Sunday, June 28, 2015

And then there were four!

Well, once again, there is a lot to catch up on! I think pretty much everyone knows our biggest news - we are expecting a baby this Christmas! Seriously, on December 23rd. The doctors told me to anticipate a late arrival since it's our first, and I really hope that does not happen. December was supposed to be the "off-limit" month for a baby, but after reading some forums of people who delivered on Christmas, I feel much better about it! Christmas is such a fun time of year, and people are cheerful during the holiday season and I think the hospital might be kind of fun! So we will see. Plus, the mother/baby unit at the UVM hospital will have just been renovated and I heard it is really nice! I really want to bring the baby home in a Christmas stocking! Alex's birthday is also in December, so we will just have a lot going on that month. But a lot of great goings-on!

Anyway, we found out back in April. A few things gave it away, but mostly it was me being unable to exercise. I was doing my workout videos and became exhausted after just five minutes! Like laying on the ground, can't breathe kind of exhausted. I had just finished a half marathon, so I knew I was not out of shape. Alex was convinced I was not pregnant though, and I kind of convinced myself as well. But I finally took a test on a Friday afternoon, and in my head I was like "there is no way I am pregnant, I just don't feel like I am, and that is something an expectant mom would know!" but lo and behold, I was! We were not really planning on it, so it was a bit of a surprise. I immediately called Alex and told him to come home. He was at the school studying for Step 2. He rushed home and we both kind of sat in some sort of crazed stupor that was a mix of excitement and terror. Then, only 30 minutes after I took the test, I had to get on a phone interview with the Registrar of UVM for a position I really, really wanted. I pretty much bombed the interview because my mind was totally elsewhere. What made it worse was that he said because I only have a year to work, that he was most excited for my last 6 months since that is when I would likely be the most productive after learning everything. Of course, I knew I would probably have a baby by then, so that stressed me out big time! THe interview ran way over time, and when it ended, Alex and I had about 5 minutes to chat before I took off for a history conference in Massachusetts. So we didn't even get to spend the evening together! I spent the next day in a daze and barely remember what I said during my presentation. Oh well!

It is crazy to think we are going to be parents. I felt totally ready earlier this year, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I felt like I was not ready at all! I am not sure if that is how a lot of people feel, but I am slowly trying to learn and prepare our little household for a new member of our family. No matter what, this little baby is going to be soooo loved! Alex is already obsessed with it, and the support of friends and family makes it even better. I am extremely sick and have not been able to do a lot of things I want, so that makes it a little hard to be excited 100% of the time. I've lost 5 lbs so far, but I think that might be because it was so hard to maintain a good diet and sleep schedule while traveling these past few weeks. However, when I see pictures of this little thing and hear the heartbeat, I can't help but get a little (a lot!) attached :) I even pulled out a baby blanket I ordered last Christmas and keep it around because it makes me so excited!
At 14 weeks exactly
Holding its hand above its head, like a little drama queen/king! I love this picture so much!
Look at that tiny foot!!!!!!
One more close up. So crazy!
My mom sent this super cute care package once she found out I was prego. Look at the robot onesie! They are holding hands! The cuteness is too...much....
Also, the cat food is a little joke. When my mom was pregnant, she always felt better after throwing up, but needed help getting to that point. So my dad would have her smell cat food. Ha ha!
Baby bump at just over 14 weeks. On June 27th, it was the anniversary of Queen's first ever concert, so of course I had to pull out my Queen t-shirt. I need to rock it before I get too fat to fit in it! :)
Back in April, I ran my first half marathon. It was really fun! The first 10 miles were actually great and I quite enjoyed myself, but the last 3 were killer. Good thing I caught up to my friend Shannon, because without her I would have died by the side of the running path! Our awesome neighbors came to support me at the finish line, and that was really cool. They are the best! I finished in 2 hours 7 minutes. I am going to try and run this same race next year in under two hours. We will see if I can do it!
Alex, Alex H., Mairi Jane, Me, and Melissa. Couldn't ask for better friends!!!!
Somewhere around mile 9 and also (unknowingly) almost 4 weeks prego)
Sprinting at the finish with Shannon
Shannon, Jaimee, and myself. We trained together!
Other than that, we just hung around the house, played outside, and went out to eat as much as we could because we knew this summer was going to be crazy!
Cheri does not like to share her couch space
Heading to brunch at Leunigs! We are so excited, obviously
Hanging in the apartment and working on a 1000 piece puzzle that depicts Shakespeare's plays. Of course How I Met Your Mother is on in the background :)
Cheri says "feed me, you fool!" ha ha! I promise Alex was not actually scared in this picture, but it just looks so funny!
I finished my grad school career off nicely by winning the "Most Innovative Research Award" from all the grad students! I couldn't believe I beat out the science kids. I missed the award ceremony because I truly thought I had no chance in winning, even though I received a notice that I was nominated. Turns out that someone who attended one of my presentations really liked my research, so it was really validating that it was not even one of my professors who nominated me. Yay!
"It's a major award!" "Maybe it's a bowling alley!"

