Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's a Boy!

Yesterday morning we got to spend some time peering at our lovely babe via ultrasound.  It was amazing to see this actual little person in there.  He moved around a lot during the scan, which made it a little difficult for the ultrasound tech to get some of the measurements and get really good profile shots.  But there are a few:

And his little hand . . .

And his little foot . . .

And his little, well, boy evidence . . . 

We are so excited.  We would have been just as thrilled with a little girl, of course, but I literally squealed when the technician announced that we were having a boy.  (We'd kind of figured it out just before she announced it, based on the last image above!)

It's so strange-- we've been referring to the baby as "he or she" for months now, or just as "the baby."  It's weird to know that we can really call him "he" from here on out.  He's been a person for months now, but he suddenly feels so much more . . . personified.  

Our little guy.  I love him already.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


We take cocktails pretty seriously at Casa Petroni.  Back when we were just friends, and later when we were dating, David would make me delicious Cosmopolitans whenever I came over to watch Sex and the City.  His Cosmos even came complete with pyrotechnics-- just before serving, he'd slice off a disc of orange peel, light a match, and squeeze the zest side of the peel toward the match, over the drink.  The orange oil would cause the match to spark up, and it would give the drink a nice extra flavor.  We like to joke that David wooed me with cocktails.

He introduced me to the Tom Collins, a delightfully refreshing, summery drink that you pretty much have to make at home these days.  A good one requires fresh lemon juice (along with sugar, gin, and club soda), but order one at most bars and they'll skip the fresh lemon juice and instead use that most horrid of mixers-- sour mix.  

He makes a great mojito.  He makes a ridiculous margarita.  (Arwen can vouch for this one.  See, as evidence, our drunkish post from one of her visits last year.)  He likes to make things like Old Fashioneds for himself, though I don't drink bourbon so I can't tell you whether that one's any good.  

So, although I am perfectly pleased to give up all manner of alcohol for the sake of my wee in-utero babe, and indeed would happily give it up forever if it meant more children would come our way, I do miss having a cocktail now and then.  I feel extraordinarily weird going out to dinner and not ordering a drinkety drink or a glass of wine.  A few restaurants have been very accommodating in mixing me something non-alcoholic.  (Special props to Tallula in Arlington, which can make a non-alcoholic version of every drink on its specialty cocktail menu, to Wildfire at Tysons Galleria, where the bartender improvised some fruity and lovely concoction for me, and to Austin Grill, which has a strawberry limeade on the menu that is so good I almost don't miss the alcohol.)  Others have been unhelpful, even bordering on condescending.  (Big eye roll to Bistro Bis, where the snooty waiter-- who claimed he's also a bartender-- looked at me like I was nuts when I asked them to mix something sans liquor, and said he didn't know of a single thing he could serve me.  HINT:  Good bartenders are also creative.  Give yours the opportunity to think something up.)

Imagine my delight, then, when I saw an invitation today for a book-signing party this weekend for a book called Preggatinis-- a party complete with mocktails and light hors d'ouevres.  I've RSVP'd for us, and I'm crossing my fingers that there will be room for us to attend.  I'd love to get some fun back in my drinks, and I'm confident David can mix up any recipe in the book.  

Chic mocktails.  Who knew?  And just in time for my gestational enjoyment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eighteen Weeks

I heart the second trimester.  Does it feel like it's chugging along faster because the weather has generally been nicer-- nice enough to distract me?  Because I'm not living in constant fear of losing the baby?  Because I was able to spread the good news far and wide weeks ago, and I'm no longer counting down the days to be able to tell everyone about the pregnancy?

I'd imagine it's all of the above, plus the simple fact that I just feel so much better than I did during those gloomy, wintry, couch-ridden first weeks.  Every day is full of possibility:  Will I bake bread today?  Make peanut brittle?  Run errands?  Drive into D.C. for lunch with Hill friends?  Sit on the patio in the sunshine and read a book?  The choices, while perhaps not infinite, certainly beat out lie-on-the-couch-and-watch-bad-daytime-TV, which was my activity of choice for pretty much all of February.  

I guess I'm hitting my pregnancy stride, so to speak.  I finally seem to look pregnant even to strangers, at least in the right clothes.  The host at Maggiano's last Friday asked me when I was due, which thrilled me to no end.  We're actually giving serious thought to baby purchases.  We test-drove strollers a few weeks ago (and think we've settled on this one, in red), and we're beating our heads against the wall trying to settle on furniture for the soon-to-be nursery (hate. all. of. it. ugh.).  I started reading the Fifth Month chapter in What to Expect today.  Fifth Month???  Seriously?  How can it be that I'm really almost halfway there?

