Thursday, July 31, 2014

last everything

We've reached the point where everything we do is potentially the 'last ____ before Baby.' It's fun and scary at the same time.

We did this in November, ya know? We had our last date night, our last neighborhood walk sans stroller. Our last this, our last that. And wasn't. After a brief three-day stint as parents, it was back to life as usual- only with more tears and less hope. More childless grocery store runs, trips to church that didn't involve a stop by the nursery, and walks with only the dog for company. And it was like each (normally mundane and un-noteworthy in itself) thing hurt a little bit more just for remembering that the previous time was supposed to be the 'last.' So I swore that next time...which is now...I wouldn't celebrate the lasts. I wouldn't commemorate them at all, just in case. In an attempt to help my potential future self, the one that has suffered another failed or disrupted adoption...I don't know, it seemed like it could help. But now here I am, and here I am celebrating each last. It's like I don't learn.

Sometimes my heart's capacity for hope freaks me out. You should know better, heart. More hope=more hurt!! Calm down! But it doesn't listen, so I sit here full of hope and praying I don't regret it later.

It could happen anytime. Her 'official' due date is Monday, the 4th, but it's not a scheduled induction or c-section, so when she actually appears is anyone's guess. I find myself kind of thinking she might come on the 7th. That would be exactly 9 months after Ellison's birthday. Wouldn't that be awfully weird and poetic? Or something. Then again, I'm putting in a hard vote for earlier. Like now. We're ready, I'm up to my ears in nerves, and like...let's just get this show on the road. For better or for worse, I'm ready to know how this chapter of the story ends.

Last night was our (maybe) last tennis match. We've crossed several things off of my 'not done yet' list from Tuesday- like packing our own suitcases, reading some baby/parenting books (Baby Whisperer FTW!!!), sterilizing the bottles, and getting a shade/mirror for the car. 

Oh, I don't think I've shared this yet, but my current favorite interaction with strangers is happening with great frequency. It goes like this:

Store clerk/random visitor at work/stranger in store notices us buying baby things and/or talking about babies/maternity leave.

Stranger: Oh, do you have a baby??

Me: Not yet, but we're expecting one soon!

Stranger: Oh, how exciting! When?

Me: She is due August 4!

Stranger's jaw drops as they look at my not-exactly-flat, but definitely not nine-months-pregnant stomach. I beam as I feel skinnier than ever under their scrutiny. 

Stranger: ...ohhhhh...umm...congr...

Me: We're adopting.

Stranger, visibly relieved: OH! Well, that is awesome, congratulations!! That explains a lot!!

(we have a good laugh and I still feel really skinny)

People say a lot of uneducated and unintentionally hurtful things about adoption, too, but this one is hilarious to me and really never gets old. I will miss it. Although if things go well and I'm toting around a newborn in a week or two, I suspect I will still get to have some I-feel-skinny moments when people (who don't know that she is adopted) comment that I look GREAT for having a two week old baby! I think I will not bother to inform them that I didn't give birth to her and just take the compliment. ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ready or not

I feel like we're pretty ready for baby girl to make her appearance. Well...not ready-ready. But ready enough for the first few weeks. If and when we know she's ours forever, then we can move into Readiness Phase 2: The Long Term. And I have a plan for that. But right now I feel like we're ready to bring her home. Although not as ready as my mom is-- she already has her bags packed to go to the hospital. Somebody's a leeeettle excited about meeting her new grandbaby, I think!

Things That Are Ready:

-Baby's hospital bag is packed. And unpacked. And repacked. Mollyanne came over last night (for The Bachelorette finale, of course...but we started nearly an hour late due to important Baby Things!) and helped review everything in the bag and make sure we have what we need (and take out the 17 0-3 month outfits we probably won't need...). 

-Car seat is installed!

-House sitter has our key and is on call!

-Kitchen cabinets have been reorganized to accommodate the bottles, formula, sterilizer, warmer, drying racks, and 281048439 other baby things that apparently all need to be within arm's reach in the kitchen.

-Tiny clothes have been washed and are ready to wear!

-My nails and toes are properly painted. This may not seem critical, is to me, so we're adding it to the list.

-My temp at work is completely trained and ready to come in and take over at any time.

Things That Are NOT Ready Yet:

-Hospital bags for Matt and me. I guess we'll be naked and stinky. Whatever.

-No freezer meals made. It's a goal...but then again, there're always Mexican restaurants, so this one doesn't weigh too heavily on my heart.

-Haven't read any further in my stack of parenting/baby books. Oops.

-Need to majorly clean out the photo roll on my phone so that there is plenty of room for new pictures and videos.

-Re-wash and sterilize bottles. I mean, I did it back in November...but they've been collecting dust since then, so that needs to happen.

-Speaking of bottles, I think I only have about 5 (borrowed). I probably need to get more, lest I spend all of my waking moments washing them.

-Back seat mirror and window sunshades for the car. I was going to procrastinate this one and wait until a shower or something, but once I sat in the car and realized how little I can actually see back there (and how brightly and hotly the sun pours in through the window)...I think I'm going to want those straight off the bat.

-Make more laundry detergent. This isn't strictly for the baby, but needs to be done in general and will be much more obnoxious once we have better things to distract us. We make our detergent homemade and once we make it, it makes enough to, over two years, last time. So naturally it's running out right now. Of course! But also, we will have lots of cute baby laundry to do, so...yeah. This task needs to move way up high on the list.

Dangit. Now that I've written it all looks like I have way more to do than I'd thought. Grr. Oh well.

