Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh Postal Service and your sneaky ways!

My mother sent us a big ol' box of Christmas gits wrapped lovingly (she can't stand wrapping, so I know there was love involved in the process) in scarlet paper tied with green plaid bows. The postal service ran over the box with a truck, but it in a new box and laid it at our doorstep as if nothing happened. It was a ding dong ditch delivery. Having called Mom and asked her about her packaging methods, she insisted that we open the presents, even though it was Christmas Eve, to make sure they all were there. Behold! Our smashed presents, and the giggles we had while opening them.

The apology was the first clue that something was amiss

All the boxes were crunched without care
Please tell me this wasn't glass

Just slightly wrinkled, but still spectacular
Nightshirt for the hospital and a disaster of wrapping paper (we open presents like toddlers)
You can destroy our parcels, post office, but you can't even come close to dampening our Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last Christmas as a Twosome

The eve before Christmas Eve was a lovely evening with a late start. We each had taken too long naps and missed a hockey game we had received comp tickets to, but we didn't let that get us down. We opened up our newest game, The Game of Life. I dominated the whole game until the very end when my little red car of a mommy, daddy and baby boy landed on ridiculous items (pay 35,000 for a home gym, a 25,000 art collection, 65,000 for a butler and a maid - so different is my actual life) but still allowed me the retiring comforts of Millionaire Estates. I beat a bewildered-when-he-doesn't-win Hubster by only $10,000. Booyah!

That was the end of that game. We stuffed the 1,000 pieces into the box and pulled out the old game of strategy, Uno! This wasn't Hubby's night as I swept him in that game, too for the first hour and a half. I ended up winning by only 7 points, but I still won. I don't have a competitive bone in my body, but watching him squirm was just as much fun as playing in the first place.
An Xmas Eve Surprise (posting about this tomorrow)

Christmas Eve was spent at church with a wonderful and moving service. We really enjoy the church we have found and can't wait to become members. Each Sunday, we leave the parking lot feeling uplifted and whole. It is amazing how sometimes you don't know how much you needed something until you bring a taste of it back into your life. After church we made it to Kohl's to get Hubs a few presents. I am struggling being on my feet for too long and am constantly surprised at how easily exhausted I become. Fondue for dinner! Our Christmas Eve tradition!
Honeycrisp Apple, Summer Sausage, Baguette, Onion

When I dip, You dip, we dip
Christmas Day brought with it cheer and joy that only such a blessed day can provide. Bread and Butter Pudding for Breakfast followed by  present opening. Shawn loves his new leather jacket, shoes and Kenneth Cole watch that I gave him. I spent all day playing with the iPhone he got me and dreaming of the day i will be able to squeeze into the shirts he bought me, too. Later that night we put on real clothes and makeup for me and saw Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. While it may not be a Christmas classic; it was very intense and very good.
Bread and Butter Pudding breakfast

The Mommy Milker/Booby Juicer from Shawn

Our family photo

How the dog spent the entirety of the holiday

Armful of Philosophy Gingerbread Girl products (Remster wanted to eat it)

A very Cubbie Christmas
Hope everyone had a great day just as we had. May your new year be showered in many blessings!

The Family G!

Monday, December 26, 2011

False Start

I woke this morning with a bang! More like waves of nausea, cramps, actual barfing, and severe contractions, one right on top of the other. This was my first foray into labor, kids. It will not be a pretty thing when the real deal comes down, let me tell you.

After about an hour of pain and my sweet Hubster stroking my forehead (with arguably the happiest, most excited grin on his face), I was finally able to relax and my stomach stopped tensing and the nausea subsided, I napped.

That is what I get for telling everyone that I would not be in the hospital on Christmas. The day after Christmas? We are waiting to see if the morning's excitement leads to any real happenings.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Foggy Day in Greenville Town

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Actually it is a bit warm and wet outside, but I am okay with fooling myself that fog is snow-like for The South.

A view from my driveway and my crazy neon newspaper
Okay, who am I kidding? I have never had a white Christmas in Phoenix. And won't be havin' one this either.

