Monday, April 30, 2007


Seriously? That makes for some awkward family dinners in the future.


Weekend Recap

The weekend was delightful. I'm not sure why other than the weather was good and it wasn't too hectic. That being said, we really didn't spend any time at home. Friday night we ran some errands, including going to Babies R Us (note to readers: I'm quickly learning that Babies R Us is a total pit of hell), and then dinner at the Cherry Hill Diner on Route 38. If you're ever in that section of Jersey and are looking for your typical diner, the Cherry Hill diner is your place. I think I even like it better than the Silver Diner, even though the Silver Diner is all fancy with its own website.

While Ron ran around with his frat brothers on Saturday afternoon, I did a little shopping, but more importantly, I re-potted all my plants. I haven't done that since last spring and my plants were definitely hurting for a little love. I have a fiscus tree that's I got when it was super tiny and now it requires a pot so large, it may soon outgrow the apartment. Thank God we're moving to a place with a deck. Saturday night we went to my in-law's family compound where my nephew proceeded to tell me that he feels like a princess. Ahem.

Yesterday, we visited Baby Supermart. We did this at my sister-in-law's suggestion when she found out that the furniture I was registered for at the aforementioned Hell Pit (aka Babies R Us) couldn't be ordered. It turns out that the furniture company's plant in Vietnam is on strike and no furniture will be shipped until, like, never. Instead of maybe giving consumers a head's up on this, Babies R Us allows you to pick out and register for items from this company that you might never receive in this lifetime. We really didn't find anything at Baby Supermart--although they do have some great stuff.

We then continued on our baby quest in search of the ever-elusive Bugaboo. We just want to see one live, in-person, at a store that will allow us to play with it, take it apart, etc. I don't think we'll be buying one but if we were even to consider it, I'd at least like to be able to see how it handles and how easy it is to fold. Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus supposedly carry them, but they had none in their King of Prussia stores. Boo, hiss.

So we bailed on that idea and since we were already halfway there, we headed out to Lancaster to do a little antiquing. Or junk shopping as my husband calls it. I can't wait to own a house, because there are so many cute things I want to get. It stinks when you find so many good pieces only to realize that you have no room for them. We had gone with the intention of trying to find a desk or a buffet sideboard for the new place, but those items were elusive. Regardless, it was a beautiful day to drive out in the country. Pizza Hut for dinner and Cold Stone Creamery for dessert rounded out the day (what can I say? I do love my chain restaurants).

Tonight, it's the gym and laundry. Not nearly as fun. But I might whip up some steak fajitas for dinner. Not that that makes up for having to do laundry.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Feeling Guilty

Since Baby M passed away last June, I have been saying that I would do the March of Dimes WalkAmerica. He had some major genetic complications, but none of them were helped by the fact that he was born two months prematurely.

So I decided that raising money for March of Dimes, through this walk, was a good idea. Then came this month, April, the month of the walk and I pretty much forgot about it. So I looked it up online today, and while I could still register for the event on Sunday, I also noticed it is six miles.

Six miles is a lot. I can't run it like I once had planned. Lord only knows how long it would take me to walk it, especially since these days being on my feet for hours at a time is not good (damn the varicose veins). With every ounce of my being I hate using my pregnancy as an excuse for why I can't do something. Because the truth is, I could do it. I could walk 6 miles. I would just pay the consequence for that, which in my case would be swollen veins. Not necessarily harmful to me, just not comfortable.

So I'm bailing on the idea and I feel incredibly guilty since I was going to walk for Baby M and now I'm not. I'm thinking of donating money though in his name. They have these virtual bands and maybe I'll set one up for him.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


So we're back from Florida. Truthfully, when we were planning this little getaway, we would have much preferred to go on a cruise or to a resort in the Caribbean, or even to Key West. But since none of those were options at this point, we settled on regular ol' Florida (not to be confused with Key West, Florida, which in my mind at least, is a totally different animal). Originally it was supposed to be Sanibel Island, but then I read about the "red drift" and we decided to bail on that idea. Our little tour around southeastern Florida just came about in the last month or so.

