Push Presents

This is a funny story, I promise. But first, a pregnancy update:

I, for one, cannot believe I am still pregnant.  My husband cannot believe I’m still pregnant.  My girlfriend, who’s a nurse, cannot believe I’m still pregnant.  But alas, here I am, most definitely, still pregnant.  My appointment on Tuesday with the midwife was interesting to say the least.  My blood pressure was too high which landed me a “resting” period to try to get it to go down.  There were also traces of protein in my urine.  Cue slight freak-out from me because I figure I’m only moments away from being walked across the skyway and admitted for an immediate induction.  Hubs was at least an hour away and I really didn’t tell A goodbye the way I would have wanted to when I dropped her off at school that morning.  My blood pressure was taken again and it came down slightly, but not by much.  I’ve had no (substantial) swelling, no headaches or dizzy spells and I’ve generally been feeling fine.  The midwife came in, took a look at my file, noted that I’m practically dead on a normal day (BP of 112/60 is about my norm) but decided that I didn’t have enough classic signs to admit me right away.  Instead, they took some blood to check my liver and kidney functions.  She also stripped my membranes, definitely more invasive than a normal cervical check, but not the excruciating pain most people talk about.  She confirmed I am now a good 4 cms and she was able to stretch me to a 5.  She also confirmed I’m about 80% effaced.  W.  T.  F.  The sweep definitely brought on some steady contractions yesterday afternoon, but about the time I decided to start timing them, the little boogers up and left.  Leaving me, well, not in a good place and slightly devastated.  I’ve had quite a bit of, uh, “discharge” since my appointment and I spoke with Monica this morning to confirm everything was going ok.  My blood work came back totally normal and the “discharge” is perfectly normal as the cervix continues to efface (which makes me think I basically have no cervix left…not sure what’s keeping this child in at this point).  Lovely.  I also officially turned down my opportunity for an elective induction on Friday; which makes me both proud of myself (for resisting temptation) and kind of makes me want to hang my head and cry.

Anyways, let’s talk about push presents.  I think the idea of push presents is a fairly new phenomenon and depending upon where you live, may or may not be something you’ve ever encountered.  Traditional push presents are jewelry, and believe me, if the Hubs presented me with some brand new, large, diamond stud earrings, you wouldn’t hear me complain.  Problem is, neither of us would EVER make that kind of a purchase without consulting the other and well, I control the money around here so he’d have a REALLY hard time getting that one past me.  Someday he’ll surprise me with new earrings, just not right now.  I’m not really sure I believe in push presents.  I mean, it’s a really nice thought and all, but the whole idea of expecting a gift for having a baby seems a little odd to me.  I LOVE getting gifts, don’t get me wrong, but in this case it just seems like you’d be setting yourself up for disappointment.  When I purchased Julian back in December, there were several accessories I wanted to go with him but I wasn’t going to buy everything all at once.  The first accessory on my list was a new camera bag.  I really don’t have anywhere to store Julian, and all my lenses don’t fit into the camera bag I DO have.  I was looking for something to safely STORE my stuff in as well as something more functional to use when out and about.  Since I do the monthly budgeting around here, I noticed we had some extra this month and decided to buy myself a push present.  Not because I believe in them, but because it was a perfect excuse to buy myself the camera bag.  So I put it in the budget and ordered the Lowepro Sling Shot 202 AW for myself.  That night, I informed Hubs that he bought me a push present.  He looked at me with a bewildered look on his face, which I expected since I honestly never expected anything from him.  He asked me what I’d ordered and I told him.  Turns out, he had intended to buy me the exact same bag, as a push present!  I know he was being honest because he’d asked me about using some extra money and since the guy never does that, I didn’t think much of it.  I figured he’d come across a few books or who knows what, that he wanted.  Anyways, I felt bad because he never and I mean NEVER gets to surprise me but at the same time I find it incredibly hilarious since I hadn’t discussed this bag with him since December and hadn’t brought up the concept of the push present.  On the other hand though, I’m thrilled to be getting a bag to safely store all my gear in and I’m excited to have something I feel more confident taking out and about.  I tried to tell him about a few other accessories that I would like, but he quickly informed me I wasn’t getting anything else.  Bummer.  Staying true to form though, I’ll eventually need an additional camera bag/purse to use in a day to day, more casual setting.  I’ll bet he didn’t even know these existed…

www.kellymoorebag.com

www.jototes.com

So, maybe someday soon I’ll actually be able to accept my push present, from the Hubs, bought my me, but mentally bought by him.  Until I have this baby though, no push present for me.  Somebody send me some labor vibes.  Please.  I really want my bag.

