Monday, December 25, 2006
This Christmas revealed that I may be growing up. We've been staying at our friends' house in Jersey and this morning we woke up, pulled O into the bed, and proceeded to watch him kick and coo and do his wookie impression and that was our present and I was happy. Me, happy to unwrap nothing. Crazy.
(Of course I do know that there is a package waiting for us at the post office from Tommy's folks and any present for O is a present for me plus Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I think I already know what I'm going to ask for so I can't be THAT practical of an adult...phew!)
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays to you and yours and may the God of your choice bless you!
(And as a fitting end to this post, I just looked out the window and there was the cutest little Christmas-red cardinal perched on the stoop.)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Things have been going pretty good.
When we first hit the East Coast, we had a great weekend in Jersey then came to Groton. Stayed at the hotel on base for a couple of nights then upgraded…UPGRADED to the local Super 8. They had the nerve to charge for the lobby coffee where my trusty Super 8 GIVES theirs away all day long and they have free wi-fi and a free continental breakfast that includes yummy make-your-own Belgian waffles.
But I digress (though they are truly amazing waffles)…we've been looking at houses this week and last. Shocking range of crap to fab options and I think we are going to make an offer on a really cute one…now our WA house needs to sell because contingency offers don’t hold too much water.
Oliver had a sore throat last week (Tommy and I had one earlier and you could tell by O’s hoarse voice he caught it). Nothing was more heartbreaking than hearing his precious croaking pterodactyl voice and knowing there was little we could do aside from give him the tiniest of drops of Children’s Tylenol – can you imagine living off boob and formula then getting that crap introduced into the mix? Ick E.
And tonight he met Santa for the first time. He was asleep when we did the pass-off and awoke to His Jolliness but didn’t share in the jolly. Since the trusty Super 8 doesn’t include an in-room scanner, I took this picture of the picture we bought and more actual pictures are on my flickr page...as you can see, he's also learned to smile...A LOT and he has a violently precious two-syllable laugh that should hopefully grow. This is a good age.
NOW I’m getting in the Christmas spirit!!!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
December 7, 2006
Oliver turned two months old yesterday…and yet, it feels like he’s been around longer than that.
The other night during That Special Time that he and I share that usually falls in the 3:00 or 4:00a.m. timeframe and lasts for an hour or two, it dawned on me that I average about four hours of sleep a night compared to the desired eight. So basically, I’ve GAINED an additional four hours a day. Multiply that times the sixty or so days he’s been dazzling my life and you’ve got 240 hours or approximately ten days. So maybe that’s why I feel like he’s been around longer or perhaps it’s just because of this weird fog I’ve been in probably due to the lack of sleep. I say “weird” because I don’t feel like I’m in it til I look back on it. Seeing Kathi the other night, I remember thinking, “She looks really great” then because I think it, I get this weird assumptive feeling that I also tell her and it’s not til I download the pictures and see her that I realize I only thought it. You may think this is just average dinginess but it can get worse to some degree.
Before we began The Road Trip, I was talking to my brother Matt about our path and I told him how it would be great to just swing down and see him but him being in Boca Raton is “just a little” out of the way. He told me about Amtrak’s auto train, the only path it’s available is basically from Orlando, FL to Washington, D.C. (Sanford, FL to a little town in VA near D.C.). You literally drive onto the train (well, an Amtrak employee takes care of that part) and you pick what kind of “quarters” you want (family room for us, please) and you leave the rest to them. Suddenly seeing him & his lovely wife Theresa became feasible so I told him I’d look into it and off I ran with it….except I never actually told him I had ran with it so when I called him from the road to give him a general ETA, he responded, “You’re coming to Florida?” to which I heard a scream from Theresa in the background. Fortunately for my fog, their schedules allowed for it and we spent a blissful albeit ridiculously hot few days with them. Unfortunately for my fog, I didn’t take a single picture of either one of them holding Oliver. What the hell was I thinking?!? And now I regret that part immensely to the point that I’m thinking about printing a life-size pic of O and sending it to them so they can take pics of themselves with O’s representative.
If this trip has posed any questions it’s: Is the heat really a good reason to keep us from living anywhere? It hurt SO much to leave mine and Tommy’s families when we left TX and FL. These people NEED to be a part of O’s life but they all live in such hot places. Granted, we’re committed to CT for the next 3 years but after that we are going to have to do some figuring about where we should end up.
But I digress. Florida was wonderful even through the fog. Fortunately, Matt is still one of my best friends (and as an added bonus, he’s my brother thus making family holidays that much more pleasant) and he’s seen me at my worst (see Puberty – The Prince & Stevie Nicks years) so any sort of foggy demeanor rolls off his back (please oh please oh please let me be right about this). He and Theresa have a great house that is great mainly because of their own sweat and labor they’ve put into it. It was nice to just hang out there and was equally nice to take the water taxi around Lauderdale with them.
But as we left, I felt I didn’t spend near enough time with them…as I kind of do about all our stops along the way. Like we didn’t see any of Nashville aside from the Loveless Café & my cousin’s (though if and when I head back, the Loveless would still be my first stop) and we didn’t see more of Memphis aside from Graceland and the Cozy Corner (still two justifiably proper things to see, but still…hello? Sun Studios? The Peabody? The Grand Old Opry?). This speedy stop and go visits continued when we got to D.C. We went to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and Air & Space museums and saw the Washington Memorial from afar but that was it.
And yet, I don’t have many regrets. We’ve seen a lot and we’ve come to the last days of The Road Trip. As I type this, we’re headed to Teaneck, NJ to visit our friends Susan and Chris and finally get to meet their baby Dylan (and they can meet ours). As luck would have it, it’s Chris’s birthday and we hit a doozy of a $1.29 section at a truck stop so we were able to get a variety of delightfully crappy gifts.
So maybe the fog isn’t so foggy afterall.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
You have competition.
Mind you, you still reign supreme in the Biscuits & Gravy category but we have found a competitor that is hot on your heels.
