And the winners are...

Congratulations to Trophy Life, AthenaBee and Dri for correctly guessing the birth day of my baby! Your copies of the birth video are on their way to your homes. Enjoy!

And a very honorable mention goes out to Tiny for correctly guessing the first name! How you did that I do not know. I'll admit that it freaked me out a little :) It was really hard not to email you and tell you that you were right. Excellent guess!

But, no one goes home a loser in this game. Just take a look at the photo in the previous post, consider that your partying gift. (Is it partying gift or parting gift? I've never known which is correct.)

Thanks for playing, all!


Look what we made!

World: meet Stella Jane...

Born: December 22, 2009 @ 11:05 p.m.

Weight: 6 pounds, 6 ounces

Length: 19 3/4 inches

We named her Stella not necessarily after my great Aunt, but because of her. It was a name that we both liked and it just happens that I had a loved one with the same name. My Aunt Stella always called me "doll" and had an enviable costume jewelry collection. She liked the fancier things in life and had a great laugh. She never married or had any children.

The name Jane is after Mike's Godmother who was also the nurse of the doctor who delivered him and his 3 older siblings. His Mom befriended her after seeing the same doctor all those years. Coincidentally, she never married or had children either. (I hope we're not sealing this sweet little girl's fate.) We think it's pretty cool that we're honoring them both in this way.

We chose this name way back in July, the same weekend that we found out we were having a girl and we've never waivered on it. Not once. It's perfect. She's perfect. I can't believe I kept it secret for so long!

We are completely in love with this little girl. It's makes me cry to think about what an honor it is to be her Mom and what a special gift she has been to us already.

Look at her! Sigh. I think we'll keep her.


If you hate going to the mall at Christmas.

Try Etsy!

For the last two years, Turtle Parade and I have bought each other Christmas gifts via Etsy. We set it up like this: we each search around the Etsy site for things that we like. And we save them to our favorites. Then we tell the other when it's time to go shopping. The other person goes into their account and purchases one (or multiple) of the other's saved favorites.

Of course there is a certain amount of secrecy and trust involved with this. If I were the type that liked to ruin my Christmas, I could easily go into my account and see what has been purchased. But I'm not. I prefer to wait until Christmas Day to open my gifts. Or at least wait until the day that she and I agree to exchange gifts.

It's really quite fun. I like that we are purchasing handmade items. I like that they are unique gifts. I like that I'm not buying her a gift card. I like that I'm not buying her a sweater that she already has 18 of. The best part is is that I know she will like it - she picked it out! But she doesn't know what I've chosen, so there's still an element of surprise involved. It's totally fun.



The following photo is not for those who are easily scared:

Yes, this is my actual belly. Looking upward.

Are you as entertained by this photo as I am? It cracks me up! I can't believe how different of a perspective it is down there.

It's the final countdown.

Hold up both of your hands.

Fingers stretched out.

That's how many days we have left... 10.



I'm still feeling good. Just large. But not so much in charge.

My calisthenics involve getting out of bed or off the couch. Three or four good grunts and an "ouch" and I'm up! From the main floor of our house you either have to go up or down steps to get to a bathroom, so my calf muscles are in really good shape right about now.

I'd say this poster accurately describes how I'm feeling with 10 fingers left to go: Pick an emotion, any emotion, and I'm feeling it. I've gone through this entire poster of faces over the last couple of weeks.

But, like boyscouts, I think we are prepared. We've got bags packed, Christmas presents wrapped, tree erected, a clean house, a finished nursery, books read, doctor's phone numbers on speed dial, all major baby "stuff" put together, car seat bases installed, basic knowledge of what to expect, video camera, regular camera, underwater camera, everything that will ever touch the baby has been washed, a dog sitter has been lined up, we've notified the authorities, stopped our mail, and told all interested parties that under no circumstances is there to be a wooden stork placed in our front yard.

Let me know if there's something I'm forgetting.

Bring on the baby!


I'm guessing they didn't move on to the parlor for tea and crumpets following this meeting.

Well Lady Gaga, if that is your real name, I would have chosen to wear something a bit less pleathery to meet the Queen of England. And maybe a trowel less blood-red eye make-up too.

You've confused her. You call yourself a Lady? I mean, you're not even wearing gloves for Heaven's sake! Your hands are not folded respectfully like the gentlemen to your left. And she's probably thinking she'll see a semblance of you in her nightmares. Why, you're no Lady at auwl!

No, Queen Elizabeth, I don't think she crashed your party. If she did, she is about a week too late with that trick. People have already been there, done that, got the restraining order. Someone must have wanted to frighten you and really test your manners. I hope the Lady with the blood-red eyes and pouffy sleeves and gloveless hands doesn't haunt you tonight. But if you get a second, listen to her "Poker face" song. It's frustratingly catchy, and it's a real foot tapper.
In what universe did the tween meet? I mean really, this photo is quite the juxtaposition.


It's December.

This month changes everything. It is the month that I shall give birth to a baby girl. It is the defining month for us to say that we became parents. Forever. Somehow November 2009 already seems like a lifetime ago. It was the last month of my life I can say that I didn't have a child. And come January we won't know life without her. My mind = blown. Again.

I have decided that even after I'm done being pregnant that I will probably wear a basketball under my shirt to give off the illusion that I am pregnant. People have been so kind and friendly when they see that I've got a burgeoning belly and I hate to give that up. Strangers haven't tried to touch me or tell me inappropriate stories, they just smile at me and have sometimes told me a cute story about themselves - which has been (surprisingly) fun to hear. I've bonded with Moms at Babies R Us and we met a great couple at our birthing classes who we're fairly certain is leading our same life. Their due date is the day before mine, she and I have worn the same shirts to class twice, and we found out that we have the same doctor. I just have a gut feeling that we're destined to know them forever. Like we will end up having our babies at the same time on the same day and they'll either be best friends or end up married or something like that. Wouldn't that be something?

Overall, being pregnant has been a fantastic experience for me. I consider myself very lucky to have made it through these last 37.5 weeks with very little to complain about. In fact, I'd say I've had NOTHING to complain about. I can live with the 4 trips to the bathroom I've been making throughout the night. Part of me is sad that soon it will all be over.

But now we just have to sit and wait (Yeah, right, sit and wait...I've been nesting my butt off. Onesies don't wash themselves!) for this baby to decide when she wants us to meet her. Wow, I can't believe it's her month already!


More deep thoughts.

Every once in a while it really hits me that there is an actual human being in my stomach. Right this very second! IN MY STOMACH*! Like, here's me just walking around getting files from the filing cabinet carrying another person along with me like it's no big deal. "Oh, just excuse me and this person within my belly, we've got business to conduct. I know you can't see her but I can feel her, she's inside me kicking around and LIVING!"

My mind is blown. Thinking about anything else will cease for the rest of the day.

* I know the baby is not technically 'in my stomach'. I have a better grasp on anatomy than that. But my stomach is the area that is protruding the most. I suppose I could say the baby is in my thighs or my behind because they are protruding as well, but that is even less accurate. So, the baby is in my stomach for the sake of this story, mmmkay?


Class #3 Highlights.