I think I’m in love.

I’ve loved a lot of men in my life. Maybe not in the same way, but loved them all the same. The one I love the most is my husband, of course. Well, maybe not “of course” since the older I get the more I realize a lot of people are stuck in loveless marriages and relationships. I don’t understand it and it makes me sad, but I digress. I may not be giddy and silly in love with my husband all the time, but there is always an all-consuming love for him present in my life. The kind of love that recognizes what we’ve endured and recognizes there are greater things for us to do together. The kind of love that leaves me never wondering if I’m truly with my soul mate.

I also love my dad. As most of us do, we look to our parents as examples of how to raise our own kids and then we change a few things. Overall, my dad is a great father and I’m lucky to have him in my life. A few months ago he randomly called one Sunday just to say he was pleased with me. Even at 31, married with (almost) 2 kids it meant a lot. Sometimes only the approval of your father will do.

I have a handful of friends/family from college that I love. A different category of love than the 2 previous paragraphs, but men I would grieve if lost and men I enjoy having in my life. Men that helped shape my college experience into what it was.

Now that the sappy stuff is out of the way, let’s move on. Sidebar: I have got to liven up this blog. Frankly, I find myself hilarious. I’ll add that to my 2012 goals…to make you laugh more. Anyways….I’m also in love with several “men” in my life. See what I did there? I tend to become fairly attached to inanimate objects. My child seems to have inherited this trait which is currently played out by the ridiculous number of stuffed animals she possesses. If I really like said object, I give it a name. Does this make me crazy? Let me introduce you to a few of the “men” I love. Yes, they all take on a masculine form. Probably says something about my insecurity but, whatevs.

Number 2
Over the years, Hubs and I have acquired home-improvement items as gifts from his parents. We’d ask to borrow something then Hubs would get a replica as the next Christmas/birthday gift. At first it was useful. Then it was comical. Then it was irritating. Then we just stopped asking to borrow stuff. We don’t have a garage you see, so by borrowing the item, we didn’t have to find a place to store said item. His parents didn’t seem to get the hint, so we just stopped asking to borrow anything. The last thing they get him/us though, was a shop-vac. The thing is glorious. I adore him. With 3 dogs it’s the only way my baseboards get really clean. Even my Dyson can’t compete. I get such a sense of satisfaction sucking up enormous amounts of dog hair and dust and whatever else I use it for. I truly enjoy using Number 2 to clean behind the fridge, beside the washer and dryer, etc. I named him Number 2 as in, Hubs is Number 1. I don’t get to use it often since it’s so loud, and also because I won’t get it out of the scary shed.

Cosmo
The dog is a complete ass. He makes my life significantly more challenging. He sheds, he doesn’t mind, he still chews up things even though he’s almost 9, barks constantly, won’t walk on a leash and insists on having my spot on the couch in the evenings, I suppose because it’s warm. But I love him. Dearly. It’s like an abusive relationship, honestly.  I can’t leave.  He can’t leave.  I just don’t feel like he’d survive without me and I’m not sure I could live without him. I secretly love nights when he curls up beside me on the couch…which is hilarious since he’s 80+ pounds and convinced he’s a lap dog. Very rarely he’ll sleep in my bed when Hubs is out of town. The truth it, he’s our guard dog. I feel more safe here by myself when Hubs travels and I fully expect Cosmo to do his job should the need arise. It helps he’s easy on the eyes.