Thursday night we pulled into Nashville and stayed with my cousins Ann & Mark. They have a gorgeous house (GORGEOUS – like, This Is The Kind Of House I Could See Myself In With The Proper Income gorgeous) that’s still very comfortable and home-y. We visited over a delicious dinner of mahi-mahi, potatoes, and salad with a cherry pie that we picked up on the way into town from Loretta Lynn’s Country Kitchen. (Did she and Elvis have some sort of affair or something? Because there was A LOT of paraphenalia re both.)
In my travel notes, I had the Loveless Café highlighted since I heard wonderous things about it, specifically about its biscuits and gravy. Because of this, I wanted that one last brunch of your (& Alton’s) version that you so willingly/thankfully made for us…okay, maybe not because of the café but using research as an excuse to dine upon such artery clogging bliss makes me feel a little less guilty.
While heading to my cousins’ place, it dawned on me that their place was off of Hwy 100 - just like the Loveless Café, so I asked about it over our healthy dinner. Turns out, they go rather frequently and were up for going for breakfast on Friday.
The place is darling – warm and friendly with a strong country vibe that doesn’t feel too hokey (not that that’s a bad thing). We sat down, ordered the Family Breakfast #1, and awaited the delivery of four small but powerful biscuits and that came with three types of homemade jelly/preserves…and butter, of course.
Then the rest of our food came quickly and deliciously.
So basically your gravy trumps theirs hands down, I mean, theirs is good and all, really good if I hadn’t had yours, but you know I like a little gravy with my sausage whereas their gravy to sausage ratio is heavier on the former. The biscuits on the otherhand give yours a run for their money. They’re not as flaky and not as large, two big drawbacks, but the salted-buttered-tops are a very nice touch.
Still though, yours still win…though maybe you & Stef need to head east to make some in our future kitchen just to maintain your title.
Just a thought.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
After a leisurely morning at Dad’s and a yum drive-thru lunch at Chick-fi-la, we booked it to Memphis. Today we toured Graceland. I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have since I was watching the clock making sure we saw all we could see there and still have time to stop at Cozy Corner for some AWESOME ribs. Graceland had its moments, seeing E’s Lincoln Continental, white fur bed, and platinum cassette (who woulda thought they gave out more than just platinum albums?) was really great. After, like I said, we headed for Cozy Corner for some crazy-delicious ribs and wonderful hospitality.
Friday, December 01, 2006
After a huge Thanksgiving dinner and before the dessert spread, Father Stegman, a neighbor of my mom’s, came over to bless Oliver. I grew up Catholic but don’t currently practice it. I feel there’s a religion out there for me, I just haven’t found the exact one and until I do, I am happy to accept any prayers, blessings, and well wishes from any one that wants to pass them along to my family or myself. Recently I’ve heard the expression (the second time was by Kinky Friedman on David Letterman, I can’t remember who said it the first time), “May the God of your choice bless you” and I really like that – kind of sums my take on things. I think as long as you’re not hurting anyone and are positive and good, then your God is the right God. People may follow different paths but it’s still the same God in my eyes.
Father Stegman was very sweet and I felt a good positive energy coming from the whole experience – it helped that we had heaps of family beaming at us as well. And now I bounce that energy back to Father S, poor dear just got diagnosed with bladder cancer. And for everyone else:
May the God of your choice bless you.
The rest of the trip sped by and we headed to Dallas stopping in Waco to have a great visit with Tommy's extended family. His 2nd cousin Matthew was there and is insanely adorable and a vision into my future since I have a feeling Oliver will be cut from the same cloth. It was so, so great to see Tommy's grandparents with Oliver much less with all his other relatives. As an added bonus, his cousin Brian even gave O a West Point t-shirt! Thanks to all for their wonderful company and hospitality!
Dad has had a time health-wise as of late. Since I was at the tail end of the pregnancy and the beginning of the birth, I was a bit sheltered from his condition but have since caught up. I am so, so thankful he is bouncing back but I still catch glimpses of what could have been but I think holding Oliver will give him further motivation to get healthy and stay well for years to come.
We got to see Jeff, too and take pics of Oliver in his Nascar truck. As an added bonus, we got to see his rockin’ dad. Man, I love those guys!
Speaking of true, deep sisterly love, I would also like to thank Kathi, Stacey and Phillip for throwing a damn fine “Sip and See” shower so friends could get together and ogle at Oliver – pictures of the shindig and the rest of the TX trip are on my flickr page.
Something I learned: Costco hummus is tahini-licious!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Ever have one of those surreal “And then…and then…and then” experiences? Here’s my letter to Pizza Hut, I think it sums it up:
November 21, 2006
Fort Stockton, TX
To Whom It May Concern:
This evening my husband and I were driving through Ft. Stockton, TX on our way to San Antonio and chose to eat at Pizza Hut over other options. I thought it best to report to you the condition of this establishment.
When we walked in, all 22+ tables were dirty and only 5 still had customers at them. After a brief wait, a waitress cleaned off a table and we placed our order. I was disappointed to discover that the salad bar was also quite dirty – several containers were empty, the carrots were overly dry, and there was barely enough Ranch dressing to accommodate my salad.
We were pleasantly surprised with the quality and flavor of our pizza and how quickly we received it, but were shocked at the NINE napkins we received for the two of us. Then when my husband asked for silverware, we received SIX more napkins – a total of FIFTEEN large napkins for the two of us. Upon looking around at the dirty tables, all of which had yet to get bussed, I noticed that just about all of them also had an excessively wasteful number of napkins left unused.
By the end of our meal, only one table had been bussed and I noticed that its rather large stack of unused napkins went into the trash.
To add to this, my husband and I counted TEN employees working at this time. Only three were on the floor but none attempted to clean off a table unless someone came in to sit at one, preferring to sit and chat with customers or other staff members. The others seemed milled about behind the counter doing some work but overall just chatting with one another or yelling at the waiters on the floor to come back to the kitchen.
