Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy surprises

I had a lunch date with friends from my old job yesterday. As fate would have it, it was really a surprise baby shower. Apparently, the restaurant's hostess wasn't in on the surprise, though, as she asked me if I was with the baby shower. It worked out either way. S got lots of wonderful new things, including an adorably baby-ish outfit to wear home from the hospital. Unfortunately, no one remembered to bring a camera, so I can't post pictures. Here are some of the things she got, though.

Another surprise came in the mail yesterday...our wedding album finally arrived! M and I had fun looking at it last night. It was slightly bizarre considering how long ago our wedding was. All of the junior attendants seem so grown up now- in comparison to then. It's also weird to see myself all dressed up without a beach ball-shaped belly sticking out. I'm just glad the album came before we have the baby. After all, that was the goal when we ordered it in AUGUST.

Beyond that, we're just trying to make sure everything is in order around here. I'm trying to stay on top of laundry and groceries and dishes and such. I think it is quintessentially "Ouiser" that I am terrified to go into labor with my house not picked up. I can't bear the thought of the guest bathroom not being stocked with clean towels or the bedrooms not having clean sheets when family shows up. I know it seems silly- at least I haven't gotten out a ladder to organize the top of the laundry closet, and trust me, I've been thinking about it. I am trying to exercise a modicum of restraint. We'll see how that goes...I've never been all that successful with self-restraint.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Moving right along

I've been pretty much wiped out the past few days. Lots of standing up cooking and getting ready for company left this whale of a pregnant lady in desperate need of a nap. In fact, by the time I got ready and headed to the doctor's office yesterday, I was ready to call the whole day off and crawl back into bed. I was like a three-year-old that missed her nap- cranky. Alas, my wonderful doctor saved the day with the most wonderfully glorious news I've ever heard. We (and by we, I mean me and my reproductive system) are getting ready to pop this baby out. Dilation and effacement have commenced, and it's just a matter of time. I suppose it's just a matter of time either way, but it seems so much more promising now. He also doesn't think there's any way she'll be much over seven pounds (if she gets to seven pounds), and the hope of her "petite" stature at birth also makes me very happy. Of course, that says nothing of how long she'll be, and I have a hunch she's going to be long and skinny like her daddy. That hunch is based on the fact that her head is already dropped way down but she's still playing footsie with my ribs. I read that most of the time, babies aren't long enough to do both. Then again, most mommies have more vertical space than I am able to give her, so it could just be that she's living in the equivalent of a sardine can. We'll see. I'm just happy to know that she's getting ready to make her debut and that both of us are still completely healthy.

It's weird to think that M and I are really going to be bringing home a baby sooner than later. It's surreal. The thought of going to the hospital and delivering our baby has made me acutely aware of my grown-upedness in a way that owning a house and buying cars and "retiring" hasn't come near. It's awesome, awesome, awesome!!

Also, this is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. For all you Colgaters- didn't you go to school with some of these people?? Hehehehe

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Here comes the sun

While Christmas day and the day after were yucky, rain-soaked messes, the sun is shining this morning. Somehow, it's kind of like spring...not actually like spring, it's still cold and everything is dormant. I simply mean that it feels like those first sunny days after the long ickiness of winter. Otis will be thrilled to have more outside time. M's dad leaves this morning, too, and I think Otis will also appreciate having his little routine back in order. Don't get me wrong, I think he's enjoyed sleeping in the bed with us, but he knows where his spaces are in the house, and I don't think he likes having things messed with. I'm actually very glad that we preemptively set up his "bedroom" in a space that won't have to change when S comes along. I don't think he'd care for being uprooted by a screaming baby.

As for Christmas, we had a nice, relaxing day. We ate early in the day, rendering us worthless for the remainder of it. M and I exchanged presents first thing in the morning while still lying in bed. Otis lay between us chewing his new rope bone (for the record, he destroyed it quickly). M and his dad hung out on the couch most of the day, and I was completely finished in the kitchen as soon as the dishes were put away. All in all, it was a very relaxing day. We even got to watch It's a Wonderful Life. Yesterday saw more of the same, but today we're actually forced out of our state of seemingly perpetual laziness as M is taking his dad to the airport in Cincinnati and then headed into the office for a few hours and I am headed to a doctor's appointment in about an hour. I suppose you can't lay around in pj's forever. Besides, we've already watched all the Christmas movies.

Moving on from Christmas, there is a nice article on MSN this may want to check it out. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Hugs to you all.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Claus is coming to town

Otis almost can't stand the excitement. Santa will be here in less than 24 hours. Luckily, he behaved pretty well while Melissa and the kids were here. He tried to eat Jackson's hat and socks a few times, but in his defense, the socks had been soaking in his water dish. Maybe they just smelled familiar. Yeah, right. Either way, I think he's exhausted from the visit, so he's napping in his kennel right now.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Now we're cooking with propane

I made the Caramel Pecan Pie and Hot Fudge Pie last night. I've spent this morning preparing the broccoli casserole and the corn pudding. The ham goes in the oven in about an hour. Things are coming along nicely...and my kitchen is clean. We'll see how things are going around 4:30. Of course, preparing the pseudo-Christmas dinner has not exactly been the highlight of my day. Today's highlight must be attributed to M.

This morning we sat down at the table for breakfast. Otis was hanging out with us, and M decided to take the opportunity to explain Santa Claus to him. Otis sat and listened attentively as M told him that tomorrow night a big, fat man in a red suit was going to come down the chimney to leave presents. He told him that the man would laugh and shake and that Otis was not allowed to bark at him and scare him away. I sat over my bowl of cereal and tried not to snort milk out of my nose. Those are the types of moments that remind me that I couldn't be married to a more wonderful man. He's just awesome. Right now he should be on his way home from Cincinnati with his dad, so I should get back to work making sure things are in order. I wouldn't want Santa to skip our house now that Otis is clearly going to be expecting him.

Of course, Otis has pulled two napkins off the set table already, so maybe M should explain to him how Santa checks to see if you've been naughty.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Like a moth to a flame

I just read an article on USA Today about holiday offerings from various fast food chains. One of the businesses mentioned was (go figure) Starbucks. It mentioned how Starbucks routinely marches out the seasonal Eggnog and Gingerbread Lattes and Peppermint Mochas. My friend Kristie swears by the Peppermint Mocha. Last year, when the Starbucks across the street from her house ran out of the peppermint stuff, she was seriously upset.

It's not the seasonal treats that draw me to Starbucks this time of year. It's the little red cups. I cannot resist them, and I'm not sure why. M and I actually discussed this not too long ago. There's just something about those little red cups of steaming hot yumminess that makes Christmastime more Christmasy. I couldn't tell you the last holiday season that I didn't partake of the tasty goodness that it Starbucks in their holiday cups. I am certain it was before there was a Starbucks in Memphis...which would be about a decade ago. Of course, my tastes have changed over the years from hot chocolate to hot tea to mochas to half hot chocolate/half coffee concoctions to my current favorite- the non-fat chai latte. Amazingly, I've never liked actual coffee, and therein the beauty of the Starbucks business plan is revealed. You don't have to like coffee to head over to the corner Starbucks, and even if you are a coffee fanatic, why stop at coffee when there are Caramel Macchiatos? No wonder there is a Starbucks on every corner in every major US city. They're making money hand over fist (and luckily giving some of it to my dear friend A in Boulder!!).

