Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 Weeks- But Who's Counting?

I'm now officially in my last month of this amazing, odd, ever changing pregnancy journey. At times this process moved at a snail's pace. Now, I feel like Flash Gordon. Well, the days feel like they're Flash Gordon-like. Me, I'm not moving anywhere fast unless it's to the bathroom, and then it's a slightly quicker waddle. Let's be real.

With Ziggy's arrival quickly approaching, we're heading out tonight to purchase all of the essentials that we don't have in our parental arsenal yet. I.e. the stroller-travel system, a new mattress, changing pad covers, champagne for this 9 month sober momma and cigars.

Do people still do cigars? My uncle requested one upon Ziggy's arrival, but we're not really cigar type of people. Maybe we'll do something a little more classy like Miller High Life 40 oz. and Swisher Sweets? That's a bit more our speed, and nothing says "welcome to the planet, baby N.", quite like a $0.97 cigarillo, am I right? Don't all rush to the hospital at once for your ghetto goodies, friends!

As the finish line of this almost year long marathon draws closer into sight, here are a few things that I will and will not miss:
  • I will not miss the extra pounds that grace my face. At times it feels as though I've gained 50lbs in my face. My cheeks are so dang heavy that I swear I should be burning massive amounts of calories when I talk. If I am burning them, they ain't fallin' off my face, I can tell you that.
  • I will not miss chubby jokes. I've gotten quite a few in jest, but a fat joke is a fat joke. Just because you follow it up with an "I'm just teasing" nudge does not negate the fact that just commented on my weight. Ain't nobody got time for that while carrying an entire human being inside of you.
  • I will not miss my Flintstone feet. I'm down to 2 pair of shoes that fit. It's a sad state of affairs from about my lower calf on down my leg. This past weekend I slipped my flip flops on mid-way through my brother's wedding reception which resulted in him announcing to the party that he "found the missing cocktail wienies, everyone." Awesome. Not.
  • I will not miss having to physically cross one of my legs over the other one with my hands. This is a new concept for me. I do not enjoy this concept.
  • I will not miss being able to hear myself breathe. Ziggy was sitting so high for awhile that I was breathing like a 405 lb coal miner at times. Who wants to sit next to that in work meetings?!
  • I will NOT miss Carpal Tunnel. I can not write anything by hand to save my life. And if I do, I will pay for it for hours. I no longer sleep through the night thanks to my hands repeatedly going painfully numb about 6 times a night. Last night I had to sleep sitting up with my hands dangling next to my sides because the numbness had spread up my forearms. Yeah, it's about as cozy as it sounds. I pray this goes away. Please, Lord.

  • I WILL miss this journey of slowly becoming a mom over the last 9 months. Each day gives you the opportunity to grow closer to this person inside.
  • I WILL miss feeling Ziggy move around. No one on the planet will ever feel him like I've been blessed to feel him and it makes me teary to even think about not feeling his kicks.
  • I WILL miss the smiles from strangers and the general kindness that people offer you when you're an expectant mom. When else are people genuinely concerned with how you feel and genuinely excited for you in ways you've never felt?
  • I WILL miss seeing my doctor and nurses as often as I do now. I love those people.
  • I WILL miss the feeling of falling in love with someone I've never met. It's surreal and completely unconditional. I'm only in the initial parenthood stages, but it gives me a glimpse into how much my parents must love my brother and me. It's eye opening to know that your love can know no boundaries or borders.
All in all, I will miss many things and some things can hit the road, but I wouldn't trade this journey for anything. It's Ziggy's journey and it has only just begun. The Flintstone feet are just as much a part of his story as are his sweet kicks and hiccups. And some day when he's 13 and tells me I'm the meanest mom in the whole wide world, I'll be able to smile and tell him that it's just payback for making me sleep sitting up for the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy and for making me wear these hideous shoes with my dress pants on a daily basis. Now who's the mean one?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Goal Update

With only three weeks to go before we meet our little nugget face to face (3 weeks, what??!!!), I figured it was time to pull out the ole summer goals a la 2014 and see how much progress we've made. AKA, what can we crank out fit in before we're consumed by a 6-7lb wonder.

Without further ado...

Summer 2014 Goals-
  1. Dine Al Fresco more often. This has been done roughly four times since this post took place. I call that delightful progress.
  2. Take a weekend trip, as we've promised each other, for our anniversary. Sadly, I do believe this one will elude us. Timing has just been off and although it makes me sad, I'm not sure there's anyway around it.
  3. Finish two books in July and one in August before our due date. I'm on track to be able to check this puppy off the list. Anyone have any good reads for my maternity leave? Or is that wishful thinking with a newborn?

  4. Clean out our garage. This one, I'm proud to say, is scheduled for this weekend. Hold us to it, friends. No, seriously!
  5. Walk along the bike path with Wrigley and the Hubs more often. And at least one of those times, bring along a picnic dinner. This has happened and was lovely. Why don't we do this more often?
  6. Attend one Evening in the Gardens and take in a few City Markets. As of tonight, both of these events will have been attended by yours truly. If you're local and head to City Market, I highly recommend the roasted sweet corn. I had mine with parmesan, lime juice, cilantro and butter. No exaggeration, best corn I've ever eaten.

