Monday, July 30, 2012

Progress pics and pregnancy update...Weeks 25 & 26

In the last week, I have started getting more tired during the day. As I draw closer to the end of my second trimester and the start of my 3rd trimester, I guess that is bound to happen.

Our little girl seems to really enjoy moving whenever I am ready to settle in for the night. I also found FIVE new stretch marks on my stomach. GASP!!! This is in spite of using Palmers Cocoa Butter religiously every morning and evening. I have read that stretch marks are passed on based on your genes and since I already have them in other places, I was bound to get them. Oh my body is more uniform :-).

I am LOVING the fact that my innie is still an innie. PRAYING it stays that way.

So far, I have been lucky and no one has tried to rub my stomach. Praying that continues because I don't really feel comfortable with it. I used to always say if someone rubs my stomach, I'll do the same to them or grab their boobs in response. But now that I am starting to show, I am not sure if I'll have the nerve to do so.

Now, on to progress pictures.

Week 25

Week 26

Thoughts/Random Questions:
When you were pregnant, did you ever have random strangers (or co-workers) walk up to you and rub your stomach? If so, how did you react?
Does anyone know the origins of the pregnant woman stomach rub? I have often wondered if people do it because they think it'll bring them good-luck. If so, what's the benefit to the mom? I really don't get it so if you know, please enlighten me :-).

Bon Appetit Mondays

I telework from home on Mondays which means I start and my work day at 6am since I can roll out of bed and start my work day. This also means my work day ends at or a little after 2:30pm.

Once my regular workday ends, my second job begins...doing laundry, cooking dinner and getting ready for the rest of the work week. On Mondays, I cook a pretty sizable dinner that's enough for Monday night dinner and 2 lunches for J and I to take to work.

I'll try to blog about what I make on Mondays and share the recipe incase anyone is interested.

Today's dinner is rice jambalaya!

Rice Jambalaya:
2.5 cups rice
1 box chicken broth (32-oz)
1-cooked chicken leg with skin
1-cooked breast with skin
1-package kielbasa
1-packet salad shrimps (cooked)
2-cans diced pepper/tomatoes (14.5oz each)
3-TBSP oil (your choice)

Minced onions
Curry powder

1. Put the oil in the pot to heat it up.
2. Slice the kielbasa into bite size pieces and add to pan. Saute for about 3-minutes
3. Add all the spices above (based on how spicy you want the dish) and let cook for 3-more minutes
4. Add the canned tomatoes and the entire box of chicken broth
5. Add the chicken breast and leg
6. Add rice
7. Allow everything to cook together until rice is soft (about 20 to 25-minutes). You will need to stir every 10-minutes or so to ensure it doesn't get burnt.
8. Remove the chicken and pull it apart using 2 forks or your hands to shred it and then add back to the pot
9. After rice is cooked, add shrimps and mix it in
10. Bon Appetit

Thoughts/Random Questions:
If you do make this dish using the steps above, please be sure to let me know how it turned out for you. I'd love to hear about your variation of rice jambalaya as well.
Feel free to share your other easy/favorite recipes with me. I like to try out new recipes and J loves my cooking so that helps :-).

Friday, July 27, 2012

J saves the day!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had an awesome week. I am so glad Friday is FINALLY here.

I am posting this as Kudos to J for a job well done! Hopefully, he'll see this and buy me something nice ;-).

A couple of weeks ago on my way to a friend's daughter's party, my car AC conked out! Now, anyone who lives in the DC/MD/VA area knows that summers here are BRUTAL! I tried not to let it bug me too much and went to the party as planned.
The following Monday, since I had an OB appointment, J took my car to the dealership to have it looked at. That's just one of the many reasons I love him because he was willing to delay his work arrival time to make sure I was taken care of. A few hours and $132 later (yes, they charge you just to look and tell you what's wrong!), he called me with the news. They said it'd cost $4,500 to fix the AC!
The car is a 2003 Honda and according to KBB, is only worth about $3,800! Imagine my surprise when they said they wanted to charge me $4,500 to fix it. That coupled with the weight gain news I had just received from my OB as well as other upcoming expenses (baby, new car, new home) all got me a little down. Side Note: I know I shouldn't be upset about gaining weight at this point in my pregnancy but the pregnant emotional me was...

J decided to bring the car back and take it to the guy who did the last work on his car. He also told me not to panic and that he would take care of it. (That's another reason I love J...he knows how to calm me when I am going or about to go nuts!).
J went online, ordered the parts for the AC (total cost of $445). To be sure he got all he needed, he also went by his car guy's shop the following morning to make sure he didn't miss anything.

