March 28, 2012

Hump Day Bump Day at 14 Weeks

Basic Development

Finger prints have now formed by the baby swimming and moving around in the amniotic fluid. The fluid causes small ridges in the skin to take shape, giving baby it's unique set of prints. Major systems are in place, so rapid brain growth and fat buildup begins. Baby has probably tripled in size from 3 weeks ago and is now about the length of a lemon from crown to rump.

Weight Gain: No clue if I'm up or down. I've had morning sickness 4 times this past week so eating has been tough some days. I am trying to make healthier choices now that baby is getting nutrients from my food. I honestly can't tell if I've gained or lost. I'll find out next week!

Maternity Clothes: Wearing my regular tops, usually with a thin belt to accent the bump and give myself a little shape. Watching Mad Men this week I thanked my lucky stars that those tent like mumu tops are no longer in style. I went on a search for maxi dresses (long and flowy) this past weekend, but no luck. I'm going to check some thrift shops before spending any more money at Old Navy.

Sleep: Good, and I had a really sweet baby dream the other night. I love those dreams, it's cool to imagine if they're accurate (will it be a girl?) or just my mind imagining what could be. I have to get up to pee at least once in the middle of the night. I have had a random night or two of waking up and having a hard time getting back to sleep. 

Food: Getting better. I made a couple dinners this week that were tasty. Steak, roasted potatoes and salad on Saturday, pasta with bolognese sauce and salad. The hard part is trying to sneak more vegetables in, as they're still not appetizing. I'm finding plain salad with a light dressing is my best bet for now.  

Baby Movement: Still too soon to feel anything. I am hoping in the next couple weeks to start feeling some flutter kicks. I have an appointment on the 3rd and I am looking forward to hearing the heartbeat again!

Baby Buys: I snagged 2 cloth diapers on sale last week online to get my hands on them and see what they're all about. I'm not gonna lie, I am all for cloth diapering. It's really not much more work than disposables (I'll be doing laundry every other day anyways) and the cost savings is just crazy (spend about $500 or less, once, on cloth and use them on future kids, versus spend $3000 per child on disposable dipes). Plus, THEY'RE SO FLUFFY! There are so many choices to make as a parent and I can only hope we make the best ones for our kid and family. This one is pretty much a no-brainer. 

Bump Thoughts: Pregnancy is really just crazy. One day I feel amazing, energetic, on top of the world, and the next day I am sitting at my desk eating crackers and hoping I don't end up with my head in the toilet. It's miraculous what's going on in there, and funny how pregnancy varies from woman to woman. I feel like it's treating me well, overall, and am definitely looking forward to showing more. I am enjoying it as much as I can, even the tough days, because it'll be 40 weeks before I know it and I won't know what hit me!

March 27, 2012

Working Hard

...Or in this case, hardly working. It's such a hard life to be our pet.

It makes hours at the computer a bit nicer seeing those little feet dangling over the edge above me.

March 23, 2012

Fill In the Blanks Friday: Color Edition

It seems like the weeks are starting to accelerate. All of a sudden it's Friday and since it was such a warm week, I feel like we're just catapulting into summer. Spring? What's that? Besides that most trees are still pretty bare, it just feels like the time of year for dresses and sandals and wind in my hair as I drive home, happy to be done another day at work.

I am loving the happy little cherry blossoms and forsythias. They're a nice reminder that however fast time seems to be moving and hot the days are, it is still just March, and everything happens in its own time and season.

I'm glad it's Friday and I can leave this week behind. Although it was gorgeous weather-wise, I have been feeling a bit crummy, and at least on the weekend I can feel crummy in the comfort of my home. So what if I'm going into the city tomorrow to spend the day with my girlfriend. As long as there's always a bathroom nearby, I should be good!

I haven't done a Fill in the Blank Friday in a while and they are a fun way to end the week. This week's theme is "color", so thanks to Lauren at the little things we do, here we go...

1. My favorite color is navy blue.

2. My home decor color palette includes a lot of warm neutrals, blues, and pops of red.

3. Other people always tell me I look good in the color blue. No matter what shade, it always brings out the blue in my eyes.

4. The color I detest is pink. I was never a big fan.

5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colors you'd see would be black, gray and dark blue, some yellow and dark green. My closet is pretty dark.

6. A color that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is red. My skin tone is very pinkish red and red just makes me look blotchy.