You know how these things go, the beginning and the ending are always fun and the middle is usually so-so. That's where we are at this point. But this class was not without its highlights:
  • It was tour the hospital night. In this particular hospital, everything is done in one room. So we didn't get to see a big nursery full of newborns, but we were able to see that there is an Arby's right across the street from the hospital. So that was good to know. (I hope I don't get the room with that view. I feel that giving birth by the red glow of the Arby's sign might take away from the moment a bit.)
  • While on the tour, the teacher asked if anyone was born in this hospital. Turns out, I was. She asked what month I was born. I told her June. She asked what year I was born. I told her that I didn't see how that was any of her business. (I really did. She laughed and told me that no one has ever given her that response. Hee hee.) They had all of these books dating back to the 1950's or so that had baby's names listed in the year and month they were born... if their parents paid $1 to have their kid's name placed in it. I guess my parents weren't giving the hospital one more dollar because my name wasn't there. So I told the whole class how old I was for nothing. Aaaand, I'm pretty sure I'm the oldest one in the class. Mike said there were audible gasps when I revealed the year I was born. The only other normal couple in the class that we really like told me later that they were sure I was born in the 80's. Ha!
  • The couple who got into a fight last week actually showed up this week. And not only that, but a gigantic hickey on the girl's neck showed up as well! I'm guessing that means they made up. And to show what a stand-up guy he is, he wore his best marijuana leaf t-shirt. They're cute.
  • I'm pretty sure Mike's favorite parts of the night were all of the lunging that our 65-year-old, 4-foot-nuthin' teacher was doing to demonstrate the best positions for labor. She was slinging her foot up on chairs and lunging in the hallway all night.
  • While in the room on the tour, the teacher told us that a lot of people find sitting on the toilet comfortable during labor because it's a good sitting position. But then when you're a certain amount dilated it's time to move elsewhere because you don't want to give birth while on the toilet and have your baby fall in. Ha! Which led many to recall a certain show titled, "I didn't know I was pregnant" in which a woman claimed to have given birth while going to the bathroom. I didn't see the show, but I did see Joel McHale's spoof on it on "The Soup" in which he reminded pregnant women to "check their poop for children", which I found hilarious! Is that show for real? I don't think I can bring myself to watch it.

I think that was about it for this week. Next week we will be discussing what you do when the baby is actually here. This is the info I've been waiting for. I'm pretty sure I knew that labor/contractions would hurt, but I'm not entirely sure how to swaddle a baby or how I go about not breaking her. I'll be taking copious notes.


33 weeks and Class #2

Here's me at 33 weeks. I took this photo because 1) I wanted to document my 33rd week of pregnancy 2) I had just gotten my haircut and wanted to show off the cute way she styled it and 3) I wanted to show off our messy bathroom.

Looks like I better devote my serious Nesting tendencies to the bathroom next.

So, 33 weeks. Feelin' good. It's pretty crazy to be lying on the couch with a t-shirt, sweatshirt and blanket on and notice the blanket move when she kicks! Someone's got some powerful legs/arms/elbows/knees/head/behind in there.

Lately I've been super thirsty. I even drank two glasses of milk this morning - that never happens. And I have the co-worker who brought in donuts to thank for that. See, donuts are a good thing, they promote milk drinking! I see a definite co-marketing campaign there.

The nursery is 98% complete! And is 100% cute! (Aside from the rocker recliner we got from La-Z-boy. Who it turns out, is actually lazy and is completely devoid of customer service skills. Don't get either one of us started on the experience we've had dealing with them. It ain't pretty. I expected better.) But I shall try and take some photos of that. It's probably my favorite room in the house. I just sit in there and stare at things and contemplate how different life will be in 45 days, give or take.

Holy moly.

Last night was Childbirth class #2.

There was a lot of talk about contractions. I'm still not convinced that I'll know what a contraction is. (I'm sure there's lots of moms out there chuckling at me right now.) But I have yet to understand how they will feel and I wonder if I've experienced any at this point? The teacher said that everything will get hard, I may have felt that, but with the rock-hard abs I had already, who's to say? (Now I'm chuckling.)

You know what's amazing to me? The irony of the miraculous and beautiful experience of having child coupled with some of the nastiest bodily functions one can produce. I don't like to think of it like that, but we saw some disturbing videos last night and I can't not think about it. I hope that goes away.

Aside from all of that, there was some serious drama with a couple in the class. A couple who, last week, was all schmoopie schmoopie with each other got into a big 'ole fight this week. I didn't hear what went down, but it started when she moved her seat away from his. Then they didn't get up and do the "labor dance" that we were taught. Then she left the room and he didn't follow. After a while, he got up and left and the teacher wondered if she was ok, and that maybe she was in labor in the bathroom. (She's old and sweet.) A few minutes went by and we heard her crying and screaming at this guy in the hallway. Couldn't really make out what she was saying but it didn't sound good. He came back in, got their pillow and blanket, and did not return. Eeks. Wonder if they'll be back next week?

So that was class #2 - contractions, bodily fluids, and drama. Oh, and more chirping birds. Next week we take a field trip through the hospital.

In the news.

This story makes me physically ill.

If I were this animal's attorney, I'm pretty sure I would be working a lot less harder than usual.


Class #1.

Childbirth Class #1 - For the most part this first night was introductory - here's what's going on, here's how your baby is growing, here are signs to watch out for, etc. - but it was fun for me to realize how REAL this all is now. I'm not learning this stuff to take a test, I'm learning it because we will be doing it! Like, soon. Surreal moment for me.

I would guess there were about 20 people there. All with different due dates so it was hard to compare my belly against theirs. The teacher has been doing this for 39 years and has had 5 children, so I guess she's legit. There was a powerpoint presentation and some short videos and handouts and free swag. The usual. The best part of it was probably the massaging. We were taught how to massage while in labor and the teacher expressed how important touch can be to soothe a woman in labor. Awesome. I hope that's true. I hope I'm not like people on tv (tv reference once again) who are screaming at their spouse and saying mean things. That doesn't sound pleasant. I don't want to be unpleasant.

Perhaps the funniest part of the whole night, which my retelling of the story won't be as remotely funny as it was at the time, but I'll share anyway...

We had to wear name tags - these were pre-written name tags, and I'm guessing that they were written by the teacher. Very legibly-written name tags too. So she went around the room and asked each person to say one word that they associate with childbirth. We were sitting in the back row. As she gets to my husband, Mike, she says, "Adam, what's a word you associate with childbirth?" We looked at each other and snickered. What do you mean, Adam? His name tag quite clearly says MIKE, and YOU WROTE IT! But the moment I LOST IT was when she asked the woman seated on the other side of me (also in the back row), Jacquese, to name a word she associates with childbirth. Jacquese! Are you kidding? You could read and pronounce Jacquese, but you mistook Mike for Adam? I couldn't contain myself, I was laughing and crying hysterically and Mike/Adam was laughing which only made me laugh harder. I could not stop. I had to leave the room. And this was in the first 5 minutes. I thought we were going to be asked to leave. But I eventually pulled it together.

Trust me, it was funny.

So you know how every class like this has "That Guy" or "That Girl" who annoyingly asks ridiculous questions? Well, we didn't have one of those. Thankfully. But what we did have, was the resident douchebag. We had this guy: At the beginning when she was asking for word associations, this guy says "pain", and proceeds to tell us how he has a much higher pain tolerance than his wife/girlfriend and how he would be better at childbirth than she will be. Yeah, he said that. I was all, "What am I doing sitting here next to Mike/Adam when I coulda had that guy?" Darn my luck!

It gets worse.

