Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Back from Vegas - Quick Review

We got back from our last pre-baby vacation last night. We went to Vegas for 5 days. It was very much a spur-of-the-moment type vacation. We found a good package with air fare and a hotel, so we took it. We didn't plan anything for our trip besides the hotel room at the MGM Grand.

How did that work?

Well, it was strange. In some ways, it was relaxing. No schedule, no where to be, no plans to keep. On the other hand, we kept asking each other, "what do you want to do?" Then we'd shrug, talk about it for 10 minutes and do something random. We'd already been to most of the hotels, and some we didn't want to go back to (Tropicana is top of the list).

I think we've been to Vegas too much, too recently. But even given that, it broke us out of the awful ennui that had gripped us both the last few weeks. It was nice to get away and do something different, even if it was eating M&Ms on the hotel bed while watching CNN in the afternoon. (Don't get me wrong, that wasn't the only thing we did in our hotel room.)

The MGM Grand:
First impressions: Big.
Second: Disappointing Room. I paid for an upgraded room in the West Wing. The advertising on their website made it sound like it had this great decor, great furniture, lots of space and cool tech-y gadgets. They gush about the TV in the bathroom mirror, the extra large bathrooms and the showcase of modern design.

When I first saw our room, I went "This is it??" It's tiny. It had just enough room for 1 king size bed and a couple of uncomfortable, modern chairs. I only sat in it a couple of times to put on my shoes. There was no relaxing in it. No place to sit down and have a meal except on the bed, and then you worried about getting mustard on the super-white, fancy coverlet. The bed was comfy, I'll give them that. The shower was large, and the water was hot and had lots of water pressure. Would I stay in the West Wing again? Never. Even given the fact that I don't care for modern design, I felt like I got stuck in a tiny room and they tried to shoe-horn in a bunch of amenities that should really be standard. I mean, flat-screen TV? That's getting to be standard just about everywhere.

Oh well, it fulfills our requirement of staying somewhere different every time we go, but for my money, my favorite place was still the Mirage. Spacious rooms that didn't make you feel like you were sleeping in a shoebox and comfortable design with chairs and a table you could really use.

(Edit: I also have to say the entire place was spotless, from the rooms to the casino to the restaurants. They were very thorough and it was very nice.)

The food at the MGM Grand:

Good - The studio cafe. The french dip sandwich is the absolute best I have ever eaten in my life. If you're there, order it. You'll be thrilled. Their omelet was delicious, filling and satisfying, and the chicken strips were generous, tasty and not overly greasy.

Nice - Fiamma's. For once, we splurged on a fancy, ritzy, celebrity chef restaraunt. Our last night, we went to the Italian place in the MGM, and it was nice. The portions were not oversized, the pasta was light, even with a cream sauce, and I'm trying to figure out how to recreate that incredible insalata with pears, gorgonzola and pistachios.

Bad - The Buffet at the MGM. Save your money. The food was worse than boring. It was bland, unimaginative and limited. And they charged us $30 for this pitiful spread. They don't even have a bathroom in the restaurant and they don't provide you with little towlettes. I had crab legs, and it was awful trying to clean my hands off afterward. Even the desserts were boring. Two words - Stay Away.

One final comment on the weather. We are four for four now. Four trips, and every single time, it's rained on us. They should pay us to come to Vegas when they're having a water shortage.

More to come later, including pictures, lions and a pregnant woman's guide to Las Vegas Bathrooms.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

3D/4D Ultrasound

Since my mom is visiting, I thought it would be cool to do a 3D/4D ultrasound. That's where you can actually see the baby in 3D in the womb. The 4th D is time, where they make a video of his movements. Unfortunately, he was sleeping and didn't want to wake up. He moved around some, but most of the time, he had a hand in front of his face, so it was hard to see. The tech did get some good pictures though. We saw him yawn at the very beginning, but they hadn't started recording yet. It was fun, even if it wasn't strictly necessary.

Here are some of the 3D pictures.

Here's his face.

Here he is all scrunched up with his hands and face.

He kept putting his hands over his eyes.

One chubby foot and one chubby hand.