Pizza Hut seemed like the safest bet for our dinner on this road trip. As I said, we were pleased with the flavor and speed of our order but the lack of cleanliness worried us to some degree. I could only imagine how disgusting the restrooms were so neither of us approached that general direction.
Even though the pizza was good, I thought you should know that we are less likely to have a sit-down dinner at another Pizza Hut for quite some time due to the condition of this branch.
And now back to my blog, already in progress…..
After our dining experience (boy, was it!), we drove to Ozona, TX. I highly recommend the Super 8 Motel there even though there rates were higher than those posted in the Super 8 International Guide* and on the back of our room door. The room was the nicest we’ve been in of the chain and I’d even have a party in their indoor pool area because it’s so cool and jungle-like…if my travels ever took me (and a necessary quantity of friends for a party) back there. Not that it ever would, but I’m just sayin’…
*I hope I don’t sound too white trash or un-sophisticated with my name dropping of the Super 8 franchise but money is tight right now and I signed up for their Trip Rewards and they are everywhere hence the INTERNATIONAL Guide. So hopefully you know I’ve stayed at fancier or cooler places in the past and will do so in the future, too.
Anyhoo, that night we called Mom with an estimated ETA to San Antone (that’s what they call it) and asked her at what age do babies start smiling on there own – she thought it was older than Oliver is. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s around 7 weeks when you’re about to meet Grandma. We pulled into her driveway, I unbuckled Oliver and handed him off and it was like a firework display of smiles directed at Mom. Not prior or since have I seen so much beaming…and I’m his mother!!!
Now, my mother and I have had our moments…in fact I feel we have about a 4-day visitation rule (my wise grandmother said, “Company is like fish, after a few days, it starts to stink”) but I’m hear to tell you that I started crying the day before we left about leaving and needless to say, I was a mess the day of. I remember thinking decades ago (seriously, decades) that I looked forward to bringing my child to show my mother mainly to show that I’m competent I guess but also to make her oh-so happy and let me just say, my mother was oh-so happy til the day we left, Oliver is just that wonderful… but I digress.
When we first got there, we hung out at her house and had H.E.B. brisket (yum!!!) sandwiches while she gushed over Oliver. Later we went to my cousin Anna’s house for my Aunt Tella’s DELICIOUS caldo (that’s “soup” to non-Spanish speakers) then apple pie and this shockingly good dessert my mom made that was basically like a really moist date bar called Dessert of the Gods or something like that. After that we played Texas Hold ‘Em (woo-hoo!).
The next day was Thanksgiving and I awoke to my older brother and family arriving at my mom’s. Anna, Aunt Tella, and Joey came over for The Feast of H.E.B. ham (yum!!!) and turkey (little too overly marinated/dry but still good), mashed potatoes, my Aunt’s rockin’ dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes…you get the drift. And since I haven’t blogged in the last couple of days, my fingers are tired from typing so this shall continue later.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday was spent mostly just driving. We did stop at a huge indoor outlet mall in Tempe, AZ. Note about outlet malls: if they are indoors, the bargains are not as abundant. Still though, Tommy bought some jeans & I bought a pleather purse that has a really cool sacred heart stitched onto it...not that I have much use for purses that are too small to hold the Diapees & Wipees pack, a changing pad, and a bottle (not to mention the formula, change of clothes, extra pair of socks, a small blanket and whatever else goes into our unisex Gap messenger bag that we use as a diaper bag that somehow ends up weighing 30+ pounds), but we're headed towards grandparents and the chance of possibly slipping off to a movie at an actual movie theatre as an actual couple so I may actually get to use my rockin' new purse that I only spent $17!!! on.
So far, the drive has been great. Tommy & I have "only" had one little blowout. I quote "only" because ANY size tiff tends to level me and since this one was mostly due to my frayed nerves due to the sleep deprivation mixed with my bossiness that I need to curb, a long discussion was had and this too did pass. The restaurant playing Love Hurts followed by I Can't Live (If Living is Without You) in the middle of said discussion was a nice touch though. Overall, I can't believe how hard marriage can turn over something little then it thankfully turns back to sweet wonderfulness where you appreciate each other even more...still though, tiffs suck. I don't see how so many couples have so many (we see a lot being in the Navy) and stay together.
Oliver too is a great travel companion. There were those that said there is no way we can drive cross-country with a baby but so far, we've proven them wrong. He is at his peak of portability and we are taking full advantage. As an added bonus, he's sleeping for longer stretches at night (and waking up seemingly a pound bigger and a couple inches longer - they're puppies, I tell ya!). Oh sure, it's 4:30 in the a.m. as I type this, but you just need to trust me on this.
And now I must go to the car and get a bottle of water that I forgot to restock in the previously mentioned corpulent diaper bag. Normally I'm not such a stickler but the tap water here tastes HORRIBLE.
Tomorrow we head to Texas after a brief stop at this nearby ghost town and any snake farm, tacky gift shop, and possible outlet mall along the way.
Monday, November 20, 2006
We saw the Grand Canyon today. It was truly amazing. I wish my pics captured it in all its red glory but at least you get the general idea.
I think I may be a bit scared of heights...or the infinite drops you can stand right next to are just plain mortalizing because when I would join Tommy "out there," my visits wouldn't last too long before my legs leaned towards safety. I'm telling myself it's because I have a baby not because I AM a baby.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
We left the Bay Area this morning after having a lovely, if not rather rushed time. After more crappy weather, we arrived in Berkeley Thursday night and were able to have a decent Indian meal with my nephew John. The next day we started the day at the Bread Workshop with a damn fine pumkin muffin for me, cream cheese apricot danish for Tommy, and fruit-yogurt-granola and delightfully strong Uncommon Grounds coffee for both. After bumming around Berkeley for a bit, John and Mike, the guy he works for, joined us and we went to the Golden Gate Bridge & Fisherman’s Wharf to go to Musee Mechanique.
Now, I would give out government secrets at the slightest threat of foot pain and the morning hinted in that general direction. So a visit to Walgreens for Cars tattoo bandaids (it’s the little things that get you by) and socks (that threw my outfit off making me look REALLY touristy but I thought would prevent further pain.