As we moved on to the massage portion of the class, the teacher, who was quite lovely despite her inability to correctly read a name tag, was talking about how important it is for the man to be a good partner and do their best to make the woman feel comfortable and relaxed during childbirth, to which this guy says, "Why, so the woman can turn around and screw us in the end?" It was special. This guy is a prize. I look forward to hearing what other kind things he has to say about the miracle of childbirth and his love for his woman.

But all in all, it was an enjoyable two hours. I appreciate the knowledge drop. And I enjoyed the time with my husband, Adam, learning about our baby.


Chapter 1 - "When a Mommy and Daddy love each other"...

Tonight is our first Childbirth class! It is the first of 5 classes - once a week for the next five weeks. I'm oddly excited about it. I'm interested to see if it's how it's always depicted on tv and the movies, because that's my frame of reference for most things in life. Like, "I wonder if riding in a gondola in Venice is as romantic as they make it look in the movies?" . . . As it turns out, riding in a gondola with your husband could be romantic IF your parents aren't also riding in it with you. The times I've seen it on tv, never has anyone's parents been along for the ride. Oh well, it was a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience nonetheless. And had my parents not been on that gondola, we wouldn't have been either. So it's all a matter of perspective. (Which reminds me, I have yet to post our Italy photos. Oops.)

Anyhoodle, we are supposed to take a pillow and blanket. I'm encouraged by this. Maybe Mike will have to do all the work and they want all the exhausted Moms to find a nice cot and take a nap for two hours? How relaxing! Oh but then they want me (us?) to wear athletic clothing as there is some sort of exercise element to this, so maybe not. Hopefully they mean exercise in the form of walking, because at this point, any sort of bending, stretching, or lifting of any body part is pretty much a no-go.

I'm also interested to see the other parents-to-be. What will they be like? Will they be younger than us? Older than us? Will the ladies tummies be bigger than mine? Smaller than mine? Will we even talk to anyone else in the class? To their faces, I mean. What's the teacher's story? Will she be old? Young? Will she have kids? If not, why should I listen to her? Will they make us watch that horrendous video that we saw in Health class in junior high? (That poor woman didn't even realize that her vagina was going to be exposed to thousands of 12 and 13-year-olds in an attempt to frighten them into staying away from sex. I hoping that they told her that afterward so she could at least have a pleasant experience at the time.) Is the information they're going to give me common sense information that I should already know or will I need to take copious notes? Is this class going to make me feel good about my ability to parent or will I freak out and realize that I have no idea what I've gotten myself in to? Will there be a snack?

All these questions and so many more are swirling around my brain. Can't wait to find out the answers!


Let's play a game. I like games.

I very much enjoy guessing games. My Mom and I like to guess the exact time we will get home after one of our far-away shopping trips. And when I was younger, my Dad and I would always watch the lottery drawing and try to guess the numbers before they popped up. Good wholesome fun for the whole family.

So in keeping with that family tradition, I'd like to play the "What date will my baby be born, at what time and how much will she weigh?" game. Feel free to guess a name too if you'd like. My due date is December 20, so you can use that as your jumping off point.

The winner will be determined by the person who guesses the date correctly and is closest on the time. Weight is a little too hard to guess correctly, I don't want anyone to be turned off by this complicated process. You can still guess how much you think she will weigh, it just won't be factored into the final judging.

As an incentive, the winner will receive a copy of the video of my birthing experience. This is a family game after all. And you did spend some time thinking about this, so allowing you to share in the experience is the least we can do.

To keep it fair, I will take myself out of the running. With all of my number guessing experience, I have an unfair advantage. Plus I probably know my uterus better than any of you.

So, your guesses please.


730 days.

Hey Mike,

Remember that one time we got married?

Me too. It was the greatest day of my life.


Love Always, Me


I knew this day would come.

Despite the fact that I am smiling in this photo, my heart was breaking at this moment.

It is quite possibly the last time I will sit in my super cute VW Jetta. (If the guy who might be buying it isn't a total idiot, that is.) I had this car for 8 years, 8 wonderful years. I bought it new in 2002 and it just fit me. I have a lot of pride in the fact that I bought it and paid it off like a responsible adult. And continued to love it even after the newness wore off.

In 8 years I only put 71,104 miles on it. That makes me laugh. Living across the street from work is so ridiculous, I hope I'm appreciating my commute as much as I should.

She was only in one accident and it was a lame one. I was rear ended by some punk kid who had a spiked license plate holder on his truck, so there were 12 holes poked into my bumper in a perfect rectangle. I still shake my head at that one.

I know it's silly to be attached to a car, but I'm a sentimental gal. And I'm not sorry for that. But, it's time to move on and let someone else enjoy her. I will be getting a more family-friendly car, which is cool, I just love new car smell. But I shall miss her and will think of her often.

So, what do we think of Jetta for a middle name for a daughter?... I'm thinking I like it. We'll name her after our dog and my car - Nora Jetta. Then she will move to Hollywood and end up marrying a guy named Sparrow and all will be right with the world.

UPDATE: Dude isn't buying my car. It's official, he's an idiot. But that does mean that my car and I will be reunited!


Look what we made!

World: meet Stella Jane...

Born: December 22, 2009 @ 11:05 p.m.

Weight: 6 pounds, 6 ounces

Length: 19 3/4 inches

We named her Stella not necessarily after my great aunt but it was a name that we both liked and it just happens that I had a loved one with the same name. My aunt Stella always called me "doll" and had an enviable costume jewelry collection. She liked the fancier things in life and had a great laugh. She never married or had any children.

The name Jane is after Mike's Godmother who was also the nurse to the doctor who delivered him and his 3 older siblings. His Mom befriended her after going to the same doctor all those years. Coincidentally, she never married or had children either. (I hope we're not sealing this sweet little girl's fate.) We think it's kinda cool to honor them both in this way.

We chose this name way back in July, the same weekend we found out we were having a girl and we've never waivered on it. Not once. It's perfect. She's perfect. I can't believe I actually kept it a secret this long!

We are completely in love with this little girl already. It makes me cry to think about what an honor it is to be her Mom and what a special gift she has been to us already.

Look at her! Sigh. I think we'll keep her.

My lovely lady lumps

It's true what they say...

... horizontal stripes DO make you look wider. Or maybe it's the baby? Either way, ain't our baby cute?

Photo taken on the eve of my 7th month of pregnancy. Almost 28 weeks.

Ahh, memories.

Since I am in the family way, I've been thinking a lot about nice family traditions that I'd either like to start or continue.

So I pose this question to you:
What is your favorite family tradition? Either one that you've started or one that you did with your family.

I'm looking for ideas to steal. So make 'em good!


Keep your hands off!

I was watching my beloved "Good Morning America" this morning, for which we installed a television in our bathroom so that I could watch as I'm getting ready. That's how much I love it. Plus it's super cool to have a flat screen tv in your bathroom...you should look into it.

In any event, they were talking about cold and flu germs and how you can take precautions against them this season. For one thing, they said to avoid touching your face. The average person touches their face approximately 19 TIMES AN HOUR! Think about that. Think about all the things you touch in an hour and then think about touching your face after that. Gag.

They also reported that children are better about washing their hands than adults. They wash them more thoroughly and for a longer amount of time. I witness on a daily basis adults who don't even bother to get their hands wet after going to the bathroom. It's part of the reason I avoid using the restrooms at my place of business. These people are pigs. Luckily I live across the street from work so if I need to go that badly, I drive home. For serious.