Since we had already been to Miami and Fort Lauderdale and knew what to expect, we were really looking forward to seeing what Key Largo was all about. And it turns out, we really, really liked it. It's not quite Key West, but it's close. Very laid-back attitude, friendly people, great atmosphere. Things are, however, somewhat spread out, so you do need a car (which we had). It's only an hour south of Miami and it's only about a 5 minute drive or so to everything on the Key itself. Plus, the next key, Islamorada, is only about 30 minutes away, so we went there one night for dinner. We went to Lorelei's for sunset and honestly, the sunset there is probably better than any other I've seen because there are no other islands blocking the sun's desent into the ocean (at least not for sunsets in April).

I definitely recommend our hotel. You can tell it's an older hotel, probably one that the Marriott aquired and remodeled in recent years, but it still looks somewhat outdated from the outside. But it was only $199 a night and we got a $50 credit towards food. The interior furnishings, while not super-sleek, are perfect for the location. I can't think of the style at the momemt but I want to say it was like British Caribbean. I seriously wanted to steal the beds in that place.

It rained the day we were in Miami, so we just did some shopping. Although I have to say our hotel there was pretty neat, all art-deco. Our room was super small, but looked like a show room out of a Pottery Barn catalog. It had a great sized pool, plus its own beach. Carrabas, which is a chain restaurant is located on the premises. We didn't eat there, but they do have an outdoor tiki bar and I imagine that that's pretty cool on a nice beach day. The staff, well, we were in Miami so folks aren't as friendly as in the Keys, but we didn't encounter any real problems. We had dinner that night at Oh! Mexico, a restaurant on Espanol Way. I can't find a link to Espanol Way, but it's basically a little street closed off to traffic with a host of Mexican and Spanish restaurants and some funky stores. Here's a link of reviews of the restaurant where we ate. It wasn't the best Mexican food ever, but it was pretty good and the menu had lots of variety.

After the day of rain, we were all about the beach in Fort Lauderdale. Our hotel there was immaculate. We had a great balcony overlooking the ocean. The room was beautiful and the hotel grounds were expansive. There was a huge pool and private beach. As lovely as it was, we preferred the Marriott in Key Largo. The Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft. Lauderdale was very sleek and polished and once you were inside the hotel, you no longer felt like you were at the beach. I suppose this is an issue that comes up frequently when you have beach in a city. But basically, when you came off the beach (all sun-burned in your beach cover up) you felt completely out of place walking through the lobby. There were lots of business travelers so when you got on the elevator with people in suits, you were very aware that you had sand stuck to the side of your face and smelled like sunscreen. Again, it was a gorgeous hotel, but unless you were on the beach or by the pool, it didn't feel very beachy. I think we prefer something a little more laid-back. We ate at Le Bonne Crepe one night, which was delish (if you're in Philly, it's something like Beau Monde), followed by sundaes at Kilwins. The other night we went to Hooters for wings and I can't wait to tell my children one day that their father once took me to Hooters when I was 6 months pregnant. Classy.

Anyway, if you're looking for a beach getaway, think about Key Largo. Rooms are reasonable and it's only an hour drive from Miami. I enjoyed our little Florida adventure. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until our next vacation is planned...


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Behold the Belly

I'm back! And my next post will be all about my adventures in Florida. But right now, I need to address another issue that is looming.

The belly. It is very large.

I went through a fairly lengthy phase of not looking pregnant. And then for awhile, I looked pregnant some days and not others. Or I just looked like I'd put on weight. But now? Now for the last week and a half, it consistently looks like I've shoved a volleyball under my shirt. On one hand, it's kind of nice that it's obvious now, that people aren't silently wondering. On the other hand, it looks like I've shoved a volleyball under my shirt.

I know what you're thinking: "Enough with the pregnancy stuff. When is she going to get over the fact that she's knocked up?" I know, I know. It's boring to read about. I'm a bit sick of it myself. It's just that now being pregnant is this real thing with real evidence (unlike the ultrasound pictures which are apparently just figments of my imagination). The belly states the undeniable truth. There's a bun in the oven.

