Category Archives: Around the House

Bellycast as Still Life

So, apparently a lot of people had trouble viewing the fourth Bellycast that I posted this weekend.  In the Bellycast, I finally unveiled the nursery.  So exciting!  So exciting that I thought I’d post pictures for anyone who wasn’t able to view the video.

Here is the view from the nursery doorway.  The room is actually a very small bedroom.  Its the perfect size for a very small person.  Everything fits, but just barely, so some of the pictures are hard to see.

View from the doorway

View from the doorway

This is the crib and the bedding set.  We went with a sports theme, but we are using the theme loosely.  Its cute though…

Dresser and crib

Dresser and crib

Bedding inside the crib

Bedding inside the crib

This is the changing table.   I bought the softest most adorable terrycloth cover for the mattress pad.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the fact that it is WHITE and that the things I will be cleaning up on that changing table are definitely NOT white.  No worries.  I bought bleach, too.  The baskets underneath the changing table are full of things like rattles and hand toys, receiving blankets, and bottles.

Changing table

Changing table

These sit on top of the dresser.  The lamp matches the bedding set, and my Mom made the adorable Humpty Dumpty nighlight.

Nightlight and Lamp

Nightlight and Lamp

These are the books that start Michael’s little collection.  You have to have Peter Rabbit.  You just have to.  And the second is a book on etiquette.  I have a fascination with etiquette.  I may not always use my manners, but I like knowing what I should be doing.  When I was about 8 years old, my Dad bought me an old volume of Amy Vanderbilt’s Book of Etiquette at a garage sale.  He bought it as a joke, but I became obsessed with it, reading all 500-something pages over the weekend.  That’s when my fascination began.  Now, I collect etiquette books.  So, its only fitting that my baby should have his own etiquette book!  My Mom found it in a bookstore.  It’s perfect!

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

First book of etiquette

First book of etiquette

When Chris was growing up, he says that Winnie the Pooh was his favorite.  He actually wanted to do the entire nursery in Winnie the Pooh at first.  I compromised and instead we have a cuddly Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal and a honey pot with finger puppets that sits front and center in the room.

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

These are the shelves we hung in the nursery, and a few pictures of the things sitting on them now.  The picture of the book called What’s Wrong Little Pookey is significant because Chris and I have called each other Pookey since we were in high school.  Now, we have a little Pookey in our family!

Little Pookey Book

Little Pookey Book

M is for Michael

M is for Michael

Cute little animals

Cute little animals

So, that’s about it.  The little nursery for my little Beanie.  There’s just one thing missing…

A baby!

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Filed under Around the House, Bellycast, pregnancy

A Dog Day Afternoon

Our dogs have lost their minds lately.  I’ll be the first to tell you that we don’t have the best behaved dogs.  They have their golden moments, but for the most part they are jumping, slobbering, couch-coveting beasts.  And I love them.  As intrusive as they might be, they are only that way because we treat them like part of our family.  For five years now, the dogs have been our children.  Our hairy, smelly, spoiled children.

Lately though, they seem to be worse.  Take the couch, for example.  We recently moved our living room furniture around so that Chris and I could get more use out of our couch and loveseat.  The problem with this is that for the past few years, the couches have sort of belonged to the dogs.  Now, they are pissed that we are trying to relocate them.  When Chris and I sit on the couch now, the dogs don’t try to lay with us or cuddle or spend time with us.  They growl.  They moan.  They throw themselves at our feet, whining over the injustice that has vicimized them.

Such drama queens.

And its not just the couch.  They dogs are now incredibly vocal whenever they feel they have been cheated.  And cheated to them can be something as simple as not being fed at exactly 5:55 PM.  If we are even 5 minutes late feeding Lucy (the little one), she throws herself at our ankles, moaning and barking until food appears in her bowl.

Clearly, something needed to change.  We tried ignoring them.  We tried putting them in time out.  We tried giving them everything they wanted.  Nothing helped.  The dogs stayed in their rut and Chris and I continued to be frustrated with them.  Finally today, we thought of a different way to handle this whole situation.  Maybe the dogs were bored.  They’ve been inside for the past few months because of the weather.  They are tired of each other, of us, of their toys, of their food, of their couches.  Maybe they needed a make over and a change in scenery.

So, we packed up this morning and took them to the park to take out some of their frustrations on ducks, small children, and the elderly.  It was a glorious success.

