boat and enjoyed a huge lunch and a nap. Overall, Barbados has beautiful beaches but I wasn't that impressed with the island. It was a lot like Nassau, Bahamas or any other plane Jane Caribbean island. That night on the cruise ship was 70s night and it began with a serenade by our dining room staff and then continued with a show on the Promenade deck complete with a tribute to the Village People which was funny stuff. Check out the video below and the hottie in the Indian suit on the left. :)
Our dining room staff sings for us
Can you tell which one is the virgin?