"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

A Day Away

>> Monday, July 31, 2006

Doug & I made the trek to Minneapolis this weekend to acquire much needed supplies for baby's room- closet storage, shelving & a changing table- as well as pots & pans for Brenna's kitchen and a few requested items for family at IKEA. Brenna remained at home with grandma and, by all accounts, had fun and played until she wore herself out.

Our drive was uneventful and we were able to get through IKEA quickly as we had a list and didn't really need to browse. Which, I gotta say, I'm thankful for. The place was packed with people trying to outfit their kids' dorm rooms. Ugh.

After loading the truck we headed to the hotel. I chose the Marquette in downtown Minneapolis, mostly for its location to our plans for the rest of our stay. I highly recommend this hotel if you visit Mpls. The customer service was top notch AND we were upgraded to a suite on the executive level. In fact, we were put in a room adjacent to the Presidential Suite- and the adjoining door was not locked. Of course we had to peek in. :) With this upgrade came appetizers & cocktails in the Executive Lounge (which we missed as Doug was talking politics with my friend Bobbi's husband) and a very nice Continental Breakfast (which we grabbed only a pastry for me and coffee for Doug as we had brunch plans). The room was spacious, the bed was so fluffy and comfy, the shower had a steam room... I will definately stay there again.

After a rest we headed to my friend Bobbi's house. Of all my MN friends I probably have the most in common with Bobbi and we can always find things to talk about that don't revolve around the past or gossip.

After staying longer than we planned- and missing the free goodies at the hotel- we made our way back downtown to meet my friend Gina for dinner at Kieran's Irish Pub; yummy food, great atmosphere, live music. Gina is my first real friend in MN. She is one of those people that you can't help but love; she's kind and generous, almost etheral and fairy-like. She brought a present for Brenna, an adorable kid size Adirondac chair. Gina is an artist, mostly a sculptor, and mostly in concrete. She has done some pretty amazing stuff at the Bronx Zoo, Disney World, and various museums. Her next gig is at the Field Museum in Chicago to create a permanent exhibit on the Incan and Mayan civilizations. She is the one person I know who was able to take her passion and make such an amazing career.

Brunch Sunday was at Jax Cafe, a Minneapolis gem that is one of it's best kept secret. Located in northeast Minneapolis, and not in the nicest neighborhood, they lay out one of the best brunches I have ever eaten. (If you click the link you will want to take a virtual tour of the place by clicking Interior. The place is gorgeous, old school and upscale.)

We had brunch with my friends Karen and Terri. I hadn't seen Karen in over a year and Terri in almost three. It was nice to see them but sad because I realized that I really have nothing in common with them. Conversation was slow and revolved around past and current drama- which has absolutely no bearing on my life anymore. I would have enjoyed myself more if it had just been Doug & I.

And then the long drive home. Again, uneventful. Brenna was very happy with her pots and pans. Click the thumbnail below to see her "cook" in her kitchen.


Let Sleeping Babies Lie

>> Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We had a huge storm last night. The lightning was hitting so close to our house you could hear the sizzle as it streaked through the air; the electric current made our intercom system buzz. The thunder was immediate and right on top of us; it shook the house.

Doug got out of bed to turn off computers and such. A few minutes later I followed and found him watching the storm. It was a beautiful storm to watch- lots of lightning and thunder.

I did find it odd that we hadn't heard a peep from Brenna. After all, the house was shaking and buzzing, the thunder was loud and the sky was lit up like noon. But nothing from Brenna.

I told Doug that I wanted to check on her but was afraid of waking her. He had the same thought. And, after a few minutes, I did just that.

This was the time I should have taken my own advice; advice given just 2 days ago to Doug's cousin who has a new baby: Never wake a sleeping baby.

The storm may not have bothered Brenna but my entering her room did. Out of bed she came, dragging her blanket. She cuddled on daddy. She cuddled on mommy. She cuddled down in bed and, thinking she was sleeping, I began to leave. Out of bed again, blanket in tow. She took my hand and led me downstairs to our bed. Where she slept- in the "H" position, head by daddy, feet by mommy.

Never wake a sleeping baby....
Never wake a sleeping baby....
Never wake a sleeping baby....
Never wake a sleeping baby....
Never wake a sleeping baby....


Another Boring Appointment

>> Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Today was yet another uneventful OB appointment. Baby's heartbeat was good and strong and she is measuring "big". No surprise there- Brenna was 8 lb 13 oz- I expect baby to be just as big.

I gained just over one pound in the past month which did surprise me a bit; I suppose it has something to do with the stomach troubles from a couple of weeks ago. Although baby is very active- maybe she is burning calories for me!

