Archive for November, 2010

  • 22 Weeks

    Date: 2010.11.30 | Category: Pregnancy | Response: 6

    11/30/10

    22 Weeks

    Dear Peanut Sarah,

    Twenty-two weeks? How did that happen? It’s going by so fast! I’m proud to announce that you are now big and strong enough for me to feel it when you do somersaults. It makes my stomach feel like I’m riding a rollercoaster that goes upside down. And while the twisting feeling is amazing, it’s also nausea inducing. There’s just something weird about your insides feeling like a clothes dryer.

    Your dad can also now regularly feel your hearty jabs at my abdomen, which gives him a big, goofy grin. I love it.

    All the books I’ve read have indicated that laying on my left side would be the only way to get comfortable at night. At first I laughed and scoffed, but now I sigh with a great sense of comfort as soon as I roll onto my left side. I never ever want to leave that position, but I have to because I have to go to the bathroom ALL the time. Our dog Leela gives me the evil eye every time I get up and disturb her sleep in the middle of the night, but she is having to get over it. Bonnie, on the other hand, looks at me suspiciously. She knows something is up but hasn’t figured it out yet. I can’t wait for both of them to meet you.

    I’m also experiencing a lot of the pains of pregnancy. I won’t go into detail here, but now I understand why pregnant women can be so very grouchy and emotional.

    And baby bump? Well I know it’s there. Sort of. Especially when I lay flat on my back… But let’s face it, you’re still doing a good job of hiding in my long torso.  At least comments have turned to “you’re carrying that baby well.”

    We only have 18 weeks to go and I’m already planning your nursery. As soon as Christmas is over, I’m attacking it at full speed.

    Much love, Mommy

  • You might be a redneck if…

    Date: 2010.11.24 | Category: Angie Cat, Weirdness | Response: 12

    You have tin foil taped to your wood floors in an attempt to prevent your cat from defecating on said floors.

    Try explaining that to your magazine editor when she shows up with Thanksgiving baked goodies and she’s so busy staring at the floor that she can’t remember why she stopped by to begin with.

    Oh well, maybe it will keep the alien space rays out of our house.

    In case you were wondering, Operation Move the Cat Box was successful for exactly one week, then Angie resumed her disgusting habit. If the foil doesn’t work, I’m stealing BachelorGirl’s SSScat and fixing to the wall. At least that will bring me some amusement out of whole ordeal.

  • The Name

    Date: 2010.11.23 | Category: Baby, Family, Life, Pregnancy | Response: 6

    I know some people don’t want to share the baby’s name until she makes her appearance in this great big world, but I don’t mind sharing. After all, she’s referred to by name now, making me feel like I know her that much more.

    From the beginning I knew what the baby’s name would be if it proved to be a girl. Boy names Mark and I went rounds on, but as soon as I told Mark the girl name I wanted he loved it. Maybe we should have known then we were having a girl?

    At any rate, her name is Sarah Marjorie.

    Marjorie is Mark’s grandmother’s name. She is an amazing woman and adopted me into their giant Italian family  immediately. She has also had a huge influence on Mark’s life and I think that out of her 35 grandchildren Mark is one of her favorites. Plus, what a great old name!

    Sarah has a long history. I know a lot of you aren’t religious at all and I respect that, but it plays a huge role in why we picked Sarah.

    In 2006 I had some pretty crazy things happen with my health. My appendix went bad and was removed. 6 months later I started having terrible pain in the same spot and discovered that one of my falopian tubes had caught the infection from my appendix. Over the course of two years, I had the falopian tube removed, and then fought painful cysts on the opposite ovary. This too required surgery. It was a rough go and one of my docs told me that I would most likely need help conceiving children.

    I was devastated. I always pictured myself with a big family. At the time Mark and I weren’t married, but were talking about marriage and I didn’t know how he would feel about that proclamation. He, being the amazing man he is, reassured me that he wanted me, babies or no babies.

    The night after the doctor told me I would have difficulty conceiving, I worked myself up into a huge fit. I was very upset. I turned to my Bible. I opened it randomly to the story of Abraham and Sarah. In summary, Sara was barren, but God told her she would bear a child. She laughed at God, which angered Him, but He assured her she would be the mother of many nations. She then conceived and bore Isaac. After that, the “h” was added to her name.

    In that moment, I knew I would have a baby one day and her name would be Sarah. And while all of my anxiety wasn’t completely gone, I stopped worrying about it and took it as a sign that things were going to work out the way they were supposed to.

    And then, miracle of miracles we conceived her without any outside help in a relatively short amount of time. So here we are today, in a moment of serendipity, with baby Sarah Marjorie destined to make her appearance in April.

