Friday, January 23, 2009

Scandal my ass

Apparently some people are making a big to do about the fact that the Classical piece performed at the Inauguration on Tuesday was pre-recorded.

No, seriously. There is a poll and everything on MSNBC with a whole bunch of people commenting that it is a bad way to start the presidency, etc.

People. This is bunk.

I swear, if they asked only musicians, they would most likely unanimously agree that it was a good decision. HAVE YOU HEARD AN OUT OF KEY PIANO PLAYING WITH AN OUT OF KEY VIOLIN? It ain't pretty. And if frickin Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma say it won't be pretty, than let's all give them the benefit of the doubt and get over it.

In fact, can we all just take a moment to be incredibly impressed that they even were able to fake play as well as they did?

Ugh. People annoy the crap out of me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Room and Board

I tend to get stuck when designing rooms in our house because while I LOVE all things traditional, I tend to have a touch of modern in me. However, I also tend to talk myself out of the a-touch-modern look because it seems so scary and beyond my reach; especially when trying to work with what we've already got. So I relegate myself to looking at other people's pretty, modern spaces and deem myself unworthy of ever achieving something that melds both traditional and modern together in a cool, sophisticated yet whimsical way.

But, now we have a blank slate to work with. The nursery. No previously owned furniture brought from apartments we had years ago or handed down from the family. Nope, while we may end up getting pieces that are used, because who are we kidding here, it just makes sense to do so, we have the advantage of figuring out what we want first and then trying to find pieces to fit the bill.

While this may seem incredibly exciting, I have actually found it a bit overwhelming. Until now.

One secret I like to give to my clients when I meet with them is to picture their events and come up with an inspiration board to help them define their event to anyone who lives outside their brain. I find it really helps people to focus on the overall aesthetic and feel that they want their event to achieve. This makes it much easier for me to design something that achieves the same vision and is able to evoke the right emotional response from the whoever receives the invitation.

So I figured maybe I would start my own inspiration board for the nursery and I am proud to say that it worked! Without any further is the inspiration for our nursery:

The room in the background is actually the room we are using for the nursery and it has been painted in a light espresso color. We have already purchased a dresser in dark espresso and hope to find a used crib in dark espresso as well.

I found the crib bedding set at Land of Nod but didn't like the skirt so I will switch it out with one I found on sale at Restoration Hardware Baby and Child...which is also where I found the Roman Shade and the light fixture.

The carpeting is really fun. A few months ago I saw a special on the Martha Stewart show where they were talking about FLOR, the carpet tiles that adhere to themselves and are completely customizable. I LOVED the color palate and it turns out that all the carpeting in Martha's collection is on sale. I plan on making the rug cream in the middle with a border of small squares of the other colors.

So there you go. By making an inspiration board, I was able to mix and match and edit what did and did not fit my aesthetic and in the end, I think I have come up with something that really does mix modern and traditional pretty cohesively. And the best part is that none of it looks overwhelmingly 'baby' but rather whimsical and inspiring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My type

ok-so-you-know-that-movie-'Love-Actually'-and-the-part-that-Laura-Linney-plays-where-she-desperately-has-a-crush-on-the-guy-who-looks-kind-of-nerdy (in that i'm really hot under my clothes kind of way) at-work-and-finally-he-notices-her-and-they-end-up-at-her-place-one night-and-things-are-getting-steamy-and-then-he-takes-of-his-shirt-and-it's-like humma-na humma-na humma-na?

Yeah..that's SO my type. (no disrepect to my husband who, although not Latin, is still able to ellicit that humma-na humma-na feeling out of me at least every once in a while)

Here's some more stills for ya to peruse (bonus, you can click on them and the pics get bigger)...

What's your type?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Body Image vs. Healthy Body

I am 5' 11" tall.

On a normal, non pregnant day, I weigh anywhere between 197 and 207 lbs.

This may sound like a lot and, believe me, I would LOVE to be in the 175 - 185 range. But the truth is, I am ok with my body.

I have had issues with it in the past. I used to spend a lot of energy berating myself and my weight just to have friends say that they would never ever even think of me as being overweight. Because I don't LOOK overweight.

I am a tall girl. A big tall girl.

And now instead of being angry at myself all the time for not looking like a model, I try my best every day to recognize that I am a beautiful woman in a beautiful body.

Isn't that the body image we are all supposed to be cultivating?

Except there is a HUGE discrepancy here. Because according to every physician I have seen, (including the life insurance people who had no issues what-so-ever calling me "a risk because of my unhealthy weight") I am fat.

Not just fat...obese.

In fact, even at my lightest weight in the past four years, 195 on my wedding day, that was still considered obese.