This past Monday, J dropped off my car to get the AC fixed. We were charged $297 for the service since we brought the parts ourselves. Total cost for AC repair was $742. I am a happy gal and you know what they say...Happy Wife = Happy Life!

Here's what got me...why was one shop able to fix the car for a total of $742 while another was willing to charge me $4,500 for the same work? One thing is for sure. At this point, I won't be taking my car back to the dealer unless it involves a recall notice.

So...KUDOS to J for saving the day!

Thoughts/Random Questions:
Do you take your car to the dealership where you got it or do you typically go somewhere else? If so, why?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Progress pics and pregnancy update...weeks 15 to date

I figured it would be interesting to document my progress pictures from when I started taking pictures of my pregnancy to date.
I have heard some interesting comments from folks as well and will post them whenever their received :-).

I am FINALLY starting to look pregnant @ 6-months! I did start wearing my maternity clothes at 20-weeks cause they were just more comfortable than my regular clothes.

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17

Week 18

Week 19

Week 20

Week 21

Week 22

Week 23

Week 24. I popped last week! YAY!!!

 Now, you're all caught up. I'll post more progress pics as the weeks go by. Still don't have the fully rounded belly yet but I have had 3-people congratulate me since last week so I am guessing they can finally tell its not just fat but actually baby :-).

Comments I have received so far:
If you've been following my blog, you'd know that I have received some really interesting comments since J and I are an interracial couple.
Since getting pregnant, I have received the following comments from random people! I have found that getting pregnant invites ALL SORTS of people to make comments that just make you go "hmmm...that's different."

- Comment #1: " didn't wait long did you?" My response to that is that we were 10-months married when we got pregnant. But seriously, is it ANYONE's business how long I waited? I am no spring chicken afterall :-).

- Comment #2: "Chop chop...what are you waiting for? You're not getting any younger!" I wish I could attribute this to my mom who prayed for a baby before the end of the year but that would be unfair. This was from the same lady who said I married J to have light skinned babies. I gave her a look and didn't bother to tell her I was already 5-months pregnant when she made that comment.

- Comment #3: "Wow...the ladies are growing!" Really? I didn't notice! I assumed my bras shrunk in the dryer! For the record, I know women can talk about other women's boobs but it is never OK to mention that its growing. Its OK to say "they look perkier" :-).

- Comment #4: "You're carrying low and on your hips! You must be having a boy!" I didn't realize folks still believe in the old wives tales! For one thing, 3 sonograms (I know its not 100% proof) have said girl. And for another, it is NOT nice to imply that my hips are getting wider!

- Comment #5: "Auntie! You're still pregnant??? Geez, I want to meet my cousin!" This comment was just too too cute and I can attribute it to my nephew. It was my favorite of all. He is just so excited and when I showed him the sonogram pics, he knew EXACTLY what he was looking at! I was quite impressed and know he'll be a great older cousin come Fall.

Thoughts/random questions:
Moms out there (or moms to be), how long did it take you to start "showing"?

Has anyone made any silly comments worth sharing regarding your weight or how you look?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

J won the Chick-fil-A bowl!

I know you're thinking about the actual food franchise but nope...I am referring to J's play station 3 game (NCAA Football 12).
Here is something I don't understand. J treats this game like he really is playing real football! He actually makes time for the game and I often wonder what his fascination is with the game. But apparently, it is a good stress reliever for him because when he has had time to play his game, he is in a much better mood. Plus I do not want to take this away from him since our lives will change significantly once baby arrives this fall.
So ladies, do your men spend a lot of time playing video games? How do you handle it? How much time do they spend playing the game and does it make you uncomfortable?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baby makes 3

We went to Boston to celebrate Christmas with my family in December 2011. Right before we left to come back, my mom prayed and one line of her prayer went something like this - "Lord, make it so that before the end of the year, they (J & I) will welcome a new addition into their family".

Now, I TOLD my mom that J and I weren't planning on trying to start a family until after our 1-year anniversary for so many reasons. That would mean if we got pregnant right away, the baby would arrive in early 2013. We just wanted to first live together as man and wife and enjoy the alone time together since we didn't live together before getting married. 

Fast forward to my annual gynecology visit in February. I met with the doctor and told her our plans was to start trying in April. She advised that due to my "Advanced Maternal Age" (words I have come to DESPISE!), it would be best to get off birth control in February and give my body time to adjust without artificial  hormones before trying to conceive. I didn't think I'd hear the words "Advanced Maternal Age" for a couple more years since I am 34. I mean, I felt like I was in my prime not "advanced"!

So with that, I left her office. The following week was Valentine's day and let's just say J & I had a good Valentine's day celebration.

