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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pregnancy Update

Yesterday marked 18 weeks that our little peanut has been growing and I'm happy to say that I have been sleeping more comfortably and even feeling better than I was several weeks ago. Although my midsection is (obviously) growing, I can still wear my pre-pregnancy clothes with some slight modifications (ie: long tank top underneath, BellaBand, etc). My motion sickness has vanished, at least temporarily so I am happy about being able to comfortably read on the train everyday again. I'm not as hungry as I was during my first trimester, but am sometimes concerned that I am eating enough.

This is me at 17 weeks:

This was the baby about two weeks ago saying hi!

This weekend we purchased the baby's crib! We originally thought we wanted a convertible crib to grow with him/her from crib to toddler bed and finally to full size bed, but did you know the conversion rails cost about $200? That is in addition to the higher price you are already paying for the convertible crib. In the end, with the crib we liked, it seemed a bit ridiculous. Plus, we might not use the crib as a bed for several years depending on how many children we have and when they are born.

We went with the Bonavita Hudson Classic Crib in white. We liked another Bonavita crib, the Peyton, but the rounded ends on the Hudson made the final decision easy. The nursery has some sharp lines because of the shape of the room and the way the ceiling is, so I think the crib will add a soft touch.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Clemson game!

The week before last we went back to the place where I met some of my best friends: Clemson! I wish I had a recipe or something creative to share that I contributed to our massive tailgate, but since I camped for the weekend, I only contributed bottled water. So, some photos will have to suffice :)

Keep in mind that Clemson was playing Maryland so Brad was the only one around wearing red. Well, the Tigers beat the Terps 31-7 and it was a great game!! I made a shirt that I wore around town on Friday that said "My mom is a Tiger, but my dad is a Terp" and the back said "Good thing I have time to decide!" My good friend Blair and I designed it and I couldn't believe all the compliments I got on it.

Four of my cousins go to Clemson (only three are shown since their poor brother is pledging a fraternity).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall is Here and So Are My Pumpkins

I know it is already mid-October but this post has been on the back burner until I finished sharing details of our Hawaii trip. When I typed the title above, I automatically thought how next fall we will have a little pumpkin at our house and how I hope he/she will fit into the cute Halloween sleeper I preemptively purchased at a consignment sale a few weeks ago :).

Back to my fall table...This past summer we had a collection of various height cracked glass candle holders as the centerpiece in our dining room. We eat all of our meals in the dining room or at the bar which is between the kitchen and dining room so it is not a "formal" eat-in area, we didn't want that. Well, one day I got home from work earlier than expected and headed up the road to Lewis Orchards for some inspiration. I felt guilty not buying pumpkins from Brad's cousins up at the Gaver Tree Farm, but I didn't have time to drive an hour that day and unfortunately still haven't.

At Lewis I found dozens of sizes and varieties of pumpkins, I was blown away. I kept saying "tabletop" over and over in my head so I didn't come home with some huge 25 pound pumpkin that I can't lift anyway. I started filling my cart with a selection of pumpkins, including a green one, and a few gords. I spent only $10. When I got home, I started placing everything.

I changed out the placemats to more of a fall color and then decided to fold some two-tone brown napkins to make a modified runner for all of the decor. But than I remembered I also had orange and clear glass beads/marbles from my Thanksgiving table last year. Once I added those in, it looked great!

After arranging and rearranging and adding in a wine chiller for height and a candle base for additional texture, I was happy with the way the pumpkins looked.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Aloha in Oahu

The final few days of our trip were spent in Oahu. We stayed in Kailua which is near one of the top rated beaches in the US. or was it the world? Unfortunately, I can't remember right now. Anyhow, there was a small beach near our rental that was the home to several turtles which was pretty neat. Yes, I did go swimming even though the ER doctor advised me not to after I was bit by a dog. We also went kayaking out to the twin islands but that disposable camera is MIA which is sad because there were some great pictures :(.

We went to the beach, really relaxed and went to Pearl Harbor while in Oahu.

Pearl Harbor survivor

With a sweet photo of his wife on the end of his cane

The exhausting thing we did was hike the Koko Crater Trail. This is vertical up the side of a mountain and you hike along old railroad ties from when it used to be a work area. It was ridiculous and I did not think I could make it up. This hike was the first time I really felt pregnant and like I shouldn't be doing it. But, with several stops of nearly 10 minutes each, and Brad's encouragement, I made it! We rewarded ourselves with a trip to Sandy Beach where some of the biggest waves come ashore. Brad did some boogey boarding, but I stayed ashore.

The last day we drove around 3/4 of the island, through and around mountains, and then took another highway south to get back to the airport. Here are a few pics, but check out Picasa for more.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Secret Finds

One afternoon we headed to the Kilauea Lighthouse which is the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian islands. The lighthouse area is a nature preserve so we had to pay a small admission fee which was the first "touristy" thing we really did. During winter, humpback whales mate off the coast near the lighthouse and it is visible from where we were standing.

We went a little bit further south and attempted to find Secret Beach. Once again, vertical hike down to come out on a beach backed by trees. We did see some nudists, although that is illegal in Hawaii, but it shows you how few people were there. About one-quarter of a mile away is a ledge of black lava where we waded in the Secret Lava Pools. (Now you can tell I'm pregnant, right?)

I think we were both expecting there to be larger pools or more fish in them, but it was a neat experience nonetheless.

Dinner that night was at the Hanalei Dolphin where Brad went into the adjoining seafood market and bought a huge tuna sushi roll for $4.50 - it was delicious!! before dinner we stopped at the Hanalei Valley Lookout and asked someone to take some pictures of us together since we weren't sweaty from hiking.

Napali from the Sea

The Napali Coast is an area of Kauai accessible only by helicopter or by sea - we chose the sea route. We took a five hour boat trip on the Napali Sea Breeze with a dozen other people to see the beauty of the garden isle from a different perspective and get some snorkling in.

Beautiful, isn't it?!

There were dozens of caves, two of which we went in, and even more waterfalls - it was awesome! You might recognize some of these defined peaks from the movie Jurassic Park. There are more pictures of the coastline in my Picasa album.

Start off small? No way!

Our first Hawaiian hike was no easy feat, but looking back at the ones we did near the end of our trip, this one was pretty mellow. We drove only about two miles north of Princeville, crossed the Hanalei Bridge and some tarot fields and then started the Okolehao Trail Hike.

It was a steep uphill hike through the woods and then through red dirt ravines and hills. The goal was to see Hanalei Bay from the air. Well, we did it!! It took more than an hour to go up (I'll blame that on my constant pregnant need for water and shutterbug tendencies), but we got to relax for a bit at the summit.

It is funny looking at the pictures of me then, near the end of my 11th week of pregnancy, because I thought I was getting a belly. Well, it doesn't look like it there!

After recovering and eating lunch at the condo we drove eight miles to Tunnels Beach which is known for its snorkeling. Of course we onyl had one mask and snorkel since I didn't think of renting one in advance, but we made do with what we had. Tunnels is basically "tunnels" of coral so there isn't much sandy area in the water, whcih makes simple swimming difficult. Brad did see our first turtle though! I visited with the little guy for a bit. The Hawaiian beaches we went to were surrounded by mountains. You had to hike down to them or through areas to get to them so you didn't see any buildings from the beach which was beautiful.

On the way home we stopped in Hanalei so I could quench my craving for shave ice with macadamia nut ice cream...mmmmm!