So, here's a Christmas shout out to Starbucks- master of American entrepreneurship, supplier of Christmas spirit, mecca of coffee (and non-coffee) drinks. I think I'll get myself some today. After all, I'm sure I'll drive past three of four just running errands.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Welcome to Candy Land

Refusing to believe that I could be beaten by a simple combination of butter, sugar, and water, I have once again braved the P-family toffee recipe. This time, the results seem to be much more satisfactory. I decided this morning that I just had to give it another whirl, so I busted out the ingredients and the 3-quart heavy saucepan once again. I made Peppermint Fudge first. I figured that a little taste of success would bolster my floundering confidence. It did, and the lingering scent of peppermint in the kitchen made me want to keep going. And on I went. I'll admit, I was very nervous, standing diligently by the pan, stirring my little heart out. I even went beyond trusting my candy thermometer by manually testing the candy's progress- stringing it across a cold plate. Looks like I can't blame the candy thermometer for yesterday's was dead-on. Of course, the candy went from 250 to 300 degrees pretty quickly, so I don't feel as bad as I did yesterday. Live and learn.

So, my candy-making for the year is over. I've made all of the things I wanted to make. There are still plans for butter cookies on Saturday night, and tomorrow I am making the pies for our pseudo-Christmas dinner, but I can retire the candy thermometer for another 12 months, and that makes me very happy.

Now it's time to make sure the house is in order for company this weekend, so I'll be cleaning and doing some produce shopping today. It's very exciting around here. I've also decided to pack my hospital bag. You know, just in case S wants to be a Christmas baby. Speaking of S, here are some pictures of her room. The one very empty wall is still anxiously awaiting her map, but other than that, I think we're done. Part of me wants to keep painting and drawing things to put up, but I know that if I start, I'll never stop.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Somewhat less than successful

Have you ever realized that there are things you are just destined to fail at? Or do you ever feel that way? I must say, I more "feel that way" than believe it. I refuse to actually believe that there's anything I can't do. My previous attempts at making toffee have ended in buttery, greasy messes. I thought this was my year- armed with my mother-in-law's time-tested recipe, I could not fail. Yeah, right. I failed spectacularly and am simply glad that my kitchen isn't in flames.

In itself, toffee is not a complicated thing. It's water, butter, and sugar. It's essentially the same thing I successfully made yesterday without peanuts. Somehow, though, it just didn't work out. Instead of making toffee, I made tar. Anyone need to patch their driveway? If you do, I've got the recipe that can do it. I went about today's candy-making the same way as yesterday, setting the timer on the stove for every three minutes to check the temperature of the candy and stir it a bit. After a few rounds, I checked it out, and it was 250 degrees. I set the timer again, sat down at the table and waited for the timer to go off. Before the three minutes were up, I noticed that something smelled somewhat unsavory. I went to the pan and my chin dropped to the ground when I saw the thermometer at 450 degrees. The mixture in the pan was black and bubbling and smoking incessantly. I quickly realized that the entire kitchen was full of smoke. I turned off the heat, grabbed the pan, and headed for the back door. Once safely outside of the gate (read: safely out of Otis's scavenging range), I poured it out. I think it burned a hole to China.

The windows are now open and all the fans are going in an attempt to de-smoke the house. Of course, the smoke is only half of the problem. There is a nasty smell coming out of the kitchen, too. I'm going to bake some bread in a little while to try to combat the odor. I've got to admit, I am not used to failing so completely and in such dramatic fashion- especially in the kitchen. I'm trying to decide if I'm even brave enough to attempt the toffee again this year. I might just stick to my plan of one candy per day and write this one off. I'll let you know what happens...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Name that blob

And so it begins...the time for candy-making is officially upon us. Today's confection? Peanut brittle. I love the stuff, but I don't think M shares my affinity for it. More for me, I suppose. After all, I am going to make Peppermint Fudge just for him.

Peanut brittle is one of those things that is full of bizarre memories. There was always peanut brittle at my grandma's around Christmas, but I seem to remember hers being store-bought. I don't know's the easiest candy I've ever made. Much easier than the chocolate covered caramels I made a few years ago. I would imagine that apartment still smells of burnt sugar if you use the back left burner on the stove. I digress...I also remember making peanut brittle over the Bunsen burners in 9th grade science. Lastly, there always seems to have been a box or two of peanut brittle sitting over the microwave at M's parents' house. Amazingly, I've never seen anyone consume peanut brittle there. One of life's great mysteries- right up there with the Easter Island statues.

So, Christmas is really almost here, and I have the candy to prove it. Tomorrow I'll tackle English Toffee- one of M's perennial favorites that I've yet to master. I'll let you know how it goes.

For those of you who are now squirming with anticipation over peanut brittle, here's the recipe. Trust me, it is not a healthy snack.

1-1/2C Sugar

2/3C Light Karo Syrup

1/2C Water

1/4tsp Salt
3/4tsp Baking Soda

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
1-1/2C Salted peanuts

In a heavy 3qt saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, water, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a full rolling boil. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and insert candy thermometer into pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage). Remove mixture from heat and immediately stir in remaining ingredients. The mixture will bubble and foam. Pour the mixture onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Let cool completely and break into pieces. The candy will keep for a week at room temperature or up to a month in the refrigerator- in an air-tight container, of course.

Enjoy. For the record, you don't have to use peanuts. I've heard that Macadamia nuts are a very tasty alternative.

Monday, December 18, 2006

One week until Christmas

Have I mentioned that my husband loves Christmas? He does. Hence our substantial collections of nutcrackers and holiday CDs. I was never a huge Christmas fan growing up as the entire day was usually an experiment in torture around my house. We always had to get up super early because we had to be at my stepdad's family's for breakfast at nine...and we had to rip into the bounty left by Santa and shower and all that before the 45 minute car trip. Then we went to my grandparents' a bit after noon, and everyone was usually tired and stressed by that point. I can't tell you how many times we had new toys taken away on Christmas day because our parents couldn't stand them any longer. It was insanely hectic, and I hope Christmas for S will be much more enjoyable. I actually don't have to hope very much because her father will make sure that she has awesome Christmases.

In getting ready for the holiday, M and I talk and think a lot about traditions we'd like to start or carry on. There are certain movies we always watch (Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Carol, Love Actually, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and It's a Wonderful Life), and I don't see that tradition falling by the wayside as it provides great opportunities for us to relax together during the insanity of the Christmas season. M's family always made and decorated butter cookies together, and we're planning on doing that this weekend while his family is here. I'm also making several of the candies that his mother always made. My family never really had "traditions"- nothing we did together. There are certain things that I remember- like always trying to steal the Rolo's from my brother's stocking because they were like gold in our house or the red tin that my grandmother always kept fudge in. That's pretty much it, though.

