San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo Recap

I am really excited about this post! It’s my first real “blogger review!” Hey, I’m a real blogger now!

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Massage Envy Spa with an invitation to the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo to check out the event and hang out at the Massage Envy Spa booth. You mean you want me to spend an afternoon shopping exhibits, snacking on free samples of delectables, AND get a free massage? Um, okay!

So on Sunday my friend Katie and I headed to the San Bruno Convention Center to attend the Expo. Or as I started to refer to it as, the Weekend Shopstravaganza of Awesomeness.

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Thanks to my Massage Envy Spa “guest” status, we were snuck into the venue right before the doors opened so we could quickly scoop the loop and check out all of the exhibits before the doors opened and unleashed a tidal wave of estrogen-infused fury.

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While the other, more responsible bloggers were probably taking pristine pictures of the other exhibits and making them all artistic and stuff, I’m noticing things like, “how cool, they changed one of the men’s rooms to a women’s room because there are, like, 900% more women at this event then men!”

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That’s thinking ahead, kids. What can I say; I’m eight months pregnant and can appreciate proactive restroom placement.

I digress. After perusing some of the booths, I headed to the Massage Envy Spa booth, which was I think the most popular exhibit in the entire event. They were giving free massages and skin care assessments. So awesome.

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My fellow blogger Amber and I were greeted and invited to get our skin assessed. I got to stick my head in this space age-y box with some sort of blacklight or something in it.

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The light displays all sorts of features on your face that natural light hides, like skin thickness/delicacy and age spots from sun damage. I have light freckles that stand out more when I’ve been in the sun, but it was freaky to see how under the special light my entire face is blasted with these dark marks. I also have delicate skin around my eyes, but the skin around my mouth is pretty think and robust. They wrote down the notes of the exam and made a product recommendation based on the Murad skin care line.

Massage Envy Spa offers several lines of Murad skin care formulas to individualize your unique skin care needs. Since my skin is showing all of that potential sun damage, I went with the Environmental Shield Vitamin C treatment line. I received a complimentary kit to try out, so in a couple weeks of use I’ll let you know how I like it. So far, I love the fragrance – it’s citrusy and so fresh, and I only have to apply a small amount to get what I need out of it. More on the Murad Environment Shield Healthy Skin Regiment Kit to come!

After our skin assessments, we were treated to a massage. It took them a few minutes to find a prenatal-certified therapist that was free, but oh man was she worth the wait. She went to town on my “mousing muscles” in my right shoulder. What can I say, I work on computers for a living. I really need to do more massage; I was totally floating on that “massage high” for a good hour afterwords.

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My post-massage goober face, with Terry from Massage Envy and Amber.

Then I headed back out to the expo to make impulsive purchases fueled by my massage coma.

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New running shoe twinsies! We scored some discounted “slightly loved” shoes at the Road Runner’s booth. I am going to love these new-to-me Saucony Hurricanes once I’m ready to hit the road again. I told Katie that she is now obligated as my shoe twinsie to help get me back into shape after baby.

That was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thanks again to Massage Envy Spa and the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo for putting on such a great event! I hope to be back next year (most likely with a small human in tow).

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Oh, I may have taken a celebrity shot with Wendy Williams. Or, a gigantic cardboard cutout of Wendy Williams. Is she that tall in real life?

Disclaimer: I was provided my entrance to the San Francisco Ultimate Women’s Expo and products for review by Massage Envy Spa. All opinions are my own.

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Weekend Recap: Not Bad

Hello and good morning! I trust your weekend was an appropriate blend of refreshing and productive. I enjoyed some family time being back at home for a change.

We started Saturday out with lunch at La Boulange. I grabbed my latte to go so we could let Squish run around Yerba Buena Gardens for a bit.

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It’s impossible to get a good picture of Squish these days.

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RUNANDJUMPANDDESTROYALLTHINGS

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This was what I got when I asked him to “smile!”

Then we lounged around all afternoon. I was feeling really out of it. I had trouble sleeping Friday night, so I decided to pop a Unisom. Then I woke up with the biggest “Unisom hangover,” where I’m done sleeping but my brain is incredibly foggy and all my muscles are noodle-y. So I was pretty much useless. Fortunately, Amanda came over to visit and put the new window markers Squish received as a gift to good use.

