Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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Baby Weaver Pregnancy Update!

What a whirlwind this second trimester has been. Every week has been so different. Just in the past couple of days my body and baby have gone through some major changes as it prepares to roll into the third and final trimester. I wanted to give a recap of the last three months before I really begin to prepare for the final stages.

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18 Weeks

 


Where We Left Off
My first update ended at 17 weeks pregnant. That seems so long ago that I’m not even sure I will remember everything from then. You can find that initial pregnancy update by clicking here.

The second trimester–health wise–truly has been mostly smooth sailing. Of course, there were bumps in the journey, but until a couple weeks ago, there hasn’t been too much to worry about. I’ve been very grateful for such an easy journey!

Pregnancy Symptoms
During my first trimester I felt so exhausted that I could barely function. While I have gained back SO much more energy, I never quite felt fully re-energized. We walk everywhere we go, and a simple ten minute walk from our house to the city centre tires me out. Every few weeks I’ll have a list of items I’d like to shop for. I don’t buy a lot, so this is usually just a way for me to get out of the house and roam around for a while. It only takes about an hour and half for me to be too tired to continue, and my back usually starts hurting so much that I end up not even buying anything. Online shopping has definitely become a reality for me.

20 Weeks

Cravings
In my last post I mentioned I was really craving Hot Cheetos, which you can’t find in the UK. Well, you heard my cries and did not fail to deliver! It started when a sweet friend from Ireland told me her parents would be visiting America. They brought me the largest bag of Hot Cheetos I’ve ever seen! I was so grateful for their kindness. Then, unexpectedly a coworker from Texas surprised me with a huge care package of baby products and FIVE bags of Hot Cheetos, along with some sour candy. And just when I had finished those snacks, my mom sent another surprise package full of Hot Cheetos! I couldn’t believe the generosity! But all good things, must come to an end. And sometimes that end must be self-imposed. I finally put myself on a strict no Hot-Cheeto diet as I had completely let my cravings take control!
Snapchat-935998975Another surprising pregnancy craving that popped up during this time has been milk! I don’t like or drink milk normally, but it really seemed like my body needed it. Every morning I will steam milk with vanilla extract and cinnamon, pour it into a blender, and add it to my hot tea. For the longest time, I also made myself tall glasses of cold chocolate milk every single day.

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22 Weeks – 6 Months!

The weirdest pregnancy craving combination came about when Taylor made a huge pot of spaghetti. One day for lunch, I found myself eating leftover spaghetti while drinking chocolate milk and it was the best thing in the world. I ended up doing that for the rest of the week! We haven’t had spaghetti since then (a week’s worth of spaghetti is definitely something we don’t do often), but suddenly that sounds good to me again….I learned other pregnant women also had this same craving combo!

 

The Good, The Bad…
The most prevalent symptom has been the need for chewable indigestion tablets. The brand that has worked best for me is called Gaviscon. There are so many changes and shifts in my organs, that I’ve dealt with a plethora of little aches and pains, including mild heartburn and back pain.

Several weeks ago my back pain was becoming so bad at night, that I just popped two paracetemol pain relief tablets and bundled up with as many pillows as I could. It only took about a week of that before Taylor surprised me with a large pregnancy pillow! It doesn’t work for me every night, but most nights it adds so much extra support and comfort.

The Ugly

Before I change topics, I wanted to briefly touch base on a more recent pregnancy moment. A couple weeks ago I had my first bad week. I think most of us have weeks like this, but I generally keep a very positive attitude, and even when I have bad moments in my day, I can look on the bright side and not let the small negative moments ruin my entire outlook. This particular week, however, was an instant avalanche that I continued to let take over my life. It started on Monday with wearing a wrong outfit. I didn’t see it as a big deal, but my clothes were fitting strangely on me, enough for me to notice. We then had a few non-pregnancy related issues happen that same week. Monday, a trip we wanted to take fell through. Tuesday, our electricity went out in the middle of Taylor cooking dinner. We sat in a cold, dark house for six hours (finally ordering a pizza around 10 pm), while a few people from the electric company came out. I think the last electrician arrived around 1 am.

