Thursday, April 17, 2014

Date Night: Jersey Boys

Hubs and I have been homebodies lately, since it seems like most of the festivals and events I'd usually go to during this time of year involve drinking or partying.  While I definitely love those things, they're not as fun while pregnant.  So, unless my husband or friends REALLY want to go, we're been skipping those events.  I've been searching for some good, wholesome, sober fun lately, so I jumped at an opportunity offered by our local performing arts center, The Straz Center in Tampa, to attend the opening night of the musical, Jersey Boys.  

I'd heard about the musical from my friends, who loved it.  They're also from Jersey, so... they felt the kinship.  I knew the show was about the formation and career Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  Since I'm a sucker for oldies, this sounded like a fun night's entertainment and a great date night option.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

My husband and I attended the event last Tuesday, and I was happily surprised at what a great production it was.  I love the acoustics of our performing arts center, which make the performers sound wonderful (even if they're a little off that night).  We had great seats to the show, and I found out after we sat down that this is the first musical production my husband has EVER seen outside of a high school theater.  WOW.  I've been to Broadway shows, regional and national touring shows at local performing arts venues, etc., so I guess I never knew that he hasn't had those same types of experiences.  After the show, he told me that he really enjoyed himself and would go to other shows like this.  Woo hoo!

The show itself featured actors portraying the four original members of the Four Seasons, including the star of the group Frankie Valli.  The actor playing Frankie sang wonderfully on some songs and his voice seemed to struggle a bit on others, but overall, he did a great job as Frankie.  The other actors were wonderful too, and the set design was simple but very effective.  

I loved these parts of the show, as well as the sets...

The pictures only tell a small slice of a story, it's really a great show with fun, energetic music that you want to sing along to (if you're like me, that is!).  Check it out here in Tampa or in a city near you!!

Next up:  Getting my husband to see more musicals.  I hear Jesus Chris Superstar is coming soon and starring artists like Michelle Williams (of Destiny's Child fame), JC Chasez (my N'Sync crush), and Brandon Boyd (my Incubus crush), so DEFINITELY need to convince my hubby that it's a must-see.  At least to get this lady some eye candy!

What's your favorite musical?  
Have you seen any great shows lately?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Questions for the Preggo

Lately, it seems like people have not only been asking me more questions about my pregnancy, but giving me their commentary on how they think I'm handling my pregnancy.  People warned me that the Peanut Galleries of the world would be doing this, providing their unsolicited opinions and making statements about what THEY think I should do/eat/think/believe.  I was ready for it.  Although most of this is meant with the best of intentions, I know that some questions are coming from a place of judgment and critique.  It's all soooo much fun!

So, without further ado...

Q:  "Why don't you put more baby bump pictures on Facebook (and Instagram, Twitter, etc.)?"  Also, "Are you going to have maternity photos taken?"
A:  Hmmm... It's both simple and complicated.  Simple answer:  I just don't feel like posting any pictures until I have a more defined baby bump.  This is the truth.  Complicated answer:  I've gained a lot of weight over the past couple of years and I really don't like seeing any ol' pictures of myself plastered all over the internet.  I'm selective about which pictures I show these days, until I'm feeling better about how I look.  As I noted in a previous post, I got pregnant at a higher weight than I had hoped, and I've been instructed not to "diet" while pregnant.  I've been making efforts to eat healthier and take on healthy habits, which has helped keep my total weight gain to date at 11 lbs.  I actually do have a growing baby bump, though, so I will probably post a picture or two soon.  I probably won't be investing in maternity photos for the reasons stated above, but I could change my mind in the upcoming months.  You never, ever know.  (I've been known to change my mind from time to time.)

