Freshman Year Philosophy 101

This was so me in freshman year Introduction to Philosophy.

I Judge

Everyone does it, you know you do. Standing in the aisles of Barnes & Noble you look at the books on the shelves and you judge them...by their covers.

Funny, with the kindle this practice is a little disabled, especially if you are shopping for your next book on your kindle. The best imagery is a black and white thumbnail image. That's how I ended up downloading "The Apothecary's Daughter" by Julie Klassen. It sounded very Jane Austenesque and a nice break after finishing the detailed historical non-fiction, Cleopatra. I read the new book in three days. I stayed up late reading. I read on the train. Even today at lunch I read the last pages at my desk. When the lunch hour technically expired I just lowered the kindle a little further into my lap and finished the last few pages.

Feeling the sudden regret that it was over and maybe I should have read slower towards the end to make it last longer, I went to the internet. If I could find some commentary on the book, see what the cover had looked like to deepen my picture of the heroine, it would not be over!

I felt a little silly when I did see the cover. Nothing I'd ever pick up off the shelf. It looks like teenage romance! A tick away from having Fabio on the cover if it were more mature. My chagrin and surprise grew more when I learned it was written by an author in the "Christian fiction" genre. Not even a section I'd browse in the bookstore, but it did explain why at one very pivotal moment in the book the characters decided to drop everything and pray.

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

It was sort of nice to have the weekend to absorb our news: expecting a boy. Walking through Gap Kids (to get to the maternity section) and Old Navy (also heading to maternity) I passed by the kids clothes. This time I could identify which side I'd be shopping on for the next few years. I think it was curiously the left in both stores. Not embroidered purple sundresses, but camo cargo shorts. No kittens and bunnies, but dinosaurs and monsters.

It was with a tinge of regret that it dawned on me that Hello Kitty will be out for baby clothes, nursery decor and anything else I can put her on. There's just no way to butch Kitty up. Goofy to think of trying to shoehorn this into something boyish.

Jason teased me, "You haven't even had a brother! What are you going to do?!" ("I'm going to be outnumbered!" I moaned inwardly to myself. Someone to ally with Jason in an argument that a burp is a-okay at the table?!) Jason had earlier attempted to antagonize me by saying, "Well, now we know that our child can grow up to be president or a CEO someday!" I shot daggers at him.

It was at the end of the day when I read this sweet blog post, On Having a Boy. Motorcycles, pranks, windsurfing and whisky - the modern day snips and snails? On sharing the news with a co-worker (and mother to a son) today she exclaimed with joy, "Now you know that someone will love and adore you for the rest of your life!" "That's not my husband?" I asked. She replied that her son has responded to invitations to go out by responding, "Sure Mom, but do we have to bring that guy?" (Referring to dad!)

Happy Easter!

These eggs remind me of Grandma's easter eggs, a tradition from the Ukraine which I just learned is called pysanky.
I love how they feel so 'old world' but also sometimes Navajo or modern. More decorating lessons here that seem pretty accessible, maybe for next year!

99% Sure


The doctor said the "outdoor plumbing" spotted on today's ultrasound confirms it, and the nurse was 99% certain: it's a boy!

All the organs are looking good too: four heart chambers, two kidneys...

Bumpin' Along

If there's one thing I find a little curious and sometimes TMI is the "bump photo" phenomenon. Women taking weekly photos of their bellies to see their tummy grow and grow. Sometimes with shirt pulled up.

I'm not totally into it, but I will confess to looking carefully at pictures of my mom in the third quarter of 1975 to see her belly with me inside. But the decision to partake in this ritual should be "mommy's choice" so I smiled when a fellow expecting mom reported on a message board that she's taken to posting photos of old men's beer bellies on her Facebook whenever friends and family demanded a belly picture.

A blogger I've started reading, Dear Baby, features regular pictures not of her belly per se, but how she's navigating maternity fashion. It's good inspiration and much more my own style.

She makes maternity look good, even in cell phone pics from her office bathroom.

