September 28, 2011

Parvez Taj

I recently purchased our first piece of art for our new house! I bought one of Parvez Taj's reclaimed wood pieces called Kasbah.  I got it for a steal on One Kings Lane and now just have to wait a month for it to arrive in the mail.

It was sort of an impulse buy because I've never seen the artists pieces in person but I just got a great feeling from the piece.  The colors and the design are beautiful and it has eastern/Moroccan influence to it without being over the top.  Of course art is very personal so this is my opinion.  He uses a lot of different mediums and even makes these gorgeous light pieces too that are just stunning.  I can't really find any great pictures of the light boxes but if you look at his website you will get the idea.

 Acrylic boxes that can illuminate if light is placed under them.

Buying a house is great but I'm having a hell of a time figuring out how to decorate.  Hopefully this spices up the blank walls in the house.

September 26, 2011

Trying to balance it all...

I'm officially in my third trimester! I looked at the countdown on one of my baby iphone apps and it said I have 71 days until this baby is due! 71 days is not a lot of time. Sometimes I feel like this pregnancy has flown by.  Then other times I can't remember not being pregnant.  I am starting to really get a little anxious about how labor is going to be, motherhood and the realization that I will forever be responsible for another life. 

I thought I'd write a post about some pregnancy symptoms/side effects and some of the things that have been on my mind lately.
  • Carpel Tunnel:  It sucks.  Apparently is very common for pregnant women to experience this because of the swelling and fluid retention. I started noticing it in the mornings when I woke up and my fingers were tingly.  These days I sleep with wrist guards on and have to ask my husband to massage my arms nightly.  I have to say its a really annoying feeling to have tingling, burning and aching hands, wrists and even arms. 
  • Swelling: So far my ankles and face have started to swell a little.  Some days are worse than others and I find myself wearing more pants to hide my cankles.
  • Leg cramps: I haven't had too many of these but they are awful and wake me up in the middle of the night confused and in a lot of pain.  No great explanation as to why they happen to pregnant women but when they happen,  it helps me to flex my feet or get out of bed and stand up right away.
  • Belly button: I'm losing the battle to stay an "innie" slowly.  I'm hoping to make it all the way to 40 without it popping out but it seems to be getting smaller and smaller and ready to pop any day.
  • Linea negra: Yup its there.  All the way up my belly almost to my chest.  Lately a dark circle has formed around my belly button and its not cute.  I guess women with darker skin are more prone to this.
  • Hair: Looking pretty good and full.  I guess you tend to lose less hair during pregnancy but post pregnancy apparently a lot falls out.  My sister in law lost a ridiculous amount of hair in the two months after she had my nieces and nephew.  
  • Back Pain: I swear as soon as I hit my third trimester back pain set in bad again.  I had a bout of sciatica early on in pregnancy but it went away during second trimester.  I think its back now because the baby is getting bigger and squishing my insides. Yup squishing.  I'm super technical and clinical.  If I don't get up every hour or so while I'm at work I get a bad backache and my ass hurts.  Back pain also contributes to me not being able to sleep.
  • Hip pain: Since you can't sleep on your back while prego and my usual spread eagle tummy sleeping doesn't work either, I have to sleep on my sides.  This is causing my hips to just ache.  So now I wake up multiple times a night to pee, or because my fingers have gone numb from carpel tunnel, or to adjust because my hips/back are killing me.
Another annoying thing about pregnancy is that I feel like I need to rely on my husband a lot more.  I know it shouldn't annoy me and I feel so grateful that he takes care of me and really has pampered me this entire pregnancy.  That being said I'd really like to be able to lift heavy things (or even things of moderate weight), not be so emotional and not need him to rub my arms and/or back every night.  He always does and he is the best but sometimes it feels like I have to rely on him too much and I'm just not used to that feeling.

I'm such a whiner and I didn't mean for this post to go on and on but sometimes I think its helpful to hear about the crappy parts of an otherwise great time in life.  Yes I still think its just as incredible that I am growing a life inside me and I know this baby is worth all the pain listed above and much more. It doesn't change the fact that pregnancy is difficult.  On top of your body changing, your entire life changes and shifts.  Whether you like it or not, you become a different person in some ways.  For example, I have had to deal with the frustration of being phased out of work.  They no longer put me on important projects and I feel completely out of the loop.  I know they are just preparing for me going out but it still bothers me to have to compromise in this area.  I have always dedicated a lot of myself to work/school and I hate feeling useless and underutilized.

