Saturday, May 29, 2010

the librarian

so i had to quit my job when we moved to colorado. i figured this would provide me a perfect chance to finally get started on a freelance PR career [something i've always hoped to do] and then just work from home after i have the baby...a good plan, albeit one that caused a few days of panic when i realized i no longer have a steady paycheck coming in.

BUT things have been going great and i have a few projects / clients lined up and it's enough to keep me busy. however...let's be honest, i'm still going a little crazy. freelance = work from home. b works from an office like a regular person. i know not a single soul in this town, so aside from virtual correspondence and waiting for b to get home every night, i've been getting a liiiittle stir crazy being by myself all day. daily trips to target can only get you so far.

one night i was on the verge of tears [okay, or past that point...dang hormones] talking about how i'm now facing a life of being stuck at home forever and b suggested i find some volunteer work to get me out of the house. brilliant! why didn't i think of that? so i researched some local options and decided to submit a volunteer application at our new library. we've already been there a few times and it seemed like a decent-enough job.

yesterday i had my first volunteer training. i learned all sorts of cool stuff about how the library runs, sorted through childrens' books, reshelved things, and felt like a nine-year-old when my supervisor had to approve my alphabetical sorting of DVDs. yes, thank you, i know my ABCs. i even graduated from college, did you know? [i guess they get a lot of high school students as volunteers, so they can never be too sure of one's capabilities.]

overall it was actually really fun. [am i major nerd for admitting that?] i'll only be volunteering a couple hours a week, and it felt nice to get out of the house and meet new people. my supervisor even said i can bring baby dub if i feel like coming back after he's born -- ha! they DO have story time for babies, so who knows.

it was cool to see how everything works and i am SO utilizing the lib when i have children. i love books. and DVDS...and CDs...and a whole shelf of dinosaur books. they have everything there! did you know? ask me and i'll be happy to tell you. i work on wednesdays from 10 a.m. - noon. :)

happy weekend.

denver got its first pinkberry a few days ago! i'll admit it's not my #1 fave dessert of all time [hello, it's not a cookie] but i do love me a good trip to PB...and we hadn't been since moving from LA a year ago.

yesterday b called me at 1 p.m. to tell me he got off early for the long weekend! woo hoo. i picked him up from work and we went to pinkberry to kick off the weekend. it was SO delicious and SO nice to have a little taste of home.

we had to wait in line for 20 minutes to get in [the workers were a little sloooow] and listen to all the denver-ites talk about how this food is the "celebrity craze" and "straight from LA." uh, isn't it from nyc too? and maybe it was the celeb craze back in like 2006. haha.

but it was SO worth it. and i must say i was quite impressed with some of the latest pinkberry changes. new flavors? cones? ONE charge for toppings, no matter how many you get, as long as they fit in the cup? and everything is cheaper in likey.

such a fun way to jumpstart a finally-WARM holiday weekend. hope you have a good one too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

baby prep

so, i always told myself i wouldn't become a "mommy blogger" and just write baby stuff all the time, because for those couple years when i was married & childless, i felt sort of distanced and left out by friends who did offense ;) BUT. my life is rapidly turning into all-about-baby so i guess i should share some of that.

last weekend we took a childbirth prep class at our swanky new hospital. i think it was a bit of an eye-opener for b [he grabbed one of those birthing info brochures when we got there and leafed through it intently, asking questions and showing me various pictures and saying "whoa"], but i really liked it. sure a couple of the videos made my heart rate rise, but overall i liked talking through all this stuff i've been reading about for 8 months and being able to ask questions etc.

we also got to tour the birthing center, which made me feel really good. especially since we just moved here, i didn't quite know what to expect at the hospital and whatnot...but the tour definitely helped me visualize where i'll be and what will happen.

the best part was when we hung out by the nursery window for a bit and watched a nurse give a tiny baby her first sponge bath. all i could think about was jurassic park when they go to the dino nursery and watch a raptor egg hatch...and two seconds later another guy in our group said "this is just like jurassic park!" yesssss. i am not the only crazy JP-obsessed person :)

and i guess i've started nesting, because yesterday i went through our designated baby closet and started organizing all baby dub's clothes, toys, etc. he has a LOT of really cute stuff and i can't wait to dress him up. shoot, even patterned onesies make me excited these days.