Anyway, we watched two of our movies in the past few days, and Otis was very interested in the spooky noises from A Christmas Carol. Of course, we have the George C. Scott version, which is actually a little scary, so we'll have to get a different version in an effort not to terrify our daughter. Last night we watched Christmas Vacation, and our little family was laying in one big pile on the living room floor under a quilt. Otis made sure that he was included by laying on my feet and using M's legs as a pillow. S was kicking the entire time- probably wanting us to give her some space. As we lay there, I couldn't help but imagine all the wonderful Christmas memories that my little family will make in the coming years. I have this vision of M on the sofa with S, sipping cocoa and reading The Night Before Christmas. I imagine how much fun it will be watching her get excited about Santa and seeing all the shiny presents under the tree. Of course, that's after the couple of years she'll likely be terrified of Santa Claus. I look forward to that, too. Amazingly, being with my husband and getting ready to be a mom has changed my attitude toward Christmas. I have to say, I've become a fan.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A lament for weekends

I am quickly realizing that weekends as we know them are almost over. I suppose that's an understatement...more appropriately LIFE as we know it is almost over. No more hanging out in coffee shops when we want to get out of the house for awhile. No more just running out for quick errands. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of being one of those moms who stays cooped up in the house all the time, afraid to expose my baby to the world outside. I just mean that the ease with which we generally operate is almost a thing of the past. Sometimes I even wonder how walks will work with Otis and the baby. I'm guessing that will be a major adjustment as he still pulls more than I'd like. He just knows that the squirrels in the park want to make friends. I, however, seriously doubt it.

Of course, while thinking about our rapidly dwindling weekends of freedom, I don't know what I'm so worried about. All we've done lately on the weekends is work on getting ready for her anyway. It's not like we're out on the town or anything. For instance, today's activities: after church and the grocery store, M put the acrylic on her dresser since it was 70 degrees outside. He also played with the new way my husband is going to let her be born without full working knowledge of parental gadgetry. Yesterday, he installed the car seat base. We are not exciting people. I can't imagine how having a baby will make us any less exciting. Does everyone go through life thinking that their lives are completely uninteresting to the general population? I'm not implying at all that I don't love our life- I do. This is how we roll.

Speaking of uninteresting- this post just needs to end before I bore everyone to tears. Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How do you spell relief?

Sleep. Sweet, wonderful sleep. I've actually been able to get some the past couple of days, and it has made a huge difference. I am no longer on the constant verge of tears. In fact, yesterday I took the doctor's advice on trying to wear myself out by cleaning out cabinets, doing laundry, swimming, and gallivanting around the mall with hubby. By the time we got home last night, I was pooped. While the first couple of hours of sleep weren't the best, I didn't wake up at all from around midnight until 4:30, which is a record of late. I feel like a new person. I'm not sure what I'll do today...but it will definitely involve making M's favorite Christmas cookies.

I also made myself feel better by making some "executive decisions" about next week's Christmas dinners. M's family will all be here Saturday evening for dinner, and his dad will be here for actual Christmas day, too. I had planned to do the whole shebang Saturday night and something lighter on Christmas day, but I've since reworked the plan. Instead of stressing over an enormous turkey and all the trimmings on Saturday, we'll be having ham and a nice southern dinner (you know, lots of starch and veggies). Then I'll do a turkey breast on Christmas when it's just a few of us. That seems so much easier to me, and I felt a huge relief of anxiety upon making the decision. Besides, I feel like I have a really good excuse to make corn pudding now, which is my Sophie likes broccoli casserole. My mouth is watering already. Yum yum.

So, things are looking up. Plus, I got to see one of the new swim class babies yesterday, which was wonderful, and it just reminded me of how excited I am about S, even if I'm not excited about her incubation vacation inside my tummy. I suppose I can handle it- after all, I am getting her in the end, and I have a hunch I'm going to like her a lot.

Oh, and even though it doesn't start until sundown, Happy Hanukkah!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hit and Run

I literally feel like someone hit me with a truck. It's been getting worse for days, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight for the next five-and-a-half weeks. It's not like I've been comfortable for awhile, but I've managed. You read the blog...I'm not shy about whining my way through this pregnancy. The major problem is: I am suddenly in super hormone mode. I have wanted to cry for a solid three days, and I finally did a little bit today. It didn't help, and it exacerbated my inability to breathe, so I dried it up pretty quickly (especially since I was driving down a busy street at the time- hormonal or not, a traffic accident never helped anyone's mood). It probably doesn't help that I can't sleep, either. The longest I've slept in one stretch since last week is about two hours. I realize that's par for the course when S gets here and needs the mommy-buffet to stay open, but right now I just need some sleep to keep from having a breakdown. I asked my doctor about it today, and he suggested that I try to wear myself out. Seriously, I look like I haven't slept in days, does he think I'm not worn out? If that doesn't work, he suggested Benadryl. I'm giving the situation a few more days before I resort to drugging myself.

Either way, I feel like a wreck of a human being, and it's starting to affect Otis. He needs some serious attention, and he's just not getting it right now. I feel like a terrible doggie-mother, which makes me think I'm going to be a rotten human-mother, too. I need a nap...and some happy thoughts, so if anyone's got some, share!!

I swear I'll stop complaining soon. I mean, eventually I won't be pregnant anymore, right??

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Too much information. It can be a problem. I am an educated, generally well-informed person, but I am truly beginning to believe that there is such a thing as too much information. Or maybe it's the wrong information. Or maybe the right information in the wrong hands. Who knows. Either way, being preggers has made me realize it's probably not best to know too much about some things, and I count giving birth as firmly in that category. This is not to say that one should go into the experience believing that babies come from the stork or that you farm them from under cabbage leaves, but enough is enough sometimes. At least for me. I suppose everyone is different.

There is a "birth resource center" in Lexington called Baby Moon. I've known several people who've taken prenatal yoga there, and most of those mommies-to-be have ended up nervous wrecks about giving birth. Not in the way that I am nervous. I mean, surely everyone is nervous before they pop out a new member of the population. These women all end up taking Bradley birthing classes, which is totally fine, and they all end up passing around videos of natural births and water births and whatnot. All of these options are cool with me. The problem comes in when these women become literally
afraid that they won't be able to deliver in the manner they've had drilled into their heads. They get all panicky that they may have to be induced, that they may actually want pain meds, that their birth plans won't cover every possible topic, or that (gasp!) they may need a C-section. I understand not wanting these things to happen. I understand having a preconceived idea of how you want your baby's birth to happen. I mean, I dreamed last night that S just sort of "fell out" right here in the chair I'm sitting in. I only had to push once...when I realized that her entire upper body was out and about. While that would be awesome, I'm not banking on it.

While I'd like to think that S's birth will be completely calm and without complication, I am not counting on it. What I am counting on is having faith in my doctor and my nurses. I am counting on the fact that somewhere in their combined years of medical education and career experience, they have learned how to safely get me, my husband, and my baby through the process with minimal hysteria.

I think that too many people put themselves into information overload. It's comforting to know what you're up against. Unfortunately, I think there may be a fine line between having the knowledge you need to prevent yourself from becoming terrified in the face of labor and knowing too much about things that can go wrong...especially when that information isn't coming directly from your doctor. (For instance, from the lady who teaches the Bradley birth method out of her living room.) It's the same concept as going into major surgery. You want to know what's coming, what will be happening, but if you know too much, you're just going to send yourself into a massive panic attack. I'm trying to avoid becoming too anxious about S's upcoming arrival. I'm trying to remind myself every time I feel anxious that this is all going to work out. Women have been delivering babies for a long time- and mostly without fetal monitors and anesthesia and all the rest of the ob's bag of tricks. Come on, if my mother did it, I know I can do it.