Let's close with a picture my mom texted me this morning. She was taking Carley on a walk this morning and they met a new friend...

Ummm...yes. I can't stop laughing at the thought of how adorable Carley must have been at this walk intrusion. And I can't figure out what the circumstances were!! Naturally, Mom just dropped this picture on me and then won't respond to follow up texts like "where ARE yall!?!??!" and "what happened??!"...moms. Since my parents live in a normal suburban neighborhood with basically no farm animals...I just can't imagine. But it's cute. Also, please note Carley's fabulous accessorizing. She insists on wearing that bracelet everywhere. She slays me with cuteness.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

sisters weekend

I just realized that my last post was post #900 on this here blog. Oops. It probably should have been something more monumental than whatever it was I rambled on about last...oh well. Maybe #1000 will be something special.

I had an awesome weekend in Augusta! My sister's baby shower was the main reason we went home, but the obvious fringe benefit was that we got to spend the whole weekend with her and the rest of my family (and the beloved niece Carley, of course!). It's been a long time since we've had any sort of 'sisters weekend,' so I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

The shower was beautiful and fabulous. And several sweet ladies even brought presents for ME!! I definitely didn't see that coming, so their thoughtfulness was an incredibly happy surprise.

I got my hair did.

This is how it looks when your hairdresser is your 31 weeks pregnant sister with swollen cankles and her current salon is your parents' den. I used it as an opportunity to cuddle with in utero Laney.

We did lots of shopping, lots of planning, lots of pedicures (well, one each), lots of educating our mom about what kinds of hair bows are acceptable and not acceptable, lots of lounging in the hot tub (with no heat, because duh), and it was absolutely awesome.

And then we got back home to Athens and discovered that our AC had quit working. Womp womp. Yes, that would be the same AC that we JUST BOUGHT in August of 2012, thanks for asking. Wouldn't you think that a $5,000 HVAC unit should last more than two years? Me too. So I'm not angry at all about that. We unpacked our bags, started some laundry, sweated to death, and repacked our bags to spend the night at Matt's parents' house. I have approximately zero interest in sleeping in an un-air conditioned house when it was still 94 degrees outside at 8 p.m. UGH. So anyway. Hopefully that is getting fixed today.

I haven't taken any pictures of my new hair yet, but it's shorter, redder, and super fun! 

Annnnd now I'm running late and I've got to go get my Monday work day started. Hope your week is off to a great (and air conditioned...) start!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

currently...libraries and babies ed.

It's been over a month since a Currently check-in, so...let's get to it.

Currently, I am... the Gabe Dixon Band station on Pandora. It's pretty solid.

Eating...nothing at the moment, but we made the Lentil Salad recipe from Skinnytaste to eat for our lunches this week (doubled the recipe, FYI, to make enough for 2 hungry people for four days) and it was awesome. It was one of those things that got better as the week went on, PLUS it was dirt cheap and healthy (also, if you happen to care, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan). It'll be in the regular lunch rotation for sure now!

Drinking...nothing. But yesterday during lunch, we went to the library to pick up a book that I'd put a hold on (SIDE NOTE TANGENT: sometimes, like yesterday, the amazingness of libraries just overwhelms me. I go in. I get exactly what I want. And then I leave. AND IT IS FREE. I mean, blah blah blah taxes, I know it's not really free, but it FEELS free and it is SO AWESOME, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!! I wanted to high five a librarian, but no one looked game for that, so I'm celebrating here with you instead). After the library, I decided I needed a chocolate milkshake from the Varsity to cool my parched throat. I'm training the temp who will take over my job while I'm on leave, which means I talk nonstop for 8 hours a day. It's hard on my poor throat. So I got a milkshake for medicinal purposes. I feel like medicinal milkshakes have no calories, right? Right.

Wearing...a pair of relatively fashionable and non-holey jeans I'd forgotten that I owned. Ha. So maybe the new dress code won't be as challenging as I'd imagined.

Feeling...happy that it's Friday, it's a bring-Lola-to-work day, and I get to see my sister and family in just a few hours!!

Straight chilling on the floor of my office.
Weather...muggy and hot. The polar vortex was great while it lasted, and now it's Georgia in July again. Oh well.

Wanting...this amazing bib that my sister just sent me a picture of:

I don't normally care for 'message' tees/bibs/onesies/bags/hats/anything, but I do care for this one. Annnnd then Sarah quickly followed up the original text by informing she'd just ordered it because her niece absolutely needs this, so...looks like we can put this one in the 'wish granted' category! Yay! Ha. last month, I'll stick with 'patience and wisdom.' At least this month you know what I'm talking about, though! ;)

Thinking...don't judge me, but I'm still kind of thinking about how awesome libraries are. I wonder who invented them? If it was a woman and her name isn't like...Helga or something...I would like to name our child after her. LIBRARIES ARE FREAKING AWESOME. the temp this week. Sure, all of the talking hurts my throat and gives me a headache, but it makes me feel a LOT better knowing that my job will be done well in my absence. And it makes me happy to think about how I'm training someone because soon I will have a baby and have way more important things to do than sit in my office all day. :) 

Geez. Between my excitement about the baby and my renewed awareness about the awesomeness of libraries, I'm just about to bounce off the walls today. Good luck having as great of a day as I am!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

throwback, 'first date' edition

As far as I know, this was the first picture ever taken of Matt and I together. It was January of 2006. We had been coworkers for about 5 months, and it was safe to say there was some mutual crushing going on. On this day, we'd been at a work-related conference and decided to spend the lunch break at a local playground with our mutual friend Catherine.