In fact, over the weekend, Ron and I were walking around South Beach, Miami and we happened to walk past what appeared to be the politically correct might call "residentially challenged" individual. At any rate, he was an older man, wearing only a nightshirt, pushing around an empty shopping cart and asking passerbys for change. But as Ron and I passed, he suddenly said in a loud, enthusiastic voice, "You're having a baby! A bambino! A little bambino!" Over and over. We couldn't help but laugh. And I said to Ron, "Know how you know you're showing? When crazy homeless people, who probably don't know what year it is, know you're pregnant."


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


So Ron and I leave on Thursday for sunny Florida. We're taking a scenic tour of southeastern FL with two nights in Key Largo, one night in Miami and another two in Fort Lauderdale. Even though we'll be moving around a lot, I am looking forward to spending time on the beach, reading a book and doing much of nothing. We've been to Miami and Fort Lauderdale before but we've never been to Key Largo (other than driving through it on the way to Key West). I'm looking forward to exploring something different.

Since we're Marriott rewards members, my husband is a complete Marriott reward points whore. He's all about trying to rack up as many points as possible, but he's hesitant to ever really use them. So in Key Largo, we're staying here. And in Miami we'll be here. Lastly, we're staying here for free thanks to finally cashing in some points.

Of course, I never really relished the idea of trying on bathing suits before, so now, it's really a nightmare.



Like just about everyone, I've been following the Virginia Tech story. I follow it with particular interest, however, because I am a college administrator. That's what I do for a living, and in the days since September 11th and Hurricane Katrina, I have developed a strong interest in emergency preparedness, especially on college campuses.

I had anxiously been awaiting news of whether the gunman was a student, and it doesn't entirely surprise me that he was. Now I wonder if any details will come out about whether he had a history of mental distress. Mental health issues in college students is another interest of mine, a issue I deal with on a more regular basis than one would think.

Virginia Tech administrators are taking a lot of heat for waiting two hours to notify students of the first shooting. Honestly, I think everyone is jumping all over that unnecessarily. I can't say that 2 hours is a long period of time to collect facts and start notification. The details are still unclear, but it sounds like the administration had no reason to believe the first shooting was anything more than an isolated incident. And if I had to guess, they probably wanted as many facts as possible before sending an email that could possibly panic an entire campus.

What happened at Virginia Tech, could have happened anywhere, not just at a college. Even though they have a history of violence, you'd like to believe that all schools are sacred somehow, immune to the problems of the outside world.

Monday, April 16, 2007


So there's this new radio station, Skin Radio, which is 1340AM. That's right, the oft-neglected AM. It doesn't get awesome reception, but if you go to, the music is pretty cool. Alternative is making a slow comeback to Philly.


New York, New York

So we had a fab time in NYC. If you're going to be there in the next few weeks, consider seeing "A Moon for the Misbegotten". I can't say it's uplifting and the play itself is slightly drawn out but the acting is fantastic. Kevin Spacey was great, although he sounds different and Eve Best is fantastic. And there was also "this guy", one of those actors who you recognize but would never know his name. He was great too. Turns out TKTS has discount tickets even though I had read they would not. Not that I'm bitter.

We stayed in scenic Jersey City--did I mention that? Anyway, there was PATH station right outside our hotel and within 10 minutes we were in the city. We walked around a lot, but didn't do much of anything besides eat and twice we met up with one of Ron's friends, which was nice. This friend is an actor, and fancies himself something of a hipster, but the places he took us were much better than I expected.

One trip down, one to go.

Moving On Up, Not Really

So, it's official. We're moving. I'm not sure what to call the neighborhood we're moving to--Washington Square West, I suppose.

Anyway, we've signed the lease and will move in early July. Hopefully, I'll be leaving any of my furry friends behind me because really? That's a problem I won't miss. Now all I need to do is register for day care and we're all set. I'm slightly (read: totally) panicked that we're adding roughly $2,200 to our monthly expenses, but you know, maybe being really poor will be a good lesson for me.

In other arenas of living beyond our means, picking out baby stuff is harder than expected. First of all, aside from some basics, you're not exactly sure what you'll need. Or what style of thing will really work for your baby. Because let's face it, I have no idea what I'm doing. I picked out a black crib that I love. I was all settled on it. Then I realized, wait, this crib is painted black. Who cares, right? Well, the baby sure as hell doesn't care that it's painted, but when that infant becomes a toddler and starts chewing on the railings, it may be an issue. Well, at least the paint isn't lead based.

