You guys, this has been a doozy of a week.
First, we made a somewhat big announcement last Thursday. Also, today is my last day at my current job. (I know, I know, Justine changes jobs like most people change their Brita filters…moving on.) ALSO, we’re getting the keys for our new apartment this week.
All of that would have been enough to solidify a super busy week. And then two days ago my new job called and asked if I would be okay with them sending me to Belgium for job training. Sunday. As in, six days later. HA! Um…sure?
So now I can add “visit new country” to my March to-do list. Who knew?
SO anyway…have any of you ever been to Brussels? What should I do while I’m there?
I have to admit, I’m still feeling a bit overwhelmed with how happy for us everyone was after our big announcement yesterday. You guys are the best. As promised, I have a couple posts about what it was like before the world knew our secret. Hopefully some other soon-to-be mommas out there can appreciate — the waiting is the WORST.
Can I just say that I had the hardest time blogging before I revealed I was pregnant? It is so hard to think of topics that I’m supposedly thinking about when REALLY all I’m thinking about is the tiny person growing in my midsection.
Fortunately, the jig is UP, so now we can get down to brasstacks. Specifically, what my first trimester was REALLY like.
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I didn’t have a ton of symptoms. I think this is partially do to my extremely type A (you’re shocked, I know) monitoring of my body. I pretty much knew I was pregnant from the first week. But typically, symptoms don’t kick in until closer to the sixth. So for a while, I was honestly nervous I had just taken a faulty test.
No lie: I took an extra test or two a couple more weeks in just because I NEEDED TO KNOW, YOU GUYS. Fortunately, that second blue line waited all of four seconds to appear, confirming that I was, in fact, knocked up.
The first couple of weeks, I experienced a few things. I felt a few cramps (which are apparently caused by your uterus stretching to make room for said tiny person…let THAT sink in), some boob soreness as they also apparently grow (STILL hoping to get a decent rack out of this deal), a few hormonal things (FLASHES OF INSTANT RAGE! CRYING AT EVERY COMMERCIAL WITH CHILDREN IN IT!), and the craziest dreams EVER.
I read somewhere a long time ago that humans actually dream every single night, you just rarely remember dreams as adults unless they are particularly traumatic. Welp, pregnancy apparently changes that. In a big way.
My dreams ranged from slightly odd (my old coworkers showing up at my new office and trying to make me look bad…THANKS GUYS) to bat-crap crazy.
Need an example?
In my fifth week, I had a dream where I was house-hunting. Which is not that strange, except that I was shopping off a Buzzfeed-esque online article that listed the Top 15 NYC Homes With Shark Infestations. (Yup.) The sharks had apparently been abandoned and allowed to proliferate, eventually evolving into a weird shark/puppy(ish) hybrid that could sort of waddle out of the water and that I had to keep throwing back into their moldy tanks. (The homes were also warehouses. I have no idea why this seemed like a good idea to Dream Justine.) My shopping buddies were two of my friends’ moms, one of which was using bright red crutches to hobble around. Well, they might have been regular crutches, but they were wrapped top to bottom in red duct tape.
SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT REMEMBERING EXPLICIT DETAILS?
Other than that, the first few weeks didn’t bring too much in terms of typical pregnancy symptoms. I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I also didn’t have morning sickness. (That party started a few weeks later!!!) So win some, lose some?
Basically, now you all know what a liar I was when you asked me “what’s new?” and I said, “NOT MUCH!” and changed the subject.
Last September, Joey and I were camping. One evening, sitting at the picnic table outside of our cabin eating some burgers, I asked him what he thought about trying to have a baby this winter.
This wasn’t the first time we had discussed children. We’d both typically been on the same page: We wanted kids, but we wanted the time to be right. Sitting there with the person I loved and our sweet dog during my favorite season in the middle of the woods, I suddenly knew I didn’t need to wait anymore. And, even better, Joey felt the same.
“It’s going to change everything,” he said seriously.
“I know,” I replied.
For the first time, this didn’t seem to scare either of us enough to change our minds.
It has been almost six months since that conversation, and we have something to tell you guys.
This is not a drill.
WE’RE HAVING A BABY!
I’ve practiced writing this post in my head dozens of times since we heard the news (and, let’s be honest, before it was ever a fact), and I guess I’m still at a loss for words on how to describe how we feel.
We’re incredibly excited, of course. Nervous, sometimes terrified, sure. Apprehensive? Sometimes. Madly in love with this little bean? Constantly.
I know what you’re thinking:
WHAT!? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING THIS SECRET?!?
About 12 weeks. I’m one of those weird cases who knew she was pregnant pretty much from the get-go. (More on that later.)
Ugh, fine. Well, when are you due?
September 20th. Almost exactly a year after we had that camping conversation.
Do you know what you’re having? Will you tell us THAT at least?
I don’t know — yet! But we’re planning to find out. And, yes, I will tell you when I know. Y’all know I’m too type A to not plan everything — and then share the plans with you guys.
How did Joey react?
Once we both got over the shock, we basically grinned at each other with tears in our eyes for the next hour. Now that it feels more real, he’s mostly just excited.
How have you been feeling?
Depends on the day, but mostly good. I’ve actually been writing posts along the way to share after I made the announcement so I would remember everything. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for those updates. Spoiler alert: Growing a human is not always a glamorous affair.
So…are we done with the secrets now?
Yes! Promise. I hate secrets, and it has been KILLING me not to tell everyone I talk to. I mean, I’m thinking about it all the time. The question “so what’s new?” has become the bane of my existence.
So there you have it! Our big news. As I said, over the next few days I’ll be sharing a few old posts about my first trimester experience (for anyone out there who needs a little commiseration), but then it will be all new stuff again. And I will do my best not to talk about the baby all the time, but…well…no promises. It’s kind of a big part of our lives now.
