Monday, March 31, 2008

Currently Obsessed With

Housing in New Jersey. I'm realizing that if my husband does an extra year in a sub-specialty of his fellowship, we're going to need to move to Jersey if I ever want to actually see him. The extra year will mean consistently long work hours for him. But since it would only be one year, that means we'd need to move again afterward, so buying is out of the question.

And finding rental homes in New Jersey is scary. Particularly in the Pine Barrens.

Labels: ,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Annoying Me

Dear Rolo,

It's been nearly a month since you learned how to roll from your back to your stomach. Could you please get on the rolling from your belly to your back part now? This is not a particularly difficult concept and frankly, most babies roll from belly to back first anyway. So what's the problem here, exactly? We've rehearsed this, this rolling front to back, ad nauseum. Yet, you still can't seem to understand that you need to move your arm out of the way to complete the roll.

In case this hasn't occurred to you, this non-rolling impacts me (of course, or else why would I care?). I'm the one who has to go rescue you at 3am when you roll halfway over onto your own arm, causing much screaming.

So really, if you could just get with the program and really focus next time I show you how to roll, I'd really appreciate it.


Labels: ,


On Tuesday, Rolo will be eight months old and I'm still getting hospital bills from when he was born.



A couple of weeks ago, I won a contest at Cool Mom Picks, one of my favorite go-to style websites. Anyway, I won the opportunity to have a mother's necklace designed for me by an artist who has an Etsy shop. Her work is totally cool, but I didn't know what to expect. I was super-excited though because I had seen her work on Cool Mom Picks and had mentioned to Ron how, although personalized jewelry is so NOT my thing, these necklaces were casual but sedate. That was before I found out I had won one of my vey own.

Lea contacted me within a day of me winning the contest and we exchanged several emails about the design of the necklace. I chose to have Rolo's name and a starfish stamped on a round disc, along with a peridot (his birthstone) and a sand dollar charm. There's no real significance to the starfish or sand dollar other than I like the beach and Rolo was born in the summer. Actually, I almost chose a pineapple charm because Rolo has a fascination with a pineapple nightlight we have in our living room and Lea sent me pictures of the necklace with each charm to see which I liked better. She was great to work with, very accomodating and I'm thrilled with the results. I also ordered a pair of earrings from her as well. I really like that Etsy allow you to support independent artists from all over.

Anyway, if you have time, check Lea out on her Etsy site and also here on Photobucket (see the list at the left). She's got lots of different kinds of funky, but sweet jewelry.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


This morning, I am walking with Rolo in the stroller to daycare. It's raining and I am hurrying. A police officer, who is assigned to help students cross the street to a nearby school, stops oncoming traffic to allow me to cross the street against the light. He has no obligation to help me cross, as my child is obviously too young to go to the school. But I am a woman, with a baby, in the rain and so he shaves an extra minute off my commute. I thank him and wish him a good day.

Sometimes, small acts of kindness just kill me. In a good way.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Yes, MORE WITH THE BAGS. I got my Petunia Picklebottom a few weeks back and I literally get a compliment every day about it. Nobody ever realizes it's a diaper bag. It's fun and cute and it totally sucks as a diaper bag.

Which I guess isn't surprising given its shape. It's good for storing two bottles, I will give it that. But the pockets aren't deep enough to properly store diapers. My kid's only in a size 3 but they are too tall to have in the pockets and zip the bag. I'm surprised none of the online reviews mentioned this. I could just line the bottom of the bag with the diapers, but then what's the point of having the pockets?

I took Rolo to the doctor's last week and I wanted to bring the bag and pack it with: 4 diapers, two bottles, a pacifier, a set of teething keys, wipes, diaper cream, an extra undershirt and one-pieces outfit (this kid seriously poops himself at the most inopportune times), along with my wallet, cell phone and lipstick.

Yeah, that didn't all fit. And a trip to the doctor's office isn't even a long day out by comparison. You could never go out all day with this bag and be able to carry enough supplies.

So I carry this bag to work, and it holds my water bottle, Rolo's food, my wallet, lipstick, etc. But that's just for getting us to and from day care. Granted, I got this bag to mostly be a work bag that I could just also happen to use as a diaper bag. But really, it's not going to be a useful diaper bag.

