Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It's a boy!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Now that the cat's out of the bag

Sometimes, I feel inspired to write a blog post and just save it until I feel like posting it. It doesn't happen often, and sounds pretty lame when I admit it. But pregnancy is something that keeps inspiring me to write, but then inevitably my feelings change shortly after, and I'd write something, and two days later I'd reread it, and think, "That is so 48 hours ago!" and punch "delete" until it all disappeared.

So, from my 17 week perspective, here is the most accurate description I can give of how this whole pregnancy thing has gone down for me.

(I couldn't resist.  For more, click here.)
When I first got married, I was hypersensitive about the negative things that people would say about their experiences with pregnancy and parenthood (not that I heard those things very often).  I couldn't tolerate even the slightest unhappy comments.  It was deeply discouraging to me, because I knew pregnancy and motherhood was definitely in my future.  I remember coming home from an enrichment activity when I was a newlywed, sitting on the bed and literally bursting into tears because of all the complaining I'd heard all night about the trials and difficulties of motherhood, with no redeeming or positive follow up comments.  I believe the phrase "in the trenches" had been used many, many times that night (and I studied World War I in depth in London, so I know my trench warfare, people).  For a while, I felt doomed to an unsatisfying and frustrating life.

Then, lightening struck.  I didn't just want any old kid.  I wanted to meet OUR kid.  I realized it's not like any old random baby would land in our laps, it would be one that was like us.  And I like us, so, obviously, I'd like our kid, right?

And now, I think I get it.  If you had your dream job or were building your dream house or writing your dream novel, I'm positive you'd have hurdles to jump along the way that would make you want to grumble, but you'd still be in the midst of doing that "dream" thing the whole time.  I think pregnancy/motherhood is the ultimate version of that.  When it all seems really hard and miserable, it's still in the midst of doing your ultimate "dream" thing.  And I think to most mothers, that fact is a given.   To a childless lot, it's a weird thing that was very difficult for me to understand, but no matter how frustrating it is to feel sick and tired way more intensely than you ever have before, it's still outweighed by how exciting and fun it is!

With that said, I can freely admit complain that for the first two and a half months, basically everyday was a sick day.  How quickly I sat up in bed in the morning could actually make me want to hurl, so I had to learn to roll over and sit up slowly, and then, immediately stumble into the kitchen to grab a fistful of saltines and a small glass of club soda before I could do much else.  Some days were extremely rough.  Especially in the days leading up to my discovery of gummy prenatal vitamins (replacing those awful Kroger brand horse pills that must have been mostly made of cardboard and wood chips, judging from how they affected my insides).

During this time, saltines and club soda were the only things I could really count on to help me keep it together.  I started carrying crackers in my purse wherever I went, and keeping a cup of club soda in my driver's side cup holder.

Harry is wonderful.  Whether you're feeling elated, depressed, nauseated, energized, or anything else on the spectrum, he's the best person to have around.  He doesn't pressure me to do anything a certain way.  He only encourages me to find ways to do things things that I like.  And he's SO excited!  He's been excited to be a dad pretty much since childhood, and it makes this whole thing so much more fun to have him excitedly spouting out parenting/name ideas right and left.

I have also been surprised at how exciting it's been to be pregnant!  Especially since Harry and I kept it completely to ourselves for about four months.  As I get older, I'm getting more and more private.  It's one of the key ways I know I'm turning into my mother, who always kind of plays her cards close, in the best way.  I still over-share on occasion, I'm sure, but big pieces of news like this, I relish keeping quiet.  We liked the idea of staying mum, even from our parents.  We even (well, Harry even) considered not saying anything EVER, just waiting until people noticed that I clearly looked pregnant, but I thought that was taking it a little far.

And I have to say, after waiting 4 months to finally spill the news, I was really hesitant to tell people!  All of a sudden I just felt so shy about it.  I kept picturing myself sounding like an overly intimidated Lutz.

And with that said, any and all advice/recommendations on all things "MOTHERHOOD" are welcome!  I've tried to take mental notes on things that work for people over the years (Bumbos! Swings! Bob strollers!), but really, I know that I don't know anything.  If you have a golden piece of wisdom for me, feel free to leave it in the comments, or in an email, or in a scroll delivered via carrier pigeon.  Seriously.  Because I may still be slightly emotionally discombobulated in some ways, but I'm feel more stable these days, so, in the immortal words of Liz Lemon, "Hey, nerds! Who’s got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn’t cried once today? [pointing thumbs at self] This moi."