This makes me think about how hard it is going to be to prioritize everything in my life.  I've heard from different working mothers that it can be really frustrating to know that you can't do everything well.  You might not/probably won't be the best employee at work or the best mother when you have to juggle it all.  I mostly worry about missing out on my child's life while I'm at work.  If I'll somehow not bond with my little one as much or be there for them when they really need me.  Both my parents worked but my mom ran my dad's office growing up (and still does) so the job was definitely flexible.  I never felt neglected when both  my parents were at work but my SIL is a stay at home mom (for now) and is able to give so much to her children.  I know we will work it out to find some balance that works for our family but these are the things that have been weighing on my mind these days.

Readers, any advice for moms to be on finding a life balance, going back to work or any general advice?

September 16, 2011

New Favorite Cookies

I found this recipe on pinterest for chocolate chunk pecan cookies this week and could not wait to try making them.  Oh  my god these cookies are incredible and SO ridiculously easy to make.  You will only need one bowl to mix everything (and of course a measuring cup, teaspoon, spoon, spatula and baking sheets) so it makes clean up very easy.  They took me 15 minutes to mix up and I only baked them for 10 minutes so in under 30 minutes I made my favorite cookies to date.  Lately all the chocolate chip cookie recipes I try and sort of lackluster so as you can tell I'm a little excited. I also do really love pecans so that might be adding to this enthusiasm. 

Picture from Bake or Break

I didn't alter the recipe at all - click here for the full recipe.  Make sure you toast the pecans to bring out the flavor - it makes a big difference! Bake or Break is definitely going to be my go to place for recipes now. 

Token crappy cell phone picture.  Mine aren't as pretty as Bake or Break's but they do taste incredible.

Enjoy your weekend! It's feeling like fall here in Boston which is my favorite season in New England so I'm excited to take a few walks and just relax. 

September 14, 2011

Maternity Dresses are Ugly

I had a really hard time finding a cute maternity dress for my baby shower my Mom and Sister in Law threw me in California.  In my opinion maternity dresses in general just aren't that cute or fashionable.  Luckily non maternity clothes can usually work because dresses and tops these days are loose and flowy.  But of course when you are looking for a dress, you can never find one.  I shopped for dresses for weeks and was pretty frustrated overall throughout the process.  In the end it came down to three contenders.

Dress That Launched 1000 Ships from Modcloth (in Storm):

This dress is really beautiful and the print is much better in person.  Its a non maternity dress, nice quality fabric and could definitely be worn again.  But it  just didn't look that great on me.  I have big hips and this dress floated over them and made me feel even bigger than I actually am.  I think part of it too is that my boobs have decided to grow along with the baby bump and they are just monsters these days.  Plus the dress was expensive ($150).  So back it went to Modcloth.

The Back View Dress from Anthropologie:

This dress is really vibrant and colorful.  I loved the back of this dress so much (its all braided).  Plus it has these butterfly sleeves which hid my arms that I am so self conscious of.  This was a serious contender for me for a while but my mom just didn't like it.  I'm not sure that it was all that flattering because I had this baby bump and then on top of it the butterfly sleeves made everything up top look sort of voluminous.  I think someone with really skinny legs could rock this dress with a baby bump though.  It is expensive at $168.

I also really debated wearing an Isabella Oliver dress but ultimately decided it might be too sexy for a baby shower with family and family friends everywhere. Tight, red, sexy and worn by Angelina Jolie I realized doesn't exactly scream baby shower and motherhood (not that you can't be a sexy Mom).

So, when I finally got this dress from asos I was thrilled.

I loved the color and I thought the fit could be flattering but I wasn't really all that sure about the fabric.  It wasn't that expensive ($69 at the time) and with free shipping I figured why not.  This dress ended up being the one that my mom and SIL liked the best.  I felt really comfortable in it and the fabric is this soft jersey that feels so soft.  Here are a few pictures of me and my fellow prego BFF from my baby shower.  I'm 26 weeks in the picture and she is 34 weeks. 

I guess the only dress that worked turned out to be a maternity dress so the title of my post is a little aggressive.  I've been pretty disappointed with maternity clothes shopping aside from the fact that you get to wear elastic waistband pants everywhere.  That seriously is a dream come true.  I wonder why they don't make more regular stylish clothes with elastic waistbands.  Where are your favorite places to shop for prego friendly clothing?

September 12, 2011

Video that makes me cry

This google video has been out for a while but it makes me tear up every single time I watch it.  I love watching fathers with their children - something about it just makes my heart just feel like its going to explode.  Not sure if I'm just getting more emotional with all the hormones.

Can't wait until we meet this little guy or girl so I can grab their gmail name and maybe start doing the same thing.

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