Apr 25, 2010

so 2010 started off poorly, but immediately turned around and is promising to give me a truly memorable and wonderful year.

....because in october i'm going to be a mother!

it's true, i'm pregnant. craig and i are going to have a baby.

i am just over 13 weeks, and am due october 28, 2 days before my 31st birthday.

i have always wanted to be a mom and i've been ready for this for a long time. and after 11 years together, 7 of them married, craig and i are ready, really truly ready to start our family.

we are excited, nervous, scared and happy beyond belief. in between bouts of extreme nausea and complete exhaustion i've been smiling ear to ear. i really had no idea pregnancy would hit me this hard - the aches and pains and uncomfortableness of the first trimester, which i have only just recently come out of.

the biggest challenge for me has been food. for weeks i was nauseous. all the time. like being hungover nauseous, when you know you should eat something but thinking about food makes you want to barf. and you feel like if you barf you'll feel a little better, except that i knew that it wouldn't. that coupled with the fact that i'm on strict guidelines from my doctor to stick to a gluten free diet was making eating quite difficult. many gluten free foods are still making me nauseous just thinking about them. rice pasta? yuck. that gluten free bread i made? gag. those expensive gluten free spinach tortillas? i can't even look at them. i want a hamburger. and pizza. real pizza. and i can't have it. it's making me crazy.

cooking has also been a challenge with my heightened sense of smell. even when i could think of a food that didn't make my stomach churn, halfway through cooking it i would usually start to feel differently. and on the off chance i could make it through preparation and dinner time, the leftovers are the most unappealing thing i could imagine the next day, no matter what it was. this whole hormonal change has been so bizarre. i've never been a picky person, and now not only do i have a dietary restriction, i have increased aversions and cravings. it is so odd, and not like me at all. it looks like i'm in the clear from the nausea and most severe aversions, but i'm learning new things about myself and my new pregnancy stomach every day.

since this post has been nearly three months in the making while trying to keep the pregnancy under wraps, it's really long. i've taken lots of notes and had many moments i've wanted to share. here are a few more:

1. i realized i was really, truly, a pregnant woman. i went grocery shopping with a list of 5-6 things, ended up buying way too much food, and hailed a cab to take me and my bounty home. in the cab i was overcome with desire for the haagen dazs strawberry ice cream in one of my bags, so i found it, opened it and ate it. in the cab. with a makeshift spoon.

2. i cheated. before being chastised by my doctor about cheating on the gluten free diet, i had a few cravings that i had given in to, and i'm ashamed to admit them. if you know me at all, you know that i don't eat commercial fast food. no subway, mcdonald's or burger king for me. but i had about a two week craving for mcdonald's chicken nuggets, which i probably hadn't eaten in more than a decade. i finally gave in, at an airport, and i am ashamed. they certainly killed the craving though.

3. i realized i touch my belly way too much. when someone i was talking to asked if i was ok and i said "yeah, why?" and she pointed out that i was clutching my tiny 8 week pregnant pooch the entire time we were talking. she didn't know i was pregnant and thought i was having a gastrointestinal issue.

4. i fell in love. i was in love with the idea of this baby from before it was conceived. the minute i saw the tiny little flicker of a heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor i started crying and knew that what i actually loved was a real person. a tiny grape sized little person with a tiny beating heart. and i didn't even care that the adorable young male med school student shadowing my doctor that day had just seen me practically naked.

5. i have been nannying for a toddler during my entire pregnancy so far, and have gone back and forth between moments of "i can't wait to have this moment with my child" when he smiles and gives me a hug, and "holy crap, what am i doing?" as he's throwing a tantrum or won't take a nap when i need one so badly, and "how in the world to women ever have more than one child?" as i am dry heaving while changing a particularly unattractive diaper. mostly it's been the first one, though. i can't wait to be a mom.

