Almost Time! (Foxlet 2: 36.75 Weeks)

DUUUUUUUUUUUDE.

This. Life. Is. Crazy.

Here is just a, er, light summary of all the craziness that has been going on lately:

We listed our house last week, have had showings every day since (super fun to keep a home impeccably clean with a toddler, btw), and had a successful open house this past Sunday. No offers yet, but a few folks who seem seriously interested, so fingers are crossed!

We helped my parents move into their new place, and had their house (which we are buying from them) fully painted, floors refinished, new lighting installed, and put in a new stove & range. We are finishing some final work today, tomorrow, and Friday, and then the movers go to work on Saturday! Eep!!

I was sent to the hospital at my 35 week checkup for my blood pressure spiking again, sigh. Luckily, the labs they ran still came back negative for preeclampsia, so they just increased my blood pressure medication dosage, placed me on activity restriction, and are sticking with my scheduled induction date of next Tuesday. However, I have another checkup today (I’m 36 weeks and 5 days now) and I’m not taking anything for granted these days, so we’ll just have to see what happens…!

We celebrated my beautiful niece Marnie’s 1st birthday at the end of July, along with my sister’s birthday from afar (they have the same birthday — and it’s my nephew Alex’s 2nd birthday today!)

And I hosted my largest (and last) Yelp event of the year, a 900+ person banger at the hot new renovated (and locally-focused!) Quarter Market in Ballston Quarter (which was formerly Ballston Common Mall.) The event was awesome, if suuuuper exhausting, and now I’m just trying to tie up loose ends and plan out things for while I’ll be off work, since my maternity leave starts as soon as baby comes!

Soooooooooo yeah. It’s kind of been… a lot. And this honestly doesn’t even cover all of the various lists and items bouncing around in my head that I’m trying to keep track of — where I put all baby stuff I’ll need, which house we’ll actually be living/sleeping in when baby comes home next week (lol), helping Penny deal with all this change and transition (spoiler alert: it’s resulted in a 4-day nap strike and I am exhausted enough already)… and I mean, forget about me actually dedicating time and thought energy to the fact that we are gaining a new member of our family in less than a week’s time!

I was actually doing pretty well with charging ahead through everything just because there were so, so, so many items to tick off on my to-do list, but as things have been getting completed I’ve actually started to feel more overwhelmed. Which is kind of ironic, right? Because you’d think that as I’m able to check things off, I should be feeling better! But, I think it’s more like, I was SO busy and able to stay SO distracted that I didn’t even really realize how quickly time was counting down. And yesterday, when I hit the T-one week countdown, it really just kind of all hit me.

On the one hand, I think it’ll be good once Baby Foxlet is finally here, because it will force me to stop, to let go, to let others handle things (I’m not very good at relinquishing that kind of control.) On the other hand, I feel utterly unprepared for having a newborn again because I’ve basically spent this entire pregnancy trying to do everything OTHER than actually prepare for another child. Also, you know things must be bad when I’m treating the idea of pushing a football through my vagina as me finally getting a break, hahahahaha.

But, as always, I’m trying to keep my chin up and remind myself that this is all just a temporary season, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and in another three or six months this will all feel like a distant, ludicrous dream. After all, no matter what ends up happening with all the other stuff, I’m getting a new baby at the end of all this, and the first one turned out kinda great, so that’s pretty cool.

Halfway There! (Foxlet 2: 20 Weeks)

Well whaddya know, just like that *Thanos snap* another month has come and gone, so I guess that means it’s time for my now-monthly blog updates (::sob::). I swear, I really do want to be posting more frequently but life is an insane mess these days and my personal blogging has fallen so far off the priority list that it actually depresses me. But hey, instead of dwelling in the doldrums about it, let’s dive right into all that aforementioned insanity, shall we?

LIFE

Jenny and the kiddos came up to visit during Mia’s Spring Break, so we got to spend lots of family time together and even braved the ridonkulous tourist traffic to go see the cherry blossoms in DC! Nothing like having visitors to finally get you to take advantage of the cool stuff that exists in your backyard that you totally ignore on a daily basis, lol.

We also celebrated my birthday a bit early while they were still in town with a giant dual-family dinner… which honestly ended up being kind of a disaster hahahaha.

I don’t know why I thought that 11 adults, 2 kids, 2 toddlers, and a baby out at a restaurant was a good idea in the first place, but I was already skating on thin ice with the entire idea… and then Penny ended up barely napping that day and thus was a total clingy overtired NIGHTMARE the entire time (save for the first 15 minutes when we took these photos lololol).