Ol’ Sarge
Our new Keurig. It’s maroon. And we (proudly) added an A&M decal. And Ol’ Sarge is an Aggie reference. I’d wanted one last year but couldn’t justify spending the money. We drink a lot of coffee around here so it will actually cost us more money in the long run. This year, we spotted the maroon one (it’s actually being discontinued) and just knew he had to come live with us. Plus, we’d just been gifted some money from Hubs’ grandfather to buy our own Christmas gift so it was a no-brainer. He’s beautiful, makes splendid coffee, and just makes me smile when I see him on the counter. He also makes cider, hot chocolate, hot tea and has the ability to brew cold tea and iced coffee beverages. Haven’t tried it yet given the temperatures, but I plan to give it a whirl once it starts to warm up. I hate, hate, hate reheating my coffee in the microwave. It just tastes gross and burnt to me. I’m thrilled at the idea of a fresh-brewed cup any time of day once Baby C gets here.

Julian
Ladies and Gents, I’ve saved the best for last. I’d like to introduce you to Julian.  Julian arrived on Friday around lunch time and I’ve been completely smitten since taking him out of his box.  He’s so sexy.  Lots of buttons and dials and a HUGE LCD display screen.  You see, I’ve been researching cameras for some time now.  I knew I wanted to purchase a new lens, but I also had the intent of purchasing a new body, just farther down the line.  I did tons of research.  Then I did more research. Then I decided on one.  Then I changed my mind.  Then I did more research.  Then some more.  Then I made another decision.  Then I announced to Hubs I had no idea what I actually wanted and had no idea what to do.  After breaking down in tears for the 3rd time, the Hubs had had enough and announced we needed to find a way to buy the new body NOW.  I wasn’t able to get any clear shots of Christmas and that just breaks my heart.  Not having a working camera was like missing an appendage.  We couldn’t even locate our point and shoot.  I knew my kit lens was broken.  I had an inkling I’d also damaged my camera body, but wasn’t sure.  Either way, all my images have been blurry, or the focal point was off.  Shooting indoors is hard enough since I’m not usually working with a ton of natural light.  Also, I loathe the on-board flash and I don’t own a speed light so….the results aren’t pretty.  Anyways, I was determined not to make a purchase until I could pay for it, IN CASH, and I was able to do just that.  Some birthday money combined with Christmas money and redirecting a few cash flow items allowed me to purchase this beautiful new kit and even get it shipped 2-day air!  I’m normally such a cheap-skate that paying extra for shipping felt really extravagant.  I decided to go with the whole kit which got me the Canon 7D along with the 28-135 lens.  I’ve got my eye on an L-series lens, but that will have to wait until I save up some more mula.  I’ve already had Julian hard at work and so far I’m very pleased.  I’ve got TONS to learn as this camera can do things I can’t even describe, but I’m thrilled to grow into him.  Isn’t he lovely?

Julian

And PS. Please do every photographer you know a favor. Whether they be amateurs, hobbyists, professionals or somewhere in between. Don’t ever make the comment that their “camera will take great pictures.”  It’s insulting.  It’s not the camera that takes the pictures, the person using it has a little bit to do with the final image.  Mmmkay?  Thanks.

Thanksgiving At Our Home

The fatigue I’m currently feeling is unreal.  I’m really not sure what’s going on, aside from the whole growing another human-being thing.  I’m not sleeping particularly well at night, mostly thanks to a slight cold I’m battling.  I’m rather stressed about being so tired because I’m getting very, very little done.  I’m thinking that may just be the way it is until I recover a little bit of energy.  Maybe the magical mop-fairy will visit my house and clean my floors.

I don’t consider myself some great decorator, but in the spirit of protecting a holiday that’s struggling to keep its head above water, I thought it would be a nice tribute to show-off the Thanksgiving decorations around here.  Ironically, we won’t even be in town for Thanksgiving, there’s a big football game happening that we plan to be at, but we can enjoy the turkeys, pumpkins and pilgrims anyway.  It’s also worth noting, while keeping true to my shopping-self, nothing was purchased at full price.  Because these items have been pieced together over a few years I can’t be certain how much I paid for everything, but I guarantee you what I bought was marked down at least 50%.  Even my pumpkins…got one for free since it was missing the sticker and the cashier was lazy and the other one I happened upon for $2 when I was looking for plants yesterday.