  7. Watch Tim Kayak in Rock Cut while I read, nap, and breathe in the fresh air. Boom. Done. Although thanks to an overly stimulated toy-poodle, there was no reading or napping taking place. Just a lot of walking, sniffing every tree stump and trying to get a wired for sound poodle to lay down on the blanket. Oh well, I enjoyed the views and the fresh air. My book and People Style Watch can wait. I can't fit into any of those cute clothes right now anyway.
  8. See one more movie in theaters in July and one in August. All while watching the Hubs crush $18 worth of mediocre popcorn.  July was dominated, now on to August. Anything we should see?
  9. Have a Birthday party for Pig and his dog friends. A kiddie pool is a must. Coming soon!
  10. Meet our son around August 21st! Ahhhhh!
What's on your summer bucket list? Anything you recommend that we can throw into the mix before August 21st?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday High Fives

I'm tired, people. Anyone else out there tired this week? TGIF, no?

This week's saving graces brought to me compliments of:
  • A delicious dinner on the grill Monday night of BBQ pork chops, fresh roasted squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and onions, and garlic noodles. It was superb.
  • Dropping off a meal to our friends so we could secretly sneak a peek at their precious 3 week old. And, no, we didn't drop off the meal just to see the baby, but I'm not going to lie, that was a perk of the outing. He's just so tiny and precious. Can't wait for Ziggy to meet him!
  • Hitting the 36 week milestone. I'm officially entering my last month, friends. That first trimester felt like this was never going to have an end in sight. Cue the second and third and we're rocking and rollin'. 4 more weeks, but who's counting?! Thanks for the weekly milestone stickers, Rennie! Stripes may not have been the proper choice for a sideways photo shoot, but whatever. It is what it is.

  • Getting to celebrate my brother and sister in law tomorrow at their wedding reception. They were married in a very intimate ceremony in May (there were only 8 of us in the room), so this weekend is a chance to celebrate them and officially welcome Sonia into the craziness that is our family.

  • The Hubs was chosen as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the State of IL for 2014, which made this wife VERY proud! You go, Timmy!
  • Water. And no, not ocean water or pool water, but drinking water. I. Cannot. Drink. Enough. I now bring two sources of water to my nightstand for bed. Which in turn means more frequent trips to the restroom at night, which would be a low five.
  • No wedding rentals this weekend. Sometimes you just need a break.
  • Venturing out with the pig a few times this past weekend. On Saturday we took him to the walking path on the campus where I work and he was in hog heaven! He ran non-stop until he pretty much collapsed. On Sunday, we loaded up the picnic basket, the Hubs' kayak and Piggy and headed for the state park. Pig and I relaxed on a blanket and watched all the kayaks, paddle boards and boats go by while the Hubs took his kayak out for a spin. The only "fail" came in the form of a sandwich. Apparently I did not seal Tim's sandwich container fully which made it completely water-logged from the melting ice in the cooler. He tried to take a bite, but I'll forever have the image of him biting into it as cold water poured down his chin from the bread. It made me gag, folks, that's how much water was in that sandwich. Oops. Sorry, Timmy! And here I thought you'd be the one taking on water that afternoon.
I mean, really. Have you ever seen a cuter boy?

Maybe next time we'll bring Pig's life jacket so he can ride along.

  • Lastly, loving my doctor's office. I've hit the stretch where I now have weekly appointments and normally I'd dread going to a doctor, sitting in the waiting room, etc...every week. However, from the receptionist to the nursing staff to my doctor (who the Hubs and I call Dr. Huxtable), these people are top notch. I've never felt more at ease and more cared for than I do within those walls. The doc makes me laugh uncontrollably and the nurses have stayed after hours to see me on a moment's notice. I love them and give them a lot of the credit on how much I've been able to enjoy these last few months of this crazy journey. We hit the doctor jackpot!
  • I lied, one more high five MUST go to the Hubs for my "just because" flowers this week. Just because is my most favorite reason to receive flowers, so they made my entire day. Thank YOU, Timmy!!!
Happy Friday, Y'all!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Not Just for Moms

I came across an article today about a husband who blamed his wife for their messy house, and although it was written with stay at home moms in mind, I think it also speaks for us working women, mom or not. Worth a share? I thought so. So here we are (article link below). Let's discuss, shall we?

If you come to my house on any given day, a Pottery Barn catalog it does not make. There is often more dust than I'd like, and piles of mail (my mail, never the Hubs) stacked on the kitchen counter in various places. I loathe mail. Sure, cards are a fun and rare treat, but other than that, opening mail is probably on my top 10 list of tasks I despise like going to the dentist, public speaking, etc... I digress.

There is usually clean laundry folded in the living room and our shoes in two chaotic piles by our back door. I cringe when someone stops by. Not because I don't love having company, which I DO, but more so because I am embarrassed about the state of our nest. I'm sure my mom cringes when she comes over. Her house is always in order. This apple fell faaaarrrrr from the tree when it comes to this particular subject. Sorry, mom.

As I read the article this morning, I began to see my home and even myself in a different light. Could my home be tidier? Well, duh. Do I have a lot to work on in this realm of personal growth? Um, do bears poo in the woods?

