Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 15

Week: 15
Baby Size: 4-4.5 inches. It's about the size of a naval orange (or softball for the food-adverse) and weighing in at about 1.75 ounces.*

Gender: Still no idea.  And may I add:  will Sept 30 get here already, please!  I will say that most people who take a guess say girl.  No one has based it on anything so far (although one did say that she could see me with a girl), but I've had 3 people guess girl since I announced. 

Maternity Clothes?: I put on a pair of dress pants that fit me perfectly before pregnancy the other day for work, and they don't even nearly fit now!  I managed to get them to stay up with the B-Band, but I did go to Target this weekend and buy a pair of maternity dress pants.  It may not look like much is happening below the belt, but my pants are telling a different story!

Sleep: Still really well.  Although pregnancy seems to be giving me some really odd nightmares.  Last night was spider eggs hatching, and all I had was an organic pesticide to spray them with.  For some reason they were in the litterbox so I was spraying there too, but then Beau was in there (somewhat quantum mechanically, since I didn't see him get in there) so I had to stop spraying.  It was very odd.

Diet and Exercise:  I'm doing very well with my diet and exercise.  I thought it would be much harder, since I am on my own for both lunch and dinner now with the night classes.  I usually have something frozen with some fruit for lunch, some cottage cheese for a snack, and then a salad or sandwich for dinner.  Maybe not as healthy as if I were eating Brian's cooking for dinner, but pretty good for a girl who hates cooking!  I do manage to exercise every morning.  One of the benefits of part-time is that I have a ton of time at home to keep up with an exercise regimen.  I can usually manage 2 miles running on the treadmill, then 1.5 walking on a steep incline.  Before working night, I would alternate that with yoga twice a week, but yoga happens too early for me to get to in the morning, and the evening classes are at the same time I am teaching.  I'm looking into prenatal yoga DVDs to fill the gap--any suggestions?

Movement: I'm doing the ever-so-enjoyable "was that gas or the baby" now.  Mostly, I suspect gas.  I'm actually really excited to feel the baby move for the first time, but not so excited about having feet digging into my internal organs all the time!

What I Miss: Sushi this week.  I've been promised some on my birthday next month :)

What I'm Looking Forward to: Getting back into a teaching groove--this first week was a bit rough!  See below for details. 

Best Moment this Week: Getting my sister-in-law's hand-me-downs from Brian's parents (who are visiting this weekend looking for a place to rent in Sac).  It's so nice to not have to buy everything new!  It'll also be really nice if Brian's parents do manage to find a place they can rent here, since it means tons of free babysitting for us :)

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe: 
Not much to report this week.  I've got acne like a teenager again and my face feels like an oil slick by the end of the day, which really sucks, but overall I feel pretty good.  I was having some hip pain earlier this weekend, but I think it was from wearing heels all week and not baby-related.  I am way less heat tolerant than I was before--even a short time outside makes me very uncomfortable.  The treadmill we bought may have been one of the best investments ever!

Baby Milestones: Baby is continuing to grow very rapidly.  It has very thin skin through which you can see the blood vessels.  It's also covered in fine hair called lanugo which will disappear as I pack on the fat to insulate it more.  I find that fascinating, as our primate cousins get the hair at this point, but never really lose it!  Evolution!  It also may be sucking its thumb.  Eyes and ears continue to move to their final resting places on the face.  If I had an X-ray, the baby's skeleton would be visible.

Food Cravings: Still not all that many, although on Friday I really wanted some chocolate ice cream.  I also noticed that Chipotle is often on my mind, as is the broccoli-cheddar soup from Panera.

How's Dad?: Still fantastic!  He's read the Baby Bargains book I ordered from cover to cover now, and is still amazed at how much everything costs.  He's also willing to get me things (drinks, snacks) so that I don't have to get up.  What a great guy! 

Tid Bits: As I mentioned above, classes didn't exactly start out smoothly for me.  My Bio class is fine--I taught it during the summer, so I know exactly what I'm doing.  The chem class is another matter.  I made some really bone-headed mistakes during my first lecture that I fear make my students question my qualifications to teach.  I did better the second lecture, but I know I've got a lot of ground to make up!  Labs are going well, although I think I talked too much the first lab period, and now the kids have to work pretty hard to catch up!  I told both of my classes (more of a "I'm pregnant, but this won't affect you guys at all" kind of thing), and have chatted with moms in those classes a bit during lab.  Overall, I think it will be a fun semester.  

I start a University of Phoenix online course this week, which will make things hectic again, but I'm really glad I stuck with UOP.  I'm not going to be in the classroom teaching in the spring, and having courses to teach online will give me something to do besides hang out with baby all day.  Not that I mind getting to see my baby all the time, but I just know I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom!  You ladies who do it have my unending admiration!!

I should mention that the girl who e-mailed and asked if she could miss the first 2 weeks of class ended up dropping the course so I didn't have to deal with a sullen student this week.  I also have way less people than predicted in my chem class.  I was told that I should be pretty full--instead, I have 1 full lab and the other lab with 10 people (out of a possible 24!).  I guess Friday from 5:00-8:15 is not the most popular time to take a lab class!  