Molly and Chris

Molly and Chris

Me, the Bean, my non-showered hair, and the dogs

Me, the Bean, my non-showered hair, and the dogs

Molly saying hello to the ducks

Molly saying hello to the ducks

After a good romp in the park, we had a little water break at the car before heading home.  Good thing the dogs are professionals when it comes to drinking out of Solo cups.  Comes from all that practice stealing beers at house parties…

"Hey!  This is water!  Where's my beer?"

"Hey! This isn't beer!"

The trip home was a little tricky.  Since Lucy was a puppy, she has been riding on my lap on our weekend trips to visit Chris in college.  She’s a road warrior.  A trooper.  A traveler.  Planes, trains, or automobiles – she’s done them all without so much as a blink.

Lucy riding shotgun, barking at anything that moves and wagging her tail like a college student on Spring Break

Lucy riding shotgun, barking at anything that moves and wagging her tail like a college student on Spring Break

Molly, however, was not blessed with the travel gene.

About 5 seconds before Molly yacked

About 5 seconds before Molly yacked

In fact, she is such a lousy traveler, that she didn’t even make it all the way home from our adventure this morning.  She got so sick in the car that Chris had to get out and walk her the last few blocks home.

Molly prefers the sidewalk over the backseat

Molly prefers the sidewalk over the backseat

But once we got everyone home via their preferred method of travel, the dogs were 100% satisfied.  They had taken the edge off and seemed calmer and not so pissy.

Relaxing back at the house on the back deck

Relaxing back at the house on the back deck

I guess sometimes you just need to walk it off…

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Filed under Around the House, Lucy, Molly

Why I Love Costco

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Chris:  Sweetie, do we have any spaghetti sauce?

Me:  Hmm…  I dunno…

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Chris:  How about spaghetti noodles?

Me:  Yeah, I don’t know about those either.

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Filed under Around the House, Marriage

Better Than the Boy Scouts

To many people, good organizational skills are an important characteristic.  But in my family, its a disease.  It started with my mom.  She can make a travel itinerary like its nobody’s business.  Family vacations were structured and scheduled – from breakfast locations all the way down to which gift shops we would visit.  To some people, this sounds like a terrible way to take a vacation, but our family kind of liked it.  Whenever we visited anywhere, we were guaranteed to never miss a thing.  And then when I got married, my mom and I planned the wedding together.  She was quite a show to watch.  She had this enormous notebook that carried everything from fabric swatches to flower petal samples.  I’ll never forget when she handed out schedules, itineraries, and emergency contact information to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner.  Classic Mom.  But my wedding went off without a hitch and I have never been so thankful to her.

My sister is like a mutated version of my mom.  She’s like a Boy Scout on speed.  I can’t explain it any better than this visual representation.  This is the flow chart that my sister sent me for one of my visits to see her:

schedule

See?  Its a disease.  And I feel bad for her.  She just can’t help herself.

I like to think that I fall somewhere in the middle, and I only owe that to Chris.  Chris has never worked off a schedule in his life.  The man doesn’t even have a calendar.  He just “remembers” his appointments.  So, the few times I have tried to corner him with an itinerary, he’s just smiled and said, “That’s nice, sweetie,” and then done whatever the hell he wanted.  This has forced me to find a happy medium.  I like a good list, but I’m not big with schedules and itineraries and hour-by-hour planning.

Until now.

lifedoc_large

For Christmas this year, my Mom gave me something called Life.docs.  Life.docs is a binder that is supposed to be one-stop-shopping for your personal affairs in the event of an emergency. There are over 150 pages of information that you have to fill in.  Things like your health insurance information, your doctor’s contact numbers, your mortgage paperwork.  It even has questions like what your I.D. and password is at your office.  The idea is that if something were to happen to you and a complete stranger (and/or a husband who doesn’t pay attention to details…) had to step in and take care of things, everything they needed to know would be in this book.

It is now the end of February and I had not yet started filling out this book.  It seemed too overwhelming to me.  Too time consuming.  Too detailed.  Too ORGANIZED.  But last night, I went into overdrive.  I think I might be “nesting” (isn’t that what its called?).  True, traditional nesting involves picking out bedding and hanging pictures in the baby nursery, but I think my nesting is taking the form of being uber-prepared.  Suddenly it dawned on me that I’m going to be responsible for someone and if – God forbid – something were to happen to me or Chris, how would anyone be able to help the baby?

So, I started organizing our house.  I started last night by cleaning out our office.  This led to cleaning out our filing cabinets (including labeling files with computer-printed labels – spiffy, huh?).  This finally led to me sitting down with our Life.docs binder late last night.  I got through the first 3 sections, and then had to quit because Chris wouldn’t help me answer questions like who is HR contact was at work.  And because it was 11:00 and I was falling asleep as I wrote.