Q:  "Why didn't you do something special for your family to announce your pregnancy?  Like giving your mom a special "grandma" onesie or something."  Also, "Why didn't you have a gender reveal party?"
A:  Let me start by saying that I LOVE parties, and any excuse for throwing one, but there are several reasons why I didn't make a big production out of announcing my pregnancy or the sex of the baby.  First, my family members are anxious and impatient beings who have been dying for me to get pregnant for years.  I found out I was pregnant on December 17, and immediately I asked Hubs how we should tell people--special gift at Christmas time or just call everyone right away and share the good news.  As soon as I mentioned these options, my better senses smacked me in the face.  My family would NOT have been happy if I had known I was pregnant for 1-2 weeks and didn't tell them, only to spring it on them with a silly gift at the holiday party.  I also vividly remember my sister saying to me, "Don't you dare find out your pregnant then wait several weeks to surprise us with some dumb gift." (That says it all, folks.)  My family doesn't care about making a big ordeal out of things, so we abandoned the gift idea and called everyone.  It was a wonderful night.  Everyone was happy and crying (tears of joy), and I knew I'd made the right call.  The gender reveal is pretty much the same story, but in all honesty, nobody really cared if we were having a girl or a boy.  While our families and close friends were interested in our baby's sex, waiting for us to plan some party wasn't going to make anyone happy and we would have been pestered non-stop.  We just called our families, texted the news to a few close friends, and posted the news on Facebook.

Planning parties with my family and friends is tough anyway.  We don't all live near each other.  My parents are 1.5 hours from us and my sister and her family are almost 2 hours away.  Many of our friends are in town, but most live 20-30 minutes (or more) away and everyone has incredibly busy lives.  It just worked better for us to not have a party.  I don't think this makes our announcement any more or less special than someone else's, but with all things, I think you have to consider your audience and timing.  The Peanut Gallery has told me that I'm not "trying hard enough to make my pregnancy special" because I'm not doing these things, but I think that's ridiculous.  10 years ago, nobody did gender reveal parties and silly gifts. They're an invention of the Facebook and Pinterest era, and while these parties are a fun concept, they're not necessary to have a happy, healthy and fun pregnancy.

Q:  "Have your feet started to swell yet?"
A:  Oh yes, and my fingers too!  I could barely stuff my feet into my work loafers this morning, which was delightful.  I can't wait until the third trimester when my feet will only fit in to flip flops!  My bosses are going to love that.  My fingers started to swell early on, too, so I took my rings off around week 10.  Then I got hit on by some dude at the Veterinarian's office and was asked by a lady at work about my baby's dad.  I knew that if she'd seen my wedding rings, she would have asked about my husband.  I knew right then and there that I needed a cheap, fake wedding ring to hold me over, ASAP.  Fast forward to 2 weekends ago, I was shopping at Target and found a passable set of fakes for $20.  SOLD. 

Q:  "When are you having your shower?" 
A:  Hopefully when I'm around 30-32 weeks.  Any later will just be miserable and hot and uncomfortable.  Plus, it will be nice to have an idea of what I'll need to buy on my own before baby arrives, and have time to buy everything without being in a rush.

Q:  "Will you be doing anything special for Bella?"
A:  I didn't know what this meant.  If they mean a gift, or special treatment, or special kenneling, or a party, I don't think so.  We'll give her all of the same love, cuddles and kisses that we already do, but we don't want to draw attention to this as a huge, life changing event for her (even though it is, kind of).  I want her to know that she's loved as much as always, but sending her to a pet resort for a week would send her into a panic.  She'd think of it as a Puppy Alcatraz, and would probably come back home with a horrible attitude and pee all over the house just to spite us.  It's better for us to show her that things will be carrying on the same as always, just with a new family member.  Also, if that friend asking about Bella meant special training to prep her for a baby, I'm not sure.  Bella loves babies and kids, and while she will be a little bit jealous with a baby in the house at first, I'm confident that she'll adjust quickly to change like she always.  I do know of a good pet psychologist/trainer, though, so I'll use her if Bella starts doing anything cray.

AHHHH, these people kill me.  But I know their questions are coming from a place of love... helpfulness... and nosiness.  Until later, friends!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life Lately

Hey friends, I hope you've all been doing great these days.  

I realized today that I haven't given anyone an update on my life these days.  We must catch up, right?