I thought wrong. The socks, though thin, pushed my feet into a different “level” of my so-called comfy pleather Mary Janes. What I learned: Sorry PETA but pleather makes for an uncomfortable walking shoe because if your foot disagrees with it, your foot suffers and the shoe continues on. And yet, it was too late and I hobbled around the Golden Gate Bridge chanting in my head the mantra my friend Brooke (RIP) taught me decades ago when he sold me a pair of really great black patent cowboy boots (cut me a break, it was the 80’s!): “Beauty knows no pain. Beauty knows no pain. Beauty knows no pain.”
The cowboy boots back then and the Mary Janes now were in cahoots and by the time we left Musee Mechanique, my dogs were barking, if not howling, and I practically cried with thanks as I snapped at my companions, “I’m going to that Payless and see if I can get some shoes! I’ll meet you at the restaurant!”
What I didn’t think about is I had a cranky-getting-crankier Oliver strapped onto me and only about a quarter of a bottle of formula on me…and yet, the dogs barked.
Now, I have a big foot. BIG. As in a size 12. Payless Shoes can be a benefit for the disposably trendy shoes but not all stores have a selection catering to My People. Fortunately, the shoe gods cut me a break and even though this store only offered a row of options, a pair of black Basic spin-offs and $20 would buy me some time to enjoy the rest of the evening.
It’s important to note that I was enjoying myself prior to this. The Bridge was gorgeous as usual and Musee Mechanique is always a great place to take people who’ve never been, but every now and then, the pain got to me and I was a little snappy in turn making Tommy snappy but I think we apologized enough to each other, understood and forgave. Praise little baby Jesus.
What makes this rambling story even worse was the condition of Mike who was born with cerebral palsy. Here I was practically leveled by probably an inch square total of skin and then there’s Mike putzing around hill and dale with a smile on his face with John taking care of him with the same smile like the superior human he has become. (“If John doesn’t get into Heaven for doing what he’s doing, then that’s a god I don’t want ti be a part of.” – weird all the religious references in this entry and yet, not so much.)
But once I got the new pair of shoes while doing my best to tame sporadic O fussing, the skies parted and I too perked up. They threatened to cloud over when I went to pay for the shoes and the guy at the register said he had to take the sensor off the left shoe before I could walk out with them – “How in the hell was I going to put it back on with O now full-tilt cranked and a bottle now empty?” I worried but the clouds stayed clear if not stellar and the register guy came around on his invisible white horse and got on his knee putting the shoe back on like a modern Prince Charming.
This friendliness and going the extra step was felt all day, when on the subway or bus, MANY people offered to let me sit because of the baby and bus drivers quickly jumped up to help Mike and his chair onto the many buses we took.
Even though I was beat from walking so much, I felt good from what we saw and the company we kept. “We made a day trip in half a day” Mike typed on the computer lap-thing he uses to communicate. Amen to that!
Friday, November 17, 2006
Anyhoo, now cars don't even come with lighters but the adapters remain and my, how I have taken advantage! In the front seat adapter, we have the iPod and it's HUGE library mocking the lack of radio stations on the road. In the backseat, which I have deemed "my office," if my cell phone isn't charging, I've got the inverter (thanks for the suggestion Mike!) plugged in and the laptop plugged into that. I even pumped yesterday and Oliver was quite pleased with the hooch that was in that bottle!
Speaking of O, he's doing great. He's been sleeping a lot and wakes up alert and relatively pleasant.
We're in Berkeley now. About to go to Bread Workshop for breakfast then head to San Francisco with my nephew John. I'll update more later.
YESTERDAY'S LITTLE PERK: Homemade patty sausage at the Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta, CA.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Today starts The Big Roadtrip (TBR). Goodbyes suck.
They started a couple of weeks ago when we went up to Sedro-Woolley to see Tommy’s relatives. I have so enjoyed getting to know these people especially his grandmother who just plain rocks. Needless to say, the tears started a’flowin’ before I left our house, continued when I got to theirs when I saw her, stopped clean shortly thereafter then recommenced when she told Tommy how amazing it’s been seeing him grow from a boy to a man and that his greatness was due in part to me.
As you probably know, there’s quite an age difference between Tommy and I and not once did I ever feel judged by any of Tommy’s family over this – and I’m older than a couple (few?) of Tommy’s uncles. For that and for getting to know all his great relatives, I am very thankful.
I also got a visit with Amy and with Stef & Mike. Good food was had at both. We ate at Pies and Pints with Amy – I sampled the spinach feta & the classic chicken and was chapped to discover they were sold out of the chocolate-peanut butter one. Oh well, next visit.
Mike once again made STELLAR biscuits and gravy. I hope this road trip guides us to some good plates of the stuff but I truly don’t think they will be able to compare to Mike’s. He was also OH-so helpful in tutoring me on our new macbook so I am now typing this entry with confidence as we drive south on Hwy 5 headed for Portland.
Thanks so much for being there, our Seattle friends! You will be missed but know you have a place to stay…once we find one.
Back on our side of the Sound, we've been staying at Linda’s house after the movers packed up our stuff. I should have taken a picture of our digs on the water and right next door to Rick, Karry, and the kids. I could think of know better place to end our stay in Washington then with them, our adopted family. And my heart aches knowing that I won’t be 10 minutes away from each other for quite some time.
As I finish typing this entry, we’re at a Super 8 in Roseberg, OR. The weather for today’s drive has SUCKED and we got a much later start than planned, but we got to stop in Portland to see my friend Alissa so it’s all worth it.
Tomorrow the adventure continues…..
TODAY’S LITTLE PERK: A pumpkin shake from Jack in the Box. I highly recommend them and my waistline in thankful they are seasonal.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I should have been updating this blog far more effectively but oh well, fiddle-dee-dee! I will try better now since we’ve got this insanely precious creature occupying our house and some of you sound like you’d genuinely appreciate updates (thanks for the genuine part!).