And something else I found interesting. You know that thoughtful person who brings donuts in for all to enjoy? I do love a good donut surprise! But leaving them on a counter for everyone to walk up to and breathe all over is actually spreading tons of bacteria. So if you are going to enjoy that donut, be the first one to take yours and try to avoid going back for seconds. Because the remaining donuts - which are usually jelly-filled anyway, blech - are ridden with germs. This is also why at potlucks, I like to be the first person through the line. Not only because I want to be the first to stuff my face, but because I want to avoid eating 25 people's germs.

I don't know if pregnancy is making me extra-cautious about germs and the flu, but I am taking a strong stand to protect myself this season.

And I'm pretty sure I've touched my face 4 times in the time it took me to type this post. Now, I shall go home and wash my hands and face and perhaps soak in an antibacterial sanitizer bubble bath.


Just a taste.

I still need to weed through the photos and compose a post from our trip to Italy, so hopefully this will tide you over for now. Here is the four of us outside of the Coliseum in Rome - definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Those two wonderful people on the right of the photo are my lovely, gracious parents. The two people on either side of the four of us are real Gladiators. The guy in the background wearing the brown shirt is a jerk.

You'll notice that we are wearing pants. That's because after the Coliseum we were headed to St. Peter's Basilica, in which you are not allowed to have your shoulders or knees exposed. Clearly this picture was taken early in our Coliseum excursion because by the end, my sleeves were pushed up and my pants were rolled up, because it was a cool 108 degrees that day (no joke) and we were wearing JEANS. Apparently every one else knew that they could wear shorts and bring pants to change into. We will remember that for next time.

On the upside, through this tour group we were on (Tauck - look them up, they were fabulous. I couldn't imagine taking a trip like this on our own), we were able to walk right past the line of people who probably waited two hours in line just to buy tickets. We were total VIPs on this trip, it was awesome!

More to come...

P.S. I HATE wearing flats!


Hello, my name is....

So we've decided on a name for our baby girl! But we are keeping it a secret until she is here because we'd like to avoid the, "oh, that's my neighbor's dog's name" or "ooh, I knew someone in school with that name and I hated her" or "oh really? {wrinkled face} I'm not sure how I feel about that" nonsense that usually follows. And we like it that we are the only ones who know for now. Especially since every already knows it's a girl, there has to be some element of mystery. Plus it's really fun for us.

Nobody is trying as hard to guess the name as my aunt. The last two times I've seen her, she's probably thrown out 398 names. She's convinced that she's guessed correctly about 6 times, with 6 different names.

I've stopped trying to call the baby by her given name (hee hee!) at home because if I get into the habit of it, I'm positive I'll slip at some point. So for now, she's MD3.

Here's a question we've been struggling with: we LOVE our dog's name - Nora. It's super cute and it flows nicely with our last name. We strongly considered naming our daughter Nora, but think that people would silently judge our decision to name our daughter after our dog. So, would you judge us or someone else you know for naming their daughter or son after their dog? Could we really get away with it? Honesty is appreciated.


Arrivederci, Italia!

WOW! How do you sum up 8 fantastic days in Italy? Once I've gone through the hundreds of photos that were taken, I shall post all about it. It won't be easy, but I'll give it a shot. I may have to do multiple posts day-by-day or city-by-city.

It's just hard to believe we were even there. It's amazing to think that a place like Italy exists. Because it is such a stark contrast from NW Ohio, it's hard to fathom. But I guess that's why we appreciate vacations so much. And that's usually why I cry when it's time to come home.

But, we had a great time. I think my Dad's 60th birthday was a happy one. Shall post more soon.


Fun fact: Italians don't have a word for goodbye. Arrivederci means "see you later or "til we meet again" because they don't believe it's forever, you will see each other again. And when they wave, they don't wave with their palms to the other person or with their fingers to them, instead they do it backward - like they are waving to themselves. Which, to me, isn't backward, that's the way it should be. I thought it was a nice sentiment.


Happy Birthday, Two Pretzels!

Today is the birthday of our dear friend, Two Pretzels. If it were my birthday or your birthday, she would have posted a photo and a happy birthday wish for us, so it's only fair that she receive the same.

Kylee, I think I speak for all of your friends and followers when I say that you deserve the best birthday one could ask for. We are entertained by you daily and are most definitely GLAD THAT YOU WERE BORN!

Have a happy day, dear, dear Friend!




MD3 is now officially a GIRL!

And she's a happy baby already! We could see her smile and she had her mouth open and moving! It was the cutest thing ever. We've got a future comedienne in here. Telling jokes and making herself laugh...she takes after me already!

MD guessed GIRL from the beginning, so I must give credit where credit is due. And the 12 other of you who said GIRL, you can now have the satisfaction of knowing you were right. Thanks for playing!

My Dad said, "Oh great, another shopping partner for you and your mom!" In honor of that, I must now go and do some online shopping for fun, girly pink stuff!

Thank you all for being excited! Even those of you who don't know me. How cool to have such nice people to share in this special time!



Polls are now closed.

It appears as though the majority of you - 17 to be exact - believe that our baby is a BOY.

13 of you said GIRL.

That's 30 total votes! Wow, thank you!

WE WILL KNOW TOMORROW (squeal!) and I shall report the outcome and let you know which batch of voters was correct.

I'm so excited I can barely stand it!


17 weeks.

Here is the only photo that's been taken of my belly so far. Taken two weeks ago, I'll be 19 weeks on Friday. I'm mad at me. I simply must do this more often. Because 20 weeks from now, 20 years from now, it will be too late. I can't have that.

I've never shown this much skin on the Internet. My head is cut off to protect the innocent.

P.S. Guess whose husband showed them how to get photos off the camera and onto the computer? There will be no stopping me now!

P.P.S. There is only 16 hours left to vote on what you think the sex of the baby is. Does the belly give any indication?


Baby Poll.

What do you think our baby is? Please provide your guess to the right.

The ultrasound appointment is scheduled for next Friday at 10! I shall reveal the results shortly thereafter.

(This is exciting!)


It's been recommended that I start posting pregnancy information. And I think that's a darn good idea. I'm mad at myself for not taking a picture of my belly yet, so in the interim, I shall use this sweet photo.

Here's where I'm at:
  • As of today, Wednesday, July 15, I am 17.5 weeks pregnant. I will be 18 weeks on Friday.
  • I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and so far I have gained 11 pounds.
  • The baby's heartbeat was going at 156 beats per minute (Yes, I am aware of the old wives' tale on heart rate.)
  • We can find out the sex next week! That was a huge deal for me yesterday.
  • The doctor I was seeing moved to another state. May have to get a boy doctor. Still debating that one. Luckily the nurse practioner I've seen for years (she was in the delivery room when I was born!) is still there.
  • My clothes are just now getting to the point of not fitting, yet I'm still trying to squeeze into them for as long as I can. Shirts are really gapping at the bust and I'm just doing my best to not provide a free show at work. I haven't buttoned my pants in about two weeks. I have been wearing maternity jeans, which I love! That full panel thing is tres comfy! All pants should be like that.
  • I'm trying to walk on the treadmill a couple times a week and lift 5-pound weights.
  • I'm not craving any weird things, but I'm still eating the heck out of fruit - you name it, cherries, grapes, apples, kiwi, bananas - all of it.
  • Still drinking lots of orange juice.
  • I haven't felt any flutters yet, but I'm eagerly anticipating that moment.
  • I'm no longer tired all the time. Except for when it's really hot outside.
  • I'm ready to start buying stuff! We already have a swing and a pack 'n play that we got from a friend of my Mom's. Which we've had since Week 10.
  • My place of business has a child care center and we got word yesterday that we are off the waiting list and are in for Spring '10! The child care center was one of the first places that I called when I found out I was pregnant. The place fills up fast. Like, a year in advance! It'll be nice to have the baby right here. I can see the building from my window.

