Monday, February 26, 2007


Seriously, is this what I have to look forward to in a few years? Because I can't deal with that level of drama.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


My grandmother passed away today. Two days before her 88th birthday. I've said that out loud, that she died two days before her birthday and the words roll around my mouth like they're familiar. Like I'm talking about something that occurred in the distant past rather than today.

Recently, two friends reminded me of something that, while I hadn't forgotten, I also hadn't thought about for a long time. Before my grandmother went into a nursing home, back when she used to take care of herself, she sent me a card for nearly every holiday. Not just birthdays and Christmas, but Halloween, Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day too. In these cards were one or two uninflated balloons, usually in colors corresponding with the holiday. Orange and black for Halloween for example. I suppose this was so that I and a friend could blow up the balloons and feel festive.

Which made me think of a couple of other things. She always sent me cards that had a picture of a little girl on them, even when I was in my late 20s. She always wrote my name under the girl, so I would know she was thinking of me. Sometimes the girl had a cat, and in that case, she would write the name of her cat along side mine. It didn't matter that in real life I was wildly allergic to her cat.

Also, she was famous for sending trays of Russel Stover candies. The chocolate kind that were wrapped in aluminum covers in the shapes of ghosts, say, in the case of Halloween, or Santas, for Christmas. She always sent these wrapped in wrapping paper, then wrapped in brown paper and she always sent them insured mail.

Anyway, she was a good woman, probably best I've known. While I am sad, I'm not very sad. I know it was her time and she's in a better place. In heaven, because surely that's where such a good woman will go, she can celebrate every holiday with chocolates and balloons if she wants to.

I've thankful to my friends who thought of my Nana and her balloons this week.

Friday, February 23, 2007


It occurred to me that I never left the apartment on Tuesday. I don't think a day has passed that I haven't gone outside in years. Even when I'm ill, or lazy or it's pouring out, I always leave the house. Even if it's only to go to the store to get Gatorade or ice cream. I have some illogical idea that staying in somehow signifies giving up.

So it struck me as odd that I didn't go out on Tuesday. I know this is because my husband was home and he went out to do anything I would have done. Being taken care of is an interesting feeling.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It Gets Me Every Time

I was flipping the channels and got sucked into watching "Pretty Woman" for about the billionth time. For some reason, I never get tired of that one.

Monday, February 19, 2007


So I'm related by marriage (two of them actually) to one of the Democratic mayoral candidates. My husband's cousin is married to Bob Brady if you can follow that. Not that we see him that often, but he was invited to, and actually attended, our wedding.

So Ron and I are among the few family members that live in Philadelphia. We are, however, registered Republicans, so we can't vote for Brady in the primary. But if you're a registered Democrat, you should check him out.

Holy Crap

Maybe she has totally lost it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mission Organization

Ron's on-call tonight so I have big plans while I have the apartment to myself: organization. We have paperwork everywhere and it's driving me nuts. So I'm going to do some laundry, make some dinner, clean the bathroom and kitchen and most importantly, I'm going to purge old paperwork and organize what we still need to keep. Because it's out of control right now.

Other than a party tomorrow night, I have no concrete plans. I will be drinking many, many liquids to make sure I'm not even remotely dehydrated on Monday. Monday I'm scheduled for an amnio. And despite what the wikipedia info says, I've still been told by my doctors and counselors that the risk of miscarriage is actually 1 in 200, not 1 in 1,600. So the better hydrated I am, the more amniotic fluid there may be, the better. My husband is leaving work early, an unprecedented move, to come the appointment with me, get me home, etc. Until then, I guess I'll try not to think about it.


I'm not sure how this happened so quickly, but I am 16 weeks pregnant. That's 4 months people!

Anyway, as I've said before, I'm still wearing all my normal clothes for now. I suppose that I need to brace myself for that becoming increasingly impossible. I'm not a huge fan of maternity wear. Perhaps this is because anyone I know who's had kids is like, "Just wait until you have to wear the God-awful maternity clothes." Secretly, they are relishing the idea that I might have to resort to wearing polyester, pastel-y, floral tops that tie in the back. You know the ones, like this. Ugh. Just the thought makes me want to simultaneously itch and vomit. When it gets to that point, A Pea in a Pod isn't too bad for some things. Why the hell doesn't Ann Taylor make maternity wear?