Oliver is awesome. I realize “awesome” is one of those words that is WAY overused so let’s look at the definition again, shall we?:
Awesome: inspiring awe; showing or characterized by awe.
Don’t you hate those types of definitions? So let’s flip to the definition of awe:
Awe: 1. an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like; 2. A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might.
So yeah, at 4am when I haven’t slept more than 2 hours in the last 24 (36?), there’s some fear, dread, etc. but overall our house is infested with grand, sublime, and great beauty.
Tommy is already an amazing father. Granted, I knew he would be, but DAMN! He’s so….THERE. My water broke Thursday night but I had put off the primping and cleaning up til the following day so before I woke him up and after the hospital said I could, I took a shower. When I got out, Tommy woke up and asked how I was doing - he did this pretty much every night during my many pee breaks – he didn’t remember doing it the next day but it was still very reassuring and comforting to know that he was THERE. Well, Thursday night, I had just gotten out of the shower and he asked how I was doing, I told him that I was fine and that it was time. He IMMEDIATELY jumped out of bed and exclaimed, “I am so stoked!” That drive continues.
Yesterday we talked about how you run out of lullabies FAST, Karry said she was big into singing Christmas carols and when those ran out, any song can turn into a lullaby – I relied on a “ballad version” of Dirty Deeds from AC/DC last night. Either way, when you have a newborn and all those songs you swear you know the words to disappear from your memory bank so clever, clever Tommy popped one ear of his iPod in and sung to Oliver for hours. I am pleased to report that Oliver is already a fan of Johnny Cash but the punk rock may take some getting used to.
Today’s “drama” (and I use that word VERY loosely since it’s far, far from dramatic): This morning he had his first doc appointment nd he has a rather high level of jaundice. My insurance ROCKS and a nurse was here by this afternoon hooking him up to his “light belt” (for lack of a better word). We’re basically stuck at home for the next few days but he has no problem with the belt that he has to wear the whole time - it kind of makes him look like he’s recharging. As an added bonus, the machine makes a PERFECT white noise so hopefully, fingers crossed / prayers said, I may get some sleep tonight.
Today’s bonus: My milk dropped. I can now start working on putting some weight on this boy. The poor thing has NO butt but there’s definitely room for one. Tommy says I’ll be one of those moms that years from now will be all, “My son had NO butt when he was born but now, it’s the cutest thing. Oliver, show everyone how cute your butt is!” He says it in a nice, Jewish accent and I grew up with a mom who often exclaimed how cute our butts were (but in Spanish – phonetically it sounds like, “Ay que chulo/chula nalgas!”) and with actual grabbing so I guess he may have the power to see into the future…or I’m just that transparent…and I’m SURE that couldn’t be it!
Today's buy: I'm awaiting the arrival of my Cure and Coldplay versions of these lullaby cds.
Now I must tend to many, many emails but then I plan to write more here so everyone can stay on top of things when they feel the need.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Yesterday at Costco, we crossed paths with an employee who stepped aside a bit, tapped my arm reassuringly and said, "Take care, Mama!"
I LOVE this kinda stuff! I've had friends that complained that total strangers would grab their bellies but I figure, if they're excited, bring that energy my way! Not that they can remotely compete with mine or Tommy's excitement.
Oliver will be here SOON.
Friday, May 26, 2006
[insert elevator Muzak]
Done? Do you see what I mean? Granted, his girl sounds a bit kooky but I still felt the need to email him. Here's what I wrote:
While I was reading the early part of this (key words: the early part), I was thinking, "Oh, he's got one of my nutjob sisters - you don't flip out on something then go back to completely normal." But did it HAVE to be a moth?!? For the last 3 days we had The Most Stunning "Tommy [husband] Come Look At This" Moth living on the wall under our deck light. It was huge and bold and butterfly-winged but with this crazy huge furry body covered in strong white and brown stripes and two crazy furry antennae. I thought it came to die there because it was moving ever so slowly but the minute the sun went down it was manic for the light.
So I guess I too am a nutjob but only slightly comparitively (I'm sure she's a lovely girl) in that I would give Tommy updates: "Turns out, he's [I guess all the browns made me assume it was a he] not dying because he's downright scary at night - you can practically hear his wings" then yesterday, "The moth left. Why would he leave? We have a good light that's too small for him to get in so he wouldn't burn to death...." But Tommy knows me well enough to respond, "I'm sure he's living a long, happy [ALWAYS add "happy"] life somewhere."
Point of my rant: I liked your column.
Point of this blog entry: I was meaning to write about this damn stunning moth but it just seemed a bit, well, kooky. And yet, I did.
I love to get my way....but I do hope the moth comes back. He was so cool.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
As I was saying the movie was filmed there and there was supposed to be this pivotal, Joan of Arc scene where Billie Jean (played by Helen Slater) shaves her head sans the requisite (for the time) rat tail and so a whole bunch of girls in the town were to shave their heads to fight The Man or The Power or whatever oppression plagued poor BJ (heh, heh, I typed BJ) so there were all these people trying to convince you to shave your head and thus embrace immediate fame while being an extra in the movie. I knew NO ONE that did except for this one girl in my art history class (a class that sounds fun and interesting but turns looking at Art into some weird biology dissecting experiment - Mona Lisa Smile my class was not). But if you saw this girl, a girl actually interested in the class and perhaps the major and ensuing Master's, and as stereotypically broody as a girl could be taking an art history class at Corpus Christi's only community college, you would think she'd be the last person to succumb, and yet... she didn't, she shaved, she embraced no fame, and I think she ended up on the cutting room floor. I hope she's in a far better place right now.
So yeah, that's what launches into in my head when I hear Pat Benatar's Invincible.
We can't afford to be innocent
Stand up and face the enemy
It's a do or die situation
We will be INVINCIBLE!
Dramatic words for Miss Benatar, no? Now if only she would leave my head....go on now, SHOO! I'll stand up when I'm good and ready, now GO!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I think I’ve mentioned this before but my friend Karry has attended all the sonograms with us or just me. Last year we called her “my temporary life partner” while Tommy was out to sea and she clearly stated that she still wanted to attend when he got back and to me it went without question. OF COURSE she had to be there. So when they called my name I supplied my posse’s names and went in.
