Monday, December 3, 2012

Hasta la vista deditos

The time has come to bid a fond farewell to the sight of my toes.  Standing up straight and looking down I can now barely see them peeping out beneath the bulge that is my belly.

 I look ridiculously tall with my toes extremely far away, but that is 
an accurate depiction of how I feel.  They may as well stretch
 to the moon for all the ability that I have to put my own boots on.

With 10 weeks left on the clock, the third trimester has brought quite a few “Baby’s first” experiences:
-          Baby’s first stretch mark: Sad day- the skin around my appendectomy scar just can’t get with the program
-          Baby’s first 3 a.m. feeding: Little angel woke me up and demanded to be fed Corn Chex.  NOW. 
-          Baby’s first extreme hot flash: Inconveniently coordinated with Zach’s nightly, hours-long hot flash.
-          Baby’s first unsolicited unfamily/friend belly rub: Thank you random unrestrained church lady.

I thought when I hit about five months that I was getting SO BIG.  Ha.  I had no idea what big was, and I'm sure it will only get worse from here.

20 weeks vs 30 weeks.  Yeah, I only appreciate my body in hindsight.

 Two Fast Sundays until GO TIME and I sense extreme paranoia coming on, a feeling that is not encouraged by constant emails from the BabyCenter website.  Apparently my Thanksgiving should have been spent wielding a meat thermometer every five minutes and avoiding all foods with egg or alcohol for fear that they weren’t cooked in all the way.  The pressure makes me want to burst into confession.  Yes!  I’ve knowingly had sushi at least three times since becoming pregnant!  Yes!  I still eat raw cookie dough and deli meat!  Yes!  I drink crystal light!  And No!  I haven’t signed up for birthing, breastfeeding, hypnosis, acupuncture or parenting classes!  My nursery isn’t ready, my house isn’t sanitized, I haven’t been taking weekly pictures of my growing belly and I’m not clear on the finer points of swaddling.

But hey, we have a name picked out.  Hopefully little Eli Scott will appreciate all the efforts of his parents to turn him into a resilient, tough young thing with a strong immune system.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

From Tinker Belly and Peter Fanny

 Note: One does not simply "just make" Halloween costumes an hour before the ward party starts.
Zach: No, but one can continue making costumes during the ward party and bring them to the after-party.
Booyah!  Oh, and "It takes a man to wear tights"

From the babe

Nothing defines the generation gap like wearing a pop culture gaming icon as your costume for work.  I'm sure some of the brokers still think I was dressed as a bizarre frog.

And from Larry the Cucumber


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Well, he's not shy...

Nope, not this one.

At his debut this little man gave us an fabulous defensive boxing display and showed off his kung-fu kicks all while stubbornly refusing to conform to the exact positions that the tech was trying to get pictures of.

The boxer
The ultrasound was a beautiful experience and a few happy tears were shed, but at the same time I was oddly creeped out by the image on the screen.  I just couldn't shake the feeling that there is an ALIEN in my stomach, and it wasn't helped by this picture:

To be fair, ultrasounds don't make anyone look good.
Regardless of extra terrestrial features, we are thrilled.  Bring on the cars, the trucks, the dinosaurs, the legos, the camp-outs, the wrestling, and the every-stick-is-a-gun mentality.  With a manly man like Zach for a dad we're ready for anything this little dude can throw at us.

 As a bonus, the tech told us we were almost two weeks further along than we thought.  That, or we're simply about to birth an enormous baby (given our joint heritage, not impossible). 
New due date: February 12.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Look Mom, Herpes!