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The next day our cat started showing symptoms of sickness and we had to make an emergency trip to the vet. (By the way, we are three vet trips in by now, starting week three of dealing with this, and the poor cat’s still sick)

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25 Weeks

As well as these major complications through the week, I found myself struggling to find clothes to wear on Tuesday AND Wednesday. By then, I realized the dilemma—I’m getting too big for my clothes! The emotional feeling is difficult to explain. I wasn’t sad or worried about gaining weight. I still like how my body looks, and I like how I look pregnant. But I had to come to grips with the emotional connection I had to my clothes that I didn’t even know I had! I think my stumbling block is the TYPE of clothes that aren’t fitting. 90% of my daily wardrobe is stretchy. I work from home, and always want to be comfortable, so I wear leggings, t-shirts, stretchy dresses, t-shirt dresses. I don’t deviate from that much, except for my love of oversized sweaters. Ever since the beginning of this pregnancy I felt fully confident that I would be able to wear most of my wardrobe throughout the entirety of my pregnancy and only need to buy a couple maternity pieces. But here I was, 25 weeks pregnant and a men’s t-shirt didn’t look good. And those oversized sweaters? Looked even weirder.

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25 Weeks in Maternity Clothes!

It lowered my mood so much that by Thursday I didn’t even feel like myself. Taylor and I went to my 25 week midwife appointment and I fought back tears the entire way there, as he tried to cheer me up. When we arrived, I realized I had forgotten all of my medical information, which is vital to bringing to the midwife. Before my appointment I was just hiding in the bathroom trying to stop the tears! Everything ended up ok, of course. I couldn’t help but bring up my mood to the midwife and she took it very seriously. She explained that these moods were likely brought on by hormonal changes, and were probably temporary, but she wanted me to keep track of them just in case. Her care and concern instantly helped me feel a little better. I haven’t felt so negatively since then, but I’m glad to have her on my side if anything like that happens again.

Something else that helped me come to grips with my sudden change in size was the surprise box of maternity clothes my mom sent me! That package couldn’t have come at a better time, and now I have a few pieces of maternity clothing that are so comfortable and pretty! It really helped me, emotionally.

What We’ve All Been Waiting For

I have a bit more to talk about, but this is quite long, so maybe I can make a separate post. But there’s probably one obvious thing I haven’t mentioned yet that a blog update definitely needs! Is Baby Weaver a boy or a girl?!

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We have known for quite a while now what the gender was, but we kept the information close as we coordinated with announcements, telling parents, and finding a good day to share the news. The cat’s finally out of the bag! Sharing news with family is a bit more complicated since we live so far away. In fact, I wanted to clarify that because we live in a totally different country from all our family and American friends, we chose to be a bit more public with the pregnancy details than I think we would’ve been otherwise. I don’t think I would want to blog so many details if we lived in America, nor share as much information on Facebook. (Although I still keep it to a minimum on there) Some family, we called with the exciting news. For others I made a sweet little video with donuts. For the rest of the world, we dressed up in 1950’s outfits, complete with martini glasses, cigarettes and a pipe! We announced a couple days before Halloween. We’re thrilled that we’re having a boy!2We’re so happy about having a boy. Our next big hurdle is figuring out a name. We’ve been working for months on this, and unfortunately we’re at a standstill, with a short list of favorite names, but not able to fully commit.

davI’m just a couple days away from the third trimester. Our baby boy has had a huge growth spurt the last couple of days, and has been moving and kicking so differently than before. It’s getting more real! There is so much left to say, but I’ll end it here with a few random photos.

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Our New Three-Legged Kitten

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Last December we made a big decision to get our first cat. We’ve had hamsters and a gerbil before, but when we made the decision to move to the UK we thought a pet was out of the question. We are only here for a few short years, and while we are open to staying OR going back to America, our life, admittedly, isn’t stable right now.