We didn't officially begin dating for another month, but I remember how nervous and excited and happy I was to be spending time with Matt (with the safety net of Catherine, of course!), to ride in his disgustingly nasty Honda, to see how gleefully he played on a kids' playground. 

And God bless Catherine for spending the afternoon with two crushing goobers.

 I thought Matt was so cute. Ohmygosh. And despite his obvious hunk status (I mean, at any given time, he was dating one girl and had 14 girls not-so-secretly lusting after him from afar), he would go to a playground and goof off on the monkey bars? Swoon.

The great thing is, eight years later- he isn't so different. He dresses a lot better (gee, I wonder who we can thank for that?). He drives a significantly less smelly car. He gets most of his exercise done in a gym and not on a park playground. 

He still spends many afternoons hanging around (upside down or otherwise) with me and Catherine.

I still think he's the cutest guy ever, and I still can't believe he picked me.

For no particular reason except that I came across the pictures and they made me smile-- happy Thursday, Mattie. I think going to the playground for our lunch break that day could have been one of the most important trivial decisions we ever made.

And this picture was taken about a month later. This is a face he's probably much more accustomed to seeing from me. ;)

I may be Not Amused, but I couldn't love him any more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

on matters of vanity

Sometimes when there are Big and Important Things looming ahead, I like to mix it up and spend a lot of time thinking/planning/stressing about Small and Unimportant Matters instead. That's why I've devoted much of my mental energy this week to thinking about two extremely important topics: my hair and my jeans.

We're going home to Augusta this weekend for a final trip sans bebe (and for my sister's baby shower, which is actually the main reason). Since my sister will be there, too, that means it's HAIR TIME. I mean, this will be our last childless hair time!! Next month there will be one baby that will need cuddling and be distracting us...and by October there will be TWO!!! Naturally, the babies are infinitely more exciting and wonderful than haircuts, so I consider this no great loss at all. But I am really excited about getting my hair done this weekend.

Over the past few months my hair has turned legit wavy. This is a fabulous and really flattering (ugh) work bathroom mirror selfie I took yesterday to demonstrate my hair's new texture. This is with no product or anything, I rolled out of bed.

I have no idea where the wave came from. My hair has always been straight as a stick, just like my parents' and siblings'. I'm in uncharted genetic territory! Sarah said that my body knows I am preparing for a baby and is therefore producing pregnancy-like hormones that are making my hair more fabulous. It sounds legit, so I'll buy it. But I will not buy it if my hair tries to all fall out after the baby comes home. NO THANKS. (But I will buy it if I magically lose 30 pounds post-baby. I'm really okay with that.)

Anyway, I want to get it cut so that it is a)shorter and b)wavier. That should be totally doable, since the shorter layers are the wavier layers anyway. I also want some red and copper highlights. I've only touched my hair with color like...I don't know, maybe twice in life. Not often. But I've really wanted red highlights ever since February, so I think it's time to go for it. It's Last Hair Time. Go big or go home.

In other super important matters of vanity, my workplace has updated (slash created) a work dress code. Most of it is no big deal or change, but one thing is going to cause quite the wardrobe problem: a new rule banning jeans with holes.

AKA now I can't wear my most favorite distressed skinnies.

Exhibit A: favorite jeans + Toms booties

Exhibit B: favorite jeans + Minnetonka moc booties
This is terrible because I really REALLY love those jeans. They look awesome with my two favorite fall/winter shoes (the Toms booties and Minnetonka fringe moc booties). They are comfy. They aren't impossibly tight when they come out of the dryer. The rise is perfect. And I love them.

Also, I'm pretty sure they're the only jeans I own that fit me at the moment. Sooooo...there's that. Thanks, failed adoption, for the 10 stupid extra pounds you left in your wake. What a great souvenir!!

So I shed a tear at the thought of not being able to wear my favorite jeans to work, but on the bright side- now I have a legit reason to buy new jeans!! That doesn't break my heart. It gives me a mission. I need to do some research (what's even in right now? what color? who even makes non-distressed jeans?) and then perhaps I will add jeans shopping to the list of Things to Do with my sister this weekend. So far the list includes hair, mani-pedis, her shower, and being ridiculously excited about our babies. So I think we can squeeze in some jeans shopping (hahaha...squeeze...jeans...see what I did there??).

That's it. I'm sorry. Hair and jeans and blurry mirror selfies...what am I coming to?? And now I'm off to research important things like 'long layered bobs with bangs' on Pinterest. Happy day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

artsy craftsy

As I predicted, it was cool and rainy all weekend. I loved every minute of it. I didn't even mourn a weekend away from the pool. I feel like this illustrates that I've grown as a person or something.

Matt and I got up bright and early Saturday morning, because apparently now that we are old we are incapable of sleeping past 7:30 a.m. even when there is no reason on earth to be up that early. Ugh. But I'm awake, so I get up...even though then I'm grumpy and tired all day. Isn't this how it is with babies? Should someone try to sleep train me? Maybe I should cry it out? Something's gotta give. Anyway, getting up so early means that we were able to accomplish a lot on our rainy day. We headed to town and did some serious shopping, mostly for lovely touches to add to the nursery. We also hit up Michael's and got all the supplies we needed to finish (Matt) and start (me) some art projects we've been procrastinating. After we got home, we covered the dining room in newspaper and spent the rest of the day channeling our inner artistes

I found these prints on Pinterest several months ago and knew I wanted to recreate them for the nursery. The colors and style were totally perfect for the room- and completely 'me.' So 'me,' in fact, that I already have a canvas in the living room that I made several years ago that is basically the exact same style! That's why I figured I'd just make these myself instead of ordering them. Plus, I just like to do things the hard way.

