Time is of the Essence

Where oh where has my little time gone, oh where oh where can it be?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how fast time passes us by.  Time is constantly moving, changing, evolving and progressing.  I even Googled the term:  “Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them(1).”

It’s a bit crazy to think that just a year ago, my son wasn’t here.  Now, he is almost 9 months old but when I take a second to think about it, it feels like that time was just yesterday when I was sitting in the hospital bed in labor.  Time is a funny thing.  It doesn’t stop for anyone.  You can’t change time, you can only make the best of your time spent doing something or correct it for the time that you will be doing that same thing in the future.  Time has no boundaries, it’s limitless.  You can think about time as a number but really it’s infinite in the broader picture, only limited for the time we spend here on Earth.  I get why time can be linked to religion, philosophy and science but can anyone really define time?  Time is used to define so many individual “things” but is the term itself really defined?

As I thought more about my time so far (almost 27 years to be exact), it really became a blur as to how many memories I couldn’t remember over those nearly 3 decades.  Time passes but we don’t always remember what we have done with our time.  It started to make me think…would I have done anything differently if I could change my time spent, thus far?

Here are my thoughts:

1.  Travel:  I SO would have traveled more.  I think traveling is a beautiful privilege.  I am envious of those who have seen the world and the cultures surrounding it.  Some of you may be saying, “you’re only 27, travel now, travel later, travel whenever you like because you have all of the time in the world left.”  There we go again with the time.  Unfortunately, none of us have all of the time in the world left as we are severely limited with the time we have.  Yes, I may be only 27 but that’s potentially 1/3 of my life lived.  So yes, I would have traveled more before I had a child.  I probably will travel more later in life after my kid or kids are grown but it would have been nice to travel “care free” in my younger, college years.  Maybe to study abroad or take a cruise around Europe.  I think traveling teaches things that can’t be taught through text books or words.  It instills other values in us as we learn the ways of people around the world.  I have been to Dominican Republic, Spain, Mexico and a bunch of Caribbean cruises but ideally, I would travel globally to far off places like Thailand, Japan and Bali.  My husband on the other hand would stay in our cozy home and never travel – He would be that guy you stare at the entire flight in the seat next to you on the airplane wearing a germ mask!  He insists it’s unsafe, we will get sick and oh, did I mention cruises are completely out of the question because we will get a disease in such small living quarters?…I’ll convince him one of these days.

 2.  Stress Less:  I think I was born this way and maybe there are others out there like me but I find that I stress way too much about things that are out of my control.  I wake up everyday before work with a knot in my stomach thinking about projects I haven’t gotten to yet or if someone else on my team didn’t finish work that I need to present to my clients.  I stress about going to the doctor – what if something is wrong with me?  I stress about my son – should he be eating these foods at this age or is he perfectly normal?  Stress is inevitable in certain situations but I would and need to stress less about unpreventable situations and things in life.  Lately, I have been trying to practice Yoga in my house.  I found fabulous Yoga videos (30 day Yoga challenge for instance) on my Apple TV and I am hopeful that getting into a routine, will help me stress less!

3.   Do for Yourself:  I finally caved and got my FIRST facial a few weeks ago.  I had never gotten one – not that I didn’t want one…I just never found the time to have “ME TIME” at a spa.  Regardless of it costing $250 for a regular facial + collagen mask (yup, $250), it was worth every penny.  I got to get away from mommy life for a few hours and enjoy the day out getting pampered.  It made me feel revitalized, calm and de-stressed.  Yes, I could have gone to the mall and bought clothes with that money but it was much better spent at the spa, I must say.  That was my first and NOT my last spa day.  I am going to make it a point to have “me time” once every 2 months or so.  I need it – I’m sure other people have their ways of de-stressing outside of spas…what’s your calm place?

Do you think your time is spent wisely?  What would you do differently if you could turn back time?

Remember…time is always of the essence.

-J

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time

You’ve got mail!