She only wanted to sit on (not with, ON) me, wanted to run amuck the whole time, was continuously melting down into a puddle of tears and tantrums, and even ended up shimmying out of her diaper right there in the restaurant partway through. I even spilled an entirely full glass of iced tea all over myself trying to wrangle her at one point, lol. At least we were in a semi-private area and at the restaurant really early so it wasn’t too terrible for other diners, but it was… not the best. But hey, I tried! And I learned a valuable lesson too, which is that dinner celebrations like this will either A) take place at home or B) involve a babysitter in the future.

Things went much smoother on my actual birthday the following week, where Sean surprised me by taking me out to one of my favorite sushi spots, Penny was muuuuch better behaved, and our waitress was in complete love with her so it made for a very pleasant evening all in all. And it was a great day in general because I also caught a movie and had lunch with my parents and mother-in-law (who actually shares the same birthday with me!) earlier that day.

Not a bad way to ring in my 31st year!

MOVING

We are still deep in the throes of packing up our stuff, preparing our house to be listed, and moving. Things slowed down a wee bit on that front for a little while, but we’re back on the train and things are starting to chug along again. Just trying to go through all of our crap, living amongst stacks of boxes and piles of stuff, figuring out what to pack up first, what to sell, what to keep but keep accessible, etc, has been one of the biggest things affecting my stress and anxiety lately (let alone getting to the point of actually listing and selling this place, lol) but I’m trying to keep everything in perspective. Trying being the operative word, of course, but just like the process of moving in general, I am a work in progress, heh.

WORK

Things are continuing to chug along at work, too. I actually received a promotion a few weeks ago, so you’re now looking at the Senior Community Director of Yelp here in Northern VA! The parameters of my job aren’t changing much, which is great because I love what I do and want to continue doing exactly that, but it does come with a few added opportunities, responsibilities, and perks so that’s a definite plus. We’ve got a lot of exciting initiatives, campaigns, and fun stuff coming down the pipeline, so now the trick is figuring out the balance between keeping work a top priority, and also not letting it get me even more stressed out given everything else I’ve got going on, haha. (And also starting the painstaking process of planning for my maternity leave!)

PENNY

Penny continues to be just the absolute light of my life. She is 100% a full-blown TODDLER now (see above story about my early birthday dinner, lol), but she’s also got so much personality (she’s FUNNY!), is starting to show imagination and creativity, is starting to actually sit through full books being read to her, reacts to scenes happening in movies (“Oh no!” “Uh oh!!” “Yayyyyy!!”), cheese for the camera, and is just the biggest joy.

She’s still a pretty good eater, although admittedly is starting to get a little pickier. She primarily alternates between great days (she had salad last night!) and good days, with the occasional yogurt-and-chicken-nuggets-only day thrown in there. Her favorite foods are eggs, cherry tomatoes, bananas, yogurt melts, and whatever Mommy is trying to eat.

She’ll be 20 months (!!) in a short 12 days, and I continue to be simply flabbergasted at how the time is flying by. She’s wearing 24 month/2T clothing, weighs around 28 pounds, and is a little over 34″ tall (maybe 34.5? Haven’t measured here since her 18 month appointment but I do think she’s sprouted up a bit since then.) We love our giant girl!

BABY FOXLET

And finally, an update on how Baby Foxlet #2 is doing — which is great! We had our anatomy scan on Monday and everything looks normal, which is the best word you can hear when you’re lying on the table and they’re scrutinizing every little artery and bone and body part. Sean is still holding fast to not wanting to find out the sex of the baby, so we’re still keeping it hush-hush, although I just couldn’t hold out myself (shocking, lol), so I do know myself. Hopefully Sean will crack sooner rather than later so I can announce it though! Any guesses?

Alas, while our little bean’s checkup went hunky-dory, my own 20 week checkup was a bit less golden. I clocked in some high blood pressure, which isn’t great. Some of you may remember my preeclampsia diagnosis with my first pregnancy which involved several blood pressure spikes, being sent to the hospital a couple times, then eventually being put on bedrest and being induced at 37 weeks on the dot.