Before I show you the finished art (which is not hung on the walls yet because it is going to go over the crib, which has not yet been purchased), first please admire my Corner of Happy: the glider, ottoman, and super fabulous blanket (crocheted by Jennie) and pillow (Target, several seasons ago). Matt and I basically fight over who gets to be sitting here at all times. Whoever doesn't win a spot in the chair just lays on the floor next to it in order to be close to the happy. 

Now you can see the colors for the nursery, so you will appreciate the artwork more fully. Since the crib stuff is all shoved in the closet, you can't get your color cues from anyway, hope that helped. (Also, for a small fee, you are welcome to come sit in the Corner of Happy yourself. It's worth it.)

Aren't they lovely??! I am so happy with how it all turned out! And the melon-y colored one is much more melon-y than the red it appears here. It was at night, iPhone, blah blah blah colors didn't turn out right. It matches the other orange/melon colors in the pillow, promise. Each canvas is 16" x 20", so I think it will nicely fill up the space above the crib! I originally did the flowers in white, like the Etsy shop, but then I decided it was a little plainer than I liked. I went back to Michael's Sunday and found these coordinating papers that matched my colors and had a fun honeycomb print and went with that. I'm happy with how it turned out!! Unfortunately, my back was not pleased about being hunched over a table all weekend. Have I mentioned that growing elderly really sucks? Yes. It does. I can't craft because my back hurts. I am too lame for life.

Matt was finishing up a project he started for me for Mother's Day- a painting of a hydrangea! He's had it all sketched out for months, but finally got the painting part done. I am SO impressed with how it turned out!! It's weird-- I've always known Matt is artistic, but I've rarely seen him do more than a quick doodle in the margins of a notebook or now I have a huge painting to remind me of his skill! And my favorite flower! This picture isn't going to do it justice- again, at night, my shadow is obscuring the bottom, etc. It looks way better in real life, so you'll just have to look at it while you're over at the house sitting in the glider. But this isn't going in the nursery. Maybe in the bedroom. Or somewhere. 

I feel like we accomplished enough art to cover us for the next couple of years. And to top things off, I even got all of the supplies cleaned and put away before we went to bed last night!! Painting like that makes a gigantic mess out of your studio dining-room-turned-work-space, so I'm glad it was only an Art Store Explosion for 24 hours and now it is all gone.

In other Rainy Weekend accomplishments, I must admit that 'reading parenting/baby books' did not make the list. Despite all of yall's amazing recommendations and advice on Friday's post...I pretty much just kept reading fiction. I bought The Time Traveler's Wife at a yard sale a couple of weekends ago. I've heard tons of people recommend it over the years but have never read it (although I do think I've seen the movie...but don't remember what happens), so now I'm knocking it off the list. So I may not know why my baby is crying, but if she ends up being a time traveler, I'll know how to deal...we'll call it a win.

Friday, July 18, 2014

books and crazy inventions

I've been reading like a fiend this summer. As I may have mentioned (hahahaha), I breezed through the Harry Potter series in roughly two (point five) weeks. If you take into account that I work full time and also sleep at night, your calculations will reveal that in order to do all of those things AND read the combined 4,100 pages of Harry Potter...basically 80% of my non-working waking hours were spent with my nose in a book. And that's totally fine by me.

Since finishing the series, I've pretty much maintained my same reading fervor, only the quality of the books has plummeted. Ugh. Oh well. Reading has always been and I suppose will always be my favorite form of escapism. And right about now, I need all of the mental escaping I can get, lest I start freaking out about the fact that I might be a mom in three weeks...or I might not, and that will really suck. So bring on the spy thriller romances, the historical Western romances, and the recently-widowed-gorgeous-single-mom-moves-to-New-England-and-buys-a-dilapidated-bed-and-breakfast-and-then-meets-some-quirky-handsome-local-business-owner-and-they-fall-in-love romances. No, but seriously. I think I've read three books with that exact same plot. Also, isn't that basically the plot of Gilmore Girls, too? Guess it's a surefire money maker. I'm going to jot it down in my notebook of get rich quick schemes in case I ever get around to writing a book...may as well go with a plot that works!

So far in life I've only read one parenting book more or less all the way through. I've dabbled in others, reading chapters here and there...but either I'm weirdly overconfident in my parenting instincts or I'm delusional, but I just kinda feel like 'yeah yeah yeah, I know, whatever.' Maybe it's due to the years of babysitting and nannying. Or reading mommy blogs. But I do like the Happiest Baby on the Block, which Matt and I both read last fall. I haven't had tons of opportunities to implement all of my learning from it, but I've dabbled in using the techniques from the book with the newborns I've come across the past few months, and I must admit to being pleased with the results. So I'm rereading that one.

Yesterday we went to the library to pick up a book I'd put on hold, and I decided to browse the baby book section. Earlier in the day, my sister (who will have a baby in late September) had been freaking out about how she doesn't know what 'schedule' babies are supposed to be on. How do I know when to feed her and when she's supposed to go to bed!??!?! I don't want to read a book, I just want someone to say "today, feed her at 3:00, nap at 5:00, blah blah blah. Tomorrow, feed at 3, nap at 5:15, whatever" and then I will do it. I told her I'm sure she'd figure it out without much trouble, or else she could maybe read a book...and to that she said, "right, about if YOU read a book and figure that out, then write down every single thing you do with YOUR baby for the first two months and then I will just copy it when my baby is born." So it looks like the big sister is going to be the guinea pig yet again while little sister just gleans from all of my hard work, eh?? Ha. 