It must come from years of too much chemistry and biology, but for some reason Zach thinks it’s romantic to give me little plush dolls in the form of magnified STDs and other germs for special occasions.  Over our marriage we’ve amassed a collection of six ranging from Chlamydia to Mononucleosis. The dolls all come in the shape of the cell, blown up a million times, complete with a detailed description. They are cheerfully lined up on the top shelf of one of our bookcases and make for great conversation starters.
From left to right: Chlamydia, Mono, Herpes, Black Death, Mange, Egg and Sperm
Until we had one of our new neighbor families over for dinner I didn’t realize that they are the only thing that even remotely resemble toys in our house (we don’t have a super kid-friendly environment yet).  Just our luck, the four year-old in the family is a genius child, the type that memorizes everything he reads: maps, anatomy books, and even video game handbooks.  I was hurrying to get food on the table when I suddenly heard, “Look Mom, it’s Mono!  The kissing disease!”  

Oh no.  While apologizing profusely we quickly gather up all the plushies and shoved them away.  But the damage had been done.

As we ate, Zach looked over to where the kids were drawing on the floor and made the mistake of asking what the genius child was drawing.  Matter-of-factually, he responded,

“It’s a sperm cell, attached to an egg cell.”

It all went downhill from there.

At the end of the night he proudly presented us with a picture of all six of our cells, including a label, small description, and with added accessories that they might need on their upcoming adventures.


I have no doubt that our apartment has now been labeled “off-limits” for all small children in our complex.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The babe: an update

The babe: size of a large tomato
The belly: size of large, squishy, slightly lumpy watermelon
It’s happened.  We are no longer interesting as Zach and Clarissa.  We are now seen merely as producers of a grandchild/niece/nephew/cute baby.  And that is how it should be.  Even at work, the women are constantly asking me “how I’m feeling” while the men go, “hey, how’s all this stuff going?” while motioning in wide circles around their abdomens.  I feel the love, man.

At 18 weeks, I have entered the “fat” stage, where instead of looking pregnant I just look chubby.  The cute round baby bump is missing and in its place a little pool floatie has settled around my waist.  I used to be able to, y’know, suck it in, but it is now unsuckable.  I feel a strong desire to tell everyone that I meet that I’m not normally like this.  No really, I swear I’m pregnant.

Out of some deranged matter of pride, I was reluctant to make the switch to maternity clothes but all that pride went out the window last week.  My jeans were fresh from the dryer and refused to button up, so, in a rush, I grabbed a pair of maternity capris (thanks Tawny!).  As I slipped the wide elastic band over my little inner tube and ran to the car all I could think was, “why on earth didn’t I start wearing these earlier? In fact, why isn’t this all I wear EVER?”  I may never go back to button-up again.

After “how are you feeling?” the next most frequently asked question is “when do you find out if it’s a boy or a girl?”  Well ladies and gents, the ultrasound has been scheduled for Sept 27, so feel free to share your guesses and if you win  I’ll make you cookies.

 And I might just eat them for you too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sandy Eggo

It’s been a while since we’ve posted, but that’s what I get for telling Zach that it’s his turn to blog.  I forgot that once Zach starts school blogging falls to the bottom of his priority totem pole so it’s up to me.
 
Back in August we decided to take one last vacation before school started, before work got too crazy and before the baby comes to what as I child I knew only as Sandy Eggo (why anyone would name a town after dirty waffles was always a source of great confusion, much like the “Empty Sea” that my brothers disappeared to when they served their missions).

We were lucky to have the wonderful Marinis as our tour guides, with the added benefit of the fact that Christie was even more pregnant than I was, so we had some source of commiseration.

Time flew by as we kayaked in Mission Baby, boogie boarded at La Jolla, scuba dived (with sharks), acted like typical tourists downtown, and visited the San Diego Temple.



 The kayaks they gave us were supposedly the untippable ones.  Yeah.  You can count on us to rise to THAT challenge.  Good thing the Marinis had all our dry clothes in their kayak.


 White legs and a not-so-pregnant looking belly!  So flattering.
Six hours and two sunscreen applications later, we both looked like cherry tomatoes.  It's all part of the experience.

Shark sighting!  They were EVERYWHERE.  Don't worry, the story
is they don't eat humans.  I think they learned from this episode of batman.