7. The color of my favorite dress is basic black. It goes with everything, any season, and can be as casual or as dressy as I choose to make it.

I hope you have a colorful weekend! Cheers!

March 21, 2012

Hump Day Bump Day at 13 Weeks

Happy Hump Day! In an online community that I participate it, Hump Day is also Bump Day when you show off your bump, so I thought it could be a fun day of the week to update about my pregnancy and track the bump growth. I took some pictures starting the week we found out, but let's be honest, that was more chub than bump. I am starting to feel "the expansion" this week, so I guess the time has come!

Basic Development

This week I am 13 weeks pregnant, and the baby is about the size of a peach from crown to rump (roughly 3 inches long). Fingerprints are forming and the baby can now make a fist or suck its thumb. Bones, skull and ribs are solidifying, and tooth sockets are loaded and ready to pop out some teeth (but that won't be for a while).

Weight Gain: I was up 3lbs total at my March 8th appointment. I don't have a scale at home so I haven't been weighing myself. I am happy with this slow gain. I am overweight, so I've been advised not to gain a lot. The whole "eating for two" is discouraged, as it can lead to incredibly unhealthy gain. I do not want to deal with gestational diabetes, so I'm trying to eat as normal as possible with a snack here or there.

Maternity Clothes: I have been wearing elastic waist pants since 6 weeks due to bloat and now just growth. Fashion has never been my forte, but I try to look cute and accessorize. I am excited for warmer weather so I can live in skirts and dresses and sandals. My sister-in-law gave me a pair of maternity jeans and a skirt and I am so grateful for hand-me-downs because maternity clothes are expensive! I'd rather spend my money on onesies.

Sleep: Generally ok. I started sleeping with a pillow between my knees on my side since my back has started hurting a little bit. It's pretty comfortable and I haven't been rolling on my back too much because of it. I can still sleep on my back for a couple more weeks, but I usually end up on my side anyways. I miss sleeping on my stomach. I bought a body pillow, but it's really big and I'm afraid of pushing Sean out of bed. We'll either have to get used to it, or only use it on nights I am particularly uncomfortable later on.

Food: My relationship with food has been complicated. Some days are good, some are not so much. I made tilapia and brown rice last night and couldn't swallow a bite of it, it just tasted awful. Chicken has been the #1 offender, but chicken nuggets amazingly are ok. I have been enjoying Oikos vanilla greek yogurt for breakfast, mango slices, crackers with hummus, and I hate to say it, carbs. Pizza is always a safe dinner option for me. Vegetables make me gag. It's really sad.

Baby Movement: Baby is active, but it's too soon to detect if what I feel is the baby or gas - sorry! It's the truth. My body just feels like a crazy experiment where there are tugs and pulls and cramps and occasional pains and something I can only describe as a tingling sensation. Things are growing and changing, and I sure as heck can't wait to feel the little one actually move and kick.

Bump Thoughts: I love waking up in the morning and lying there feeling my belly. I am really hungry by that point, but I feel like the true bump is easiest to feel at that point in the day. It's incredibly peaceful to think about the person that's growing in there. And then Loki pounces on my feet, reminding me that I'm not the only one who is hungry...

March 20, 2012

Gluten Free Disney Day 3: Hollywood Studios

Holy hotness!

That is how I would describe Hollywood Studios, or "MGM" if you're a hipster about old theme park names like I am. It's the hottest park in more ways than one. The first, for obvious reasons, is the heat. The way the park is constructed, it is just hot. The sun reflects off the pavement and buildings and it is just a very hot place to be. Make sure you bring bottles of water, sunscreen and sunglasses, or you'll be a sad panda.

It's also "hot" for the awesome rides and attractions. It's home to thrillers like the Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror and Aerosmith's Rockin' Rollercoaster, and the adventurous Star Tours, which Sean may have ridden 4 times in 1 day. There are also awesome attractions like the Indiana Jones and Lights Motors ACTION! stunt shows. Like all the parks, there's so much to do and see, there are parades throughout the day, characters doing some old Hollywood improvisations in the street with guests, and lots of characters to meet, like these guys:

We started the day by taking a boat from Hollywood Studios over to the Beach Club Resort for breakfast at the Cape May Cafe. It was the same deal as Crystal Palace with buffet style all you can eat dining. Sean got his delicious gluten free Mickey waffles, and we got to visit with Goofy, Minnie, and Donald Duck while we ate. They were all decked out in their beach clothes, ready for a day of fun in the sun.