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We had a super early dinner at Super Duper Burger.

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And then we watched Disney movies. This is how we roll in the big city, I tell you.

Sunday I went to the San Francisco Women’s Expo with my friend Katie, and scored a skincare assessment and massage at the Massage Envy booth! More on that in another post, I’m still putting together my review! But spoiler alert: it was awesome and I absolutely want to go back next year!

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Chaos at the Expo!

Then we went house hunting all afternoon. We saw six houses (!!) and even found a couple of winners! We might put an offer on one this week, but there’s another showing Tuesday for another house that we are interested in. Hulk’s going to catch that one while I’m at work, and we’ll see what comes of that. House hunting = a roller coaster of excitement.

After all that excitement, we checked out a new-to-me restaurant in Bernal Heights, Precia Park Cafe.

I ordered some appetizer I can’t remember the name of. Brosecca? It was layers of mozzarella, pesto, figs, some other really good stuff, and arugula that you spread on dark, crusty bread. Mmm.

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I also had a small mixed greens salad.

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And the main point of awesomeness, margarita pizza!

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Not a bad weekend.

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That’s all for now. I’ll be back later with my review of the San Francisco Women’s Expo. Go make it a great day!

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I’m Hooooome!

I’m hoooooome!

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I arrived safely at my sweet little abode last night. Then I had carrots and hummus for dinner with Squish, and went to bed. The end.

Well, I had my last hotel breakfast first,

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Eggs, fruit, and sausage FTW. And pumpkin spice coffee. I was early enough to the buffet to get some this time before it was all gone!

Then snacked on the plane with a couple of roast beef sliders and chips.

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Then my phone died on the plane so I took most of the night off from technology. Not a horrible thing.

In other news, I found this article about how to stay positive while injured that interested me. I’ve been totally slacking in the gym department lately because doing simple daily things like going grocery shopping and vacuuming seem to wipe me out enough as it is, and I don’t feel like compounding my fatigue with working out. I waffle between “I’m pregnant, so it’s okay to give myself some slack; there’s plenty of time later to pick it up when I feel good again,” to “OMG I am so out of shape I am never digging myself out of this Hole of Cream Puff.” The article inspired me to look on the bright side of things, still feel my feels *sniff*, and focus on what I can rather than what I can’t. Always sound advice.

Also, big plans for the weekend! I’m going to the San Francisco Women’s Expo, courtesy of Massage Envy! I’ll be tweeting and blogging about the experience, so check out Monday’s post. I haven’t been to an expo like this before, so hooray for new experiences!

That’s it for me, go make it a great day and have a fantastic weekend!

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A Couple of Goodbyes

It’s my last day in Pittsburgh for a while. It’s doing its best to make me feel bad for leaving. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous this week. It’s nice to be in a place where there’s a Fall. The Bay Area doesn’t really get Fall-y. It just gets hot and then cool and then the rains start (at least, they’re supposted to. I’m looking at you, Biggest-California-Draught-In-History). I wish I was out here a month later, because the trees changing color will look spectacular.

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I had my usual hotel breakfast before heading out. Eggs, fruit, oatmeal with the fixings, and a yogurt to change it up.

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Walking to the office is always pretty.

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We ordered Thai take-out for lunch. I went simple with a chicken red curry that came with the saddest side salad I have ever experienced.

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There is only so much you can do with shredded carrot and four leaves of iceberg.

I was having really annoying pains all day, so I ended up cutting out a little early. I don’t know if I was dehydrated or what, but even though I’ve been getting Braxton-Hicks (“practice” contractions) for a while now, my uterus decided that yesterday was the day to dive head-first into a new “get in shape” program. There was little I could do to make myself comfortable except lay down, so I went back to the hotel and worked laying on the bed while snacking on popcorn. Yay, comfort foods!

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I’m looking forward to flying back home today and being with my little family. It’s been a busy and rough week. One of my besties, Lindsay lost her sister in a tragic car accident.  According to the news story, she was walking in a parking lot with her daughter when a woman lost control of her car and was headed right for them. The mother pushed her daughter out of the way, sacrificing her own life. I had not had the opportunity to meet Colleen, but if she was anything like her sister she was a fantastic, happy, big-hearted, strong person who made this world a better place. My heart breaks for their family. There is a fund set up to help with funeral expenses and provide some support for Colleen’s daughter. If you have an opportunity and the means, please consider a donation to these good people: http://www.gofundme.com/ewuv6g.