I don't really know why I am going on and on about this. Maybe it's to make myself feel better because sometimes I wonder if I'm not doing something wrong by
not enrolling in every possible class and workshop in the city that discusses pregnancy and childbirth. Maybe it's to warn the few of you reading who've not already popped out babies that there's a lot of information out there that can and will freak you out. Who knows...either way, that's what I was thinking about most of the night as I laid awake in bed. I suppose I just thought I'd share.

Oh, and here's a shot of my cartoon belly.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The latest craving

M came home from work Friday night after stopping off at the Liquor Barn for all of the party's libations. He walked in the door positively giddy. He had found the Holy Grail of beer- Harpoon's Winter Warmer, which I'd never heard of and he said he'd been unable to find since leaving Colgate. He proclaimed it his all-time favorite beer, and he just grinned at the boxes. He also brought in Goose Island Christmas Ale and Samuel Adams. I've only missed "tasty beverages" twice since I've been pregnant- once at the tennis tournament in Cincy when I kept passing Sammy A stands and once when we were out to dinner for M's birthday and I smelled his Cabernet. Other than that, I've been happily sans-drink. Looking at all that beer on my kitchen counter was a bit too much for this beer-loving girl to tolerate, though. I don't think I've ever wanted a beer so badly in my life. Is it bad that I want my daughter to be born so I can have a Boston Lager? Probably, so act like I didn't say it!!

Either way, I enjoyed the party while sipping apple punch, and everyone had a good time. It stayed pretty low-key, and even Otis was cooperative (thanks to his Gentle Leader). Here are some pics...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Party time

Tomorrow is the big day for M's work peeps to head over. This morning, at 7am, I made haystacks and mini-cheesecakes. I finished up most of the grocery shopping for the event yesterday, and M is stopping by the Liquor Barn on the way home for wine and beer. I'll need to run out in the morning for a couple of things that weren't available at the store I went to yesterday, but I'm pretty much ready to roll in the hors d'oeuvre and dessert departments. I have to dig out all the platters and wine glasses sometime today and check for water spots, and I still have to dust, vacuum, and give the powder room a once-over. There are other things that could stand to be done, but I don't really care. I realize that for this year only I have the excuse of being 34 weeks house doesn't have to be perfectly spotless.

Then again, I may as well try, right?? Better get started.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Better than TV

I've been able to see my belly move for awhile. We could see it jump and jerk when S would move. In the past week or so, though, she's gotten so much bigger that I can just sit and watch her. It's completely bizarre and surreal. I mean, watching her move around makes me infinitely more aware of the fact that there is a tiny human being inside me. I find myself sitting and staring at my stomach. I think that Otis thinks I'm losing my mind, but sometimes when I'm sitting there, he'll just come rub his wet nose across my belly. I like to think he's saying hi to her.

Speaking of Otis, he got snowed on this morning, which was pretty cute. I would've taken a picture, but hubby has the camera today. Maybe it will keep snowing. For the record, this is just (what all you "northerners" would call) a "dusting" of snow. To me, it's a full-on snowstorm, and I'll be headed to the grocery store in appropriate southern fashion this afternoon. For now, M and I are going to interview a pediatrician, which makes me feel very grown-up and mommy-ish.

Hope everyone is toasty warm, and I wish you were all here so we could share the fudge I made yesterday afternoon!! Hugs to all-

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another one bites the dust

Do you ever sit and think about all of the things you've done in a 24 hour period? Sometimes when I make the mental list, my life seems so completely disjunct that I have to laugh at myself. Does any of this stuff really matter? For example, the last 24-ish hours of my life:
  • Cleaned out from under the master bathroom cabinets, throwing away expired medicines and crap we don't use,
  • Did some laundry,
  • Frantically pumped gas and fought traffic from behind a school bus to pick up S's rocking chair while trying to make it to swim class on time,
  • Swam like a very pregnant fishie,
  • Fought traffic again to pick up dinner and meet M at the hospital for another birth-related class (woo-hoo for the lack of videos),
  • Realized, simultaneously with hubby, that "rhythmic breathing" through contractions is not for me as practicing it nearly sent me into hyperventilating panic attacks,
  • Actually considered, for the very first time, the possibility of a drug-free childbirth,
  • Watched Justin Timberlake open the great spectacle that is the VS Fashion Show and wondered if he knew, upon recording SexyBack, that he'd get to perform/drool at the supermodels in the show,
  • Discussed with Otis how he always uses the same tricks to try to get attention and it's getting old (he should learn a new trick),
  • Finished the dining chairs,
  • Painted the pink stripe on S's dresser,
  • Decided to type this asinine list chronicling what I've been doing, and
  • Realized that no one is likely to still be reading this post.
Everything just seems so bizarrely random and unimportant...I take that back, I count childbirth classes and laundry as fairly important. It just seems like the rest of this stuff is trivial, and when I realize that about 90% of the stuff I do would be considered trivial by about 90% of the general population, I wonder if my life is trivial. Not in a morose, listen to the Cure in a dark room while smoking clove cigarettes kind of way- just in a "how can I make a difference" sort of way. I'm sure that, for the rest of the day, I'll be consumed by that question...entranced in a philosophical state that most of the population would deem trivial.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Three down, three to go

Saturday night we're having all the peeps from M's office over for a little Christmas soirée. In preparation, I made a huge list of things I need to/would like to accomplish before then. One of the tasks was to (finally) reupholster the dining room chairs. Seeing as I had yet to brave the fabric store, I had serious doubts about that particular task being crossed off the list, and I had already resigned myself to not caring. However, I found myself on the same street as the fabric store when I dropped off the dry cleaning yesterday, so I decided to try it out. Lo and behold, I found a fabric that I loved that was on sale!! I bought it, but I still wasn't sure if I'd actually get around to the chairs. This morning, though, I decided to make like a Nike commercial and "just do it." I've finished three of the six chairs, and that's all I'm doing today as my back started stiffening up from being in the floor and I promised hubby I would stop trying to do too much around the house.

So, here's the before and after...

I'm also off today to donate a few things to Habitat for Humanity and to pick up S's rocking chair, which came in a couple of weeks before expected...her room should be totally finished by Saturday, and I'll post nursery pictures then. It feels like things are starting to come together around here, but, then again, if it constantly
feels like that, is it really true??

Have to run...Otis just lost his ball under the chair. Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cross it off the list

Another thing crossed off the list. We've settled on a bag to be used as a diaper bag. Die Frau, thanks for your input...great minds think alike. Hopefully, this will work out!!

Like sands through the hourglass...

Another weekend come and gone. We got home from Fort Fun Saturday afternoon around 5, and we were able to get out and pretty much finish up our Christmas shopping. Yesterday was a pretty typical Sunday for the P's- church, mini-nap, and errands around the house. M got S's dresser started (we should be able to finish it up tomorrow and get it moved into her room), and I put together her stroller and car seat. It's a good thing that I got them put together as they served as critical components to the "Otis gate" we built to keep him away from the freshly painted dresser.

Other than that, life is pretty low-key around here. We were both quite upset with the outcome of every football game played this weekend, (HOW did the Titans beat the Colts?? Why would anyone allow the University of Florida to play for the national championship?? Why couldn't USC just beat UCLA?) and bad football results never make us happy. I think M's fantasy team even got spanked pretty heartily. He's wishing he still had Reggie Bush right about now. All this football disappointment and the team from Alabama made it to the finals of the Amazing Race. The way the last couple of days have gone, the next thing you know, someone will tell me there is no such thing as Santa Claus. At least we get to shop tonight for Angel Tree kids- one of our favorite things to do every year during the holidays. I wish we could shop for all of them!!