Why Disney Really Rocks 

Sean got us these really awesome water bottles for the trip that are thermal and will keep water cold all day long. I couldn't have done this trip without them. So of course when we were on the boat heading back to the park after lunch, and Sean asked if I had my bottle, I said "Nope, I forgot it at breakfast." I left it right on the table. Derp.

Sean got on the phone with the Beach Club and they said they'd get the water bottle back to our resort by the next morning, which they did. We got a call at our room that night saying the bottle was there to be picked up at our convenience. Instead of wasting an hour or two going back and looking for it, we were taken care of. Easy peasy.

...back to Hollywood Studios

Since it was so hot out, we took our time going through the park, and made sure to hit up Muppet Vision 3D, and The Great Movie Ride, which were easy and relaxing and out of the sun. We got ice cream to tide us over until our early dinner, and also hit up the Indiana Jones Stunt Show where Sean got to participate as an extra in the show they put on.

Sean is second from the left in the super short robe.

Don't worry, there's supposed to be explosions!
We dawdled through some gift shops and made our way over to Brown Derby, a really cool restaurant with a fabulous menu. All around the restaurant are caricatures of anyone and everyone Hollywood, young and old, some more recognizable than others.

Brown Derby had a great atmosphere. You could easily bring kids there for dinner, but we also felt like it was a great dinner date location. It wasn't loud like a quick service or cafeteria style, and the food was seriously amazing. For appetizers, Sean had the Portland Lobster Bisque, and I had the Bibb Lettuce Salad with Peppercorn Sweet Onion Dressing, Cherry Tomatoes, Shaved Radishes and Parmesan-seed Frico. For entrees, Sean ordered the Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese, and Spinach over Fabada Stew and Tomato Concasse. I had the "Duck Two Ways" - Crispy Duck Magret and Duck Confit with Apple-Rosemary Stuffing over Butternut Squash, Marscapone Anolini, and Maple Brown Butter. Do I know what half of those fancy words mean? No, but YUM. That's all that mattered. Sean also ordered a scotch flight to enjoy throughout the meal, finishing off his Macallen 18 while I enjoyed some Double Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee with Dark Chocolate-Dipped Biscotti (not GF).

The highlight of the day, for me (and I think Sean), was seeing the show Fantasmic. It's in an outdoor amphitheater on the water and features pyrotechnics, lights, and illuminations on the water. It was really magical and cliche as it is, delightful to watch. I felt like a kid, and in the finale, I couldn't help but get a little teary eyed. The music was wonderful, of course, and I also immediately wanted to come home and watch Fantasia.

Another wonderful day at Disney!

March 19, 2012

Give a Little Love

I have been a bit forgetful in sharing this! The lovely Jen from Our Life Adventure has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award! How sweet is that? Thank you, Jen!

This award is all about spreading the love, giving love to bloggers so they know you love their blog, and letting your followers know what blogs you regularly read and love!

Jen's shares stories about her day to day life, and she is also an expecting September mama, due the day before me! I love a recent post of hers where her grandma sent her a box of fresh avocados from their family grove because her doctors told her she needed to eat more fat and protein. So cute!

Nominees for this award are asked to:

1) Thank the person who nominated them, with a link back to their blog
2) List seven things about themselves, and
3) Award 15 newly discovered blogs with the award, and let them know!

Seven things about me? Here goes:

  • I love everything about the ocean: the smell, the sound of waves, the beach, sailing, swimming, bonfires... just being near the ocean brings me immense peace. 
  • I am the only one in my immediate family of 5 that is left-handed. 
  • I am seriously afraid of turkeys.
  • I love John Cusack, specifically in Say Anything. 
  • I am terrible with makeup. I don't usually wear makeup. If I do, it's tinted moisturizer, a little neutral eyeshadow, a little eyeliner and Cherry Chapstick. 
  • I made my own prom dress senior year. 
  • If I could wear flip flops year round, I would. In a heartbeat. Fancy is not my middle name. 
So here are my nominees! They're not all newly discovered, but I love their blogs and think you might love them, too!