6. some good friends of ours had a baby a few weeks ago, and at the hospital holding the one day old baby i was overcome with the most wonderful feelings of excitement and serenity....and sheer terror as i held the 9 lb boy in front of my slowly growing stomach trying to visualize a baby like him inside my small frame. how is this going to work again?

so, expect a lot of writing here about the joys of pregnancy, decorating a nursery and shopping for baby stuff, mixed with some gluten free cooking and baking in addition to my usual ramblings. i am going to be revamping emilykberman.com in the coming weeks to contain more of my personal chef/catering/cooking/gluten free thoughts, experiences and recipes, so keep an eye out there as well. and thanks for sticking with me on the next leg of my life journey.

Apr 12, 2010

seven years ago today i married the love of my life, my best friend. i still consider myself lucky, more and more every day, actually.

our lives have changed so much since we met, our paths have been altered and our goals have been redefined countless times. our life together has improved each year that we have been together with new experiences, new memories, new friendships and new plans.

this year is so much more meaningful in so many ways. we are at a point in our lives where everything is making the most sense, it is all meshing and clicking in the best ways possible. i say it each year, but really, we've never been so amazing together as we are right now.

i catch myself every day wondering how i deserved to have such a wonderful husband. such a loving and supportive partner, caring and empathetic friend. i am honestly one of the luckiest girls alive. i wish this luck and happiness on every married couple i know. and even those i don't.

i could gush about all of the reasons i love craig, but if you know us, i think they are already obvious. so instead, here are 7 tips from 7 years of marital bliss.

1. you can never say 'i love you' too much. ever. sometimes it's all it takes to end a disagreement. or just start the day off right.

2. don't take each other for granted. never stop saying 'thank you'.

3. privacy and secrets are two different things. the first is incredibly important in even the closest marriage. the second is harmful to all relationships, especially those closest to your heart.

4. spend some time apart. having different experiences and memories keeps intrigue and mystery alive, and gives you something new to share with each other.

5. go to bed mad sometimes. a good night's sleep is often better than 3 more hours of exhausted late night arguing. you'll probably forget what made you so upset in the first place.
6. give each other massages. all the time.

7. keep talking about your future together. don't ever stop making plans, no matter how outlandish they might be.

Apr 5, 2010

chicago is warming up, we're getting sunny days, surprise rain showers and springtime temperatures. it's a welcome seasonal change, one that i've never quite looked at this way before. i have open daytime hours to enjoy the sunlight and the warmth, take walks, eat outside, visit with friends. i'm spoiled rotten, i know it. i'm imagining this summer and all of the wonderful things it will include - lots of growth and changes and new experiences.

we are going through a little stir crazy nesting right now - we've been in our condo longer than we've ever lived anywhere else, and we're hungry for some change. we are moving furniture, painting, redecorating, and it's working at making me feel like i have something of a new space to live in. i spend more time at home now, and every little change makes a difference.

i feel like the changes in my environment are reflective of the changes i've been making as well. i'm a totally different person now than i was a year ago. finishing culinary school, quitting my full time job, having time to contemplate and grow, not knowing where my entire next month's paycheck is going to come from, it's changed me. for the better. i'm much more relaxed now, much more laid back, happier in so many ways.

for the 6th year in a row we are going to be angelic organics shareholders, and this year we're taking on the entire share by ourselves. my brother and mom will reap some of those benefits when we're sick of salad greens and cabbage, but otherwise we plan on doing a lot of freezing and canning to make the most of our share. i might document our progress each week here, sharing the creative ways we intend to use up a 3/4 bushel box of vegetables each week. every summer, even with just 1/2 of the share, we end up becoming mostly vegetarian due to the quantity of veggies we have to go through, and i anticipate that happening to some extent again. i also anticipate breaking down and buying a small stand alone freezer - i'm not sure where it will live yet, but my little kitchen freezer is already full as it is. i obviously haven't thought all of this through yet, but i'm excited about the challenges it will pose.

and because of all of this, and more, i have a feeling that this summer is going to be the best ever.