Well, I'm now 21 weeks pregnant, and feeling...okay.  The second trimester has been a lot better than the first, but getting bigger, having worse heartburn, seeing my feet swell, and having difficulty sleeping have been tough (not exactly my dream come true).  I honestly don't know how anyone can say that they LOVE being pregnant, unless it's because they're focusing on the attention they're getting.  Pregnancy is no picnic, but I know it's all for a great cause.  My baby bump is growing, and it's hard to feel like I'm getting so huge.  Ugh.  Aside from that, my next doctor visits are next week and hopefully they go well.

In other news...  Hubs and I are doing well and busy trying to get things checked off our To Do list.  We made a list of house projects that we want to get done before our baby arrives in August, and let's just say that the list was longer than I initially imagined.  Yikes.  We will be prioritizing the list and trying to wrap up as much as possible between now and the end of July.  It's mostly things like organizing and cleaning out the garage, re-screening the patio, installing a new kitchen sink/faucet, redoing certain parts of our home's landscaping (including mulching and planting new bushes), painting the nursery and a few other things.  Of course we also have to set up the nursery, but that's a fun "nesting" activity for me to do in June.

In other news... Work has been ridiculous for months now, and it feels like even though I have help, I'm not feeling the relief that I need.  I love my job, but there's so much drama going on all the time and people keep throwing more work my way.  I seriously need more hours in the day, and not to have a baby making me so darn tired.  While I may feel frustration right now, I know that things always get better and I'm going to keep working hard until things get easier.

In other news...  Little things have totally been making my day lately.  Example:  I got some dinner at Wendy's the other night on my way to a blogger event, and they had a deal.  You but a Frosty Key Tag for $1 (proceeds go to charity) and you get a free Jr. Frosty ANY TIME you go to Wendy's until the end of 2014.  My little preggo heart leaped up and danced when I saw that!  I also bought one for Hubs.  That's a good wife--keeping her hubby set with Jr. Frosties all year long!

In other news...  I found that my new favorite Bath and Body Works candle, Beach Cabana, has a magical way of transforming my mood from stressed to relaxed.  I seriously want to stockpile these so I'm totally set if they ever discontinue the scent (and they WILL discontinue it someday, they always do) or there's a zombie apocalypse or whatever.

In other news...  My car wouldn't start on Saturday when I went to leave my house for a charity fashion show.  It was towed to the dealership and left there until Monday, when it can be looked at for repairs.  It's supposedly an engine problem, according to OnStar, so I hope it doesn't cost me a bundle to repair.  It's a 4 year old car that I LOVE, so I really hope it's nothing major.  I'm so bummed that I missed the charity fashion show, and I haven't had a car to drive all weekend, which hasn't been so great.  I hope we can get the car issues resolved fast on Monday morning and at least get me in a loaner for a day or two.

In other news... Hubs and I took an afternoon off work to tour daycare centers this past week.  The whole thing seemed like a mind-numbing task, but we had fun with it and agreed (amazingly enough) on the two centers we liked.  We saw one that was INCREDIBLE, like the Ritz-Carlton of daycares, but they wanted $1300/month, which was way, way (wwwwaaaaayyyyy) outside of our price range.  The one we chose was a lot less expensive but still wonderful and close to home.

In other news... April in Florida is seriously the best time of year.  I LOVE IT right now.  The weather is gorgeous, it doesn't rain much and it's not too hot yet.  I just want to be outside all the time, with my Kindle Fire in one hand and a venti Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade in the other.

In other news...  I went to two really fun events for bloggers this week, and posts are coming about both of those events.  I had a great time, and can't wait to share those experiences with you!

In other news... I've been nesting.  I hung up a bunch of the baby's new clothes in her closet and started to organize her blankets and other goodies given to us by friends.  We ordered her furniture, so now we're playing the waiting game until it comes in and we can really start getting her nursery set up.  Tick-tock, I'm getting restless and anxious because I want to get it started!

That's it for me!  Nothing too crazy, nothing too dull.  Juuuuust right.  I hope everything's been great with you all lately!  

My photo
Tampa, Florida, United States
I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

La Bella Vita

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