Closet Confession

Sometimes I think about buying all new hangers, so that they'll match. This must be why I was drawn to this blog post, from former Sassy Magazine editor Jane Pratt's new website. (Yay! Leah, check it out!!) You've seen my closet. I don't organize by sleeve length or collar style; color is my key.

But then I realize that how much wasted money those hangers would be...even if it was only $40. Even if it was $4. Just silly, and obsessive.

The kind of behavior that would inspire others to say, "You really need to have a kid." And since I will be (having a kid) maybe I can at least get him all matching hangers?? No, that seems even more frivolous. If there's any time of your life that you don't have to worry about pressed pants and unwrinkled tops, let's hope it's when you are a baby. (And maybe if you work at the auto shop, animal shelter, or in the landscaping business.)

Cabo Recount

3 days without our luggage. (Nice job United Airlines, unable to get 2 bags on 1 direct flight.)

2 toiletry items then curiously discovered missing from our luggage, including a new can of Bumble & Bumble hairspray - either thanks to the TSA search (theft? misunderstanding of permissibility of aerosols? negligence?) or United's chain of possession. The contents of my bag had clearly been tossed around quite a bit.

2 pairs of Walmart underwear (see above)

Followed by 1 letter of complaint to be written to United whose stated policy is that they won't compensate you until you've been without your luggage for 72 hours. A policy that indicates you should *expect* them to handle your luggage incompetently.

4 pretty bad movies: Just Go With It with Adam Sandler, Due Date with Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, The Dilemma with Vince Vaughn, and 2012 - a ridiculously over-the-top disaster movie with John Cusack. I recommend none of these.

2 "Expectant Mother" massages. It was such a joy to lie on my stomach! They didn't even need to touch me and I would have been delighted, just getting the chance for my own "tummy time."

4 1/2 books read: The Other Life by Ellen Meister. Bossypants by Tina Fey, which was not quite as funny as I thought it'd be. (David Sedaris is more my style, I suppose.) The Most Human Human, a recounting of the annual Turing Test competition where judges spend 5 minutes in an instant message conversation trying to decide if they've been talking to a human or an artificial intelligence program on a computer. The computers attempt to trick the judges into thinking they're human, and the humans try to prove in short bursts of small talk that they are human. I grinned and laughed aloud more at this book than Tina Fey's. The Bolter, the biography of five-times divorced Idina Sackville and her adventures in Edwardian England and Kenya. And now on my way through Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I was really impressed that my kindle not only got service in Mexico, but that Amazon doesn't charge any fees for international access to download new books when I finished the four I'd read through. 1 afternoon nap, pretty much every day. If there's any way to store up sleep for the coming sleepless nights we'll have once the baby arrives, we tried our best.

Innumerable offers to purchase a timeshare. We began to claim that we were either unemployed and broke (true that we had received the stay through the generosity of Jason's mother) or that we were moving to Indonesia next year, a suitably far away and tropically-similar destination that would make the purchase of a timeshare in Cabo unreasonable. If you find yourself considering doing the timeshare property tour my advice is to hold out as long as possible as the enticements grow throughout your stay. Upon check-in they offer breakfast and a free drink coupon, by day three it was the breakfast, a free return to the airport, $200 at the spa, and $100 in dining.

1 dinner boat cruise. I joke with Jason that in my family no vacation would be considered complete if we weren't on a boat somehow: London, Amsterdam, the Jersey Shore. Humorously named the "Cabo Rey" it aptly came complete with a dinner show of traditional dancing. 3 hour delay on our flight home. Well done again, United: mechanical problems, a pilot who needed a more detailed passenger manifest, some guy's luggage mysteriously vibrating in the hold, and then sadly, a dog that hurt its mouth during the wait. The dog was ok to fly once the owner had a chance to attend to its injury and offer comfort. (Also 0 sandwiches left for our meal, after they'd been offered to everyone else in the cabin, so we had a nearly frozen chicken breast on top of lettuce for lunch.)

2 days left to enjoy before returning to work, thanks to the Memorial Day weekend. Though Chicago's weather is one big contrast: gloomy with predictions for thunderstorms.

Finally, a photo that will give you a little sense of that 1 baby in my ever-growing belly. We laughed every time Mexican merchants approached us to enter their shops by inviting, "Hello, honeymooners?!!" Might be a little late for the honeymoon, either that or they just took me to be another fat American.

Meet The Baby

Goofing around one night, I played with a "what will your child look like?" photo morpher found online. (Probably best that I didn't know about this when I was single, should it have become a criteria to run all candidates through.)