    So now you know. :)

  • 21 Weeks

    Date: 2010.11.23 | Category: Baby, Pregnancy | Response: 6

    11/23/10

    21 Weeks

    Dear Peanut,

    Your mommy’s memory has gone down the drain. I can’t remember someone’s name between the time I start and finish a phone conversation. All these projects at work now have to go on a list or they are completely forgotten about. The garage door gets left open, items get left off the grocery list and I feel like I am absolutely losing my mind. They say this is temporary, but oh my goodness I feel like an idiot.

    Your kicks and moves are starting to become more predictable. When I start to get hungry, you start hammering on me. Some of your kicks are so strong now that they make my hand bounce when it’s on my stomach.

    This week your Aunt Shannon and I went to register for baby things. She lectured me on picking out pink things because you’re a girl, but I am a much bigger fan of neutral colors and boy colors like blue and green.

    My co-workers have also thrown themselves into planning a work shower for me. They want to do it early (December) so they can “get me all the good stuff.” I won’t argue with them there!

    Also, you are starting to get heavy. If I lay on my back, it feels like a bowling ball is resting on top of my abdomen, squishing everything. Getting comfortable at night is getting more and more difficult. You squirm if I lay the wrong way and getting all the right supports in place is a task.

    Bending and stretching is now nearly impossible. It feels like I have a board pressed up against me preventing me from turning my stomach. I can tell my belly is starting to grow and get firmer, but alas no true round baby bump still. I’m starting to think you’re going to hide until right at the very end.

    It has been an exciting week and you are growing in leaps in bounds!

    Love, Mama

  • Double Double Toil and Trouble

    Date: 2010.11.22 | Category: Photography, Work | Response: 6

    So did I mention I’ve been taking lots of photos lately? It keeps me busy, but I love it.

    Every once in a while I get the opportunity to photograph something outside of the norm. One of those moments popped up recently when BachelorGirl hooked me up with doing a photo shoot of Centenary’s theatre production of Macbeth.

    While at first I was cranky at having to stay up so late to take said photos (OMG 11:00 at night IS late these days), once I saw the stage makeup and costumes I started geeking out. What an amazing experience it turned out to be! I’m so happy I had the opportunity to photograph the production photos.

    There were two photography students there taking photos as well, and a secret part of my mind feared their photos would be better than mine. But then one student getting in my frame and I had to put my foot down and get her on out of the way. The other one, however, was amazing. I think we’d be friends if I were still in college there.

    At any rate, enjoy the show!

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  • Furry Photos

    Date: 2010.11.18 | Category: Dogs, Pets, Photography | Response: 10

    As I’m sure you are well aware, I love our little four-pawed friends. So when Marie contacted me about photographing her dogs for a Christmas present for her husband, I was thrilled! That is right up my alley. Her boys were so sweet, Malcolm, the little black one, silently posed showing off all his best angles. Bentley was a more excitable and was so thrilled to have company and be near his mom. I loved their little personalities and thought we got some great shots! Here are a few of my favorites:

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  • Southern Goodness

    Date: 2010.11.17 | Category: Family, Mark, OMG YAY! | Response: 6

    If there is one thing we Southerners can always take pride in, it’s our food. Louisiana in particular has some of the best food in the world (which, I’m afraid, is also the leading reason we also have high obesity rates). And even though we’re in the northern part of the state, we still know how to cook and know flavor.

    So when Mark took it into his head to make Bananas Foster, a famous New Orleans dessert, at home, I was overjoyed and slightly nervous. You see, for those of you unfamiliar with the great dessert, there is actually a step where you set the entire thing on FIRE. I’ve seen it done many times in restaurants by professionals, and even then it still goes awry on occasion.

    But Mark was determined, and thank goodness he was because he produced the best version of Bananas Foster I’ve ever had.

    Sorry for the poor photo quality. iPhone had to cope with motion and low light.

    Preparing to light the rum and banana liquer.
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    Bananas flambe!
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    And there it is in all it’s sugar, cinnamon, rum goodness on top of Blue Bell ice cream, another southern staple.
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    He wants to perfect the recipe to serve it up to the family on Christmas Eve. I’ll most likely be eating it a lot between now and then. I don’t think the baby minds too much. :)

  • 20 Weeks

    Date: 2010.11.16 | Category: Baby, Mark, Pregnancy | Response: 7

    11/16/10

    20 Weeks

    Dear Peanut,

    We’re half way there. Twenty weeks down and twenty more  to go before we get to meet you! It seems crazy that the time has gone by so fast.

    You seem to be behaving the same from week to week now. Still lots of movements! I can definitely tell my lower abdomen looks pregnant, but you are staying low, so it makes it hard for anyone else but me and your daddy to tell.