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Go give someone a hug, and make it a great day, kids!

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WIAW #8 and a Little Link Love

Ahh! It’s Wednesday already. Travel weeks do that to me. Burning Monday all day in airports sets me a day back for some reason. Buuuuut … I’m joining the What I Ate Wednesday Link-up with Peas and Crayons! Hey, I remembered it’s Wednesday! If you want to jump in on the fun, check out Jenn and Peas and Crayons and join the party.

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Nothing like a good hotel breakfast to start your day prepping for a busy week. Mine started with the usual eggs and sausage, bowl o’ fruit, and some loaded oatmeal. I don’t know why I’ve been on this oatmeal kick lately. At least it’s a delicious kick.

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During the morning sessions I became ravenous, so I snaked some airplane pretzels and peanut butter.

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Never mind about my watch tossed there in the background. I usually have to take my watch or bracelets off while typing on my laptop, since after a while they start digging into my wrist from resting and dragging across the keypad. Which doesn’t stop me from wearing it daily, of course. #girllogic

For lunch was a burger the size of my unborn baby.

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I also opted for a side of seasonal veggies instead of fries for a change. It was a good call; that burger was enough to do me in even though I put the bun aside. Workin’ fuel!

We wandered over to one of the hotel restaurants for dinner. It ended up being a great choice, as I found out they have the best salads I’ve seen yet in the area. I completely forgot to snap a pic before I dove in, but it was full of mixed greens (NOT iceberg lettuce!) and shredded veggies.

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I tricked convinced my coworker to split a pizza with me, because I knew after the salad I would only be able to eat a couple of slices. Italian sausage, mmm.

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And then I went to bed. Because that’s what I do these days at 8:00 pm with no family responsibilities.

What else? What’s been on the interwebs lately:

Feeling like you need to get your act together? Check out these 27 ways to get more sh!t done. I personally like #7 – I still think the idea that multitasking gets more things done is a myth.

All #PSL’ed out (PSL = Pumpkin Spice Lattte)? Some other pumpkin spice ideas! > 9 Pumpkin Spice Recipes (that are way better than a latte)#pslforever

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this! My bestie Alexis has a couple of rad articles out there. Are you waiting for the perfect time to start doing whatever it is you know you need to do? Open up your emotional mailbox already! Emotional Mailbox: An Open Invitation

Ever had a creepy, handsy adjustment during yoga? Can’t Touch This – Without Asking

That’s it for today. Go make it a great day!

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What Dreams are Made Of

Yesterday I made my last trek from San Francisco to Pittsburgh for the year. I expect I’ll be back out in January (oh boy, winter!) but until then I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed consistently. Normally my hotel has a pretty comfy bed, but either my sleeping needs have changed or they gave me a room with a wonky bed, but last night I just couldn’t get comfortable.

But the day started out bright and happy. I picked up some Starbucks on my way to BART. Nothing like some gourmet Starbucks oatmeal on a bench in a downtown BART station. Not sketchy at all.

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They’ll put blueberries in your oatmeal now. Score.

I was still hungry on the plane, so I ordered a breakfast.

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For my connection, it was coffee time. Those little Biscoff cookies that Delta serves are best when dunked in coffee. Just sayin’.

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On my layover in Detroit, I had about 20 minutes to grab dinner before my next flight, so I decided to stop at the first place I came across while headed to my gate. And that place was Popeye’s. Some of my friends were lamenting about the lack of a KFC in downtown San Francisco the other day, and it got chicken on my brain so I grabbed chicken strips and cole slaw. Popeye’s biscuits aren’t as good as KFC’s (in my opinion), but the chicken was pretty tasty. Gotta have it with spicy mustard.

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So I shoved fast food in my face all day then wondered why I had a crappy night of sleep. The end.

But hey, I now have Gold status for both Delta and Marriott! My dreams have now became reality. This is my free upgrades dance: *dance dance dance.* Hulk had to congratulate me.