Putting lights on a palm tree for another year. *Wink*

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mommy Takes a Tumble

This is why I wear New Balance and not stilettos (they also hide the fact that I can't bend to pedicure my feet)

When a woman is enduring the last few weeks of pregnancy - that is, when she feels like she has a planet stuck to the front of her - things get a tad wobbly. The center of gravity is off a bit (pulling from aforementioned planet - naturally). I waddle and I swing my arms with unintentional vigor. I have finally packed away my wedges after much begging from friends and family.

My clumsiness timing is impeccable, as usual.

Sunday afternoon, I returned home exhausted from several hours of church and errand running. Wham-o! Next thing I knew I was sprawled out on the garage floor, crying like a wounded five-year-old. I rolled my left ankle and scraped up my right elbow and knee. Belly remained free of harm, but I still bawled my face off. 

Shawn scooped me up like a newborn and carried my hysterical self inside. Walking aint easy, when your body feels like twice its normal size, even when it isn't.

To make matters more fun, I might have a stress fracture in my right foot. That dang foot (a key to proper walking, I've heard) has been giving me issues for the past couple weeks. It is most likely a stress fracture most likely as it isn't swollen and the pain goes away when I don't walk on it. Go figure. I wrap it up at night and keep my butt firmly in my computer chair at work.

Its been a fun ride. Humbly Hobbled and no longer going at 80 miles per hour. I'll just sit right here and wait for birth.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Soup of Onions Francaise

Cheap and Easy the French will hang their heads in delicious embarrassment.

2 1/2 onions sliced very thin
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Bay leaves
2 cans Beef Broth
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 T. all-purpose flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toast, crust removed
Gruyere cheese, or Swiss, if that is what's in your fridge

I sliced 1/2 an onion before I had to walk out of the kitchen with stinging eyes.
Melt butter and olive oil together over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions, stirring occasionally until limp and transparent. Add garlic, sugar and bay leaves. Caramelize those bad boys over medium low heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add in broth. Bring to steady boil to reduce another 10-15 minutes. If you happen to spill some red wine into the pot, now would be the time to do it. Sprinkle in your sage followed by your flour. Sprinkle sprinkle sprinkle the flour. Then whisk like a mad woman.
My flash turned it yellow, but I promise it is brown
 You can either fish out the inevitable flour pearls that pop up, or you can leave them and tell your hubby that it is supposed to be there, like I do. If you want the soup thicker sprinkle in more flour and then whisk away your worries and frustrations. Remove from heat, divvy into bowls, and top with your toast and cheese. Eat with a giant spoon to prevent any slurping sounds.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Delivery Room Dilemma

He's the Sweet and Silent Type

I have recently become aware that my fur-st born baby-dog can come to the hospital. I immediately became elated at the idea of having all of my brown-eyed boys with me and Henry. I have since been begging Hubby to let me dress Remy up in an "I'm a Big Brother" tee shirt and glasses and have him in the delivery room. He can cheer me on and snuggle with his human brother and kiss my hand when I need encouragement.

Hubby is in a place of "no" right now. I am in a place of pushiness and perseverance.

We shall see who comes out on top of this one.  Potentially crazy pregnant woman v. Level headed engineer who would have to wrangle adorable pup...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Room With a View

of the Neighbor's house (so we keep the curtains closed).

Henry's dream land/paradise/haven/special place is coming right along. His crib is put together (thank Family G for gifting us his sleeping space and mattress), complete with "safe" bedding - a breathable bumper with sheet that attaches to the entire perimeter eliminating gaps - no pillow and no blanket and no toys and basically no fun and no suffocation. He does have a sleep sheep (Thank you Aunt Susan and Uncle Bob) attached to one end and a mirrored pulley flippy play toy attached to the other.

The glider has been broken in as I have read several novels that in no way prepare me for parenting and half of a book on how to get babies to sleep when they are doing a four-alarm scream session at 3am. I bought the incredible owl pillow from a seller on

The curtains are hung. They are Eclipse Curtains in a super bright lime green that when closed during the daytime make our flat white walls look like a light cucumber shade - bonus! Purchased from Wal-Mart on sale for $25.00 for both.

