Author: Alaina P.

Executive assistant, living in central Massachusetts and working in Boston.

Our Daughter

As I sit here, watching David cuddle our one week old daughter, it still boggles my mind that I actually gave birth. We knew that we always wanted children, but there was always the lingering thought in the back of my mind of how much the whole experience was going to hurt. But when things got underway, all I could think of was bringing our little one in to the world.

Sunday, April 23rd (39 weeks/3 days)
All day, David and I did errands around town. I was starting to feel some pains of possible labor, so we wanted to get the errands done, but also to get me moving/walking just in case this was the real deal.

We were ready to go to bed at 9, but I just couldn’t get myself comfortable. I was experiencing contractions about every 5 to 7 minutes, but they were tolerable. About an hour later, they were feeling stronger and I was even bleeding. We called the hospital and they told us to head over. Thankfully being 10 at night, there was no traffic getting to St. Vincent’s in Worcester (a 30 minute drive). I was checked in and admitted right away.

Monday, April 24th (39 weeks/4 days)
All through the night, the contractions were getting stronger, but I was only 3 cm; I was thinning though and they were sure that this was it. Eventually they gave me some pitocin to speed things up, and by the morning, I was 9 cm. In the meantime, they gave me an epidural and it was the best thing ever. I couldn’t feel the contractions, only the pressure. At around 1:30PM, the midwife checked me again (after going back and forth between my own contractions and those aided by the pitocin) and I was fully dilated and ready to push.

Three hours later, at 4:32PM, Eleanor Joyce was born.

Looking back, I’m glad, and lucky, that my labor was uneventful and I came out with only a few stitches, and a beautiful, healthy girl.

We stayed in the hospital for two nights, and we had such a great experience with all of the midwives and nurses. They had to monitor her for a bit since it took her a while to urinate, but everything ended up working out. We got home on Wednesday, and now we’re navigating our life as a family of three. And we are so in love!

So Thankful For…

…my wonderful husband, who has put up with my crazy mood swings and still thinks I look beautiful. 🙂

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…my family and in-laws who have always been, and continue to be, so supportive and loving.

…a job that allows me to grow and bring my own special touch to the position (I just had my yearly review and I exceed expectations! :-))

…the fact that our latest ultrasound has highlighted that our baby is looking healthy, and growing. Oh, and the it? It’s a GIRL. 🙂

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I think she has my head-shape and nose. 😉

Thanksgiving this year was quite low key. My parents had their annual Soupsgiving the weekend prior, and Thanksgiving dinner was spent with the in-laws. I have yet to put up our tree, and I think this year I’ll just light it but not deal with ornaments. I’m saving my energy for when Christmas will involve the little lady above. 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! What are you most thankful for?

B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill

In 2012, David and I had the chance to visit B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill in Connecticut, but unfortunately it was late in the season and there was minimal cider to be purchased. It was always in the back of our minds that we would visit again, and we were finally able to a few weeks ago.

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The cider mill is steam powered (operating since 1881), and they have cider pressing demonstrations on the weekends. We tried to go the weekend after Columbus Day but the line was to the street! A couple of weeks went by and thankfully this day was far less crowded (still crowded, as their season is pretty short).

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We went to the earliest demonstration, and we were able to watch them press all of the juice out of the apples. You can imagine that it smelled heavenly.

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After watching that for about 15 minutes, we went on a search for some hard cider. David tried a few samples and purchased some of their original and a few flavored ciders. I enjoyed a cup of mulled cider and a cider doughnut. They also had a few vendors there selling jerky, maple syrup, and kettle corn. It was a lovely afternoon, one that I am so glad we were able to experience right in the middle of their season.

Have you ever been to a cider mill? Ever gone somewhere that was so busy you just drove right on past it?

B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill
129 N. Stonington Rd.
Old Mystic, CT 06355

Our Latest Project

Hello everyone! Anyone still out there reading this little ol’ blog of mine? I’ve kind of disappeared for a few months but all with good reason.

Work has been pretty busy, and David and I finally finished our garage! And I finally took a vacation last week (after not having one since July 2015); I was able to relax, breathe, and get a lot done around the house. We also took a night to go up to Bar Harbor, Acadia, and Bangor in Maine. It was just what I needed to feel refreshed and return back to work.

