Monday, December 19, 2011


It's countdown time - at least for me!
Countdown until Christmas: 6 days
Countdown until gifts need to be purchased: 5 days
Countdown until gifts need to be purchased so that I have time to wrap them: 4 days
Countdown until I get to start working from home: 4 days
Countdown until I get to start working in sweat pants and can remove these oxygen inhibiting maternity hose: 4 days
Countdown until our next ultrasound: 3 days
Countdown until Baby SA is considered "full-term": 8 days
Countdown until Baby SA is "due" to arrive: 28 days
Countdown until Baby SA "could" arrive: ANY DAY
Countdown until the highlight of my day will be the number of diapers my child soils, and the color of the contents: too soon
Countdown until we get to meet Baby SA: not soon enough
Mr. San Antonio is busy finishing the cradle. And in case it isn't finished in time, we have a dresser drawer primed and ready (we also have a crib - but that's so uncreative).
Countdown until Baby SA has a cradle: TBD (but getting close!)
This past weekend I made a list of things that I "needed" to get in order to feel more ready for the baby to arrive. This included diapers. Because I only have one container of diapers at home (and I've been told that is about 100 too few). Well, as weekends sometimes go, I didn't get to accomplish all the errands on my list - including not getting diapers. Sunday evening was a little rough on Mr. San Antonio as I had a slight break down over the lack of things I accomplished that day.
Monday morning I was reading a devotional that talked about not focusing on our "to do" list but instead to keep our eyes on Jesus and let him direct our days. Well, lo-and-behold, I got to work and my co-workers threw me a surprise diaper shower. How cool is that?
Countdown until I need to buy more newborn size diapers: never
Now I just need to get Internet back up and running at home so I can finally post some pictures of the house! And so I can work from home after Christmas. In the mean time...
Countdown until I get to stop wearing the same maternity clothes over and over and over and over: TBD
Happy Counting!
The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go...."
Except at our house.
Any other year this would make me very sad, and I would stay up late in order to remedy this fact. However, this year we have a wonderful reason to postpone the decorating.
Our house got finished being painted yesterday! "Deck the Halls with [muddled basil and waterscape paint] Fa la la la la, la la la la!"
I will post pictures once we move back in. For now we are staying with my parents to avoid the fumes. Which has a couple additional perks: 1) There are other people interested in cooking for us (taking away a stress for me); and 2) We get to stay in a fully decorated home and reap all the benefits of being surrounded by visual reminders of Christmas.
It feels a bit too much like vacation though, which makes it hard for me to remember to go to work in the morning. Sorry boss. "I'm dreaming of [not going in to work], just like the ones I used to know."
We snuck into our house over the weekend to make sure I wouldn't go into labor when I saw the finished paint colors (I was nervous about the fact that I hadn't really seen any of the colors actually on the wall). Fortunately, I loved what I saw and am very excited to move back at the end of the week!
What I'm most excited about is having a home that finally feels like ours just in time to welcome Baby SA in just 6 more weeks (give or take). As of today I'm at 34 weeks, so even if I go into labor while hanging ornaments this coming weekend, Baby should be just fine.
For those of you who keep asking me what fruit or vegetable Baby compares to now...
From my perspective Baby is a giant watermelon. And I had a dream last night that the Baby's foot was pushing so hard against my skin that I could count his/her toes. There were 10 (in case you were worried that "All of the other reindeer [would] laugh and call him names").
A more objective description of Baby's size = slightly more than 4lbs of cuteness (oh wait, that's not objective), that opens his/her eyes when awake and closes them when sleeping. Baby has a newborn sleep cycle (uh oh, I'm in trouble), and Baby can recognize voices and sound patterns ("Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?").
What you won't find on the websites is that Baby can also be startled. Last night I was rubbing Baby's back and somehow ended up bumping his/her foot and Baby jumped like he/she was startled. Whoops. Sorry Baby.
As far as the Pampered Bird goes - I've been feeling pretty good, with normal tiredness and some back aches (but nothing that can't be remedied by a hot shower and/or heating pad. Throw in some Christmas cookies and I'm back to 100%.)
Fa la la la la, la la la laaaa.
The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Thankful Bird

In the spirit of celebrating babies and all things "oooh" and "aaaah" worthy, some wonderful friends and family hosted showers this past weekend for Wiggles, or Baby SA, or whatever other name I feel like calling my child today.

Two dear friends traveled from out of state to lavish us with love, baked goods, chocolates, and priceless treasures.

Yes, someone I know, someone I used to memorize N-Sync dance moves with actually made this. Amazing right? She intends for the baby to play on it... but if Wiggles or Baby SA or what's-your-name? spits up on it, there will be consequences. Like having to play on a much less exciting blanket while I wash and then hang this one on the wall way out of reach.

I was so excited about having these two friends come to visit that I forgot all my hospitality training.

#1 rule of hospitality = remove deer head from the wall before vegetarian friends come to visit. Especially when said deer head stares hauntingly at whoever walks in the front door. I'm sorry Chrissy.

#2 rule of hospitality = make sure you take vegetarian friends to restaurants that have met vegetarians before. Otherwise your friend will have the following conversation with the Hispanic waiter at the Mexican restaurant:

Waiter: What would you like?
Mary: May I please have the fajita plate but with no meat?
Waiter: Sure. Would you like beef or chicken?

#3 rule of hospitality = ask the weather well in advance to please at least pretend for one weekend that Texas has seasons, and not be 80 degrees and humid the weekend before Thanksgiving. Being able to wear shorts at this time of year is just not acceptable.

Fortunately my friends were gracious and overlooked my faux-pas, and still helped me make a mobile for the nursery. In return they gave us a flip-video camera (thank you also Emily and Kathryn!) in order to record Baby SA's every move once outside the womb. The videos can then be uploaded online and friends and family (near and far) can log in to watch our little pride and joy spit up on him/herself, and do other adorable things.

The showers were absolutely lovely, and the friends and family that took the time to put them on did a beautiful job. Baby SA got to taste lots of delicious sweets. And this mommy received encouraging words from more experienced moms who have at least the appearance of knowing what they're doing. And of course the nursery is now full of every thing Baby could possibly need or want - including boogie wipes.

There is a lot to be thankful for this year and I'm about to burst at the seams with joy and gratitude for the people in my life, including the little one who I haven't yet met, but already love to pieces.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
The Thankful Bird

Monday, November 14, 2011


I've been fighting a cold for over a week now, and my brain is plugged. So I can't make any promises about the coherency of this post. Consider yourself warned.

A couple weekends ago Mr. San Antonio took me to Wurstfest which is an annual German festival held between San Antonio and Austin. It is a wonderful time full of large quantities of beer (unless you're growing a baby), feet-tapping polka music, and really bad sausage. It is also a prime people watching opportunity, which is why we enjoy going. Not only do we watch people, but we pass judgement on them. It makes us feel so much better about ourselves.

A friend tried to send a picture to my phone of a half-Asian baby. My phone didn't get the picture, because my phone doesn't like pictures. But even still, I dreamt that I had a half-Asian baby. My dream also involved a lot of potted plants in the living room.

A few days later I had another dream about our baby... this time the baby had long curly blond hair, three rows of shark teeth and crossed eyes.

I'm not sure what these dreams mean... but it worries me.

We spent the weekend in California celebrating my Grandpa's 80th birthday. It was a whirlwind weekend full of Scottish kilts, scotch (not for me!), haggis, singing, toasts, lots of food, good family time, and a little bit of sleep here and there.

We saw the specialist this morning and received a very positive update. At 31 weeks, Baby's measurements are looking good, the scar tissue looks strong and healthy, and Baby is growing well weighing in at 3lbs 3oz!

The Doctor tried to get us a 3D photo of Baby's face but Baby was sleeping (I was comforted to know that wiggles does actually sleep occasionally). I'm sure the photo would have been fit for a Baby Gap commercial, but Baby's hand was covering one eye and the nose, and the umbilical cord was floating in front of the mouth... so all we could see were some knuckles and one sleeping eye. If you've never seen a 3D image of a baby in utero... Mr. San Antonio describes it well, "While the hand was fairly life-like, the face looked like an uncooked biscuit or possibly a raw dumpling".

I anticipate more crazy baby dreams coming after this.

The Doctor also saw some hair on Baby's head... which he was a little surprised about because he said fair moms (interpreted as pasty white Scottish moms), don't usually birth babies with hair. This made me think maybe my baby is half-Asian after all...