Zach thought the convention center was a cooler picture than the Old Downtown sign/area.  Guess he won the argument.
 Of the dozen or so temples Zach and I have been to together, San Diego is the most beautiful one that we’ve ever seen, both inside and out.  We were lucky to catch the matron in our session and she gave us a guided tour of the inside.  I would move to La Jolla just so this could be my temple.

 On our way home we stopped to hang out with the Magleby Grandparents (see: wonderful, spoilers, makers of delicious food) and catch Hairspray at the Tuacahn  Theater.  What a blast!  


Now it’s back to the grindstone.  Zach is slogging like a determined ox (a handsome, buff ox) through the muddy field that is pharmacy school while TAing and working at the ever-awesome Walgreens.  Meanwhile I, the sugarmama, head to work while incubating the child.

P.S.: We found Waldo at a gas station in Southern UT.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wonder of wonders

Once I was officially done with college, I found that I was often asked by friends, family, and random acquaintances, "So...when are you two going to start having kids?" It was inevitable that the asker would then eye my stomach, wondering if that burrito I ate for lunch was really a baby bump that I was only waiting for the right moment to reveal.

I was never quite sure how to answer that question. In all reality, anyone's guess was as good as mine. 

Medically speaking, when you have attempted to become pregnant without success for 10-12 months, you are officially labeled "infertile". While this label comes as a shock to some women, I've known since I was 15 and diagnosed with mild PCOS that having kids would be tricky, if it was possible at all.

I've come to understand after a few years in student married wards that among women of a certain age in this culture infertility is feared more than cancer. It's a taboo subject that is hidden by the inflicted and whispered about in the back of kitchens at family functions and hinted at in comments in Relief Society. No one knows how to talk about it or what to say when you finally tell them that no, you’re not just focused on your education/career, you just can’t get pregnant.

After months of artfully avoiding the subject, (The first dozen times I just wanted to scream that, "Not everyone has the blessing of bunny-rabbit fertility!") I soon discovered that the best and most satisfying way to deal with the implied baby questions and hints was to flat out tell them- “I’m infertile, but we’re working on it” and then be open and unembarrassed when answering the questions that would hesitantly come.  In doing this I discovered a hidden world of women with similar experiences and challenges that became my greatest support group during the months of testing and medication.

We started with Clomid as our fertility drug of choice (after extensive research done by the budding pharmacist) and after taking a month to figure out the right dosage we settled in for the long haul: pills at the beginning of the month, blood test in the middle of the month, pregnancy test at the end of the month, repeat.  [It must be noted here that Zach was a trooper through the roller-coaster ride that was my raging hormones.  Thanks babe!]

A month after we got the dosage right I could finally ovulate on demand.  Hallelujah.  But two weeks and two negative pregnancy tests later the blood still wasn’t coming.  As a final formality before requesting another round of period-inducing progesterone I took one last test:


And wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, a little pink plus sign showed up.

Zach and I are excited and grateful to announce that we are expecting a baby (SINGULAR- for all your Clomid twin predictors) at the end of February! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Car love

I must preface this post by saying that I slept in a car-shaped bed until I was 12.  I played more with my brother's remote control trucks more than my dolls.  I cried for days when we sold the only car I had ever known when I was four.  I cried when my brother sold him Jeep for his mission. I love cars, and I can get pretty attached.

After five and a half years of faithful service, Zach and I are retiring our beloved Ford Focus.  Now, I’ve seen the IKEA commercial and I know that to think that an inanimate object has feelings is crazy, but I do find it fitting to acknowledge and commemorate the service this vehicle has given us.

My parents gave me the keys to the car and a payment book for Christmas my senior year so that I could drive MYSELF to 5:30 am swim practice.  My Dad told me that having a car with a manual transmission would attract the men.  He was right- even Zach was impressed when we met.

My friend Lizzie named the car Gucci right on the spot.  Why, I do not know.  But it stuck.

My freshman year I was the only one in several apartments that had a car, which made me super popular.  We drove Gucci all over Provo and on hiking excursions around Utah.