And I want to end by sending a huge Congratulations to our friends Brian and Andrea who got married on the 27th in State College, PA!  We weren't able to travel there for the wedding, but we are so happy for them, and look forward to seeing the pictures and hearing all about it!  Mazel tov you 2!!

*All baby information comes from Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 6th edition, by Curtis and Shuyler.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 14

This blog format is totally lifted from Rice and Frijolitos (a blog by a friend of mine) and modified a bit to suit my needs.  I hope you all enjoy!

First, some photos.  Me with Zoe (because she's too cute!):
Here's the front view:
 And to the side:
As you can see, not much is visible yet.  I can tell, but the average person on the street most definitely cannot!

Week: 14! Second trimester by anyone's measure.  (Aside:  some people consider the end of week 12 to be second tri, some the middle of week 13, and some the end of week 13.  Baby people are weird and just can't make up their minds sometimes.)
Baby Size: 3 to 4 inches. It's about the size of a lemon and weighing in at about 1 ounce.  This is massive compared to its beginning as an 0.006 incher!

Gender: No idea.  I have absolutely no sense if little one is a boy or a girl.  I don't think either one of us really cares one way or the other, although as Brian is the last Romo male, there is some (very much unspoken) pressure to have a boy at some point.  If it cooperates, we'll find out on Sept 30!

Total Weight Gain: At my last appointment (12 weeks) I was up 4 pounds.  I'll probably only put this section in only for updates after I go to the doctor!

Maternity Clothes?: Not quite yet.  I bought some jeans from Motherhood Maternity, but it's not quite cold enough for jeans yet.  I scored some Ebay khakis/dress pants, but they're slightly big on me yet.  I basically live in stretchy-waisted skirts (from Target), and if I have to wear shorts or pants, my trusty B-Band from Target.  That thing is seriously saving me some money!

Sleep: Like a rock this week!  It's such a nice change from the getting up twice a night to use the restroom I had in first tri!

Movement: LIttle one is apparently rocking and rolling in there, but I haven't felt any of it--still way too small!  I probably have a solid month before the movement becomes noticeable to anyone but the ultrasound tech.

What I Miss: Wine, sushi, really good blue cheese.  Brian's being very over-protective of my eating habits and keeps all of those things away from me.  It's really cute, but sometimes I do feel the need to sneak out and get one of my "forbidden" foods!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Finding out the sex in a little over a month.  Also, enjoying an occasional glass of wine now that first tri is over!

Best Moment this Week: Realizing that "popping" doesn't just refer to when the bump is all baby, but also when the bump is displaced internal organs.  By that standard, I have "popped", even if it totally doesn't look like it from the photos!

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe:  Besides the popping (which again, only I notice), not much is happening.  I can now sleep through the night without having to get up and use the restroom, which is huge since once I get up, my mind starts racing and it's hard for me to get back to sleep.  I have some belly itching as the skin expands, but it's certainly bearable.  I am getting round ligament pain (basically the ligaments holding my uterus are stretching to accommodate the expansion that's happening) quite a few times a day, but that's mainly just a sharp pain that goes away rather quickly.  My boob pain has lessened somewhat, though; maybe to compensate.  I guess I'm finding out why they call the second trimester the honeymoon phase of pregnancy!

Baby Milestones: The little one can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck its thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, its facial muscles are getting a workout as its tiny features form one expression after another, which basically makes me think of when you were a kid and trying to make your parents laugh by pulling tons of faces. Its kidneys are producing urine, which it releases into the amniotic fluid around it — a process it'll keep up until birth. This goes a long way to explaining why I'm still in the bathroom a lot; I'm peeing for 2.  It can grasp, too.

Food Cravings: I haven't really had any cravings at all per se for the entire pregnancy.  I find myself eating a lot of really sour things, but I loved those pre-pregnancy too.  Berries (besides blueberries) are my favorite fruit, and I'm always up for Mexican food and pizza.  Aversions are a different story.  See the previous post for those bad boys!

How's Dad?: He's doing great.  Starting to get nervous about the big changes that will come once baby is here I think.  He's being very supportive, and helping me as much as he can.  He's not once complained about having to do the litter boxes. 

Tid Bits: We are so incredibly lucky that Brian's sister is done having kids and kept a ton of her baby stuff.  We are getting off really cheaply for this one, with the stroller, a larger carseat, and if it's a girl, most of the clothes taken care of.  Additionally, she's offered to come up once the baby's born for a spell and spot us so that we can eat and sleep.  The future grandparents are being so cute as well--Brian's bought us a jogging stroller from a neighbor's yard sale
and a cute a sleeper with a frog on the butt and mine got us a bib that says "I'm a Handful".  I really appreciate all of their support and excitement.

I teach 2 evening classes this semester--one on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 and the other on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-9:30 and Fridays from 5:00-8:00.  I'm really going to miss Brian for the next 16 weeks!  I'm really happy my energy seems to be returning, though, since I'm not a night person at all and need all the boost I can get!