Turns out they do. Sort of. Okay, not really. But God must be smiling down on me because empire waists and gathered fabric are in this season. For example, this shirt at Ann Taylor Loft. See how it's ruched at the top and the fabric is flowy under it? Perfect for hiding a belly. Now, if I were not pregnant, there is no freaking way I would wear this. Because why would I want to wear something that made me look like I was pregnant? And I don't know what even to say about this shirt, because that really looks maternity and not in a good way. Now this one from the regular Ann Taylor isn't bad, although it's a little short, so it would only work for the next two months or so.

Even Banana is getting in the deal, with shirts like this, this and this. Now do those, or do those not, look like they could be maternity shirts? Even dresses like this and this one could work. I mean all these regular clothes might not work when I'm like nine months, but for the immediate future they are totally do-able. Pants, however, are a different story, I think. I'll probably need to buck up and get some jeans and dress pants with elastic waist bands. Which isn't too bad, I mean black pants are black pants even if the do have an enormous band at the waist. For now, I just bought two pairs of jeans in a larger size to tide me over for awhile.

Today, I'm off to shop for some of the tops outlined above. The plan is to wear regular clothes for as long as I can manage. Even if the regular clothes look like maternity ones.


Thursday, February 15, 2007


So my husband is pretty sneaky. Like in 2005, he surprised me by flying me down to Key West for a vacation as a 30th birthday present. After we were there for a day or so, he asked me to marry him. Double surprise.

So I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was, when he handed me a small, wrapped box last night. Pearl earrings. I love pearls, but I've never had real pearl earrings. He was quick to point out that this was very a combination of a Valentine's gift AND an anniversary gift. More so the anniversary part, which is next month. Ron was afraid if he saved the earrings for our anniversary entirely, someone might slip about them. We're friendly with our jeweler and know everyone who works in the store. And we're going there this weekend to pick up my engagement ring, which I was having some adjusted, and Ron thought someone would inevitably say, "Hey, how'd you'd like the earrings?" assuming that I had gotten them for Valentine's Day.

So maybe it was really an anniversary gift, but I love them. I can wear them every day and finally retire my faux ones. Eventually I want to get ones that have small diamonds in addition to the pearls, just to be a little dressier.

Ron and I usually do no presents for V-day, but I always wind up getting him something small. Know what I got him? A t-shirt. Guess I need to start thinking about an anniversary gift now, huh?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Back to the Drawing Board

So remember back when I was trying to determine what dress to wear for my friend Deidre's wedding? I had tried the Sophia and the Sadie and then settled on the Sadie. Unfortunately, I settled on the Sadie right around the same time I learned I was pregnant. I love the dress, but it's a dropped waist with a corset inside, so...yeah, that's probably not going to work. At least not in the size I ordered. The wedding is still a month away and while I'm still wearing normal clothes, I think a dress with a corset might be pushing it at bit. Now I can try ordering it in the next size up. Because I do love the dress. But I can also order some alternatives--although to be honest, I have NO IDEA what size to order anymore. I hate that J.Crew doesn't carry these in their stores.

So I think I'm going to order the Lyndsey, which is still fitted at the waist, but has no corset that I'm aware of. Plus that big ass ribbon could be excellent camoflauge. There's a new dress too, Caroline, that normally I wouldn't dream of wearing but it's kind of growing on me. I might order it just to see if my boobs can even fit it it.

It's completely plausible that I might have 3 dresses the morning of the wedding and make a game day decision.


So I think I've mentioned before that my husband? Not so much with the romance. And the man has some serious hatred for Valentine's Day. So this day is usually much like every other day. I'm not so much into the holiday either, although I will admit that I've dropped hints over the years that flowers sent to my workplace would be a nice idea. But I've accepted that if I held my breath waiting for that to happen, I wouldn't live to see another day.

We'll usually go out for the ol' V-Day, but not on the actual day. Our initial plan was to go to dinner the Saturday before or after, but somehow, both those days got filled up with other plans. Because it was miserable weather last night, we decided to The Bards for soup and some sandwiches. They have crocks of French onion soup, which is my favorite. We pretty much agreed that that would count as our night out for Valentine's Day.

So this morning I was surprised to find a big heart-shaped box of chocolates in the fridge with a note that read: "Someone loves you more than he hates Valentine's Day". It's a box of the Russel Stover kind, which I find totally endearing. Some might argue that chocolates from one of the one million specialty shops around here might be more appropriate, but honestly, there's something cute about getting the old standby from your local drugstore. That, and I'll take what I can get.