1) Nancy at The Cookie Gal
2) Alise at The Syruper's Wife
3) Sydney at The Daybook
5) Tricia at Not Carrie Bradshaw
8) Mama G at Growing Up Geeky
9) Laura of The Daylight
10) Shannon of Happiness Is...
12) Lara and Chris at The Awesome Cloth Diaper Blog
13) Rebaan at My Life in DC
14) Samantha of Ooo Nom Nom
15) Jenni at Jenni From the Blog

I hope you find a gem in there you love! Cheers!

March 16, 2012

Today is...(1st Trimester)

January 9...

...the best day ever.

Sean's about to come home from work, and I am going to tell him I'm pregnant.

January 13 I am 4 weeks today on the dot, according to my charting skills. I have my first appointment lined up for the 23rd, and I'm really excited for that. Part of the trying to conceive process that I enjoyed (besides the obvious) was finding my new doctor's office and I love all the women that work there. I know I'm in capable, caring hands. I knew it would be a good place when back in October, I was told by my gyn, "You're a cute one. I'm going to help you get pregnant."

I feel a bit like a science experiment right now. I wake up every morning boiling hot, I am always hungry (and never feel completely full after a meal) and man, do the twins ache! Loki does his regular morning trot across my chest and it's like he's stepping on mines! There are also random pangs that feel like stretching or squeezing down in the ute. I read all of these symptoms described as growing pains and I can't help but love that. My body is kicked into high gear to do what it's made to do!

Sean is amazing. The moment it clicked when I showed him the positive test, he saw the word "Pregnant" and he seemed immediately changed. The Eagle Scout in him came out full force. "What can I do?" is the question he is constantly asking. I could not have asked for a better partner to go through this life with.

Fun baby fact: The cells are now forming into an embryo the size of a period.

January 18 4w5d Not much change, except I am really tired. According to the baby growth and development, it should be forming it's heart right around now, which is just incredible to think about. It's amazing how much is developed in just the first couple weeks.

I bought a couple books this week, and I fear I will need to either wear elastic waist banded pants and skirts soon. My pants are already very snug with bloat. If I could live in my pajama pants, I would. Speaking of which, I wore my slippers to work today. Not on purpose. Baby brain, much?

January 25 5w5d I've started feeling pretty nauseous throughout the day. No puking yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if that starts soon.

We had our first appointment with the OB Monday. We just went over health histories and she gave us a few things to look forward to in the next couple weeks as far as testing and 1st trimester development. I am most excited for Feb. 8 because that's the day of our first ultrasound. I cannot wait to see our little bun. I am praying that everything looks as it should and we have a healthy little one nestled good and snug in there. Until then, all I can do is wait and keep taking care of myself.

Our Baby This Week: The heart will start beating this week; beginnings of the brain, cardiovascular system, nervous, and reproductive systems are underway; the baby is about the size of a sesame seed.

January 30 6w3d Well, we had our first "scare". We were rear-ended Friday night on our way out to dinner, and the back end of my car was crunched. We both felt ok when it happened, no aches or pains, but a LOT of adrenaline. The only thing running through my head was to keep breathing and count to 10 and try to relax my muscles. I was the one driving and saw the cab flying up behind us (we were stopped behind someone taking a lefthand turn) in the rearview mirror, so I had tensed up my grip on the wheel and my foot on the break. There is nothing worse than the sound of a car accident.

We took an ambulance to the hospital (the same hospital where I'll give birth) and got checked out. Everything looked fine, and everyone was very kind and sympathetic. The award of the night goes to Sean for going into "Dad mode". As soon as we were hit, he had his 5 seconds to freak out, and then he asked if I was ok, if I hurt anywhere, and proceeded to call the police, and ambulance, and our insurance. He got pictures of the damaged cars, and did all the talking to the police and other driver. Thank goodness no one was hurt, but I was trying to hold it together because I was so scared. I felt ok, but that was the first time I felt responsible for someone's well being other than myself, and I was terrified of miscarrying due to the impact. Luckily, I have plenty of built-in padding to soften the blow. :)

3 days later, we're both still feeling a little sore, but fine. I'm now even more worried about our ultrasound next week, but all we can do is pray that our little one was well cushioned in there and just had a bit of a ride in it's "bouncy house".

I've also been feeling really nauseous lately. No actual "sickness", but I have felt on the verge the past few days, so I am trying to keep my food bland and drink plenty of water. Plain crackers, orange juice and ice cream seem to be my favorite things right now.