With that being said and aired for all to see, here is what I learned from today's read:

Sometimes my life trumps my dust. More often than not, I'll chose to spend my time with friends and family and the Hubs over opening my mail or putting away the clean clothes piles. By the grace of God and a few loose screws, I'm hard wired to want to be involved in my community. I often find myself running from one committee meeting to the next, after working all day, only to make it home in time to cook dinner for us. By the time we eat at 7:00pm or sometimes closer to 8pm if I've had an event, the last thing I want to do is to dust our TV stand. So I crash into the couch, lift my feet up, and watch something that finally lets my mind rest, all while staring at the dust during commercials thinking "I really need to clean that. Tomorrow." And then tomorrow comes and the whole circus of work meetings and committee meetings and events starts all over again, and guess what? The dust remains and the internal shame grows another layer.

Although I don't have kids and I'm not a stay at home mom,  I still run around like a crazy person all week. Nine times out of ten, the Hubs and I will say blissfully to each other on a Sunday evening "we don't have anything planned in the evenings this week" and we'll take a huge sigh of relief and relish in the fleeting fantasy of one week without any obligations or commitments. By Tuesday, we're typically booked solid until the weekend. I wouldn't change it (well, I wouldn't change most of it), but come the weekend, this soon to be momma is beyond exhausted. I've used up all energy sources, my feet are swollen and achy and I'm just done. And so grows the dust and the guilt when I choose to nap or just be still on the weekends in between wedding rentals. Are you seeing the same pattern here that I'm seeing?

So if you come to our home and there's laundry in the living room, less than perfect floor boards, piles of hoarded mail and dust, please know that while I may not be tidying up my home as much as you AND I would like, what's more important to me in this stage in my life is the fact that I'm working hard to try and tidy up a bigger home. This city Tim and I and our son call home. If given the choice, I will most likely choose to help Transform Rockford or help chair an event for a great and worthy cause before I'll tackle the laundry pile. Sure, I'll get to my house before we have planned visitors, but sometimes the mess just isn't my first priority. It can't be. Not right now when I can still serve without missing my kids bedtimes or picking them up from school due to a late meeting. Right now are my "yes" years when asked to pitch in. Soon the "I'm sorry, I just can't help right now" years will be upon us, but until then, the dust can wait. I know because it's been waiting and that junk has yet to disappear on its own. Sigh.

Anyone else feel like this?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Walking with Walker

One of my SC friends could use your prayer and support. On July 3rd, our friends' 3.5 year old son, Walker, had his first seizure completely out of the blue. What has unfolded since is nothing short of heartbreaking.

Walker has been in the hospital since that day with little relief and little answers. I cannot imagine what his parents are feeling, thinking and going through on a daily basis. Every hour or so, my mind drifts to them and all I can do is pray for answers, for rest for all involved and for strength for both Walker's body and brain and for his parents who have gone 18 days without answers.

From medications to diet changes to a deep, medically induced coma, the doctors in Columbia, SC are working around the clock to uncover the culprit. His seizures have not subsided even with the deep coma that they've induced to protect his brain from permanent damage.  Movement seems to trigger his seizures, but that's about all they know at this stage.

Today Walker and his mom will be transported by plane to Memphis in the hopes of meeting a team who can dig deeper for the answers they so desperately need. His dad will follow by car later today and I'm guessing their younger son, Weston, will stay behind with family. Please join me in praying that their journeys are safe and smooth and that answers await them soon. If you'd like to walk with Walker throughout his journey, you can visit He's got quite the prayer warrior team on his side rallying around him daily, but you can never have enough prayer or support.

Dear Lord, please be with the Phillips family during their journey today and in the days to come. Please keep them safe both in the air and on land as they make their way to Memphis. Please prepare the doctors and nurses there that await him. I pray that although Walker is not aware of what is going on right now, that he is fully aware of YOU and your power and love for him. Even when we are not "awake", you never sleep. You know how this will unfold and you have plans for him, great plans. Please protect his tiny body and mind. Please also be with Karie and Andy as they go through one of the biggest challenges that they may ever go through. I pray that they remain strong and unified during this time. I pray this brings them closer as a couple and closer to you. I pray that they can find rest when possible so that they have the strength to keep going when needed. Their strength has been incredible during a time when doubt would be so much easier than believing. But they've remained strong and grounded in you, and I'm so grateful for their faith that is getting them through this time. Thank you Lord for Walker and for his amazing parents. It's in your name that we walk with Walker and ask for his healing, amen.

Walker's sock monkey friend, PQ, keeping watch over him PICU.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Breast is Best

Breast is best, or so they say. A lot.

Last night the Hubs and I attended our one and only (thank the Lord) class on how to nurse your baby. If you know me well, you know that there are about a million and one ways I'd rather spend an evening. Alas, we survived the 2.5 hour class and have lived to blog about it tell the tale.

Let me apologize right now if this particular post offends anyone. That is not my intent. To each their own. These opinions are my own and I have not received any compensation from the Moms Against Boobs union nor from the various formula companies that grace our grocery store shelves. It's just little ole me and my humble opinion.