Um, I think that's about it for now.


Ciao, bellas!

Our trip to Italy has been booked, the plane tickets have been purchased, and I've been working on my Italian, as the title of this post clearly indicates!

I still can't believe we're going. And that we're going so soon! Normally people plan these trips months, even years, in advance. Not my family, we leave next month! I won't say exactly when, because you know the Internets, there are probably people stalking our compound as I type. You can't trust people you follow on Twitter these days :) It's just a joke, I fully trust all 27 of my followers, you seem like good people.

The part I'm most looking forward to is our time in Venice. Riding a gondola in Venice was on my list of things to do before I pass. And that sounds a lot more appealing and practical than jumping out of an airplane, which is also on my list. I just hope the two won't go hand in hand.

But I think the coolest part of this whole trip is that, for the first time in their lives, both of my parents have to get a passport. This will be the first trip out of the country for both of them. Something about that brings a tear to my eye. And makes me smile.

Here's our itinerary, it's an 8-day trip that is chock full of fun:

Day 1 – See the glories of Ancient Rome. Welcome to Rome, where your family begins this most excellent of Tauck Italy tours; a drive through the heart of the city reveals relics of Imperial Rome, once capital of the ancient world. Walk through one of the Colosseum's 80 entrances to step back in time on a guided tour of what might be the world's most famous arena, and pose for pictures with Roman Centurions (count on it.) ; and explore the temples and basilicas of the Roman Forum, nerve center of the ancient empire. Join us for a welcome dinner tonight at your hotel.

Day 2 – Rome at leisure and a private after-hours Vatican tour. Most of the day is yours to explore more of Rome's iconic sights on your own, from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain; be sure to make a wish there to ensure your return to the "Eternal City." Later, Tauck's family journey through Italy tours one of the world's most famous houses of worship, magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica. This evening, join us for a Tauck Exclusive – a privately guided after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums (no way!), full of fascinating history and artistic masterpieces. View Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel (sounds incredible!) – which the artist originally resisted doing because he considered himself a sculptor, not a painter – without the usual crowds (my dad will LOVE this part)!

Day 3 – Through Orvieto's tunnels and Tuscany's hills to Florence. Discoveries abound on this most delightful of Italy tours today as your family sets off through rural Umbria and Tuscany. The first stop on your travels is walled Orvieto, perched on a volcanic plateau; a guided tour takes you under its cobblestone streets to explore the town's honeycombed medieval tunnels, and caves dating back to the time of the ancient Etruscans. Then it's on to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, where you'll check out Michelangelo's famed statue of David (I'll take pics for you ladies out there) and other great works at the Galleria dell'Accademia, the oldest art school in the world.

Day 4 – The Leaning Tower and pizza-making in Pisa. An excursion from Florence takes you to Pisa for a look at this maritime city's great medieval buildings – including a glimpse of the remarkable Leaning Tower and more of Pisa's "field of miracles" – followed by a tasty lunchtime pizza-making demonstration (um, fun!). Return to Florence for an evening as you please.

Day 5 – Florentine treasures at the Uffizi Gallery. More great Renaissance art awaits in Florence today. A local art historian shares insights about the Renaissance and prepares you for a visit to the Uffizi Gallery, the world's oldest art gallery, where you'll see masterpieces galore – including Michelangelo’s painting of The Holy Family and Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (I may have to work on being more "arty" before this day). The rest of the day is free for your family to explore more of Florence as you wish.

Day 6 – Travel to Venice aboard the high-speed Eurostar. A first-class rail journey aboard the high-speed Eurostar takes your family to Venice, a city of islands where the roads are paved with water, and a treasured memory of many Italy tours. Ride a private boat to the city's heart for lunch along the Grand Canal, followed by a walking tour of massive St. Mark’s Square, and a visit to the Doges’ Palace; learn why a small bridge high above a canal is called the Bridge of Sighs. Later, a musician serenades your family as you ride in a gondola (squee!), traveling through the canals as the Venetians have done for centuries!

Day 7 – Experience Venice your wayIf there is any city in Europe that is perfect for just wandering, seeing and experiencing, it is Venice. Follow the small, cobbled streets and alleyways to see where they lead; visit a museum, sample some gelato (I MUST have) (served warmer and creamier than traditional ice cream), or just feed the pigeons (this is doubtful, we didn't go to Italy to feed pigeons. Hello, shopping time!) in Saint Mark’s Square. Tonight, please join us for a farewell reception and dinner, as this most memorable of family Italy tours draws to a spectacular close.

Day 8 – Homeward boundTour ends: Venice. Fly home anytime. If you did throw that coin into Trevi Fountain, legend has it that you will return to L’Italia Bella again someday!

I'd love to hear from anyone who has been. I love travel tips and suggestions.

(Damn, I'm gettin' good.)


This is a serious WTF?

The following flier was in our mailbox the other day. I would like to share with you and would love to know you think it means. You ready?

[Typed verbatim]

The sun has been increasing in size! Many people are unaware of this event, except Hillary Clinton. We have spoken with him. He said that we need to do something to protect and save our children, and we do! The sun will grow and earth will soon reach up to 800 to 900 degrees. We know this because citizens on Mercury and Venus have already experienced this blazing event. NASA does not even know about this, but we do. Rely on us and follow our procedures...

1. Buy saran wrap.
2. Cover your children except their heads.
3. Store them in freezer from ten to twenty years.

This should keep your children safe and the non-believers burned to a liquid.

Thank You For Helping.
Great. And we chose now to have a baby? What we were thinking? I guess I better go stock up on saran wrap. And possibly get Hillary Clinton on the horn so he can explain.


Lazy blurbs.

Time for my "lazy can't think of a good post so here are some bullet points" post:
  • Today, I am 31. How? I was just getting used to 30. Where did this number come from? My brother-in-law has told me that 31 was harder for him than 30, because not only was he 30, he was 30 + something. I've been contemplating that thought today.
  • I choose to not work on my birthday. Having a summer birthday, I never had to go to school, so why should I go to work? I encourage everyone to take their birthday off. It's the one day of the year people are supposed to be nice to you. Who needs annoying work emails or phone calls? I'd much rather wake up, have a Barry's Bagels Eggel and my decaf Starbucks and go shopping then lay out in the sun like I plan on doing today. I don't need anyone's nonsense.
  • By the time this day comes around next year, I will have a six-month-old!
  • I am officially in my second trimester. I'd say I had a very successful first trimester. No sickness to speak of. And I think I'm starting to get over the excessive tiredness. I would also like to point out that I am wearing my skinny jeans today and they are buttoned - booyah!
  • "Breaking Bad" is one hell of a tv show. It's on AMC. Get the dvds. Watch them.
  • This next one will make me (and my husband) cry... we found out last week that we totally missed the Coldplay concert that we had tickets to. It was June 2, which we realized on June 9. D'oh! My stomach hurts just thinking about it. But because my husband is great, he got tickets to another of their concerts in Wisconsin next month. (It's July 30*... PLEASE REMIND ME!) We got engaged in Wisconsin, so we will be staying at the hotel that he proposed in. Very sweet! Almost makes missing the first concert worth it. Almost.
  • My Dad has decided he wants to go to Italy for his birthday celebration. He found an awesome 8-day trip. Now, I have to contact Mastercard to convince my Mom that the cost of this trip is "priceless". Sidenote: for 4 people to fly first class to Rome would cost $12,500! Hahhah!
  • I have fantastic friends.