I did ask my doctor about donating cord blood. The hospitals locally don't do that because the banks- for donations- are full. I didn't realize that. We discussed cord blood a bit; my doctor told me that of all the OB doctors in the clinic none had banked cord blood in the last few years because the science just isn't equal to the cost of banking cord blood "just in case". And I am not of the mind that we need to do a personal cord blood banking but I was interested in donating it if it could help someone else. My doctor actually said that, often, he thought the private cord blood banks were a scam. Hmmm...

Now we begin the every-two-week appointments. Next time I'm in we will schedule the c-section. Ahhhh, the end is drawing closer!


What's In A Name?

>> Sunday, July 23, 2006

Besides everything? I have lots of ideas but no decisions. I've even deviated from Irish/ Gaelic names and explored Welsh and Anglo-Saxon origins. Let's delve into the list as it stands tonight:

Irish/ Gaelic names
Fallyn (leader)
Quinn (wise and intelligent) - this is probably my favorite right now
Kellan (warrior princess)
Riane (little king)
Ciara - pronounced Keara

Welsh names
Catrin (pure)
Rhian or Rhiannon (magic maiden)
Taryn (hill)

Anglo-Saxon names
Devyn (poet)
Faran (adventurous)

So, there they are. I want something not so common that she will go to school with six other little girls with the same name (like I did. All but one even had my same middle name!) but I don't want something so odd as to make her stand out too much. Aaarrrggghhh! Honestly, boy names just seem so much easier right now!


Tea For Two

>> Thursday, July 20, 2006

A couple of weekends ago we attended a benefit for a little girl in our town. At this benefit was a silent auction. Of course I had to do my part and bid on a dozen items. We won 5. :)

One of the things I bid on was a wooden children's kitchen. I had been wanting to get a kitchen for Brenna as we had seen many at garage sales and she enjoyed playing with them- but they were so freakin' expensive. So I placed my bid and waited. Two days later the kitchen was placed in Brenna's play room.

She has since enjoyed hosting little tea parties for her grandma, cousins, aunts and uncles and, of course, her daddy & I. As today is Thursday, Nature Girl is her guest of honor.

Here she is getting things ready.

And now she pours:

Everything has a place!

IKEA has an entire set of children's kitchen toys. Hmmm, good thing we are going up there next weekend!


Ch Ch Ch Changes

>> Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Way back in the summer of 2004 I made bedding for Brenna's crib. Because there was no way I was going to spend close to $300 on baby bedding when I darn well knew that I could make something just as pretty for less than $100. Which, with much help from my mother, I did.

So now it is time for me to do the same for Twoey here. (No, we don't have a name picked out yet. Yes, I know time is growing short.) I had previously decided that we would be using lavenders and violets for baby. I had the paint picked out and an idea of what I wanted for the bedding.

Until last night.

Brenna & I met my mom at JoAnn Fabrics. After much searching we found some beautiful fabrics in the perfect colors. Unfortunately there was not enough. And ordering more would take 4 to 6 weeks- time I just don't have. Damn.

So we gave up and headed to Hancock Fabrics where lavender fabrics proved to be nonexistant. But we found these:

Beautiful shades of rose and green. I had hoped to avoid pink this time around, but it's just not to be. Unless the whole trying experience was a cosmic hint that I shouldn't be buying girl colors and the ultrasound was wrong.


It's Too Hot To:

>> Monday, July 17, 2006

Think. Honestly, I believe my brain may have turned to mush during our errands this morning.

Clean. Yes, I need to clean my living room (that's my "Monday chore") but with the huge south facing windows I just can't bring myself to do it.

Be pregnant. My little furnace is running making me at least 20 degrees hotter that everyone else. Yes, 20 degrees.

Eat. I have hamburgers and corn on the cob planned for tonight. A perfect summer meal. And I don't want it.

I guess the only thing to do is lay down and watch Elmo in Grouchland with Brenna. Again.


It's Over

>> Sunday, July 16, 2006

The garage sale. It's over. Yea!

You could not possibly believe the amount of stuff that was spilling out of my garage yesterday morning. Two and a half stalls in my garage were filled and stuff was spilling down two-thirds of my driveway. Honestly, it was like my house vomited. And my sister's house. And both of my brother's houses. The sheer amount of stuff we had to sell was almost overwhelming.

We had tables and tables filled with children's clothes. And a hanging rack, also packed. And boxes of clothes underneath holding the clothes that we couldn't fit on the tables. That, of course, was the big draw. If you have good kids clothes you are guaranteed to have a killer sale. We also had two tables of scrapbooking stuff. Two. Of stuff we had acquired here and there. Crazy. Add to that the assorted adult clothes, the Christmas stuff you never use, kids toys and books, the geek stuff that Doug has so much of, stuff that just accumulates.... Ugh...

Probably the worst thing about garages sales, in my opinion, is the people. You know the ones. Your sale begins at 8am and they are waiting at 7:30. And you cannot avoid them until 8 if things need to be put out on the drive. You would have thought that my garage door was the starting gun for some kind of race the way people ran. It was actually quite freaky to see feet outside the garage door as it rose.