The attendant – I wish I got her name, she rocked – had me lay down and pull down my skirt and raise up my shirt a bit and she warm lubed my belly (warm lube feels weird). Immediately after that I thought, “I should have grabbed my cell phone in case Tommy forgot where to go” then sure enough my phone rang and I apologized profusely and begged to answer it. She said that was fine and I awkwardly held the many towels protecting my clothes from the lube and kind of flung myself to my purse. Tommy was running late but was on his way.
Soon there was a knock at the door and Karry came in. The receptionist told her Tommy hadn’t arrived yet so she was going to wait for him but then couldn’t because she was so excited. (I wish I could express how much I ADORE this woman and how supportive she is and how wonderful it is to have someone just as excited about all this especially since she was such a trooper and such a rock last November during The Bad Ultrasounds. She will never truly know the full degree of how much I truly appreciate her and that just kills me.) So my Temporary Life Partner and I see the spine and the brain and the femur and those two bones below the knee and we’re both just in awe. Those bones are not more than an inch long but you know EXACTLY what they are just from elementary science class.
Shortly thereafter, before we got to the sex-defining-bits, Tommy burst in, took my hand and made room for Karry. The attendant is giving us the tour of Baby but Baby is acting very private. So the attendant jiggles the little wand to try to get movement and slowly but surely Baby moves a bit and we see the bladder (actually we see a black dot and the attendant says, “There’s the bladder” so we knew) and then she adds a little computer arrow and says, “Do you see THAT?” and we all lean a bit forward and say, “Yes?” as confidently as we can. And right over the arrow she types B-O-Y. And for what seemed like a solid minute, I rack my brain trying to think of what the hell that word spells, I know I’ve seen it before, but wait – BOY, it’s a BOY! During the first lima bean with a heartbeat ultrasound I remember thinking, “Look at him!” and Tommy has always felt a boy vibe so this confirmation was welcoming but still odd and so….confirming. We are having an Oliver.
So yeah, Oliver. My mom and older brother HATE the name but when I hear it from other people that adore it, it’s just so wonderful. Oliver. What’s kind of odd is a friend of mine is named Oliver and I have always thought, “I want a little boy just like him [minus the racism and homophobia]” and BOOM! I’m getting one.
[The picture is a closeup of what's on the shirt of these ridiculously precious jammies and a superior vintage of cigar that Karry gave us just after the ultrasound...while we were still in the exam room. I asked if she was that certain it was going to be a boy or if she had a girl present in her purse as well. "I may have a girl present in there somewhere," she grinned.]
Thursday, April 27, 2006
To distract myself, I put together a Best Of list for my friend David of stuff that usually ends up in my basket when I go to Trader Joe's. New York FINALLY got a Trader Joe's and it's in Union Square. I can't imagine the non-stop stocking they must do and I also can't imagine what the prices must be like - SURELY Chuck's isn't two bucks! So here's my list - please feel free to comment with anything I may have missed or should try:
Kay's Best of Trader Joes (all TJ's brands unless otherwise specified) – things I buy pretty regularly:
Cilantro jalepeno hummus (great with their pita chips)
Lite shredded 3 cheese blend
Charles Shaw Wines ("Two-Buck Chucks" - but they're really more like $4)
Cheese & Green Chile tamales (frozen section - not the refrig section)
Beef tamales (frozen)
Any of the frozen potstickers (gyoza) are good
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Vanilla extract (from Madagascar or someplace)
Roasted edamame (in the nuts section - I guess they're soy nuts but they're bigger)
Brown basmati rice
Ginger granola (if you like ginger - there's big hunks of crystalized ginger, great on yogurt & mango)
Pizza dough (in refrig section - I've tried all flavors and all are good - a cashier said that she knows someone that uses the plain dough for cinnamon rolls)
Truffettes (AMAZING and cheap truffles)
$1 greeting cards (there's usually a wall of them)
I just bought two of their salsas, the basic one and the double-smoked one and will be trying them with fajitas tonight along with their homemade flour tortillas and organic white corn tortilla chips. I’ll report back.
Speaking of TJ's: http://www.traderjoefan.com/
And speaking of David, we had a long drawn out conversation about babies and birthing and breastfeeding and nipples. It started with the 4/24 pic of PostHipChick* and ended like this:
K: Scroll to the 4/24 pic - I'm now nervous.
D: GOOD HEAVENS! I don't recall my sister ever being that big, and the woman in the photo appears to be slight, no? The one thing I could GOOD HEAVENS over my sister about is her nipples, at least with the third kid, they looked like big Coke bottles.
K: Oh I know, I just cringe about that! Mine are not very perky-tiny to begin with and even with the current growth, my baby is going to have to have a mouth like Mick Jagger or something.
D: I just So Giggled. Relax. My sister reported it really is one of the most amazing things she ever did, and Heck, she's been to the Grand Canyon!
K: I just SO full-tilt laughed. I love you so much. My friend Ashley "over-produced" and was in a dressing room once just about to try on a bathing suit, she heard a baby cry, her milk dropped, and she sprayed the mirror. I don't want that.
D: CHORTLE! I was throwing a BBQ at my sister's and Lactating Neighbor Linda saw a mother nursing and exploded like someone threw a water ballon at her. Do you want THAT?
K: I want beautiful boobies with perfectly portioned servings of hunger-quenching, soul-saving, karma-building, tartar-controlling milk gushing out for my baby and only my baby.
D: How 'bout "tastes closer to fresh squeezed?"
*I don't know PostHipChick but Lordy, her baby is GORGEOUS!!!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
It is Olive's giddy reaction that I felt when I received my PRESCRIPTION for MASSAGES today. I didn't know such a thing of bliss existed!!! I hate that I didn't look into it before the one I got on Monday that wasn't covered, but now, NOW I shall take full advantage! I especially like the part on my referral sheet where it says:
Frequency and Duration
PT to determine after evaluation:
1 2 3 4 5 times per week for 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 weeks.