*UPDATE: OMG! The friggin Coldplay concert that we are seeing is JULY 25! Not the 30th. Ugh, we are destined to miss another one.


I guess I need to get one of those creepy spinning baby graphics for the side of my blog.

[Alternate title: Oh, so this is what boobs look like...]

It's true, MD and I are going to be parents!

Finding out you are pregnant is incredibly exciting. (I know, news flash.) We found out right before we took our road trip to Charlotte in April. (Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 9:38 p.m. to be exact.) So I had 11 hours to focus on our news while trying not to blurt it out to our friends who we were traveling with. Which, ultimately, we ended up telling them that weekend anyway. There was no way I could have pulled off not drinking for a whole weekend. We were there for a wedding, it's what we do!

I took a pregnancy test after being extremely tired and late. But I had been feeling crampy so I was sure that I wasn't. (Little did I know, they were uterus-growing cramps.) I waited the designated amount of time and like the previous months, I announced from the bathroom that time was up. I glanced at it. Then I STARED at it. Two lines!?

That particular test didn't have a key on it, so I took the test and the paper downstairs to Mike, not uttering a sound. I handed both to him. We squealed (ok, I squealed) and hugged and said "Oh my God!" a few hundred times. Then I quickly drank a few glasses of water and took another one. Positive. Then I took two more a week later. Juuust to make sure. Positive and positive. No doubt about any of them.

Being a Nervous Nelly, I have been hesitant to tell people too early. But it's been a lot of fun. Seeing people's raw genuine reactions is great. I love surprises. To say that my parents were excited is the understatement of the new millenium. And my totally great sister-in-law hopped around the house. Not too many people hop anymore.

One thing (aside from the obvious miracle and growing chest) that has really pleased me about becoming pregnant is the fact that I've discovered that I don't drink because I have to, I drink because I just like it. I truly enjoy a nice glass of wine and a cold beer. And I miss them both. It's a small price to pay though. They'll be there after I have the baby. (Like, in the waiting room I hope.)

I was one of the lucky ones. I haven't had any bouts of morning, afternoon or evening sickness. Although certain foods have not sounded remotely appealing - like whole wheat crackers. There was no way I could have swallowed the one that I chewed. No way. It tasted like pure evil. And sometimes, even my lifelong friend CHEESE doesn't always sound good. Which is upsetting. I hope that it, too, will be there for me after I have the baby. However, I can't get enough apples. Bring on the Fujis! (And the potato chips and french onion dip! I'm embarrassed to share how much of those I've eaten so far.) And suddenly I'm drinking orange juice again after, oh, I don't know... 18 years? It's so random how this works. But I'm loving it.

Truth: There was a time in my life where I wasn't sure if I wanted to have kids. I've always liked them, I just wasn't comfortable around them. I wasn't around kids all that much growing up. My family is relatively small and everyone is close to my age, so I didn't have people 10-15 years older than me who had kids. But I'd say over the last 5 years or so I really started to grow fond of children. My cousins started having them and I saw how much they enjoyed them and I oohed and ahhed over them and held them and became a Godparent to one of them.

And then I met my husband.

And I saw how close he is with his siblings. He takes every other year-ly trips with his two older brothers and his sister thinks the world of him. That solidified it. I thought, "Let's do this. I want that in my life." I want to have children who are great friends and I want to build that family environment with Christmas traditions and vacations and birthday parties and hugs just because. I want to hold my kid's little hand and read them funny stories and laugh about silly things they say or do. I want to have that experience with my husband of being at the hospital looking at each other and realizing that our whole lives are about to change forever. I WANT THAT. And, I want my parents to be grandparents. It wouldn't be fair to the world if they weren't.

Not to mention how great my husband is with our nieces and nephews. I have NO DOUBT that he will be an awesome father. Loving and protective all at the same time. And he's great at impressions so he will definitely know how to make them laugh :) Why wouldn't I want to have a baby with him?

I would definitely like more than one, if we are so blessed. I've been an only child - it's ok, it has its perks, but personally I can't help but think I'm missing out on something more. I don't want that for my kids.

So, I'm 11 weeks today. I've had an ultrasound and been to various doctor's appointments and it looks like little MD3 is due December 20. What a wonderful Christmas present we will have this year!


Help us plan our vacation.

It's a milestone year for my good 'old Dad. He'll be 60 this year and really wants to take a family trip. Since MD and I had such a good time in Vegas last year, we thought that would be a good choice. My Mom agreed. But apparently my Dad was thinking bigger. He wants to go to Budapest, Hungary. His Mom is Hungarian and he thought it would be cool to go back to his roots.

Ok, great! When do we leave!? I mean, how cool does this building look? We're in!

Not so fast.
Once he discovered there was a possibility of a 12-hour layover, he quickly dismissed that idea. My dad is not a very patient man. He's nice, but impatient. And a 12-hour layover simply will not work. In fact, he may find himself vacationing alone if the rest of us must endure that time with him.

So now he's thinking England. And in his words, "Not London, more like where the Beatles are from. " I'm thinking that means Liverpool. Which is cool, too. I guess.

Budapest just seems more exotic. And we would be incredibly lucky to get to go there. It's definitely not a place you go very often. There aren't too many flyers for Budapest in the airports.

So, what do we think? Do we go to Budapest and risk breaking up with my Dad? Do we go to the place where the Beatles are from? Or do we go to the place where you can see Paris, New York, the pyramids of Egypt, the volcanos of Hawaii and the pirate ships of Somalia all on one big street... otherwise known as Vegas?



Happy Birthday to my BFF, Turtle Parade! Hope your day is EXTRA special this year!

How is that you are 31 and I will be 29 in June and we were born the same year? Hmm. Weird.

Love you!


If given the option, I would prefer to fly the friendly skies.

This evening I will be embarking on my third road trip. Which to me is anything over 6 hours.

My first road trip was a family vacation to Niagra Falls/Toronto/Syracuse, NY when I was nine years old. The parts where we were far away from the car were by far the best memories of that trip. Riding in a car for 10 hours with my Dad still gives me nightmares. Let's just say he isn't winnning World's Most Patient Driver awards any time soon. He has very little tolerance for other drivers. Which, who don't?, but when you're 9 and you're thinking you're heading for some family fun, and you see your Dad give the finger on numerous occasions, you put your head down and sleep the rest of the trip. It was the last time we ever drove to a vacation destination.

And I really didn't do much road tripping in college. I majored in Psychology my freshman year, so I can accurately determine that it's because of the experiences I had driving with my Dad that kept me away from them. I didn't need that stress in my life at the time.

My most recent road trip was to New York City two summers ago with MD, Turtle Parade and Mr. Turtle Parade. I'm happy to say that that road trip was far less painful than my first one. It was fun, we didn't get lost once (not even in The City!), and no one got pissed, everyone kept their fingers to themselves.