To show friend Sura how I was enjoying her recent gift of hand-me-down maternity clothes I grabbed my own pic at work today. (As a side note, it's seriously inconvenient that maintenance has decided to shut down the bathroom closest to my office, so I have to trek across the floor to go to the bathroom. Was Building Maintenance not informed of my pregnancy??!)

So here's your "belly photo," although there's not too much to show and share yet. It's more evident in person, and definitely just going to get bigger. *sigh*

Rain, Rain

I'd like to see the sun again, sometime soon. Lately the days have been rainy and overcast. It sounds particularly poetic and tragic when the weather updates on my office building's hallway plasmas say "broken clouds."

It's just depressing.When is spring coming???!! Or better yet, how many days until we go to Cabo??!

(Umbrella installations from Hiving Out.)

Literally "Nesting"?

The weekly pregnancy updates I signed up for were warning that my sleep was going to get more and more uncomfortable. I've already lost the pleasure of rolling onto my tummy in the morning. And the sciatica... ugh.

So, as goofy as the pictures looked online, the reviews suggested a maternity body pillow might be worth it. Look at this woman, though big and pregnant, she is dwarfed in her big pillow. And that pillow, it's like a nest. She isliterally nesting! (Like those eagles in Iowa.)

I asked a mommy friend where Jason was supposed to sleep if I brought this onto our bed. She slyly replied, "It's not really about him anymore, is it?"

When Jason told me, "You got a really big box from Amazon today" I knew it had arrived. And the pillow is sooo comfortable. When I was testing it out Jason helpfully suggested, "Why don't we get up so that we can adjust the rest of the pillows around it better?" Naively I agreed, "Oh, good idea." I got up, he rolled into the pillow, closed his eyes and crossed his hands contentedly over his chest, pretending to fall asleep. "Hey!!!"

I think he may need a pillow too.

Attn: Shipping & Receiving

With a baby on the way, many packages have also been on their way to us.

It's a little bizarre and sobering to have baby things start to infiltrate our house. "It's" on its way. (Of course, "it" has already been inside for months...inside of me, no less!)

Pinocchio arrived all the way from Italy, courtesy Aunt Courtney and Uncle Lorenzo. Turns out Uncle Lorenzo and Pinocchio grew up in the same part of Italy.And what's funny is that when I first thought to take a photo of the Grandma Nancy-sponsored wardrobe, it was half the size of what it is now. She's doing a lot with green and yellow, until we find out the gender. I like the little feet. (Giraffes and ducks.) It was with a little bit of sentimentality that I remembered the baby sandals crocheted by my mother (probably 15 years ago or more) that I'd tucked into our safety deposit box.Even cousin June has gotten into the act by generously shipping a number of items that she's no longer using.Two big boxes full of stuff that we haven't even unpacked yet, since the baby nursery assembly is still dependent on the guest room redecoration. (Temporarily stalled as we line up a painter.) But thank you, June! Already such a thoughtful cousin.

Gallery gazing

What do you think of a gallery wall for the guest room? It's kind of trendy. Probably why I like it, but also find myself a little conflicted. I should get over it, because it occurs to me that I've already done it anyway in the workroom!

I like the idea of gathering a collection of small framed art (cheap, likely source-able from Etsy and even thrift stores) and objects. Very Barnes Collection style, where the Renoirs hob-know with African masks and old skeleton keys. For guests it might be an intriguing accent to spend some time with when they've retired to bed at night (and are maybe waiting for their fellow guest to finish in the bathroom.)And to stick with the Philadelphia theme, what about oil-painted Tastycakes? Butterscotch crimpets!! (From mgenomgeno on Etsy.)Also, after learning that large artwork can be super expensive if it's anything beyond a poster in a Bed, Bath & Beyond frame, I keen on the 'whole is larger than the sum of its parts' idea.

