Ring Around My Fat Finger

In the past few weeks my hands have started to swell pretty badly and almost every day. Its gotten to the point now where if it happens and I am still wearing my wedding and engagement rings, they get stuck. Chris keeps getting on to me saying that I need to stop wearing the rings or else he’s going to have to cut them off of me one day. I compromised and am now only wearing my wedding band.

Sans engagement ring

Sans engagement ring

I love my wedding band.  It wasn’t actually the one I picked out when we got engaged.  The one I picked out was much cheaper.  Just a band.  But on the night before our wedding, Chris gave me a small box and inside was this beautiful platnum band with small diamonds.  It matched my engagement ring and it was gorgeous.

So, I love my wedding band.  No question about it.  But more than the band, I adore my engagement ring.  It isn’t big.  It isn’t something flashy.  It won’t stop traffic.  It is just a single solitare square cut diamond, small but beautiful.  I love that ring because I know that Chris saved money for it while he was a poor college student.  He kept the money hidden in a picture frame behind a picture of me.  I love that. And I love that ring because of the day that he gave it to me.

Have I told you about how we got engaged?  Its a pretty great story.  When we were juniors in college, Chris and I went on a trip to New York together at Christmastime.  I had begged the entire trip for us to go ice skating in Rockefellar Center, right in front of the big tree.  But Chris kept putting it off and putting it off.  One night after we went to see the Rockettes in Radio City, Chris asked if I wanted to walk over to Rockefellar Center and finally go ice skating.

Outside Radio City Music Hall the night of the engagement

Outside Radio City Music Hall the night of the engagement

So, we’re skating around in front of the big tree and the lights are twinkling and Christmas music is playing and there are a million people milling around, and all of a sudden Chris stops skating.  Right there in front of the big tree.  And he gets down on one knee.  And I cry.  And he asks if I’ll marry him.  And I say yes.  And we both cry.  And then I fall down (cause I’m on ice skates, remember…).

The proposal

The proposal


I said yes (...duh)

I said yes (...duh)


I immediately examine the ring

I immediately examine the ring

I loved my ring from that moment on.  We went back to our hotel room that night with a case of beer and a bag of pretzels, and we stayed up all night talking about weddings and marriage and, of course, my ring.

(This is a picture of me telling Chris that from now on, my ring will be front and center in pictures.)

Chris has been replaced by my ring

Chris has been replaced by my ring

The very next day, I bought my first wedding magazine and began plotting planning our wedding.  And, once again, my ring was front and center.

(Note the bling, bling)

(Note the bling, bling)

And that was the beginning of my love affair with my engagement ring.  I was hooked from then.  But its not the ring itself that hooked me.  I’m not bummed right now because I can’t wear a diamond ring on my finger.  It was more about what that ring meant at the time that Chris gave it to me.

When we got engaged, I was waiting to hear from law schools, he was floating around trying to decide what to do after graduation.  We didn’t know where we’d end up or even if we’d end up there together.  There were so many questions out there, so many obstacles, and it probably would have been easier for us to figure out our paths separately.  But when Chris gave me that ring, things just clicked into place for us.  We still had a million unanswered questions about how it would practically work out, but we knew that however things ended up, we’d be together.  And that’s why I love that ring.

And that’s why it is so hard for me to not wear it right now.  Because we are sort of back in that limbo phase.  Now, we are waiting for a baby, waiting on job opportunities, waiting to see how our lives will change yet again.  And being able to look down at that ring and just know that everything will click into place exactly how it is meant to be was very comforting to me.

I’ve been without my ring for about a week now.  And you know what?  I don’t need it.  I’m doing fine without it.  I guess its because I just know things are working out how they are supposed to – whether I’m wearing that ring or not.  And that’s a pretty good feeling.

But I can guarantee you that the minute that baby is out of my belly, I’m putting my pretty diamond back on my finger.  Every girl loves a little sparkle…

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Filed under Changes, Husbands, Marriage, pregnancy

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

Smarter Than I Think I Am

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Our friends, Matt and Mary, had their second baby three weeks ago so last night Chris and I ventured over to say hello and meet their newest addition.  She’s beautiful.  And she smells good.  And she slept the whole time.  All very good things for a new mom-to-be to see.  Matt and Mary told us all about the baby – how she was adjusting and how the family was doing adjusting to her.  Mary took me into the baby’s room and showed me some of the tricks of the trade that she was using to make life easier.

And you know what?  I KNEW EVERYTHING ALREADY!!!

She showed me how to take two towels and roll them up with a blanket draped over them to create little bumpers so the baby felt secure and didn’t roll over on accident – I ALREADY KNEW THAT!!

She showed me how to swaddle the baby and told me that the swaddling kept the baby from flailing around and waking herself up – I ALREADY KNEW THAT, TOO!!

She showed me how to hold the baby when she had gas (flip her legs up a little bit to bend her at the waist) and how to hold her when she was bored (facing outward so she could see) and how to hold her when you’re just carrying her around the house (pretty much however you want) – AND I ALREADY KNEW ALL OF THAT, TOO!!

She and Matt told Chris and I that sometimes babies will just cry for no reason.  They have a clean diaper, a full tummy, they’ve been burped, they’ve napped, and yet they’ll just sometimes cry it out for a while, and it doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong.  Its just how they react to things – AND I KNEW THAT, TOO!!