Our Baby This Week: Arm and leg buds are forming, and the heart is beating regularly, but faintly. Baby is about the size of an appleseed.

February 8 7w5d This morning was our ultrasound, and we got to see a little heartbeat flickering on the monitor. The relief was overwhelming and all I could do was cry happy tears that our little peanut was tucked in there safe and sound and growing. Growth looks good, only 1 day behind the estimated due date, so now we're looking at 9/22 as our baby's birthday. I am having a hard time putting into words how I feel. Actually seeing the little nugget in there, it's more than just a complex idea, it's real. There's another teeny tiny heart in my body that's beating and growing. Holy moly. We've been joking that I am now a Time Lord (Doctor Who fans may appreciate that).

We met with our nurse and went over nutrition, future appointments and what to expect, family health histories, and options for genetic testing. All of a sudden, there's a lot to think about in what seems like a relatively short amount of time. But at the same time, I can't wait to meet our baby and to hold it in my arms. To see Sean hold it.

Oh my goodness.

Our Baby This Week: Brain is growing at ~100 cells per minute. The face is developing. Baby has now grown more than 10,000 times it's size when it was conceived, and is the size of a sweet pea. 

February 20 9w2d What an emotional weekend! We told our immediate families on our trip home for the long weekend, and I am so excited that they know now and can share in the excitement. I think the best reaction award goes to Sean's nana. We told her she was going to be a great-grandmother again and she asked if we were getting another cat! We're keeping it under wraps from the rest of the world for a couple more weeks, and then once we're home from Disney and have our 12 week appointment we'll share our news!

I'm still feeling relatively good. The nausea comes in waves, usually in the morning and evening, and the food aversions are the craziest things. I can't eat chicken, and bananas and hard boiled eggs might be the most foul thing I've ever smelled. I had a milkshake today that tasted like a slice of heaven, but most other sweets are too sugary. Bland continues to be the best option for me. And I am grateful beyond words that I haven't had full on sickness. (knock on wood)

Our Baby This Week: Baby's heart can now be detected and heard, and sex organs are beginning to develop, although the baby's sex will now be able to be determined for several more weeks. Baby is about the size of a martini olive. 

March 3 11 weeks We returned from our Disney trip and it was so much fun! I didn't get to go on many of the more exciting rides, but we packed so much into each day, walked a lot, and ate like kings. I was so happy to be able to spend time with Sean. We take for granted time alone, I think, and getting away helped us reconnect, talk about the future, and just enjoy being together and having fun. Since it was hot and we spent each day on our feet walking, it was really important to stay hydrated and rest when I was tired. I think I "sampled" every restroom in every park, and whenever Sean went on the rides I couldn't do, I parked my butt on a bench and just people watched. It was also fun to watch families with kids of varying ages and talk about what age we'd like our kids to be when we bring them, and window shop all the different kinds of strollers (how are we ever going to choose?).

I'll have to post more on Disney later in a non-pregnancy post, but it was such a great time.

Our Baby This Week: All vital organs are formed and functioning. Fingernail and toenail beds are developing, and baby is moving around a lot. Baby is the size of a prune. 

March 8 11w5d Tonight I heard our baby's heartbeat at my appointment. It is seriously the best sound I've ever heard. It was one thing to see the heart beating on the ultrasound, but when my doctor found it on the doppler and I heard the "whoosh whoosh whoosh", I lost it. I am trying not to be cliche, but it really is a little miracle in there. Something so small, and it has a beating heart, organs, fingers, toes...It just amazes me. I am sad Sean had to work, but he'll be with me at my 16 week appointment and he'll be able to hear it then.

Also, doc said she was having a hard time getting the baby to hold still long enough to get the heartbeat, she said don't be surprised if it's swimming laps or doing cartwheels in there. Very active in the womb at close to 12 weeks? I'll take it!

March 11 12w1d Yesterday I shot my first wedding of the year - it was so beautiful! I was nervous of course that I might not feel well or have enough energy to make it the whole day, but I felt great and it was no more exhausting than any other wedding I've shot. I just had to sneak off to the bathroom a couple more times than normal.

Today, though? I feel like I climbed a mountain. Sore feet, sore legs, sore back. It comes with the job, as a photographer and as a pregnant lady. I'm glad I am with my family today and can just sit and relax. If I were home I'm sure I'd be tempted to be on my feet and cleaning. Today, I welcome laziness to the fullest. I am excited to get home and see Sean. I am bringing home our family's antique bassinet, 4 or 5 generations of babies have slept in it. I am excited to be a part of such a nice tradition!