Enough moping from me...I hope everyone is keeping warm!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


The P family is hitting the road yet again. Luckily, this is our last planned jaunt out of town before the baby arrives. We're headed up to Fort Wayne for a couple of meetings tomorrow, and we are planning to head home on Saturday afternoon. Otis is depressed because he knows we're leaving, and I don't quite think he's figured out that he's tagging along. Nothing quite like a five hour car ride with a ginormous pregnant lady and a labradoodle. Lately it seems like he travels better than I.

On a technical note, my wonderful husband installed Firefox last night because I was having all sorts of trouble with the new IE crapping out. I suppose that means that pictures will resume. As soon as we get back, I'll take pics of the house so you can see what I meant by our living room looking like Christmas vomit. To test, though, here's the Thanksgiving picture of my family. My husband is very tall.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Strollin' in my 5.0

S is a person with wheels. I've just returned from Babies R Us with her travel system and extra car seat base. We can officially (and legally) bring her home from the hospital. Of course, based on my appointment this morning, we're not expecting her to debut quite yet. Everything still seems to be moving along well...she's growing at a good rate, she's turned the right way, and her heartbeat is still strong. All in all, I think she's a happy camper. She did not, however, like being poked at by the doctor. She spent a solid ten minutes wailing on my insides as hard as she could as soon as we left the office. I couldn't help but laugh. Somehow, we already think she inherited my pig-headedness. I just can't wait to see what she's like...not necessarily what she looks like (although I can't wait for that, either), but what her personality is like. It's just such an amazing thing...this little person is growing inside my belly, and she is going to have her very own personality. It's awesome.

In other baby news, the search for a diaper bag continues. There are lots of cute options (multiplied by about a billion when you add in purses that could be used as diaper bags) but very few of the options are "daddy-friendly." I don't want M to be embarrassed to go out alone with S because he has to carry some frou-frou diaper bag. At the same time, I don't want to carry around some hideous excuse for a bag, so I am looking for a happy medium. Any ideas or advice on choosing a diaper bag are welcome.

Other than that, we've officially moved into Christmas mode around here. The living room actually looks like Christmas vomited all over it, and that makes me laugh. We had to rearrange the furniture to fit the giant new tree in the room, and the new arrangement has Otis very frustrated. He can't get to the windows and his old route to the stairs is cut off. I'm sure he'll get used to it just in time for us to change everything back.

Happy Wednesday...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Sigh. No more turkey until Christmas. I suppose I'll make it. We had a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving at my cousin's house. It was the largest holiday gathering (19 people) that M has ever attended, and I am certain it was the most food he's ever seen at once at a private residence. We were also able to spend time yesterday in Columbia with my "daddy family", and my aunt and her boys were in town from Florida, so I really feel like I got to spend some good quality time with family.

I am happy to be home, though, as I had a lot of trouble sleeping while we were gone. Granted, I have trouble sleeping here, too, but it's different, and I am looking forward to crawling into my own bed tonight. I hope everyone had a great's time to get ready for Christmas around here!

For the record, I have tried numerous times to add soem Turkey Day pictures, but the upgraded IE isn't letting it happen...just another crazy Blogger/IE issue. Maybe someday...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I heart turkey

Most people like Christmas. Some are Halloween fans. Some are nuts for birthdays. Me? I like Thanksgiving. It is hands-down my favorite holiday. As I've gotten older, I've realized it's not quite as stress free as I always thought (getting everything to the table before it's cold and ruined can be a daunting task), but there are really very few expectations on turkey day. I love that...just hanging out with the family. I'm actually going home for Thanksgiving for the first time in five years, and I couldn't be more excited. I've had great holidays between then and now, but there is something about going home and having the holiday carried out as you remember it from childhood (with a few requisite casting changes, of course). I made pies yesterday afternoon- Caramel Pecan and Hot Fudge, and I wish that I could eat them right now. I've got to get the cranberries in the oven pretty soon so they'll be cool enough to travel with. Other than that, I am ready for Thanksgiving. Bring on the turkey and mashed potatoes and green beans and corn and rolls and EVERYTHING!

Otis is also ready for the holiday, but he'll be spending it without us. He got a nice new haircut yesterday afternoon, so he's back to looking like a cue ball. Actually, when he gets shaved, I've decided he looks like a mouse because his eyes sort of bug out of his little gray head. It's funny. Either way, he is staying home for Thanksgiving, and our friend Mike is taking care of him while we're away. To deal with the guilt of leaving him, I bought him a new ball. He's been having a great time, so I don't feel so awful. Ask me how guilty I feel when he tries to get in the car and go with me this afternoon. That's the real test.

Oh, big excitement in the P household. (Read: not exciting at all) I bought diapers for the first time yesterday, too. Pampers Swaddlers. And I got some wipes. I realized that we would technically be completely able to sustain S if she came early, as long as she didn't "use the facilities," so I decided to take care of that one. Of course, I'm also banking on my boobs working as milk factories. Cross your fingers. Know what I learned buying diapers? Diapers are expensive. At least they seem that way when you're buying the little tiny ones. It doesn't seem like a lot of bang for your buck!! Can't live without 'em, though. I wish that I was the kind of person who could handle cloth diapers. I'd love to think that my child and I aren't just adding garbage to the earth. Alas, I am cutting myself some slack on this one. Maybe I'll be one of those parents who potty trains at 15 months. Have you read about these people?? Over-acheivers.

Have a great Thanksgiving, peeps...complete with tryptophan-induced slumber around 3pm!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another day...

M and I spent another productive weekend working around the house. We even cemented our place amongst "real homeowners" on Saturday by replacing a light fixture. M also picked up leaves for what we hope is the last time and brought in the hoses and the outdoor furniture. The P family is ready for least on the outside. It was actually a good thing we got all of that done as it snowed Sunday night. Granted it was a dusting of snow, but it was snow just the same. Now we're just getting ready for the holidays. I've got all of the Christmas gifts bought and wrapped so we can deliver them to my families over Thanksgiving. I'm making pies and cranberries this afternoon and tomorrow, and Otis is heading to the groomer this afternoon. Our experiment with just having him brushed out over the winter isn't working out. His legs get all matted (not to mention he just looks kind of mangy), so we're going back to shaved Otis. I don't think he'll get too cold...maybe I'll fix his dog blanket just in case. Have I mentioned the super expensive dog blanket I bought him last year when we had him shaved for the first time? He chewed it off of himself. I made a mental note never to leave anything attached to him in his kennel again. Live and learn.

Of course, it's just a few short days until "decorate for Christmas" time, and I still haven't even bought fabric for the new stockings. I just cannot get motivated to go to the fabric store. For some reason, I hate going in there. I think it's because a check-out lady gave me a look and announced to me once in a very snooty tone, "you know this is embroidery thread, not sewing thread, don't you?" I replied that I did, in fact, know it was embroidery thread. It was for embroidering. Ever since then, the ladies that work in there always bother me. It doesn't help that I'm usually the only customer, but I still have to wait at the cutting counter before anyone will come over and help me. What are they doing anyway?

That's really all that's going on around here. It's a mundane life these days...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Are you kidding me?