At any rate, that drove me to the baby book section of the library.

There were a lot of books to choose from, for the record. Apparently when people get tired of writing New England B&B romances, they must write baby parenting books...because all of THOSE appear to have the same plot, too. So I just picked a few that looked interesting (or that I've heard good things about) and hopefully I will feel inspired to actually read them in between all of my 'pleasure' reading. Or maybe I'll just read the inside flap and call it a day. It could go either way, honestly.

It looks like I'll have plenty of time to read this weekend- the 'polar vortex' or whatever seems to be sticking around and it's going to be rainy and cool(er) all weekend! I'm definitely good with that. 

Oh yeah, before I go: how about a quick baby edition of They Invented THAT??

It's basically a Keurig for formula. I discovered the existence of this contraption a few weeks ago and am still undecided about whether it is the most ridiculously pretentious invention of the century, or possibly the most amazing. I go back and forth. Insane. Amazing. Waste of money. Life changing. A great way to make formula feeding even MORE expensive! Well, at least the last one is correct.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

cold snaps are fine by me

 It seems like most of North America is experiencing a 'cold snap' right now, based on my ultra-scientific research (social media and a news headline I saw (but did not read the article)). Unlike cold snaps in the middle of winter, a mid-July cold snap is pretty extremely awesome. For us in Georgia it means that we get a few delightful days of highs in the mid-80s (instead of mid-to-upper-90s) with humidity around 50% (instead of 381294340392929%). It's blissful. I almost want to say tell me where it's like this all summer long, I'm moving there...but I'm guessing that if it's this mild in the summer there, the winters would be long and terrible and I would quickly come to regret my choice. I'll just stay put and enjoy this cold snap while it lasts.

After dinner we took a bike ride. Sometimes living in the sticks is annoying (like when you need an ingredient for something and don't want to drive 15 miles to get it), but when it's a lovely summer evening and you want to ride your bike without fear of getting smooshed by an's perfect. We're surrounded by miles and miles of untrafficky and scenic roads. If only they were flat...then it'd be perfect. As it is is, they're hilly enough to be quite a decent workout.

Somehow it took me until last night to realize that with the way I strap my phone onto my handlebars, I CAN TAKE A SELFIE WHILE RIDING. I know. Revolutionary. I can't believe I've wasted so many bike rides by not properly documenting the bottom of my chin. As an added bonus, the bike selfies are even worse than normal selfies because you have the regular graininess of the front-facing camera PLUS the added obstacle of the phone being inside a clear plastic case thingy that straps it to the bike...resulting in a picture so blurry it's almost like an Impressionist painting or something. Fabulous, isn't it? Also, please try to imagine the intensity of Matt's eye rolling when he discovered me taking selfies while riding a bike. To my credit, I only did it while we were deserted neighborhoods, barely moving. I'm not that reckless...

Speaking of neighborhoods- in one of them near our house, I discovered next-door-neighbor houses for sale. Isn't that awesome? It brought back a dozen memories of people I swore I was going to grow up and be next-door-neighbors with. But then it turns out to be not so easy to make your "let's be next-door-neighbors forever!" dreams come true because next-door-neighbor houses just aren't always on the market at the same time...and not to mention, what're the odds your best friend is also house-hunting at the same time and that the house next to you is going to meet all the needs her family has? Yeah. Slim. But just in case any of you are looking to move and you have hand-picked your future next-door-neighbor...if you don't mind living in the sticks, I have just the house(s) for you.

Not to end on a downer, but I really do need to report that the bike ride wasn't all fun and selfies. Right as we were finishing and putting our bikes back into the garage, I felt something sting my sweaty back (that was clothed in a sweaty t-shirt, mind you). I reached my hand up the back of my shirt and didn't feel anything, so I decided it must have been my imagination. Then I felt it again, higher. I reached in again and discovered a freaking FIRE ANT chomping its way up my back!! How?! Why?! What on earth. Stupid bugs. So now I have a trail of fire ant bites (and if you've never experienced the joy of fire ants, trust me when I say they are a whole different ballgame from regular ant bites) up my spine. Wildlife is way overrated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

think of me, think of me fondly

Unless you spent yesterday enjoying the quiet peace of some remote monastery tucked away in the Alps, far from the reaches of internet of any probably saw this:

Weird Al (um yeah, totally didn't realize he was still around...) released a new song parody. To the tune of Blurred Lines, arguably one of the catchiest and most offensive songs of this decade, Weird Al gives us Word Crimes, a diatribe against the most offensive and pervasive grammar mistakes of our generation.

It. Is. Hilarious.

What makes it even better is how I 'discovered' it. Here I am, minding my own business, going about my work day...and suddenly I had notifications popping up EVERYWHERE. My phone was dinging with texts, my Facebook and Twitter apps had red flag notifications...I thought surely some sort of life-changing event was happening. Like you know how when there's something terrible that happens in some random city, say...wildfires or something. You see it on the news and you suddenly think of that girl you knew in high school that you're pretty sure lives in that city (or maybe it's just the state...or region...?? it's not like you've talked to her in 10 years anyway, you just remember seeing something on Facebook once...) and you're compelled to look her up and make sure she's okay?? I thought something like that might have happened in Athens, causing people to suddenly need to contact me via all methods of social media to make sure I was okay.