Here’s our front door.  Please note that is the official maroon paint of Texas A&M on our front door:
front door

Next, a few shots of the front porch:
front porch 2

front porch 1

A close-up of the pumpkin turkey. A got a real kick out of this guy:
pumpkin turkey 2

And a close-up of the pumpkin cat. He’s new this year. And funny story: I realized while editing these photos the mouth/nose is upside down. I’ve since fixed it, but thought it was too funny not to share so here’s Pumpkin Cat with his mouth and nose upside down:
cat pumpkin

Inside our living room:

hearth 2

mantle

wire pumpkins

Cosmo gets really antsy whenever I start moving stuff around or we rearrange furniture. He gets all sad and droopy and usually makes his way to his kennel. The week we spend putting out Christmas decorations is almost too much for him. Here’s proof:
bubba

This little assortment sits on my kitchen table:
kitchen table

And this charming couple sits atop the fridge. I figure their names are Mary and John. Something really traditional because I don’t imagine the pilgrims were running around making up names for their kids like we do nowadays:
fridge pilgrims

So, there you go. Proof that at least one American family remains that still recognizes and celebrates Thanksgiving. And remember folks, if you’re cooking t-day dinner, time to get that turkey into the fridge so he can start to thaw. Or, if you’re like me, learn to love football and forgo the big t-day feast. I’m totally psyched for our ham sandwiches this year.

So, I ran an errand today.

It’s an accomplishment.  Really, it is.  However, I made an awesome find so I’m quite thrilled with my errand today.  I realize my 2.5 year old doesn’t need tons of shoes.  But, I do think she needs more than 1 nice pair.  Especially with school starting next week (thank GOD!).  So I had my eye on this really cute pair of Converse All Stars at Target.  I was just having a really hard time wrapping my head around spending $25 on a pair of shoes for her.  She has a really nice pair of tennis shoes and I just don’t think she needs more than 1 or 2 pair of pricey shoes.  So, Target put these shoes on sale last week…took them down to a whopping $22.  I still couldn’t muster up the desire to spend that much on a secondary pair of shoes.  Still, I mentioned them to Hubs and he said to go get them for her.  Fast forward to today.  I needed to run to Target for a handful of items.  We’ll get to that in a sec.  While we were there I decided to run A by the shoes to see if she even liked the pair I had been eyeing.  She was extremely disinterested.  Bummer.  But then, just as I was about to give up, I spotted a similar pair.  She actually really liked the similar pair…they were shiny :).  Just like her momma.  Anyways, they were on clearance for $6.25!!!!  Can you believe it?  A pair of toddler-sized, Converse All Stars for $6.25!  I snatched them up even though they’re still a little big.  Hopefully she’ll be able to wear them later in the fall and certainly through the winter.  I’m so excited!
all stars 1

all stars 2

Now, about that trip to Target.  I have 2 Targets within 10 minutes of my house, depending upon which direction I want to go.  I rarely visit the older one and the newer one, that was constructed just a few years ago, I consider MY Target.  I love it.  Correction…loved it.  When A started walking it was the perfect place to take her to practice walking with me.  In the mornings it’s generally deserted so I don’t worry about her getting snatched by a weirdo and I don’t worry about her bothering the other shoppers if she gets a little loud or throws a fit.  We also tend to enjoy a drink at the Starbucks inside.  Iced lattes for me, chocolate milk for her.  A few months ago I noticed the parking lot had been half-taken up by a bunch of storage containers.  I ignorantly thought maybe they rented out the space to some other company.  I was totally bummed to discover they are turning my nice, quiet, spacious Target into a Super Target.  Bummed isn’t the right word.  I’m downright pissed about it.  I’m not sure the store will actually change from Target to Super Target…but they’re adding an entire grocery section and fresh produce.  Now, it already had a pretty good selection of dairy, frozen products, dry goods and plenty of beer and wine.  Still, all this construction and “room-making” has completely thrown off my Target shopping.  The aisles have been made much smaller and they’ve totally rearranged the store.  Everything seems crammed together.  Also, the past several times I’ve been there it’s been nearly impossible to make your way down the aisles.  Since everything is being rearranged and restocked, there are boxes and large carts everywhere.  Today, so many of the shelves in the toiletries area were empty I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to get A that new toothbrush I promised her.  My pissed-off-ness hit overdrive when I noticed they had completely closed off the food area so I couldn’t get milk.  The very last thing this hormonal pregnant lady wants to do is make another stop, haul a toddler out of the car and into the store, for 1 measly gallon of milk.  Sigh.  I realize this seems like a silly thing to be upset about and I’m holding out hope that after the construction is done things go back to normal.  Either way, I’m limiting my Target visits until construction is finished.  I’m not sure my fragile mental state can take anymore at the moment.

