Friday, March 29, 2013

The newest member of our family.

Meet Lola, the newest addition to the Castro family. 
Yes, that is a rat you see.

Here are a few things you may not know about pet rats:
  • They're extremely smart. They can learn their name, do tricks and be litter trained.
  • They're pretty low maintenance.
  • They're the dogs of the small pet world. They're loyal, companionate, and friendly. 
  • They're completely odorless and the cleanest of all rodents. Pet rats do not carry diseases.
  • They're very cuddly and love to play. 

My parents got us a pet rat we named Lovey when I was around 4 years old. She was the sweetest thing. We had three more at different times growing up. The first memories I have of rats are of Lovey, so it's not strange at all for me to have one as a pet. I totally understand why it is strange for other people--I'm terrified of spiders so I would never own a pet tarantula. To each their own.

Lola is my little pal. I'm a big animal lover and have been wanting a pet for awhile. Now that I'm home most of the day it's the perfect time. She sits on my shoulder while I do the dishes, plays on the couch while I read and write, and will even fall asleep 2-3 inches from my head when I take a nap. She loves to climb all over Joel when he gets home. He feeds her treats like Pirates Booty and Cheerios. Lola will melt in your hand if you rub behind her ears. 

I grew up with all sorts of pets, so it's fun to finally start having some of our own. Joel grew up having parrots and the other night he told me that he's excited to get one for our family in a few years. I'm not so thrilled about birds, but if he is fine with a rat I guess I will have to be open to a parrot.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's talk about...Food

I remember saying during my first 1st trimester (I later miscarried) that I wasn't going to let pregnancy change me. I would fight back at the raging hormones by keeping my emotions steady, my energy upbeat, and eating as I normally did.

So naive. So very, very naive.

The turning point came when I was in the middle of class and I started feeling nauseous. I was hungry. I opened my backpack and each snack I packed made my stomach churn. You know what would be perfect right now?--the child who had taken over my mind thought--A big bowl of orange sherbet. And, simply enough, that's how you find yourself torso-deep inside of a freezer at the grocery store scraping out the last carton of orange sherbet because it was, conveniently, frozen to the back wall. I ate one bowl full when I came home and it was thrown into the garbage a week later because I couldn't stand the sight of it.

Welcome to crazy town.

This time around, the 1st trimester wasn't any easier on me. I didn't have a car and Joel wasn't home until very late, so some nights you would find me in tears on the couch whimpering, "I just want one jalapeƱo kettle chip...just one." It was all very dramatic at the time, but hindsight tends to turns pregnancy into a comedy. I'm hoping that one day I will laugh at how my body has become wide, soft, and lumpy...that day is going to come, right?....RIGHT?!

Foods that had to be out of mind & sight faster than you can say vomit:
Any and all seafood...ugh, typing seafood made me queasy
Most meat--I can tolerate chicken and most sandwich meat
Pita chips
Ritz crackers
Green bean casserole
Anything too sugary, like most candy & sweets
Cream-based soups
Tortellini Alfredo
Foods that I've become obsessed with:
Bisquick biscuits
Potato Chips...okay, potato anything--like fries, tater tots, hash browns, roasted potatoes
Roasted Garlic Rye Chips
Pirates Booty
Grapes & Chocolate covered Strawberries
Any and all vegetables, especially peas and artichokes
Corn dogs
It's funny how pregnancy is such a wild ride but it never detracts from the joy and awe of seeing your baby inside of you and hearing its heartbeat. The whole thing is a miracle. It'll make you sick, frustrated and emotional--but it's a miracle and I know I'm blessed to be apart of it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Joel turned 27

While I was away in Utah Joel turned 27 years old. Lest you think I'm an awful wife for being away, I did try to make his big day as special as I could. Before I left, I set up a scavenger hunt around the house. The morning of his birthday he had to follow the clues and instructions to get his presents. For example, he had to put up a Happy Birthday sign on our front door and send me a picture to get one clue.

To find his last present he had to wear a huge pin on his chest that said "It's my 27th birthday" and get a picture taken with someone. His birthday was on a Sunday and I wanted to make sure at least someone wished him a happy birthday. If it was up to him, he could go the whole day not telling a soul. 

Ultimately, I had no reason to worry about that because we have some of the greatest friends out here who take really good care of us. One being the Jackson family. The night of Joel's birthday, Nicole invited Joel and a few of our friends over to their house for cake and ice cream. She made him his favorite cake topped with the Brazilian flag in sprinkles. As a cherry on top, their youngest daughter, with whom Joel is totally smitten, said "Joel" that day. It was his favorite birthday present!

When I talked to him on the phone after the party he said it had been one of his best birthdays yet (eh hm, with the exception of me being MIA). Many thanks to all of our friends who shared in the celebration. I can't tell you how happy you made him and me. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Back to Utah

Last week I returned home from a nice getaway to Utah. The plan was to do nothing but relax, spend time with friends and family and eat Cafe Rio. It was a success! I was there for 2 1/2 weeks but it still didn't seem long enough! I was such a slacker with my camera so many rendezvous aren't pictured, but I did happen to end up with a lot of my niece and nephew. They're cute, so it works.

This trip I met Abby for the first time!
She is a tiny little lady and so adorable.
I got to spend a lot of time with her, Gabe and my sista Rachael.

One of a few lunch dates with friends. I love these ladies!
And I love that we're all having babies together.
Bethany was 29 weeks, Kassidy 18 weeks and I was 14 weeks in this picture.
Cuddle time with Oreo
Dad and Sammy

A day at the Dinosaur park with Gabe

Um, cutest.
Rachael & Abby
Visiting Daniel
My friend Allison and I found these helpful books for dads-to-be at a baby boutique in SLC.
I was tempted to buy them for Joel.

When I got to Utah I was about 14 weeks along and (praise the Lord!) my nausea had mostly subsided, my appetite came back and I had more energy. Sadly, my night sickness (let's be honest here, the term "morning sickness" really needs to go) hadn't made its way out--and still hasn't totally yet--so the flight there and back was pure torture. Also, recently my anxiety has begun manifesting itself through a fear of flying. Not a great combo.

It was all worth it to be able to hang out with family and get together with friends. It's hard to imagine that when we visit next for Christmas we will be bringing a baby with us!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Baby Castro

Long ago, at 9 weeks

Due August 27, 2013

I'm 17 weeks along and feeling great! 
We're looking forward to our next ultrasound in a few weeks to find out 
whether this little baby is a BOY or a GIRL.

What're your guesses?