The dresser/changing station (a shower gift from my beloved Grandma Mary) is stocked with diapers and wipes and about 300 onesies and tiny little outfits (from so many friends and family). The hutch was built on Friday with his Little Golden Book Collection (courtesy of my darling little golden sister), my first bible (from my parents on my baptism), his first prayer book (from Grandma Mary complete with a letter to Henry that had me crying for about an hour) and the beginnings of his extensive library from my friends and family).

His toy chest is stuffed with plenty of stuffed animals, baby puzzles, stroller/car seat toys, and blocks both rubber and wood. I actually had this chest since my freshman year of college. It has stored everything from linens, sweaters, guest blankets, holiday decorations and has acted as a coffee table on more than one occasion.

All we need is a bright orange rug and plenty of wall hangings, which I plan on crafting up soon. The adorable gator wall organizer that brings a gator-like grin to my face is a present from our besties, Lindsey and Adam in Houston.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

French Manicured Sausage Fingers

At 35 weeks pregnant, most, if not all, of my body is swollen. Lets just say my cankles are nightly fodder for the hubby and my vienna sausage toes uniquely compliment my jimmy dean link fingers.

I need a little prettifying!

... On a budget of $0. I DIYed a french manicure on my doublewide digits - freehand.

Cotton ball- 3-4 cotton swabs - Nail polish remover - White nail polish - Sheer light pink polish - Top coat - Patience and a steady hand or a Playing Card and nail clipper

What to do:
Swipe remover over your nail beds to remove any yuck that may be lingering.
Paint the white portion of your nails with white polish. Don't even think about trying to make it pretty. Mine goes up almost halfway into my nail beds.Apply a second coat. Make sure your nails look ridiculous and laugh at 1st grade-approved beauty treatment as it dries.
please excuse my shaky photography and 400 lb. hand

Pour a smidge of remover into the remover cap. I estimate I pour about a teaspoon and a quarter in my little reservoir.
Dip your swab into the remover.
Now the tricky part: Allow the liquid to infiltrate your great white line, then rub the swab in a side to side motion recreating the rounded portion of your nail. You may have to re-polish a couple fingers, especially when working on the hand you write with. You may lose that 30 seconds and never get it back, but you'll feel good when you're done.

Not feeling dextrous because your fingers have swollen so much you can't fit a key ring around one let alone your wedding ring? Take a playing card, I suggest the instructions since no one will notice it is missing from the pack. Using a pair of nail clippers, snip a nice rounded edge off a corner. You now have a template to remove the field of wonky white from your soon to be prettified nail bed.

Once your new "whites" have nearly dried (wait maybe two minutes max) coat your entire nail with a single layer of sheer pink polish. Wait an additional five minutes before you apply a clear top coat for brilliant shine.
Prettied nails on puffy pregnant fingers - look at that thumb! Yikes!

Do not attempt dishes, laundry folding, dog washing, diaper changing or hair styling for as long as you can put them off. Raise your hands in the air and shrug when your husband asks for anything in the next thirty minutes... or more. You deserve a break, ask him to feed you grapes while you recline, waiting for the paint to dry on your marshmallow-puffed hands. Or grab a mug of cocoa with actual marshmallows - the big ones you are actually supposed to roast over a campfire - and watch last week's episode of Revenge.
Hot Cocoa may not reduce swelling but it makes mommy's happy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Ready for Baby - The List

35 Weeks at 9pm

Yikes! I am going to be a mother - not a babysitter, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a teacher, a real mommy with very real responsibilities. With a measly five weeks before my due date, I have decided to really buckle down and get a few necessities complete. I was born six weeks premature, and if Henry likes to be early like I do... it is best to be prepared.