Turns out that wasn't it. It was that a snarky grammar video went viral and apparently people who know me well know that if there's anything I like, it's someone telling the truth about grammar (especially if it's funny). Just like the Grinch, I felt my small heart grow three sizes as people thought of me and shared the joy of the video with me. 

As awesome as the video is, I still fear that the people that need to be watching it (and taking copious notes) probably aren't. This is probably the kind of thing that only appeals to people who already love grammar and know how to properly use it's and literally. But that's okay. It's nice to have something new to rally around. It's also nice to have a much-less-offensive version of Blurred Lines to add to my workout playlist. The 'real' song is so perfect for running...and yet so wrong. So this new version perfectly mimics the beat and feel of the original, while changing out all of the offensiveness for humor...nicely done, Weird Al. High five.

PS. Bonus points if you catch the reference in the title. Just doing my part to keep the dementia at bay!

Monday, July 14, 2014

productivity, wraps, and secret-keeping

We had a productive and relaxing weekend. I saw some meme or something the other day that said something about how when you're in your early twenties, you measure your weekends by how 'epic' they are, how hard you party, and how exhausted you are on Monday morning. But by your late twenties and thirties, you measure the success of a weekend by how productive it was. I'm definitely there. I'm pretty sure I was there in my teens and early 20s, too, but that's beside the point. My weekend was productive and therefore successful.

We spent as much time as possible practicing our baby skills with Eliana, our 7-week-old niece.

I give myself an A+ for Getting Her to Fall Asleep.

But Matt got an A+ for Getting Her to Smile, which is possibly even more exciting. Either way, we were a good team. 

On Saturday morning we visited some yard sales and thrift stores. We picked up a few things to fill out the nursery, but nothing super exciting. The best deal of the weekend was one I found on a local baby-stuff-for-sale Facebook group:

A very gently used K'tan wrap!! I have been really wanting a K'tan, but haven't had any luck finding one (in my size, which is the tricky part...that they aren't one size fits all) secondhand or to borrow. But this one popped up Friday night and I jumped on it! Naturally, I immediately had to test it out with the only pseudo-baby I had on hand, my trusty childhood stuffed bear Booboo (if you have an astute memory, you may recall that Booboo also got called up in the fall to assist us in stroller-training Lola, among other things). I'm pretty sure I don't yet have the knack for properly wrapping the K'tan, but their web page is full of tutorials and videos, so I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I also have an Ergo that I bought in the fall, so I have to give myself an A+ in Baby Wearing Readiness. All I need is the baby.

In case you haven't heard, the World Cup is (FINALLY) over. I successfully managed to never watch more than 3 consecutive minutes of a game, so it looks like 2014 won't go down as the year I learned to appreciate soccer. Oh well. At least it's the year that I read Harry Potter! And now our TV will be available for much more important programming, such as the final weeks of The Bachelorette and the finally-on-Netflix Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars.

Last night I decided give the 'coconut oil as deep conditioner' thing a whirl. My hair has been really dry and icky this summer...I was planning to buy something fancy and expensive to try and remedy the situation, but my sister, Ms. Fancy Pants Expensive Hair Stuff herself, actually recommended the coconut oil thing. It kinda blew my mind. Here I was giving her carte blanche to recommend some ridiculously overpriced salon-professionals-only product, and she tells me to get something that NATURE created and that only costs like $8??? I nearly keeled over. I think that the pregnancy hormones must be making her brain go wacky or something. But anyway, I did it, and I must hair is feeling quite sleek and shiny today! I even wore it NOT in a ponytail! I may be a believer yet.

Can't you tell how soft it is today? Ha.
Ugh. Okay. So have you ever had to live with a secret for a really long time?? Like the kind of secret that you can't tell on the internet because then the People That Want it to Stay a Secret could find it and then sue you because you had to sign a lengthy non-disclosure statement saying that you wouldn't tell their secret?? No, WELL I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE. And it's really hard, friends. Matt and/or I have had a secret of this sort since MAY and we still won't be able to tell for like THREE MORE MONTHS and it is eating me aliiiiive, I tell you!!!! So now I'm writing this really annoying paragraph of vagueness because I want it to eat you alive too. HA. Also I want you to be mentally tortured with what the secret might be and how awesome it's going to be when it is revealed. I can tell you a few things that might help you guess/alleviate your stress (because I know you're probably losing sleep over my ridiculous drama, ha).

1. It has nothing to do with babies, adoption, pregnancy, or families.
2. It is extremely unimportant, really, in the grand scheme of things.
3. It has no real bearing on our lives, careers, or future.
4. As a reward for what we may or may not have participated in + keeping the secret, we were compensated a giant sum of money less than $200. Womp womp.
5. The opportunity came about because of our proximity to Atlanta and the ability to take off work at short notice.
6. Machine guns were involved.

Okay. I feel like I've let out enough to make me feel better now. Take the edge off the secret-keeping, you know? Phew. Only threeish more months til I can come clean.

Have a great week!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

the cutest thing you ever did see

It's a pretty big day in our house- Lola's 6th birthday!!

Her birthday is just an estimate, of course. We got her from the Humane Society when she was about 8 weeks we just counted back and picked a day and called it her birthday. July 11 it was! I bet she was an adorable newborn puppy...but luckily she was still stinkin' cute when we got her at 8 weeks!

Choosing Lola was one of our first great marital compromises. We'd both wanted a dog for months. I grew up with dogs- always small ones (except for a few large ones which terrorized me). I knew small dogs. I loved small dogs. I wanted to get a small dog.