So, this decision wasn’t an easy one to make. After a lot of discussing we knew that any pet wouldn’t just be a temporary thing. Whatever happens, wherever we go, our new cat will come with us.

davWe looked at several places in Canterbury, only halfway thinking of actually adopting a pet. I was very apprehensive of making a costly decision when we have an uncertain future. And then we were invited to a party. Our neighbors (who are also members of the church we attend) had just adopted two black kittens from Cats Protection. At the party they invited us to, the kittens were the center of attention, and it was hard to ignore our desires for a cat of our own.

davTaylor eventually found a little black cat by the name of Rufus, also from Cats Protection. He and his litter were found living underneath a caravan, which just so happened to fit the description of our neighbor’s new male kitten. They were brothers. Except, Rufus hadn’t stayed with his litter when they were rescued. He was put into a separate foster home because he only had three paws. Unfortunately, they suspect that a rat or other animal chewed his paw off when he was a newborn before his mother could stop them.

davThis kitten was the last of his litter to be adopted because of his paw. Even we were hesitant to choose him, not because we didn’t want him, but because our unknown future and lack of finances made us wonder if we were the right match. To change our mind, we had to change our perceptions. What does having a three legged cat look like? We began researching other cats with the same issue. We found videos of three and even two legged cats jumping, climbing and running.They were completely capable and we realized we wanted him.

davCats Protection put us through an application and a home inspection before we could even meet him. We passed their inspections, and our friend drove us to the foster parent’s home where we met a rambunctious and spoiled kitten who was more lively and friendly than we ever imagined him to be. We took him home that night. Our lives have brightened so much with this little guy.

His given name was Rufus, which was quite cute. In fact, I’m inclined to believe it’s a great name, considering it’s my grandfather’s name! Needless to say, out of respect, we decided to change it.

It actually took almost a month to decide, but we landed on Sabre. It has a special, funny meaning to us, but of course it can also be correlated to saber tooth tiger, lightsaber, and the sword. We like all these references, but its actual meaning is from our favorite tv show, The Office. Dunder Mifflin Paper Company is bought out by a company called Sabre. We love this show, can watch its episodes over and over again, and can quote about 75% of it. This was a perfect choice for us, short of just straight up calling him Dwight Schrute.

Unfortunately, in the coming months, Sabre will have to undergo a full leg amputation. His leg, of course, is continuing to grow. He has to carry the weight of it at all times, and it’s really sensitive. He’s very protective of it because an accidental hit, even if it’s small, hurts him. Cats Protection has offered to pay for any surgery and aftercare, which we are so grateful for. All our hesitations would have been proven correct, and we wouldn’t have been able to give him a home if not for this financial help.

sdrRight now, Sabre loves sleeping on my desk while I work. Between naps, he’ll bird watch from the window and spy on any cats who have wandered into our garden. In the mornings he prefers to wake Taylor up to feed him and then only really wants to ‘bug’ Taylor afterwards in hopes that he’ll wake up. He likes to follow us around and is almost never too far away. When we leave he sits in the bay window in the living room and watches the passersby on the street. He is even known to greet our neighbors when they wave to him.

We’re so happy we decided to get a pet. Life is never as settled as you’d like, and having him helps put that in perspective. Even though we may move after Taylor graduates, we are 100% set on-and thrilled that-we’re taking Sabre with us.


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Super Moon of 2016

moon2I’ve fallen in love with nighttime photography. I took these photos in November of last year in our back garden. Photographing these blurry stars was a lesson in patience and being very still. When it warms up I will continue experimenting.3One of my fondest childhood memories is lying in the grassy yard at my grandparent’s house in the countryside. This particular night, the summer sun had just set and the warm Texan air was beginning to cool. All around me was the chirping symphony of a thousand nighttime orchestras. I remember lying there as if it were a dream. It wasn’t often I stayed outside in the dark, alone. But that night was mine. Looking up, the stars struck me as so clear and so vast. No man-made lights marred the view and I could’ve counted the small pinpoints of light all night long.