  1. Get a pediatrician. Easiest thing on the list. Called the dr. who told me that when we are at the hospital and are asked, "who is your pediatrician?" answer with their name. Done! Our baby doctors group does rounds at our hospital.
  2. Install car seat. All you preggos out there driving coupes, my heart goes out to you. I was stuck in my teeny backseat wedged behind the drivers seat for ten minutes with no one to rescue me. The garage was closed and it was raining causing raging hormones to overheat and my overhead light turned off. So there I was - stuck in a sweaty frizzy car-cave. Helpful Hubby noticed I was gone for awhile and eventually laughed his hiney off saved me.
  3. Get car seat installation inspected. I implicitly trust that paramedic certified in car seat installation inspected my hard work believes I am crazy, but did a good job.
  4. Flu shot. Ugh, but it protects me and baby. Talked with OB who said not only will it protect me from another plague attack and the antibodies I make will be passed on to Super Baby.
  5. Wash baby's clothes. We have about 300 pounds of very tiny clothes to wash - I really dislike doing laundry, but I hear I will be chained to the washer when baby comes. Might as well get used to it.
  6. Register for Daycare. This is going to be so hard for me. I cried when I pulled into the parking lot, but pulled it together before I walked in the building. Put the check into daycare just five minutes away from work, so I can drop in constantly at lunch to steal feed him.
  7. Pack hospital overnight bag. That will stay unused and then repacked 50 times before we actually do use it, or more likely forget it at home instead of bring to hospital.
  8. Stock up the diaper bag. I truly have no idea if I really need three pacifiers, a swaddler, two burp rags, four newborn diapers, a pack of wipes, two onesies, a hat, a pair of mittens and a pair of socks that look like Adidas shoes... but I have them all crammed in there. I will do a diaper bag post soon and then perhaps a follow-up to prove how wrong I was after the baby is born.
  9. Apply for Maternity Leave and discuss Insurance. Hubster is allowed for more paternity leave than me! But he is only taking two weeks to keep an eye on his projects, while lil mama will be taking all six. As soon as he is born, Henry James will be on Daddy's insurance. Check and check!
  10.  Be patient! This is going to take a lot of work. I can pretend to be patient and perhaps trick myself in to waiting peacefully for Baby Henry to make his move. Also must learn to accept that I do not have control of when he comes. Aggggh!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tis the Season for Wreaths

Its December (meaning I have six weeks before Henry dances onto the scene)! My three fall decorations are packed away and Christmas ones are now on display. The Tree is up and covered in glittering garland, bulbs and icicles and topped with an angel. 
The dining table is decked in a snowy runner and a tiny flocked tree with our yearly ornaments (yearly since 2007 at least, I wish I had 2003-2006) and somewhat melted red tapers.
The stockings are hung by the tv with care... and bells. Even Buddy the Turtle is feeling festive!

Our windows wear wreaths as does our door and lights adorn the garage and the bushes.

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Baby Shower

I am truly, truly blessed! Not only did my family drive 13 hours (my sister and her boyfriend drove 16 hours from Providence, RI) form New Jersey and New York. One of my bestest and most favorite friends in the whole wide world, Heather, flew in from Arizona. All to throw me a baby shower in South Carolina over Thanksgiving weekend.

I spilled the waterworks when everyone left and didn't quite recover for a couple days after they had left. During the weekend, though, it was all smiles. The room looked spectacular! The theme was children's books. Heather and my sister know me so well! I want to grow a massive library for Baby Henry! Little Golden Books, yellow roses, book page garland and beautiful cookies, cake and cupcakes, covered the table. We played a couple games including Name that Baby Tune, which was won by Elise's boyfriend, Matthew and Guess the Baby Food (I was dying inside as I recalled Shawn's previous gag-inducing run in with baby food). The turkey and gravy was a particular favorite amongst us players. Blech!

Opening presents from my friends and family who couldn't be at the shower brought tears to my eyes. I miss them all so much and may have hugged a couple gifts as if they were with me in person. Pregnancy brain has made me over-sentimental and over-weepy. If any of you are reading this... Thank you! I love you all so much!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pregnant with the Plague

I am 34 weeks pregnant. I also am coming out the other side of a particularly nasty cold. What the heck body?! You made it almost to the end of Henry's time baking in the oven. When other people have been falling all over themselves with various illnesses, you have maintained a level of immunity I have never before enjoyed! You led me to believe that Henry gives me super powers against germs. What gives?!?