Now I’m going to get some of them fancy luggage tags in the mail so everyone knows that I am a very important traveler. It’s all about letting people know that you are more important than them, really.

Time to do a little hotel room yoga and head to work! Make it a great day, kids.

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The Last Travel Week

Hello! I’m pretty pumped and saddened by this week’s activities. It’s my last travel week until after Baby v2.0 is here. It’s nice to think that this is another milestone to “the new normal,” but I’m also a little sad because I really do love traveling for work. It’s just a nice way to shake things up every couple weeks. Of course, come November I’ll have enough new things going on to shake it up!

This weekend I had some heavenly girl time with some besties. My friend Mariko is getting married, so we had an impromptu bachelorette get-together with a few of us in the city. Saturday night we gussied up and headed to the Bubble Lounge for champagne and a small plates dinner.

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We clean up well.

Bubble Lounge was really fun. It was a great night for people watching, as there were several large groups there getting their party on, including another, huge bachelorette party. The girls split a bottle of bubbly and I was pleased to find alcohol-free menu options so I had a “classic” mint mojoto.

Sunday morning I met the girls up after brunch and we headed to Kabuki Springs and Spa in Japantown for a spa day. Oh. My. Word. That is an amazing place. Is never been to a bath house before, and I was not disappointed. First, the whole place smells amazing. Sort of a cucumber-lavender-lemony aroma that none of us could really place. The bath area was dark, tranquil, and HUGE. There was a sauna, steam room, cold pool, and hot pool. I think you’re supposed to progress through everything in some order to properly “cleanse,” but we just soaked in the hot tub for the most part. In the steam room they offer little bowls of salt scrub so you can give yourself a good skin exfoliation while you steam. I did take great care to drink a ton of the iced water and to take breaks when I felt too hot, but it was amazing nonetheless. Along with plentiful water infused with lemon and cucumber, they also offered ice-cold washcloths and a wonderful hot teal that was some sort of fruity floral green tea. I drank my fair share of to too, my teeth were chattering with the caffeine by the end of the stay!

The best part was the massage. I had a half-session prenatal massage that was sooooo good. I wish it was a longer session, but we booked kind of late and that was all the time available. They didn’t have a prenatal table, so I laid on my side with a body pillow, and it was surprisingly relaxing and comfortable. My therapist did a wonderful job hitting all of my “problem” spots in the short time we had, and I floated out of there.

I am totally going back to Kabuki, if not for the spa services than just for the bath house experience. Totally worth it!

After getting blissed out, we continued our adventures in Japantown with some ramen at the center. I had the wonton ramen, which spoke to my soul. Nothing like a good bowl of ramen!

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And then I went home and took a nap. The end.

Time to board yet another plane. See you on the other side!

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Baby Update: Week 31

We are now firmly careening down into the third trimester! It’s getting real, yo. It’s like as soon as week 28 came, a freight truck filled with new symptoms hit me. So long to the energetic, “easy” second trimester. Mmm, that was nice. It’s nothing but weight gain and swollen feet from here on out!

Symptoms:

Headaches I’ve noticed more unexplained headaches lately. I’ve had my coffee, I’ve drank a gallon of water, so it’s not withdrawl or dehydration. Just annoying.

Baby Kicks: Yay! Such fun. She loves to move it at all hours of the day. I like poking my belly back and tormenting her. At my last appointment I found she’s sitting head-up. My doctor said she wasn’t worried about it yet since there’s plenty of time for her to flip down (and back up again, if she’s a punk like her momma) so I’m having fun poking at the hard spot under my ribs that’s her head and going, “knock knock!” I do the same to Squish, so she’s better get used to it now.

Back/Belly Aches: The pain from straining my back a couple weeks ago seems to have receded but I’ve still had a continuous ache in my lower back. It’s more of a twinge than a full-on pain, so it’s just enough to keep me worried and annoyed. The prenatal yoga seems to help, along with doing some light stretching at night and making sure to use pillows or my snuggle to prop everything up when I sleep on my side. My belly is getting really achy too. Not only is she running out of room pretty quick, but all of the ligament pain and stretching of everything makes it achy too. Plus, every now and then she decides to ram a foot or elbow right out the side of my belly like she’s trying to bust out the wrong way. It happened on the plane the other day, and I thought I was going to bruise it was so painful. If physical discomfort to mom is indicative of the child’s personality in life, she is going to be a handful.

