Isn’t he just a wudge?


We are fully in babymoon mode over here and loving it.  Gus’ delivery was much more peaceful and the recovery has been such a smooth ride compared to my last experience.


 Dave snapped this picture of me with my wonderful saintly Doctor right before the c-section.  She never put pressure on me one way or the other about how Gus should come into the world.  Dave and I ultimately made the decision to do the repeat c-section because it seemed like he was going to be another big baby like Sara, and I was not making a smidge of progress on my own which, again, was just like things were with Sara.  It turned out to be a very good thing that we did the section, though, because when my big tall guy came out, he also had a very tight true knot in his cord!

[I literally just remembered that I did my first ever novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots in May because I was such a ball of anxiety over Gus' impending birth and the decisions surrounding it.  Give me a sec while I process/cry/praise God for His Mercy & Our Lady for her protection.]

Whew.  I don’t really know how to follow up that realization.  I guess I’ll just share too many pictures.


 Me & Gus at around 6:30 am last Friday,


  and later that day around noon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe siblings were a little wary of each other at first, but they’ve warmed up since then!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My mom (Mimi, as she’s known to the McGrandkids) and sister Joanie spent a week with us and basically made SK’s year.  She is still asking for Joanie and Mimi every day.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Since Mimi and Joanie left, there’s been a lot of tv consumption, but luckily that goes well with couch cuddles which is what the big sister needs from us the most.  Poor SK came down with a weird minor stomach bug thing right after Gus came home. She’s been good for the past 3 days, so we’re hoping it’s over.  Fingers crossed! IMG_2757

When we’re not watching Daniel Tiger (new episodes appeared on Netflix just in time for our non-stop watching pleasure!) SK has been obsessed with playdough.  She’ll play with it for hours! Of course, it results in hardened flecks of playdough everywhere, especially under her finger nails (shudder) but it keeps her happy and occupied.


And Gus?  He’s generally a pretty happy dude.  He’s a big eater, and while that means nursing is going much better this time around, it also means he doesn’t let me sleep much at night.  He’s an every 2 hour on the nose nurser.  This is really random, but whenever he wakes up in the dead of night to nurse yet again, I think of this obscure I Love Lucy scene:

I think that covers everything.  I’ll try to somewhat keep up with blogging or at the very least get some of my sisters to pick up my slack. Thanks for all your prayers and good wishes, friends. It means the world to us.IMG_2745

He’s here!



Just wanted to jump on the ol’ blog to let Ellen’s faithful readers know that they can release the breath they’ve been holding all weekend — Gus has arrived!

How cute is that little face? His full name is Augustine Anthony and he was 8lbs 12oz, which is nothing compared to his big sister’s birth weight (and yes, compared to any of Claire’s kids) but I still think it’s pretty good. Mom and baby are doing well and SK is hanging with Mimi and Aunt Joanie for the week. I’m sure Ellen will be back with more details soon!

Nursery Reveal

“So, whatcha doing this week, Ellen?”

Oh I don’t know, just having a BABY.

Our buddy’s eviction date is set for this Friday, so that means I have t-3 days left of being pregnant.  And I’ve been such a good girl this time around that I’m just letting myself be pregnant and eat ice cream sandwiches and pop tarts when I feel like it.  People, I’ve been craving pop tarts for almost the entire pregnancy and I only just caved and bought a box yesterday.  That’s self control!

It’s high time I showed you his nursery in all it’s (mostly finished) glory, huh?  I also have a mostly finished kitchen to show you as well, but I have all week, so patience y’all!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWay back in the awful never ending winter, I looked for boy nursery inspiration on pinterest and I was so taken by this nursery with the blue gingham curtains.  I just had to have them!  I’m also a big fan of crib skirts because then I can stash sleeves of diapers and other stuff under the crib and nobody’s the wiser.  So I picked up enough fabric (way more than enough fabric because I’m really bad at measurements) at Ikea for both curtains and skirt.  I also picked up this play rug at Ikea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThus solidifying (along with the awesome lamp on loan from cousin Jude!) the nursery’s unofficial and vague theme of vehicles.  Also, blue and green.  I know it seems to be too small for the space, but ultimately, the nursing chair will go back into the room so all that will be visible on the floor after that will be the rug.  I was pretty excited when I got the idea to use the car rug for the nursery because 1. it was super cheap ($13!) and 2. It will be played with by more than one kid.  SK is already a big fan!