Speaking of cribs, I found this one at Karl's that I'm totally in love with. If I knew I was having a boy, I might be tempted. I had never been in Karl's before a few weeks ago and they have some great bedding and furniture. I mean super cute. But unless I hit the lottery, which is virtually impossible since I've never bought a lottery ticket, I'll be sticking with Babies R Us.

I've also been kicking around the idea of getting a Bugaboo stroller. They're everywhere in the city. Supposedly, they're very versatile, and are perfect for city-dwellers because they have awesome shock absorbers. I do have to acknowledge that most strollers seem to be made for people who will be using their strollers for trips around the mall, not necessarily cobblestone streets. On the down side, I hear conflicting reports of how difficult they are to fold, and they don't have some basics like a cuphold for me, or a tray for the kid. Oh, and also? They cost $900. People argue that it's the only stroller you'll ever need so it's worth the dough. Yeah, I'm not so sure.

Another thing I'm contemplating: whether or not we need a bassinet/cradle. The crib will obviously go in the baby's room. We'll get a pack-n-play, so that we can travel with kid when necessary. Now the baby's room is going to be on the first floor of our apartment with the living room. Our bedroom is going to be on the second floor. So I'm not sure whether to set up the pack-n-play in our room for the first few weeks, or whether to get a bassinet/cradle for our room. I'm not sure whether I'll want the pack-n-play set up in the living room semi-permanently so I can go about my business and put the baby in there for naps. I suppose it's kind of a waste to set it up in the living room when the baby's room is only about 15 feet from the living room. I also need to consider that I live in an apartment and maybe we don't have room for the baby to have 3 different venues for sleeping.

Seriously, I never thought I'd give any of this this much thought. I'm becoming more boring already.

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Not Pleased

I did not enjoy tuning in to my morning show of choice, CNN's "American Morning", to find that they had replaced both the anchors. I loved Miles O'Brien, and while Soledad O'Brien wasn't my favorite, I didn't really want her replaced either.

It's unsettling to find two new people in your morning routine.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One of Many Strange Things About My New Clothes

I just put my pants, my work pants, in the washing machine. That's what the label said to do and so I did it.

I don't think I've ever owned dress pants that were washable. One perk of the new clothes is that I'm going to save a fortune in dry cleaning over the next few months. One other perk that just displays my laziness? These elastic waistband pants? You know the ones that embarrass the crap out of me? The ones I don't like to admit to wearing? The ones that can be washed in a regular washing machine? They make going to the bathroom so much easier. Because you know, having to zip a zipper and button a button took so much extra time.


Change is In the Air

So a couple of things I'm pretty excited about. We found an apartment. If all goes well this week, it'll be ours and we'll be moving back to the east side of the city. There are a couple of drawbacks to the place (aren't there always?), like it's not the exact neighborhood I would have liked, it's kind of far from a gym (although admittedly, I'm spoiled now, living less than a block from my gym), and we can't move in until the first week in July. That's just 4 weeks before my due date, which gives me less time than that to get the place totally set up. Because I need order in my home before I add the total chaos of having a kid. But it does have most of the things we wanted, including decent square footage, two bedrooms, the "look" of a nice place, a parking spot right outside, a small deck and the luxury of all luxuries: two bathrooms. It also costs more than my morgage would have.

We also found a day care we really like. It's about 5 blocks from the apartment, another reason the apartment was a "go". So you know, aside from going totally broke, things are really coming together.

Until I have to start packing and totally freak out.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


So I've sucked it up and got some Broadway tickets. Only because my deep and unending love for Kevin Spacey left me no choice when I realized he's starring in "A Moon for the Misbegotten". I've never read the play, but honestly, how could you pass up an opportunity to see Kevin Spacey act live, even if you do see it from the nosebleed seats?


In Love

I heart our new computer. Seriously. Although I did okay the purchase of the 22 inch monitor, but now I'm realizing that having a monitor that big is completely absurd. It kinda feels like sitting really, really close to a TV.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Okay, so I have to admit that I found somewhere to live that I might love. Well, I kind of do love it. It's more money that we wanted to spent and we haven't commited to it yet. Actually, someone else could be signing a lease on it as I type for all I know. But it has almost everything we're looking for, so stay tuned.