then, last night we went to babies r us to buy up the rest of the stuff we needed from our registry. due to the move and whatnot we had a ton of gift cards to use on things that we hadn't wanted to buy & lug all the way from utah, so it was like christmas morning. i am SO ready for this baby now. he has a car seat! and a stroller! and a boppy! what more could a baby ever need?

we also ran into another couple from our birthing class while there, who promptly asked b if he was there to buy a sharpie to label our baby [one of b's questions during class was whether he could mark the baby so the nurses didn't mix him up...yeah, he was def the class clown even when it came to birthing stuff]. no, the sharpie was not on our registry, thanks.

i've been reading tons of pregnancy / baby books and online articles, basically since before i got pregnant, and now i'm starting to flip back through some of them for a refresher. my favorites so far have been baby wise, the super nanny baby book and of course what to expect when you're expecting. i just got happiest baby on the block from the library this week so i'm thrilled to learn about the 5 s's or whatever propaganda that book teaches.

and there you have it. the wells are getting ready for this baby! now if only we could come up with a middle name....

Friday, May 21, 2010

brunch shower

so last weekend i flew home for a baby shower in california. i had requested a brunch shower because breakfast foods are one of my biggest cravings these days and boy the ladies in the kitchen did not disappoint! check it:

first of all, a note on my appearance. yes my hair is purple now, and no i didn't wear the purple shirt on purpose. [although maybe it works...? like on 30 rock when jack says "she was wearing red underwear & you'd think it would clash with her red hair, but it DIDN'T!" haha. maybe not, in my case.]

and i didn't really notice how huge i've gotten until i saw these pictures. if you have comments on my current state please keep them to yourself and don't spout them off like my grandmother, who said on the morning of the shower, "you know, i don't really mind your face filled out like that." ha. um, thanks? is my grandmother turning into lucille bluth? yes.

anyway, it was so fun to see everyone -- lots of my mom's friends from church [who i've known since i was tiny] came, and a bunch of MY friends made the long trek to rancho to be there too! i think roxanne wins for longest drive, all the way from san diego...i loved having her there. our lives have been parallel for a long time [met in the BYU newsroom, interned for the same agency in NYC, both ended up in california doing PR] but i think now we are separating a little because i had to go and have this baby. sorry for making you listen to all the mommy talk, roxy :)

my bff niki [and little mia!] came out from pasadena:

and two friends i've sort of grown up with, karly and mollie [of mollie jane photography, our lovely photo shoot a while back] were both there. they are both preg too -- karly is due two weeks before me with a girl, and mollie is due in the fall with a boy! it was so fun comparing notes with them and catching up.

i don't have a picture of this one [DANG it!] but tracy came too. she used to be my boss in LA but i guess since i don't work for her anymore she is just my friend now :) tracy is preg with baby boy #2 and it was SO so good to see her and her little bump. so instead of a recent pic, you get one of me, tracy and coop from my last day at GH:

i swear, 2010 is seriously the year of the baby. just about everyone i know has had / is having a baby this year. and if they're not having a baby, they're doing something else that starts with a D and is really sad. so i hope all you readers are having babies and not getting the latter :)

and, my grammie came all the way out from arizona just to be at my shower. it was great to have her there [in spite of the aforementioned comment ;) ]:

baby wells got totally hooked up and i can't wait to dress him in all his new clothes. thank you so much to everyone who came to the shower!! now we just have to wait six more weeks to meet the little guy...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

coconut mango sticky rice

[good closeup of our lovely timeshare-style cookware...]

on our honeymoon we ate at a little thai place outside of honolulu and for dessert we had coconut mango sticky rice. i'm pretty sure that was the first time i had had that specific dish and i loooooved it.

since then we've ordered it just about every time we go out for thai food [delish for the tastebuds, not so great for the waistline]. i think my favorite version is the one at saladang song in pasadena...oh how we miss you, pasadena. but anyway.

yesterday i was browsing some food blogs [tangent: I NEED RECIPES. this whole being-away-for-three-months has created some interesting issues, namely that i don't feel like stocking up on a bunch of random ingredients -- which i'm used to having on hand, but left behind in utah -- just to use a little and then cart them all back home and have two of everything. not to mention i'm without some staple cookware items like a crock pot, blender, etc. SO, if you have any recipes that don't use many ingredients and are easy to make, i'd love to hear about them] and came across this recipe for diy coconut mango sticky rice.

i've never attempted to make it on my own but this looked too easy, so i went for it. i made it in the afternoon before b got home and i was so so excited all day about what he would think. i was expecting fireworks, raving tastebuds and a definite 10+ rating. i showed him the surprise when he got home and he did seem we ate dinner and went to the gym, savoring the anticipation of our special dessert.