I've had the opportunity to see the OiOi one (in GAP Maternity of all places) and while it looks a lot less like a regular purse, it seems to be a lot more functional as a diaper bag. The outer material is sort of vinyl-y though and that kind of makes me hesitant to order one.

My hunt contines.....


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Slow Going

So awhile back, I posted that I was taking my body back and starting an exercise routine. Remember that? HA! That didn't happen.

Yesterday, I went for my first jog (and I use the word "jog" loosely) in, well, Lord only knows how long. Over a year, easily. But it was the first time I "worked out" since July. It went better than I would have expected, given nearly 9 months of inactivity, and it felt good. You know, in sort of a painful, wheezing sort of way.

Jogging isn't really my thing, I don't enjoy it, but I am hoping that I can do it three times a week. If I can somehow commit to that, then I'll consider joining a gym, allowing me the opportunity to do the bikes, elipticals and take classes.

Anyway, by the time I get home from picking Rolo up at daycare after work, it's 6pm and he's more than ready for dinner. Ron gets home somewhere between 6pm and 8pm, depending on the day (not including the nights he's on call and not home at all). Rolo is ready for him nightime bottle and bed around 7:30pm. And we do like to spend some time playing with him since we don't see him all day. Between all that and then things like laundry, grocery shopping, making dinner, bathing Rolo and some required reading Ron has do, it doesn't always leave time to go for a run. Honestly. I think the longer days and warmer temperatures will at least make it a possibility these next few months.

Anyway, so my jog yesterday was at least a first step.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pietro's Prime

On Sunday, Ron and I had dinner at Pietro's Prime to celebrate our anniversary, which was on Tuesday. Going out to dinner mid-week with an infant is basically impossible, so Sunday it was. Remember how I had grandious plans for a day long anniversary celebration? In the end, it was just dinner. Which wound up being just fine with me, after all.

Pietro's is in West Chester, about a 45 minute drive from Center City. Normally, I am all over an Italian restaurant when eating out on a Sunday, but this day I was totally in the mood for steak.

The decor inside the restaurant is really cute, and it manages to be both quaint and modern at the same time. There's lots of exposed brick, a beautiful bar and really funky artwork (which appears to have been done by a local artist).

I started with the French onion soup, one of my favorite things, and this version did not disappoint. Ron got the lobster bisque and loved it. As entrees, Ron ordered one of the specials, a surf and turf, and I ordered the Black Angus filet of ribeye with a hollandaise sauce. Sides are a la carte, and big enough to feed two (although we didn't know that at the time so we each ordered one). Ron really loved his steak, which was filet mignon, as well as his stuffed lobster tail. I liked my ribeye, but I wasn't in love with it. Ron had ordered mashed potatoes with a roquefort garlic butter, and I got a plate of the largest pieces of steamed asparagus I had ever seen. Seriously, they were like tree trunks. Good, but filling.

For dessert, we opted to share a brownie sundae with caramel gelato, fudge and whipped cream. It was heavenly.

All in all, Pietro's was great. Ron thought it was one of the best meals he's had. Admittedly, other than filet mignon, I'm terrible about knowing which steak is which and which ones I like. Next time I'd probably try a different one. The main thing here is that we tried somewhere new, had a great time and got to toast to one of the best days of our lives.

Labels: ,


I've seen this on several website and I've decided that not only is it brilliant, but also, I should own one.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jin House Vs. New Heaven

Since we moved East of Broad Street, we've been in search of a good Chinese place. We've been going to this place on Walnut Street, in between 11th and 12th, called New Heaven. And it's good. However, my friend Star informed me that my all-time favorite Chinese restaurant, Jin House, just reopened after it burnt down 5 years ago.