And then they asked us if we had any questions about the pregnancy, delivery, or the first few days of having the baby home, and I sat there and thought for a second…and I thought…and I thought…and I thought.  And I came up with nothing.  Nadda.  I had no questions.  Now, I’m sure that questions will arise when the baby is here and I’m not planning to always be this smart, but last night when I was pushed for a question and couldn’t come up with one, I felt really proud of myself.  And I felt ready.  And in control.  And – more important than any of that – I wasn’t scared.

I’m not pointing out how baby-smart I am to say that I know it all.  I’m pointing it out and documenting this moment right now because I know that in a few months when the Beaner is here and its 4:00 AM and I’m crying because he’s crying and I can’t get him to stop wiggling so that I can swaddle him, dangit, I know that in that moment, I’m going to doubt that I know anything about being a parent.  And now, I can look back at this post and say to myself, “See?  At one point, you DID know it all and you’ll know it all again soon, so just hang in there.”

Self-proclamation is big with me.  My ego needs a boost every now and then.  Doesn’t yours?

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Bellycast #4

Wanna see more Bellycasts?  Try these:

Bellycast #1

Bellycast #2

Bellycast #3

UPDATE:  For those of you who are having trouble viewing Bellycast #4, I am not sure what the problem is.  I’m not techy savy enough to figure these kinds of problems out!!  But I am posting still pictures of the nursery tonight, so you’ll be able to see everything that was shown in the Bellycast.  Sorry for the technical difficulty!

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Cuddling with a Pregnant Lady

Last night Chris and I were laying on the couch watching March Madness.  (For the record, I am number 1 in our pool right now, thankyouverymuch…  Chris is number 8, but whose counting?)  Its getting harder and harder to cuddle up together.  Actually, its been darn near impossible in the last few weeks.  My belly takes up most of the room on the couch, leaving Chris to either curl up in a ball at the far end or fend for himself on the tiny loveseat.  Not exactly the cuddling experience people crave.

So, last night Chris was sitting on the far end of the couch and I started nagging in him to come sit with me.  I needed a good cuddle, and he was just the husband to do it.  It was tricky.  Very tricky.  He had to navigate through over-stuffed pillows, two dogs, my ice pack on my ankles, my heating pad for my back.  It wasn’t easy for him.  The closest he could squeeze was about my hip, which was not great, but it would do.

He lays down and we’re sort of nestled together, watching basketball.  All of a sudden, he grabs one of the throw pillows and wedges it between my…um…rear and him.

“What are you doing?” I ask.

“Well…you’ve been a little…well…you never know when you might…so I thought I’d just put a little barrier up in case you…you know…fart.”

“You’re protecting yourself from my gas?”  I asked, horrified.  If it wouldn’t have taken so much effort, I would have gotten up and stalked away.  But I’m seven and a half months pregnant and it takes more than a little blushing to get me to move these days.

“Well, you just never know.  And I’m laying right in your line of fire…” he stammered.

It was quiet while I considered how much he had just insulted me.

“Eh, alright,” I said, turning back to the television.  “You’re probably right anyway.”

My marriage is nothing if its not honest.

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Naptime with Molly

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Filed under Marriage, Molly

Go Big or Go Home

Today kicks off March Madness, and if you are at all vested in college sports or if you know any male you know all too well the time commitment and dedication it takes to be a March Madness fan.  Personally, I’m a big college sports fan.  I went to Florida State University where the culture of sports and beer are cultivated like fine wines and cheese.  Being a fan is an artform in Tallahassee, Florida.  While I mostly follow college football, I do dust off my basketball cheerleading uniform for one month a year and I cheer on teams that I know nothing about in the name of March Madness.

For years, I have stood on the sidelines as Chris participated in pools and brackets.  I’d occasionally throw a good suggestion in the mix for him, but for the most part I just showed up and ate chicken wings.  But not this year.  No, sir.

Because THIS year, I’m IN THE POOL.  That’s right.  Chris finally agreed to let me enter the basketball pool that he and his friends have done for the past few years.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  I spent HOURS pouring over statistics that mean absolutely nothing to me in an effort to help me make at least a half-way educated guess.  I don’t need to win the thing.  I just don’t want to embarrass myself.  Visions of playing golf with my Dad when I was little and being told to just pick up my ball because I had taken too much time dance in my head.  I don’t want to choke under the pressure.  I just want to be able to at least hang in there for a few rounds.

I called my sister when I found out I was going to play.

“Ginny,” I whispered.  “When you pick teams that are going to win in a basketball tournament, what is that called?”

“I think its called your racket,” she said.

“Oh, yeah.  I think that’s right,” I responded.  (Its not right, actually.  Its called a BRACKET.)

“And Ginny?”  I asked.  “Whats it called when you enter a group of people who all pick their rackets?”

“I think that’s called a pool,” she said.

“Oh, yeah.  I think that’s right,” I responded.  (That actually is right.)

So with the help of my trusty sister, I was able to at least FAKE the sports lingo I would need to be a real contender.  Of course, Ginny went to the University of Florida, a university that makes Florida State  look like a nursery school when it comes to team spirit.  Chances are she was more immersed in the “culture” of beer than the “culture” of sports while she was there, so God knows what she actually knows about sporting rules.  She looks great in a jersery and visor though, so I trust her judgment.

I submitted my BRACKET yesterday and the tournament kicks off today.  Cross your fingers and cheer for Pittsburgh!  They are my number one pick over U Conn (don’t I sound so sporty?).  And if you have any basketball watching/picking/cheering tips for me to keep me from completely embarrassing myself, feel free to share.  I’m gonna need all the help I can get!

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Filed under Marriage