And also, thank you in advance.

In other news, here is a list of names we will not be using:

1) Adolf
2) Mussolini
3) Gremlin
5) Voldemort
6) Gollum
7) !!! (Pronounced, "Ahh!")
8) Malificent
9) Jumbotron
10) Hashtag

And now, without any further ado, I present:

The Sarrison Reynolds Baby of the Future (TM)! Coming to a blog/Instagram near you August 27th, 2013!
Lovingly dubbed "the dino picture." The very instant this baby appeared on the ultrasound screen, he/she turned his/her head right toward the camera and opened his/her mouth for a second as if to say, "Hi!"  Or, "Rawr!"  The doctor excitedly yelled, "Did you see that?!"
Giving Dad a hello
Up close profile with a little waving hand

We love him/her already.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'll give you two guesses.

Which one of us do you think is pregnant?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

And everything else in a mild hurry

Well yay, now I've caught us up to the end of October. Way to go me! Here's the rest of our lives in compression format.

Girl's Trip 2012

We all drove/flew to Orange County for the annual girl's trip last November!

We went to Disneyland, did some shopping, and Tiff, Karina and I ran a 10K in the Woodbridge area of Irvine.  It's such a treat to get to spend time together.  Megan went above and beyond and surprised us all with matching sweatshirts to commemorate the weekend.

Girl's dinner

Tower of Terror

RunLove 10K race
And then a few days later, on election day, I hacked about 7 inches of my hair off.  It's been fun having a long bob!  I am glad I was brave enough to take the plunge and Natalie did an amazing job.


We all trekked to Elizabeth's beautiful new house in Draper, Utah.
Bowling with McO cousins the night before Thanksgiving
Jubes is the cutest
And knows how to make a good funny face
Early morning giggle fest
Best buds and only 10 days apart
The apple pie goddess
The orange rolls goddess
Thanksgiving = 8 busy and fun hours of cooking and about 30 minutes of eating.
The cutest Juju there ever was
A morning stroll in beautiful Draper
Harry timed it just right and managed to appear in this panorama twice!
And sadly only a segment of Jeff got captured.


We moved to LA!  And one of the very first things I did was drive down the street (literally- a 6 minute drive) to see my Katt.  She's one of my Palo Alto besties and seeing her was one of my favorite Christmas presents.

Megan lives nearby and we met up to hear Sherri Dew speak
And we went out to lunch with her cute little boy
Mistletoe given out by the Boy Scouts of America.  We put it in our car.
Those Boy Scouts.  Always serving our country.
Christmas Eve jammies.  It's all very serious.
Christmas morning for me and Hal.
A picture of one of our most notable gifts- handerpants.

Now we live in LA. It's been a few months and so far we've had a few adventures. Harry and I are both working, and we actually work across the street from each other, so we get to meet up for lunch!

Aaaand that's enough of catch up for now.  Whew!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Venice, Ravenna, Split

Venice was probably my favorite place to visit during the entire trip. I was worried that my hopes were too high and that it wouldn't be all that wonderful or something. I'm thrilled that I was wrong.

We spent two days in Venice. When we first docked, we wandered around for a while and purposefully got lost (although, being married to an Eagle Scout means that your husband has a flawless sense of direction and can find his way anywhere, so, I was probably the only one lost).

We found this cow outside an Art Institute.

St. Mark's Basilica.

Door knob.
Going into St. Mark's Basilica was a crazy experience. It's in the Byzantine style so almost everything you see is a gold, 2D mosaic with extremely intricate, busy designs. Pictures weren't allowed, unfortunately.  But I'm sure it's all google-able.

My one regret from our two days in Venice was that we walked by this insane looking bakery/candy store that had the weirdest, most bizaare looking treats in all kinds of neon and pastel colors. We swore we'd find our way back to it and it's like it then disappeared- we never did find it again. I guess we'll just have to go back one day and find it. Shucks.

The next day we only had until 2 pm to do more exploring. We didn't have any excursions planned for Venice, but we'd heard of tours of the Doge's Palace. We wandered in, thinking we could just do a quick walk through. It turns out that the entrance fee was pretty expensive, but for some reason that only made us want to do it more (not the typical intuitive response for us). We did not regret it.

The Doge's Palace is like Versailles; huge, lavish, covered in murals and artwork and a maze of one breathtaking room after another. We even got to explore the dungeons. It took us a good three hours to see everything, and we just kept saying, "Oh my gosh! Look at this! That is so insane!" Time well spent.