But this morning, I feel organized and in order.

Now, by all means, bring on the baby to totally send my organized life into chaos.

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Filed under Around the House, Changes, Family, Marriage, pregnancy

My Spirit is Weak

A few weeks ago, I shared about my personal financial crisis.  Ever since then, I have immersed myself in financial advice – Dave Ramsey (which is the program we are actually following), Suze Orman (at the suggestion of a reader of this humble blog), my parents (who are smarter with money than anyone I know – professional or otherwise), the girl at my hair salon (whose suggestion was to spend more to revitalize the economy – somebody needs to give that girl a book deal).

I have spent more time than I care to admit with our checking and savings accounts.  I know my 401k better than I know my gynocologist.  I have spreadsheets and budgets and calculators and sharp pencils.  I make meal plans and am averaging only about $70 at the grocery store every week, which is down from about $150.  And I haven’t seen the inside of Target yet (although I do sometimes sit out in the parking lot and cry).

In short, I’ve been a pillar of strength.

But, I’m cracking.  It started yesterday morning when I ordered curtains for the baby’s room from Target’s website.  I figured it was safer for me to go to Target online than in person.  And besides, the curtains were only $25.  But as I congratulated myself on my bargain shopping, something snapped in my head and I decided to hunt around the website a little more.  Just some harmless cyber window shopping.  Before I knew it, my shopping cart totaled over $150.  It was uncontrollable.  It was a force larger than me.  I couldn’t help it.  My shopping cart was like a mythical force.

Finally, I snapped myself out of it and immediately emptied my cart of everything but my curtains and then I checked myself out and decided to take a walk to calm myself down.  The pressure was too much.  I couldn’t handle it.

How long can I last without shopping?  Without so much as one purchase?  Without the joy of a full shopping cart?  Without the satisfaction of sliding my debt card through the card reader in checkout lines?

I’m cracking under this kind of pressure.  I need a new hobby.  Like knitting or quilting.  Actually, I should really go for a contact sport.  Something like rugby or football.  This problem can’t be solved by crafting.  I need to release this energy.

I need to beat someone up.

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Filed under Around the House, Changes, Money

The Clothes are Half the Fun!

I always wanted to dress up my dogs.  When the little one, Lucy, was smaller I was so excited because she was the perfect size for cute dog clothes.  But she hated them.  There were a few different things that could happen when you tried to dress Lucy up.  She might bite you.  She might shred the clothes.  Or she might freeze and not move a muscle.  None of these options were pleasant.  Over the years, though, I was able to get a few good outfits out of her.  Reindeer antlers at Christmas one year.  A Florida State football jersey for Homecoming one year.  And last year’s Halloween costume was magnificent.

Lucy as Elephant

Lucy as Elephant

You can't tell, but she is growling in this picture

You can't tell, but she is growling in this picture

Sadly, however, this was my final attempt to dress up my dog.  I gave up after this.  She bit me when I put her in the costume, then she stood there frozen in this position pictured above until I removed the costume, and then she shredded the elephant trunk.  Bad dog.

I realized this past weekend though that I might have a second chance at dressing something up.  I have a baby on the way.  And he’s helpless.  And he can’t talk so he can’t complain.  And he can’t bite because he won’t have teeth for a while.  He’ll be the puppy I never had.

After I made this discovery, I headed off to the Carter’s store (a.k.a.  Baby Mecca).  It was my first time in a whole Carter’s store and, I have to say, even for a seasoned shopper like me, it was a little intimidating.  So many options!  And they were all so tiny!  When I first walked in, I thought I was in trouble.  So many things to buy!  But turns out, I already own half of the entire Carter’s collection (thanks, Mom!) and so there wasn’t all that much left to buy.  I did find some pretty cute little outfits though.

Like this one.  Everyone loves a dinosaur…

Dino Duds

Dino Duds

And this cute little alligator outfit…

Hot stuff

Hot stuff

And then this cute little ensemble.  This is for when he’s hanging out with his Daddy in the Man Cave.  (Side Note:  I think Chris may already actually own this same outfit.)

I got this jacket on sale for $3.99 and the shirt for $1.99!!!

I got this jacket on sale for $3.99 and the shirt for $1.99!!!

I’m so glad I’m having a baby and not a puppy.  Babies seem to be much easier…

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Filed under Around the House, Family, Lucy, pregnancy

Bellycast #3

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Filed under Around the House, Bellycast, Family, Lucy, pregnancy