In today’s time, it not uncommon to get lost in our smartphones and tablets, choosing the easy way out to email our clients, partners or even co-workers rather than picking up the phone and dialing out. I get it because I’m guilty. Or at least I used to be. I remember keenly interning for a company that accepted me in my last year of college to help with some backend cleanup of their system and assist with basic social media. Fast forward 2 months and I was offered a full time position as an Account Manager. We were a young group so it was no surprise most of us were fresh into the job force, still learning how to be professional, organized and efficient at our jobs. I was switched around in positions during my tenure at the company but I specifically remember being petrified every time my calendar reminder popped up on my Apple lap top screen reminding me of my call with a client or vendor in 15 minutes. What in the world was I supposed to talk about? What if I didn’t know the answer to their questions? All of these terrifying “what ifs” would run through my head each and every time I had a conference call. This phobia stayed with me from that job to my next job where it was even scarier because I was so unfamiliar with the industry. Cyber security. I remember it like yesterday. So many cyber attacks and so little time to demo our product to wiggle our way into helping companies battle hackers. I came in knowing nothing, no job position, just a boss that believed I had what it took to do something useful in the company. I remember applying for the job on Craigslist and thinking nothing of it. When I received the call to come for an interview at a Diner nonetheless, I thought it was a scary scam. I had my boyfriend at the time, now husband, follow me to the interview; that’s how nervous I was. It ended up being legit and I had my next interview with a group of executives, way out of my league, asking me questions about cyber security I hadn’t the slightest idea about. I still got the job. I sat at the front desk and being my usual self, I was intrigued by how intricate a mind had to be to build a product being used by billion dollar companies and government officials. How could a normal human think of such technology? I was bored with the front desk in about …3 days? I decided I was going to soak in any information I could so I could move on up. I started helping the SOC (secure operations center) place and manage orders for enormous clients around the globe. I worked under some who left willingly and unwillingly. It was a wild experience to say the least. One day, the president of the company asked me to put a PowerPoint together for a partner training on the product. We needed to expand more rapidly into other verticals and partner networks could be the key. I put together a PowerPoint for the large training that would happen the next day. 5pm rolls around and I get a call from the president, “great PowerPoint – I won’t be in tomorrow so you’ll do the demo.” My first thought…WHAT? With my pre-existing phone phobia, how could I even think of doing a face to face training? I hadn’t done a presentation since my 30 page business plan in entrepreneurship class 2 years prior. Not to mention, I really wasn’t familiar with the industry still. He insisted I do it even though I tried to back out. I rehearsed that night aloud to myself about 3 times and then reminded myself…JoAnna, you know this stuff. If you don’t, improvise. Yeah, easier said then done. I get to the meeting the next day dressed in my suit to find the CEO with a video camera and tripod – he wanted to video the training! All of the employees also joined the oval conference table. Now, I was sweating. This can’t be real. I paced around while all of the partners took their seats with the agendas and PowerPoint I had printed for them. The room was crowded…really crowded. I started. I definitely stumbled a few times but i reiterated that it was informal and everyone should feel free to jump in at any time. It made it more interactive, less nerve wracking. I made it through my first presentation. It wasn’t in front of a 5000 person crowded but 30 people was large enough to start. I watched myself back on tape and it actually wasn’t that bad – better than I expected. I needed to see the glass half full instead of half empty. I doubted myself because I never felt comfortable besides when I hid behind my emails. I knew I could articulate well in an email but it takes much more to actually talk to someone or a group face to face. Fast forward to my next job and I was faced with a marketing and sales position, constantly talking at ridiculously early or late hours to international customers on the other side of the globe. I was pushed out of my comfort zone again and although when you’re in the situation you don’t necessarily realize the benefits, I look back and perceive that portion of my career crucial in helping me feel comfortable with clients. And now…in my most current position – I will admit, there are still times when I feel a bit uneasy about a presentation or call but I remind myself that there’s a solution to all problems and if the question can’t be answered then, it can be answered later. I’m not the type of person to over prepare for tests or meetings. If I don’t know it, I most likely won’t know it in an hour or a day or two days when I have a call or presentation. Clients and vendors and coworkers are human too – we must not forget that. We strive to be the best but everyone makes mistakes – people accept them as long as you don’t make the same mistake over and over again. In all of this, I feel as though I have come a long way from my call and presentation phobia. I remind myself to just be me, be real. Don’t lie, don’t circle around the truth. I think this has helped me to form better relationships along the way. If I think something will or won’t work for a campaign, I’ll tell you. That’s my duty – take it or leave it but at least I was able to communicate it. I now feel as though I don’t have to hide behind my emails to communicate. I willingly pick up the phone regardless of whether it’s a small question. It’s good to hear voices – it’s good to have verbal conversations where the tone of you and the person on the other end can be determined more effectively than in email. Yes, I still do email constantly but when I look back on how scared I was to have a mere phone conference 4.5 years ago, I just have to giggle at myself. I’ve come a long way and for that I feel proud.

What do you think is the best way to communicate? Phone or email?

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A Bigger Look at the Smaller Picture

When you step back in life and are able to take a snapshot from the outside looking in, it’s amazing the things you’ll learn and see, even to those who truly believe they know everything. Today, I learned something valuable. Today, I learned something not so new, but surprising because it’s something I thought I would never experience. I never envisioned having a child when I was 26, let alone being able to bring on a full time Nanny to do all of the motherly tasks I cannot do while my husband and I work. I never envisioned any of it to be honest. I envisioned myself moving up the corporate ladder until my career peaked, monotony took over and by that point, I would be able to stay home anyways. Life doesn’t always work out with the plans you have in mind. As I was saying, today, I learned something valuable. On Monday, my nanny told me her and her husband would be moving to Fort Lauderdale so next Friday would be her last day since the commute would be too far north for her. I felt sweaty and nervous when she told me the news; who wants to have two weeks to find a replacement for someone caring for their child? I started looking but planned on phone interviewing over the weekend, aka tomorrow. The end of day today came and I walked out of my home office at the usual 5:30pm to see my son beaming with smiles and giggles from ear to ear as soon as he saw me come around the corner. It’s crazy how the little things in life make you so grateful after you see those traits passed on to a child you’ve created. Everything your mom always said was true – we all just never believe it until it’s a reality in our own lives. The nanny, standing in the kitchen, thanks me for the opportunity…I was startled. I said, “wait, you’re coming back until next Friday.” She continued to say no, this Friday. The language barrier confused her with this versus next Friday. Today was her last day, I just wasn’t aware of it. I was upset and flustered but thanked her and said my son would miss her – what else could I do? Beg her to come back next week? She proceeded to walk out of my front door like she had never even watched my son. 6 months of growing, learning, developing since my baby was 5.5 weeks old and not a single tear shed, not one emotional bone in her body. She left like she never existed. It hit me then. A job is just a job. I always knew it was but it took today to make me realize that it’s really just that, a job. I couldn’t be mad at her, how could I be? She wasn’t hired to love him, she was hired to take care of him as her job. All this time, I would tell people, “my nanny loves Luca” but in actuality, she was just doing her job. He loved her because it was all he knew during the week and he’s not developed mentally enough to know that’s not a person to be a “forever” figure in his life. She was good at her job and it was an illusion to me, his mother, that she loved him. It turns out, a not so positive day turned into a valuable lesson in my life. I think all of us do it but don’t realize it. Some more than others, some less. If you walked out of your job tomorrow, would you have regret or be able to move forward without remorse because it was just that, a job?