Our Baby This Week: The face is even more defined, and intestines are developing but partially in the umbilical cord until there is more room in the abdominal cavity. Baby can swallow and practices on amniotic Fluid. Baby is about 2.5 inches long now, the size of a plum, or the length of your pinky finger!

March 12 12w2d I brought this home from my parents' house and someone has already decided that it's "just right". Figures. :)

March 14, 2012

Oh, baby!

That's right, there's a gluten free bun in the oven!

We are thrilled and excited and terrified for so many reasons. This will be a life changer if there ever is one. It's amazing how when we got married, it felt different, but in so many ways, the same. For 10 years, we've been each other's person. Now we get to be a tiny person's people, to love and feed and care and encourage and grow.

I can't freaking wait to meet our baby.

I have been writing little updates in an unpublished post since the night we found out, so I will be posting that soon if you'd like to read about my thoughts on being in the first trimester. 

March 6, 2012

Day 2 of Gluten Free Disney Trip: Magic Kingdom

When you wish upon a star...

This trip was a dream come true - seriously. Seeing my husband getting to eat anything off of a menu, with chefs coming out to talk to him and feeling like he was being cared for, not a nuisance, was amazing. I think we could happily vacation to Disney and only to Disney for a long time and be very happy campers.

We slept like babies after our super-long day of travel and Epcot, and woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Monday for our day in Magic Kingdom. We had a breakfast reservation at The Crystal Palace in the park, where Winnie the Pooh and friends would visit us while we ate. I had never been to a character breakfast before, and I was excited for this to be my first experience. I love Winnie the Pooh, particularly Eeyore. I don't know what it is but I love that mopey emo donkey something fierce.

We got to the park and immediately went to guest services to receive our anniversary buttons. They have a cart of buttons available for all sorts of occasions, from anniversaries to birthdays to your first visit in the park. It gets you some special attention and well wishes throughout the day from any and all cast members (staff) and characters that see your button. They wrote our names and "2 Years!" on our buttons and off we went. We had a bit of time before our reservation, so we wandered up Main St., had our picture taken, and entered Adventureland, which was right next to Crystal Palace. We explored the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and rode Aladdin's Magic Carpet before heading back to eat.

lol - out of focus - thanks random tourist.

Our table was sprinkled with "pixie dust" and as we waited for the chef to come speak to us, I spotted my guy across the dining room. Eeyore. There he was. And I tweaked out. If you've seen the Kristen Bell clip on Ellen where she freaks out over a sloth, it was pretty much just like that. I was a weepy, silly mess sitting at the table to which Sean said "THAT is worth the entire trip here."

The chef came out and walked Sean through the buffet, and when he returned with a plate full of food, he was followed close behind with 2 more plates with gluten free waffles, donuts and a muffin. Not too shabby! We enjoyed our breakfast and meeting the characters, amazed by the level of care and hospitality that was provided to us.

We spent the day going on every ride, walking all over, eating ice cream, and enjoying the sights. There is always something to do or see at Disney, whether it's a parade, characters, musical groups (Magic Kingdom has an amazing brass band and barbershop quartet), food, and attractions. There's tons of shopping, although you see a lot of the same stuff in most of the stores. When we were tired, we'd sit and just people-watch.

Lowering the flag at the end of the day.
We had a dinner reservation at Tony's (based off the Italian restaurant from Lady & the Tramp) and noshed on pasta and meatballs (me) and pasta and chicken parmesan (Sean). For dessert he had a chocolate chip cookie and ice cream, and I enjoyed some pistachio creme brulee. It wasn't a quiet, dim-lit atmosphere, but the food was quite good and we had a table tucked away in the corner all to ourselves. We didn't share a bowl of spaghetti, but they did give us complimentary straws that were intertwined so we could be all adorable and share a beverage.

By the time we were done dinner, it was dark out, and Main Street was lit up for the Electric Light Parade. The weather turned a bit spotty and it was starting to rain, so we ducked under one of the storefronts to watch the parade. My camera battery died towards the beginning of the parade, and I was nervous to have my camera out since it was raining, so I didn't get any fireworks pictures, but it was nice to have my hands free to snuggle into my husband and enjoy the magic of the evening as fireworks lit up the sky.