Taking this photo of me and Jason in India...The website predicted this as the face of our son.(That is supposed to be a little boy, though Jason insists it looks like a girl. How much can you expect from a free internet toy? At first it did accidentally think we were African-American, so this was an improvement!)

He's also apparently a pirate. I think we'd hoped for more, like scientist, professional athlete, architect or author. I just hope his career doesn't take him to Somalia.

Baby's "Crib" Preview

This is clearly not a room ready for a child, but it is our nursery. Once upon a time it was my office, and the feminist in me finds it an ironic metaphor that this is the room that baby will be baby taking over.

However, the decorator in me is happy to think about re-working my workroom into a place for a baby boy. Here's what I'm thinking about for baby's room, beginning with keeping the current pale blue wall color (Benjamin Moore Blue Bonnet) and some of the orange accessories like these pillows.In the middle is a boppy cover I found on etsy that embodies a lot of the colors I like for the room: light blue, dark blue, orange and grey. (Boppy is a courteous hand-me-down from cousin June.)

These colors work with the existing rug (grey), the new rug from India, and a few other items I'm adding to the room, including an old milk crate (a possible toy catch-all coincidentally bearing the name of my employer!) and a new Crate & Barrel beanbag footrest. I may already be overdosing the orange, so I'll look for more balancing blue with further additions.The footrest is soft and intended for outdoor use, so I expect it will be durable. I was thinking about bringing in a glider or rocker until reading an OhDeeDoh (Apartment Therapy's kids blog) post entitled "Number One Item Readers Thought They Needed, But Didn't" and it was a rocking chair! Granted the comments spawned a feverish debate. I think we'll start with the existing cozy armchair plus footrest, and if needed there is a Plan B rocking chair I can bring in.

I like those old Animal Cracker tins, and imagine there must be some kind of baby supply that they can house?

For the walls, the current art will stay. I'm now realizing that I apparently have a natural penchant for juvenalia...or maybe my "clock" was already ticking. (Let's all roll our eyes at the cliche.)Clowns and animals, that seems right for baby! Also note the addition of dark blue curtains to add some masculinity to the room. Problematically, they are shorter than the last drapes, meaning I'll have to adjust the height of the curtain rod to avoid the look of flood pant curtains.

This jester wall hanging is a good big brother for the Pinnochio from Aunt Courtney and Uncle Lorenzo. And he was designed and hand-made by Grandma Patricia. (I still have the news clipping from the local paper featuring this guy as the winner of the craft fair contest at the local YWCA. Go Mom!) And it's not too hipster to keep the Modest Mouse poster, right?

So obviously we are still missing some essentials like um... a crib? But that's on order, so stay tuned for updates and a recap of the marital strife that may ensue as Jason and I attempt its assembly. There ought to be a Geek Squad equivalent for Babies R Us, guys who can just come to your home and figure this out for you.

I Broke My Book

This is a problem you wouldn't have with a traditional paper-and-glue book. After hearing the clatter of it dropping to the floor and then taking a long slide under the bed, I should have known that my kindle was an unlikely survivor. Sure enough, the next night when I turned it on I had a screen that looked like a shattered mirror. *SIGH* And just before vacation too!

However a new Kindle is on its way to me now, as well as padded carrying case to help prevent this from happening again.It's just an odd feeling to not be able to read at night, because I literally broke my books.

C'mon Cabo

I am eagerly looking forward to slipping my toes into a pair of these very soon.
Especially with this weekend's temperatures wandering in the low 40s, with an overcast grey sky.

A week away in Cabo, including first class seats for the return trip (thanks to frequent flier miles.) It's surprising that I'm not already completely packed.

Another Taste

I seem to be frequently put in charge of organizing office team outings. Usually it's with a little bemusement, since many team members are pretty ambivalent in their participation. (Attendees to the AIDS 5K walk on a Saturday morning included just the two managers who'd suggested it'd be a great idea and asked me to organize.) Though I'm sometimes reluctant, I'll admit that on the rare occasion that I am not asked for my organizer's opinion, I do get a little offended.

So no surprise that I was consulted for the spring outing, for which I proposed a Chicago food tasting tour. (Readers with a very good memory will recall this was a gift from mother-in-law Nancy a couple years ago.) And it worked out very nicely for our team of 15 on a warm and sunny spring Friday.