Cooking Difficulty:  Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of organic, thinly sliced chicken breasts (mine came with 3 breasts)
  • Chopped fresh Thyme (1 tablespoon for chicken seasoning and 1 tablespoon for pot pie seasoning) and for garnish if you want to get fancy
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chopped carrots into thirds
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and chopped into thirds
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 5 white mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 1.5 cups low fat milk
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • Salt, pepper, Adobe all purpose seasoning, red pepper flakes (optional)
  • A LOT OF PATIENCE 🙂

I don’t know why but I was craving chicken pot pie on Monday night after working the entire day…weird, I know.  I just wanted comfort food…something mushy, gooshy, delicious and satisfying. Little did I know what I was getting myself into on a weeknight but hey, it turned out amazing so I’ll let myself slide.  You most likely don’t have a 4 month old screaming baby that interrupts your chopping carrots every 5 minutes…or maybe you do.  In all seriousness, I think the dish may have not been such an ordeal if my baby boy didn’t know that he should cry at the exact time my hands were covered in flower or particles of mushroom.  It’s like they sense you cooking and their internal baby instincts make them cry at the exact moment of you chopping up carrots and shredding chicken.  I think it took me 30 minutes just to shred the chicken.  Of course as his mother, I wash my hands and tend to him on command at every cry but he’s the cutest thing on earth so it’s okay in my book.

I was searching the web for chicken pot pie recipes that were “lighter” than the normal cream and pie crust but couldn’t find any with more than 3 star reviews.  I guess no one has perfected their chicken pot pie on the first 4 pages of Google where I was searching.  Most of the reviews said that the pot pies were bland or runny…ew.  That’s okay…I would for sure give this recipe at least 4.5 stars.  Not because I am biased…because it was really good.  My husband honestly didn’t care for it but his only “love” meal is chicken parm so I can’t really go by his judgement; however, my sister and friend said it was great.  I’ll stand by their review.  I even had the leftovers for dinner the next day and it tasted just as yummy.  It’s not a 1.2.3 quick meal so leave yourself some time to cook this.  All in all, it took me about 2 hours between prep and cook time but I think next time I would do the prep work before hand and have the right ingredients.  I threw this together with fresh mushrooms, fresh carrots and well…I sat and meticulously picked out the corn, green beans and peas from a frozen bag of assorted vegetables because I didn’t have any in the house.  DON’T DO THAT…what in the world was I thinking?  Obviously you will have fresh veggies readily available and not be the crazy lady picking minuscule sized corn out of a jumbo size assorted frozen veggie bag.  PS – don’t mind my grease streaked oven in the pictures I am going to post…not sure what that’s about.  Maybe I need a cleaning lady!

Note:  If your phyllo dough is frozen like mine was, take out of your freezer about 3-4 hours in advance and put in your refrigerator.

Step 1:  Cooking the chicken.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  In a glass baking dish, coat 1 pack of thin chicken breasts (mine came with 3 thin chicken breasts- I use organic) on both sides with a little olive oil, salt, pepper. Chop up about a tablespoon of fresh thyme and 1 tbsp of sage leaves.  Sprinkle the fresh herbs on both sides of the chicken and pat down so everything is adhered to the chicken breasts.  If you prefer pan frying the chicken instead of cooking in the oven, by all means, go ahead.

Bake the chicken for 20-30 minutes until completely cooked.  Once the chicken is cooled a bit, shred the chicken with two forks and set aside.

Step 2:  Chopping your veggies and herbs

While your chicken is cooking, take 2 cups of baby carrots and chop each one into thirds.  Chop up 5 white button mushroom caps (stem removed) into small cube size pieces.  Chop 1/2 of 1 yellow onion into cube size pieces.  If using fresh green beans, chop each green bean into thirds.  Set aside 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup of frozen corn to thaw a bit.  Chop up 1/4 cup of Italian parsley and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme.  Also mince 2 tablespoons of fresh garlic.