The Pampered Bird

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Name

We have a new nick name for Baby. And it is incredibly descriptive. And keeps me up at night (literally).

Baby SA is now referred to as Wiggles.

This makes us nervous. And my mother in law shutter (though I think her reaction has something to do with a clown...).

We didn't just blindly choose this perfect name from a book. We chose it because it accurately describes Baby's personality and habits. I'm pretty sure Baby even wiggles during sleep (I mostly believe this because there is very little time when Baby is not wiggling).

Baby stretches, kicks, punches, twirls, spins, and starts all over again... all day and night.

We've had to start thinking about the implications of this.

Maybe our child will become an Olympic athlete.
Maybe our child will need to run around the block - all the time.
Maybe our child will consistently fall out of bed at night.
Maybe our child will never learn to be still.
Maybe I'll need medication to get through the next 18 years.

I like to cast blame whenever possible. And in this case I'm aiming my blame towards Mr. San Antonio and my lovely sister.

Mr. San Antonio because the advice his mother gave me when we got married was, "whenever he comes home in a bad mood - make him run around the block before doing anything else." And that advice has proven extremely helpful. I also recently asked her if Mr. SA was a womb wiggler... she said yes. Without hesitating. And that was 30 years ago...

And my lovely sister because apparently she too was a womb wiggler... and continued to wiggle post womb. In fact I have several memories of when we shared a room and I would be trying to fall asleep and hear a big "thud". I'd turn to find her on the floor, often still grasping a blanket, and still sound asleep.

Granted, I wouldn't say she is still a wiggler. She seems to have grown out of it. And I'm much more willing to share a bed with her now. She doesn't steal the covers nearly as often as Mr. San Antonio does (though he tells everyone I steal the covers, so there is obviously an error in here somewhere).

The nice thing about Wiggles is that he/she makes my movement tracking very easy. The specialist has me keeping a log of baby movements every day to make sure things stay consistent (if they don't, it could be a sign something is wrong... or - in my non-expert opinion - it could mean Wiggles just tuckered out). They said it could take an hour to track 10 movements each day. But not for our Wiggles! It takes 10-20 minutes max.

Sometimes the wiggling is so intense I can't focus in meetings at work because my stomach is lurching so violently. I find in those situations it is best to be wearing black - it prevents some of the staring that occurs when I wear light colors and those sitting next to me can see my child trying to break free of his/her cage.

Yes, I am holding Wiggles hostage. Kind of like clowns and their circus animals. But I don't want Wiggles to join the circus. Just in case you were concerned.

The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birth Class

I briefly mentioned before that we are taking birthing classes. For a variety of reasons we've chosen to prepare for birth using the Bradley Method (husband coached natural childbirth). And we meet weekly (sometimes 2x a week) with a group of other couples at our instructor's house. She wears shirts that say thing like "Pregnancy is not a disease".

The first class started with our instructor telling us that she likes to ease the men into the birth process by showing the "least graphic" video first. How kind of her.

Well, the least graphic video still caused the men to look anywhere but the TV screen, while us women bravely watched - convincing ourselves that we were observing a beautiful, miraculous thing, and therefore could not have any feeling toward the video except for peaceful euphoria that soon our time will come, and we too will be able to partake in this wonderment.

It's been several weeks. The video graphicness has gone from PG13 to X. And last night, we all lost control.

In these videos, there is nothing blurred, nothing censored. You see it all. ALL.

To the point where I got queasy. And not roller coaster queasy... or airplane queasy... but horrified, terrified, "what-have-I-done-thinking-of-bringing-a-child-into-this-world" queasy.

All my super-woman, I can-do-this, this-is-a-beautiful-part-of-life, mantras came to a full stand still.

I wanted out.

I wanted this child out.


Without all that stuff I had to watch.

And I wasn't the only one.

I glanced around the room, and noticed grimaces, half closed eyes, complete focus on ones own drink glass, and basically any excuse to not watch the screen. Even the couples who act like they're really into this - the ones who always do their homework, and answer the instructor's questions with long winded answers they googled - even they were looking away.

The instructor claims that the videos help prepare moms and dads for the birth process - helping them to see all of it as normal, healthy, and not to be feared.

But I am afraid. And if I didn't already have a child inside me, I would be rethinking this whole procreation thing.

These are the videos they should be showing in sex-ed classes across the country. I have full confidence that they would work wonders.

The only thing keeping me together is the hope that it'll be different when it's my own experience. That my own child's cone-head, alien featured, blue tinted body won't creep me out and make me hand him/her back to the nurse explaining that there was a mistake - that I am not an alien, my husband is not an alien, and therefore we could not have produced an alien.

Because that's what I thought the parents on last night's videos should have done.

I would make a horrible midwife. Or nurse. Or even birth bystander.

This is why Mr. San Antonio is going to coach me through it. And why I will probably choose to be blindfolded. Pregnancy might not be a disease... but birth is definitely freaky.

The Pampered Mom... of a future alien baby.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Beginning of the End

I can hardly control my excitement...

A painter is coming tomorrow to give us an estimate for how much it'll cost for him to paint our house.

This is the day I've dreamt of for the last 6 months.

And I realize that this is proof that my life is rather dull.

But please understand - tomorrow starts the end of a 6 month stress that seems to consume me (mostly as I try to fall asleep at night).

Tomorrow starts the end of our beige walls, the end of our white walls, the end of our blegh walls (FYI: blegh is not a color).

Tomorrow starts the end of Mr. San Antonio having to listen to me stress over our lifeless walls, and insist that my life won't be complete until they are no longer beige (are you sensing a pattern?).

The reason this process has taken 6 months is because I have been incredibly, and rather uncharacteristically, indecisive (I mean we planned a wedding in 3 months... and it's taken me twice as long to pick out paint colors?! What is wrong with me?).

I thought I would pick colors on the first try and run with them. But the first batch of colors we tried looked beautiful in the tub, and florescent on the walls. We needed sunglasses. I wasn't ok with that. And Mr. San Antonio really wasn't ok with that.

I continued to try different samples, and would paint pieces of cardboard that I would then prop up around the house for us to walk by, assess in different lighting, etc. But we would quickly decide we didn't like a color, and it would take me weeks before I would go out and get a different sample.

Finally I decided that if I put the color directly on the walls that would force me to make a decision more quickly - because I would get tired of having walls that looked like a rainbow crashed into them. (Besides, with a baby coming, I really don't have room for leprechauns... unless they clean houses... are they known for that?)

Getting frustrated with myself, I began asking friends how they went about the color-picking process.

One friend said she painted everything white and just added colorful furniture. It works great for her, but all our furniture is beige or brown or white... so I need some life on the walls.

A second friend said she went into a design store, flipped through magazines until she found a room laid out similar to her own, and then told the assistant to make her house look like that. I like that idea, but I don't know if our bank account would.

A third friend said she went to the paint store, looked around, saw some colors she liked, and purchased several gallons of each. They then painted the house, disliked one of the colors, and said "oh well". I like her style.

So I went ahead and called the painter, and picked some colors from a swatch. And am committed to just go with it.

I'll keep you posted...

The Decisive Bird

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birth Plan

It occurred to me this week that I've always envisioned going into labor at home... but that I don't really spend that much time at home. I spend a lot of time at work. In an office. With lots of men.

Then I started to panic.

What if I go into labor at the office? What would I do?

Mr. San Antonio's office is northeast from my office, and the hospital is northwest of my office. So it would not be efficient to wait for him to come get me and then drive back to the hospital.

And I've heard it isn't advisable for laboring women to get behind the wheel.

So what are my options?

1. Ask one of the very nice men that I work with to drive me to the hospital. (Risking the possibility of sharing a very intimate experience with someone that I have no desire to share such an experience).

2. Call a cab. (Again, risking the possibility of sharing a very intimate experience with someone I REALLY have no desire to share such an experience).

3. Walk across the street to the hospital next door to my office. (Could be fine, except I work down town in a very touristy city, near a popular tourist parking lot, where one often hears mariachi bands playing. Not that I'm totally opposed to being serenaded while in labor, but I'm not sure this is what the tourists expected for their rated G family vacation).