I have never had the desire to nurse. Like, never ever. I'm a very modest person and I'm one of the people who squirms a bit when I see women nursing in public. Hooter hider or not, that cape ain't foolin' anyone. I am the proud product of formula and seem to be doing just fine (with a few quirks and flaws here and there). I planned to formula feed as well for many reasons. One reason was that I'll be a working mom and pumping is not my idea of a great time at the office. Reason number two, I want my husband to be able to bond over feedings, while also sharing the workload. Reason three, I like to keep my hooters hidden in public and a thin veil is not what I call hidden. Reason four, it just never appealed to me in any way and I am fine with that.

After completing our "Birth and You" class last month, I slowly started to warm up to some of the benefits of nursing and found myself contemplating a cross-over to the other side. Was I really thinking this? Would I really give this thing a go? In the end, apparently my answer is yes. I shall TRY this and see how it goes. I make no promises to myself, the Hubs, my doctors, Le Leche League peeps, nor to our son. I refuse to be a mom who beats herself up if this does not pan out, BUT for the sake of this little person inside of me whom I love more than life itself (and McGriddles), I shall abandon my past thoughts and try.

Fast forward to last night's class. The awkwardness began when I was called and reminded to bring a baby doll and my husband to the class. 1) I don't own a doll. I'm having a boy. Boys don't have dolls on their registry. 2) Why does the Hubs need to come? I knew right away he was not going to like saving the date for this particular evening, but he went along with it. Every husband in that room looked pained. Poor dudes.

I share with you the "doll" that I learned how to nurse like a boss last night.

That's right, folks, it's my Hubs' cabbage patch doll from the 80's. We rocked that doll with full on army fatigues and a dog tag. I was a little embarrassed about not having a real, toy doll until I saw a girl with a large, stuffed animal tiger in a grocery bag. Suddenly we weren't the weirdoes with the cabbage patch in the class anymore. I'm guessing she's having a boy too. Boy mom, power! We don't need no stinkin' dolls!

The next 2.5 hours were spent watching videos that made me quite uncomfortable and learning the various "holds" for our kiddos, all while the instructor called each latch on experience "beautiful, just beautiful". I can tell you with 100% confidence that I have never seen that many nipples in one sitting. I'm guessing we saw at least 127, thanks to the instructor making us watch each video twice. I died a few times throughout the repeat videos. At one point, the husband seated across from me turned to his wife and mumbled "if she makes us watch that video again, I swear..." Apparently I wasn't alone in my anguish.

My only saving grace came in the form of popcorn. We were given popcorn and fruit during our break since the class took up your whole dinner hour window. I was finally content while eating my popcorn and watching nipples on the big screen when she changed directions. Suddenly she's holding up diapers with faux poop samples to compare formula poo to breast milk poo. Really?! Down the bowl of popcorn went to the table and I pretty much shut down after that. It was just all too much.

I left knowing that I did the right thing in going and that I'll still give this a shot, but I will not be joining Le Leche League anytime soon. Nor will I be bringing one of my baby's photos and onsies to sniff while pumping at work to keep our bond intact as was suggested last night.  For me, it's all too much. Maybe I'll become more comfortable with it as time goes on. Maybe you'll find me at a local restaurant sporting my nursing cape, or maybe you won't. I'm okay with however this plays out. Trying is half the battle so I consider this a mommy victory already.

And in the fine words of our new pediatrician, it's totally okay to not be a "breast feed or die, Man" kind of mom. Either way, our son will be fed, loved and bonded with to the max. And his poo shall look equally gross no matter which direction we take. See, I learned something last night after all.

Monday, July 14, 2014

We Did It

We did it, friends. We actually made a decision as a family, which is no small feat. The Hubs and I are both pretty indecisive people. It's not for lack of caring, but more so over thinking and re-thinking things. With that being said, we made a big decision last Friday and now have a new home under contract. Ahhhhh!

I am sharing this update with you with nervous fingers as I type this post. This future home has been part of our lives since early February. We viewed it 3 times between February and March and made our first offer in March (I believe, although all the details have become blurry thanks to the trials and tribulations of the negotiating process). We went back and forth on pricing, timing, etc... We then viewed it 2-3 more times. We walked away a few different times and had a few headaches and heartaches along the way as the seller walked away mid-process and went radio silent on us for days, weeks, etc... This dang house!

At one point, although we met the seller's requests, she walked away with no explanation. To say we were hurt, angry and confused was an understatement. I LOVED this house and it just wasn't going to happen. The only explanation her agent could come up with was that she truly didn't want to sell. I mourned the future holidays we'd host and the memories we'd make inside of those walls and we tried to move on.

Until the day we got the explanation we felt we deserved after meeting her crazy demands for the last few months...she no longer owned the home. Fast forward a bit into negotiating with a bank and again, we just couldn't make it work. This dang house was just going to taunt us, yet again. We offered our highest and best and when we couldn't meet in the middle, we moved on. We finished the nursery we hadn't even started yet due to thought process that we "were moving this summer" and we created a room that I love for our little man. I was coming to terms with the fact that we'd be in our home for at least another year because who in their right minds wants to move with an infant. Not I.

All of that changed last Monday night as we watched the Bachelor. Our agent called with news. The bank wanted to accept our offer. The offer we gave weeks ago, was not accepted and led us to move on. This dang house!