So let's hope this streak continues as we head to Charlotte in a minivan tonight.

I got all my road trip snacks, the Garmin, the portable DVD player, the laptop, the laptop adapter, the iPod, the iPod charger, everything you (now) need for a road trip. We're bringing the paper map, but only to use as toilet paper if we have to stop along the side of the road.


So unnecessary.

If Levi Johnston is hoping to have a relationship with his son with Bristol Palin, I would suggest he keep his mouth shut and stay out of the press and talk shows. Especially the Tyra Banks show. Are you kidding me?

I'm sure it's difficult for him to not see his son as often as he would like, but he's not doing himself any favors by airing his dirty laundry to the nation. Methinks he has ulterior motives. Like he's hoping to get on a reality show or something.

It's just an unfortunate situation all the way around.


One of my favorite days of the year.

Twenty-nine years ago TODAY, in southern Indiana, a wonderful man was born. A man who is witty, handsome, more intelligent than a person should be allowed to be, thoughtful, fun to travel with, dog-loving, great dishwasher loader, fantastic lawnmower, unfearful of fires, fixer of anything, lover of beer and a heartwarming family man who has great taste in television, music and wife-choosing, but not so much in birthday restaurant choosing. And lucky for me, he is my HUSBAND.

And I am crazy thankful he was born because he has brought so much to my life that I can barely stand it. Most notably, goat cheese. I'm only kidding! But the other things are 'schmoopie' things that I shall keep between us.

So today, I honor him and celebrate him and marvel at what a great man he is.

Happy Birthday Mike! I love you. You mean THE WORLD to me.



I've never been much of a concert-goer in the past. I enjoy them and all, but they just weren't something that was ever a priority to me. In fact, the few concerts that I've been to embarrass me and would certainly cause you to question my musical tastes and probably my overall character.

Things have changed, however.

Now I absolutely love seeing people perform live. Before I see a concert I listen to their cds ad nauseum so that I know the words and can sing along. And after the fact, I'm usually so enthralled with whoever I just saw for about a month. So I continue to listen to the cd to bring back the fun and excitement of seeing them in concert. I love it. Perhaps it's because I've been seeing bigger acts who put on more of a show? I dunno.

So here's our recent and upcoming concert tour schedule*:

Just saw Ben Folds in concert last Sunday. It was great fun! I love any band with a piano. (anyone ever seen Harry Connick Jr. in concert? The man is not human, his piano playing skills are ri-dic-u-lous!)

We just bought tickets to see Coldplay in June in Detroit! They have definitely been on my list of concerts that I MUST attend.

And then in July we are going with my brother and sister-in-law (and two family friends) to see Billy Joel and Elton John in Chicago. Together! Tickets were definitely not easy to come by. This one was on the husband's list of concerts he MUST attend.

So, needless to say, we're excited for this summer.

*These concerts may or may not be better than the time I saw Michael Bolton in concert. I'll let you know.


Well, I'm taken anyhow.

David Letterman married his LONGTIME girlfriend and baby mama over the weekend.

I would be upset except for the fact that I have my very own Hoosier at home. And I kinda like him.

So this is joyful news! They have my blessing.


I think I just might.

Our ALWAYS smiley niece, Tess. A truer shirt has never been worn.

Enjoy the day! If you're into that drinking green beer and eating cabbage thing.


A must see.

I'm sure you know that "Slumdog Millionaire" won the Oscar for best picture the other evening. I am far from being the world's biggest movie buff, but with all of the hype surrounding this movie, I had to see it. I was hoping that it wasn't one of those movies that gets so much hype and then turns out to be a ginormous disappointment. (See: "There's Something About Mary" as example.) So I went to see it on Saturday before the Oscars so that when it won, I could understand why. And then I could speak intelligently on its merits and worthiness of the award.

And thus my following statement is one that is educated and informed and one that you can take to heart - this movie is fantastic.

The premise: A boy from the slums of India gets on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". Then there's some stuff that happens and you learn some stuff about that stuff and in the end you leave thinking that you can't believe people paid $10 to see "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" when they could have seen THIS! As an added bonus, there is a lovely Indian dance number at the end while the credits are rolling. Stay for that. I cannot get the song out of my head. Thank goodness too because it has replaced "Single Ladies" which has been there for 3 weeks now.

Although a lot of times the Oscars are self-congratulating and unnecessary, a movie like this truly does deserve to be recognized. It was originally developed to go straight to dvd alongside Jessica Simpson's "Private Valentine". Now, I have not seen Private Valentine, but something tells me these two movies are polar opposites on the 'good' scale.

I recommend you do yourself a favor and go to the next matinee showing of Slumdog Millionaire as soon as you can. In these difficult economic times, the matinee is the only way to go. I paid $5.25. (But then dropped an additional $8.50 on a pop and pretzel bites. D'oh!)

And if it sounds like I have built it up too much, I can assure you I have not.


It doesn't match.

I have a real big problem with the match.com commercials in which the woman riding a horse says that she is "just a goof looking for her ball". Now, I'm not sure if they were going for the obvious anatomical reference to "ball" here or not. I get the term goofball and I know what they were trying to do with the play on the word, but they failed. Hard.

It's like saying, "I'm just an idi looking for my ot".

I hate it.


My 25 things.

Here are my 25 Things. I don’t want to post it on Facebook because I think there are too many people from high school who I wasn’t really friends with back then who have wanted dirt on me for the last 16 years. So to spite them, I am only posting it on my blog for you, my faithful readers. The majority of whom I’ve never met. Don’t argue with me on the logic – it makes perfect sense.

1. I do not understand people’s addiction to chocolate.
2. I like to clean my ears and look at the gunk on the Q-tip.
3. I am relatively bitter about being an only child. And I’m thankful to have married into a large family.
4. As much as I want to be a Mom, I’m scared that I won’t do it right.
5. My fear of mayonnaise goes back to when I was 4 years old and would not eat the egg salad sandwiches my daycare served for lunch. Naptime was after lunchtime and they wouldn’t let me take a nap unless I ate my sandwich. I very distinctly remember sitting in the dark by myself with an egg salad sandwich staring at me. To this day, I don’t want the stuff anywhere near me.
6. I’ve loved David Letterman for about 15 years after I read an article that said women found him sexually attractive. I tuned in one night to see what they were talking about and found him hilarious. I’ve been a fan ever since. And I still can’t believe I sat in the FRONT ROW of his show!
7. I wish I had spent more time with my Dad’s side of the family growing up. They are very funny people whose company I really enjoy.
8. I regret not ever living outside of Ohio.
9. I love television.
10. Whenever I need to be creative, I get out a pencil and paper and write down ideas. I don’t feel I can be creative on a computer or with a pen.
11. My husband and I were set up on a date and I think it’s cool that we both remember the details of that evening very well.
12. I like it when people think I’m funny.
13. I went to 3 colleges and still graduated in 4 years.
14. I love the dictionary.
15. If there were only five foods I had to eat the rest of my life, they would be: cheese, crackers, beefstick, grapes and gummi bears. And water to drink.
16. I like winter better than summer. Fall is my favorite time of year.
17. I almost always fall asleep when we watch a movie at home.
18. I am indecisive to a fault. I will probably think of 18 things I should have said instead once I finish this.
19. I am on a perpetual hunt for the perfect pair of jeans and sunglasses.
20. I have always liked my body, but there are a lot of things I would change about my face.
21. I lose it when people chew popcorn loudly at movies. I have to sit in the very back row to make sure no one sits behind me and chews in my ear.
22. I feel my life will not be complete if I don’t catch a foul ball at a Detroit Tigers baseball game before I pass.
23. I’m married to the smartest man in the world who can fix anything. And everyday I am grateful that I met him.
24. My Mom always told me that it’s not always about being popular, it’s about making sure that you’re nice to everyone. That wisdom has served me well.
25. I love immediate gratification.