    This week I was listening to a Broadway music station on Pandora (yes, your mommy is a nerd) when “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music came on. I started getting very weepy and called your daddy to tell him how I couldn’t wait to watch The Sound of Music with you one day. Your daddy, though very confused over my emotional state, was very supportive.

    I’ve also had this general icky feeling. I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m hurting, my stomach hurts, I’m hungry, I have heartburn, I’m moody. In other words, I’ve had a lot of moments of not being very much fun. Especially since sometimes I have to read a sentence three times before it makes sense.

    But for all the crumby-feeling moments, there are all the amazing ones where you move. And that, little girl, makes it all worth it!

    Love, Mama

  • The Business of Staying Busy

    Date: 2010.11.15 | Category: Baby, Life, Mark, Work | Response: 4

    As much as I work and yearn for down time, I rarely feel comfortable with lounging around. When the weekends come around, I’m ready to get started on the list that’s been dragging behind me forever.

    This weekend’s project? Cleaning out and organizing the closets. I have recently become obsessed with the complete lack of organization in our house. And, I have two very big reasons to organize the closets.  1) To make one a litter box friendly zone for Angie Cat and 2) To actually have a place to put baby things in the nursery.

    Operation closet clean out was a success! The office closet, once full of crap all over the floor, on the upper shelf and clothes that are, um, pre-maternity, is now organized into lots of Rubbermaid containers, hopefully safe from picking up any litter box smells.

    And great news so far… Angie cat started using the litter box again! Now let’s just hope she keeps it up.

    The nursery closet is also now officially cleaned out except for a few Christmas things that will go in the attic after the holidays. And Mark has agreed to install three more shelves in the closet to hold all of her stuff that we’re sure to be getting in the near future. I love being married to a handy man.

    Mark helped me during this whole process and we laughed at the long-forgotten gems we came across including: a note from a friend in high school talking about how she didn’t get drunk at prom, a photo of Mark with his nun principal circa 1984, photos of us both in diapers.

    We also had to clean out the hall closet to put all the holiday stuff and Bissell Green Machine in.

    I felt a profound sense of accomplishment… and incredibly bad back pain. But hey, at least we’re ready to start filling that nursery closet up with more stuff!

    I also had two big photography jobs this weekend. Both were very different and a lot of fun. I’m sure I’ll post some of those photos soon.

  • Update on Blogged About Things

    Date: 2010.11.12 | Category: Angie Cat, Friends, Leela Fish, Life, Me, Sam Cat | Response: 8

    1. My move to go organic.

    Parts of this have been more successful than others. Cleaning and hygiene products? Check! We’ve successfully switched to Berts Bees shampoo and conditioner, which had the bonus effect of hydrating my scalp more. We’ve also had great success with Tom’s toothpaste, Ecos laundry detergent and intermittent success with Seventh Generation dish detergent.

    Food has been much more difficult due in large part to my strange pregnancy eating habits. For instance, I can rarely eat meat these days unless I smother it in ketchup and mustard so I can’t taste the meat. Which means I a) need to find satisfying organic condiments and b) need to focus on finding organic vegetarian options that the husband will eat. Though he still breaks and goes to the nearest fast food place for a burger as often as he can. We have had success with wild caught salmon, spaghetti and potato soup however! And now that dad’s garden is full or organic and yummy broccoli, we’ve been eating a lot of that.

    2. The Cat Problem.

    Cassie’s solution of putting out a bowl of apple cider vinegar to keep the cat from peeing in front of the front door seemed like it was going to be a great success. Angie Cat went a full two weeks without peeing on the floor and was appropriately using the litter box. I declared Cassie the cat whisperer!

    But then she started ignoring the litter box again and instead peed on top of the bowl of vinegar to make her point. *$%* CAT!

    It is an ongoing problem again. So this weekend’s project is going to be converting the office closet into a litter box friendly zone. I’ll have to pack and store the clothes that are in there now, but hopefully it will be a quieter, calmer space away from the dogs and front door that will make her more willing to use the litter box.

    3. My updated closet.

    I had so much fun updating my wardrobe earlier this year, but my expanding body has made most of those clothes useless. However, I’m discovering more creative ways to dress and use what I have. Plus, a friend let me raid her maternity clothes, so I have a few new things to work with.

    4. Kelly’s Wedding

    Well, at the ceremony, there were some major glitches which she does a way better job of explaining than I can here. But we were in the dark (ha ha) about most of the problems. So outside of trying not to break an ankle in the potholes in the aisle in the dark and the threat of nearly passing out in the middle of the ceremony (though Mr. Phelan promised he would have caught me) and the still-angry husband over that whole denting the truck business, it was fun. No really. We danced and ate and had a merry old time. See?

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    Plus, Kel and The Guy were happily married and that made me positively radiant.

    5. And finally, this. Because a sleeping Leela and Sam Cat make me happy.

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