Decisions, decisions. After 5 months of going back and forth, having hope and then the lack of, declines and radio silence, we had to really thrash through the decision to sign on. What had been total love for the home had become sprinkled with frustration, anger, tears, and a hesitance to get too attached because we had been down this road before (a few times). But in the end, we loved the home, the space and room it allows us to grow as an expanding family, space for guests (SC friends, please come visit me), the views and lifestyle that life on the river would allow us. There are things that'll need to be updated as it was built in the 90's and has some noticeable 90's touches (seriously, what do you do with a two story tall mirror above your fireplace?! Suggestions??), but it'll be something that we'll updated over the years to make it exactly what we dream it can be.

So, unless something goes drastically wrong, which with this dang house it totally could, we've decided and are awaiting the closing. Who wants to move with a newborn? Apparently we do.
With that, I give you a quick tour of what it looked like during our 5 month process. The former owner no longer lived in it, so some of the décor was a bit random to keep it from being 100% empty. And bear with us on the "fantastic" 90's touches. We'll get her updated as we go. First thing to go, the GIANT vase/plant thingy on the mantel. I'm guessing they needed something huge to pair with the insanely large mirror, but that plant thingy, um, probably not the right option. Just sayin.

This light fixture in the foyer will go ASAP, but I love the windows above the door which
bring in natural light.
Mr. Chandelier, 1994 called and they miss you and want you back. I told them I'd send you on your merry way back to them.  

Dining room, which was a must have on my list.
Again, this light fixture will not stay.

This room is probably my favorite thanks to the glorious amounts of natural light
and the view of the river. We'll update the giant mantle and cabinetry as time and finances allow, but for now, we'll just decorate around it as we can. I'm all ears if anyone has ideas!

I like the eat-in kitchen, which has 2 fun entertaining spaces directly off it. Sliding glass doors enter onto the main deck and the glass door you see by the hideous cork artwork leads into the large, screened in porch/bar. Kitchen appliances will happen right away.

One of the bedrooms on the 3rd floor. There are 3 bedrooms with a Jack'n Jill bathroom.
That floor shall be kid land.

Our "mother in law" room. This bedroom has its own private deck off the 3rd floor, so I don't know that we'd ever put kiddos in there. I'd never sleep with visions of them falling off as little ones and then them climbing down it as teens.

Private deck view. This will also be where mommy escapes with a glass of wine and a magazine or book when she's had enough;) Friends welcome.

The screened in sunroom for reading or partying after a day on the river.
The netting was gone with the last owner, so don't panic;)
Again, friends welcome. I foresee a margarita machine in our future.

Lower level with a wall of sliding glass doors to the walk-out patio. Someday I hope to square off the columns to make them more current, but for now, I can live with them.
Patience will be my mantra as this home will take time.

Our guest bedroom that opens to the river. Friends and family, this is here and awaiting you.

Where we shall spend our days and evenings, relaxing, sunning, playing with our kids and welcoming friends and family for any gathering that can serve as an excuse to get together.

This dang house is where we hope to raise our family, our Piggy, and plant some roots.
You're all welcome to join for tubing, picnicking and being knee deep in the water somewhere, with the blue sky breeze blowing wind through your hair.
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday High Fives

Well, we made it through what felt like one of the longest weeks ever. Anyone else feel this week was jam packed full of Mondays? I kept waiting to feel like I was making a dent in the week's work load and it never came. I guess there's always next week.

And thanks to these sanity keepers, I've made it through the last two weeks in one piece:
  • Sleeping for 10 hours, two nights in a row last weekend. Unheard of at this point in my pregnancy. Finding comfortable positions and then staying asleep is a thing of the past, so to have two nights of phenomenal sleep, well, priceless.
  • Reading the Hub's wedding ceremony that he's prepared for my cousin's wedding tomorrow. He's the officiant, so I'm already proud of his willingness to stand up for them and for writing the ceremony, and I cannot wait to see it all unfold tomorrow. Best of Luck, Tim!
  • Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal. This has been my one constant craving throughout this journey. I guess it could worse, right?
  • Awesome weather. It hasn't been too hot this summer for which I am very thankful. I cannot imagine being pregnant in the south at this stage. I'll take our 75-82 degree days with zero humidity for the time being.
  • Pandora radio. I'd be lost without it singing me through the work day.
  • A new milk frother for my coffee (decaf, of course). I'm sure milk frother is not the technical term, but it's the best $3 I've ever spent at Ikea. It takes boring decaf and makes it a fancy latte in seconds.
  • A fun trip to Ikea for under $16 bucks. Again, unheard of for this girl.
  • Getting closer and closer to meeting Ziggy. 6 weeks left, but who's counting? Bonus, high five, knowing we get to see Ziggy during an ultrasound next week:)
  • Seeing my cousin get married tomorrow and visiting with family from afar.
  • Celebrating the 4th with family. We did a parade, lunch on the deck, a cookout at our place and then fireworks with the Meyers clan and my in-laws. It was the perfect 4th! Only thing better would've been to spend some of it on a boat. Maybe next year?
  • The arrival of Bing cherries to our grocery stores. Those cherries always signal that summer is here.
  • Meeting sweet Cooper Rizvi for the first time on his 2nd day of breathing air. I got to hold him for about 30 minutes and I was mesmerized. He was so small and so perfect. I could've looked at him all day, but that might've creeped his parents out. It made me so excited to hold our tiny bundle soon. And with him, I can stare all I want.
Happy Friday, Y'all!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

We've got a big decision staring us straight in the face today. Square on the chin. A good one, but a big one. Which means my mind is in full throttle swirl mode today and it's taking all I have to form these few sentences.