Matt had never had a dog, but something in his Y chromosome led him to believe that he absolutely needed a large dog. Despite the fact the he knew and loved my family's small dogs, he refused to entertain the notion of bringing one into our house. Men need BIG dogs.

Obviously his ignorance annoyed me. Matt knew nothing about dogs! He didn't know what it took to take care of them, to feed them, to pay their vet bills-- that everything hinges on size, and bigger=more expensive!! And big dogs would make big messes, make big piles of poop that we'd have to scoop, and like...we really just needed a small dog. Obviously.

So we didn't get a dog for months...locked in our standstill about dog size.

Finally it came to us. The perfect compromise. A mutt puppy of indeterminate breed. We decided to go pick out a small puppy that we both loved. We'd be sure we couldn't tell what she might grow up to be. And then we'd bring her home and love her and by the time she grew up, to whatever size that may be, we would already love her and not care how big or small she was.

We chose Lola on September 27, 2008. Clearly, she was the cutest puppy not only in her litter, but in the whole world. The Humane Society people guessed that she might be "part Lab, part terrier." Since my eyes are not broken, I felt a little skeptical about that terrier part, but it still gave me comfort to hear them mention a smaller breed along with LAB-- something I decidedly would NOT select if given a choice.

We brought Lola home, and just as we'd planned, we fell in love. She was a wonderful puppy, easy to house train, and as it turned out, Matt took to doggie fatherhood just fine. You couldn't even tell he was a newbie. Lola grew up to be absolutely perfect, size-wise and otherwise. She weighs around 50 pounds and sheds like crazy and I couldn't care less. I can't believe I would have passed her over if I'd known how big she would grow up to be. I would have missed out on the best doggie ever!!

Happy Birthday, Lola. Even though you're six, you still can't read, so you'll never see this...but I hope you know how wonderful and adorable we still think you are. But if you decided to shed less, we would be okay with that, too. Just so you know.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

finish this

I've been staring at the blank screen for 20 minutes. I want to write, but I can only think about two things, neither of them interesting enough to warrant a full post:

1. I want some more NYX Butter Lipstick. I have one and it is awesome and therefore I should get more.

2. I wish YouTube had a way for you to just put a song on repeat. The last few days I've been stuck on listening to the same song over and over for hours on end, and it annoys me that I have to keep clicking over and hitting play. Why can't there be a repeat button? Or if there is, why am I dumb and can't find it? (This morning, the repeat-worthy song is All Will Be Well by Gabe Dixon Band. Loooooove.)

Then I remembered that my friend Elise participated in a fun blog prompt linkup thing called "Finish This" a few weeks ago. So I'm going to join in, even though it's several weeks too late and I'm not even going to actually link up with anything...I'll just use the prompts and call it a day.

It looks like the theme was the number 25. Oh, probably because it was posted on the 25th. Duh. So here we go.

1. I have a quarter to use for a pay phone, I call...well, my options are limited here. I hardly know any phone numbers by memory anymore. I'd have to choose between my parents' home phone, Matt's cell phone, and a few of my childhood friends' parents' houses (if they even still have their home phones). So I'd probably call Matt, but I'd probably be wasting my time. He pretty much never hears his phone ringing, and even if he'd be a number he wouldn't recognize, so he probably wouldn't answer. Lame.

2. I found $25 in my pocket, I THIS is a question I can really get behind. Assuming the $25 wasn't already intended for something and I am just planning to blow it...I'm probably going to go to Ulta to buy the aforementioned lipstick. And some kind of deep conditioning treatment. My hair feels like straw from all the sun and chlorine this summer. And if there was any money left over, I'd go across the street to Jittery Joe's and get a cinnamon honeysuckle iced latte. I had one last night and it blew my mind with awesomeness. I need another.

3. I have 25 minutes to watch anything on TV, I watch...whatever is on HGTV at the moment. Or a rerun of Friends or Seinfeld.

4. A meal I can prepare from start to finish in 25 minutes or less is... driving to the Mexican restaurant down the street and getting started on chips and guac. Who needs to cook when you live 2 miles from the best Mexican food on earth? (Yes, including the Mexican food in Mexico...)

5. At the age of 25, I wish I had known... that life wasn't remotely about to go the way I thought it would, but that it would be great anyway. And I also wish I'd gone ahead and bought a custom URL for my blog back when it was still available so I wouldn't be stuck with a janky blogspot address for eternity...sigh.

6. If I drove 25 miles due east of my house, I'd be in... You aren't going to believe how scientific I got for this one. First I found my home address on Google Maps. Then I made it so that the distance measuring thingy was 1 inch=10 miles. Then I got a ruler and held it up to the computer screen and measured 2.5 inches to the right of my house. Then I clicked on the street view, and...are you ready???

I'd be somewhere on state highway 22 in Oglethorpe County, GA. Looking at some trees. Boom. Party time.

Here's to hoping that reading this pointless and boring blog was the low point of your day and that everything gets more exciting from here!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

waiting, hoping, heartbeating

Our appointment yesterday went great! Haha. "Our." Like I did anything besides sit there and cry when I heard the heartbeat. 

I'm not taking anything for granted in this process. There are no guarantees. I'm trying not to read 'signs' into anything. As best I can, I'm taking it day by day and enjoying each experience as it comes. I try not to get fixated on the future or what my life might be like come August and September. I'm not imagining a baby under the Christmas tree (although I did indulge in 10 minutes of planning-Halloween-costumes-for-three fantasy yesterday). I'm not assuming this story will end with my idea of happily every after. 