4. Hitch-hike (See risks listed in option #1 and #2).

5. Ask a female co-worker to be "on-call" (Risks: she might freak out, Pros: I avoid the other risks mentioned above).

And so, I decided to prepare for option number 5, and I sent an email to the few female co-workers who are typically around the office when I am. In the email I asked them to please consider being my on-call chauffeur, told them where they can find all my emergency info (on a bright orange post-it above my desk), and offered to send them information on how to deliver a baby in the car.

I got positive responses. And some good tips - such as, there should probably be two ladies with me in the car - one to drive and one to keep me calm in the back. Another tip included keeping a box with packing bubbles in the car, so if the baby is born mid-ride, Baby SA will have a nice soft and absorbent landing.

I hope my baby is not born into a crate of packing bubbles. But surely that's not the worst way of entering the world.

I mean if I give birth in my office, the first thing Baby SA could hear is Cielito Lindo.

"Ay, ay, ay, ay..."

The Pampered Bird

Thursday, October 20, 2011

27 weeks and counting

I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile. The Longhorns lost two games in a row, and I've been in mourning.

Not just their losses... but my own personal loss in that none of my Longhorn shirts fit over my baby belly.

It is a sad day in our household. However, a dear friend donated a Longhorn onesie to our collection of burnt orange wear - so Baby is ready to go.

Baby SA also attended his/her first game this past weekend. And heard momma and her friends get asked to a bachelor party.

Apparently wedding rings and being with child are not deterrents to grown boys who have been drinking a lot by three in the afternoon.

It was a nice weekend away, but it is always good to come home.

Mr. San Antonio welcomed me with a fresh cut yard (notice I didn't say grass... we've been in a drought and our yard is more weeds than grass, but at least it's green...ish). He also welcomed me with a proposition to go for a walk in one of our favorite neighborhoods, and he patiently let me walk at my slow-poke speed and stop to catch my breath at every hill we tried to climb.

And as I huffed and puffed my way along, I not so secretly envied the women who were running by us with lungs full of air - and it made me pretty excited for the day Baby SA is no longer nestled by my lungs, dependent on the oxygen I breath in, but instead riding along in a stroller with his/her own strong lungs.

Thinking about that made me do a count down... 13 more weeks (give or take - because what baby ever came on its "due date"?). 13 weeks.... 3ish months.... ok, is anyone else freaking out right now?

Last week at Baby SA's intestinal check-up, Baby was 1lb 13 oz. Baby had the hiccups, and had his/her feet at my ribs and head and arms down (of course I could have told you that with out the ultrasound, because I get punched down low all day long). The intestine still looked the same - scar tissue is there but doesn't seem to have grown. The Doctor gave Baby a 25-50% chance of needing surgery.

Books say that babies pack on about 6oz a week from here on out... so by the end of this week Baby SA should be just over 2lbs.

And in other news, Mr. San Antonio and I finally appear to have settled on a boy name and a girl name... not that we're going to share before we get to meet Baby in person for ourselves. But it's pretty fun for us to be able to use actual names at home. We've come a long way from when we called Baby "the parasite"... aren't you glad we are becoming parents for the next generation?

Ok, final thought for the day - we've started taking some birthing classes. And I think they are going to provide some good stories. How could it not when the instructor says this at the first class, "At every class I am going to show you birth videos to get you used to seeing the process. Today I will start with the least graphic. This is mainly for the dads in the room... I've found it best to ease them into these kinds of things."

Maybe she should have offered them a drink first...

Happy mid-October finally scarf and hot chocolate weather here in Texas,
The Pampered Bird

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Longhorn Baby

This weekend is the long awaited (since last fall), biggest (since King Kong), most exciting (since... ok I'll stop) event in the current Texas Longhorn football season.

It's Red River Shoot-Out time!

Or, as I was recently informed, "Red River Rivalry" time. Apparently "Shoot-Out" has been deemed "un-PC". Most likely by someone not from Texas.

For those of you who don't care about Longhorn football, the Red River Shoot-Out is the biggest game of the year, against the Longhorn's biggest rival - Oklahoma University (OU).

It is such a big rivalry, that it takes place on neutral ground in Dallas (mid way between Austin and Oklahoma). It also happens to take place in the middle of the state fair (friend Oreo anyone?).

For the record, the one time I went to the game the Longhorns won. I would say it's because of my presence, but I don't want to give myself a big head about it.

To celebrate this year's game, Mr. San Antonio and I invited ourselves to my parents' house for a viewing party. In return my mom asked if any guys coming (i.e. Mr. San Antonio, my brother, and my sister's boyfriend) would please help my dad move some furniture around. I was completely offended and responded with something along the lines of,

"How sexist of you! Don't you know that women become superwomen when they are pregnant? I could lift all that furniture with my pinkie finger! You really should take advantage of this skill while you can!"

To which my brother responded, "Great, now Mr. San Antonio and I can go shotgun some brew-skis, while Marissa does all our work."

And my dad replied, "Oh good, would she mind moving my barbells upstairs too?"

Mr. San Antonio stepped in and said, "The lesson to be learned here is that feminism is bad for women. See what it causes us men to do? We are chugging brew-skis and making you carry our heavy stuff. Not such a good deal for women."

I love that man.

Now I'm going to unashamedly put my feet in his lap so he'll rub them for me.

Ok, I'm back.

To get our child ready for his/her inevitable future (i.e. being a Longhorn). My mother purchased some gender neutral pieces that the baby can come home wearing from the hospital. Can you say Longhorn hat and booties?

And that baby is going to come home to this:

And just in case anyone is confused... the baby goes from in here, to in here.

Now we just need a little paint on the walls, some decorations, and a baby. 

We're working on all three. 

The question is should the walls be burnt orange?

Hook 'Em Horns,
The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Descriptive (maybe too much so) Terms

I know, I know, I still haven't shown you the pictures of the nursery.

I also still haven't ordered the paint for the nursery.

Nor have I chosen the paint for the living room.

Which is why I haven't ordered the paint for the nursery.

But is not why I haven't shown you pictures of the nursery.

I haven't shown pictures because I haven't uploaded them from the camera.

You could call me lazy, but I prefer the following descriptive terms:

1. Busy,
2. Lover of sleep,
3. One-who-chooses-to-put-eating-before-uploading-pictures,
4. Working woman with so many deadlines converging I told Mr. San Antonio today that my head is going to explode and we may need a clean-up on aisle 9,
5. (Was the last descriptive "term" too wordy? Maybe too visual?)
6. One-who-hasn't-uploaded-pictures-but-also-hasn't-swept-in-a-couple-of-weeks
7. One-who-has-taken-great-libery-with-the-term-"term"
8. One-who-has-now-confused-herself-greatly

So, take your pick. Name me what you wish. Just make sure to only use it behind my back.

When I alerted Mr. San Antonio to the fact that I woke up 30 minutes early just to make the house presentable for a friend of his coming over for dinner (please disregard the fact that by the time I got up he was already downtown for his weekly men's Bible study), his comment was somewhere along the lines of "Great, did you clean up the yard too?"

He added a smiley face and some sweet romantic words (that I won't share here), to (I think) indicate he was joking.

I wish I was quicker on my feet, so that even now, hours later, I could come up with a witty reply... something along the lines of:

"Well, you asked for a man cave, so you got a man cave, and man caves aren't cleaned by women."


"Oh, you mean your graveyard? The place where you hang all the deer antlers that scare away potential burglars at night? I didn't think graveyards needed to be cleaned."


"Oh, well, um, yeah, too bad!"

But I didn't reply in any such way. Mainly because I didn't want him to feel inferior to my verbose strategies of verbal banter.

That didn't really make sense, did it?

Feel free to use your chosen term for me again.

In the mean time I'll work on liking sleep less, and liking to upload pictures more.

Thank you for staying tuned!
The Pampered Bird

Friday, September 30, 2011

Overdose of Decorating Projects

I remember being young and loving it when the decorator would leave her idea books with my parents. They would find me laying on my stomach in the living room flipping through, flagging things I liked, and pretending that I got to decorate the house however I pleased (meaning I had no concept of a budget).

With Baby SA coming in January, I feel a heightened urgency to make our new-to-us house officially our own... which means not just creating a nursery out of an office/sewing room, but fixing the living room, our room, a guest room and the bathroom. Phew, time to take a breath, or have a drink (just kidding!).