Easter Trimmings

Easter is not for a couple more weeks, but the season makes me think of shopping for new Easter shoes and spring hats.
More kid photos are due to a recent project Juliet and I undertook to scan our family pics. Prepare yourself to see a lot more of my childhood now that it's all electronically at hand. One of my favorite memories is going to the craft center with mom to pick out silk flowers to add to our Easter hats. Early fashion design experience.
I still find myself drawn to Easter shoes, even knowing I'd maybe wear them just once and they'd be destroyed in the dirty Chicago puddles.(Cole Haan)And how about an equally impractical bone-colored bag to match? (Wouldn't last a day on the El or Metra!)(Also Cole Haan.)Adorable earrings top it off. (DanaCastle on Etsy.)
And since shoes, handbags and jewelry are likely the only things with a consistent fit for the next few months, we'll just stop there.

Make Way for Baby

Part of getting ready for baby involves moving my (just decorated!) workroom to share space with our guestroom. (Ugh, the feminist in me finds it all too ironic that it's my office that goes away to make room for child-bearing!)

That's why I'm really overhauling the guest room. That's also why I've been going through many of the things in our house in an effort to de-accession items from the collection. (A "free" ad on craigslist earlier this week prompted over 50 replies in less than 12 hours. More on that adventure later.)

Found in the excavation, was this classic item: the pattern for our donut bed! The "donut bed" was essentially two twin mattresses on the floor, surrounded by by a big foam pillow. The donut. No matter where you sleep, you have a pillow. Roll all the way around in a big circle and your head will always have support.

My guess is that this was Mom's crafty solution (she sewed it herself) for a toddler-safe bed, since its first appearance correlates with Juliet's arrival on the scene. And my likely eviction from the crib.

Me in the donut bed, circa 1977. "Pandy," panda bear appears in the background. Maybe I should reconsider the bed for the guest room?

Time to Share

It's probably a little overdue to share some news I've been keeping quiet...at least on the internet.

Jason & I are expecting.
(I sure hope that most of you reading this heard it first from me or Jason, if we've had the chance to tell you personally!)

Right now I am growing; re-evaluating my closet for what options fit; dealing with random "side effects" of pregnancy; taking pre-natal vitamins; seeing more of my doctor than I've ever seen; and consulting with any friends who have added "mommy" to their titles.

Jason is mostly watching, but also kindly scooping all the kitty litter. (It seems like this is best perk of pregnancy...besides the eventual baby, of course. Pregnant women can't scoop litter for fear of toxoplasmosis.)

To cover the FAQs:

1. How have you been feeling?

First trimester was all nausea, all the time. But fortunately no actual sickness. I had kind of thought morning sickness was just about waking up, throwing up, wiping off your chin, and getting on with your day. Not so!

Without an appetite for much, but feeling better with any food in my stomach, the first trimester was weeks of eating like a frat boy. Pizza, onion rings and other things that tanked that whole fitness plan success pretty early.

Second trimester opened with tension headaches. Enough to send me to the mall for a chair massage one weekend.

2. Are you going to find out what you're having?
We're hoping it's a baby. ;)
We are finding out the gender, mark your calendars for the late April ultrasound.

3. Do you have a preference, boy or girl?

Jason will readily say boy. But I'm already that smug pregnant lady that says, "As long as it's healthy!"

4. Are you wearing maternity clothes yet? Are you showing?

Sort of. The number of eligible pants drops every morning I poke around in the closet. Sister and "mommy" Juliet took me shopping for some maternity wear so I could enjoy the comfort of hidden elastic waist bands as early as possible. Upon seeing the maternity jeans, Jason commented, "Do they make these for men? They look really comfy!"

My first complaint about maternity clothing is to question, "Do they realize pregnant women work?!" Most of what I find are jeans and cargo shorts, which are really not work appropriate. And what a challenge if you like brown pants!

The second question is, "How silly can maternity t-shirts get?" Really.

Soooo happy to see you!

This might make you cry it's so sweet and adorable: dog sees its mom after she returns from Afghanistan.After our two weeks in India, our cats sauntered into the room with barely a raised eyebrow that we were back. But we'd like to think that maybe they missed us at least 1/100th as much as this dog missed his mom.
 

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