Bargain Wench

I realize this blog is turning into a gigantic cluster of randomness.  But, eh, I’m enjoying myself.  Hope you are too.

I’m currently in mourning.  I’ve discovered that I’m going to have to sell an internal organ in order to purchase a handful of additional camera lenses I’ve been eyeing.  Which means I’m grumpy that I can’t have them now.  So what’s a girl to do?  Why, shop, of course.  Retail therapy at its finest.  I’ve prided myself for quite some time on my ability to find a bargain.  It’s almost a game now, and I have a really, really, REALLY, hard time spending more than $10 on any single clothing item…and that’s pushing it.  Now, let me clarify a few things.  I’m the proud owner of several designer items that were purchased at full price.  I don’t bargain shop for my designer items.  Most people selling used or fake items still want a hefty price and frankly, I want to have confidence that I’m purchasing an authentic item.  So, when it comes to a pricey, designer purchase, bargain shopping goes out the window.  Oh, and I don’t coupon either.  Frankly, I’m not smart enough and I don’t have enough patience.  On my day-to-day shopping however, I rarely and I mean RARELY pay full price for anything.  Most of my clothes have been purchased from the clearance racks.  I rarely buy outfits either, I usually pick up separates and mix and match them.  Even though I don’t purchase the highest quality clothing (I tend to shop at Target, Old Navy, JC Penney, etc.) my clothes seem to last for a few years.  I’m not claiming to be a fashionista AT ALL, but I sometimes manage to surprise myself with my finds.  Here’s the booty from today:

I told Hubs I was going to look for some maternity shorts.  I’m the proud owner of only 1 pair (a $5 clearance snag I made when I was pg with A a gazillion years ago) and I’m currently loving my husband’s underwear.  Yep, I’m roaming the house in his boxers…oh so comfy…definitely time for new shorts.  I managed to find 1 pair, and a few other things also.

mat khaki shorts

Liz Lange Maternity for Target--Purchased for $6.24

We still have a few months of tank top weather here in Texas. These puppies offer plenty of room for my expanding belly and at this price, I don’t mind only wearing them 1 year.

tank 2

Merona @ Target--Purchased for $3.24


tank 1

Merona @ Target--Purchased for $3.24

Now, I think this next one is actually a swim-cover. However, I tried it on and the denim is heavy enough to pass for a tunic-length shirt. I think it will be adorable with a pair of brown leggings. Please excuse the wrinkles.

denim tunic

Merona @ Target--Purchased for $6.48

I don’t always plan to shop the resale stores for little A.  In fact, I don’t often shop there.  But I was in the mood to check it out today and boy am I glad I did.  They had a few great finds!

romper

I've got this outfit pegged for our upcoming trip to Sea World--Purchased (NWT) for $4.99


dress

This dress will be perfect for school--Purchased for $4.99


denim jumper

Hanna Andersson jumper perfect for fall and winter--Purchased (NWT) for $7.99


denim jacket

Levi Strauss denim jacket with crystal (girly) buttons--Purchased (NWT) for $8.99


purple outfit

Carter's outfit with 2 pair of leggings--Purchased (NWT) for $9.99