In order to help balance the budget a bit, I plan to put my newly discovered sewing "skills" to use, and save money for things that no one in their right mind enjoys doing (i.e. painting). It always sounds fun to paint a room, and receive some sort of immediate gratification; but about 10 minutes in, when my arm is falling asleep, my head is feeling fuzzy, and I'm paranoid about the paint I'm dripping in my hair, it stops being fun. This was also part of Mr. San Antonio's request - if he was going to be ok with me changing all the wall colors, I was not allowed to ask him to do it. We were obviously made for each other.

So, here are some of my ideas for the nursery:

A Valance:

A Crib Skirt:

And some pillow cover ideas (which can also be used in the living room):

More ideas are coming, including some photos of the newly assembled nursery!

Until then, I'm going to go back to focusing on not eating all the oatmeal raisin cookies I made last night. And not laying on the floor, which needs to be swept. And not painting the walls. And not not stopping to not using so many negatives in none of my sentences.

Phew. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Pampered Bear

Baby SA's medical journey continues, though now it is just to monitor, not discover. All our tests came back with good results, which is great (!), but they still don't know what caused the intestinal rupture, and are monitoring things to make sure the bowels don't become obstructed (in which case surgery right after birth will be necessary).

So, we went in to see the Specialist, and he got a nice early morning surprise - Momma Bear came out. Of course it was completely his fault. Who in their right mind tells a woman that her child may be taken from her at birth for up to 48 hours?!

I don't think his scars will be too bad...
And of course he did say "may", he also said that things could be relatively normal - with the baby only taken for a couple of hours (at this I retracted my claws and let Mr. San Antonio take over for a minute while I caught my breath).

I think our barrage of questions is what caused him to call another Doctor over at the hospital. Was he calling in for backup troops? Perhaps. But he played it off very diplomatically, as though he was doing us a favor. Sneaky.

With us sitting there, he called the Chief of Internal Medicine (who focuses on perinatal and neonatal issues) at our hospital, explained our situation, and asked if he would meet with us. The man said "Of course!" and arranged for us to have a tour of the facility and go through with him more of the details of what will happen at birth. Who knew that high up Doctors took the time to calm one patient's fears?! That's pretty cool. But if he says one word about a 48 hour removal....

The best part about having to see a Specialist the rest of the pregnancy means monthly pictures of Baby SA.

This time Baby was thumb sucking:

And flexing muscles (Baby is obviously a product of Mr. San Antonio):

In the mean time, my Momma Bear instincts have led me to sharpen some valuable Texas skills...

Yes, I did hit my target (which was a cardboard box across our yard).

And here's a much less intimidating photo (specifically for those of you who don't think pregnant women should be seen holding guns):

And any of you who are spreading rumors about a photo of me going around that may or may not include me holding a rifle, a beer and a cigar... please note that it will not be verified in this public sphere. And if it does exist, I'm not barefoot and I have all my teeth.

Enjoy your Monday,
The Pampered Bear

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baby Bump, and Other Observations

I officially have a baby bump.

And am pretty excited.

Except that my lovely sister said I look "HUGE!" (Emphasis hers. And yes exaggeration does run in our family, what makes you ask?).

But I'm choosing to enjoy the fact that people are now asking (with less hesitation) if I'm pregnant, coming up to touch my belly, and fun things like that.

Everyone warned me about the belly touching (like it was a totally inappropriate part of our culture), but to be honest, I'm pretty proud of my baby bump, and so far none of my belly touch-ers have been strangers - so the belly touching hasn't bothered me a bit. I'll let you know when that changes... we have some interesting characters at our local grocery store.

I spent a few days recently nursing some stubborn allergies and resting as much as possible. During my stationary time I observed that the green paint I thought would be a good match for our living room looks like someone took their 1970's olive green toaster and smashed it against the wall, and then rubbed limes all over it. I've purchased a new sample in a different tone... and I'm hoping for the best.

I also became painfully aware of the fact that the bag of fabric I bought a few weeks ago to make a valance, crib skirt and baby quilt... has not been opened. I realized this around 2am when I was wide awake and thinking of all the projects I want to complete before the end of January. Number one of course being to birth a child.

Significant observation #3, was discovered while laying on the couch searching online for extra long maternity pants. I've observed that no one in the fashion industry believes that long legged women get pregnant. Thus none of them have bothered to make pants with longer than a 34" inseam (yes I require a longer inseam than that, and no it's not my fault - blame my dad). I've officially given up my search and resigned myself to wearing skirts the rest of the pregnancy.

And my final allergy-induced observation is that it is about time to post a belly picture - to show you the home of the banana/papaya kicking me all day long... but that means I have to take one first. So, you'll have to come back another day to see it. :)

Happy where-did-my-waist-go Wednesday,
The Pampered Bird

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My gun-toting-deer-hanging-dove-shooting-wood-working Man

Mr. San Antonio has taken this whole baby thing really well.

He raided his parents' garage for a box of deer antlers, and nailed them around the eventually-will-be-a-screened-back-patio-now-looks-suspiciously-like-a-carport.

He was given an assassin rifle pellet gun for the express purpose of shooting doves. And even let me take a shot at a tree.

He went in on a hunting lease so he can shoot doves that aren't in our backyard. And as a result grilled us some doves over the weekend - stuffed with an apricot and wrapped in bacon. Yum.

He built the biggest table you've ever seen and will soon be securing it to an extremely heavy tree stump (that he found in the neighborhood and carried back to our house up hill, in the snow, with his pinkie finger) under the eventually-will-be-a-screened-back-patio-now-looks-suspiciously-like-a-carport.

He is covered in bruises because he keeps thinking it's really funny to suggest that our child consider Texas A&M for college. It's sacrilegious I tell you. Which is why I already have Longhorn booties and newborn hat - so that our child will know its true destiny as soon as it sees the light of day.

And he has been very supportive of me during pregnancy. Basically by suggesting I eat ice cream as the solution to every complaint I make.

"I'm so tired, I can hardly keep my eyes open at work."
"Go eat ice cream."

"My back aches and my bladder is being kicked."
"You should have some ice cream."

"I'm so thirsty I can hardly drink enough water."
"Ice cream will cure you."

Isn't he great?

I just love my gun-toting-deer-hanging-dove-shooting-wood-working man.

The Pampered Bird

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So random its hard to create a title

At 20 weeks Baby SA is compared to a small melon.
Interpret that as you wish.

To me that either means if you gently knock, Baby SA should sound hollow. Or, Baby SA stole a piece of chewing gum that tastes like an entire meal as you chew it.

Should we add Violet to our list of names?

I have considered posting a "belly picture" on here (covered of course. though my mother will tell you I was quite the exhibitionist as a young child), but I'm not sure it would look that different than the one I posted around 12 weeks (seen here:

I know there is a baby in there. I feel Baby SA moving around all the time now. But I think I'm just so tall that there is a lot of space for Baby to go other than out - which results in not-so-exciting-belly-pictures, unlike the ones seen here (If you or your mother is in one of these photos... I apologize now).

While I'm busy hiding Baby SA under my ribs, I've taken a significant turn for the worse regarding food cravings. Please avert your eyes of strange food combinations gross you out. But earlier this week I ate a cheese and pickle sandwich.

So weird.

I'm even judging myself.

Then that night, Mr. San Antonio came home from a run and said, "Do you want to get frozen yogurt?"

My foolish response: "Well I already had some chocolate milk after dinner."

His wise comeback: "So, that's like an after dinner drink, that's not dessert."

My low grasp of language: "Like an 'aperitif'?"

His logical reasoning: "Um... more like a 'post-peritif'. Besides the last time we got frozen yogurt was Friday... so its been 96 hours."

My acquiescence to his request: "Oh, well in that case."

I ended my day with banana frozen yogurt topped with vanilla wafers. The yogurt tasted like banana runt candy. Mr. San Antonio said it tasted like his medicine growing up.

I thought it was really good. And for that, I'm judging myself again.

If any of you want to share strange pregnancy cravings (or just strange cravings with no formal excuse to cover up your weirdness), please let me know. It'll make me feel much better.

The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thank You!

I have been flooded with messages from friends, relatives and blog-friends (by which I mean people I have never met but read my blog and therefore really aren't "strangers"). Many of you have contacted me directly, and many others have given messages to my Mom who has then passed them on to me. And for all of it - thank you.

There have been many words of wisdom, prayers, and encouragement about Baby SA and by the way he/she is kicking me right now, I think Baby SA wants to say thank you too!