we finally brought them out when modern family started and i must say, in my opinion, it was super tasty. some of the versions we've had are literally drowning in coconut milk, and this one was a little dryer which was perfect for my taste. b took a few bites and wasn't saying anything [which is odd because when he LOVES something he tells me on the first bite] so i asked how it was.

his reply: "it's fine. needs more sauce."

boo. how anticlimactic. guess i need to find more fattening recipes before i spend a whole day getting excited over b's imaginary reaction.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

where's my home again?

just got back from a five-day trip to california. when i left colorado it looked like this...

so i was really excited to land in a world that looked more like this:

...which promptly turned into gloomy mornings and drizzly days. i guess the crap weather is just following ME around because i hear it's been beautiful since we left utah, and colorado was nice while i was gone [cloudy again when i landed]. oy.

but i had fun. got to hang out with this little one, who is high-maintenance enough to make me think i got a tiny taste of parenting with her this weekend:

my dad asked me on the way home from the airport if it felt weird to be back home in CA...i said no, nowhere feels like home at the moment really because i've now been in three different "home" states in just two weeks. haha. i am a gypsy and that's all there is to it.

more updates to come soon, including a lovely baby shower, finding some work and my newly purple hair [?]...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

moving in

in case you're just joining the saga now, here's a little recap. we're in denver for only three and a half months so b can do his summer internship. said company so far is fantastic and gives us all the processed food we can handle. they also put us up in lovely furnished housing for our stay, so all we had to bring with us basically were our clothes and all the baby crap. that makes moving in a lot easier, in case you were wondering.

b didn't start work until yesterday, so we spent last week enjoying a little vacation. we're not taking a "babymoon," per se, as anticipated...the whole new car / move / expensive baby thing screwed that up. for now, anyway. but we're still living it up these last few months of non-baby so i'm not feeling too sad about it. and our first week in denver is just part of that. we slept in, went shopping, saw iron man 2, ate out, read books, etc.

last friday we went to the denver temple, which is just a few miles from our apartment. the temple is also just another few miles from columbine high school, so we went there too. is that morbid of me that i wanted to see it? i remember being really riveted to all the tv coverage of that whole thing. it's still a functioning high school but it has a rebuilt library. school was getting out as we drove by, which made it a little more surreal.

rebuilt library below...other than that, i recognized the rest of the school from news coverage:

oh, and i also got my TOMS last week. they are comfy and i love them. even though i can barely see my feet these days.

so anyway. this is where we live:

there's a clubhouse here that gives FREE cookies. i love it. they also have a nice pool, workout room, free tanning beds [which i refuse to use, but i guess they're nice to have], sand volleyball court, and massage chairs. that's b's favorite part.

my favorite part is the free gym, because i froze my 24 hour membership a while back. nice to work out without feeling like a fugitive :)

and now onto the apartment. feel free to scroll through...these are mostly for my fam, who have been demanding photos.

so, this place is by far the nicest apartment we've lived in -- it has a fireplace! -- which isn't saying much, i guess. after living either in LA or on a student budget for the past four years, we have always tried to be a little frugal in our choice of housing. that is, unless someone else is paying for it :)

here's a little tour. as mentioned, all the furniture, decorations, etc. have been provided for us. that includes everything in the kitchen [we have exactly four of everything...four place settings, four glasses, four spoons, etc.] and all of our linens, which are sterile white. most of the time i feel like we are on vacation in a timeshare.

front room:

dining room, again with room for only four. this is where i spend most of my days as a newly self-employed woman:


oh, hello. i am super pregnant:

bathroom -- note the all-white towels, shower curtain, etc. and welcome to my hotel-style life:

bedroom, which also features a giant walk-in closet [i think that space will become baby wells' bedroom] and a tv. i've never had a tv in my room before. we've only used it twice.

maybe this is the longest post ever. oh well. hope you enjoyed the little tour.