My doctor prepared me that previous preeclampsia might mean I have an increased chance of getting it again, so while I can’t say I’m surprised that this could potentially be a sign of that, I am just a little worried about it presenting itself so much earlier this time. I know everything happens sooner in subsequent pregnancies than in your first (hello my belly!), but given that I’m 21 weeks tomorrow, it’s just a much longer time to try and manage my blood pressure (if that’s what this is.)

However, there is a chance that it’s just stress-related, or maybe even just a bit of a fluke reading (I swear that just getting my blood pressure checked makes my blood pressure go up because I get so nervous about it now!). And “just” having high blood pressure doesn’t necessarily mean I have or are going to develop pre-e again (gestational hypertension is a thing in and of itself), but they have started me on blood pressure medication and I’m going back next week for another check. Fingers crossed!

And that just about catches us up, I think! Today my goal is to get as much done as I can while also trying to reduce my stress and anxiety levels. I got a pretty good night’s sleep last night for the first time in a loooong time, I have a massage scheduled for later (woot!!), and I’m working guided meditations with my Calm app back into my routine (I was doing really well with that for a while, but it kind of slipped off my radar).

As I’ve been feeling a bit better lately sickness- and energy-wise, I’m trying to work more regular exercise back into my life again as well. I did a yoga class (highly modified, lol) on Tuesday and it was great (though humbling, since folding forward and scrunching my body up isn’t the easiest thing these days), and I’m going on lots more walks outside with Penny since the weather has been so lovely lately. Hopefully it’ll all pay off with lowered (or at least maintained) blood pressure and feeling better in general!

Springing into Action (Foxlet 2: 16 Weeks)

Whoosh! And just like that, it’s basically Spring! Feels like it happened quicker than a snap of Thanos’ fingers, but there’s no denying it: it’s mid-March, I’m 16 weeks pregnant (today!), and it’s time to start makin’ some big moves in our life (both figuratively and literally!) But first, a recap of what’s been a-going on over the past few weeks.

Penny and I just returned from another fantastic trip down to the Atlanta area to see my sister and her littles, and we had so much fun! We went to this exhibit called Candytopia, which is as great as it sounds: a giant museum/love letter to candy.

There was free candy in every room, lots of very cool, very impressive candy scultures and art installations, and had super fun, Instagrammable photo opps galore. We had an awesome time!

Candytopia travels from city to city, so right now I think it’s in Atlanta and Minneapolis, and is opening in Dallas soon. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in one of those places!

Outside of our candy-coated field trip, there was just a lot of general fun times spent with my sister, bro-in-law, nieces, and nephew. You know that getting Penny together with her cousin Alex (just three weeks older than her!) is like my whole reason for being, ahaha. “A-leh” is literally one of her favorite words, she says it like 8 times a day.

We’re always sad to have to say goodbye at the end of a trip, but luckily this one will be (particularly) short-lived, as my sister is bravely coming up here with all three kiddos during Mia’s Spring Break in just a couple weeks!

Penny also had her 18-month checkup at the pediatrician just before we left on our trip, and is doing great.

She’s around 27 lbs (got weighed on the big kid scale for the first time!) and 34″ tall, which puts her in the 92nd and 97th percentiles, respectively! At this rate she’ll end up even taller than me when she’s fully grown! (I’m 5’10” and Sean is 6’1″ if anyone was curious.)

And I guess that brings us to our update on how the other little Foxlet is doing, eh? As I mentioned above, I’m 16 weeks pregnant today, and I’m actually (shockingly!) feeling pretty okay! I finally feel like I’ve almost gotten over the string of terrible colds and sinus infections that have plagued since literally Day 1 of this pregnancy (watch, I’m totally gonna wake up sick again tomorrow now that I’ve said that, lol.), and I’m hanging in there.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, my bad pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting have been much less severe this time around (thank GOODNESS), and though I have still been nauseous it seems to have eased up in particular just this past week or so. Huzzah! Food is still kind of hit or miss with me (I have not gained any weight yet), but in general I’m happy not to have spent as much time feeling truly miserable.

I’ve got a bit of heartburn and am still trying to make piece with the skin issues this pregnancy has brought me, but the biggest obstacles I’ve been battling this time are exhaustion and sleep disruption. Which, I know, you’d think that dealing with the former would mean I’d be sleeping better since I’m so tired, right? But sadly, it doesn’t seem that my body understand that, haha. But I’m rallying through and while I maintain my stance that pregnancy is not exactly the best time ever, I remain very grateful that things have been generally more mild this time around.