I was elated and Ron and I ordered from Jin House last week--the new location is on Locust Street between 11th and 12th Streets. Whenever we order Chinese food, it's almost always the same thing: egg drop soup, steamed pork dumplings and General Tso's chicken. At Jin House, I got the Jin House special, which I always used to get back in the day. It is, for all intents and purposes, General Tso's chicken, only with smaller chicken pieces, (which makes them crispier--yum!) and a greater variety of vegetables, including asparagus (yummo!). Ron ordered the General Tso's and we also ordered the dumplings. I really liked the dumplings and thought they were tastier than New Heaven's verison. More onion or scallion, or something in them. Probably for that very reason, Ron wasn't a huge fan. I really liked the Jin House chicken. It wasn't as all-out spectacular as I remembered (but isn't that always the way?) but it was good. The General Tso's chicken, however? That was a hot mess. You know, like grade D meat that's edible, but barely? Yeah, it was like that. Gross. Even Ron was grossed out and that man eats chicken wings from all sorts of questionable establishments. I realized then that New Heaven uses all white meat and Jin House, not so much.

Last night we ordered Chinese again and we ordered from New Heaven. I have a thing about meat and I have a bigger thing about the persistent rumors regarding Chinese restaurants, so I'm an all white meat kind of girl. I'm disappointed that Jin House didn't live up to my expectations, but hey, at least we've already found a good alternative.



The child, he does not have a burst ear drum! The ear drum lives! In fact, his ears look much, much better and for now, we have escaped the ear tube scenario.

Much rejoicing.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ear Drum

I've mentioned here before that Rolo has had some persistent ear infections. In fact, I'm not sure, and his doctor isn't either that any of the infections have actually gone away. His last round of antibiotics was a couple of weeks ago and since then Rolo has continued to pull at his ear. Which could be just something he does. But I'm inclined to think his ears are still bothering him.

He's been rubbing his cheeks and ears a lot since Thursday, and I thought his gums might be bothering him, but I also suspected his ears too. He has an appointment scheduled with his doctor for tomorrow anyway, so I didn't think much of it.

This morning, however, I noticed Rolo's left ear was caked in dried blood. Upon further inspection, so were the fingers on his left hand. I cleaned the ear out the best I could, without actually going into the ear canal, but the dried blood is in the ear canal too. It's possible that he scratched his ear, and because he was sleeping with his head to one side, the blood ran into his ear canal.

But my guess is that the blood ran from the ear canal because the poor little guy's ear drum burst. I feel terrible.

Labels: ,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stuff I've Learned

I've recently been compiling a list in my head of all the products I love and don't love since Rolo's been born, and I thought I'd post it:

Stuff I Could Live Without

-the Dr. Brown's microwave sterilizer=total waste of money. Yeah, it makes things easier when you first sterilize the bottles when the baby comes home. But then you never really use it again.

-the beloved Vera Bradley diaper bag. I have two of these and I thought it was what I wanted. In practice, it's an awkward diaper bag. It's lightweight, which is a pro, but I've found that I need a bag that goes across my chest.

-things with hoods. It can be seriously difficult to find baby jackets that don't come with hoods. Hell, even many sweaters and some shirts come with hoods. Totally annoying. Here are the instances in which your child may need a hood: 1.) if the seasons are changing and it's warm, you're not bringing a hat, but if it gets breezy, you'd like your baby to have some protection or 2.) it's the middle of the winter and your kid is going to be outside for a long period of time (i.e. a parade or...something), wearing the hood over a hat. Other than that, no need for a hood. I think one coat or snowsuit and one sweater with hoods are plenty. If the child is not yet sitting up on his own, it means the hood either has to be up when the child is in a car seat or stroller, or if the hood is down, he's laying on it uncomfortably.

-the Boppy pillow. While I'm a big fan of a couple of the other Boppy products (see below), this one was kind of a waste. I've used it occasionally to prop Rolo up on the floor or on a bed, particularly for tummy time. But as a breastfeeding aid, it didn't work for me (for the short time I was actually nursing). It would always slip away from me as Rolo nursed and would require constant readjustment. And since I was trying to actually get Rolo to successfully latch on, this distraction was annoying beyond belief. I've heard that a similiar pillow, My Breast Friend, (sorry I can't type that without gagging from the cheesiness) is better because it straps to you, preventing the slipping.