With that, I give you my shortest blog ever. You're welcome;)

Hopefully tomorrow I can share some news with you, but until then, I wish you a wonderful Thursday full of decisions that are about as deep as "chocolate or vanilla". I mean, at least one of us should take it easy today, right?

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Adding a new family member to your home is a BIG deal, especially if you're human and fully know that transition and change is a comin'. But what if you're the beloved, family dog? How do you prepare your fur babies for the new bundle of smells, sounds, coos, and attention stealing although not on purpose ways? I wish for just 5 minutes that I could speak fluent poodle. Okay, maybe I'd need more like an hour to fill in explanations for the last 11 years together, but you catch my drift.

I've read so many articles about how dogs can sense when their owner is pregnant, and I believe that to be 100% true. Piggy has been glued to my side for months. He will actually stand right next to my feet while I get ready in the mornings as to either protect me or to ensure that I haven't abandoned him for my new "litter". If he goes outside with Tim, even for 2 minutes, he sprints back in to find me as if I've suddenly run away to have this baby. It's so sweet and I love going through this exciting time with him by our side.

That was until the day we changed our guest bedroom into the nursery. You want to talk about parental guilt? Our guest bedroom is actually Piggy's bedroom. He sleeps under that bed every single day without fail. If I cannot find him, I know right where he is without too much worry. And the cutest part about it is the little "cave opening" shape he'd leave in the bed skirt when he'd scoot under there for his daily naps. It was always a dead giveaway of his whereabouts if the loud, human like snoring wasn't evidence enough.

As the Hubs and I took down his beloved guest bed, my heart just broke for him. He stood there and watched with those sad puppy eyes as "his space" was stripped away piece by piece. Once the bed was removed from the room, along with the other furniture, he began to cling to my leg. If I stood still for more than 2 seconds, he was clawing at my leg to be picked up and held. This behavior went on for the rest of the afternoon while we continued to set up baby shop.

Since that dreaded day, the Hubs and I will go sit on the floor or lay on the rug and chat in the nursery and Piggy will come in and lounge with us. I'm hoping he feels as though that can still be his room too, but it's definitely taking some time. Little does he know this is only the first of many transitions for him and us. BUT, we're a team and teams get through things together. One day at a time and a million changes all at once. And, as I hoped, he's slowly finding his way back to his special place. It's a bit smaller than his previous bed, but I'm thrilled to see him adjusting. It makes this fur-mom's heart all warm inside.

Days after we removed the guest bed he could be found trying to find his new niche.
This one didn't quite look comfortable.

This one appeared to be much more cozy, but didn't last long.
We shall call him, Piggy Locks, always searching for his new bed.

Can you spot Piggy Locks? Two days ago (about 3 weeks after we made the transition) he found his way back "home". Sawing logs and dreaming of his brother. Or maybe dreaming about chewies and long walks around the neighborhood, but we'll go with his brother anyway. It makes for a better end to the story.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nailed It

Every once in a awhile I come across a song that seems to really nail it. You know, the kind that makes you close your eyes, sing along with might, and sometimes gives you goose bumps. My homeboy, David Nail seems to achieve the "nailed it" (pun intended) status quite often. How his voice is not bigger than so many of the randoms on the country chart is beyond me. Side note, any other country fans tired of dudes just singing about beer? If I hear one more song with "grab a cup, fill it up" or "drink a beer", I might have to switch my allegiance to R&B or heavy metal. Give me some real lyrics that actually tell a story please. Everyone likes to drink beer, but not everyone should sing about it. And all the bored country fans said AMEN!

If you don't know who David Nail is, well, you should. I've loved him for about 4 years now and keep waiting for him to really take off. His time will come, I just know it. Until then, I will continue to swoon as he produces phenomenal music. AND the coolest part of Mr. Nail is that he called me on my cell phone one night just to say hey. Nope, not lying. You wanna see me break into an insta-sweat, have David Nail call me while I'm lounging on my couch in sweat pants. Boom, hot, sweaty, awkward mess.

My former boss knew that I loved David as much his wife did, so when they ran into him in Charleston after his concert and had a beer or two with him, he did the coolest thing someone's ever done for me. He asked David to call me. Best. Boss. Ever.

So there I am, on a Thursday night, watching lame TV and my phone rings. I pick it up and do the usual "hello" deal only to be greeted by a voice that I don't recognize. "Hey Brittany, do you know who this is?" came next. When I said "um, no" the male voice said "It's David Nail". Yeah right. Good one. So I said what any fan would say when meeting one of their favorite artists "Shut up. It is not." We went back and forth with a few "yes, it is" and a few more "shut ups", until I finally knew in my gut it was him. We chatted for a few minutes, I pretty much fell in love, and I've been a HUGE fan ever since. Again, if you don't know his stuff, you should. I'm doing you a favor here, friends. Youtube him. You will not regret it. Plus he's pretty. Just sayin.