Hello there!

Ok. Tell me that isn't the cutest little nose you've ever seen. And feel free to tell me to stop bragging about the adorableness of my child. I don't want to be "that mom".

Here is Baby SA all curled up with no where to go. Legs are looped up over the head. Can someone say future Olympic gymnast? Oh wait, Baby has my genes... and I was told by my gymnastics instructor at the age of 5 that I was too tall and should consider a different athletic activity (I'm holding a tissue... it still hurts. *sniffle*).

And here is the proof that Baby SA has my genes. The foot. The ultrasound tech said, "Wow, those are some long thin feet. And a very tiny pinky toe."  Yes, well those would be mine. I would show you my feet, but just in case you're eating while reading this - I'll refrain. (You can thank me later).

While we wait for Baby SA to make an entrance in a few months, we're busy trying to fix up the house. Above are some paint colors we're considering.

And here is the quilt I'm almost done with - which is the inspiration for the paint colors.

Now I'm going to go and arm wrestle Mr. SA for the last scoop of vanilla ice cream I hear him getting from the freezer.

Pickles anyone?

The Pampered Bird

Thursday, August 25, 2011

From Mangoes to Pizza - all in one post

It is time for a baby to fruit comparison... drum roll please.

According to multiple websites, at 19 weeks and 2 days, Baby SA is approximately the size of a mango. For those of you who have never picked up a mango at the store, but like to stare at your ruler, last week the Dr. said Baby SA is about 7 inches long and 1/2 lb (or the weight of the hamburger you ate over the weekend - thank you Mr. SA for that analogy).
At 19 weeks the baby already has the sleep pattern of a newborn (which includes waking up momma in the middle of the night with kicking and squirming). And supposedly has a favorite sleep position (I do too, but it keeps getting interrupted).

A couple nights ago as I waited to fall asleep, I laid in bed and poked my stomach until Baby SA started squirming. Then every time I felt something I would laugh. Is that weird? Probably...

And might explain Baby's kicks to my organs the next day. "Oh Momma, you think you're soooo funny - but two can play this game."

Thanks to some helpful friends and relatives, I'm beginning to compile a list of suggested registry items. I've been taking suggestions, and doing some research and have come dangerously close to "decision fatigue which is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion, a term coined by the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in homage to a Freudian hypothesis." Apparently they ran some experiments which demonstrated that "there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self- control."

Which explains why my self-control got away from me yesterday and I chose to hand stitch the final step on the quilt I'm working on. Who in their right mind does that?! I poked myself 5 times with the needle!

I'm just happy that the solution for "decision fatigue" that the article puts forth is - eating. Next time I feel my self-control getting away from me (i.e. wanting to poke my unborn child to get him/her to entertain me) I'll just eat a pizza.

The Pampered Bird

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pampered Baby-Bird

After the events of last week, I needed a weekend of pancakes and the gym and Starbucks and movies, with a little bit of quilting, shopping and the-most-amazing-steak-Mr.San Antonio-has-ever-grilled-ever.

And that right there about sums up what we did.

There were no decisions to be made (other than what form of potatoes should I cook to go with the steak). And there was no stress (other than trying to pick a movie to watch that we would both enjoy).

Baby SA was well fed, got lots of rest, but also wiggled around just enough to keep momma from worrying.

Mr. SA showed me his plans for a cradle. It's going to be amazing. It's going to rival the bed he built for us as a wedding gift. Can you say "pampered baby-bird"?

And it makes total sense that Baby SA would be pampered, especially if my new hunch is correct - that Baby SA is a girl. Here is my sound, scientific reasoning for this:

One: she's obviously a drama queen. Not only for the scare she's giving us - but because I think she knew deep down that by scaring us she'd get to have her photo taken every month from now until birth. Pretty clever... pretty clever. And during the ultrasound last week she kept putting her hand to her head in a very dramatic fashion. Oh dear.

Two: even though the same number of girls and boys are conceived, more girls make it to birth - showing that girls tend to be better fighters in utero. I told Mr. SA that if this was a boy, and his intestine had torn, he would have cried, waited for me to put a band-aide on it (which couldn't have happened) and eventually wimped out on me. But since it is a girl she just persevered and fought through it.

My scientific reasoning is so sound don't you think? But, just for the record - we do not actually know the gender. We asked all the techs and doctors to please not tell us so we can keep it a surprise for when we get to meet Baby SA face to face.

Here's to hoping you have a pampered Monday!
And here's my note that in the last post I said Psalm 131 when I meant Psalm 139.
And here's to reminding myself to do a better job editing before I send things into public space.
And here's to hoping our home Internet starts working again soon so I can show you pictures of the most beautiful fetus ever (not that I'm biased or anything).

-The Pampered Bird

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby B and the Great Physician

Growing up my siblings and I used to insult each other by calling each other "special". We were dorks. Obviously. But it totally worked. Whoever was being called "special" ended up doing the most entertaining things like biting, kicking, screaming, or retaliating with "I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounced off me and sticks to you." We were charming weren't we?

So on Thursday when my OBGYN told me I needed to see a "specialist" about an "abnormality" on my baby's tummy, my 10 year old instincts crept in (not that I wanted to bite her), but I did want to retaliate with something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, you must have the wrong patient - my ultrasound just went perfectly, and not that I'm biased or anything - but I just saw the most beautiful fetus ever".

But I didn't. I cried. And asked to call my lawyer.

Once Mr. SA was on the phone, she walked us through what she knew - which was very little. There is a spot on the baby's tummy that looks like it is made of bone - but there shouldn't be any bones in the tummy. Neither she, nor the ultrasound tech (who has been doing this for 15+ years) had ever seen it before.

Hence why she called the Specialist.

Friday morning (today) I was awoken by the baby stretching and turning itself. Really a sweet blessing from the Lord - He knew I needed the affirmation that Baby B is just fine and was ready for another day of being poked and prodded.

At the Specialist's office, I heard things like, "I've been doing this for 20+ years and have never gotten to see this before!"

Oh well, good for you, glad to present you with this opportunity.

And, "What I see here is identical to my text book."

Uh, your text book? I thought you've been doing this for 20 years... you still need your text book?

And then, "It appears as though your baby's intestines ruptured at some point and then healed themselves. So the spot we're seeing is the scar tissue."

Never has Psalm 131 seemed so real, "He knit you together in your mother's womb." Or in Baby B's case - "He re-knit you together..."

We're running some extra tests just to rule out anything more severe - but for now we're moving forward feeling blessed that our Maker, our Healer, our Great Physician has performed in-utero surgery and is making Baby B His perfect child.

Which means Baby B will never taunt his/her siblings by calling them "special". Right?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Neighborhood emails

As a new, young, energetic home owner I made the naive decision to sign up for our local neighborhood email list serve. I expected to get information on block parties, cook-outs, and kids who would be willing to wash our cars.

Unfortunately those things are noticeably absent from the emails. Instead I receive daily messages about all the missing (and subsequently found) pets, attempted thefts, and the occasional used furniture for sale.

I really wanted to share with you one of the "attempted" theft stories, and give you my witty come back that I'm too polite to actually share with the neighbor who posted it... but then Mr. SA wisely suggested that I think about the potential consequences of making fun of someone on the Internet and the potential of me actually meeting this woman in the future and her seeing my blog and reading about how I made fun of her and... well I'm sure you can guess where that would go.

So I thought about it over night, and the next morning read this in Proverbs 11:12, "Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent."


Darn it.

So... all that to say, I will not be sharing with you those thoughts - and believe me, you are missing out. I think my come-back would definitely qualify as one of my funnier moments.

But on a different note, all the emails about missing belongings made me slightly nervous about the fact that one of the back windows on my car recently decided it doesn't want to close all the way. I was slightly afraid that passer-by-ers wouldn't be able to restrain themselves from wanting to take my car - until I noticed all the bird-droppings covering the car.

For some reason I'm no longer worried.

And if they do decide my "decorated" car is worth stealing - well, little do they know that if they stand next to the car long enough to decide if they want to steal it, the birds who live in the tree above will give them a present and send them on their way (we speak from experience).

Really if you think about it - a tree full of birds is a much lower maintenance and cost efficient home safety system than say an actual alarm or even a dog.

Maybe I'll post my epiphany on the neighborhood list serve.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Us!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to my favorite husband!