My mouth is watering.
Monday, April 17, 2006
The Knot usually wakes me anywhere from 1am to 4am. Not much is on TV during that time. So I tend to watch a lot of Discovery Health while icing The Knot, specifically all the birthing shows. Granted, I cried at card tricks before I got knocked up, and supposedly now that I'm entering the 2nd Trimester my emotions will even out, but until then I get positively weepy over all those deliveries. Even though the babies are covered in mucus and whatnot, they're still the most beautiful little creatures! It's like their wings were just ripped off and they were sent down to Earth! I hope Tommy and I do well in that situation. I want us both to be positive and upbeat but I know things can take a turn when one is trying to pass a 10lb "angel" through one's Lulu.
Another tearjerker that probably only brings tears to my eyes, is the trailer for Little Miss Sunshine. When Olive starts hopping up and down then screaming, I think it's truly one of the most precious things caught on film.
Tommy and I started watching Raising Arizona (The Greatest Movie Ever Made...unless you count True Romance and that's quite a battle for #1) the other night (he fell asleep so I stopped watching for fear he'd wake up and I'd be totally and completely weepy). When Holly Hunter launches into the, "Ah luv him so mu-u-u-u-u-uch!" I feel on the exact same plane (plain?) - but again, I felt that way long before my egg met its match.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Mom said maybe I should get (note: Mom doesn't look her age AT ALL but at times she shows her age verbally...wait for it....) a girdle (shiver!) and that she wore one when she was pregnant with me when she worked as like the head RN in the emergency room (I think that much drive skips a generation). Earlier this week I thought those velcro waist cinchers you see UPS guys wear would feel really good with my current situation (they feel gooooood if you've never worn one) so I thought it was worth looking into getting a prenatal version.
So off I went to the nearby Home Health Store. Do you know how much those things cost? Because I sure didn't when I went in there. They start, START at $55. Fortunately the woman working in the former pharmacy (literally - they left the aqua and gold sign from the 40's on the back wall) was really helpful and she suggested I call my doctor and get a prescription for one. (What's weird is earlier that day a girl from work got a prescription for one of those ergonomic kneel-y chairs - who would have thought you could get a prescription for furniture and velcro!)
So I did and I did!
A couple of hours later I went back to the store to pick up my support band (for lack of a prettier term). Said nice woman working there said, "Come back here and I'll show you how to put it on." (Begga pardon?) I figured it was part of the prescription so I went to the back and got to really study the ancient aqua and gold pharmacy sign complete with the snake-y cross symbol thing. Now take a moment to truly experience the Loving Comfort Maternity Support (from the makers of the Breast Binder!). Sexy, no?
This kicky little number takes a bit of time to put on...didn't help that I was wearing jeans and a bulky sweater but Nice Salesperson didn't seem to mind. She hugged me from the back as she applied the Abdominal Support Pad (or ASP as we like to call it in the ortho biz); while back there, she attached the belt (no sassy initials for that one); then looped the upper strap over the whole shebang. Did I mention I was wearing a BLACK bulky sweater? Yeah, that's a good look.
But when you have scorching muscle spasms like I have been having, it doesn't matter what you look like as long as it feels good and the Loving Comfort Maternity Support is aptly named.
FORTUNATELY, Tommy has duty tonight so I'm safe from any ravaging that will no doubt ensue after he sees me in this little aphrodisiac.
Well, time for me to go strap myself in and hopefully get a decent night's sleep.
Monday, April 10, 2006
I've read countless pg articles about how you shouldn't do anything where you may fall - a fact that has squelched my dirtbike career, at least for the time being (okay, so maybe I was looking for such an excuse but I do need to learn to ride one of those damn things especially since there's a really good chance "Jr.", whether a boy or girl, will be on one by age 4) - so needless to say, I was a nervous wreck. We went to the hospital, we listened to the fetal heartbeat to make sure all was well in there (it was - 150 beats a minute...though my pulse was almost as fast because I was so nervous) then we waited and waited til I could pee so they could make sure my kidney was okay (I have a huge long, thick bruise across my lower back on the right side). All was well, I just bruised the muscle really bad.
Last night was rough because I was in so much pain and could only take Tylenol (it's so hard for me to take anything during this pregnancy but since everyone assures me Tylenol is fine, I broke down and took some - but only when it was really bad, mind you!) but today is better so I'm sure I can go to work tomorrow.
I'd like to think I have a high tolerance for pain but I can't remember ever being in that much of it ever before so possibly I'm wrong. Needless to say, the whole incident, including my inability to get out of or into bed without biting a big hunk of comforter so as not to scream, has made me a firm believer of epidurals - I now plan to call ahead for one on The Big Day.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Needless to say, over dinner I was too bored to go to the movies so we decided to rent one which is usually a fate worse than death for me because it's hard to settle on a movie. FORTUNATELY (I think I'm almost through writing so stick with me or don't, it is getting pretty dull) we both wanted to see Capote which turned out to be amazing but I was so drained by the end that I had to sit just there and cry. I should have known my hormones probably couldn't handle the heaviness and yet......
American Baby says, "As your body adjusts to its new hormone levels and the extra work it's doing, first-trimester symptoms start to subside. This may happen gradually, or as quickly as a light switch flicking off--suddenly, the nausea, fatigue, and constant need to urinate are gone. Your emotions also start to stabilize at this time. Suddenly this pregnancy thing doesn't seem so difficult anymore!" I am definitely not operating on the light-switch theory.
But the point of this long ramble and the little ray of sunshine that shot through my boring day at least for a moment (aside from the hammock swinging) was when we were at the rental place and I was struck motionless by my boredom combined with not knowing what to rent, Tommy came up to me and out-of-the-blue said, "You need a line of blow and an off-duty stripper!"
Man, I'm so glad I married that man AND I get to have his kid? What a bonus!