It's still miserable here, icy rain and sleet. Sleet and freezing rain hurts by the way when it hits your face. The plan is to stay in tonight. I'm making a good old-fashioned Italian dinner and we have hot chocolate for dessert. It's the perfect night to stay in anyway.

Monday, February 12, 2007


So my niece and nephew both went through a phase (well, I guess they're still going through it) where they pronounce my name, my real name, as "Jee-ja". My name isn't the easiest to pronounce, and I'm fairly sure that my 27 year old brother has never actually called me by my full name. Couldn't get the hang of it when he was a baby and gave up trying.

A few months ago, when the nephew was first starting to get the hang of the talking thing (he's two), he started calling me "An Jee-Ja" and then started calling Ron "Unk Jeeja". Which I found hysterical. Now, he says "Unk Ronnie", but he's started referring to me as "Unk Jee-Ja". When we were down in Florida, I would try to correct him, "It's "Aunt" there, kiddo" and he would get it right the next time, but then revert back to calling me "Unk Jee-Ja" shortly thereafter. One time, I asked him "Do I look like a man to you?" and I swear he looked me up and down and said, "YES!" Very enthusiastically too. I put him in a time-out for that one.

Now weeks later, I'm still "Unk Jee-Ja" and I don't have the heart to correct him anymore. It's kind of endearing.

The Weekend and Melting Pot

So it turns out that I like massages. I had my first one ever on Saturday. Kimberly and I had made appointments to have prenatal massages at a salon not far from her house. As I sort of suspected, Kim chickened out at the last might and switched her appointment to some sort of fancy pedicure. But she didn't switch mine. Or tell me that she was canceling her massage until it was too late to cancel mine. So I went for a massage and she went for the pedicure.

It was really relaxing. The massage therapist was great and it wasn't as uncomfortable as I expected. You know, because believe it or not, I've never really been naked between the sheets with a stranger in the room before and I'm kind of a prude. But I felt a lot less exposed that I would have thought. The massage actually got rid of a headache I'd had. Of course, it came back the next day so it was a short-term fix. And while I loved it while I was getting it, I can't say that in the next day or so I felt any more relaxed than I had before the massage.

Anyway, so my fear of massages is over, I suppose, so if anyone is up for a little pampering at a day spa anytime soon, let me know. I also kind of want to try a facial one day.

Otherwise the weekend was all about eating. I was only at Kim's for about 24 hours and we managed to hit 3 different eating establishments in that time. For years, Kimberly and I have been indulging in "all appetizer" dinners. We meet up, get drinks and order 3 (or 4!) appetizers. Not healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but a dinner that consists of nachos, onion blossoms, and mozzerella sticks is surprisingly filling. Especially with margaritas or a pitcher of beer.

But you know, our days of doing stuff like this is coming to an end. We're both pregnant and going to each other's places, staying over and traveling sans child will be harder to do. It's kind of sad. Oh we'll still get together. But getting together for playdates is a decidedly different get together than what we're used to.

I also realized I never gave a real report on my experience at Melting Pot. It was awesomely good. We got the quattro formaggio cheese fondue and salads. Then each couple got an entree for two. Ron and I selected one that included shrimp, salmon, chicken, beef filet and sesame beef tenderloin. The best of both worlds because I got meat and Ron had the seafood. Last but not least, we got the"original" chocolate dessert which was chocolate and peanut butter fondue with lots of fruits, marshmallows and cakes to dip. Honestly? Everything we had was fabulous but I would probably skip the entree and just have the cheese and the dessert. Maybe have the salad too. I can't wait to go back and try the other dessert options--there were so many and they all looked so YUM!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I really can't believe this. There was something likeable about her despite some of her obvious flaws.

Know Why I Hate the Cold?

Sure, I'm freezing my ass off walking to work. But what I really hate about the cold is one thing: bursting pipes. Today I'll have to deal with two floods, water damage and many, many people with no heat.

Some days, I wish I just stayed home.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Moving Forward

So this weekend, my friend Kimberly and I are going for massages. I've never been a massage person. In fact, I've never had a massage. But for some reason I'm ridiculously excited about this. I have no idea what's making me change my tune all of a sudden.