Having a cold when I have a five pound person inside my belly, is an interesting experience. When I cough, he punches as if to say "quiet out there!" I am able to take plain Robitussin. This is no good as it makes me cough more. I sleep sitting up, which pains the old back, if I sleep at all. Since I can't take any meds, I wake poor Hubby up frequently. I wheeze, I sneeze and I hack. But at least I am feeling better now!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breaking Dawn, but not Breaking Water

On November 21, I had my first non-Shawn outing. That is right, I ventured out into the world with someone who is not my husband. Praise the Lawd! I am making friends! My darling coworker, Wil, set me up with his sister to see Breaking Dawn. Kristi is due one week before me (she is having a baby girl) so we chatted during the previews all about our respective pregnancies, her omg adorable three-year-old, and being happy that we could see this flick with another chick - the husbands put the kibosh on them ever attending.

Shawn set me out the door as if it was my first day of school. "Have fun with your new friend, honey."

We waddled in and popped down for the show. Neither one of us ran to the bathroom during the whole thing. This far along in our baby-building sitting for more than two hours without a restroom stop is almost unheard of.

I have to say that this movie surprised me in how much I liked it. It completely surpassed my admittedly low expectations. Edward finally was dressed good, his hair was normal, and he actually was able to act like he cared about Bella. The wedding was really pretty and that dress was beautiful! (side note: Alfred Angelo made a knockoff). It was the transformation that her already little body made as she was impregnated with a demon monster baby with a funky name that did it for me. The makeup and CGI was fantastic. Anytime the wolves made it on screen I couldn't help but giggle. They are always so cheesy.

Looking forward to next year with the second installment comes (though my expectations are still not high for that inevitable wierdfest - the whole imprinting thing puts me off a lot). Looking even more forward to making more friends! Success!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Walking Egyptian in Milwaukee

On Monday the 7th of November Shawn's parents, his brother Jamie and we the expecting trekked to Milwaukee, WI for the afternoon. We ate at a Greek burger joint called Omega. I devoured my feta-less gyro while Shawn noshed on a Reuben and the others ate burgers. Its amazing that I can recall what we ate a month ago, but I forget what a refrigerator is called ("that machine we put milk in that keeps it from getting hot and stanky" was my most recent catchphrase-appropriate entry).
We drove around downtown searching for a parking spot that would actually fit an SUV only to park a few yards from where we initially entered the garage (isn't that always the case? no? well... moving on). Into the Milwaukee Public Museum we went. My Arizona Science Center membership has reciprocity with MPM so bang! We only had to pay the entry for one of us. Anddddd is got us discounted entry to the Cleopatra exhibit, too!
Cleo was fascinating! I wanted to take pictures of everything, but museum employees were everywhere. Blast! In reality I was seriously impressed with their knowledge of the exhibit. I am a museum nerd for sure and could have talked with one particularly informed staff member for hours. In a nutshell, this exhibit is brand spanking new. The artifacts were all discovered and recovered from the Bay of Alexandria in the last 15 years. The objects have taught researchers even more about Cleopatra's life, loves and her reign as they were preserved for centuries underwater. Fascinating and beautiful! I highly recommend anyone in the Milwaukee area to take a tour before the exhibit moves on to it's next destination.

The rest of the museum takes you on an anthropological tour of the world, primitive man, and turn of the 20th century Milwaukee (this being my particular favorite exhibit hall which allows you to peek into store fronts and homes of the the different nationalities who immigrated to Milwaukee). The first floor has a rain forest, dinosaurs and wooly mammoths, and a Butterfly Garden. I was hot flashin' all over the place in there with all that humidity and mist. Apparently the butterflies didn't mind that my forehead and lip were sweating and that my hair was plastered to my scalp. They came to me like forest creatures to a singing Snow White. I am the mariposa whisperer.

We dashed off to have dinner with Grandpa Charles in Menomonee Falls. I love this man as if he were my own blood relative. He cracks me up. Asking if we had decided Henry's middle name, we told him that we settled on James. Without missing a beat, he said, "I guess Charles didn't make the cut."  Love him!
The Family G

And that concludes my trip to the Midwest that I should have cleared with my doctor before embarking on :) tee hee!