Not that I have more than one husband… it’s just that the one I have also happens to be my favorite. Rather convenient don’t you think?

Last year on this day we were in the quaint town of Aix-en-Provence in France. Yesterday afternoon I turned to Mr. SA and said, “You know, you still have about 8 hours to get me to an exotic location for our anniversary tomorrow. (wink, wink)”

“I think you’d better manage your expectations”

“Oh. Like I should expect to spend our anniversary in my office?”

“Yeah, that’s probably a good expectation to have.”

Oh well. Really, I feel for the man. He set me up with the best on our first anniversary; so in the back of my mind I’ve always known it would be downhill from there.

However, I was still woken up with flowers and a solid, grade “A” attempt to get me my favorite muffin from my favorite bakery (which ended up being closed). And a little human stretching itself against my bladder making me have to get out of bed sooner that I would have preferred.

A pretty awesome way to celebrate, if you ask me. Oui Oui?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Avocados and Aerobics

Just in case you woke up this morning and asked yourself, "I wonder how big Baby SA is now?!" Let me put your mind at ease.

I'm in my 17th week, which means Baby SA is between the size of an avocado and a turnip.

"But I've never seen a turnip in my life Pampered Bird! And my grocery store sells small avocados and "large Has" avocados! How am I supposed to process this information??"

There, there. I totally sympathize with you. If you are really that interested in the size of our growing baby, he/she is approximately 4.5 inches long - or the size of your palm. Does that help?

Last week was the first time friends told me that I'm starting to show. I have to admit that was a little exciting. After all, my pants haven't zipped in over three weeks - so it's about time someone recognize the fact that I haven't ditched working out, but instead am trying my hardest to grow a human being.

As part of the process I have started doing aerobics in our living room. By myself. With my arms dangerously close to the ceiling fan which is on at full speed.

In college I took a step class - which I loved. But the fact that I was double the height of everyone else in the room, and the fact that no one wanted to stand near me because my arms are so long that classmates risked being smacked in the head every time I did a jumping jack... caused my self consciousness to soar to new heights. In order to protect the innocent, I now do aerobics at home, by myself.

The DVD I found is specifically designed for prenatal exercises and is broken up by trimester, with boot camp workouts for after Baby SA makes his/her appearance. It combines cardio and toning and I like that the only equipment I need are some lite weights. All Mr. SA has to put up with, is me rearranging the living room furniture every time I workout so that I don't bang a knee on the coffee table, kick over his guitars, or trip on a sofa. So far he's been totally cool about it.

As repayment for putting up with me, I let him poke my stomach to see if we can get the baby to perform (foreshadow of things to come?... probably), but have so far been unsuccessful at feeling any kind of response. I'm guessing Baby SA is rolling his/her eyes and asking God why he/she is being placed in our family.

Just you wait Baby... there are all sorts of surprises waiting for you!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stir-fry and failed yoga

On Monday Baby SA and I were craving some stir-fry. Wanting to live up to my blog promise of sharing flavor packed prenatal meals - I thought I'd share the recipe. As expected, it is in Pampered Bird style which means I misplaced the recipe and am making it up as I type. It should be about right if you want to risk duplicating.

First I gathered the following:
1 head of broccoli florets (chopped in big pieces)
1 carrot (chopped in big pieces)
1 red bell pepper (chopped in big pieces)
a handful of snow peas
1 package of extra firm tofu
And some noodles from the Asian aisle. (That's as descriptive as I can be, because I already threw away the bag. But they look a lot like linguine noodles if that helps)

For the sauce, I found a recipe that used stuff I already had at home - perfect!
1/4 cup + 1TB of Peanut Butter
1/4 cup honey
2TB soy sauce (I had low sodium on hand)
1TB sesame oil
1TB lime juice
1TB garlic
I was also supposed to include ginger - but I forgot to buy it. So, really this is totally unauthentic... my advice to you is add the ginger!

I heated peanut oil and garlic in the largest fry pan I have. Then I added the carrots for a minute on their own. Then the rest of the veggies. They were in there probably 5 minutes at the max. I pulled them out while they were still nice and crunchy. Then I added the tofu - you press out the water first, cut it into cubes, soak it in some soy sauce for a minute, then put it in the pan. I saw recipes where you coat it with flour and stuff but that seemed like too much work.

Meanwhile cook the noodles like you would any other noodles.

Once the tofu is browned on all sides, add the veggies and noodles and pour on the sauce. I ended up needing more sauce because 1) we like sauce, and 2) I used a lot of veggies - but for the second round of sauce I cheated and just mixed PB, honey, soy sauce and lime juice together.

Mr. SA enjoyed the meal, but asked me to please be sure not to admit online that he liked the tofu. So I would like to make public that in all circumstances Mr. SA always prefers beef to anything else non beef related. Thank you for taking note.

There are no pictures of our meal because I was too anxious to start my pre-natal yoga online class. Which ended up being completely useless for relaxation because I laughed the whole way through - the repeated mantra of being one with your labor, celebrating the pain, and sending your baby love by posing in awkward yoga positions was too much for my stir-fry full self.

Sending love,
The un-zen-ified Pampered Bird

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bumpy Ride

One of my closest friends commented to me last spring - that with my history of stomach queasiness, if I ever got pregnant I would be doomed. (I'm paraphrasing slightly).

Well, miraculously my first trimester was (relatively) a breeze. I felt nauseous most of the time for a good month, but never actually "got sick" (I'm using quotes here to prevent being too graphic).

However, regardless of whether there is a baby wedged between my stomach and outer skin, my stomach still does its thing - especially in regards to high speed travel.

Last week I was flying back home after being gone for 10 days and traveling all over the country. As we started getting close to home the turbulence increased and increased and increased. I tried every trick in the book to ease my stomach. Finally we could feel the plane descending, going through storm clouds, and getting close to the tarmac. The plane was shuddering, back and forth and up and down, but I just counted the seconds until when I thought we would hit pavement. I had my eyes closed at the time, but all of the sudden I felt the plane shoot back up into the air - and the gentleman on my right gasped. "What's going on? We were 50 feet from the ground!"

The whole cabin began talking anxiously - until the pilot came on the speaker and explained that the side winds were too powerful and he didn't feel comfortable landing, so he was going up, circling around, and trying again.

At this point I wasn't sure my stomach could handle another several minutes of turbulence so I began "casually" (I'm using quotes here to make the sarcastic point that I wasn't casual at all) leafing through the seat pockets in front of me for that little bag the airlines provide. I saw the men on either side of me looking at me out of the corner of their eyes - so I felt the need to turn their fear into sympathy.

"I'm really sorry, I'm pregnant and I don't feel well and this plane is not helping!"- I blurted out.

Both men said, "OH!", and started looking for bags for me.

I found one and held it on my lap, but the guy to my right wasn't satisfied. He leaned over and anxiously said, "Well - go on and open it!"

I held the open bag while the pilot made a successful second landing. I kept holding it until, 20 minutes later, we were allowed to pull up to the gate. Some how my stomach held everything together and the bag went unused. So I folded it up and replaced it for the next queasy traveler.

And the relieved sighs my seat mates let out weren't lost on me either.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I think I'm officially over the "sick" portion of pregnancy. This has been determined because my appetite went from only wanting mild sushi with ginger (literally i ate that multiple times a week for a month!), to wanting to eat everything I see.

And before we continue let me address those of you are thinking "sushi?! mild?!"

Yes, the sushi I purchase has been from our local grocery store - prepared by a sweet Hispanic woman (Maria even made me custom ordered sushi at 9:30AM because the sushi wasn't on display yet). The sushi I ordered had brown rice, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Some die-hards might even call it "faux-sushi", and I'm ok with that. The best part about it was the strips of ginger that had a magical soothing effect on my topsy-turvy stomach.

But - now, in week 15, I've gone to only wanting "faux-sushi" - to wanting literally everything I see.

At work today I had to search the internet looking for local restaurants that might want to donate gift cards to our annual golf tournament this fall. This task took me three times as long as it should because at every website I got distracted drooling over the photos and menus! Everything from steak, to enchiladas, to whole fish! The more spices and flavors and textures the better!

In the last week alone I've had Thai food, Japanese food, Greek food, and tonight I'm making Italian. Yum! Baby SA is going on its first journey around the world - perhaps he/she wants to be a traveler? Or maybe it's my way of "traveling" as I foresee a time in my life where traveling will be much more limited.

