My Life, As Told Between (Baby Cakes') Naps

Consciousness: That annoying stretch of time before the next nap.

6th May 2011

Five Month Update

DECEMBER:  J was basically sleeping or crying this first month and I spent most of it guilty that I wanted him to sleep a lot, since he was so fussy when he was awake.  He’d sleep anywhere, but his favorite sleep spots were in my arms and on T’s chest.  He had his days and nights all mixed up so he was at his most alert and fussiest at night, when he’d only sleep in hour and a half increments.  We had him in a bassinet co-sleeper attached to our bed, where he would either cry because he was awake or squirm and make snorting and sniffling noises as he slept.  He did his best sleeping in his swing downstairs.  T and I had a schedule where I’d go to bed at nine and he would hang out with J downstairs until midnight or one, then we’d switch and I’d have him while T slept.  I must have been running on mommy hormones because, despite the lack of sleep, I was only moderately tired.  We have a few videos of J crying and are now astonished at how quiet his cries were this first month.  They seemed piercing at the time!

JANUARY:  By January, J had already developed super strong neck muscles and could already hold his head up for long periods of time. T went back to work in January and I was on my own with J during the days.  I was scared at first but we quickly settled into a routine.  Fortunately, J was getting his days and nights sorted so he would sleep at night (although he still got up every 2-3 hours to eat).  We transitioned him to the nursery, although I often spent the night there because J was still getting up so often.  During the day, he wouldn’t nap unless I held him, so I spent most of my day holding him.  When he was awake, I’d wear him in a Moby or his Ergo carrier and walked the dog, set him on his activity gym, try to read to him, or just danced around the room with him listening to country music (my secret shame).  I usually wouldn’t get to shower until T came home because I couldn’t figure out how to set J down without him crying.  Occasionally, our wonderful friend S came over to feed me and watch J while I showered.  Those days seem so long ago now!

FEBRUARY:  It was like a switch came on in February.  J became so much more awake, alert, and interactive.  He started smiling and even laughing occasionally, although it took us a while to realize that his little “huh huh” noises was laughter.  We took our first flight to San Jose for my sister B’s bridal shower and J did really well on the plane.  He was fascinated by everything.  Unfortunately, he was overstimulated by all the attention when we arrived in SJ and we had a rough night the first night away from home.  He cried and fussed for hours and hours before finally falling asleep.  Towards the end of the month, I decided I needed to start swaddling him for his naps because it wasn’t possible to hold him while he napped forever, especially since I’d be going back to work in a little over a month.  It took a little work, but I was eventually free to take showers once again!

MARCH:  J discovered his fingers this month and liked nothing better than to suck on them all day.  He also became a champion napper and started to sleep in much longer chunks at night and nights were no longer a nightmare, although it was really difficult to get him to fall asleep some nights.  I started putting him to sleep groggy but awake and creating positive sleep associations for him.  It gradually got easier and he started sleeping through the night or only getting up once.  Of course, I had to rock the boat as I tried to ween him away from the swaddle.  He was trying so hard to roll onto his stomach and I knew we’d have to stop swaddling him soon.  We switched to the Woombie, which allowed him to move his hands to some extent.  Then I tried swaddling him with one hand out entirely but he didn’t nap well at all.  Towards the end of the month he mastered rolling over onto his stomach (although he showed no interest in sitting on the few occasions we put him in his Bumbo) and we had to stop swaddling him cold turkey.  It turned out much better than I expected and he slept fine with his sleep sack the very first night he was unswaddled!  This month also included a visit to T’s family in Fresno.  J was a champ and slept during most of the drive and was lovely during the visit. 

APRIL:  We flew up to SJ again for my sister B’s wedding this month.  Thankfully, because they had a separate room where we were able to put J to sleep in his stroller  and J had his devoted grandparents to hold him when he wasn’t sleeping T and I were able to stay and actually enjoy some of the wedding. I also went back to work this month and J went on a temporary bottle strike.  He only ate enough to take the edge off and waited until I got home to eat.  Unfortunately, he also started waking up consistently twice a night to be fed.  Gone were the days of sleeping through the night.  We can’t keep him on his back for the life of us.  As soon as we put him down, he flips over.  Rather than sucking on his fingers, J started sucking on any and everything around him.  He started trying to crawl, but hasn’t quite manage it yet, which caused him untold frustration.  We bought some foam mats and created a larger play space for him to practice in.