It was impossible for us to put things out with a garage full of people pawing through practically everything. Honestly, they were stepping over boxes as we were trying to move them to make room for people to walk. Seriously, people, just give us a freakin' minute.

Two or three times we had people lined up out the door waiting to pay. It was absolutely crazy. Luckily noone lost their tempers in the 105 degree heat (I was really close, though) and we got through our rushes and got stuff sorted out and around so there was room to move.

Between the ad and the terrific location (because you know people scout location when they go garage sale-ing) we took in close to $800; not too shabby.

But I am so happy that it is over for another year.


Slowly, Slowly

>> Wednesday, July 12, 2006

That is my mantra for today. I feel much better after all the TLC from Doug yesterday. I gotta tell you, honestly, that there is nothing I did in the past that made me worthy of the life I have now. Nothing.

After a good night's sleep I woke up this morning feeling really good. A little achy, a lot thirsty, but good. I walked to the kitchen to make Doug's coffee and get a few things ready and had to sit down in the midst of preparations. I didn't realize just how weak I was. So now things are happening in stages.
Do some dishes, sit and have some tea.
Clean the kitchen floor, sit and read with Brenna.
Pull out the vacuum, sit and look at garage sale ads.
Actually vacuum, watch some Elmo with Brenna.

Slowly, slowly...



>> Tuesday, July 11, 2006

That, my friends, is the sound of the other shoe dropping. Yes, because everything that happened yesterday was not quite enough.

I am coming to you from bed which is a damn site more comfy than the bathroom floor where I spent half the night alternately on the toilet or curled in a little ball holding my tummy and wishing for death. Which is how Doug found me this morning, whimpering in pain.

But what a good husband. Realizing that there was no way I could possibly take care of Brenna today he called his job & took the day off. Which really sucks if you are a contractor; no work = no pay. Ah, he must love me.

And he must really love Brenna for at 9:16 am when she was finally waking up he went in to her room to find a poo-splosion. Yep, the runny icks hit her again. In fact it is probably what woke her. Poo everywhere necessitating in all the bedding and PJs making their way to the washer and Brenna getting a bath. And I didn't hear about it until he had it all under control. Oh, yeah, he loves me.

I did go up and try to help after the fact, which may not have been the best idea. Either the climbing of the stairs or the big drink of warm, flat Sprite didn't agree with me and I was in Brenna's bathroom sitting on the toilet with a garbage can in my hands and making use of both recepticles. Doug just quietly closed the door (seriously, I didn't have time for such niceties). True love right there, folks.

Happily I felt slightly better after that and when Brenna went down for a nap Doug took the truck to the dealership. Of course, as good 'ol Murphy set into law, when he pulled in to the service area the windshield wipers stopped. And they worked just fine for the technicians. So, of course, there was nothing they could do. At least it saved what would surely have been a few hundred dollars- for now.

And now my dear husband is on his way to Home Depot to get stuff for the attic and the roof as I lay here s l o w l y sipping Gatorade to avoid any reruns of earlier ick. I need to get my temperature down and keep hydrated. Time to nibble a cracker and try to take some Tylenol.

Just so you know, I'd give Doug big smooches if I weren't afraid of infecting him.


Pardon Me, I'm Busy

>> Monday, July 10, 2006

1) Brenna has a slight fever accompanied by some really nasty diapers which makes her a bit more cuddly than usual.

2) The windshield wipers on the truck won't shut off until you disconnect the battery cables which will necessitate a trip to the dealership.

3) Doug found a leak in the roof which means I need to find a roofer to come out asap.

4) I'm hosting a garage sale this weekend.

'Nuff said.


Welcome to MexAmeriCanada

>> Friday, July 07, 2006

Here is what our elected officials are doing behind the scenes while they are blindsiding us with "important" issues like same-sex marriage.

This would, essentially, open our borders from the tundra of Canada to the Panama Canal. So much for border security if this happens.

Haven't heard about it? I'm not surprised. The MSM doesn't have anything to say. Glenn Beck will be covering it next week on the network that Ted Turner built (HA! There's some irony for ya!) Check the website for times and don't miss it.

And if you choose not to be informed don't say I didn't warn ya!


First Kiss

Last night I took Nature Girl home and ended up staying and talking to Merrit until 10pm. Topics were wide ranging, from a restaurant in Minneapolis we had both eaten at but many people don't even know exists to the way companies change mopheads so you can never replace the mophead but must, instead, replace the entire mop. (Yeah, NG was real impressed by that conversation!)