Fortunately, Mr. SA is up for this challenge. He would be content eating Indian food every week - and I think he liked the Falafel with Tzatziki sauce I made on Wednesday?
Either way - I'm happy that I can enjoy food again! If you have any flavor-packed recipes you want to share - I might even try them and post how it went!

Till the next meal,
The Hungry Bird

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our New Resident

While I haven't blogged in awhile, I've also refrained from a number of other things - such as drinking stimulant or depressant beverages, staying awake at work, sleeping through the night without multiple runs to the restroom, and buttoning my pants (not that I've been wearing pants in the Texas summer anyway!).
The reason for all of this can be blamed on this guy:
 Isn't he cute? Oh... it just looks like a blob? What about this one?

At least here you can see the head on the right side, and a leg sticking up on the left - a little less "blobbish" if you ask me.

However, even that picture is several weeks old. I'm now early in my 15th week, and Baby SA is over 4in long, with facial features, finger prints, and ears that are on its head (fortunately they migrated from the neck a couple weeks ago! phew!). Baby SA even wiggles when I poke my stomach, which I got to see again today at my Dr. appointment.
Baby SA's currently lives in here:
And I currently live in here:
For the sake of full disclosure, the "house warming party" we threw ourselves 3 months ago... wasn't really a house warming party at all. It was our way of gathering the in-town family to announce the newest member of the fam that will join us in January.
Since then my dad keeps offering me pickles... and my mom has gotten me hooked on dipping fritos in cottage cheese. I'd say this is a fairly well rounded diet. But just in case the wee one doesn't agree I've tried to throw some salads into the mix as well. 
Mr. SA has been great. He offers to do the dishes, kicks me out of the house when he sprays for bugs, and complements the changing me, even when the changes freak me out.
So welcome into our circle of good news!
Besides being asked when I'm going to blog again (and yes, blogs will continue from here on out), I've also been asked to see some photos of our new abode. Here are some interior pics of the house:
Living Room.
Entry way.

 And kitchen. I just got back in town after being gone for 10 days, so those are the only rooms currently acceptable to show the public. But as we start working on the nursery I'll show you pictures of that too. 

In the meantime, I just bought a jar of pickles... so cliche, I know. But at least I'm not eating them with ice cream... yet! 
The Pampered "momma-to-be" Bird

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

House Warming Party

In order to expedite the process of unpacking/hanging/assembling our house, we decided to throw ourselves a house warming party just for the family.

To show our hospitality we even swept up the unwelcomed bugs.

I'd say the party was a quite the success - with champagne and toasts and a real-life-press-a-button-dishwasher to clean everything up at the end!

Part of the party prepping process (say that 10 times fast), included the demolition of the 30,000 tree trunks that Mr. San Antonio hijacked from our neighbors' brush piles last week. He was able to recruit a friend to gather the trunks, but when Mr. SA offered the opportunity of a life time - to use a 150,000 year old two man cross cut saw - the friend turned him down, complaining of gray hair and the lack of wine being offered on the other end of the deal. Some exchange was made about Mr. SA being able to recruit me, his Pampered Bird, to help with the task. Eyes were rolled and laughter ensued.

However, two hours later there I was, outside being pulled and pushed as I held one end of the saw in place, and Mr. SA used all his mighty muscle to tear through the tree trunk. The friend was understandably mortified.

We now have a backyard full of fire wood. Which of course can't be used for another 8 months (since it will be summer here until then). Besides, we have an entire flock of birds that have nested in our chimney... and I don't think they'd appreciate being roasted.

Between now and then I just hope the flowers I planted in the front yard decide to show their pretty faces. So much for the "flowers will bloom in 12 days" advertisement.

And on a totally different note - this morning Mr. San Antonio met me half way between our offices to exchange our lunches because I accidentally grabbed his lunch instead of mine off the counter - and I really wanted my lunch. I think he might love me.

The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New homeowner things

Please forgive the lapse in writing - we don't have Internet at the house yet, and have been busy doing the following "new homeowner" things:

1. Using a pair of locking pliers (there is a technical term for these that is escaping me right now), in order to turn the knob on our washer/dryer machine. It's what you have to resort to when the machines you were generously given don't have knobs.

2. Using the same pair of locking pliers to turn the hose on and off (because Ms. Puny Arms turned it a little too hard to the right and the knob snapped off - shows you how durable the knob was in the first place!), in order to water the house warming flowers we were given.

3. Utilizing our brain power in order to retrieve our new keys that we locked in our new house. If you haven't heard about our other lost key story, please do so, it will make you feel less sorry for us.

In this most recent situation, we could see the keys sitting nicely on an entry table about 6 feet inside the front door. Fortunately the front door has a mail slot, and fortunately the people who lived there before us left a wonderful pile of junk in the yard that consisted of (but not limited to) a broken shower rod and about 100 metal hangers (that is not an exaggeration). Mr. San Antonio masterfully created a fishing pole of sorts and was able to loop the keys onto the hanger and pull them through the mail slot. We have now learned to never leave anything of value on that table lest the mail man get greedy.

4. Polling our friends and family on the best way to rid our house of unloved critters. I won't give details, but suffice it so say we are feeling desperate.

5. Last but not least, we have been busy loving our new home! And slowly unpacking boxes, and cooking on a 21st century stove, and not sweating constantly, and not falling down non-up-to-code stairwells.

Thank you again to everyone who helped us move!

Here's to new homes, and new uses for pliers,
The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I just wanted to write a quick post about the fact that we are officially homeowners!

We did the final walk through on Monday... switched lights on and off, made sure water comes out of the sinks, etc. Everything seemed to be normal except for the full load of dishes in the dishwasher; dirty clothes in the laundry room, bags of hangers in the bedroom, and full bottles of liquor in the freezer, and a True Grit flask resting comfortably on the counter.

Apparently the home-tenders who were supposed to be gone over a week ago, decided that moving their stuff out wasn't a top priority.

After several phone calls around town, we confirmed that they were indeed planning on claiming their things before we took possession of the home on Tuesday evening.

So, last night we went to the title company, signed a bunch of forms, gave them a hefty check, and made another round of phone calls to verify that the home-tenders really did remove their things. We were planning on simply removing their stuff for them and leaving it on the curb or taking it to Goodwill, but were warned that those actions may be illegal.

I thought committing a crime would be the best way to start this new stage of our life...

Instead, we just waited it out at the office until we received verbal confirmation. As soon as that call came in, we stood up, shook hands all around, and invited our realtor to our moving party on Saturday where home smoked brisket will be served (we told him he didn't have to move anything, we just want him to come celebrate with us).

Later, Mr. San Antonio and I took our first load of boxes to the new house. He carried me over the threshold; we broke (accidentally) the cover on the air conditioner panel; and found that the True Grit flask had been left (along with some aroma oils and "back from the dead" pills??).

Of course none of this surprised me. After all, if we're going to leave behind the fire breathing dragon, the Lord had to give me something new to blog about.

Here's to new homes and new adventures,
The Pampered Bird

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Packing Up

Today Mr. San Antonio and I began the packing process. We've got about two more small boxes worth of platters, pitchers, and bar items before we're finished with the living and dining rooms. Not too bad for one afternoon of work.

I had all sorts of good intentions to use the fire breathing dragon as much as possible in these last few weeks in the apartment... but what with being on a liquid/soft food only diet, and with the temperature rising, it just hasn't been used much. My blender on the other hand...

Did you know that if you throw a couple heaping handfuls of spinach leaves into a peanut butter/milk/banana shake - you don't even taste it! And as an added bonus it turns your drink green!

(Yes, I am taking extra vitamins to fill my nutrition gaps.)

And no, I did not choose to put myself on the meal-plan. It's doctors orders, in order to protect my gum graft (which so far is healing well). He also ordered no straws, no meat, no carbonation, no biting into anything, and no kissing. I realize the last one is not food related, but it has been the most difficult out of the list - so I decided to add it to gain your sympathy. Thank you for sympathizing.

Next weekend I'm going to ask my parents to not serve me Easter lunch, but to let me share my nephew's food. He's almost one, so we're on a similar soft-food meal plan. But I can walk on my own, so at least I've got that on him.

Alright, Mr. San Antonio just returned from a run. Although I can't congratulate him with a kiss, at least I don't have to put his steak through the blender.

This week - please be thankful for your normal eating abilities!
The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Refrigerator shopping

Is your refrigerator running?