Security guards in the mural rooms strictly forbade any photos, so we don't have any shots of those.
Just testing it.

Staring contest.  You and me.  Go.

Bat Mobile Gondola.
Northern courtyard, between the Basilica and the Palace.
Golden staircase.

We both wanted to find a souvenir on this trip that we would use forever. I wanted to find some funky shoes or a cool dress or a new purse, and Harry wanted to maybe find a cool jacket. All along the streets, people were selling knock-off Prada and Gucci purses. I was tempted to get a really cool patent leather red (fake) Prada messenger bag, but I wanted something original, made in Italy, from a label I'd never seen before (plus, you never know where those knock-offs are coming from). We were wandering down yet another tiny street when suddenly, I saw it. In a shop window. My. Perfect. Purse.

I grabbed Harry and said, "Honey, it's my purse! That's the one!" We walked inside and the shop owner was a really sweet older lady who happened to have one purse left like that-- in the window display. She sweetly allowed me to buy it and I almost dived to the floor for a break dance out of excitement.

We wandered to the outskirts of town and found a really cool store called Queen of Casablanca, where Harry found the manliest, sexiest jacket I've ever seen. It was unlike anything we'd seen in the states and it fit him perfectly (he is a European slim-fit kind of guy, after all).

We giddily clutched our Venetian swag and hurried back to the ship, grabbing some pistachio gelato cones on the way. Let is be said now that we got gelato about four times in Europe, and each time we got pistachio flavor. I'm sure the other flavors were great, but the pistachio was constantly calling our names.

Our next stop was Ravenna, one of the centers of the Renaissance.  It's more of a quiet town now, so we took a bus to the center of town and just walked to some of the nearby sites.

We actually ran into a missionary couple from the states at the Basilica of San Vitale. They pointed out some beautiful symbolism in the mosaics. The churches are so gigantic, and every available surface is embellished somehow. We took our time taking it all in.

As we walked back, we found a candy store that was wall-to-wall bins of tiny wrapped goodies that we didn't recognize. We stuffed handfuls into a bag, not knowing what many of the flavors were.

Mosaic ceiling.

The missionary couple pointed out that this ceiling design may represent the sun, moon, and stars.  Interesting.
I did not know prior to taking this shot that Harry was coming in for a kiss on the cheek.  Nor did I know that it was zoomed in so far.  This awkward little gem is know immortalized on the internet for your viewing pleasure.  You're welcome.

Pumped for Italian mystery candy.

Our last stop was in Split, Croatia. If you've made it this far through our travelogue, I'm impressed.  This thing is LENGTHY.

Split is a really beautiful coastal town, which was nice because there was no need to take a long bus ride in order to see anything.  We walked around a huge farmer's market and popped in and out of stores and, of course, got gigantic pistachio gelato cones.

Diocletian's Palace is in Split, and lots of people took tours through it.  By this point, or cash supply was low, and we couldn't afford the entrance fee into the castle.  BUT.  We could afford the entrance fee into the castle basement.  Yes.  The castle basement.

Harry was beside himself with excitement.  I was slightly creeped out.  The castle basement, as you might imagine, was completely deserted, except for the occasional crow that would start flapping loudly out of nowhere and scare me so badly that I shrieked.  But this is the stuff that Harry's dreams are made of; exploring a dark, creepy, ancient basement that used to be used as a holding cell for castle equipment/waste (and, rumor has it, slaves).  There were even a few stone coffins in a few of the rooms.  Just to heighten the already-creepy effect.

Harry went nuts with the camera.  I'm glad he wanted to take the reins on this one.

As I sort of muttered, "Okay, eh... we can go...." Harry would be like, "No, wait, I know there are at least four more rooms we haven't looked in yet! (click click click click click)"  To which I would reply, "No, no... I'm pretty sure we've seen  all of them...."

I eventually warmed up to it.  It was pretty cool, and at least it wasn't something boring.

We found this outdoor dome and as we sat there, a bride and groom walked in and started taking pictures and an a capella group came into sing a song.  A very happening dome.

BE the sphinx.
You ARE the sphinx.
Statue of Gregory of Nin, a bishop who opposed the Pope in 926 A.D.  People touch his toe for good luck so it's completely shiny.

The scary basement.  Harry upped the ISO setting quite a bit to get these shots.  I promise the basement was NOT this well lit. 

Then we hopped back on the ship and headed home.