When Zach and I got married a few years later, Gucci was the honeymoon getaway car that was attacked by Justin and Steve.

That summer, we stuffed Gucci to his full capacity, put our bikes on the back and drove all the way to Washington DC for summer internships and then restuffed and drove all the way back.  The next summer Gucci took us back and forth a few times from our internships in Boulder, and then completed his coast-to-coast dream when we went to California later on.

Aside from the Raggedy-Ann doll my mom made me when I was little, I have never felt so attached to anything.  But it’s time to move on.  To a Lexus.
Special thanks to our car council: Hans, car mechanic genius, and Dad, wily dealership ambassador.
We didn’t set out to buy a Lexus- it just happened.  We've found that we've inadvertently joined the group of LEXUS OWNERS.  Do we belong?  Probably not, despite the fact that it's an old Lexus.  But just you try and take my heated leather seats away from me now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The hard way

A few weeks ago we had planned to hike Timp with our ward buddies, but due to rainstorms at the top we had to cancel the trip.  I, in my naiveté, thought that would be the end of it.  We moved to Salt Lake and hiking Timp left my priority list.

I MAJORLY underestimated Zach’s zeal for hiking.  Despite zero enthusiasm or help with packing and planning from me, that boy was going to make. It. Happen. 

We got a horrible start.  Thanks to the Olympics we stayed up too late the night before and I was reluctant to get going in the morning.  So, instead of leaving at the planned 6 AM, we were out the door at 8 AM.  It all went downhill from there.

8:05 AM: Buy water at Maceys
8:10 AM: Realize we need cash for the park fee- use ATM and break the $20 by buying Starbursts
8:45 AM: Arrive at the trailhead, get lathered up, pack our gear and realize Zach left the water at Macey’s
9:00 AM: Drive down to the Sundance store to buy more water, realize it’s still closed
9:20 AM: Drive down to the nearest gas station WAY back in Provo
9:25 AM: Buy water and realize Zach left his credit card in the ATM machine at Macey’s
9:30 AM: Drive back to Macey’s and search frantically for the credit card; learn it gets sucked back into the machine after a minute
9:40 AM: Drive back up to Sundance
10:15 AM: Start hiking

Throughout this whole time we were both pretty frustrated and, in Zach’s case, “puppy-punching mad”.  He managed to pep up once we got started, but I was not a happy hiker.  I silently seethed at Zach for making me come after ALL THAT.  I was tired from our early start, hot, hungry, and not prone to conversation.  Meanwhile Zach, oblivious and blissful, went on and on about the beautiful scenery, the smell, the open air, blah blah blah.  He reminded me that “We are Judkins, and Judkins do hard things.”   Yeah.  And we do them the hard way- thanks sweetie.

Lucky for both of us, I decided to forgive Zach and enjoy the hike at mile one when we hit the first level of waterfalls.  Beautiful.
And by "beautiful" I am referring to Zach's biceps
Me, not trying to hide how utterly exhausted I felt, even on the "easy part"
My main man, lookin' fine.
  It was 6 miles and 5 hours later by the time we hit Emerald Lake, and tempting though it was to pursue that teeny tiny shed (“It’s so close”, he says, “only an hour”, he says) on top of the faraway mountain top I made an executive, matriarchal decision to turn around and head back down.

Happy to be on the way back down
Dear Dad, you would not have liked this hike.  Wee bit close to cliff edges.
 Three days later I am still painfully sore, but we are still married and I’m sure I’ll soon be grateful for the whole “character building” experience.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The long expected move

Despite having lived 50 miles South of Salt Lake for the majority of my life, I realized when we moved here that I know shockingly little about the exact geography of things.  I knew that Little America was just off some freeway exit and that if you took the right trax from there you could get to Temple Square and the Gateway Mall.  Then when Zach started going to school at the U I learned that if I kept driving down Foothill long enough I could get to his pharmacy building.