Because it was going on bedtime Brenna stayed with Daddy. Who, it seems, was playing matchmaker. Two doors up from us was a little boy with red hair (Mommy is a sucker for red hair) driving a Jeep. He gave Brenna a ride. And from the grainy video on Doug's cell phone I could see him put his arm around my daughter (with prodding from her daddy!) and give her a kiss on the cheek. Brenna, bless her heart, was busy brushing him away to play with the "car phone". She is too young for car kisses! Especially from older boys! (He's 2 1/2!)

Oooh, look! Very grainy camera phone video! Click the picture to play.


I've Been Told

>> Thursday, July 06, 2006

It is Thursday which means that Nature Girl is here watching Brenna while I pretend to get things done. I did peek my head outside a couple of times only to be told "Bye!" by Brenna.

I guess she is busy having "big girl" time and doesn't want Mommy around!


Someone's In The Kitchen With Mommy

>> Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mmmm, homemade banana chocolate chip muffins!
Anyone want to join us?


The Holiday and The Aftermath

Our Fourth of July was spent with family. Doug was able to accompany us to the splash park for the first time. Brenna enjoyed showing Daddy how to play in the water. This was her favorite spot.

She was finally able to convince her cousin Koen to join her in the water. Filling buckets and dumping them on yourself is great fun!

After the splash park it was home for lunch and naps. Brenna enjoyed her PB&J with applesauce. In all honesty I could have skipped the jelly as she used the applesauce to dip the sandwich.

After naps we had everyone over for more fun and food. As much as we enjoy having people here it is always nice after everyone has gone and we can just veg as a family. We pulled down the movie screen and watched The Incredibles and cuddled on the couch. Taking Brenna to bed at 9:45 we happened to glance out the window and see fireworks, so out to the deck we went. Brenna really liked the sparkles and the noise. Her expressions of open-mouthed wonder were completely worth the late bedtime.

Now we are enjoying cereal with blueberries and watching Sesame Street. I have a list of things that must be done today as well as dishes from last night that I didn't get around to washing yet. And laundry. And regular cleaning. And the continuing potty training.


The One Where Jody Falls Asleep

>> Monday, July 03, 2006

I can not, honestly, ever remember being this tired. Ever. I just hit the third trimester of this pregnancy and I feel like I have hit a brick wall. Hard. With my head. And it is knocking me out.

Everything wears me out. I cleaned the upstairs today- 2 bedrooms and a bathroom- with Brenna's "help" and two time outs to potty. I found myself out of breath and laying down on the guest bed a few times to rest.

Later, as Brenna was eating her lunch, I washed dishes (to avoid more "help") and found that I just wanted to collapse to the floor. My legs were tired from standing; my arms were tired from holding things.

I thought that maybe I just needed some protein as I hadn't had any for breakfast. Nope. I ate and lay down on the couch where I dozed as Brenna played. As soon as she climbed up to snuggle me I knew it was nap time. Very gratefully I hauled her upstairs- where she promptly fell asleep. And down to my bed I went, sleeping as soon as my head hit the pillow. For two glorious hours.

My desire to combat this would be to work out- hard. We walk, well I waddle, but you get the point. I'm not inactive. Although I am feeling more inert every day. I pray for these last 3 months to go quickly. Which means that they will, of course, drag... along... slowly.


Really, You Can Get Anything at Target

>> Sunday, July 02, 2006

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After a very, very lazy Sunday which included all of us sleeping in until 9am, a quick run by Brenna & I to Panera for pastry and souffles (YUM! Have you had these? Melt in your mouth delicious!), one showing of Brenna's current favorite movie: Elmo in Grouchland, a light lunch of whatever mommy pulled out of the refrigerator and a 2 1/2 hour nap it was decided that we would leave the house for breakfast at 4pm.

Off to IHOP we went. The place was deserted except for 4 tables of elderly folks. Brenna was, of course, the main attraction. She wandered by the tables sharing big smiles and waves. After we had our "breakfast" we crossed the street to Target for a couple of necessary items (toilet paper, milk, laundry detergent). I also wanted to show Doug the stroller I liked for when the baby comes.

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Now, I'm not sure that you can really appreciate this stroller unless you have a very independent almost 2 year old and another one on the way. It is a double stroller- but uniquely so. Instead of two stroller seats it has a rear platform for the older child to stand and a rear bench seat for if they want to sit. An excellent concept- and one that Brenna seemed to enjoy when we wheeled it around the store.

Since our luck is that things are out of stock when we want them- or just not available anymore- in to the cart it went.

Another item on my "I would like to find it" list was a leash for Brenna. With the Iowa State Fair coming soon, and the fact that Brenna is getting faster while I am getting slower, I wanted something to rein her in. And here is what I found:

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The Harness Buddy in a choice of bear or puppy. Brenna chose puppy. Hmm, a fuzzy backpack with a long tail for a leash. Excellent. In to the cart.

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Lest you think Doug walked out with nothing but TP, I want to let you know that you can get a Menage a Trois at Target. Maybe we should talk about things at home because he said that he couldn't resist this.

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