Edema: My feet swell like crazy, especially after sitting at work all day. I try to remember to get up and walk frequently, but some days my schedule just doesn’t allow for that. Coming home on the plane last week, I had legit cankles with creases, my feet were swollen so badly. It wasn’t until later the next day they went back down to normal size.

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Workouts

I’m not running. I’ve given up intense stuff for good ol’ walking, mostly over my lunch break at work or to the train station in my evening commute if I’m feeling up for it. I lift light weights maybe once a week, but mostly focus on bodyweight stuff like squats and push-ups. And I’ve been going to prenatal yoga, which is heavenly! But for the most part, physical activity just completely wipes me out. After a walk or even a shopping trip, I need to lay down for a while. So I’ve been trying to put my workouts in the evenings when I’m tired anyway so it doesn’t matter.

Other Randoms

Cravings: Lately I’m still on this ALL THE VEGGIES kick. Meat’s okay, but I’m just not that into it. When I’m home my favorite snack is starting to become a big bowl of frozen mixed veggies, microwaved with butter and salt. Quick and easy.

Life Stuff: We’re still house hunting, so the move date is still up in the air. We’ve expanded our search to the west side of the city, out in the Avenues or Sunset. I still have freeway access to get to work there, and there are a lot more options for what we’re looking for. I’m still holding out for the perfect fixer-upper in Bernal Heights, though.

In the next few weeks I’ll start looking on Craigslist for the baby essentials we need, which all I can think of right now is a carseat and a bassinet. Since we don’t have much room and I don’t know when we’ll move, I’m keeping to a minimalist philosophy. Besides, since Squish arrived early and we had NOTHING for baby (I had to call my sister from the hospital and ask her to pick up some diapers and stuff on her way to visit), I want to be a little more prepared this time, but knowing that whatever we don’t have we’ll figure out when the time comes.

I’m planning on getting a super-duper econo-grade breast pump since I will most likely still be traveling when I go back to work. I still have my Medela Freestyle from when Squish was little which did great (especially in the early days when I was too chicken to breastfeed and just pumped exclusively for about 3 months), but I think that a legit hospital-grade one will be a better workhorse for all the pump-heavy travel weeks. Athena from Fit Life Balance wrote a guest post on Carrots ‘n’ Cake about pumping while traveling, and I about cried tears of happiness to read about her tips and, most importantly, that it can and has been done before. So that little worry is off my shoulders.

My only big “irrational” worry left is the same one I had before with Squish, and is most likely a common point of anxiety among working moms – what if I go into labor at work? I really don’t want to go into labor at work. I lucked out with Squish as he decided to come in the middle of the night, with my water breaking at midnight hours before contractions started. But it came as a total surprise and I had meetings an stuff planned for the next day. I had to email my boss from the hospital saying, “Um, so, my leave starts now. Here are the files I’m working on. See you in a couple months!” If I was at work when my water broke it would have been even more dramatic since my commute to home was an hour. This time around, my commute is slightly shorter, but I’m dependent on the train schedule. So I’ve had nightmares of my water breaking at work and having to ride a local train for an hour into the city during contractions. I’ve talked to my boss about it and my company is being super nice and flexible in the days leading up to my leave. They’ve offered me a week of working from home and some extra vacation time in the last days coming up to my due date. But I don’t want to run out of vacation and have to go on leave early just to twiddle my thumbs for days waiting for the big show. Nor do I want to underestimate how soon she’ll arrive and be at work when it happens. Why can’t I have one of those turkey timer things, where the little red button pops up when she’s done? That would make things easier.

That’s all for the baby stuff now. Time to eat and sleep. The third trimester is rather the Garfield the Cat of all the trimesters, I believe.

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It’s Friday!

Good Morning! It’s Friday! Yay! I have nothing special planned today, just a bunch of random ramblings and latest happenings.

I worked from home yesterday because I had a doctor appointment in the afternoon. Apparently I am a total creature of habit because I never think to blog when I’m at home, only when I’m on the train. So if I’m not on the train, I guess I forget to blog? Weird. Anyway, I’m off to wrap this week up, and then I’m in Pittsburg again for the next two weeks which are my last travel weeks until after the little miss is born. On one hand I’m kind of bummed. I love traveling, and it’s going to be soooooo boring! ;) But I will enjoy being at home for a while to establish a “new normal” and get some nesting out of the way before life dumps a huge load of change on us in November.