Long ago was that day, and life changes so rapidly. But when I find myself looking up on a particularly clear night, I am transported back to the humid summer evening of my childhood where my love of star gazing was born.moon14moon3


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Dover Travel Video…and Bloopers

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I have begun making travel videos for our adventures abroad.  I love these videos and wrote about my basic plan for them last week.

Our trip to Dover last weekend was so fun.  After I made the initial ‘pretty’ travel video,  I decided to make a blooper reel as well.  In the videos I show you serene scenes of landscapes and buildings set to lovely music,  but in reality my husband and I are two dorks and our commentary is so contradictory to the lovely scenes you see.  Have a look!  And check out my YouTube channel for more #TexansAbroad funny and lovely videos!


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#TexansAbroad | Dover, England

Dover Castle Grounds

This past weekend me and Taylor took a 40 minute train ride to the coast to visit the town of Dover. Hopping off the train, we made our way through town in search of a map of Dover and breakfast.

There was nothing remarkable about the particular breakfast place we chose. It called itself The Mean Bean. It served strong coffee and cold pastries. It was rather early so the place was empty when we sat down. As we sipped our lattes and made a loose plan for our day, the coffee shop slowly began to fill up. Each and every customer greeted the owner with conversation and camaraderie. They spread themselves out amongst a few tables, but the conversation never stopped. A few patrons table-swapped to have more personal catch-ups with their friends. The place filled with laughter, British slang, and the smell of coffee. We had stumbled into a local establishment.

This was actually a major find for us. We love Canterbury so much, but between all of the universities and its only industry–tourism, you can’t just walk into any given place and be met with locals. This place was the real deal. It was wonderful and amusing and refreshing.

Dover was refreshing.

Dover, Kent Ocean

Dover still has quite the tourist draw, with its famous white cliffs, a major castle, and its lovely seaside location. But there was such a difference between it and Canterbury. We were thrilled to step away from the hustle of tourists in Canterbury to the slower paced Dover.

We had an amazing time hiking the cliffs, visiting the castle and eating like locals.

Dover, Kent white cliffs of Dover

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Springtime in Canterbury

1Springtime in England has been so quintessentially spring. East Texas doesn’t get much of a spring, unless you count rain and tornadoes. Yes, we get a couple weeks of nice flowers and new growth, but it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit and everyone’s already gearing up for summer.

Canterbury, Cathedral: view from University of Kent

Things here happen much steadier and it’s really beautiful to experience! My husband gets to see bunnies on his campus everywhere. I thought he was exaggerating until he took me there today so I could see for myself. There were thirteen just hanging out. East Texas has plenty of wildlife, don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen my share of brown rabbits and ducks, but we’re called the Piney Curtain for a reason…lots of pine trees. And plenty of places for animals to live without ever being seen.

In Canterbury, with The River Stour running through town and wooded area going straight to the university, the wildlife can easily be seen, but still have room to live, which I’ve so enjoyed it. ducks2

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Easter Weekend in Canterbury

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Taylor and I have been enamored with Canterbury Cathedral this weekend. We should have visited sooner, but we let it fall to the wayside.
Thursday we went to The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday service, which was such an experience. The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke, and washed the feet of twelve of the church members, which was quite emotional. Then, as the choir sang, one by one all of the lights were turned off in the entire cathedral as the sanctuary was stripped of everything.

Friday we decided to go to an evening Requiem by Maurice Duruflé sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Sunday evening we went, yet again, to an evening sermon and compline. We had a chance to take a few photos of the outer cathedral. I captured the Easter garden, with the tomb and stone rolled away, some lovely blue sky cathedral photos, and some shadowed photos of the new Queen of England and Duke of Edinburgh statues that the Queen and Duke themselves unveiled two weeks ago to mark her diamond jubilee. It has been tradition for royalty to have their statues added to the cathedral for many years.

We plan on taking in many more services and will definitely visit more often to see all there is to see of this magnificent place.