Long story not short at all, I bring you one of my new favorite "Nailed it" songs. It's called "The Sound of a Million Dreams". We've all got dreams that are ours and no one else's. And his voice behind the lyrics of why he labors over his piano keys and lyrics is simply beautiful. He does it for us, hoping something he sings will hit us right. He definitely hit me right with this one.

And because I cannot share David Nail with you and not give my all time favorite Nail song a shout out, I give you "Turning Home." When I was living in Charleston, I'd lose myself in this song and all that my hometown and the people in it meant to me. And if you watch the video, his first love took place across a basketball court with a BB player and a cheerleader, which just seemed so fitting for the Hubs and I.

These lyrics are us on paper and in song...
And I don’t know no love
Like the first love
When I think about the best times
She’s the one I think of
Deep inside me
All though the taste is bittersweet
I see her smilin’ even though she’s gone
And it keeps me turning home.

So glad I turned home after all those years. He kept me turning home.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Great Chipmunk Dilemma

Let me preface this post with the hard and fast truth that I love anything with fur. Unless it's a huge, hairy spider, of course. Then that thing must die. NOW. But I digress...

I love animals with a passion. Seeing an animal "sleeping" on the side of the road or even a stray animal sighting can ruin my day. Knowing that an animal has been harmed destroys my heart and tears will be shed. I just can't help it. I try to be "harder" in this arena, but I'm just a lump of mushy, warm-fuzzies when it comes to things with fur. Always have been.

Which brings me to today's dilemma in our casa. Chipmunks. Upon moving into our home two years ago, I can still remember spotting my first "chippie" in the yard and thinking "aww, we have a chipmunk." Chipmunk. As in one, singular chipmunk. I was WAY off. Fast forward two years and it appears we are out numbered by these cute, destructive rodents with the racing stripes.

From finding a chippie alive and wrapped in a plastic mattress bag in our basement to having them burrow into our walls and drop mud onto our couches from the ceiling vents, they have slowly invaded our lives. I am forced to listen to their chirping banter as they brag about their deluxe accommodations (aka, our walls) from our front steps. They are cocky little mongrels who make me call them bad names in my head when I see them confidently sitting on our front steps as I pull in the driveway. Punks. Glad you're enjoying our home while we're out working hard to pay your little four legged mortgage.

This summer things escalated to an all time high on the chippie front. They have now dug out about 3 feet of our foundation. Seriously?! How are they that strong? If left un-dealt with, are they going to slowly dig up and move our home to a location with better nut selections? It's chippie anarchy up in here! Something must give. And so it has given, much to my dismay. Insert chipmunk traps for the Hubs. Insert heart break for this wife.

After having a contractor come out to estimate the damage they've done and the repair that needs to be made, he stressed the fact that we needed to "eradicate" the problem before the repairs are done or these chippies will find another way in. I begged, pleaded, and offered to operate a catch and release program as to not harm the rodents. That was until I read that you have to drive them across a body of water (aka, the Rock River) when relocating or they'll find their way back home? Again, seriously?! Why are there no Disney movies about the super powers of chimpunks?

And so traps have been set, my friends, and lives have been lost. I don't know how many. I don't want to know. I made the mistake of asking the Hubs if he had "caught any yet?" He said "yes, some" and I quickly yelled back "don't tell me!" to which he replied at an equally elevated tone "then don't ask me!" Touche, sir, touché. I will not ask again. Ignorance is bliss, although I do notice less and less chirping front the front steps.

I'm sorry little furry friends. I was so good with you being in our yard, but when you crossed that line and came into our home, it just wasn't fair anymore. You're doing TONS of damage and it appears you are power hungry and must be stopped. I campaigned to keep your hearts beating, but I lost the battle as I do not have the time nor the strength to drive you across the river, one at a time, as you cry out of fear from your cage. My heart breaks for you, but I shall not ask how many have been lost in the great chippie massacre of 2014. I just can't know. RIP, chips. I hope that peanut butter was just a small taste of the chippie heaven that awaits you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

God Bless America

Who doesn't love a day dedicated to freedom? Or a day wrapped in red, white and blue, stars and strips, and all things 'Merica? And let's not forget apple pie, Lee Greenwood, fireworks, parades in the hot sun with cold chocolate milk and cookouts? It's honestly one of my favorite days of the year. God Bless America!

I hope today is full of sunshine and great friends and family. A grocery bag that quickly fills with candy as the marching bands and floats pass by your chair. Men and women in military uniforms. A flag that flies with pride from your front porch. Pride that swells in your heart as we come together to declare our nation a great one; the BEST one.

Today and everyday, we salute you, America. You're the land of the free because of the brave and I proudly stand up next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S.A.

Have a safe and happy 4th, y'all!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What's in a Name?

We've finally settled on a name, folks. It only took us about 8 months to agree on one we both love. And although we're not making it internet official until his arrival, many of you already know it which makes this whole journey all the more real. And 98% percent of those who know it have greeted the name with open arms and oohs and ahhs, so thank you for not doing any of the following: gagging noises, eye rolls, blank stares, or saying anything that resembles "hmmm, really?" "Are you sure?", or "that's interesting".