Squish don’t care. Gramma ‘Nise sent him this really cool Thomas the Train interactive book that is totally preoccupying his time these days. It has a million buttons that all make noises, which is the best when it’s 6:30 in the morning. Thank you, Gramma! :)

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Aside from that, we have quite a few things on deck for the weekend:

  • Still have our college buddy visiting us for the weekend. The boys have plans to go out about every night, so I’m expecting some mimosa- or bloody mary-infused brunches followed by lots of naps during the day. I’m totally down with that.
  • I NEED to make a hair appointment before I take off for Pittsburgh. I hate it when my hair is in my eyes #shorthairproblems
  • Hulk found a couple more open houses to tour. As always, they look totally promising on paper. Still, I love house hunting. It’s fun to dream. I say only two weeks into serious house hunting. Let’s see where I’m at in six months!

In other updates, my back feels much better now from straining it the other night while cleaning. I iced it a few times and just took it easy. I still feel it twinge, but I’m able to stand up and sit down without much difficulty. Needless to say, I am not too keen on any heavy-duty housework in the near future.

Finally, kombucha.

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All the kombucha <3 If we do move into a house with a normal-sized kitchen, I am totally brewing it at home. Until then, my Starbucks budget is now making way for my GT’s Kombucha budget.

That’s it for now. Have a most wonderful weekend, and make it a great day!

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How Housework is Hazardous For Your Health

We have some friends coming into town today to stay with us for a few days, so last night I decided to get all motivated and tidy up the apartment a bit. You know, to give them an impression that we’re not complete slobs, which we are. Somewhere in between vacuuming the living area and scrubbing toilets I threw my back out. So now I don’t think our apartment will ever be clean again until after the little miss is born. Ugh, who knew cleaning could be so bad for your health?

Anyway, I grabbed breakfast at the cafe downstairs from my office. I’ve been trying to get into the office a little earlier lately since I’m pretty much useless by 4:00 pm. So I’ve been taking the 6:44 train and damn is that early. Plus, if I start crashing around in the kitchen to make breakfast in the morning, I’ll wake Squish up and then I have to add getting Squish ready to the day into my list of morning activities, which never fails to make me miss my train. So I’ve been doing breakfast at coffee shops or at work lately. Meh, it’s working for my schedule, less stress, and temporary, so I figure it weighs out against being less healthy and expensive.

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Sausage, egg, and cheese on a toasted english muffin and coffee. There was another coffee downed sometime in the morning, too.

For lunch the coworkers wanted to herd over to Una Mas, so I decided to be “healthy” and order the Margarita salad with chicken.

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Never again. Ugh, this was a disappointing salad. It was all lettuce with a little salsa dumped on top. The best part was the surprise tostada I found under the copious amounts of romaine lettuce that was all freshly fried and cripsy. Lesson learned; if I’m doing a salad in the future, I’m making it myself.

Also, work got a new Costco food order in, and they included little cups of grapefruit. This was so a hit-the-spot afternoon snack. This will be a thing until they’re gone.

 

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Dinner was once again onions, bell peppers, and Aidells chicken apple sausage fried together. And once again eaten with a toddler in my lap. Hulk had a work dinner, so it was just the kiddo and me. He offered to wash the floor after I threw my back out, and did a pretty decent job of it for a two year old. I am so happy that I’m procreating domestic slave laborers. I’m hoping his sister is as big of a sucker for housework as Squish is.

I’m not too sure what to do about my back. It’s my lower back, and feels like a strain. Of course, duh, I should take it easy and, like, not make it worse, but I’m hoping it’s just a little muscle thing that can spring back in a couple weeks and not something I’m going to be dealing with until the end of time. It’s nice to dream, isn’t it? Hulk has a bum back too, but the stretches he does to relieve it aren’t something I can do with my belly right now. So I’ll just pop some Tylenol, dig out the heating pad, and take a mini vacation from doing anything productive that requires physical activity. This might not be a bad thing, really.

That’s it for now, make it a great day, kids!

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