Step 3:  Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Once hot, place your carrots in the pan (do not add any seasoning at this point).  The carrots take a while to soften.  Mix every few minutes until the carrots are softened, about 10-15 minutes.  Once you can pierce with a fork without much resistance, add your chopped onion and fresh chopped green beans in with the carrot.  Let these veggies hang out for a few minutes until they are somewhat softened.  Add in your mushroom and your minced garlic.  Mix for 1-2 minutes.

Step 4:  Liquids

In a measuring glass or bowl, pour 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth mixed with 1/3 cup of all purpose flour.  Dissolve the flour into the chicken broth by mixing with a spoon or whisk.

Taking your 1.5 cups of low fat milk, alternate pouring in the chicken broth mixture and the milk, mixing as you go along.  The sauce will begin to thicken over the veggies.

Take your 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with cold water (mix this so that the corn starch is dissolved) and slowly pour into your pan.  Mix and cover the pan on low-medium heat for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally).  The sauce should be getting very thick.  If you don’t like this thick, omit the corn starch mixture.  I like mine not watery at all so I prefer to make it as thick as possible.  Here is where you season this baby up and I used A LOT of seasoning.  I kept tasting it and finding it way too bland.  Add in salt, pepper, Adobe All Purpose Seasoning to your liking (a good amount of it) and because I’m weird, I added in red pepper flakes to kick this up a notch.

At this point after you have seasoned and are happy with the flavor, gently stir in your shredded chicken, peas, corn, chopped parsley and fresh thyme.  Stir to incorporate.

I used ramekins for cooking individual pot pies but you could use a larger dish if you like.

Take the veggie and chicken mixture and spoon into your ramekins – I had 5 oval ramekins filled to the top.

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Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the microwave in a bowl.  In another bowl, crack and whisk 1 egg mixed with 1 tsp of water.

Next, open your phyllo dough package and cut the sheets in half.   Take a sheet of the dough and place over the ramekin.  Using a cooking brush, brush a light layer of butter over the top of the sheet.  Fold in the edges so that nothing is hanging over the sides.  Continue to put another layer of phyllo dough on top of the first, brushing with butter.  Fold in the edges.   Do this with a 3rd sheet of phyllo except do not brush the top of this one with butter.  Once you cover all ramekins with the 3 sheets of dough, use your brush to top each last sheet of phyllo on the tops of the ramekins with a light layer of egg wash.  This will ensure your pot pies comes out nice and crispy.

Last but not least, cut a small slit in your pot pies so steam can escape while in the oven.

Stick your pot pies in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown (I put mine on a baking sheet in case anything oozed over while baking…which is did).  WARNING:  these were seriously so hot when I took them out of the oven – I suggest waiting a few minutes before trying to put any of this deliciousness into your mouth.

Bon Appetit!

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Hiatus Adjourned

Well, hello there!  Okay, I can’t really call my leave of absence a “hiatus” since I technically disappeared off of the face of the earth; however, I must say that I missed the blogging world and I am hopefully back for good.  If you look at my page, it looks like I was 4 months pregnant and life as we know it ended after that (not really, but you get the picture).  It is actually the TOTAL opposite.  To sum it all up without boring you to tears, basically, my fiance’ and I got married with a small group of family and friends when I was 5 months pregnant.   After that, we vigorously house hunted for what seemed to be an eternity of getting our hopes and dreams up – kind of worse than buying a car.  I never really believed in the saying “good things come to those who wait,” but hey, we ended up getting a not so dreamy house in a beautiful gated neighborhood and were blessed enough to be able to redo the entire house.  Mind you, the ENTIRE renovation happened in a 30 day period.  As you can see, I am still pretty shocked about this myself – I have to give props to my manly man husband for taking the initiative while my fat pregnant self stuffed my face with a gallon of ice cream a night on the couch in our old townhouse while he rented machines to knock down walls, rip of carpet, demo the entire kitchen, etc.  I seriously thought we would have the baby without a house or at least without a working house…but oh my gosh was I wrong!  My hub had made a reno list (picture below) and he stuck to his guns and made the magic happen.  The only thing not functioning when we moved in was the dishwasher but really, who can complain when the entire rest of the house was completely renovated and gorgeous?  I was the commander in my old house – I kind of felt like Ms. Trunchbull from Matilda calling the orders from my home away from home while my husband slaved away.  I guess that is a perk of being pregnant 🙂

In the midst of getting married, renovating and being pregnant, I was still working full time until I was 39 weeks pregnant.  I was lucky enough to be able to work from home which helped a lot at the very end.  I told myself on Thursday, July 10th, that that Friday, July 11th would be my last official day working.  I wanted to have the weekend off and the next four days before my due date on July 15th to just relax before our son came.  Well..he had other plans.  Sure enough, that Thursday 9am, my water broke and we were rushing like maniacs down to the hospital (which mind you…was still near our old house 40 minutes south—during RUSH HOUR).  I thought my husband was going to drive on the side of the highway…you know, in the lane that’s not really the lane…Anyhow, we made it there – I was started on petocin and told I wouldn’t have the baby until the next day because I was only 1cm dialted at 12pm.  I got my epidural at 2:30pm and the nurse had never checked me since I got there – she said it can cause infection after your water breaks.  Two minutes after my epidural I felt like I needed to push and the nurse said I was 10 cm dialted.  Another long story short, my epidural never worked because I had to push two minutes later since I was 10cm (probably the entire time).  It was a horrible experience to say the VERY least; however, our little Luca Alexander was born 7lbs, 19.25 inches on July 10th and he was sooooo freakin adorable.  I couldn’t stop staring at him.  How did we make this little create with these huge blue/gray eyes, cutest little nose and adorable little face?