I think I’ve already felt a few little bubbles and bursts from Foxlet 2 — those first little movements — but it’s nothing super significant yet. I go in for my 16 week checkup on Tuesday, which I normally would be looking forward to but they are monitoring me very closely for preeclampsia this pregnancy (since I developed it late in my pregnancy with Penny), so I have to do one of those super glamorous 24-hour urine collection tests (I’ll do another one later in my pregnancy so they can compare) and get a whole bunch of extra blood drawn. Wheeeee!

At least the weather has been frickin’ beautiful these past couple of days! I’ve been really enjoying getting to spend a bit of time in the sunshine with my little bean. It’s helping me manage my stress levels which are admittedly at a bit of an all-time high as I’m dealing with the last bit of exciting-slash-terrifying news that’s been piling on as of late: we’re moving!

Not far, though. We are in the process of packing up our little house to put on the market, and purchasing my parents’ house in Falls Church! We’ll be living in my old family home, literally half a mile from my brother and sis-in-law (Penny and Marnie will be able to go to the same school!!), while my parents will be downsizing into a condo.

We’re really excited about being able to have more space for our growing family, as well feeling super fortunate to be able to move back to Falls Church City, but of course, there’s the simple fact that moving is a huge PITA even when you’re not pregnant and have a toddler, lol. I just keep looking around and thinking, how do we have so much STUFF?! The timeline feels impending as well since we want to be able to list our house during the prime selling timeframe (which is late April/early May), so I’m already feeling the crunch.

Anyway, I think that pretty much brings us up to date on the major things (and boy, do they feel major!) that have been happening lately. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and I’ll try to get back in here with another update before another entire month goes by, heh. Cheers!

Holiday Hubbub!

Hi and hello there! I hope everyone is having a fantastic lead-in to Christmas week! This month has been a complete and utter whirlwind so far, but in the best possible way! I’ve been staying really busy with work, family, time with friends, and gearing up for our trip to my sister’s for Christmaaaaas!

Somehow despite the craziness that everyone is dealing with, we found time to ring in my brother Ben’s 35th birthday with a little family dinner celebration. Marnie is so flippin’ cute! I can’t wait to see her experience her first Christmas.

Other festive celebrations included getting together with a group of my wonderful mommy friends for a playdate and surprisingly successful cookie decorating party!

Not quite as successful was the attempted group photo of the kiddos, but, hey, at least we get points for trying?

And since we’re doing Christmas with my family again this year, we also had a little mini Christmas dinner with Sean’s family last weekend. We’ll also be seeing them again for Christmas Part II when we get back, but Sean’s mom had a couple of gifts for Penny to open (she still doesn’t really “get” opening gifts, but I had fun opening them! Haha), and we had a damn fine dinner. Plus, the Foxes always have their house decorated so perfectly for the holidays!

It hasn’t all been sunny and positive and fun festive things, though. Unfortunately on Monday Harry had an accident where he tore one of his toenails off, and apparently doggy foot wounds bleed a LOT (it seriously looked like a murder scene), so I totally flipped out and rushed him to the pup ER. Luckily, he’s okay but has to wear the cone of shame for a while so he doesn’t continue to mess with it. My poor old man dog!

But back on the positive side, I also had the opportunity to attend our very first Yelp Holiday Party with the new DC office! My fellow community managers and besties, Mike, Kimberly (and our boss Tara), have always had a little lunch celebration of our own in years past (and we did so again this year), but it is kind of a cool perk of having a “real” office here now that we also get a “real” holiday party!

My final work events are officially done with for the year, so this week has been primarily about wrapping up the year and getting ready (and mentally prepared) for the road trip down to Atlanta! It’s going to be Penny’s longest (by FAR) car trip yet, plus we’re taking all three members of the Schnauzer Squad…. should be an adventure!

 

I asked for tips on how to survive the trip on Instagram, and got some amazing ideas, so THANK YOU if you’re one of the ones who responded. We’re going to try to do it one go (with contingencies and backup plans, lol), so I got a bunch of new toys and books to offer Penny throughout the trip, and we will be loaded up with sooooo many snacks… it’s gonna be fine, right? RIGHT??

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I’m so nervous about the trip. It’s not even like I’ve never made this drive before! I’ve done it with my sister and HER kids (and even her dogs once or twice!), but for some reason now that it’s gonna be with Sean and Penny and my gaggle of high-strung terriers, I’m feeling pretty anxious.