Stuff I LOVE:

-Britax Diplomat. It's one of the safest car seats out there, and Rolo really likes it (well, other than getting strapped into it). It's almost the same seat as the Britax Boulevard, just a smaller version. The Boulevard is HUGE, and when rear-facing, almost always requires moving your front seats up. My plan is the use the Diplomat, and possibly, if we ever have another kid, to get the Boulevard for Rolo (who would be forward facing by then) and use the Diplomat for kid #2. Anyway, they are pricey, but of all the things parents plunk down hundreds of dollars on, I think something like a car seat is a much better value than, say, fancy bedding. The car seat could save your kid's life. Know what's going to happen to that fancy bedding? Your kid is going to urinate on it.

-Born Free bottles. I finally broke down and got Rolo BPA-free bottles. Although I'm still using the Dr. Brown's for day care right now, the Born Free seem to work really well. Plus the parts are easier to clean than the Dr. Brown's.

-Stuck On You labels. Seriously, these things stay on the bottles, no matter how many times you wash them (although admittedly, we hand-wash bottles, no dishwasher) and they are much cuter than having to write your kid's name in permanent marker on bottles and sippy cups for day care.

-the Zoomby blanket. We got this as a gift and we used it instead of one of those infant carrier muffs. It kept little Rolo super toasty warm.

-side-snap shirts. Gerber's and Carter's both make these and some have cute little designs on them. For a summer baby, I thought these were great. Rolo wore one of these and a diaper to bed many a night.

-sneaker socks. Need I say more?

-The Boppy swing and activity mat. We're still using both of these, although, the swing's days are numbered as Rolo is just getting too big for it. I've heard people complain that the swing isn't "bright enough", as if I suppose, babies only like swings that scream colors at them. I happened to love the muted tones. Rolo spent many a morning deep in conversation with "his bees" (which hang from the swing). More importantly, he took many a long nap in that thing. The activity mat we used from the time he was about 4 weeks old and he's still entralled with it.

-pacifier tethers, like this one. Not only good for holding a pacifier, but also for attaching lightweight toys (like toy keys) to the kid so they don't wind up on the floor when out in public.

I'm going to try to post periodically about kids' products I use. Not that my reading audience, all 3 of you, is interested in that. But, whatever, this site is about me. No, seriously, keep reading.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Things to Do

So Mighty Girl, and then my friend, Star, have put together rather comprehensive lists of things they'd like to do in their lives.

I'm not sure how long this list will be for me, but here goes Part 1 at least:

1. Own a home on the water
2. Visit Norway
3. Learn to speak Italian
4. Have a dedicated library in my house
5. Learn to play piano
6. Be on Broadway
7. Go to a fashion show
8. Get a financial advisor
9. Take cooking classes
10. Host Thanksgiving dinner
11. Have fabulous cocktail parties
12. Do yoga every day
13. Create art
14. Do freelance work, instead of a 9-5 gig.
15. Skydive
16. Drive across the country
17. Roam around a small, mid-western farming town, complete with a 5 and 10 store
18. Go to Montana, just to see what 200 acres of open range looks like
19. Sleep outside somewhere warm where you can see a million stars
20. Smoke a cigar in Havana
21. Find balance every day: read some, stretch some, run some, work some, kiss some
22. Run a marathon
23. Go to the Vatican
24. Listen to more music
25. Be the type of woman that people call fabulous


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I know, I know, Kildare's is something of a chain here in Pennsylvania. I do love me a chain restaurant, though. I've been to the ones in West Chester and Philadelphia before, but on Saturday night, we met with Deidre and Frank at the one in Media. What I find strange about this particular location is that it's located on the tail end of a strip mall. We had to wait about a half hour for a table, which was to be expected on a Saturday night.

Our waitress was s-l-o-w, but she also had a very large party in her section, so I'll cut her a break. We ordered the nachos, which are made with kettle-cooked potato chips instead of torilla chips. I'm not sure if it was because we were starving or if they really just are that good, but we devoured them in minutes. We also ordered a crab dip that was okay, but I was loving the nachos so much, I barely even noticed it.

I'm not exactly sure how "authentic" the food is, but Deidre and I both got chicken and cheese boxty, Frank got a shrimp one and I very much enjoyed mine. Perhaps this is because I think I might enjoy anything wrapped in a potato pancake. Ron got some sort of sandwich, turkey I think--you can build your own sandwhich, right down to the type of condiments and style of bread. Rolo had organic mushy pears. They were not on the menu.