But I'm thankful for each happy day. For the hope that springs from another joyful meeting with J and her mom. For a healthy baby and her healthy mama. For the way she proudly introduced us to her doctor as 'the baby's adoptive parents.' For the nurse that rushed to her office and returned carrying a framed photo of a man-- the son that she adopted 22 years ago, the 'best thing she ever did.' For the way that J asked the doctor if they could please print out copies of all of the ultrasound pictures for us to keep- and the fact that they did.

I'm thankful for the warmth and affection that J and her mom and other relatives have shown Matt and I, for how they have welcomed us into their family with grace and open arms. If we do end up adopting J's baby, we will be bound together as family for the rest of our days. It will certainly not be easy; I'm not naive. But I hope that the foundation that we're laying now will help us as we navigate the future. And if J decides to parent...I think that these months of spending time together will help make that easier for me. Because I've seen the love and respect and strength in her family-- they respect and support her current decision to place her baby for adoption. I have no doubt that they would also respect and support her if she chooses to parent. Either way, the baby will grow up surrounded in love...and that's really all we can hope for, right? 

At any rate, it was a quick and successful appointment. No ultrasounds, but the beautiful sound of her heartbeat was more than enough to bring Matt and I to tears. J was measured and weighed and questioned and declared to be perfectly healthy, and that's all great news.

And now we wait some more. People keep asking if the waiting is hard, if the time is dragging. Not really, to tell you the truth. We've been waiting for a baby for nearly six years. Another month is nothing. I'm a pro at killing time, at watching the weeks go by. And for now, I have something really exciting to look forward to. And a lot of blobby alien pictures to look at. I'm gonna be just fine.

Monday, July 7, 2014

no mas vacation + menu mockery

Our vacation was delightful, if too short. Then again, even if I'm gone for two weeks, it still feels too short, so...I guess it's a hazard of having an unquenchable appetite for sun and laziness. Or something.

I will greatly miss eating beach food. You were delicious, shrimp slaw thingy. And boozy lemonade in a mason jar. My granola bar and peach for lunch today really are not going to measure up.

But I don't want you to get the impression that everything about vacation was perfect. It was almost perfect. But then my eyes were assaulted with this cocktail menu at a popular local breakfast spot.

My apologies to those of you who find their retinas burning.

PROBLEM #1: Unnecessary apostrophe usage. Apparently their menu designer doesn't realize that you never need an apostrophe to make a word plural. NEVER!! NEVER!!!!!!!! So like..."mimosa's"??!?!! You are killing me, menu.

PROBLEM #2: Curlz font. On the WHOLE MENU. For real? FOR REAL?? Has seeing something written in CURLZ ever in the history of the universe actually ENTICED someone to buy something? No. I checked, and the answer is NO. Therefore, no one should ever use it on a menu. You can't argue with science.

What's even funnier is that on the flip side of that menu was the beer menu. ALSO IN CURLZ. Haaaaaaaa. I mean...if you're using the logic of trying to have your font/design kind of match/complement what you're advertising...I can almost understand why they may have been tempted to use Curlz for the mimosas. Mimosas are what cute young girls drink! We'll pick a really cute font that will appeal to underage, Curlz! How precious!! (It's NOT precious, but obviously this menu writer doesn't know that.) But like...Curlz to advertise your beer?? Because big burly men (the target audience for the beer menu, I'll assume...although I myself am much more likely to order beer than a mimosa) love adorable fonts like Curlz? That's hilarious.

If you think I'm overthinking this, you could be right. But this is what I spend my 9-5 doing, so forgive me if it trickles over onto my vacation.

In conclusion, if you are about to go print menus for your new restaurant, please do us all a solid and DON'T USE CURLZ. Or unnecessary apostrophes.

Also, in case there was any doubt...I did not order anything from the cocktail (or beer) menu. I can't support nonsense like that.

We came back home Saturday after a layover in Augusta to pick up Lola, who spent our vacation bonding with her grandparents. She did just fine, minus the nightly storms and fireworks that prompted my mom to send me frantic texts saying Lola is really scared of storms!!!! Is there anything I can do to help her??!!?! Poor scared baby. No. The only solution is more cuddles (which my mom graciously gave her).

Matt's family all came to town (while we were out of town) for the Fourth, so we spent Sunday hanging out with them. That meant I got to meet and spend some cuddle time with my newest niece!

I swam and sunned, she contemplated life and/or her finger.

Today isn't off to the greatest start. We woke up this morning to discover that we'd accidentally left the fridge cracked open last it's nice and room temperature in there now. And so is all the food. The food we just bought at the grocery store last night. Uggggghhhhhh. So I'm choking down my coffee black and tearing up at the thought of my boring and half-completed lunch, since I can only eat the non-refrigerated portions of it now. Oh well. At least the fridge isn't broken. That's something, I guess. And the freezer stuff is fine. So...looks like a big grocery run is in our near future.

This afternoon we're going to a prenatal appointment with J! I'm excited and nervous. She's 36 weeks now! We don't think she'll be getting an ultrasound today, but it will still be nice to meet her doctor and see the hospital she'll be delivering at. And hopefully hear the baby's heartbeat! (Also, I feel like I should point out that I just spelled that heartbeet. Which is awesome and hilarious. So those of you that comment that you feel really paranoid leaving comments/emails because you think I will judge your grammar...please know that I just wrote heartbeet.) (But I corrected it, and that's what counts.) (I feel like heartbeet is probably some kind of heirloom vegetable someone would sell at the farmers' market for like $9/lb. Organic, of course!)

Have a great week!