Okay, I am ready for today's self-revelation. I am a wimp, and I act like a thirteen-year-old in that I use laughter as a coping mechanism when I am uncomfortable. Case in point: childbirth class last night. I grew up in the sticks, and I am certain that the boys' basketball coach who taught health class would've rather stabbed out his own eyeballs than show a childbirth video. Thus, until about 24 hours ago, I had never actually seen "birth." Ummmm, all I can say is, I want a C-section. M and I are sitting there in the dark auditorium of the hospital with about ten other expecting couples and WHAM! full on female parts with a head crowning. I wasn't ready for that. They should've warned me. I'm such a nerd that I covered my eyes at first. I finally got up the nerve to watch and the images are now burned into my retinas for eternity. Of course, the giggles didn't hit at that point- I was in shock. After the cute little baby heads popped out of their mommies, they showed the delivery of the placenta. I'm no idiot, I knew this was coming, I just had NO IDEA what a delivered placenta was going to look like. It looked like a cow bladder (or what I would imagine a cow bladder looks like...funny how it's easier for me to imagine a cow bladder than a placenta). Anyway, the giggles hit when they showed a doctor messing around with all the afterbirth in a big bucket. (I'm giggling now just thinking about it.) I was so totally grossed out looking at it that I couldn't control myself. I sat there shaking violently the way that you do when you're trying to contain a fit of giggles in church. I am not excited about giving birth. I'm secretly hoping that all this hullaballoo is for naught and that the stork really does bring the baby. I'm guessing that all you moms out there aren't going to let me keep hoping for that one.

I am wearing myself out thinking about it right now, so moving right along:

Sight: Did you read about my childbirth class experience?
Sound: M pulling into the garage right now- I think
Taste: Signature salad from Cosi
Smell: bread baking
Touch: M patting me on the shoulder last night in an ill-fated attempt to make me feel better about giving birth

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

She's crafty

I consider myself a creative person. I just have a problem with follow-through. (Self revelation of the day, perhaps??) I think it has to do with my type-A, anal retentive personality. I have yet to pick up my knitting needles since I "taught" myself to knit last Monday. I suppose I am too impatient. I can safely say that I don't expect I'll ever knit anything unless I am bed-ridden. I knew it was a waste of time and money when I bought that silly kit. I am more a "one day" or "one weekend" project kind of girl. I require deadlines or, at minimum, light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

All this chatter leads me to my "upcoming projects." For starters, I have to re-upholster the new dining room chairs. The current fabric just doesn't work in our house. It's a matter of picking out the fabric...I already bought the staple gun, and I know that the entire project will only take me about an hour if I can just commit to a fabric. Therein lies the problem. I vow to have this done before my father-in-law arrives for Christmas. My other project also involves Christmas. I don't suppose it's actually critical this year, but we need new stockings and a tree skirt. M and I bought stockings a couple of years ago, and I still like them. Unfortunately, Target doesn't carry them anymore, and Otis doesn't have one to match. I can get past that, but next year, S will have to have one. I have been on the lookout for new stockings for weeks. I have yet to find a single thing that I think I can tolerate hanging from my mantle. The decision has therefore been made that I should make the stockings (and matching tree skirt). M's family had homemade stockings, and I think he prefers the idea to store-bought. I'm on board with this...I mean, how hard can it be to make stockings? It's not like they have pockets or zippers ot anything. I think I even know what I want to do...again it's a matter of picking out fabric (in this case, colors). I just need to buckle down and hit the fabric stores with a vengeance. I really want to get the stockings at least started this week as I know M will want to start decorating for Christmas as soon as we get home from Thanksgiving next week. I guess we'll see how it goes...I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Old Ironsides

Iron supplements suck. I don't like taking them, so I'm trying to incorporate more iron into my diet (and upping my OJ intake to help absorption). Of course, M and I only usually eat meat at home maybe once a week. And that's a big maybe. I guess all those years of being a vegetarian make it seem strange to eat meat a lot even though there was always meat at dinner when I was growing up. I am southern after all, and southern men require meat and starch at all meals...even breakfast. I'm looking for things to cook other than steak because it's too cold to stand outside at the grill, and I was thinking of making beef burgundy. So, I'm on a quest to find a recipe that I like. I'm meticulous when it comes to recipe research. What can I say...when there are two eaters as picky as M and I, one has to have a discerning eye.

Completely unrelated to pregnant anemia, some friends of mine sent around one of those questionnaires that I love yesterday. You know what I'm talking about- the "if you were a crayon, what color would you be?" type surveys. I love those things because you find out new and interesting things about your friends, and you are reminded of why you like them so much when they spit out answers like, "If I lived in a can of Dr. Pepper, I'd be looking for a new real estate agent." (In response to, "If you lived in a can of Dr. Pepper, would you be the Doctor or the Pepper?") This one had great questions, but one of the questions kind of stuck with me.

"What do you like best about yourself?"

While I could totally BS my way through an answer to this question if it were an essay or an interview question, when I found myself trying to honestly answer it, I was at a loss. "I like my handwriting," or "I like that I only have one dimple," seemed a little superficial. What do I like about myself? It's way easier to fall into a void of self-loathing, making a laundry list of things that I don't like about myself, including ridiculous oddities that people don't know about me. So, I've decided to reveal something about myself on a quasi-daily basis that I think people don't know. Not necessarily good stuff or bad stuff, just bizarre, fairly inconsequential stuff. I can't have all my self-loathing out there for the general population to endure. So, here's today's little nugget o' truth:

I despise vacuuming. As neat-freak as I am, I hate doing floors: sweeping, mopping, vacuuming. I hate it. I wouldn't observe the five second rule in my own bathrooms, and I advise you not to as well...not that you have any reason to be eating in my bathroom. Of course, I don't know why I would be eating in the bathroom, either. Then again, I am pregnant.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The whining labradoodle

The P family is all back home and settled in from our respective trips. M's trip to Iowa included lots and lots of driving to towns with funny names, and the only "exciting" thing that happened was he lost his eyeglasses. New glasses are high on the priority list for this week. We did a bit of shopping around yesterday after church, but no luck. Tomorrow night we'll hit the stores again. Otis and I had a very interesting trip to Tennessee. As usual, he found loads of "snacks" at my Aunt Melanie's (Starburst wrappers, pieces of popsicle sticks, tags from clothing, and undies). His tummy has been pretty messed up, but he's starting to eat again, so I'm not worried. He also had his first "out without a leash" experience, which nearly gave me a heart attack. He was accidentally let out on Thursday morning, but I was able to trick him into getting in the car by saying we'd go for a ride. Most of the trip he spent pouting or whining, depending on whether he was wearing his gentle leader or not. Putting it onto him was the only way to prevent him from scavenging for goodies under the furniture. It was also the only way to keep him from getting up and roaming through the house at night, which I didn't figure out until night #2, meaning I slept for a grand total of 2 hours the first night we were there. I was very tired the next day. He also whined/cried whenever I left a room or put him into his kennel, which was a completely new thing, and it seems to be a habit that he's letting go now that we're home.