We toured the Near Northside, enjoying pastrami reubens, fancy iced tea, chocolate, olive oils and balsamic vinegar, and of course, some Chicago pizza.

Here is the tea from Tea Gschwendner, where we learned that the tea you've been buying at the grocery store is considered the "sawdust" of the tea world. At the Spice House we tasted cinnamon straight up, which was surprisingly good, while listening to a history lesson on the spice trade. Even though I rarely pull my act together for sophisticated cooking, their herbs inspired me... and reminded me of the many yummy spices we've received from Jason's Aunt Cherie and Uncle Charlie, sitting full of promise in my cupboard.At the Fudge Pot, custom molds of chocolate greeted us. Yes, that's a chocolate cheeseburger in the bottom left corner. My favorite stop surprised me, since it was a store I'd never set foot in, Old Town Oils. A store with just olive oil and balsamic vinegar? What could I need there? But after drinking shots of tasty combinations of oil and vinegar I went back the following week for their Blood Orange Olive Oil, to pair with the Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar for the perfect summer salad dressing. (This is obviously not my photo, since the date is 2010.)

The tour won positive reviews from the team, and my tummy.

Thank You Belly Much

I saw my admin do it the other day. Standing by her side, about to explain to her how to sort an Excel spreadsheet for me, her eager hand sprung towards me, but stopped itself. She caught herself saying,"Oh I almost just touched your belly without thinking...or asking."

Since I've just rounded the corner of starting to really show the baby in my belly this is just the beginning. I'm going to be practicing my Bruce Lee windmill defensive reflexes. Of course, right now I'm much more in Kung Fu Panda shape.Some people might call it selfish, but I don't think it's everyone's privilege to touch me in a way that would be completely weird under any other situation. Though I am intruding beyond my own personal space doesn't mean you can. Uninvited hands off the belly! Coworkers particularly. I am considering poking everyone back, and asking how far along they are. But I confess even this makes me uncomfortable!

Just Thinking of You

This year brought an odd partnership on the calendar for May.Looking at pictures of my parents from their pre-kid days, you might suggest they were the odd partnership. And it's sort of related.

Sunday was Mother's Day, which I am typically a little cranky over, since the primary person I'd be celebrating isn't around. Although friend Ellyn reached out to remind me that the day may be changing in a personal, significant way as it soon will honor me as Mom too. Jason was a little dubious about celebrating this year, until I explained that this is like my "red-shirt freshman" year for mother's day - on the team but not really playing yet...but still eligible for that scholarship! Putting it in terms he understood gained the promise of a dinner out.

Then today, it was fifteen years since my Dad died. Which took me by surprise, dawning on me as I was sitting in a meeting talking to three other people about FDA submissions and their timing. After staring at the calendar on the wall for nearly 20 minutes it hit me why this date seemed so familiar and notable. So it was easy to feel reminiscent and maybe a little sad for a while, thinking of Mom and Dad.

But then Juliet cheered me with photos of the thief caught in her yard today. Bunny breakfast! With a beverage.The last photo is my favorite, as it has that "Caught on TV" look to it.Nothing like a bunny rabbit to make you smile, even on a gloomy day. (Thanks Juliet and Ellyn - too bad there isn't a Sister's day and a College Roommate day to honor you too!)

Good Humor

I just saw this on a friend's facebook page.
And suffice to say I can immediately think of which one of my friends would be the unicorns if we were back in Noah's day.
And my friends might suggest I would have been the termites in the wood Noah used to build the ark...any way to get on board as early as possible.

Update: This card is from Sapling Press on etsy, where there are also other amusing cards like this one:

My Most Feminine Skills for Mother's Day

I feel like I've never impressed by Grandmother more than when I cook or sew. After bringing an apple tart to Easter one year (essentially sliced apples mixed in with sugar and placed on top of puff pastry, which was then folded over to make a crust) I was questioned multiple times, "You made this? You made this yourself?"

Sometimes I wonder if Grandma worries that I haven't picked up the essential female skills that she was well-schooled in growing up: sewing, cooking, child-rearing. In her day Grandma has sewn her own coats, slipcovers for furniture and many a holiday apron. If the apple tart impressed her, I am ready to bowl her over by giving birth!

I am hopeful that she will delight in a small mother's day gift that's on its way to her now: a fabric corsage, made from scraps from other projects.

It was a pretty simple, one afternoon project. For a little big of bling, I added an old earring to the center of the "carnation." And that's her Mother's Day card in the background too.

I am hoping that Gram will like it, and maybe can show it off a little in the senior center.

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