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And though our Easter may not have included hunting Easter eggs and eating chocolate (although I’ve been craving hard-boiled eggs all day, so that may be remedied), we DID decide to dress in pale green and blue, because pastel = Easter (right?), we get to see baby ducks everyday as we walk home, and we saw a duck waddling along on the sidewalk this evening. That pretty much covers our bases. 😉

Happy Easter!

 

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April Fool’s Day! | Office Pranks

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April Fool’s day has ALWAYS been my favorite day of the year. All the way back to elementary school, I was fascinated with the day. Being so clever as to prank someone? Gold.

My ‘best’ (*cough dumbest? silliest?*) prank ever dates back to Junior High. Cue pre-teen angst swirled together with a slew of boy-related rejections and a dollop of ‘still finding myself’ and you get the basic inspiration for this scheme. With a little planning (very little) and some basic acting skills, I successfully fed several boys diarrhea-inducing chocolate bars. (Pathetic, right?) My friends and I had such fun ‘luring’ boys to eat this chocolate despite the prank having ZERO GRATIFICATION TO US. It’s not like we asked them the following day if they had any “issues.”  I guess it’s the journey that matters, not the destination?

Sometimes the stars align so perfectly that you just know something was meant for you. I recently found out that one of the first mentions of April Fools’ Day  was written in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Oh Canterbury, I was meant to live here. In The Nun’s Priest Tale the character is tricked by a fox on “Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two…”  —March 32nd—or…April 1st. pranks

Last year, I had the best day at work full of pranks and laughter. It was my last day of working in that particular office, and at the end of the day I literally packed away my computer and belongings and moved to a different office building in a different city. It was really special to make my last day full of fun. A coworker, with a penchant for pranking, and I schemed and prepped a long time to come up with as many pranks as possible. You can see them listed below. (I know I posted this video a few posts ago, but really, I couldn’t leave it out)

This year, I’m living in the UK, but I just couldn’t let the spirit of pranking be cast aside! (Although rumor has it that my coworker partner-in-crime has some pranks up her sleeve…can’t wait to find out!) I decided to keep it really simple and civil this time with a care package from Britain, filled with snacks. I thought they’d get a kick out of the novelty of the different name brands.

The ‘prank’ is just a small letter included in the package. The sentences are completely non-sensical using many British phrases. Considering that I created these sentences myself with only the help of my experience and some Google searching, I doubt many of these sentences even make sense to local Britains! (Especially because many phrases are from different regions of England, as well as different time periods.) I included ‘clues’ on tiny slips of paper that ‘translate’ the words into American English. They’ll have to do some digging and rearranging to figure out what I wrote!

If anyone has any pranks to share, I’d love to see! I hope everyone has a fun day and that none of you get fooled by any of the media’s inevitable pranks!

Unfortunately their package hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ll update this post with the letter and decipher once they receive it!


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Around the House – Painting


Our flat feels one part kid’s art on the fridge, and one part Pinterest Paradise. But making my own art and using washi tape to display it was a lovely solution to the ‘no nails’ rule in the lease. I quite enjoyed painting/drawing these.

I used my new colorful rug as inspiration to fill the pages with more color and abstract shapes. Painting is interesting. It’s relaxing and fun. And 9 times out of 10 I really dislike what I paint and end up casting it aside, but the process of painting will forever be my favorite part.


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Lately


Things are slow and sleepy these days. With the rain and cold creeping back into Canterbury after a few weeks of warmth, it’s hard to be motivated to do anything but bundle up.
I’m currently:
Designing: Logos
Writing: Letters to my little brothers
Playing: Faster Than Light
Prepping: Packages to be sent to the states
Learning: How to take photos in bright lights
Celebrating: Taylor being accepted into a 2 week summer course in Paris
Planning: A game night at our flat for the students of CBC
Painting: With acrylics for more wall art (still haven’t mastered water color)
Scheming: Something secret for a certain 4-1-2015
Dreaming: Of blonde hair (ombre again??)
Watching: The Office (of course)

Enjoying: Snapchat. <-See my latest videos. And add me if you so please! UN: lyssssabeth