But hey, it’ll all work out, right? I mean, just look at this face! And, of course, I’m really really looking forward to being together with my WHOLE family for Christmas again this year. Bring on the gingerbread house and cookie decorating and present wrapping and eggnog drinking and all the general holiday hubbub! Also, my sister and I are running a 5K on Christmas Eve so, you know, if you’re gonna be sending good thoughts into the universe for our road trip, please add a couple extra ones for that, lollllll cry.

I hope that you all have the very happiest of holidays, a very merry Christmas, and an absolutely wonderful New Year if I don’t make it back for another update before then!

Thanksgiving Recap & Christmas Ahoy!

Happy December, everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving holiday (though I know I’m already like, 2 weeks late on the well-wishes for that… it’s been busy around here!). Sean, Penny, my parents, and I all joined Sean’s family for Thanksgiving this year, and it was epic. Penny enjoyed turkey but really went wild for the homemade mac ‘n’ cheese that I contributed to dinner, which made me swell with pride.

We also had a mini-second-Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house with Ben, Taylor, and Marnie (who spent actual Turkey Day with Tay’s family) and because of course my mom randomly happened to have an entire second turkey that she needed to cook. Oh well, any excuse for more tryptophan-induced food comas is A-OK by me!

Going back to my parents’ house this week also gave us the opportunity to help my dad pull out some holiday decorations, and had me tripping down memory lane when I found an old photo album filled with baby pictures of yours truly! Which confirmed what lots of strangers stop to tell me anytime I’m out with Penny, which is that she really is my mini!!

 

Well, my strawberry-blonde, blue-eyed mini. 😉

And actually, turns out I got quite a bit of extra time in with my parents over Thanksgiving week, since the weekend after I went with them to the Kennedy Center to see the National Symphony Orchestra’s Decade of Disney concert.

 

Sadly, my Thanksgiving weekend did not end on a tremendously high note, as Sunday I came down with some kind of crazy stomach bug / food poisoning / some kinda something that had me hugging the porcelain throne all night long. UGH. Not sure what happened there, but it had me pretty much out of commission for most of Sunday and Monday. Blech.

I’m feeling much better now, but between getting sick after returning from Atlanta, Thanksgiving, and then that lovely ’bout of illness, it had been a seriously hot minute since I’d been to the gym or worked out at all. I also made the potentially grave error of agreeing to a Christmas Eve 5K with my sister and some friends, however, so I knew that I needed to get back on the horse soon.

I felt better on Tuesday, so I managed to drag myself to the gym and put in a half-hearted workout. Not great, but it was something. And then on Wednesday and Friday, I managed to do some real running and real lifting. Training-wise, even on the mend from being sick, I managed to make it to 1.6 miles, so hopefully by the time 12/24 rolls around I’ll actually be able to do the full 5K.

  

Anyway, that pretty much catches us up to today! And as today is, y’know, December, this officially means we are BRINGING ON THE CHRISTMAS CHEER!!

You can find me (and Penny… and the dogs…) dressed festively for the next 22 days and I’m not even a little bit sorry.

 

On the work-front, I’ve got my regional summit the first half of this upcoming week, so I’ll be camping out at Yelp’s DC office pretty much nonstop for the next couple of days. We all had dinner together last night, and it was great — I love getting to see so many of my coworkers (we all work remotely, so it’s one of the few opportunities each year for all of us to get together), but as I’m sure anyone who’s ever had a work conference derail your daily duties a bit, it’s also for sure going to make for a bit of a crazy week.

And even though I so treasure this time spent with my regional team, it is a teeeeny bit bittersweet. I mean, it’s really only because I’m so spoiled, but even though Penny goes to daycare twice a week, I’ve never had to worry about stuff like traffic and commuting during rush hour — this morning will be my first taste of that. So I’m dropping her off extra early and will just have make peace with the fact that the 20 minutes I spent with her first thing in the morning is the only time I’m gonna get with my girl over the next couple of days (since I’ll be getting home loooooong after she’s gone to bed.) I know, I know, this is the daily reality for tons of parents so I should probably just shut my face. It’s just not my daily reality, so it makes me a little wistful. Also, she hardly eeeeeever naps at daycare so, you know, pray for Sean.

Anyway, on that optimistic note, I’ll bid you adieu for now! Hope everyone has a super fun, festive week as we really start getting into the holiday spirit, and Happy Hanukkah to my friends who are celebrating!