MAY:  J is super adorable these days.  He’s full of laughs and smiles.  His favorite activity is being held upright so he can jump (I sing the “Jumpy Jump” song to him to the tune of the Humpty Dance).  We can’t wait to see what the month of May brings!



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28th February 2011

Superpower

I always thought if I could have one superpower, it would be the power to fly. Now, I think I would want the power to manipulate time so I can stop and savor every minute with the Little Man. He’s a little over 12 weeks old and it is incredible how quickly time has flown and how much he has grown! I celebrate every milestone – like his first social smile! – but a part of me laments the fact that he’s putting another piece of his babyhood behind him. I blink and he’s already so much bigger and stronger.

The first month of parenthood was difficult. I think it was a combination of hormones, exhaustion, and stress. I was constantly thinking of how radically our lives had changed overnight and what a life-long, overwhelming responsibility we had undertaken. I loved my baby but I didn’t know him and I was more focused on the lifestyle we had lost.  However, I’ve fallen more and more in love with the Little Man everyday and now can’t imagine life without him.  Plus, he’s getting more interactive every day and so much more fun to be around!

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2nd January 2011

Year In Review

January:  Had yearly physical.  Decided to go off the pill in anticipation of trying for a baby in 3 months (after the marathon and our trip to Italy).  Anticipated it could take a year or more to be successful.

February:  Ran the Pasadena marathon, for the first time, with some new friends from my running group.  Got a decent time.  Due to the small crowds and the design of the route, T was able to meet me and cheer me on much more often than at the LA marathon.

March:  Ran the Los Angeles marathon.  New Stadium to Sea route was awesome and I set a personal record, but I was weirdly tired and felt like crying.  The reason would become clear next month.

April:  Found out I was pregnant!  And then went to Italy at the height of my morning sickness.  Still managed to have a great time with T.

May:  Went to Sedona on my sixth annual Quad trip.  Flight arrived late Friday night, drove two hours through the desert and mountains to get there, and was only there until Sunday afternoon, but hanging out with the Quad is always worth it.

June:  Turned 32.  Low key celebration with T.  Didn’t feel like making a big deal this year.  Feeling fat.

July:  Found out we’re having a boy.  Would have been happy with either, but slightly relieved in light of parental pressure (on my side) for a boy.

August:  Pregnancy pains set in.  Not a happy camper.

September:  Finally in the third trimester.  Went to amazing shower thrown by my sisters in San Jose!  Got kick-*ss deal on used glider/ottoman on Craigslist.

October:  Entering Stay Puft territory.  Wedding ring no longer fits.

November:  Attended, and was touched by, shower thrown by co-workers.  Hosted our first Thanksgiving since I wasn’t able to travel.  Had T’s family over and ordered a meal from Marie Callendar’s.  Turned out pretty well considering the minimal effort we were able to put in.

December:  Had Little Man!  Hosted my family and T’s family for Christmas.  Exhausting  but so wonderful to have all of our loved ones in the same place – and to have them meet Baby J.

Most exciting year to date!

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16th December 2010

Baby Cakes’ Birth Story

As most of you know, Baby Cakes, aka Little Man or Baby J, was born exactly on his due date – Saturday, December 4th! Despite being exactly on time, he still caught T and I by surprise.

During the week leading up to BC’s birth, T and I watched a video on childbirth preparation (having opted out of taking a class) and I lamented the fact that I was showing very few of the pre-labor signs. I was convinced Baby Cakes was going to be days if not weeks late. (Doctors will generally let you go up to two weeks late before they insist on intervention.) However, the evening before BC’s due date, I was excited to find myself showing more pre-labor signs, which generally indicate that actual labor is hours (or sometimes days) away.