Monday, Monday

So, later this week, Ron and I will be taking first of two fiscally irresponsible trips this month. This one is the lesser of two evils, and is just to NYC for the weekend. Every couple of years we try to go, to get a different, more hectic change of scenery. It'll be the antithesis of our "Fall Trip". We might try to go see "The Producers". It's closing soon, so hey, why not?

Other than that, we have no concrete plans. Maybe a visit to the Top of the Rock. I'd like to have dinner in Little Italy. Nowhere in particular; our approach has been to walk the streets of Little Italy and stumble into a place that looks interesting.

In other news, we picked up our new computer last night and I can't wait to put it together later this evening. I mean, I'm very, very excited. We've been dealing with my old decreipt laptop forever and finally, we have a brand-spankin' new one! First thing I'm going to do is download more music to my iPod.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

A Home of My Own

I know, I know, I've been neglecting you, not posting very often. The truth is, I've been busy. Busy at work, but also busy filling all my non-work hours with trying to find a day care, and to a greater extent, a place to live. Having a place to live is very important. And finding the right place is exhausting. I search papers and websites daily. I walk neighborhoods on my lunch hour and after work. I email and call places. Rarely, only twice so far, it's resulted in an actual visit to a property. I've got two more scheduled today.

It's not that there's a lack of options. Just that I'm picky, and my husband is picky and we're picky about different things. And I'm going to be selecting this apartment by myself, which is stressful, because with selecting the apartment comes the knowledge that I may have to hear my husband bitch about it for the next two years. Such is the burden of a physican's widow.

We need and/or want a lot of things. Two bedrooms. At least 1000 square feet, larger if possible. Washer and dryer on premises, but in the unit would be better. In Old City, Society Hill, Wash West or Bella Vista neighborhoods. Close to parking. Preferably, the unit wouldn't be on the 1st floor (or at least not directly at street level), but nor would it involve a tremendous amount of stairs. We'd love hardwood floors. Ron wants something with a lot of light. I would like enough room to fit a full sized dining room table. Ron wants enough room for an office (well, at least room for a desk that doesn't have to be right next to the TV). I want something that from the outside "looks the part". And by that I mean that it can be the nicest apartment in the world inside, but if it looks ghetto from the outside, it's a no-go. Oh yeah, and we'd like not to spend a million dollars. Impossible, right?

In other truly fantastic news, my friend Kimberly had a baby girl this week, just 4 days after her baby shower and a full month before her due date. Everyone is doing fine, and I can't wait to meet baby Sophia Grace.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thing #241 That They Didn't Tell Me About Pregnancy

Varicose veins. Oh sure, sure, you hear about how you can get them in your legs. They don't tell you about the other special places you can get them. Excuse me while I go run into oncoming traffic.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Victor Cafe

I totally forgot to mention that my first wedding anniversary was last month. Aren't you thrilled?

We were at my maid-of-honor's wedding the day before our anniversary and after the wedding, we all hung out at the hotel bar--including the new bride and groom. Ron and I found ourselves at a table with several friends and as the night wore on, it was just the two of us, along with Ron's best friend and the bride and groom. At midnight, Ron arranged a little champagne toast for us, when he realized that not only was it officially our anniversary, but that we were also at the table with our maid-of-honor (the bride) and our best man, (Ron's best friend who happened to also attend this wedding). It was sweet. And even though I don't like champagne, I'm willing to take whatever alcohol I can get these days.

The next night, Ron and I went to dinner at The Victor Cafe, a restaurant I highly recommend. Ron had never been there before, but I had with an ex a couple of times. In fact, we almost didn't make reservations there because I was a little weirded out by going out for my wedding anniversary to a place I had been to with an ex-boyfriend. Then I remembered I wasn't in high school anymore.

The food is amazing and about every 30 minutes or so, a member of the waitstaff sings an opera selection. It's wonderful. Very romantic, but it's also good for a group. I can't wait to go back.


One Good Thing About Being Knocked Up

Getting out of jury duty. Apparently, lawyers are afraid pregnant ladies might faint in the jury box or something. Not that I'm complaining.

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