And now that the garage is done, we’ve begun work on our newest project (well, it’s been in the works for the past few months and it’s mostly me doing the work):

WE’RE HAVING A BABY!

We’ve been planning this since the beginning of the year and luckily I was able to get pregnant the second time we tried. I’m due at the end of April, and we’re both very excited! My first few months (I just hit the second trimester) haven’t been great since I dealt with a lot of all-day nausea, but luckily I only really got sick once, and it hasn’t really impacted my day to day (except that I was exhausted by the time I got home). I’m still a bit nauseous if I don’t have something in my stomach but my energy is coming back.

I’ve done zero running since we started trying, and I’m hoping to get back into it once I feel better. We have a treadmill so I can get some miles in without worrying about the cold weather and the snow.

And that’s really about it right now! I have been out and about seeing shows (Jersey Boys, Cinderella, Mel Brooks), and David and I finally took down our old garage on the property, but otherwise I’ve been laying low. I can’t wait for the holiday season, though. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

What have you been up to lately? 

A View From Above

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Nothing beats the lovely views at the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center. Last night was so crystal clear that you could see all the way to the mountains.

Prior to that, we enjoyed bites from PF Changs, Crazy Dough’s Pizza, Sweetgreen, Towne, Wagamama, California Pizza Kitchen, and Coldstone Creamery. Everything was SO good, although I am partial to the pizza from Crazy Dough’s. 😛

After the scavenger hunt (which was hosted by the Prudential Center and Where Boston Magazine), we reconvened at the Observatory and enjoyed more drinks and lovely desserts.

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Thank you again for an amazing night! If you are ever in Boston, a trip to the Skywalk is a must. 🙂

Skywalk Observatory
50th Floor of the Prudential Center
800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

Volunteering at Run to Home Base

One of the best things about the hotel that I work at is the community that it fosters and the feeling of family and camaraderie. This past Saturday, David and I, and a few other colleagues, volunteered at the Run to Home Base run at Fenway Park; the wake up call was early (4AM!) but the experience was well worth it.

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When we arrived around 5AM, they had the volunteers enjoy coffee and breakfast items while we waited for our assignments. We were located in the Champions room so I was having fun checking out all of the memorabilia.

Fun Red Sox fact: My grandfather’s good friend was the Carlton Fisk’s coach in high school.

We ended up waiting around for quite a bit, but were soon led down to the concourse where we would be helping out at the Military Appreciation Area. For the whole morning while we were there we were arranging items on a long section of tables and then tasked to put together care packages to send to the troops. Last year they did 9,000 boxes! Not sure what the final numbers were this year.

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After a while, more people were helping to put together packages (consisting of things like DVDs, activity books, socks, foot powder, ear buds, etc) along with a handwritten thank you note.

During the morning, I did sneak out to catch a bit of the ceremony.

The first picture in the post features some of the runners coming on to the warning track (right side), then they’re lined up to cross home plate.

Flashback to 2014 when I  ran this race!

David and I had such a great time helping out. Due to the early wake up, we ended up taking a 3 hour nap that afternoon!

And of course, more garage work! The interior is done! We completed the storage shelf on Sunday.

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Yep, that’s me up there! It’s huge and overbuilt, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from David. 🙂

How was your weekend? Do you enjoy volunteering at races? I’ve also volunteered twice at the Harpoon 5-Miler; always a fun time!

My New Running Routine

I suppose after 3 successful runs, you can call this a “routine”. 😛

Ever since I got my hair cut in May, my day to day routine has switched up a bit.

Just to show my new ‘do.

Before I got my hair cut I would religiously straighten my hair with a flat iron each morning. But ever since my new cut, I find myself showering every other night and let it air dry while I sleep. In the morning it’s a simple task of adding some dry shampoo, hair wax (extremely light), hair spray, and just ironing out the bangs, and I am good to go!

So for the past week, every night that I have to wash my hair, I go for a run. I get home from work around 6:45, and I only go for a couple of miles (or less – it’s HOT outside!). Once I’m home it’s shower time and then dinner time.

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So far I have been loving this routine. And I’ve been getting compliments on my hair! 😉

What is your routine each day? Have I said routine enough?