All in all it was a good experience. Perhaps not the most refined taste, but it's definitely a place right up my alley.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Downfall of Having a Video Monitor

Since I posted last week, in a move that I can characterize only as being ironic, Rolo has decided that he will only sleep on his stomach. Each night since Thursday, he has at some point rolled over onto his belly and gone back to sleep. OF COURSE, he would choose to do tummy time during the only part of the day we don't want him to--just like his father, that one.

Now, they say once a baby can roll over, the chance of SIDS is dramatically reduced. But since they don't know exactly why SIDS occurs and since the "back to sleep" campaign is rammed down your throat from the moment you conceive, I'm a little wary of Rolo sleeping on his belly, particularly because he can't roll from his tummy back to his back. Of course, there's not much (or anything really) I can do about this sudden sleeping preference.

Overall, I love, love, love having a video monitor. It's a nice reassurance being able to see what he's up to without going into his room (I wonder if I can plant one of these in his room when he's a teenager?). But like last night? We looked over and realized Rolo was face down on his mattress. Like actually sleeping face down on top of his binky--binky still in his mouth. Of course, then, we panicked and Ron ran downstairs to make sure he was breathing. Dude, if you're going to insist on sleeping on your belly, you've got to at least turn your head to one side. Did you not get the memo that we are first time parents and will panic at the slightest provocation? Had it not been for the video monitor, we would have been blissfully unaware that he was face first in the crib. We spent the next hour looking over at the monitor--is he still breathing? Is his head turned to the side enough? What about now? Is he breathing now?

So Rolo may be sleeping just fine, but me? Not so much.

Labels: , ,

The Right Thing

Most often, the stories out Hollywood that involve wills and legal documents seemed to be laced with greed and lawsuits. I'm not sure why Heath wouldn't have updated his will once he had a child (seriously if you were worth millions, wouldn't you?), but it's nice to read that his dad plans to do the right thing by Matilda. And Michelle. Kind of the way a family should be.

Labels: ,

Friday, March 07, 2008

This Morning

This morning my alarm clock woke me up at 5:30a.m. and no, it wasn't my regular clock radio but my other alarm clock, the one that delivers baby's screams any hour of day or night. 5:30 is earlier than I normally get up by almost an hour. I rolled over to look at the video monitor and the reason for all the fuss was that Rolo had rolled over onto his stomach and gotten "stuck". I believe it's well documented how much he dislikes that position, so I knew that he wouldn't be self-soothing himself back to sleep. I begrudgingly went to go get him and fixed him a bottle since it was so close to the normal time he starts his day anyhow. Few things make me grumpier that waking up just before my alarm is set to go off, because then there's no hope of going back to sleep, you're just up earlier than you wanted to be.

Rolo had been cranky last night, which was unusual for him. We were visiting Michelle and Christy and he was all sorts of whiney and whingy and not at all his usual charming self. I suspected that his gums might be bothering him and sure enough when I got home, I noticed another tooth had come in, right next to the first one. He had woken up about two hours after I put him to bed last night and was inconsolable. I gave him some Tylenol, massaged his gums a bit and finally got him back to sleep.

So this morning, I was the grumpy one, but Rolo woke up with a whole new attitude on life. He was charmingly quiet and still, happily sitting in my lap after his bottle. Normally, his feet and hands are in constant motion, but this morning he was looking up at me cooing, and gently touching my face. I brought him upstairs to my room, tucked him into his chair, and I tucked myself under the covers for a few minutes. We both took a little cat nap and woke up to my alarm clock (my real one this time). I opened my eyes and looked at Rolo to find him looking at me, smiling. And with that, I found my mood greatly improved.

It's a good day.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Ever have a day or two when you finally get around to doing all those things you've been putting off doing for no good reason? And then you feel like a great weight has been lifted, like you are just so damn efficient for doing those things that really should have been done months ago? Yeah, I'm having that day.

Yesterday, I finally spoke with a nurse at my OB/GYN to get a different type of medicine, something I probably should have done in, oh, January. That script is finally filled and waiting for me to pick it up. I also made Rolo an appointment with an allergy doctor. I also finally started putting together the loads of paperwork for a flex spending account at work. Lastly, I spoke with my regular doctor and got the name of a good podiatrist.