This is already getting long and I promised it wouldn’t so I will just say motherhood is the best thing EVER.  If you have a shitty day, you just take one look at your child and it makes it all go away.  Their laugher is infectious; their smiles are contagious.  It’s all so fun.  That being said, I am SO not ready for another any time in the near or far future, but for now, we will enjoy our little Luca Bean and live happily ever after 🙂

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Baby FloJo – Week 16

Hello 4 months 😍

This week we played war of the names. My fiancé is thoroughly convinced we are part of the Italian Mob and in some fantasy dream life our kids are named Luciano and Santini (Lucky and Sunny for short). Haha. That didn’t go over too well with me – I’m jewish, he’s half Venezuelan – can’t name our poor kid Luciano lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love the name, just not for our son. We are still in the debating phase so I’ll post a final name choice later on! I’ve realized after telling twenty different people our name choices and getting twenty different people’s opinions, I don’t care what people think (sorry guys). You just know in your heart what you can picture calling your kid and that’s just what you stick with. People can tell you the name you’re thinking about reminds them of an ugly obese baboon and you’ll just brush it off like they said it reminds you of a vase of beautiful roses. Don’t ask people’s opinions – just discuss between you and your husband and go with it! You’re going to be the one calling him or her that for the rest of your lives, not the other people who have opinions about it.

In other news, we began our search for baby furniture! I felt a bit psycho looking this early but when I found the right set, I totally felt better about my premature decision to shop. We searched online a lot but didn’t feel comfortable ordering expensive furniture without seeing it in person. I found a place in Boca called Prince and Princesses, which carried the furniture I originally wanted called Brat Decor. Thank goodnessssss I waited to go see it and didn’t order online! It looked nothing like the pictures online and was super expensive. As I looked around, I fell in love with another brand called Romina. The furniture is made in Romania with all organic glues, etc. Everything they make is gorgeous and so sturdy. The drawers are self closing on tracks, which we absolutely loved. I had my fiancé come back the next day with my Grandma and mom to take a look and we all decided it was the one. We wanted to get something we could keep for a long time and not just for a few years. The crib is convertible into a full size bed when the time comes. My grandma and parents were awesome enough to get us the furniture for baby FloJo and we are super excited! It does take 4 months to get here, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. We need to find a house first anyways, so the timing is perfect for us. I suggest looking earlier rather than later if you want any made to order furniture because 4-6 months is a pretty long time!

Other than that, I have to admit the second I found out it was a boy, my credit cards have been yelling at me to stop spending money on clothes! I seriously went insane guys. The day after we found out, his stepmom took me to Sawgrass mall where we did a quick 45 minute sweep and bought about 20 outfits – Quickest shopping spree I’ve ever experienced. That’s when it happened…my love for baby clothes sank in and I just went totally and utterly insane. By the next day, I was already at Old Navy, Gap, TJ Max, polo online (still waiting for my package of about 10 more outfits from there). I’ve posted just two pictures below of the huge wardrobe this kid already has. My worst fear is going to the doctor for the real ultrasound on the 24th and the nurse saying, “congrats, it’s a girl.” Ahhh okay no more negative thinking. It’s a boy, we saw it’s thing on the ultrasound…crossing my fingers haha – I think all of the clothes had a 30 day exchange policy even – oh well – all I care about is that the baby’s healthy and happy!

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Baby FloJo – Week 15

How is it already week 15? I’m almost 4 months Preggo already? Strange feeling when you don’t feel anything or any different for that matter. Well…nothing’s really changed since last week other than I feel more relaxed, calmer, maybe even happier. Genetic tests, down syndrome… blah all of that gives off bad vibes. Now I just feel back to my normal OCD self, looking at Buy Buy baby every 10 minutes and reminding myself I have no clue what half of the contraptions on there are even for. It’s pretty scary lol – I probably should educate myself. But really, a 35 pound stroller or car seat or whatever I was looking at? This thoroughly convinced me I need to get on my House Hunters game before I get stuck carrying a 35 pound car seat with a one pound peanut sized newborn baby up 3 flights of steps in my house. I can’t even carry groceries up, so let’s get serious here – not happening! I didn’t gain any weight last week when I went to the doctors and people tell me I don’t look pregnant, but I’m def getting chunky. My doctor said you can lose your hips and just your stomach starts growing to make room for the baby – psh, well see what happens. The doctor forewarned us that men get Preggo too while their wives are pregnant…I’m starting to see the truth in this statement lol.

Preggo probz this week – TMI sorry peeps, but you’ll thank me one day when you’re knocked up. I work in Hollywood BFE in a suntrust building on the second floor. Well, today at around 1pm, the entire buildings water system decided to stop working and hence, an out of order sign was put on the bathrooms. Like come on? Every floors bathrooms are out of order for 4 hours? Being Preggo makes you a thirsty wildabeast, not even exaggerating. I wake up gasping for water, make my fiancé go downstairs to get me a bottle and chug the whole thing like I’ve lived in the Amazon rainforest for years without a drink. Okay, maybe a bit exaggerated, but you get the point.