Celebrating graduation in Winooski at an outside diner
Because of everything that was going on, we were feeling lucky and decided to buy a bunch of scratch lottery cards. And we won 30 bucks! We actually only made a $10 profit, but still, that is cool, for scratch cards.
You can tell Alex set this up because it is organized perfectly. He is so organized! (aka OCD :))
I also made the most bomb cheesecake in the world! I was craving Ruth's Chris cheesecake, and found a recipe that seemed pretty close. This is allllll homemade, yo, springform pan and all. It was HEAVEN.
Fresh homemade raspberry topping!
My diploma!
Hanging out side, watching for squirrels 
Cheri can't ever relax when there are evil squirrels and cats to be vanquished
So this busy summer kicked off with Alex finishing his first Radiation Oncology rotation here at UVM. He LOVED it! The hours were so amazing, which is why we got to spend so much time together. The office closes at 5pm, and each doctor takes turns being on call one weekend a month or something like that. Alex felt like he was able to learn a lot, and it definitely confirmed that he made the right career choice. It is a super competitive field for that reason, though (and the money!) so we know we have a lot of work ahead of us! But if anyone can do it, he can. He honored 9 classes and clerkships during his first three years, and was nominated for some cool award or membership thing, which we will find out about later next month. 

Right after his clerkship, like, the day after it ended, I hopped on a plane to visit my best friends in the world for our 10 year reunion in VEGAS! I stayed for about 5 days and it was a blast (pics below.) I flight home got in just after midnight on June 4th, and four hours later I had to take Alex back to the airport so he could leave for his Radiation Oncology rotation in Seattle. It was good to see him for four hours, but definitely not enough time. Luckily, I flew out just a few days after that to stay with him for just over a week! Then I went straight from Seattle to Denver for a bachelorette party, and THEN finally made it home on June 23rd. It was an insane month of traveling, and was made more difficult since I have been so incredibly sick and tired. But it was still awesome!! Alex will be home this coming weekend after a red-eye on July 3-4th, so I am glad we will have that holiday together! Then he begins an AI (acting internship) for....something...(I can't remember) so it will be another busy month. But at least we will all be home!
I stole this from Nicole's Instagram. We are so cool!
We stayed in a private condo that is part of MGM Grand, but not the hotel. But we still had access to the main pool and it was freaking cool! There was a huge lazy river which was very necessary in 104 degree heat. 

How much counter space to four girls need to get ready? A lot. This is also only one of the bathrooms. Our condo was HUGE! and it had a full kitchen! We know how to party :)
On our way to Treasure Island to see Mystere! We walked there, which turned out to be a bad idea because it was 100 degrees and on the opposite end of the Strip. It took us over an HOUR to get there! I was dying a little inside, but my friends are nice and patient and let me go slow and whine :) At least we looked good!
Mystere! It was really awesome but also really weird. If there was a story line, I have no clue what it was. At one point a giant man-baby thing came on stage and did all this random baby stuff and it made me a little uncomfortable because it was a little creepy. But all in all, it was a great experience! Like this part - these two guys are the most muscular and talented guys I have ever seen. It was mind blowing!
At our private pool for condo people! We're so fancy
Brittany with Shark Boy! We got him in a happy meal on our high school grad trip, and he is still with us. 
We ate at Gordon Ramsay's BURGR our last night in Vegas. Definitely not the best burger I have had, but the experience was awesome!
Top pic: right after high school. Bottom: 10 year reunion, exactly 10 years later. I think we still look pretty much the same!
Alex sent me this while he was packing for Seattle. Cheri knows when we are leaving and gets really upset. 
One sad part of the summer was that our neighbors moved. They were probably our closest friends! We hung out alllll the time, and would just leave our doors open and go in and out and let our doggies roam around. They moved to Denver, so now we want to move to Denver. They are basically some of the only people on the planet that Cheri likes, so we need to keep that going. We will really miss them! I was able to stay with them for an afternoon before my flight out of Denver, and that was was awesome!