But I've had an epiphany of sorts. Well, maybe just more a change in perspective. There are a lot of things going on right now that I can't control. And I just have to sort of be okay with that. Also, I've realized I'm not working out as much or eating as well as I should be. I know that I always feel better about things in general when I'm eating healthier and exercising. It's funny, because I might have a lousy day and think "tonight I'm taking a night off from the gym" or "today, I totally deserve greasy, fried food." Then maybe I'll justify those things for another day. And another. While I try to convince myself that I do these things to make myself feel better, they actually just trap me in a downward spiral. When I eat like crap, I feel like crap and then have no energy to do the gym thing. It's self-perpetuating nonsense.

So more with the healthy eating. While it's important to listen to your body and all that regarding exercise, particularly while pregnant, I've just been lazy. I haven't lessened my workouts because they've been too much for me, or because I've been tired. Just lazy. And I may as well enjoy working out now, because soon, I won't be able to as easily do the workouts I do now and I'll have to make some modifications. Staying fit during this pregnancy is very important to me. Mostly because I've completely mocked women who have gained like 60 pounds during pregnancy, so I can't very well do the same thing.

So a new state of well-being is beginning. With a new positive energy. I think this massage thing goes along with that.

More About the Videos

Have you seen the new Joss Stone video? It's totally a time warp back to 1991. Not '92. Complete with graffiti and big hair. Really, watch it and you too will feel like you're in high school.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Awhile back, my friend Christy pointed out that I look a lot like Maggie Mason, of Of course I rarely post photos of myself, so you'll just have to use your imagination if you've never met me. We have the same general coloring and some of the same goofy expressions but she's got a much cuter nose than me. And I don't wear glasses. But we do have the same crazy hair.

Anyway, I very much hope I look like this at 37 weeks. That may be a whole lotta belly, but that's all it is.

In other news, my pants fit again today. Apparently, I'm in an "in-between" phase. And if you thought PMS bloating was bad, pregnancy bloating is a total bitch.

Monday, February 05, 2007

So It Begins

Today is the first day that my pants really aren't fitting so well. I wore these exact pants in a different color last week and they fit just fine.

I don't care how natural the weight gain is, it still does not please me.


I think there is an implosion ahead, a family implosion. It's probably been 12 years in the making, but it seems to be happening so quickly now. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

On one hand, maybe it's better if it's finally over and done with. On the other, I could do without all the ugliness that will come with it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Making Me Happy

Today I did two great things: purchased makeup and got a smoothie.

Buying new makeup always makes me feel like I have a new lease on life. I got eyeliner that I desperately needed, it's the one bit of makeup you'll never see me without, and two lipsticks: this one in pink chocolate and this one in pink goddess.

If you're ever at the Shops at Liberty Place, get the Orange, Guava and Pineapple smoothie at Smoothie Junction. It's heavenly.

This Weekend

Up tonight is pizza for dinner and a little game I like to call "cleaning the apartment". It's a challenging game because I try to convince my husband to participate. Given that my vacuum is broken AGAIN, it only serves to heighten the challenge.

Tomorrow, we're headed to the Philadelphia Auto Show in the late morning, early afternoon, hopefully after a yoga practice and some aerobic activity. I'm sure the Auto Show will be mobbed. But it's fun to see the new cars and someday we'll need to buy a second (or third if you currently count Ron's broken-down Jeep as our second) car. Personally I wouldn't mind having one of these.

Anyway, later that night we're going to the Melting Pot, the one in King of Prussia I think, with Ron's best friend and his wife. I'm expecting all sorts of cheesy goodness. Full report next week.

Sunday, I don't think we have much planned for the day. There are perhaps some people trying to get together in the city for the SuperBowl. Ron's talking about having some of his friends over, but nothing definite.

In other news, I'm currently enjoying a Cafe Mocha from Bonte. As in the kind that has caffeine. Am I a total rebel or what?


A couple of notes on videos.

  • It confuses me when a song has more than one video. Take "How to Save a Life" by The Fray, for instance. I saw one video for it for months, then suddenly a second one. Strangely, the second one looked less polished than the first so I wondered which was actually filmed first. I got my answer here and found out there's actually a third video I've never seen. Whenever I see a different video for a song than the one I've previously seen, I always wonder "Did the band not like the first video? Is the song so successful and they've gotten so much money that they wanted to do a better video?
  • I don't enjoy the new trend of treating videos like mini-motion pictures. A lot of videos are now starting with words like this scrolling across the screen "(Insert name of projuction company here) presents (insert artist name here) in (insert song name here)." Yeah, it's not a movie. It's a freaking video. It's not a movie star featured in a film; it's a singer, singing a song.

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