My doctor told me not to be a nut and just wait until 20 weeks to get the anatomy ultrasound done, but I decided at work today I’m way too impatient for that. A guy I work with told me about a place that does Ultrasounds, so I am going on Saturday to see if we can find out if it’s a boy or girl! Sooo excited 🙂

Update: We ended up choosing a different place called 4d picture perfect in Fort Laud for the gender ultrasound. I usually don’t highly recommend places, but the people here were AWESOME. 8 people are allowed in the room with you and there’s a big screen on the wall for everyone to watch up close. We invited our moms and they were super excited. The tech was so funny; she noticed within a minute that there was a ding dong smack in the middle of our baby’s legs, spread eagle, baby had no shame. Determined: baby FloJo is a boy! Danny was so excited that he started calling people in the middle of the ultrasound – I started screaming at him of course, but seriously we are really happy. He told me he did voodoo on my body last night before bed to make sure it was a boy today (real normal lol). I’m so excited I know and can start my registry! I still don’t feel pregnant but whatevs, making the best of it and still taking advantage of my skin tight clothes while I can 🙂

The place gives you ample time to get close and personal with your little peanut on the screen and they do a sneak peak of the 4d – caution: your baby will look like an alien at this point – I was kind of scared to be honest lol. They also give you a CD with all of the pictures and then you get to choose two to print out right there. Overall great experience and I highly recommend. I’m going to go back for the 4d ultrasound later on.

We wanted to keep the gender a secret to the social media world but that idea quickly went out the window when every person we know posted about it. I still wanted to have a cute reveal pic for the scrap book we are making (with all of the weekly chalkboard updates), so we got a huge 30in box (mind you a box costs $25? Since when?). We painted a black heart and then wrote “it’s a …?” At first we tried to have the helium balloons fly out on their own from the box, but omg harder than it looks. We ended up taking clear lanyard and tying all of the balloons with the string, then taping each one in the box. I think it came out cute for a last minute DIY project!

How far along? 15 Weeks, 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: not sure from the last doc visit till now

Maternity clothes? Nope, still in my regulars

Sleep:  no Bueno

Best moment this week:   find out we are having a boy and seeing the look on Danny’s face

Miss Anything? Still sleeping – I wake up at 7 on the weekends now 😔

Movement: Not yet

Food cravings: Girl scout cookies

Anything making you queasy or sick: I don’t want Mexican sushi rolls anymore 😬 ugh

Have you started to show yet: Still not a round belly, but maybe a little more than before

Gender prediction: Boy

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? In

Happy or Moody most of the time: Less moody, more of the happy

Looking forward to:  Creating the baby registry and shopping!

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us discombobulated, Surprise surprise lol Danny doesn’t like art projects that take more than 30 seconds max 20140125-234720.jpg

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the Grannies, so excited it’s a boy! 20140125-234737.jpg

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Baby FloJo – Week 14

This week was definitely different than the last 13.  I wake up for work at 7am, shower, get ready and by 7:45am I am seriously STARVING.  I never used to eat breakfast before I found out I was pregnant, but obviously since I did I started incorporating it into my daily routine at work.  My stomach literally growls out loud on my drive to work.  I am bringing so many little foods and finger foods to work, my co-workers probably think I’m insane (not literally, they’ve known since the first day I found out lol – had to tell them).  My packing usually consists of a banana or strawberries, a tangerine, a blueberry muffin, a fiber bar, salad with cut up buffalo chicken fingers for lunch (my new obsession since you can’t have cold cuts), and pretzels or some other snack (and can’t leave out that our Office manager buys Reeces Peanut butter cups just for me – it’s my new daily obsession after I eat lunch).  Then I get to work and half of the time end up ordering lunch out anyways – plagues of working in an office near really good food.  I feel like I already ate a lot before (my fiance’ can vouch for me on this one), but now I feel like I am definitely eating more (and I stay hungry!)  I got my 2nd sushi craving this week (Mexican roll, minus the fish eggs ew).   – hope I didn’t defy any preggo foodie laws by eating shrimp twice.  I drank decaf a few times last week too (coffee for the first time in 9 weeks I think?) – I think it made me more tired than having nothing.  My work days are starting to feel longer and longer and longer.  I started getting this weird pain in my lower back, by my kidney.  I have no idea what it is but it kind of went away two days later.  Best is yet to come – I started using Palmers body butter stretch mark cream and a new pre-natal vitamin 5 days ago.  Two days later I started getting really really itchy.  I told my fiance’ and of course guys don’t believe anything – “You can’t be allergic to either of those.”  I was so itchy that I couldn’t sleep (on my stomach, sides of legs, the under side of my arms).  I woke up with little bumps that were super itchy the next day.  I called my doctor’s office and left a message for the nurse.  My doctor called me back (not the nurse, kind of a pleasant surprise) and he said that if it doesn’t go away, it could be this thing called PUPPP.  I don’t even feel like explaining it because it has the dumbest name and acronym ever, but it’s basically a rash that you can get while pregnant that comes and goes as it pleases.  I stopped taking the new pre-natals and stopped putting on the body butter.  It seems like it’s starting to go away (I hope?)  Great news is, for all of you non-preggos and for my next kid – I + you will already know every single thing that can possibly go wrong, be wrong, seem wrong…UGH!