Now that we’ve been here for almost a month I’m only slightly better. But  I now know with firm conviction the location of
1)      My office building
2)      Our apartment
3)      Great Harvest
4)      Primary Children’s Hospital
5)      The nearest Smith’s
6)      Our chapel

I’m still a little vague on
1)      The gym
2)      The nearest gas station
3)      The bank

I’ve also figured out that part of the time 5th and 6th  South are one-way roads.  Trust me, extreme progress has been made.  Thank goodness this city is on a strict grid system.

Our apartment is about a block East of Trolley Square, and there’s no getting around the fact that it is old, musty, leaky, slightly ghetto, and apparently in some sort of disputed turf war location.  I don’t know who sharpied our carport wall, but I don't have anything against the Southsiderz, yo.



All that aside, we love the people in our complex and the location is such that we can both walk to school/work (Zach is diggin' the lack of the hour and a half commute from Provo).  And someday when the piles of boxes are unpacked and moved, the massive gross brown (free) couch has been replaced and we’ve figured out where that old diaper smell comes from I might post pictures of the inside.  And yes, the diaper smell affects the way it looks.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Zions: heat of a thousand suns

The past month or so has been blogless because, you know, we were busy.  And, you know, lazy.  We’ll catch up on all our recent happenings soon, but for now we would be remiss if we didn’t record the extreme awesomeness that was our trip to Zion. 

The last time I was at Zions Zach and I were just starting to get “serious” and I was trying my very best to impress him with my adventurous and up-for-anything spirit, willing to conquer any hike or jump in any river. 
Thanks to Anthon for making all our pictures from that trip hilarious.
Now, three years later, Zach is my favorite person to complain to about the heat, my aching legs, and my hungry tummy.  In fact, if Arianne and Carter hadn’t gone with us I probably would’ve made him carry me half the time.  So much for my independent spirit.

As it was, the trip went marvelously well and the only carrying Zach was required to do was my water bottle and occasionally my fruit snacks. The start was rough- we arrived to 104 degrees and a shadeless campsite with the warning that absolutely no fires were allowed.  Lame.  Luckily we had brought our trusty camping stove and we soon learned that even tin foil dinners and s’mores can be made on those things.

 Zach took the disappointment much better than I did.

 We tried to hike while it was cool, and when it got unbearably hot we’d either a) get wet in some river or pool or b) find a visitor’s center or shop that had AC or c) find an excuse to drive somewhere so we could sit in the air conditioned car.  While that may sound wussy I would like to point out that we were the only campers in the whole campground that weren’t in an RV or trailer.

Our hikes were gorgeous as expected.  Day one was a warm-up: Weeping Rock.

Day two was the one I was most nervous for: Angel’s Landing.  I have to admit, I wasn’t sure my knees would hold up post-surgery, but with Zach pulling or pushing me along as required we all made it to the top. 
Failed Pocahontas pose
Mixen

Cheesy march up "Walter's Wiggles"
The hard part
What happens if you fail the hard part
Victory at the top!
Zach.  Being Zach.
Champions!
The hike was hard.  It left its mark.

 The last day was the Narrows.  It was so fun that we decided that next time we’ll do the whole thing top to bottom.




I learned on this trip that I'm not that great at imitating the warrior cry of the Sand People.

 We pretty much ate like kings while camping thanks to the multiple gourmet chefs onsite.  Okay, just one- thanks for keeping us healthy Air!


 Zach and Carter wouldn’t be any kind of men if they didn’t feel the need to compete.  In this case it was mouth size.

Zach: Apparently the idea of eating spiders while sleeping is a myth.  This is too bad, because adjusting for mouth size I'd like to think of Carter and me taking them out in droves during the night hours.  Clarissa and Arianne really wouldn't be pulling their weight, however.


The women followed suit.  Somehow Arianne still manages to look attractive while doing it.
And then Chubby Bunny.
Carter's mouth may be bigger, but my cheeks are stretchier.

Thanks to the Mixen for having us along!  We're sorry for whatever craziness we might have caused.