Saturday, February 27, 2016

Just a lot of Ultrasound!


This post is for those most excited by the medical technology and what it can do. Current update: baby has all the critical parts. No signs of abnormal developments. Heart's at a steady 134/minute. It jumps around when you bump it with an ultrasound machine. 

We visited the hospital for this 18 week check-up, and will also be getting back lab results for spina bifida indicators soon too. But; great news - the Nugget now weighs in at 8oz! And Sarah's health checked out too - no massive weight gains or unusual blood pressure indicators. 

We went home quite happy.  Each of the following photos is marked at the bottom with a short memo on what you are supposed to be looking at. :) 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Quebec City Adventure!

An Arctic Presidential Valentine Weekend

This weekend, Paul and I took a mini-honey moon to Quebec City to see the last weekend of Carnaval. We were planning to go all of Friday, Saturday, Sunday and most of Monday - almost a four day weekend! But....I forgot to take Friday off from work and Paul was quite sad. After finangling some things with colleagues, we decided to leave around 2pm. But...Paul found out his passport was expired and we were doubtful that we could even make it. After driving all over the state, Paul was able to get an expedited passport in 1 day, and we found a park and ride to drop off a car, and we hit the road!

 FREEDOM! With and RIFD chip...

Once we got to our AirBnb, settled in a wee bit and geared up, we headed to Le Renard et la Chouette for what I think was our favoritest meal of the trip.  "The Fox and the Owl" was a neat little spot that locals go to, so they naturally assumed we spoke French.  We don't.  But we were too embarrassed to stop the waiter, so we just listened and smiled. Once we were brave enough to tell them, they were quite gracious, and we had an incredible meal.

Every morning, we suited up. See below for evidence:

Our first day, we climbed the stairs from our awesome AirBnB into the old town, where we headed right to Bonhomme's Palace, and the Plains of Abraham. Oh, stopping first at Le Hobbit, for a breakfast of champions. :)

Seriously, visit Le Hobbit for breakfast, and get something with a hollandaise. You won't regret it.

Then, into the cold white yonder!
Here we are at Saint Jean Gate. When our cheek muscles still worked.

We would have taken more photos of the international snow sculpting competition, but because we were at the end of the Carnaval weeks, most of them had melted a bit. They were a bit hard to distinguish, but no less impressive.

This was probably the craziest thing we saw. Le Bains de Neige.

At this point, we'd been outside for hours, so we found a place with some warm food. After the warm food, we were planning to continue on, but instead we walked the mile and a half back to our warm place and took naps. We wanted to be ready to go back out for the NIGHT PARADE!

The only hard part about the night parade was that the people IN the parade were the ones who got to exercise. Those of us on the sidewalks...well, we mostly had to stand there. Some people brought a lot of booze to help forget the cold, but Paul and I just danced in place.

Still, we can't imagine what the paraders felt like by the end...

The next day we headed to Petit Champlain, and the Musee de Civilization. At this point, our families were quite adamant that we had to take and post a lot of photos. Just so everyone knows, each of these photos also required one of us to remove our carefully constructed gloves/mittens combo, after unzipping to reach inside our coats to get the cold metal camera, and then often having to put it back because its battery was too cold. Ah, the labor and the suffering!

See Paul?

 The decorations were amazing!

 Laura - those two are for you!

 In the distance, the mighty St. Lawrence. The sky was perfect that day! It was Valentine's too.

 In the background, that fancy hotel!

AND POUTINE! This one had duck liver pate and it was awesome. From here, we went to the musee, where we visited ancient egypt, modern australia, volcanoes and earthquakes and a history of the native tribes of Quebec....but we also overheated and almost fell asleep standing up. So, we headed back to the AirBnB for a quiet evening. We decided that we wanted to share our Valentine's with Indiana Jones, so we downloaded the whole quad-ology to have for our very own!

Oh, and my sweet and loving husband had made me a Valetine's too! This is a fuzzy photo of our smoked salmon and cheesey bread dinner. :)

On Monday, we had a lazy morning, met our host, and then headed south. We planning to swing out of our way to stop at a great restaurant in Sherbrooke...but it was closed. We went here instead:
 It was an Irish pub, which had a menu with six pages of alcohol and a half page of food items. Oh well! We enjoyed the massive bar, held aloft by four graceful wooden bar nymphs, and we enjoyed this bathroom, which we imagine would fit on Hot Black Desiato's spaceship from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. See you if you can find the toilet and the sink...

Then, with only one small stop at the Vermont border, while the bored border guards searched our gas tank for anything illegal, and questioned us about our pasts, we were able to finally make it home. BIGGEST thanks to Skins, Ben Linder, Karissa, Todd/Susie/Maeve and Hazel, who helped our house and our cat survive our absence. What friends we have!!

Paul with snack.
Sarah at the Border Guard office.