Sure enough, my contractions started at 11 pm that night and were about 20 minutes to 30 minutes apart for 2 hours. I was convinced they were false contractions though and went to the other room to allow T to sleep (he was fighting a bad cold). Then they started coming more frequently and hurting more. Still convinced they were false and/or that I wasn’t far enough in the labor process to merit a trip to the hospital, I labored at home until 4am. Then I decided it was worth it to wake T up and go to the hospital even though I was pretty sure we’d be sent home.

T reacted very calmly…I think because he had bought into my deluded conviction this was a false alarm. I was so sure that when we got to the hospital I made T look for a metered spot rather than
valet the car! Turns out I was 3 (out of 10) cm dilated and almost fully effaced (i.e., definately in labor) and would be having my baby that day!

Since it was my understanding that it was better to labor as much as possible before getting an epidural (which can halt labor and require additional drugs to restart it although the drugs sometimes cancel each other out), I labored for several more hours without any drugs (unfortunately by the time I wanted the epidural the anesthesiologist was busy).  The contractions got longer and stronger, but over all not as bad as I had feared. I didn’t get the epidural until 10:30am, at which point I was 4 cm dilated. I had labored for almost 12 hours naturally. The epidural totally made me numb but it also slowed down my contractions so the nurses had to use pertosin to jump start the contractions again. I “labored” with the drugs (ie, napped) until 4 pm. However when the doctor next checked, I hadn’t made any progress.  It appeared the baby was too big to deliver without a C section. So some 17 hours of laboring was for nothing and we headed into surgery.

I was wheeled to the OR around 6pm and Little Man made his appearance at 6:39pm, although it took an additional 45 minutes to sew me back up. T was there the entire time and was amazing. As it turned out, thank good for the C section!  BC had an undetected knot in his umbilical cord.  Had he been born naturally, the doctors said there was a high likelihood he would have been stillborn because the birthing process would have tightened the knot and cut off his air supply.  So Little Man is our our personal miracle and we’re thankful every day for him..even when he’s wide awake and crying for no reason at 3am.  🙂

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29th November 2010

Almost There?

I started to panic last week when I realized I was due very, very soon and neither T nor I really knew what to expect during labor. For some reason, despite my propensity to over-plan, I haven’t given it much thought. I’d decided early on I didn’t want to take a birthing class…they just seemed so long, boring and expensive!  “How difficult could it be?”  I thought.  The doctors and nurses basically tell you want to do, right?

Well, the more I read about it the more I realized there’s a lot to consider, so I bought a birthing preparation DVD which T and I are slowly working through.  It’s scaring us a bit, but probably better to be scared and prepared than oblivious.

Anyways, 5 days left until my due date, although I’m somewhat resigned to going over.  I don’t appear to be showing any of the pre-labor signs.  =(  Baby Cakes hasn’t even dropped yet.  I have another appointment this Wednesday but doubt they’ll be able to tell me much.  In a spurt of optimism, I bet T that Baby Cakes would make an appearance within 2 days of his due date (December 4th) but T thinks he’ll be a week late.  I was convinced Baby Cakes would be early, but am starting to doubt my convictions.  Logically, I know most first time moms run late, but I’ve heard about/read of so many people delivering their first babies early, I convinced myself that was the norm.  But my doctor brought me down to earth last week and I’m trying to stay realistic.

It’s probably for the best in any case.  I’m miserably nursing a horrible cold right now and am not in the best condition to be giving birth to and taking care of a newborn.  Can’t breathe, can’t sleep, and throat is super sore.  Laying down aggravates the congestion and sore throat while standing/sitting worsens the swelling and water retention (fingers and toes feel puffy and painful).  It’s a no win situation.

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12th November 2010

Amazing Transformation

This is totally random, but I came across this super cute transformation of an old television entertainment unit into a play kitchen and just had to share.  How much would we have loved this as kids?

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4th November 2010

T Minus 30 Days!

Baby Cakes is due in exactly one month today!  Some last minute things we still need to do, like finish packing my hospital bag and picking up some diapers, but otherwise I think we’re as ready as we’re going to be.  Will try to post some pictures of the nursery this weekend!