Dear Mike,

Although I am an only child who has always hoped (and still do) for a brother or sister, I promise you this will not be me:

"Suleman (the Mom of the woman who had 14 kids) suspects that Nadya (the woman who had 14 kids), a divorced single mom who conceived all of her kids via in vitro fertilization, took such a drastic step to compensate for being an only child. "She was always upset about not having brothers and sisters," says Suleman, who previously questioned Nadya's decision making. "

I love you more than that. And will set aside my own sibling-less issues because I don't believe that having 14 kids is the answer. While I agree and understand her perspective, I'm pretty sure having 2 (aka, more than one) kids would solve that only child predicament. Maybe I'm just better at math than she is?


Ding Dong, HGTV calling! (Or at least they should.)

The final stage of the not exactly extreme house makeover was completed this morning. Please stay tuned for photos. I don't have many 'before' photos, but the 'after' photos will blow your mind. I suppose it blows my mind more because I live there everyday, but I'm telling you, the place looks amazing!

I will post photos soon and then I will regale you with a story about a new console table for our living room. You won't want to miss this!


Under construction.

It's an exciting time around the D household. We have many home improvement projects in the works, which is excellent for a HGTV-loving (read: obsessed) woman such as myself.

  • This week we got our basement ceiling drywalled so that we can have a finished basement. I've always wanted one of those. I will probably only go down there to play the Wii or to lose at darts, but it's nice to have nonetheless.

  • Then in early February we are getting our fireplace tiled. This is project that we are doing out of necessity thanks to a lovely fire in the fireplace that went wrong. Way wrong. Like, burning log fell OUT OF THE FIREPLACE and onto the what-we-thought-was-marble-but-turned-out-to-be-not-marble-because-it-burned wrong. Thanks to some quick moves by my husband who ripped off and sacrificed his sweatshirt to smother the flames, the fire didn't extend to the new carpet we have in the family room. That would have made me flaming angry. (sorry.) So we have a toasted not-marble hearth that needs removed and we are putting tile in its place.
  • And we're getting new carpet in 2 of the bedrooms, including the master boudoir. Nothing turns me on more than new carpet smell.
Everything should be done by early February. It's so fun. I could home improve until we ended up in the Poor House. And even then, I would probably want to redo the Poor House.

I would invite you over to see all of our improvements and enjoy a glass of wine, but you'd probably spill it on our new carpet, so I'll just post pics instead.


Suze Orman would be proud.

In these tough economic times, it's wise to know just how much you owe people out there. By people, I mean creditors. I admit, I was one who would open a credit card at a store to save the extra 10% on my purchases that day. But then I would never use the card again. BUT, I also never canceled the card. Not a good idea. Luckily I carried zero balances on almost all of those cards, but to those who you may be asking to give you a loan, it don't look good.

So my husband ran credit reports for us both. Not on F-R-E-E, that spells free, credit report.com, baby but on A-N-N-U-A-L credit report.com, tootse. Go here if you want one. Apparently Free Credit Report.com, while darn catchy and fun, charges your credit card for using them. WTF!? Annual Credit Report does nothing of the sort for your basic credit report. Like, where do you have cards to, when did you open it, what's your balance, what's the amount of your last payment, and the date the card was last used.

I guess somewhere along the line I had opened about 17 credit cards. Yowza! Some of those were for furniture that I bought and had financed or for my car or for my freakin basement waterproofing, things of that nature. So they weren't ALL The Limited-type cards. But a decent amount of them were. We are considering refinancing our house and in order to show them that I'm not going on some crazy shopping spree at Lerner (which isn't even called that anymore!), I canceled them. And even if we weren't thinking about refinancing, they needed to be closed. I never used them. Now I only have one general credit card - it's recommended that you keep open the card you have had the longest to show that you have established credit.

I think it took all of a half an hour to close them. It was so easy! Once you finally get to talk to someone and they try to throw coupons and discounts at you to try and keep you and you politely decline (although you desperately would love to have 30% off a new outfit) , it takes them all of 25 seconds to close your account. But then it takes 30 days for notice of the closing to be sent to creditors and show up on your report. It was time well spent.

This is just my public service announcement to all of you who may be in the same situation. It's something to think about doing and really it takes little to no effort at all.


No ceramic goose for my Grandma!

In the past I've mentioned my 82-year-old Grandma and how small and feisty and hilarious she is, but I don't think I've mentioned how VERY politically opinionated she is. Behold the doormat on her front porch:

This was a Christmas gift she bought herself. A CHRISTMAS gift, NOT a 'Holiday' gift, she was careful to point out. For those of you not aware, this is Bill O'Reilly's (from FOX News) "catchphrase". My Grandma loves this man and wants all who visit her to know it. In normal conversation, she's not overly aggressive with her political views but you certainly don't want to enter into a discussion with her if you take the opposing side. She and my Dad got into some pretty hairy debates before the election.

Some may agree with her, some may not. But I think it's pretty cool that she is as informed and 'with it' as she is.

This is one Grandma who won't be shopping at the local craft store for a Christmas dress for her porch goose. This decor is more her style.



Over my Christmas break, I was diagnosed with Small Ear Lobe syndrome. A problem that has resulted in tear in my pierced left ear. It's a woe that I've lived with for the last 10 years or so. It's prevented me from wearing any earrings heavier than a small post and I've worn the same ones every day for the last 10 years. I even wore the few cute clip-ons they make for ladies under 60. Trust me, I've searched far and wide, they are hard to come by. (The best place to find some - Francesca's.) I even tried the stickers that Turtle Parade got for me, they worked pretty well, but I can't wear them forever. So I decided to have surgery to fix the problem.

Did I need the surgery? Probably not. Am I tired of wearing the same earrings every day for 10 years? Hell yes! Do I think people are tired of seeing me wear the same earrings every day for 10 years? I'm sure of it. Do I really think people care what earrings I wear? Duh, of course they do.

Ultimately, what it comes down to, I am bored. And insurance covered it.

So the day after Christmas, I went under the knife. The procedure took all of 30 minutes. They gave me the option of being put under or getting a local. Being such a tough cookie, I went with the local. (Please. I knew why I was there, I wasn't receiving anything serious. The 3 needle pricks in my ear were my punishment for having this self-fulfilling surgery.) They sliced all the way through the hole in my ear and then sewed it back up with 3 stitches. After a few months, I'll have to get it repierced, this time only higher up on my small lobe. And a few months after that, I can wear cute and fun earrings like all of you with healthy, well-pierced ears.

In the meantime, however, I will be wearing one earring. It doesn't feel right not to wear any. So I wear one in my right ear. My hair covers up my left ear pretty well, so you really can't tell, but I do feel slightly off balance. It's totally worth it.


Boy, you give a girl 12 days off and she forgets all semblance of real life.

I resolve to be bloggier in 2009.

Happy New Year everyone!