Life Lately

I guess that’s the generic title for those posts that are just a mish-mosh of things going on in my life. 

It’s all been same ol’, same ol’ around here. Work, garage, work, garage. Thankfully a(n) (somewhat) end is in sight since we’ve been working on getting the garage ready for our BBQ this weekend. That means go-go-go for the past couple of weekends.

GARAGE

First step was to grind down the concrete so that it was more level. Then we vacuumed and mopped up all of the remaining dust.

I was in charge of getting the epoxy on the edges of the floor, then David followed me around with the roller. All told it took about 3 hours of painting, with a full day to let everything dry.

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And it looks fantastic! The weather is looking a bit dreary (80% chance of thunderstorms) so thankfully we have the space inside for our guests.

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And this is under the overhang! The pavers are on back order so we may have to make due (do?). 🙂

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Thankfully the weather was gorgeous all weekend!

CELEBRATIONS

As you may have read online, or seen on the news, Marriott International has acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts…the company that I work for. So in a few weeks time, I will be a Marriott employee. It’s exciting, but a bit saddened to see Starwood disappear. Before the acquisition goes through, hotels were encourage to show that they were #StarwoodProud. We had a few days of department decorating, ice cream trucking, and having the executive committee serve lunch and dinner in the cafeteria.

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Make sure to check out Sheraton Boston on Facebook to see our awesome video!

Aside from the garage work, we were able to go to a friends house for a BBQ and pool party. Unfortunately the pool was too cold, but we did enjoy the food and company. I contributed Janae’s delicious s’mores bars again. Always a hit! 🙂

And that’s our life up until this point! I can’t wait for the party this weekend; should be a great time!

How were your Fourth of July festivities?

The Garage Work Continues

This past weekend David and I finally had nothing on our schedules. It was time to start getting supplies for our party next weekend, as well as work on some more of the outside garage work.

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So many beverages! And on a side note, I love Costco. I don’t love the crowds on the weekends, but I love the samples and their selections.

We ended up making a trip on both Saturday and Sunday, and the rest of the time was working on leveling the area under the overhang. We’re having some pavers installed (eventually) so we had to work on making sure the shape was right and that it was all level. David worked the tamping machine while I watered everything.

We also had someone grade the front yard and ramp up the driveway so that it was a gradual incline into the garage.

I love how everything is turning out! Can’t wait to get that old garage out of the way, and we’ll have some more land to work with.

And a peek into the (almost) finished garage!

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David is so proud of himself; as he should be. 🙂

Do you have any fun plans for Fourth of July? We’ll be heading to our friend’s house who hold a party every year. Weather is looking good for this weekend!

The Last of the Craziness

For now at least. 🙂

Between the reunion on June 4th and the wedding on June 10th our weekends have been jam packed. And this past weekend was no exception. Thankfully things will be quiet until Fourth of July festivities. And I totally just realized that the holiday is two weeks away! The months are flying by.

Friday

Before the end of the work day my boss asked if I wanted tickets to the Red Sox game courtesy of the visiting team. I called up David and he was willing to come in to the city if it meant so much to me. 😉

We were four rows from the field and right next to the Mariners dugout. Very cool! Unfortunately they lost, but it was still a fun time. Especially Big Papi’s 2-run home run!

Saturday

No-picture day but still quite busy. I worked on cleaning the house in the morning before we went over to David’s parent’s house to celebrate birthdays and holidays in May and June. Lunch was pizza and meatball subs with a frosted chocolate chip bundt cake that I made for dessert.

We hung out for a few hours before heading home. I took a 20 minute nap before we headed back out towards Boston to see a friend of mine in a play in Jamaica Plain. It was The Sisters Rosensweig at the Footlight Club; celebrating its 139th season! My friend John was excellent in it. The dialogue could get a bit bogged down with simple conversation, but he was able to bring some fun and laughter to the scenes. It was such a pleasure getting to see him perform! Makes me want to get back on to the stage. 😉

Sunday

Allll day was spent putting up the remaining walls in the garage. Thankfully it’s all done! Now we wait for the electrician. And we have an excavator coming this week to grade the yard; time to bring everything in to the garage!

And a Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful dad, Mark. 🙂

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How was your weekend?? Any fun plans for July 4th?