(Oh and "Boredom is a state of mind" is what my dad used to tell my hyper youngest brother. NOTHING could be more frustrating than to hear that in the throes of boredom.)
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
According to BabyCenter: "Pregnancy can cause the blood vessels in your nose to expand, and your increased blood supply puts even more pressure on those delicate veins, causing them to rupture easily. You're especially likely to have a nosebleed when you have a cold or sinus infection or when the membranes inside your nose dry out, as they do in cold weather, air conditioned rooms, airline cabins, and other dry environments."
Last night, without even trying I dabbed my nose to reveal a perfect heart on my tissue. Tommy didn't think I could get anything on ebay for it though.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
So I'm sensitive to heartbeats - each sonogram I have had with this current pregnancy starts off with me holding my breath and not blinking as I desperately scan the screen for that little pulsing movement and yesterday we were rewarded with audio.
My doctor came in with this cute little box that turned out to be the Doppler thing that can pick up heartbeats. She stated, "It may be too early to pick this up, but if the baby's cooperating, we may get to hear the heartbeat." So I held my breath and stared unblinking at the ceiling for what seemed like hours as she oh-so-painfully slowly dragged the microphone (or whatever it's called) across my belly. "A little to the left!" I screamed in my head because I just knew he or she was just out of reach. You could hear my stomach gurgle a little then a lot of white noise then when she finally (finally!!!) scanned to the left: boom-boom-boom-boom. I can't even begin to type how fast this little beat was - supposedly it's around 130 beats per minute. I turned my head to look at Tommy - my eyes probably looked like saucers then I quietly giggled.
We heard our baby's heartbeat today.
Friday, March 31, 2006
For dessert, I made "spaghetti." I piped cream cheese and marshmallow fluff (an insanely easy and delicious recipe I found here) and topped it with crushed strawberries. Tommy actually giggled as he ate it. Click on the picture and it will take you to a pic of the dessert.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Unfortunately, Tommy has sympathy mood swings. He can get really snippy.
Newsflash: if I’m currently growing someone else’s ears (I stole that expression from my awesome friend Laura), only I can be snippy.
And yet, I’m not snippy, I’m the other mutant dwarf Weepy. The other night I literally sobbed because I was so emotional. What’s worse was I was fine when Tommy went out to the freezer to get a “novelty” (we’re on an icecream novelty kick, currently we’re on Snickers cones) but I was full-tilt weepy when he came back. AND I was too messed up to get up and get a tissue so I was blotting and blowing with a paper towel – do you know what kind of damage a rough paper towel can do to the complexion of an almost-40 year old in the throes of prenatal emotion?!?
Speaking of complexions, I also have zits again. Oh sure, I used to have the occasional breakout but they were subtle. I now actually sport whiteheads.
I’m so right smack back in puberty.
I need to be left alone in my room with a turntable and a fresh copy of Purple Rain.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Okay, so I've been a horrible blogger. It's just that I haven't felt like I had anything worthy of reading to write about- not that that's an issue with a whole lot of blogs I click upon (I promise to never...or just minimally write about any pets I may have), but still, I want to be worthy. So once again, I find myself pregnant - this time it feels like a good one. Upon the recent 1st Trimester Screening confirmation that so far all is well, I've decided on pursuing the momblog thing - granted that probably doesn't make any worthiness sense since there's so many momblogs out there, but I think I have something to contribute even if that something is simply tried and true indigestion cures.
Therefore, I introduce you to the bean! Which is actually the size of a lime but introducing you to the lime sounded weird and somehow too acidic (I'm telling ya, the heartburn is BAD). And even though it's still an early-early confirmation, I have already been eyeing a few things - the Hot Wheels onesies at La La Ling, Mary Jane socks at Uncommon Goods (and EVERYTHING else in their baby shower department), and this insanely cute Stef pointed out to me. (People please, I'm very vulnerable to such cute "necessities" right now!).
Friday, January 06, 2006
But instead of complaining, I'm going to write when I can and this time, I've got yet another "great day" review.
My friend Amy is in town for a shoot (I will try not to pine for the days when I was involved in these "shoots") so I met her Wednesday night for a slumber party. We were on a search for fish & chips but settled for pasties at Kells. After that, we went to SAM. They were open til midnight to "celebrate" the temporary closing for their huge remodel. I love walking around an art museum at night - not that there are windows or anything, you just know it's nighttime and thus for some reason, it's just more fun. We walked around the Tiffany glass exhibit - I expected boring, old-lady lamps but was in awe a big chunk of the time, we putzed around the 4th floor's permanent collection then headed down for a champagne toast at midnight. Very fun. Afterwards we headed back to her hotel and stayed up forever chatting about EVERYTHING. Just as a slumber party should be.
The next morning we had breakfast at Crave. I have been plotting breakfast here ever since my friend Mike started raving about their biscuits and gravy (so far Hi-Life has the best in my eyes). Turns out, Crave only serves the little legends on Saturdays and Sundays. Oh well, we shared a great crab omelette and a really great blue cheese, bacon and apple omellete. (Apple! Who'da thunk it?)
Afterwards we looked around a hot shop on 5th Ave and looked at all the amazing glass stuff then it dawned on us that we were right by Top Pot Doughnuts, another place I've been dying to try, so since the weather was crappy (it's SO hard trying to convince people that it doesn't rain all the time when it seems to be raining all the time), we went in for some dreaminess. We shared a pumpkin glazed (good), a bullseye (just okay), and The Best Apple Fritter I Have Ever Had (and I love me some apple fritters so I've tried A LOT).
Later we played around Tower Records. Tommy called to see if I wanted to meet him and the guys he went riding with (he had a good day, too!) at Applebee's to which I replied as politely as possible, "Applebees? Are you kidding me? No friggin' way! We're headed to a delightfully messy dinner at Crab Pot!" And it was delightful and messy AND I still was able to meet Tommy and friends at Applebees to watch them eat their brownie sundaes.
So very fun.
And tonight the slumber party continues but at my place. Woo-hoo!