Still sleeping. I should have had some coffee before I went in.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

30 Week Pregnancy Update

Had my 30 week appointment on Tuesday morning. Everything is fine. My blood pressure continues to be super low compared to normal, so I guess that's a good thing. Only down side was that I gained 8 pounds in 2 weeks. I don't actually feel like I did anything too wrong. I mean, no matter how badly I ate, you just can't gain 8 pounds in 2 weeks, so it's mostly water weight. The bad thing is that gaining that much water that fast isn't good either, so I imagine the doctor will keep an eye on it.

At least it's reinforced my determination to up my vegetable and fruit intake. And cut down on the chips, not that I was eating that many anyway.

The little guy is active a lot, it seems. I know I don't have anything else to compare to, but he's usually active right after I wake up, right after lunch, and around 9-11 at night. He'll be moving for at least an hour, sometimes two. I rather like these little movements. It's fun and neat. Sometimes I play games with him. I'll feel part of him pushing against my belly, so I push back. Sometimes it's a foot or hand, and it'll move or roll across my belly to another location. Other times, it's a head or a butt, because it's much bigger and doesn't move very much.

Last night was very exasperating with his positioning though. For about 5 hours, I had to go to the bathroom every 15-30 minutes. I actually was worried I was getting a bladder infection. Then I guess he moved off my bladder, and things got much easier. Silly child.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hooray for food

I was in a cooking mood last weekend. Daniel hates it when I get in a baking mood, because he says I'm making him fat. I try to put the extra goodies in the freezer, but he says he likes them just as well frozen. I won't touch them until they thaw out, and that means I have to think about getting them out in advance.

Anyway, last week, I made cinnamon rolls using the Pioneer Woman's recipe. They were fabulous! I made half a recipe, because her recipe makes 7 pans of rolls, and that was too much for us. When I made half a recipe of the maple frosting, it didn't look like enough for all the rolls, but it turned out to be the perfect amount. She recommends making them as Christmas presents, and I can see why. They were good. Yummm.

Then yesterday, I found a recipe for Dark Chocolate and Bacon Cupcakes, and I have to say, I'm sorely tempted to make them tomorrow to see how they turn out.

I also have to give kudos yet again to the Eating Well When You're Expecting book. I've made a roasted root vegetable soup that was good, although I got tired of it on the last serving, and a vegetable and edamame soup that was really, really good. This time I learned and put half the soup in the freezer so I wouldn't get tired of it before it was done.

And this morning I'm having an Elvis breakfast: oatmeal (fiber and calcium) with peanut butter (good fats), cocoa (it's chocolate), and half a banana (potassium because I'm getting leg cramps). Can't say I'm a fan of bananas, but I can tolerate a few bites a day. And of course, the chocolate and peanut butter help.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Date Night at Home

It's the simple things in life that are good. We had breakfast for dinner tonight: waffles and sausage patties, and they were delicious. Then we watched Tropic Thunder. I have to say, it was a lot better than I was expecting, and I loved Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. in it. They both stole all their scenes. I'm not a Cruise fan at all, but he was fantastic.

Got one of the two things done tonight that I really needed to do. Hemmed up 3 pairs of pants so they don't drag on the ground. But I didn't manage to get the supports drilled into the closet for the new shelves I'm putting in. I really have to get those done by this weekend so I can get the room back in order. My mom's coming to visit next week, and it would be good if she could sleep on the guest bed instead of on the couch.

Found out that they're going to give me a baby shower at work. Yay! That's so nice of them. I picked a date: Feb 20. Now I need to finish up my registry and figure out what I really need. It's so confusing! Who knew there were so many choices for diapers, bottles, strollers and car seats?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

I passed my one-hour glucose test last week. Yay! So how did I celebrate? Yep, by getting a donut yesterday. Sorry, but I'd been craving one for a couple of weeks. It was good, too!

I managed to come down with another cold. This really sucks, especially when you can't take anything really strong for it. I take benedryl at night, but only because it makes me fall asleep. During the day, I pretty much just suffer.

I think I'm starting to experience the dreaded pains of the third trimester. Yesterday, my lower back started hurting pretty badly, down in the sacrum. Supposedly, there's a hormone released that relaxes the ligaments to prepare the body for childbirth, and as it relaxes the ligaments, it causes lovely things like back pain. I also noticed I'm starting to retain water pretty badly. I'm not saying my ankles were ever all that shapely, but I noticed last night they're getting pretty thick. Bleah.