I have a little under three weeks of work left and my very nice co-workers are throwing me a shower next week.  Our friends and family have been so generous we had a hard time thinking of extra things to put on the registry for the work shower!

My back has been feeling a little better, although my hips and legs are hurting more.  Overall, I feel okay, although I hear the last month is the worse.  I am missing my old body (and hope to get a semblance of it back one day) and am super excited to meet Baby Cakes in a month though!

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28th October 2010

Stay Puft

My feet are bloated.  They start out okay in the morning but look like puffy little balloons by the end of the day.  I had to take my wedding ring off because my fingers are a little bloated too, so I’m wearing a fake ring in the meanwhile.  I think my face is getting puffier, but it’s hard to tell since its kind of round to start with.  Not a happy camper.

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19th October 2010

46 Days Left!

A little over six weeks left until Baby Cakes’ due date!  In the meanwhile, he’s busy baking and kicking away.  As for me, sleep is getting a little bit harder – more bathroom breaks, leg cramps, and hip pain.  Fortunately, no insomnia yet (keeping fingers crossed).

The days are also getting more uncomfortable.  I am huge and getting bigger every day.  I feel a little bit like Godzilla lumbering down the street.  I swear, cars stop and stare.  Although the ultrasound a couple of weeks ago showed that Baby Cakes is average baby weight, I’m still measuring big.  The doctor at my last appointment (I see different doctors in the same practice) thought Baby Cakes was going to be an eight-pounder.  When I informed my little sister B of this, she reminded me that she was eight pounds.  Between her and the nine pound babies on my husband’s side, I’m a little worried…

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30th September 2010

30 Week Update

Baby Cakes is 30 weeks and 5 days today and appears to be on track for his December 4th due date!  A little over nine weeks left to go!

I was measuring two weeks ahead at my last appointment so the doctor had scheduled an ultrasound during this check-up.  Generally, measuring big doesn’t necessarily signify anything (due date could have been wrong or baby is just sitting high), but there was a slim possibility it could signal something was wrong so I was a little nervous.  Fortunately, Baby Cakes is measuring right on target and everything appears to be okay (cross fingers, knock on wood).  We saw his little chest moving as he practiced “breathing” (a good sign the doctor pointed out) and his little heart pumping. 

Back is still hurting and I’ve developed a few other random aches and pains, but overall I’m feeling okay.  Baby Cakes has been super active lately and kicks throughout the day.  I keep reading posts about people having still births late in their pregnancy, so every kick is reassuring.  (I really need to stop reading these kinds of things, but as I told T, I feel like if I worry about it, it will be less likely to happen.)  I know Baby Cakes’ activity level will likely decrease as he runs out of room to maneuver in the womb, but in the meanwhile, I love feeling (and seeing) him move!  It’s my favorite part of being pregnant.

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29th September 2010

Roly Poly

Said by a co-worker in passing:  You look beautiful today!

What I heard:  Wow, you are getting really roly poly.  Good job just getting out of bed and managing to brush your hair (mostly) this morning!

My suspicions were confirmed later in the day when two other co-workers seperately noted “You’re all belly!” and “You’re walking like a pregnant lady.”

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20th September 2010

Showered With Love

T and I just got back from an amazing weekend in San Jose! We flew in early Saturday morning to attend a baby shower my sisters hosted for us at my friend J’s house.  We were both so touched by how much time, money and effort our friends and family have put into celebrating Baby Cakes’ arrival.  Even in the days leading up to the shower, we were inundated with gifts sent to us by dear friends and family members.  

My sister B cooked for 2 weeks straight (with Sister L serving the role of indentured servant), my Quad friend J opened up her house so we could have the shower there (she has the loveliest, warmest house which everyone always compliments her on so we were thrilled to use it), we had family drive 3 hours to be there and friends totally surprise us by driving 6 hours to come to the shower (we didn’t even send invites to LA or out of state friends as we figured there’s no way anyone would come, didn’t want people to feel obligated to send gifts, and felt bad making Sister B slave another 30 hours and spend another zillion dollars on additional invites).  We were overwhelmed by how generous everyone was and felt truly blessed.  Our only regret was not being able to spend more time with everyone individually!