To end, I'll share a non-baby related story.  One of my students e-mailed me and said that he/she would be on vacation for the first 2 weeks of class and asked I if I would please not drop him/her.  I basically e-mailed back and said that missing the first 2 weeks was completely unacceptable, and maybe he/she should drop and take the class again when he/she will be around for the entire semester.  As of this morning, this person is still on my roster, and it will be interesting to see if he/she decided to cancel the vacation (that had been planned for 8 months) and take my class, or if he/she is just not going to show up and expect that I will not drop him/her.  Am I cruel that I'm hoping for the latter?  Entitlement just really makes me angry!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Change is in the air

So I really started this blog to have a record of my wine making, just in case I decided I liked it and wanted to do it again in the future.  However, with the huge changes happening in my life right now, I've decided I'm going to branch out a bit and use it to keep my family and friends up to date as to what's going on with my life.  So, here goes,

I'm pregnant.

I've been saying that a lot over the past few weeks, but I wasn't sure it had really sunk in for me.  I see my mid-section expanding; I know my pants don't fit anymore; I've been spending a ton of time on websites like The Bump; I've had 3 ultrasounds and heard the heartbeat 4 times, but I just wasn't sure it felt real to me yet.  Until yesterday.  I had my standard monthly OB appointment, no ultrasound, just the doppler device, but once I heard that heartbeat, I knew for certain that there was a baby in there.  Odd that all the visual evidence did nothing for me, but hearing the beat coming from that tiny little machine did it. 

Anyway, this blog will still chronicle my journey into wine making, but also my journey into motherhood.  I hope you enjoy it!
Baby Romo, 12 weeks.

Wow, I'm really bad at blogging!

So I realized the last time I posted anything was October of last year, and it's now almost October of this year!  I also left on a cliffhanger about to press the wine.  I'll condense what happened, since I really can't remember anything but the basics anyway!

As I predicted, the fermentation finished on Friday, 10/8, and the now full of alcohol must had to wait until Saturday to be pressed.  Oh, but what a glorious pressing it was!  I first pitched the malolactic bacteria in the morning (the second stage of fermentation, when the malic acid in the grapes is converted to the more appetizing lactic acid) and let them get all established and stuff.  Then, at around 4, we pulled out the beautiful press and loaded it up.  Brian, being much stronger than I am, was in charge of doing the actual cranking, while I filled and made sure nothing ran over.  Unfortunately, since we were both busy, I have no pictures of us actually pressing, but here's the tired press after all was said and done.

Please excuse the mess--it is the garage!

We ended up getting 18 gallons total:  three 5 gallon carboys, one 3 gallon carboy, and two 750 mL bottles.  After some drama with the caps (I thought they were vented enough, but after coming into the garage after letting things sit overnight and finding a wine volcano had erupted, I guessed they weren't), the carboys were moved into our hall closet and allowed to undergo secondary fermentation.

Next, on 10/24, we had our first racking.  This has nothing to do with antlers.  Basically, you just put a hose into the carboys, pump the contents of all of them into a large trash can, mix it for a while and then use the same pump to put the wine back into the carboys.  Here I am with my turn at the pump

I love my face in this one.

I really liked the color of the wine at this point--it looked like dark cranberry juice, and while it still tasted bitter, it was getting better.  Getting off the lees (the yeast bodies still left after pressing and filtering) certainly helped a lot!

The second racking happened on 12/30/10, and with it came the oaking.  I chose to use heavy roasted French oak, because that's what Brian bought at the store.  We had chips, and I basically laid them out in a line to about the length of a pencil.  I then wrapped them in cheesecloth and simply dropped them in the carboys.  The ML was still going on (some CO2 bubbles still percolating), and I hoped this oak would mellow the wine out some.

Two months later on 2/20/11, I tasted the wine, and I was right--the oak really mellowed it out.  It was considerably less tart and very fruity.  The ML seemed to be done based on the absence of CO2 bubbles, but using a paper test revealed that I'd not converted all the malic to lactic acid.  I decided just to let it go for now.

A month after that on 3/5/11, we did the third racking, which gave us a wine that was still pretty tannic, but very nice, and had a very lovely color.

We decided to bottle the wine in July, so I added the SO2 to stop all ML on 5/8/11.  According to the test, the malic was still not all gone, but the wine tasted just fine, so I decided to let it go.

Bottling was another crazy experience.  We bottled July 3, and ended up with 75 bottles.  Again, no pictures, since both Brian and I were working on the bottling process, but it was messy and fun.  The wine tasted pretty musty when I put it all together in the trash can, but when we took a bottle to our friends' house that night, it actually tasted just fine.  Young, but fine.

The last step was taking a couple of bottles to the Sacramento Home Winemakers Association meeting in July for tasting.  Due to teaching obligations, I wasn't able to attend, but Brian was there.  The wine got pretty good reviews!  The tasters could taste the mustiness, but said another racking would have taken care of that (too late this time, since we'd already bottled), but that overall, it was not bad.  I'm very proud of myself for making a drinkable wine on my first try.  It's aging now, but will soon be ready to enjoy with all of our friends.

Overall, this was a very cool experience.  I'm really glad we got talked into it, and am looking forward to making wine this year as well.  Next up is Tempranillo, a Spanish grape, and we should be starting that in a few weeks.  Stay tuned!