2-weeks later, I started feeling "off". I went to Boston to visit with my folks and told my mom I had a metallic taste in my mouth. She just nodded and didn't say anything. My younger sister also told me I was "glowing" but I didn't think anything of it.
Came back home and a week and half goes by and I am still not feeling right. I wasn't throwing up or nauseous but I just felt "off". So I decided to get some tests from the dollar store (yes they have them), and a couple of "more reliable" brands from CVS.

The first test I took didn't show anything. You can barely see a faint pink line.

I waited until the next morning and took another test. This one definitely showed that there was something there. I didn't want to get too excited so I figured I'd wait another day.

The following day after work, I decided to take the remaining dollar store test as well as the other brand name tests.

Yes. I needed 3 to confirm that it was indeed positive! I was in so much shock that I left the tests on the counter in the bathroom with a note for J and then immediately looked at my calendar to see how far along I'd be when we went to Italy.
We booked the trip back in early February. It put me at 30-weeks. I then went on the airline's site to see what their cutoff date was for flying. It said 35-weeks. WHEW! J & I will make it our babymoon :-)!

Next thing I did was to go do Zumba Fit 2 on my Wii (I love that game!). Plus I had too much happy energy to burn :-).

When J got home, I told him I left something for him in the bathroom. He went to see it and was THRILLED. He had an unforgettable smile on his face! Almost made me pause my Zumba Fit game. Almost...

So began the next phase of our lives...preparing for our newest addition. We are both really thrilled and looking forward to our new adventure with our plus one :-) .

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Life as an interracial couple

If you read my first blog and saw my profile picture, you'll know that J and I are an interracial couple.

It isn't something that's ever bothered me but I have noticed that it bothers others more. I grew up with a lot of diversity and was taught that we are all God's creations regardless of our race, class, age, ethnic background. We are all ONE race and its the human race.

I recall the first time J and I visited Boston, Massachusetts. I grew up there and it was nice to show J the various places I visited when I was younger and just to experience the city through his eyes.
My brother, sister in law and their 2 boys were with us and we decided to take the kids to Boston's Newbury Street.  Its a pretty cool area with lots of shops (clothing and coffee and other treats).
J and I were holding the boys and we got so many looks. What surprised me is that folks didn't look and then turn away. Nooo...they looked and just kept on looking at us as we walked by. It was slightly uncomfortable for J who hadn't experienced that before.
Notwithstanding, we had a blast in Boston! Here are a couple of pictures from our trip to Fenway.

When we got married, in April 2011, I was THRILLED to share my pictures with my co-workers especially since a lot of them expressed interest. Little did I know how much stress that would cause me.

Rumor #1:
I heard from a friend at work that the rumor is I married J so I could have light skinned babies! I was hurt by that because I LOVE all colors! My nieces and nephew are black and I love EVERYTHING about them. For someone to even think that about me meant that they thought I didn't love them and that is SOOOO far from the truth!

Rumor #2:
Another friend mentioned that they heard I married J so my kids could have "good hair". What does that even mean??? All hair is BEAUTIFUL! I love my hair and wouldn't trade it for anyone else's hair. I wish it was a little thicker but it is what I have and its mine. Rumor #2 I attributed to ignorance. 

So now, how do I react when people stare at J and I? I stare right back until they turn away! I figured unless you are smiling at me or have something nice to say, it is rude to stare!

Have you ever experienced something like that or know someone who has? How did you handle it? 

My first post! Who is JJ?

So I have decided to start my own blog. Why? Well, for one thing, I do like to read other people's blogs so I figured its a good idea to reciprocate. Another reason is that I am starting a new journey in my life (more on that in later blogs) and would like to share my thoughts and experiences.

Who am I? Well, my name is Joy (which explains one of the "Js") and 

I am married to an awesome guy named John (explains the other "J").

For simplicity, I'll refer to hubby as "J".

About us. We met in August 2007 and got married in 2011. took us 4-years to make it to the alter. Considering I am PHAT (Pretty Hot And Tempting), you'd think he would have proposed LOOOOOONNNNGGG before he did. But oh no...home boy took his time proposing. He asked my dad for my hand in marriage in September 2009 and asked me in December 2009.

We spent the next 16-months  learning more about each other, planning our wedding and most importantly, building our individual faith in God in order to weather the storms of life.

On April 15, 2011, we were "married" by Nigerian law and custom.

On April 16, 2011, we were joined together as man & wife by ALL laws and custom.

God has truly been faithful to us and with each passing day, we see God's hands in our lives. Incase, you haven't guessed it, our faith is also a part of who we are and we strive to live our lives in a way that pleases God.

So join me as I begin my new adventure in the blogging world.

Thanks for reading my blog!


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