These pictures don’t do the shower justice, but here are some of the wonderful treats my sisters made, which included: mini beef wellington, chicken pot pies, pizza rolls, pesto bread sticks, ceviche, chicken tarragon sandwiches, hummus, sloppy joes, spinach dip, bruschetta, spinach pies, almond cake, cheese cake bites, lychee panna cotta, caramel apple bites, green tea shortbread cookies, orange cranberry scones, lemon cookies, cream puffs, and little blueberry pies as favors.  Oh, and my mom made some delicious shrimp and carrot puffs that are always a hit.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten something but it was all delicious and beautifully presented!

That night, we met up with some of T’s friends and watched the UCLA game.  My friend C, who wasn’t able to make it to the shower, dropped by to visit, even though she was clearly exhausted (she’d been on a rock climbing trip all day).

The next day, after a gut-bustingly huge lunch (my parents grilled up an insane amount of food) with my family, we  flew home (on our two year wedding anniversary!) and basically crashed.  I’d already told T I hadn’t bought him anything and didn’t intend to make a big deal of the anniversary – we never made big deals of events like anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations growing up so I’m still one one to celebrate them much – but T got me a very thoughtful gift and the sweetest card.  I have a wonderful husband and I’ve loved every minute of marriage!

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7th September 2010

The Elevator

(On the way up to work this morning. Wearing a shirt that makes me look extra-big.)

Random woman on the elevator: How far along are you?

Me: I have three months left.

RW: Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?

Me: A boy. Our first! We’re really excited.

RW: We’re having a girl. (Pats tiny tummy.) It’ll be our first too!

Me: (Looking over at very petite Asian woman) Congrats! How far along are you?

RW: I think I’m about two weeks ahead of you.

Me: (Silence)

Me: But…but…you’re so little!!

RW: (Laughs) It’s just what I’m wearing.

Me: (On verge of breakdown) But, I’m HUGE! And you’re so LITTLE!!

RW: (Says something vaguely reassuring. Gets off elevator.)

Me: (Crying on the inside.)

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2nd September 2010

The Great Glider Dilemma

Hi All (two of you who read my blog)!  Sorry to leave y’all with such a downer post.  You’ll be happy to know this week has been much better (knock on wood).

One of the things T and I have been focused on lately is getting a glider/ottoman for the nursery.  It’s been super difficult to find an inexpensive glider that fit both T and I – always a problem whenever we need furniture because of our height disparity.  Really nice gliders that are made to last can cost upwards of $1,000 or more (as we found out when we went to the LA Rocking Chair Store).  Even moderately nice, large gliders from a chain store (which appearantly often break down after a couple of years) can still run $500-700.  Smaller and/or cheaper gliders can cost anywhere from $100-400.

Ideally, we wanted to buy one of the nicer gliders used.  Towards that end, we’ve been stalking Craigslist.  T found the perfect glider/ottoman (pictured without the matching ottoman below) for $150 on Craigslist Saturday. 

We immediately called and were able to schedule an appointment to see it that same day, so we headed out to Malibu (wondering the entire time why anyone who could afford to live in Malibu would bother selling stuff on Craigslist…). 

We loved the glider!  It was comfortable for both of us, had thick cushions and an automatic locking system, was in good condition, was 1/4th its original price, and even fit our color scheme.  In short, it was PERFECT…except that it squeaked!  T’s not one to let something like that bother him, but we both thought there was a high probability it would drive me nuts.  So we hemmed and hawed, debated, flipped-flopped and considered a ton of other gliders in all price ranges.   