I find myself wondering what the rest of the pregnancy will be like.  After this month, there will be a lot to look forward to:  Harbor Springs in May with Arwen, Bryan, Camilla, and Blaise; a trip to Georgia in June to see my family and my Hotlanta friends; a weekend in Jacksonville in July for a party to celebrate Judge Black's 30th anniversary on the federal bench (recently ok'd by my doctor, despite the plane ride-- hooray!); and the beach with my family in July, hopefully with a few days at Kiawah just for David and me.  Throw in a baby shower, serious baby shopping, decorating the nursery, perhaps taking a birthing class, creating a new office/den in the basement, and generally enjoying the summer, and I have a feeling the time will fly by.  

Oh, and we have a little something to look forward to next Monday:  the "big ultrasound," during which we will-- if the little one cooperates-- find out whether we're having a son or a daughter.  

Can't.  Wait.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Practically Perfect Weekend

Weekends can be tough.  They're only two days long (plus Friday evening, if you're lucky), and we all seem to have such high expectations for them.  There's a lot to do, a lot to cram in.  Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, or work schedules don't cooperate, or there are too many errands to run, or you're feeling under the weather, and all of a sudden it's Sunday evening and you realize the entire weekend has passed you by.

This weekend, thankfully, was not a pass-you-by kind of weekend.  It was a perfect, sunny, let's-do-the-things-we-want-to-do kind of weekend.

I should preface by pointing out that David has been working like a dog for the last couple of weeks.  The week his mom was in town, he billed something like 75 hours.  Lawyers in private practice will tell you that you're generally doing well if you can manage to bill 80% of the time that you're actually at work, so you can imagine what his schedule actually looked like.  His mom had arrived in town on Monday evening, and he didn't see her at all until Friday at dinner.  And even though he did get to work from home that weekend, he was still working for much of the time.

This weekend, though, he didn't have to work at all.  It was wonderful.  We didn't do anything fancy or truly out-of-the-ordinary; it's just that everything seemed to work out.

Friday evening was very low-key.  We ate homemade vegetable soup and caught up on recorded TV, but it was great to just relax.

Saturday morning was bright and gorgeous, and it stayed that way all day.  We got dressed, went to Panera Bread for some breakfast, and headed over to the local garden center to buy plants to fill out the flower beds for spring and summer.  We ran into some friends we hadn't seen in too long (and their adorable daughter!), and we got to tell them about the pregnancy.  We just enjoyed browsing around through the plants, picking and choosing things we liked.  Our only frustration is that too many things we like don't do well in the shade, and both our front yard and much of our back garden are shaded for most of the day.  In the end, we loaded up on trusty impatiens in pink, white, orange, and fuchsia; Scotch moss and another "Steppable" plant that we're hoping Sadie won't trample; some dead nettle; geraniums for the planter out front; and a bunch of herbs and a new planter for an herb garden out back, safe from Sadie's feet.

We spent the afternoon planting, mulching, and cleaning up after ourselves, stopping only to run out to Five Guys for their amazing burgers and fries.  By evening, the front and back were looking pretty and tidy, and I've been enjoying looking out into the back garden at all the bright new color.

Saturday night was quiet; we were exhausted from the gardening, so we ate homemade chicken tortilla soup and watched the hockey game.  Sadly, the Pens lost.  (I said the weekend was practically perfect, right?)  

Sunday we went to the early Mass for Palm/Passion Sunday.  David had to count the offering, but he was counting with two of his favorite co-counters.  I didn't have to worry about teaching CCD, because all of the kids were spending the hour doing the Stations of the Cross.  Father Donahue led the Stations for the older kids; we teachers just had to join in.  After CCD, I still had a couple of hours until David would be home, so I headed out to the patio with a book and a snack to enjoy the sunny, 70-degree weather.

After David got home, we went out to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant with a big patio, where we snagged an outside table and ate copious amounts of queso.  We had tickets for a performance by the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center for 3:00, so we drove into the city-- and hit the only low point in the weekend.  We'd forgotten that the National Cherry Blossom Festival is going on right now, and, as you can imagine, cherry blossoms + gorgeous weather + hordes of tourists driving into the city.  Every bridge was backed up, and we worried that we wouldn't make the performance in time.  Thankfully, many of the other patrons had run into the same problem, and they actually started the performance about 15 minutes late to accommodate the folks who got stuck in the insane traffic.  The chorus was great, and totally worth the small stress of sitting in traffic.

After the performance, I spent a little more time outside reading on the patio while David watched another hockey game, and then we made one of David's favorite dinners (penne pasta with hot Italian sausage, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and Parmesan cheese).  We closed out the weekend with a movie from Netflix (Flash of Genius, which was only so-so).

Is it strange that I think such an average-sounding weekend was simply terrific?  Was it the perfect weather?  The fact that there were no errands to run?  The fact that David didn't have to work?  Regardless, I thought it was great.  I only hope next weekend is as good!