Well, you better go catch it!

Here is a brief update on the house...

Last week the inspections all came in, and the sellers agreed to help us with some of the costs to bring the electrical wiring up to code. Everything is moving smoothly toward our closing date at the end of this month!

We just got word that the refrigerator will not be staying - so now we're gearing up for shopping mode. Do you have a brand you recommend (or don't recommend)? Do you have access to recent consumers' reports info that you want to pass along? We are taking input and would appreciate any advice or suggestions you want to send our way!

The space is just big enough for a normal size refrigerator, and we're leaning away from one with an ice maker - since everyone we know with an ice maker complains about it leaking and breaking on a regular basis (and our kitchen will be all hard wood floors).

I realize this is not the most exciting update ever... but to keep you interested in returning to this little site, I will be spending the next few weeks counting down to saying goodbye to the fire breathing dragon. You won't want to miss the fun!

Here's hoping your refrigerator doesn't get too far down the street....
The Pampered Bird

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Royal Throne

Last night I had another anxious dream that we were moving all our furniture into the house and everywhere I walked the floors were slanted, there were gaping holes in the ceiling, rotted and cracking walls were falling down... it was in bad shape. And on top of all of that, the movers had lost the bed that Mr. San Antonio built for us. I was very angry and I let them know.

My dream might make it sound like I am not quite ready to leave our apartment; however, I have a new enemy within our current abode that may trump the fire breathing dragon, the lack of air conditioning, and all the other things you've heard me whine about the last year. This new enemy is....

The royal throne.

Otherwise known as the toilet. I will spare you graphic details, but all I need to say is that it chooses when it decides to flush and when it decides not to flush. Mr. San Antonio insists it is a union toilet. Perhaps that is the proper explanation. But all I can see is the fact that any time Mr. SA presses down on the handle, the royal throne does exactly what it is supposed to do. Then when it is my turn, the toilet protests, spins around, but doesn't go down.

Mr. SA is now claiming that the royal throne only works for the king.

But hopefully, in about a month we'll be moving to our own castle, where we have the right to fire unionized toilets and other uncooperative appliances.

Wishing you speedy flushing,
The Pampered Bird

Friday, March 25, 2011

Teeth and a House

Today Mr. San Antonio is shaking his head and asking himself why oh why did he not become a periodontist?

If he had pursued this dental specialty then I would be buying him a new car with all my dental payments, and not the doctor who currently has a monopoly on my business.

On Tuesday I walked into an all too familiar office building and was greeted by the entire staff with comments like "Hey Marissa! It's good to see you! Do you remember me?"

Unfortunately I did, and I informed them that I wasn't all that excited to see them again. They laughed... sort of. Then I asked if my bone graft and tooth implant of 2005 had been the reason they were able to afford brand new waiting room furniture...

During the visit the doctor informed me that I need 9 gum grafts done over the next 3-5 years. He tried to reassure me by saying it wasn't my fault - it was genetics. But that wasn't very comforting after I realized I couldn't get my long ago ancestors to write a check for the mess they created in my genes. I might as well just go to the car lot and let him skip the middle man.

On top of the really exciting news mentioned above, Tuesday also brought with it the announcement that: We have a contract on a house! We're officially in the option period and if all goes well we'll close on May 1st! We are very excited about the home and appreciate the fact that it is next to an elementary school. However, my slight anxiety about impending school traffic played itself out in my dream last night...

I had driven over to the house to take another look before we closed, and as I was driving away there were hundreds of kids walking in the street and riding their bikes so that I could barely move my car without running them over. Kids were laying on the street, under my car, on top of my car, and laughing that I couldn't see them - while i nervously inched my car down the road.

A little dramatic? Mr. San Antonio said, "yes".

So, we're going into this weekend with a lot on our hearts, full laundry baskets, and a shortage of coffee. I'll let you know how we make it out.

Happy Friday!
The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The worst meal ever

If ever you've thought to yourself, "Today I'd like to cook a meal that doesn't impress anyone. In fact, today I'd like to prepare something that makes the consumer want to leave my home and never take another bite of anything I've made." Well, if that's the case - then I have the meal for you!

In fact, I made it last night.

It didn't start out too bad. I thought asparagus soup, hand made chicken nuggets, and a cumin spiced coleslaw sounded refreshing on a nice spring day. I saw the menu in a cook book. The cook book has (so far) been pretty reliable. So I took out every pot and pan in the kitchen, assembled my new immersion blender, and went to work chopping and dipping and breading and stirring....

For all the work and all the dishes you'd have thought I'd made an award winning meal. But after a few bites, I looked up at Mr. San Antonio and said, "this is the worst meal I've ever made". And he very sweetly (yet with an unshakable assurance) said, "Yes, I agree."

Oh well.

I figure something good has to come out of the meal - and that is why I am warning you to never make what I made last night. I don't know if I left out ingredients, or didn't read the directions right, or if I just lost my head, but it was bad.

This morning as Mr. San Antonio and I packed our lunches for work, he pulled out the asparagus soup (which I really should have thrown out last night, but there was just so much of it that I didn't quite have the heart), and he said, "well, maybe we can salvage it by pouring in heavy cream and lots of cheese."

Isn't he the most wonderful, intelligent man?

I'll let you know how the cheese/cream therapy works out for us. And for the soup.

In the mean time... I'm going to look forward to being at work today and staring at the beautiful flowers Mr. San Antonio spontaneously had sent to my office yesterday.

Here's to wishing you an asparagus-soup-free day!
-The Pampered Bird

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thankful List

I wrote the following "thankful list" on Friday... but was only at home during sleeping hours this weekend and did not get around to posting it. I've also added an ammendment at the end.

10:30PM (Thursday) - Thankful for friends getting married and the joy of celebrating with them through girly parties.

6:20AM (Friday) - Thankful that Mr. San Antonio woke up and noticed that we had slept through the alarm, but that I still had 10 minutes before I had to leave for a meeting 30 minutes away.

6:30AM - Thankful for Mr. San Antonio and his lunch packing skills and his willingness to help me get out the door this morning in record speed.

8:30AM - Thankful for the free coffee that I was offered (after the meeting was over), and thankful that a miracle kept me awake and alert without it.

10:00AM - Thankful that I love my job, and am surrounded by a great group of co-workers.

12:30AM - Thankful for generous donors who care about education and make amazing surprise donations!

3:30PM - Thankful that my awesome co-workers went along with the idea of surprising our boss at the airport to congratulate him on the new donation!

5:45PM - Thankful for early dismissal fridays!

7:00PM - Thankful for friends and the ability to serve them by babysitting so they can have a date night.

10:00PM - Thankful to be back in my own bed (which I left too early this morning), and thankful that Saturday brings a new house hunt, a wedding, and more opportunities for thankfulness!

(Jump to Sunday) 2:00PM - Thankful that I survived our 5 mile run with the help of my personal trainer more commonly known as Mr. San Antonio. And even more thankful that Mr. SA helped me clean the apartment while I went to the grocery store - and now I have a sparkling white tub again!

Why oh why do things like sparkling white tubs make me feel so giddy inside?
Hope you have a day full of thankfulness,
The Pampered Bird

Monday, March 7, 2011

A (boring) house update

After deep contemplative thought, and an informal inspection done by two of our friends, we've decided to abandon the house we've been negotiating on for the last three weeks, and start this whole process over. I wouldn't hold your breath for us to make a decision any time soon though. Currently our options are a house with wild animal prints throughout the interior (I don't mean wallpaper, and rugs, I mean dirty/muddy prints from stray animals that have wandered inside); a house with a living room that fits an armchair (that's it - an armchair); or a house that backs up to a very industrial alley (where I'm convinced more wild animals... and perhaps wild humans, like to reside).

But we're optimistic. And anxious to get something by May when the heat waves hit and we'll have to bring a baby pool into our kitchen so I can cool off while cooking dinner.

Oh - side comment - I'd like to note for the public record that as I type this, a truck painted with a british flag just drove by our window. And when I say painted, I don't mean a bumper sticker size image, I mean from roof to floorboards. Ok, end side note.

Other than the house hunt, nothing too new is going on with us. I continue to eat oatmeal for breakfast and remain mute until I get my coffee. Is this information too mundane? Probably, yes.

Until later (or when I have an inconsequential update to give you on our life),
The Pampered Bird


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