It’s supposed to be marginally warmer today, so I’m trying to think all the spring thoughts I can.
And that means dreaming about our new patio! I mentioned yesterday that the patio/yard is one of the best features of our new apartment, and Joey and I are both excited about the possibilities of barbecues, al fresco dinners, and not having to walk Bogey down four flights of stairs every time he needs to pee.
Naturally, we’ve both started thinking about what we would like to do with the space. Here are a few of our initial ideas.
I’d love to turn half of the patio into a seating/dining area with storage benches and a table we can seat at least six around when company comes over. I’d also like to grow a few of our own herbs (a project I undertook a few years ago indoors with…questionable results)(bugs, they spawned bugs), possibly from hanging planters on the chain link fence.
Joey almost immediately started pricing small grills on Craigslist, a project I fully endorse since we have more than enough room and burgers are delicious.
Finally, I’d move our string lights (currently hanging from our curtain rod in the living room) outdoors whenever we wanted a little mood lighting.
The real question is what to do with the dirt patch side of the yard. Ideally, I’d like at least part of it to be grass for the Boges, but that leads to the question of maintenance — we’re not buying a lawn mower. So maybe…mulch? Rocks? I’d like a couple tomato plants on the other half of the dirt, and maybe some other easy-to-grow-and-hard-to-kill veggies. I’m open to suggestions!
Fraaaaands! First, I want to formally apologize for being such a Grumpy Gus the last few posts. Ugh, stress. But in a weirdly-unlike-me-because-things-rarely-just-work-out-for-me twist, I had two of my major stresses resolve last Friday. One had to do with work (blah blah blah) and the other had to do with our apartment situation.
WE FOUND A PLACE!
Even better, we found a place that, while I would be a dirty liar if I said it was actually perfect, is pretty great for a lot of reasons.
Reason #1: It has an extra room, SIX closets, and THREE additional storage areas (a boiler room, a closed off staircase, and an unfinished back room that will henceforth be known as the garage). It’s actually ridiculous how much storage space we have. The bedrooms are actually probably a tiny bit too small, but because we now only have to put a bed and a dresser in it, it really doesn’t matter that much.
Reason #2: It has a YARD. Not a big yard, but half of it is a cement patio (helloooo, summer shindigs) and the other half is dirt that we can do whatever we want with. I would love to make some of it grass for the Boges and the rest a couple tomato plants or something, but I’ll keep you posted.
Reason #3: It’s the basement of a house, but because the door opens in the back to the yard, we have our own private entrance. I am quite over buildings, y’all.
Reason #4: Our landlords are the sweetest little Italian couple you could possibly imagine. A few of the first things they said to us were, “You can stay as long as you want, we will never raise your rent” and “If you need anything, you call me and I run! You see how close I am? I run!” It’s like having our grandparents live a few houses away.
Reason #5: It’s only $25 a month more than what we were paying before, meaning we might actually be able to build up a respectable savings account over the next couple of years.
I’m going to be totally honest: It’s a little…er…cozy apartment. We’ll have to keep it neat to keep it from feeling cramped. But I’m thinking those NINE storage areas will probably help.
Anyway, I am very excited. AND I realized there’s one space I still need to plan — the patio! Stay tuned for updates.
This morning has been supremely irritating, so I’m using this blog post to deliberating only think about things that make me happy.
For example, something irritating: My apartment hasn’t had heat or hot water for over 12 hours (on top of the regularly spotty heat we normally enjoy). Now, I could pitch a fit, but I already did that in the email and phone call I had with our building owners.
But instead of continuing to rant and rave, I’m redirecting this burst of fiery anger energy into something fun. Like thinking about how I’ll decorate our NEW (and hopefully properly regulated) apartment! Yay!
Now, we don’t have the exact place yet, so everything I’m saying here is subject to change based on layout, etc. But, in general, here’s what I’m thinking.
This last year was the first time I felt like I successfully decorated the bedroom, at least to a degree. It was never perfect, but I have been plans for the new apartment. I was extremely inspire by this mood board I found on Pinterest:
It’s not wildly different from the color palette we have going on already — the main difference I would make would be to swap out the mint for a richer navy to match our current bedding. I’m hoping to sell our current bed (here on Craigslist if you’re in the Greater NYC area!) and purchase a bed frame with an upholstered headboard that I have my eye on from Joss & Main. Then I’d like to use this tutorial to create a nightstand/dresser for Joey. A few framed pictures and a navy lamp or two, and we’ll be in business.
Our Living Room
Honestly, I really like how our living room ended up before we left, so I’ll probably leave this much as is.
The only change I would make? Painting the walls a light gray, and updating our desk to something a bit sturdier, like this option from IKEA:
Our Kitchen/Dining Area
A rental kitchen is always a bit of a crapshoot, so I really can’t make too many plans without seeing ours. One thing I know I would like to do if possible, though? Add a chalkboard wall.
I feel like the dark walls even off-set those ugly oak cabinets everyone seems to install (for unknown reasons…I’m assuming you can get them somewhere for free or something). Depending on the current kitchen and how much we are paying, I would also consider installing some sort of temporary backsplash. Home Depot sells a peel-and-stick version that is apparently easy to remove later, and if it makes me happier to be in my kitchen every day, that could be worth the cost to me.
As for the dining area, this will only work if I can find a way to combine it with the living room (or if the kitchen is magically huge). But if that works out, I’d like some kind of rustic wooden table with our existing white chairs on all but one side where I would but a wooden (preferable storage) bench.
So that’s what I’ve got rolling around in my brain these days. Obviously this doesn’t cover every room, but I feel better having a good handle on the spaces where we spend most of our lives.
Here’s hoping for a smooth move (preferably to an apartment with heat and hot water).