On the pregnancy front, I did have a little freak out on the trip home. I started having really uncomfortable cramps (and a lot of back pain) on Thursday evening, but the cramps were in my upper abdomen, so I wasn't too worried...not to mention the fact that S was being a total wiggle-worm, so I knew she was okay. Of course, about twenty minutes from home on Friday, the pain moved from my upper abdomen to lower, and it felt like someone was stabbing me. I was completely uncomfortable by the time I actually made it home, and I couldn't stand completely straight. After a few minutes of crying because I was so miserable and tired and slightly freaked out, the nurse from my doctor's office called me back and made me feel better. Apparently, it's probably just my uterus stretching out (how exciting). I knew that could happen, but all of my books said it would happen in the second trimester, so I was sort of past being on the lookout for that particular symptom, knowing that some women don't feel anything fromteh stretching. I guess that's what I get for measuring small throughout the pregnancy- delayed stretching of ligaments. Either way, it was a miserable day, so I was glad that M came straight home from the airport instead of going into the office. It made me feel loads better to have him at home- even though I was conked out in the bed, all doped up on Tylenol. The pain has come and gone since Friday, but I'm not weirded out by it anymore, so it is much more tolerable. It's amazing how much more something hurts when there's a psychological slant to it. As for now, I have a week's worth of laundry calling my name...I'd better get started.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hit me with your best shot

M is in Iowa for the week, so Otis and I are just chilling out. Of course, before my dear, sweet hubby planned his little business jaunt to the Hawkeye State, he convinced me that I would need a flu shot. He's tried unsuccessfully for years to talk me into one, but I am not all about elective shots. You need to draw my blood to make sure I don't have ebola? Go right ahead. You want to give me a shot for something I don't have and you don't know that I'll get? Not so much. This year is a little different, though, and we had both read that pregnant women really should get vaccinated if they'll be pregnant during the flu season. I even asked my doctor, hoping for an out, but he agreed that I needed one. So, off I headed to M's office yesterday morning for my first flu shot ever. All I have to say is: my arm hurts. The upside to my ailing appendage is that I got a wicked cool purple bandaid with skateboarding dinosaurs on it. I'll be peeling that off in a few minutes. It won't match my bathing suit in swim class, and there is a big sign posted by the pool that says not to wear bandaids into the water. I guess no one wants to fish out rogue bandages that have come unstuck. I know I wouldn't.

Other than that, I have to run over to the polls to vote for some democrats. I'd give anything to live in Tennessee right now and be able to vote in a Senate race that actually means something. Alas, I'll do my civic duty here in Kentucky. Speaking of Tennessee, Otis and I are headed there tomorrow morning. I figured that we're just sitting around here all by ourselves, so we may as well sit around there and visit some family. We're coming back Friday morning...that's when M gets home anyway.

Oh- I almost forgot. I decided to teach myself to knit yesterday. It's coming along nicely. I've just been practicing knitting and purling so far, and I think I am getting the hang of it. Edges are still tricky, though. While I am able to accomplish straight rows pretty well, I wonder if I'll ever have the patience to learn to do more complicated things. Likely not. We'll see. I was going to take a picture of the last little bit I had worked on, but Otis took off with it when I got up to go to the bathroom. So, I've got wasn't very exciting anyway. It just looked like half a pink potholder.

One more "I almost forgot"...the avian woes at our house continue. A bird flew smack into the window in the living room this morning. Knocked out or dead, I don't know. What I do know is that it is stuck in the very tall shrub in front of the house. It is freaking me out, but I wouldn't be able to reach it to get it out anyway-not to mention that I am not sure it's dead, and I am afraid of being attacked by birds. It will have to wait for M's return. How gross it that? My life is so exciting.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The bird dog

The retriever in Otis reared his ugly head again last night. We let him out for a few minutes and he came back inside with a "prize." Lucky for us (if you can call it lucky), the only part he brought into the house was a beak. It was totally gross. We searched the yard last night by flashlight, and I scoured every inch of the frost-covered ground this morning in search of anything left. I didn't find anything, so I am making myself feel better by telling myself that one of the neighbor-dogs flung the beak (only) over the fence and Otis did not eat an entire bird. Oh, well...we're getting used to it.

I've spent the morning cleaning up the dining room, re-filing things that we moved last weekend, and doing laundry for M's trip to Iowa. I'm hoping the rest of the day is pretty low-key, but I know that M wants to mulch the leaves in the backyard. Luckily, all of our backyard trees have now shed their leaves, so this should be the last time the mower has to come out this year. Of course, our neighbors' trees could decide to re-litter our yard and the trees out front are still holding on to some foliage.

Otis is wanting attention now...have to run.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, K-Fed

I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. FedEx got the present here on time, and the ice cream cake is ready to roll. It's going to be another exciting birthday in the P household. Fajitas, ice cream cake, and a football game. I told you we don't need a doctor to tell us we're boring.

Happy Birthday to my love...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A boring patient

"Someone" in our house has a birthday coming up. Looming under the omnipresent shadow of said birthday was a promise to get a check-up before it arrived. Thus, "someone" went to the doctor for the first time in our entire relationship yesterday. His lab work isn't being done until tomorrow, but barring that, he's healthy as a horse. He also weighed in at over 190 (albeit in full clothing), which I feel is a major accomplishment. Either way, he was told by the doctor that he was a boring patient because there is absolutely nothing wrong with him and he takes pretty good care of himself. You know what, we don't need doctors and co-pays to tell us we're boring. We already know that. I suppose it's better than the alternative.

Today it's my turn to go to the doctor. 28 week check-up. How exciting. As long as I don't weigh in at over 190...

There was a pretty low turn out for trick-or-treating last night, but the weather had been rotten all day. I'm guessing that most parents, not wanting to schlep bags of candy around the neighborhood through puddles and piles of slippery, wet leaves took their kids to the warm, dry, well-lit mall. We did see some really cute costumes, though. There were two witches that melted my heart. This year's most over-bought costumes: Batman and princesses. (MoWask, I'm with you on the originality issue.) I think part of the reason that I liked the witches so much, aside from the fact that they actually said, "trick-or-treat," "Happy Halloween," and "thank you," was the fact that they were fairly traditional costumes. There was one really cute mummy, too. What ever happened to dressing up like it's Halloween? Why is it now considered a costume to dress up in your dad's hunting clothes or to just wear all black and smear fake blood on your face? One child was wearing track pants and a USC sweatshirt. What was he supposed to be? I know I'll change my tune when S says she wants to be a butterfly or a (gasp!) princess or a (bigger gasp!) hunter. I'll just have to make sure she has the best, most unique butterfly/princess/hunter costume around. Aaaaaghhhh, type A motherhood. Watch out world.