Above is a photo of my husband and I on our wedding day in September of 2007 and below is a picture of me one year later on our anniversary.

Do I look like your definition of obese?

Go ahead, be honest. I really can take it.

The question is where, and how, do I find the happy medium? How do I love myself and honor and respect my body and at the same time feel enough shame for being obese that I am motivated to lose weight?

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about this for a while as I am currently trying everything I can to gain weight since I have actually lost 11 pounds since finding out I was pregnant. But I know the weight will come, and I know it won't be easy to lose it...I am not a celebrity with catered meals, a nanny, a personal trainer and gym at my disposal 24/7.

But I will need to be acting on this shortly after giving birth. Why? Because the other day we were both evaluated for life insurance. And we got a call a couple of days later saying that I was risk because of my weight and my premium would be going up. Oh I threw out the 'but-I'm-pregnant' card but who are we kidding here...I've LOST 11 lbs so far. The man on the other end of the phone said that they would come out and reevaluate me after I had the baby and if I had lost the weight then I wouldn't be a risk anymore.

I won't lie. This news sent me right upstairs to my room where I cried my eyes out.

I love me. I love my body. I love who I am. And it has taken a long time to get to this place and now it isn't good enough. And not only is it not good enough, but it is going to get much worse before I am charged with the task of making it a whole lot better.

I wish I wasn't so frustrated by this, but it really gets under my skin. And I understand what they are is important to be as healthy as possible. But if getting there means reminding myself every day that I am too fat to eat something than the trade-off is my mental health and isn't that just as important?

What do you think? Is it better to have a healthy body image or to actually be physically healthy no matter how miserable you make yourself getting there? What's the happy medium?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Espresso yourself

Last weekend the nursery went from canary yellow to light espresso. Many, many thanks to my awesome husband who apparently has no end to his motivation and while I would do just fine sitting on my ass all weekend he would rather be doing projects.

Prepping the room with tape...


And two coats of light espresso later...

I am soooo glad we go this project done. If for no other reason that the room will have LOTS of time to air out between now and July.
In the bottom right of the last picture you can see the back and top of the dresser we purchased from Pottery Barn Kids a few months ago (we needed a dresser for when we had guests in that room over the holidays). I think the color of the room really complements the dresser and I am excited to get other projects done in there soon so I can show off the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Our first big baby pruchase

Over the break we tried out several strollers and actually purchased one. My main requirements in a stroller were:
  • that the baby be able to face forwards or backwards
  • that the stroller be made in Europe or better yet, right here in the USA
  • that it be tall enough for me to walk and not kick it or be leaning over it when going up/down hills
  • that it look cool and not be made from a ton of plastic parts
  • that it not cost a ridiculous amount of money

My husband's requirement was that it not cost a ridulous amount of money. He has been threatening for a while to just go make one out of toothpicks and rags since he insists he was carted around in an umbrella stroller from infancy but his attitude did change once he saw the baby in the ultrasound.

So after alot of research, including a trip to Magic Beans in Brookline, MA I found that the stroller that best suited our needs was the UPPAbaby Vista. Turns out it met all of my needs and even exceeded them.

For instance:

  • not only can the baby face forward or backwards, but there is a bassinet that comes with it for when the baby is a newborn. The bassinet is lined with organic cotton and soybean material and the baby can sleep in the bassinet if it isn't in the stroller.
  • not only is the stroller made in the United States, it is manufactured right here in Rockland, MA (they also have a factory on the West Coast to cut down on delivery emissions)
  • not only is it tall enough, it has an easily extendable handle AND instead of a rear axle, has an arch so I won't kick it when taking long strides
  • not only does it look cool, but it is made from aluminum, so when the day comes that it is no longer useable, it is recyclable. Plus, all of the material comes off the stroller and can be tossed in the washing machine
  • costs A LOT. Like...a crazy lot. like...$700 lot.

Still, cheaper than the Bugaboo, who's main contribution to society other than being a status symbol ever since it was featured on Sex and the City, was the attachable bassinet.

But I couldn't justify spending that much on a stroller.

So I headed to Craigslist. And lo and behold there was a posting from UPPAbaby themselves:

"FACTORY SECONDS: A variety of reconditioned, refurbished strollers are available for purchase.
Limited quantities- first come, first serve."

Well, with some extreme lucky timing, we called them one day and they had a brand, new still-in-the-box Vista 2009 model stroller that they were selling for $450. $250 LESS than the $700 in the stores. So we raced over there and picked the beauty up. The only 'problem' with it that made it a 'second' was that it was sent to a store in the wrong color and they don't double ship their strollers!

So, in an attempt to not make this post any more long/ are some pics of our new UPPAbaby Vista 2009 stroller in green:

Hmmmm....Blogger seems to not be allowing picture uploads at the moment...but you can go see it here:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 I guess you want to meet the lil' bugger...