Finally, I decided (T basically left the decision up to me as he knew I’d be harder to please) that I would ask if the seller would accept $100 for the glider and ottoman – figuring at that price I could either tolerate the squeaking or we could buy another glider later if it really drove me nuts.  To my surprise, the seller quickly agreed (this is evidently the bonus of buying from someone who can afford to live in Malibu – she didn’t really seem to care how much she sold it for, she just wanted to get rid of it quickly) and T and a friend picked up the glider and ottoman the very next day!   It’s currently sitting in our nursery, where it barely squeaks at all (maybe because its on carpeting and not in the garage, as it was when we saw it).  I’m so thrilled with our purchase and am totally in love with Craigslist.  =)

The nursery itself is still a mess, but it’s shaping up.  Once I convince T to part with the guest bed and we get the crib, I can start decorating for Baby Cakes!

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27th August 2010

Woe Is My Week

This has not been a good week for me.  I’m so glad it’s almost done!  I made a mistake at work (which was relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, but no one likes mistakes) and have been struggling with a project that is taking too long and going nowhere.  I messed up with my baby shower.  On top of that, I belatedly realized it’s planned for the weekend of our 2 year anniversary so we’ll be spending our anniversary traveling.  I got mad at T for something relatively minor, causing him to (very sweetly) cut his bowling game short and rush home because he knows I tend to stew over things and make them worse if left unattended.  I still feel guilty about it.  I had my doctor’s appointment and found out I’ve gained more weight than I thought, although that explains why I’ve been feeling so awkward and uncomfortable lately.  My back hurts, my knuckles have swollen so I had to take my wedding band off (although the engagment ring, which was always kind of big, still fits), and I can’t concentrate on anything these days. 

I feel better getting that off my chest.  Hopefully next week will be better!

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24th August 2010

If It Waddles Like A Duck…

Me:  I think I’ve reached the point where people are comfortable asking if I’m pregnant.  I’ve had three strangers ask when I’m due today.

T:  You’ve definitely got a baby bump.  I don’t think you can hide it even with your stealthy all-black clothing technique.

Me:  I don’t think I look that pregnant from the back though so I still have one safe angle!

T:  No, you can tell.  You’ve got a little waddle going now.  Maybe if you were standing still.

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24th August 2010

Ouch!

Woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible ache in my hips/thighs.  I think it’s sciatica, which is apparently common during pregnancy (although usually in the third trimester – and I’m still 3 weeks away from the third trimester!).  My hips ached a little once or twice in the last couple of weeks, but last night was the first time it was so bad I couldn’t sleep. Woke up at 3am and was still awake at 4am, when T woke up to get ready for work.   When I discovered sitting up helped, T propped me up in bed.  After half an hour or so, the pain faded enough for me to lie down again and go back to sleep.  Still a little sore this morning, but no where near as bad as it was last night.

It kind of sucked.  Although, on a brighter note, Baby Cakes was awake with me and kicking up a storm.  I’ve noted, during my multiple bathroom breaks in the middle of the night, that 3am is one of his favorite times to be up and moving.  I love feeling him kick – it makes the whole thing worthwhile.  =)

On a non-baby related note, had a great time this weekend!  T’s mom was in town, so we got to spend a lot of time with her and T’s brother.  I made Louisiana Pasta for dinner Friday, we went to the Outdoor Cinema Food Feast Saturday (where we joined a couple of my friend, watched the Princess Bride and ate too much junk food), and then went to a beach party on Sunday with T’s co-workers (where we again ate too much junk food).  T and I are detoxing this week.  I made shrimp and spinach last night and am making salmon and broccoli tonight.

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18th August 2010

Shower

Check out these cute invites my sister made for our baby shower next month. I think they’re going in the mail today – can’t wait to hear what people think of them! She’s so creative!

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16th August 2010

I’m a Fan

In addition to deep cleaning our carpet this weekend, we installed this super cute fan in the nursery.  It took forever – we are not handy people – and poor T’s shoulders were killing him but we got it done.  I love it and can’t wait to get the rest of the nursery set up!
We also saw Salt this weekend, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the fan.

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13th August 2010

Boring

T:  Hey, do we have any plans this weekend?

Me:  I was thinking I’d really like to go to Home Depo to rent a carpet cleaner.  And maybe we can check out some rocker/gliders for the nursery?

T:  The fun never ends around here, does it? =)

posted in The Kitchen Sink | 1 Comment