Oh, yeah, the funniest thing I saw/heard all night was the little girl eating a bag of skittles as she came to the door. "Trick-or-treat" through a mouth full of skittles is a whole different thing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fluffy the three-headed dog

Fluffy relaxes

Okay, so Otis didn't grow two new heads, but he did go to the groomer for a bath and a brush-out this morning. He's so fluffy and cute...not to mention he smells good again. I don't know what he got into that had him smelling so terribly rotten, but I'm glad the odor is gone. In other Otis news, we got him a new toy this weekend- a food cube. It is a big blue die that you fill with kibble. The inside is like a maze, so they have to bat the cube around to get the food out. Otis hasn't quite figured out what to do, but he's been completely occupied trying to figure it out since Saturday afternoon. He just keeps trying to get inside the cube to the food as opposed to realizing that he can get it out. It's great fun for the whole family.
Otis as "The Flash"

Aside from canine parenting, M and I had a very busy weekend around the house and around town. We ran a few errands on Saturday- including ordering a rocking chair for S's room. It should be here in about six weeks. We took Otis with us to run errands, so he's been very happy with all the recent car rides. We also went to the neighborhood Halloween party Saturday night (as Britney Spears and K. Fed). I put approximately zero effort into my costume and it was obvious. I didn't care then, and I don't care now. Preggers in a Halloween costume is not my idea of a good time. Yesterday, M spent the morning in the yard, cutting back the hostas for winter and mulching the leaves. It took a long time. Then we played "musical rooms." There is a room off our kitchen that has served as a den/office, and the dining room was around the corner off the living room. The dining room was substantially smaller than the den, and with our new bigger table and chairs and the buffet, it was becoming very difficult to get around the table, let alone sit at the table. We decided to switch the rooms out. It didn't sound like it would be a massive undertaking, but it turned out to be. The house is pretty much in shambles at this point, but it's getting there, and I'll post pictures as soon as it looks a bit less like a war zone. I was mostly proud of myself for helping get the extra couch up the stairs. I felt like pregnant She-Ra. We also took S's furniture from the garage into her room, so her room is getting there, too. It's all starting to come together around here.

Our front door

Friday, October 27, 2006

The generics

Do you ever realize that you are staunchly weird about some things? Do you ever realize how weird you are for even acknowledging your random eccentricities? It's a constant inner monologue for me. As I lay awake from about 3:30-4:30 this morning, I was thinking about this. The particular oddity I was mulling over was my blatant refusal to buy certain things in their generic form. While I am an ardent supporter of the availability of generic prescription drugs, I won't buy generic peanut butter. Go ahead, give me the knock-off Paxil, but don't skimp on the Peter Pan. It's silly.

Either way, I started trying to make a list of things that I won't buy unless they are the "real thing." Here's a start:

Peanut butter: I have my moments when I think about how bad the Peter Pan of my youth is for me...with all the sugar and hydrogenated oil and such, but I just love it. Plus, I hate having to stir up the all-natural stuff. I can't tell you how many shirts I ruined in college trying to mix the oil into my organic peanut butter. In the end, creamy Peter Pan will win every time, and it makes me feel like I'm six.

Cereal: I did the whole "Special K" diet thing last spring (and I LOVED it), and despite the fact that the Kroger brand Special K was something like two dollars cheaper a box, I couldn't do it. I kept remembering this one time when my mom brought home a knock-off version of Fruit Loops when I was little. They were gross, and I made up my mind about the importance of name brand cereal right then. I think those fake Fruit Loops lived in the pantry for about ten years because no one would touch them.

Those are the big ones with explanations, but here are some more: Pop-Tarts, Eggos, cake mixes, olive oil, pasta sauce, orange juice, yogurt, toilet paper, kosher salt, trash bags. On the flip side, there are some things that I always cheap out on...pasta, tea bags, cheese for cooking (somewhere DTS's head is exploding), pre-packaged peanut butter crackers, paper towels, aluminum foil. It's all very bizarre. Is anyone else out there like this?? Is it just me?

Onto another subject: FIVE SENSES FRIDAY

Taste: I feel obligated to say peanut butter. Also, the banana I ate for breakfast. Chocolate cake. Biscuits with real butter and honey from Tupelo Honey.

Touch: Hugs from friends, Otis flinging water off himself- onto me.

Sight: Otis when I got home Sunday. M returning home Sunday.

Smell: "Noodle soup" cooking the other night. Otis (not in a good way).

Sound: M singing "Ooby Dooby" from the Elizabeth Mitchell album my friend Laura gave me. Listening to him sing, "wiggle and shake just like a rattle snake" while actually attempting to shake like a rattle snake is worth charging admission.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

So tired

I have zero energy. When I say zero, I mean it in the "absolute zero" sense. I can't wake up, and when I am awake, I am barely cognitive. Maybe it's because I'm having trouble sleeping, who knows, but it's driving me bonkers. Swim class is in six hours, and I am already dreading it because I feel like I'm too tired to go. This is not fun. I had heard that the pregnant fatigue would return toward the end, but I was assuming/hoping that "the end" meant week 40. I have way too much to do to be this exhausted. Yesterday, I had to lie down after doing laundry and dishes. This is do people work while growing babies? My aunt told me that she used to hide in unused offices and cubicles and take naps.

I don't even have the energy to keep typing...not to mention that I haven't done or thought about anything worthy of chronicling. I've got my fingers crossed that I am just fighting off a cold or something and that my energy level will pick back up...wish me luck with that one!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The traveling P's return

M and I both survived our trips over the weekend, and once again Otis is thrilled that we're home. M had a nice, relaxing weekend (as relaxing as a bachelor's party weekend can be, I suppose) and enjoyed being the only person on the boat not to get sea sick. I had a great time in Asheville with my friends, many of which I hadn't seen in over two years, which is just WAY too long. Barring family drama, I hope to not have to wait that long to see them all again.
The weather over the weekend was gorgeous- just chilly at night. Thank goodness for pregnancy blubber- I was the only one not freezing. Speaking of gorgeous, the drive through the mountains was unbelievable. I only wish I'd been riding instead of driving so I could've actually looked at it a little more. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of pictures...mainly because I dropped the camera and thought I'd completely wrecked it. While I was upset about the whole thing, M the super-hubby was able to fix it last night. I was feeling very guilty and very much like a four-year-old that you can't trust with electronics. Maybe I should invest in one of those new digital cameras by Fisher Price.

I got some wonderful gifts at my very first baby shower. Having things for S makes me that much more anxious for her arrival. It was a perfectly wonderful shower...most of us sitting around in our pajamas eating grits and biscuits. I don't suppose it gets much better than that.

Now that we're home, we are excited about NOT traveling anywhere this weekend...unless you count walking across the park to a Halloween party as traveling. We thought we were going to be home non-stop until Thanksgiving, but it turns out M has to go to Iowa in two weeks and spend the entire week there in meetings. Awesome. We figure my "on the road" days are numbered as I was so tired when I got back from this trip and being in the car was getting pretty hard on my back. Sitting for long periods of time is getting more difficult. Then again everything is getting more difficult. Rolling over in bed now takes an act of congress (okay, that's an exaggeration, but it does take at least a motion from the floor). The joys of pregnancy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Hit the road, Jack

It's been a hectic week around here. My brother was here from Monday to Wednesday, which was awesome, and M left for Philly yesterday morning. My body can't seem to figure out what day of the week it is because my schedule has been so thrown off. Otis's internal clock is even more out of whack. Now I'm getting ready to head to Asheville for a girls' weekend, and Otis has already figured out that I'm leaving because I put a canister of his food out on the counter. Sometimes, he's pretty smart. He's being pouty. Everything will be back to normal on Sunday!!

Five Senses Friday:

Sight: Otis sleeping in the crook of Drew's arm on the floor Monday night. I was unable to get a picture, but it was adorable.

Sound: Our neighbor's new baby yawning

Smell: the chicken teriyaki I made for dinner Tuesday, the apple bread that's baking right now

Taste: again, the chicken teriyaki...also the dumplings I made Monday night

Touch: Otis's soft fur now that it's clean again...he is so soft after baths.

Have a great weekend!!