I also filled out the Chinese Calendar and the prediction was a boy!  I know everyone says those things are a crock of s***, so we will have to see 🙂  My friend did the ring trick when I found out and it said boy also…Stay tuned!  I am going to bribe my doctor on Monday when I go to see if I can get an ultrasound – if not, I am definitely going to an ultra sound place.  My fiance’ and I are impatient lol – and plus, shopping is my obsession.

UPDATE:  Went to the doc today (1-20-14), got the good news that the blood results showed Danny wasn’t a carrier, which I posted more about in my last post.  At the doc’s office, he used the doppler to hear the baby’s heart beat.  After a whole minute, I didn’t hear anything – of course my anxiety kicked in and I started freaking out to the doctor, asking WTF can’t we hear the heartbeat?  He said sometimes it takes 5 minutes to find it. Danny started video taping and the doctor finally found the heart beat (the doctor laughed and told Danny to take of my priceless pale, nervous face)…Thank god I have the calmest, old school doctor… ever.  Who needs all of the modern gadgets anywayssssss? – I just need someone who can deal with me lol (not easy).

How far along? 14 Weeks, 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: 2 lbs, none from the last visit (110 –> 112lbs in total)

Maternity clothes? Nope, still in my regulars

Sleep:  it’s actually been cooler outside and we’ve been sleeping with the windows open, so a teeny bit better overall!

Best moment this week:  my girlfriends knowing that every Tuesday starts a new week in the preggo world for me…persistently asking for an updated belly pic each week haha 🙂

Miss Anything? Sleeping lol, still turkey sandwiches, now Brie and goat cheese!

Movement: Not yet

Food cravings: Mexican sushi rolls

Anything making you queasy or sick: not really right now

Have you started to show yet: Definitely more than before

Gender prediction: Boy

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? In

Happy or Moody most of the time: Now that I feel relieved, I think I can start being happy!

Looking forward to:  Feb 24th when we find out if the little peanut is a boy or girl!

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But really, preggo or not preggo, who could resist this delishesness?? 🙂

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Baby FloJo Week 13

This week was a scary week for us. Remember the 17 viles of blood I got taken? Well, I was working from home on a conference call with one of my clients when I saw the doctors number start to beep in on my phone. As we all know, they only call if something’s wrong…I couldn’t switch over in the middle of an important call, so I managed to make it through, slighting trembling wondering what kind of voice mail I was about to indulge in. The doctor left me a message saying they had gotten the blood results back right after I left the ultrasound the day before and I am a carrier for Gaucher’s Disease. Who in the world even knows what that is, besides nurses and doctors? I couldn’t really even hear the name correctly on the voicemail. This was the one out of 7 specific Jewish related genetic tests that I came back as a carrier for.

I called the doctor back and he explained that this disease is something in the Ashkenazi line of Jewish ancestors only…never knew I was that either. He said I probably would’ve went my whole life not knowing I even was a carrier if it wasn’t for this specific genetic testing we opted in for. Being a carrier doesn’t mean you have the disease. It just means you have the gene inside of you that can be passed down to offspring, but only if your spouse has that gene as well. My fiancé needed to go get tested ASAP since the results take a long time to come back for genetic testing. I cried, sobbed, and cried some more. Why me? I started asking my parents questions, who had never even heard of this gene either. My fiancé is half Jewish so we prayed that his blood work would come back that he is not a carrier of this gene. If only I have the gene and my fiancé doesn’t, there is no chance our baby could have the disease. If he does, there is a 25% chance our baby could have a type of the disease. After researching it, that number doesn’t sit well with me. Gaucher’s disease has to do with your spleen and enzymes – you bruise very easily, anemic, etc. and there are two types were your life is decreased dramatically.

UPDATE:  We went to the doc today (1-20-14) and they said they STILL didn’t have the blood test results from the lab (almost 2 weeks later).  Danny and I were furious and told them we really need to know our options to make a decision, if something was wrong.  They do further testing on the baby if both parents have the gene, but I didn’t want to go that route if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.  We expressed our concern to the nurse, who said she would call again down to the lab to see what the issue is.  Genetic testing does take longer, but come on, 2 weeks is a bit absurd.   We were talking to the doctor and she interrupted saying “I called the lab and it came back that he does not have any mutation of the gene 🙂 ”

We felt really relieved!  Our baby still has a chance of being a carrier of the gene, but will not have the disease.  Whew, one less obstacle checked off in our books!