If we were having a girl her name was already set in stone. I've had my daughter's name picked out since 1999, Lord willing we have one some day. So girl name, easy peasy. Boy name, ugh. I kept telling the Hubs that it wouldn't be hard to name a boy as I guarantee there's not a parent out there that wakes up every morning and says "oh man, we shouldn't have named our 12 year old Tony. He's clearly a Joey. We're horrible parents." Keep in mind, that thought process of mine was before we opened the fateful envelope that said "male fetus" amongst its context. Suddenly I found myself eating my words.

What's in a boy name, I asked myself daily? A lot apparently. It has to be something sincere yet not sappy, something suitable for a sweet, little bundle but strong enough to carry his stature at 35 years old, and definitely not something that will get him beat up on the playground. When you add all of those things together, you're honestly not left with a whole heck of a lot. At least not for us.  Especially when we tend to be indecisive or have opposite ideas of what may or may not get someone beat up.

So now that its official, I bring you the names that will not appear on Ziggy's birth certificate, although I do still love a few of them so they may reappear if we're blessed with another:
  • My picks:
    • Meyers Lewis (I still love this one, but couldn't sway the Hubs)
    • Ezra
    • Caulder
    • Keaton
    • Charlie
    • Grayson
    • Kingston
    • Liam
    • Kinnison
    • Jantzen (this one was actually a strong contender for both of us for awhile. I'd even randomly shout out "Jantz", which would startle the Hubs, but I wanted to see how it rolled off the tongue when I'd need that little man's attention in the future).
    • Patterson
  • Hub's picks (or some of our mutual picks):
    • Tristan (this one was too feminine for me, but apparently it's the name of a stud muffin in Legend's of the Fall. I just couldn't be swayed, sorry, Tim)
    • Harrison (we both really liked this one, but were afraid he'd be called Harry. The Hubs assured me "no one has EVER met a Harry who wasn't a phenomenal guy", but I just couldn't have my son called Harry. No offense to the awesome Harrys out there!)
    • Tucker
    • Xander
    • Zigmond (not sure if he was for real or not on this one)
  • Names from friends, family, and anyone else I encountered who found out we didn't have a name yet: *No offense in advance to the innocent parties who may have suggested any of the following options. Some of them were great, but not the right fit for us. Others, "hmmm, really? Are you sure?" ;)*
    • Everett
    • Emmett
    • Baylor (I loved this one)
    • Hayden
    • Mitch (the Hubs is convinced every Mitch has either a mullet or ponytail and wears jorts and sleeveless Tees. He had me laughing so hard over how Mitch and Darrel are practically interchangeable that I almost wet my pants while driving due to uncontrollable belly laughs. Gotta love him. The Hubs, not Mitch.)
    • Easton
    • Augustus
    • Muffin
    • Peabo (hoping this one was a joke)
    • Chace
    • Trey
    • Abraham
    • Lincoln
Is anyone else exhausted by the name game after reading that? We sure were. In the end though, it all came out perfectly. Until then, Ziggy he will remain!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Goals

It appears that many of the blogs I follow are all sharing their "Summer Goals" with the internet world, and so I thought "hmm, maybe there's something to this little exercise." I've made lists of goals before but more so at the beginning of the year or in regards to my career plans. Never mid-year. Come to think of it, I've never made a goal list that included eating outside more often so I've declared this list a must-do and am calling it good.

Do you have any summer goals? I'd love to hear them and possibly steal one or two;)

Summer 2014 Goals-
  1. Dine Al Fresco more often, aka eat outside. Charleston offered so much in terms of restaurants with great patios and waterfront views. Rockford offers some great options too and I want to get into the habit of parking myself on a patio for meals more often. Lord knows we'll have all winter to hibernate and dine inside. Check out the view at Noonan's. Good, no?

  2. Take a weekend trip, as we've promised each other, for our anniversary. It can even be one night away, but with how incredibly hectic this summer has been with work, wedding rentals every weekend and jobs that could easily consume you, I think it's REALLY important for us to pause, get in the car, and turn off our phones. Battery recharge time, folks.
  3. Finish two books in July and one in August before our due date. I'm halfway through Jodi Picoult's "The Story Teller" and waiting in the bullpen is "Wish you Were Here" by Stewart O'Nan.

  4. Clean out our garage. What? They can't all be fun tasks like eating ice cream, right (ohhh, can I declare that a legitimate goal as well?)? This one task, must get done. Out of necessity and for the sake of our sanity.   
  5. Walk along the bike path with Wrigley and the Hubs more often. And at least one of those times, bring along a picnic dinner.
  6. Attend one Evening in the Gardens and take in a few City Markets. It's so crazy down there, in a great way, and I think it'll be a better experience if we go now before we're trying to weave a stroller through the crowds.

  7. Watch Tim Kayak in Rock Cut while I read, nap, and breathe in the fresh air.
  8. See one more movie in theaters in July and one in August. All while watching the Hubs crush $18 worth of mediocre popcorn. We went last Friday night and it's just a simple, yet fun date night.
  9. Have a Birthday party for Pig and his dog friends. A kiddie pool is a must. I've wanted to do this for years and have never made it happen. This little man deserves a puppy party, gosh darn it. I wish his friends in SC could come (that's you, Dar-La, Tucker and Bailey!).
  10. Meet our son around August 21st! Ahhhhh!