Today, I made a podiatry appointment (the thought of this appointment fills me with dread and depending on how it goes, I may post about the horror afterward), and I also got further along with setting up this flex spending reimbursement. I'll pick up that prescription later on too. At lunch, I'm going to go home and do alittle cleaning.

And all in all, I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Suggestions, Please

So, my brain? It does not work. Not well anyway. I'm looking for ideas because apparently all ideas have left my brain.

Ron and I are coming up on our anniversary and we're not particularly smushy by nature, but we think we should do something to acknowledge that we've gone a whole 24 months without killing each other. Our anniversary falls mid-week and because we're lame and can't stay awake past 8pm, we're likely to celebrate the weekend before (the weekend after being Easter weekend and there will be much shuffling around of the child to the respective grandparents' houses).

Anyway, SOMEONE, who shall remain NAMELESS, made plans to play poker with his friends that Saturday night, leaving us either Friday night or Sunday to do something. The easiest thing would likely be dinner on Friday night. But I got to thinking that Ron's parents would easily watch Nolan all day Sunday and that Ron and I could actually do something, besides just going to dinner.

So...that's where you come in. Any ideas? Maybe a show, maybe a museum, maybe any plethora of things that are easier to do sans a stroller. C'mon people, what would you do if you had a free day to do whatever you wanted?


So Not Into Finance

How is it that I've been paying off student loans in excess of 10 years and still have a principle balance of $31k, which is more than I ever borrowed to begin with? Granted, I added some graduate school loans onto my undergrad ones, but still.

Damn interest.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Beneluxx Tasting Room

Friday night, my lovely friend Meg and I met up at the Beneluxx Tasting Room for dinner and let me tell you, any dinner that consists of mini-pizzas and cheese fondue is totally okay by me. The Beneluxx website is pretty uninviting, but I found some positive reviews online, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

We got there at about 7:45pm and it wasn't crowded at all, which was surprising because it's also not that big. There's a bar along one wall and tables along the other and the whole place is below sidewalk grade. Which makes it kind of cool, actually. Now, perhaps I should have been wary about a semi-empty restaurant on a Friday night in Old City, but for some reason, I wasn't.

Our waitress was brand-new and not very knowledgable, so Meg and I were on our own as far as deciding which wines and which food. Fortunately, I don't really care what goes with what and choose wines based on what I like, so much on what I'm eating. You can order what is essentially wines by the ounce, so to start Meg and I each tried three different kinds (her, red; me, white). The different wines each come in there own little beakers along with one white glass. There's a funky rinsing device on each table to rinse your glass between tastings. I've never seen anything like it before, but it was neat.

We each ordered a mini-pizza, as well as a Swiss cheese fondue, bread, veggies and fingerling potatoes. The cheese was wonderful and dipping the bread into all that melty goodness was comfort food at its finest. I'd get the veggies again, although I think they need to make the slices of red and green pepper thicker so they can actually hold the cheese. The fingerling potatoes were a huge disappointment though--I thought they tasted like they had freezer-burn.

The mini-pizza however, with gooey mozzeralla cheese, basil and juicy tomato slices totally made up for it. Because we are total gluttons, and I'm not sure how we arrived at this decision, but I'm so glad we did, we ordered a second order of cheese fondue, the chef's special, provolone cheese and Stella Artois (I think, at any rate, it was some sort of beer I enjoy).

At some point, we ordered more wine to taste and then finally, full glasses. Lastly, we sampled white, milk and dark chocolates for dessert. All in all, it was a completely sinful eating experience but I really enjoyed it. And the crowds, by the way, started rolling in about halfway through out visit. I would defintely go back again. I enjoyed the wine, most of the food and generally, the vibe of the place.

Afterward, Meg and I hit Oceanaire for a nightcap. I love the decor. And I love the "generous pour" the bartenders provided--all of whom seemed to recognize Meg immediately. Interesting...Anyway, I'm not one for seafood, but the barstools are comfy and although the wine is pricey, it's a good place to go for a first or last drink.

All in all it was a great night out and I can't wait to do it again.

Labels: ,

Free Blog Counter