And Sean only got run over twice by stroller-crazy moms.

March 3, 2012

Gluten Free Disney Trip: Epcot

3:00am is an hour that I never enjoy seeing, but when it meant that in a few short hours we'd be at Disney, I dragged my butt out of bed and we bleary-eyed made our way to Westchester Airport to board Jet Blue. We used a parking program at SUNY Purchase, recommended by our friend Lauren, for about $10 a day. Much better than the $50 or so it would cost to park at the airport!

We arrived at Disney by 11:30 and took the Magic Express to Port Orleans Riverside, our home for the week. Riverside was a great place to stay, about 15 minutes by bus to any of the parks, or you could take the riverboat to Downtown Disney in about 20 minutes. They had multiple pools, an arcade, bikes and boats for rent, and the overall atmosphere was of a quiet riverside bayou. The room was very comfortable and spacious, and close to the pools and the main building, which housed the cafeteria, bar, restaurant, and Fulton's General Store. We were very happy with our stay there.

We settled in quickly and made our way to Epcot. The "big ball" quickly came into view and we eagerly set out to find some food in Future World. We made our way to Soarin', an amazing simulation ride that takes you all over beautiful scenes of the West Coast. We grabbed Fast Passes (an easy way to not have to wait in long lines),  and went to find some lunch. We found a place in the cafeteria called Sunshine Seasons, and this is where the joy of our trip began. Sean wandered up to the counter, said he can't eat gluten, and asked if there was anything he could eat. The girls looked at him and said "You can eat anything!" They had pork chops, roasted chicken, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes...He had his choice of anything he wanted! It was amazing seeing his face light up, not being told what he was restricted to, but in fact being able to eat anything in front of him.

He got the porkchop.

We did a lap of World Showcase, which is an amazing area to walk through. You can eat and shop at "countries" from all over the world, from United Kingdom to Mexico, from Japan to Norway and Germany and Morocco.

I grabbed a pumpkin spice funnel cake (not GF, sorries...) topped with vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar from the American Pavilion, which this little guy promptly tried to butter me up in order to get a hold of...

We were lucky that it was an overcast day, on the cool side for Florida, so a lot of walking wasn't very tiring. We rode Soarin' and the Imagination Pavilion, where we ran into The Doctor.

Sean hit up Test Track and we made another lap of the World Showcase to ride Maelstrom in Norway. We wandered shops and I finally was able to prove to Sean that the Christmas Pickle is a real German thing, not something my crazy pants self made up.

We had a dinner reservation for Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada, and by the time we got there, the fatigue of being up so early and spending the day on our feet was settling in. We were seated at a cute table for two and had wonderful service. While we waited, they brought Sean some gluten free rolls and butter. Sean ordered Seared Scallops with Wild Mushrooms, Black Garlic, Apple Salad. The non-gluten free version also includes an ephemere beer reduction. I ordered Poutine Fries, which is not gluten free by any account. 

We both ordered the same entree, "Le Cellier" Mushroom Filet Mignon, 8oz angus beef tenderloin with wild mushroom risotto, white truffle-butter sauce, and micro chervil. It sounds fancy and was fancy. The filet was tender like butter, and the risotto was incredibly creamy. It was a very rich, hearty meal, and by the time we had a few bites, it was clear we should have opted for something a little lighter on our first meal. We finished off the meal by splitting a dish of seasonal sorbet, that was a trio of lemon, mango, and pineapple flavors. 

The service was wonderful and needing gluten free never felt like an inconvenience. The chef came out before each meal and went through the menu with Sean so he knew exactly what he could have, and what options would need some adjustments. It was an incredibly easy week.

After dinner, it was raining a little bit, but not enough to keep anyone from having fun! We made another lap of the World Showcase (we really got our exercise this week) looking for a good spot to view the fireworks show, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Our feet were darn near ready to fall off by that point, but we enjoyed some live music by Off Kilter, the resident Canadian Celtic rock band, and British Revolution, who covered everything from The Rolling Stones to the Who to Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.    

The end of the night featured the fireworks show, and although it was lightly raining, it was dazzling and beautiful. There's nothing like Disney fireworks, full of magic and wonder and the lingering smell of sulfur.

Day 2 is all about the Magic Kingdom! Stay tuned!