How far along? 13 Weeks, 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: not sure, my scales broke in the house 😦
Maternity clothes? Nope, still in my regular clothes
Sleep: HORRRIBLE – cannot even explain how bad I sleep and how horrible my nightmares are – waking up at 7am for work never seemed so hard
Best moment this week: finding out the blood results
Miss Anything? Every kind of cheese I can’t have – brie, feta, goat cheese
Movement: I could’ve sworn when I was driving home the other day from work I felt something weird, but then I wasn’t sure lol
Food cravings: sushi x 100, I caved and got a shrimp tempura Mexican roll – I think I just wanted to taste wasabi
Anything making you queasy or sick: all raw meat is kind of grossing me out right now
Have you started to show yet: My friend finally said she could see something – not sure what lol
Gender prediction: Boy, the ring test said it was haha
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Happy or Moody most of the time: I watched the movie Deep Impact downstairs by myself and literally started HYSTERICALLY crying – I couldn’t stop lol – def think I am a bit emotional
Looking forward to:  Our next doctor’s appt to see if we can find out the sex!

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Baby FloJo Week 12

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Getting  a late start on posting, but late is better then never, right? :]

Up until now, Baby FloJo has showed no signs of being in my tummy.  At first I was so confused – there had to be something wrong, why can’t I feel a human growing inside of me?  I was reassured by the doctor after 3 times after telling him I wasn’t pregnant, that it was perfectly fine not to feel anything and to take it as a blessing.  I am starting to accept that I have been super lucky – I work 45 – an hour away from my house and sometimes 50+ hours a week. How in the world do these women go to work sick like that?  Ugh, saying my blessings!

Anyhoo, I wanted to give a recap up until now so I don’t forget as time goes on!

Weeks 1-4:  Had no clue I was preggo!

Week 5, 6 days:  Went to the doctor where I found out my blood results – def pregnant!  I wasn’t sure what to think at this point.  I was scared, alone in the doctor’s office (I already have anxiety of going to the doc in the first place).   My fiance’ was working.  I had a random lady give me an ultrasound because I told my gyno I didn’t feel anything.  She showed me the heart beat fluttering on the ultrasound screen.  I wasn’t sure if that made me excited or even more nervous.

Week 7:  I switched doctor’s to one that came highly recommended and loved my first appt with him!  The nurses were so great also.  We got to hear the heartbeat again!

Week 8-11:  It’s scary not to feel anything and when your doctor’s appointments are far apart; it makes you wonder even more if everything is going okay in there.  I tried downloading an app to hear the baby’s heart beat and my fiance’ yelled at me not to put my phone near my stomach lol…didn’t work out too well.  At week 10, the doctor used a doppler device on the outside of my stomach to hear the baby’s heart beat – it was a rush, it sounded so loud!  It reassured me something was in there, but I wasn’t convinced until week 12, which leads me to where I am now.

Yesterday, January 6th is when we had our first real ultrasound to test for Down Syndrome.  We opted in for this, but not everyone does.

The ultra sound tech uses an ultrasound to measure the skin on the baby’s neck, taking photographs as she goes along.  The results to this test aren’t back for another 4 weeks, when coupled with the blood test I took yesterday and another one at my next appt.  Last week, I also had to get 17 viles of blood taken…yup, 17.  I thought I was going to faint looking at the nurse count them out with the different colors – I think it was 10 purple and then 7 multi-colored tubes.   By the 13th one, I was asking her to hurry up and that my arm was killing me, not fun 😦

Anyways, back to yesterday.  Even though it was a screening, it was the first time we got to see our little babe!  If I had to describe it, I would say “awe-struck.”  My fiance’ was even more in awe than I was.  It was an actual baby!  You could see his/her body, arms, legs.  The baby was moving its arms and legs…it was a crazy experience to say the least.  I am now thoroughly convinced there is something inside of me.

I got the below idea from an awesome preggo chalk-boarder:  I loved her blog so much and her chalkboard week by week drawings, so I decided to do my own.   http://littlebabygarvin.blogspot.com/

I am using regular thin Crayola chalk and pastel chalk to draw all of the designs on the board!

If your chalk doesn’t seem to be coming out dark, try dampening the tips for a few minutes in a wet paper towel.

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How far along? 12 Weeks, 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: 2 lbs (from 110 to 112)
Maternity clothes? Still fitting in my regular clothes, but some feel tight – I think they were honestly tight before lol 😦
Sleep: I usually sleep so good, but not anymore.  Lately, I can’t sleep – I wake up tossing and turning then sit there until my alarm goes off at 7:10am – it’s horrible 😦  definitely looking for natural remedies, even though I already use the Lavender pillow mist every night.  You have the craziest, most vivid dreams when your pregnant!
Best moment this week: Our 12 week ultrasound, getting to final see the baby – it has a shape now 🙂
Have you told family and friends:  We just announced it to the FB/IG world yesterday!  We had told family and close friends before now
Miss Anything? Seriously, all I want is a turkey sandwich right now, maybe some ahi tuna with wasabi and soy sauce, which you can’t have
Movement: Not yet
Food cravings: Not really craving anything in particular, just the things I miss eating and can’t eat
Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of Danny’s cooked steak after he brings it upstairs from the BBQ – I want it no where near my chicken
Have you started to show yet: No, just looks like I ate too many slices of pizza
Gender prediction: Boy
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Happy or Moody most of the time: Well if you ask my fiance’ this question, I know the answer will be mean and moody lol
Looking forward to:  Getting to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl!  …then shopping online lol

IMG_3485 = Baby FloJo (1-6-13)