I had an ultrasound at 6 weeks to make sure I was actually pregnant. It was sort-of a surprise ultrasound if you will. I had asked multiple times if my husband needed to be at that appointment and was assured it was only a blood test so I told him to go to work. But since my HcG levels had been low early on (ya' know...because I tested before I actually missed my period...another reason to just wait it out) the doctor wanted to make sure I was actually still knocked up.

But it takes 3 days to get the results and I was leaving the next day to go spend almost two weeks with various parts of my husband's and my families so the Dr said she was going to send me for an early ultrasound...also known as "SEND IN THE PROBE!!"

The probe is much scarier looking than feeling, I will case you wanted to know that type of thing...and soon enough we were looking at a tiny (and I mean minuscule) blip on the screen that was our baby.

The technician pointed out the heart that you could see beating and I thought 'that's nice' but I didn't cry. Those of you who know me, know that I am the most emotional person on the planet...yet I didn't cry. Thus starting the period of time where I was absolutely convinced that I was going to be a horrible mother and want to send my kid back because I didn't like it.


Just before Christmas, when I was 11 weeks, we went in for our 1st scheduled ultrasound and my husband was sure to come along. That appointment was really cool because the baby actually LOOKED like a baby:

And yet, instead of cry, I cussed. I believe the exact quote was "holy shit!". My husband was a bit more reserved and more importantly, once we left the place he was pretty much ecstatic about the whole thing and has remained so ever since.

So there you go...the lil' bugger. Or as we have been calling it for the past few weeks, the lil' kernel (as in a kernel of corn...a nod to my Weddingbee days as Mrs Corn).

We have another appointment on January 20 to give more blood for the Downs Syndrome screening and then will have another ultrasound two weeks after that where we will (hopefully) be able to tell if it is a boy or a girl. Someone in this family is convinced it is a boy already, but only time will tell.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Not the way I thought it would be

My husband and I had been discussing having a family for quite some time and we actually started actively pursing that about three months before conceiving. After all the many years of being told how you can get pregnant just by looking at a a was pretty surprising to find out that really you have one, maybe two, days in your cycle when you can get pregnant, and not only that, but it is impossible to actually tell when exactly those two days are.

Needless to say, I was pretty anxious to take the test each month to see if we had educatedly-guessed correctly.

I am here to tell you ... DON'T DO THAT!!

We were actually out furniture shopping when it dawned on me that we were within the 'up to 5 days prior' period when one can break out the stick and start peeing on it. I, excitedly, told my husband that I thought I might be pregnant and he seemed excited. But I failed to mention that I had every intent in the world of taking the test as soon as we walked through the door.

We got home and I headed straight upstairs and my husband headed straight to the couch to watch the Giants game he had taped while we were out.

Having peed on the stick successfully, I waited my three minutes and anxiously peered into the bathroom to see the results. We had one very pink line and one very, very, very faint pink line. Of course, the box doesn't tell you what THAT I ran downstairs and excitedly told the husband about the results and asked him what he thought that meant. To which he said, "I don't know. Why don't we just wait and see."

I pretty much deflated on the spot. Not that my husband SHOULD have acted like my closest girlfriends who all would have discussed the matter with me ad nauseum until one of us decided to Google it. But was clearly not the reaction I had expected.

So I tossed the stick into the trash rather angrily and mildly-stomped my way upstairs where I DID get the idea to Google my results and found plenty of websites that could confirm that ANY pink line meant I was preggers. So I printed out my research and headed back downstairs.

But halfway down the stairs I started to think that maybe this wasn't the way my husband wanted to be told the news either. Maybe I should have made him a card with a baby picture in it and surprised him, or something. But by the time I realized that perhaps I should wait and come up with the perfect way of telling him, I was already halfway to the living room and he asked, "What's up?"

To which I replied by spewing out every thought that had been in my head for the past 15 minutes until he stood up and grabbed me by the shoulders and said, "shhhhhhhhhhh. Take a breath...a deeeeep breath". And then he gave me a big hug and told me how excited he was.

Now that I think about it, the football game was on commercial at that point :)

So there you go...the ultra non-exciting story of how we found out we were preggers.

Other points to add are that the next night, just to be sure, I bought one of those fancy electronic tests and peed on it and it was conclusive within 3 seconds that we were having a baby. And then the next night he brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers from favorite flower shop in Boston.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The life...

The kitty isn't usually allowed in our nice chairs because she sheds uncontrollably for 10 months out of the year. However, with family in town it was MUCH too difficult to keep shooing her off so we let her indulge.
And indulge she did.

The little hussy.