and in case you need more incentive to come visit us than the free tanning beds, keep in mind that we literally live down the street from that fantastic super target and all the shopping / restaurants you could ever imagine [except trader joe's or h&m, sadly]. there is also this fantastic mall that i think might overtake south coast plaza as my new favorite mall on the planet. i guess i have plenty to keep me busy because for now work certainly isn't doing it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

mother's day eve

tomorrow is mother's day [i think b is planning something, because he keeps asking if i'm excited for it and i quickly remind him i am NOT a mother just yet and don't deserve to celebrate anything except roundhouse kicks to the ribs] and of course this year i feel a lot more in tune to all the mommy tributes floating around out there. also we don't have DVR in our new place, so i've been forced to actually watch commercials -- there are tons of mother's day ones on all the time, including a zales diamonds one with a mother holding her newborn baby that gets me every time.

but i digress.

if i could describe the hallmark of each trimester of being pregnant, it would go like this:
1st trimester: tired and siiiick
2nd trimester: energy and appetite BACK! yay! plus a noticeable baby bump!
3rd trimester: anxiety up the wazoo

i think i am naturally prone to being a little anxious and nervous, but holy cow. anxiety has hit me like a ton of bricks in the past month or so, more than ever before.

there was one week in april where everywhere i went i heard stories of stillborn babies, SIDS babies, complicated pregnancies, dying husbands, etc etc etc and i could barely sleep at night. luckily since then things have calmed down a bit, but i still worry about EVERYTHING. moving, driving to denver, money, insurance, baby inside my stomach, labor & delivery, what will happen when the baby is OUT of my stomach, doctors, b, eating, and the list goes on and on [and on]. literally, i think i am becoming a basket case. i have to talk myself down whenever one of these things pops up in my head and try to reason that everything will be okay.

but anyway. the point of this post is not to turn all of you into my therapists. what i'm getting at is this: one of the biggest things i worry about is what kind of mommy i'll be. it just seems like such a huge job where so many things can go wrong, and life throws some crazy curveballs and i just don't know what to do. and then i see something like this video about stephanie nielson and it's like something inside me just solidifies and i know everything will be okay.

i have my own thoughts on the over-playedness of nie nie, but i can't deny that this little clip is fantastic. i admire her, but more than anything else i am grateful for her example as a mother. and for making me feel like i have made a good decision to bring this little baby into the world and try to be the best mother i can be.

the end is my favorite part:

so happy mom's day to all my mommy friends, and my non-mommy friends, and let's all pray that my anxiety doesn't grow to include plane crashes because i'm flying to california next week. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

things i know so far about colorado

- parker is really windy.

- denver likes buffalos, rams, chipotle, hybrid cars, gold mining and brick [you see references to these items frequently].

- the downtown area is really pretty and full of old, historic buildings. they have some skyscrapers but even when you're walking down the middle of the city, you don't feel like you're in a giant urban center. picture above is from our visit to the 16th street mall in downtown today.

- the leasing center in our complex has free cookies!! more on where we live soon.

- people really like dogs. and exercising. and wearing exercise clothes out to run errands. everywhere we go, we see people out walking or running with their dogs -- and then, when you go to target in the middle of the day, you see women in snazzy name-brand leggings & hoodies everywhere. i can't figure out if this is a colorado thing or a suburban mom thing.

- denver has a union station just like LA and a colorado blvd just like pasadena.

- i thought denver was a lot closer to the mountains than it actually is. it's called the mile-high city for its elevation, but if any team should have a baseball team named the rockies i would definitely vote salt lake over denver. utah's mountains feel a lot closer.

- they have traffic just like LA, and no carpool lane. odd. we live 15 miles south of downtown but if you want to come down here during rush hour you should really just stay home because it will take you foreverrrr.

more to come :) and by the way we are slowly but surely settling in, so i don't feel weird about being here anymore. i like just takes me a couple days to get used to them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

made it!

we're finally here! the drive to colorado didn't actually take that long, but between all the windy mountain roads and a nice dose of denver traffic right at the end, i was SO ready to get out of the car when we got here.

colorado is fine so far. our apartment is definitely the nicest place we've ever lived. however i'm not sure how i will survive the summer without DVR or a water purifier. [just kidding...kind of.] we're in a super nice part of town, just down the street from some seriously fantastic shopping & dining. tonight we drove around a bit to get our bearings and ended up getting a few things at super target...which is about a mile from home and AMAZING. i didn't think i could ever love target more than i do, but this one is just indescribable. it's like a high end super target. do those exist?

so, we're safe and comfortable and happy. but i'm feeling a little clingy and i think b doesn't feel completely settled either. this is a fun adventure for us but i just feel...a little out of my element, on this first night in a brand new place. can't wait till this place feels like home. does that make sense? maybe i just need to go to sleep. or read some blogs so i feel like i still have friends.