In SEATTLE! On the ferry in Puget Sound. crazy to think this is the ocean! It reminded me so much of Alaska with it's beauty.
Flying in to Seattle - - you could see Mt. Ranier poking above the clouds!
On the ferry again
At Uncle Jerry's beachfront property on Puget Sound. Alex is digging for clams here. All those things that looks like rocks are actually oysters! Thousands and thousands of them!

Um hello, yes, I will live here. 
During our day at the beachhouse, a retired surgeon (a friend of Jerry's)  taught us how to play tennis. Of course Alex picked up on it right away and was amazing!
Me on the other hand....well, basically, the guy gave up teaching me and I went to play in the corner by myself. And I still lost. ha ha!
Eating the clams we dug up that morning. First time trying clams! Alex seemed to like them.
I was terrified of them and could not get over the texture. THis is right before I tried one for the first time. I don't know if it is the pregnancy or what, but I will not be eating clams again.
At the famous Pike's Place market in Seattle!

The fish market. We even saw the "flying fish!"
You can barely see it, but the green sign behind Alex and in the center says "green tortoise hostel." This is literally across the stress from the market, and is where Alex stayed in 2009 when he came here to volunteer for the Seattle food pantry. It was fun to see!
The world's first Starbucks! IDK what their logo is.
Inside Starbucks
Sooooo many beautiful flowers at the farmers market!
View of Seattle from the ferris wheel. The blue building at the bottom is the aquarium!

At the aquarium! Alex touched an ocean thing
I didn't get any pics of the other animals at the aquarium because I tried to just enjoy myself without my phone. There were a billion teenagers just standing around taking pics of the fish and not actually looking at them and it really annoyed me! Anyway, we also saw sea otters and seals and some other cute little creatures. And an octopus!
View from Alki beach, I walked here almost every day to just enjoy the view. You can see the Space Needle in the background!

View of Alki Beach and Puget sound from Uncle Jerry's
More Alki Beach and Puget sound from Uncle Tony's. We stayed with Tony while we were there, which was so nice! And you can't beat this view!!!!

This is a restaurant that the Residents took Alex to eat during his first week. They seem to hang out a lot and Alex says it is a lot of fun! 
The medical center!!

The Radiation Oncology department. You can see the reflection of Alex's shoes in the door and it is like he is a ghost :)
All in all, Alex has really enjoyed his time in Seattle. He says he has definitely learned A LOT and really likes the residents and how they go out together and do things, and even better that they invite Alex (and pay!) for him to come along as well. He already has a great letter of recommendation from one of the doctors, so we will see what happens. Seattle is only accepting 2 new residents and that might be tough to swing, but there is a chance! We are still not 100% sure we want to live in Seattle, especially with a brand new baby. But we have to do an intern year somewhere else before we start residency so really the baby will be 1 by the time we start. Exciting and scary all at once!
The beautiful Denver mountains! The bachelorette party was for one of my very best friends who lives in Salt Lake. We all met up from all over the country to stay at a ski resort that is very similar to Park City. It was a lot of fun! 
The beautiful bride! This is waiting/watching for the alpine slide. It was so fun!

One night, we all wrote down wishes for Emily and her fiancee, Leah, on these cute little papers. Then we lit them on fire and they were supposed to fly up to the sky, but they just kind of burned on the ground. It was still fun, though! And a very sweet memory :)

After over 30 hours of traveling, I FINALLY made it back to Vermont! I look like a disaster (that is what a red eye and extreme morning sickness on an airplane will do to you) but look at Cheri's face! PURE JOY!
that is a happy doggie!

It did not rain in Seattle once while I was there, so I was happy to come home to rain. Five min before I took this picture it was bright and sunny, then it got crazy dark and rainy! I love those moments!
While we were at Pike's Place fish market, I bought my Dad an entire fresh Pacific salmon and sent it to him for his bday/father's day! He is a great cook (the best I know) and loves salmon. My mom sent me this pic from when he got it!

If you are reading this, congrats! You survived yet another picture dump. We have even more adventures coming our way though! In July I will head to Boston to visit Emily for her last summer course in Cambridge, and we also get to find out the sex of our baby! (We both think it is a boy.) Then in August Alex and I go to Philadelphia for a few days so he can take some big test (there are too many to keep straight) and in September, Alex will do a 3 week rotation in Utah. I am hoping to come stay for at least a week, and hoping I feel better so I don't have to worry about being sick on the plane. Alex's residency application is due in September as well, and then we can plan on interviews all fall and through the winter. And of course, baby will be here in December! No rest for the wicked, I suppose :)

We miss everyone and love you all! This is our LAST YEAR in Vermont, so you better come visit now! I bet this Fall will be spectacular! So come see the leaves and enjoy spending time with us before I get too fat for fun :)