Here’s a better shot of the crib and the picture above the crib.  I know it just looks like a cute watercolor of an elephant pushing a rock, but it’s actually way cooler and nerdier than that.  It adorably illustrates Newton’s 3 laws of motion.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this Etsy listing.   Our friend Pat bought it for SK back in the day.  He’s an engineer and Dave’s a physicist so they both thought it was coolest thing ever.  It’s pretty fun, isn’t it?

I have to brag that I got the bumpers at Savers for $3!! I had very girlie bumpers for SK so I knew I needed to get new ones for this baby.  Is it gross that I got them used?  They’re nice Carter bumpers and they were in good condition and I washed and dried them on really high heat.  Whatever, I’m proud of my occasional thriftiness. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I totally have to eat my words in a former post when I complained that chevron stresses me out.  It’s still not my favorite, but I really wanted a changing pad cover this time around and this one was inexpensive on Amazon.  It does clash a bit with the curtains, but I liked how the gray went with the gray of the mobile clouds.  To the left of the changing station…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I actually have his name up there too in stainless steel cookie cutter letters, but I took it down for the picture so it can remain a surprise for some of you. :) I’m not done decorating the shelf; I’d like one or both of his patron saints represented up there.  Spoiler alert: St. Joe up there is not one of this namesakes, but I like him a lot and want my son to be like him, so his presence on the shelf is very much welcome.  I think my favorite part of the whole nursery is that sweet pennant.  I whipped it up last night and I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Turning around on the other side of the room…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI kept up the curtain with the ball fringe because it works color-wise.  And because, ball-fringe! The fun tire mirror is another loaner from Jude.  And yes, little brother’s closet is filled with his big sister’s clothes still.  He might as well get used it it.  And speaking of SK…


I’m pretty sure she’s telling me “It’s mies bed.” She’s still a little possessive of her former crib, but she does love her new room and big girl bed.  And she still owns the closet in this room, so she kinda wins. ;)

So there it is!  I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I purposely made things simpler in the nursery this time around.  It’s such a small room that too much stuff just makes for clutter and mess and stress. I’m no minimalist by any stretch, but I’m starting to see the benefit of paring down all the stuff.  [For comparison, here's SK's nursery.]

I really will try to get a kitchen post up this week!  Please keep me and my littlest kiddo in your prayers this week too?


Mindy Kaling Is My Homegirl (and other takes about food)

1.  You guys.  I’ve always liked Mindy Kaling, but now I’m convinced we are soul sisters.  This segment from Jimmy Kimmel was just too funny and I could totally relate, especially when she said “It takes a lot of effort to be a normal/chubby woman.” Preach!

(Fun fact: My ob was friends with Mindy Kaling’s mom, who was also an ob in Boston.  Does that make me funny/cool by association? She’s also just an amazing woman and ob.)

2. It reminded me of an incident last year.  Dave and SK and I were at a social event with several other families, some that we knew well and several that we did not know.  One woman there who I didn’t know was trying to get her bearings in the group, figuring out who’s spouse was who’s and who’s kid was who’s.  One of my friends had just had a baby and her husband was holding the baby, and the woman I didn’t know asked if it was my baby.  Perfectly innocent question and I know it wasn’t asked out of malice or judgement or anything like that.  But my thinking was “Darn it!  I’m more than a year postpartum and I’ve been running and eating healthfully and I feel good about myself! Do I really look like I just had a baby?”  I know, this whole incident is silly and I should just let go of it. [Better yet, it's a great opportunity to grow in humility, Ellen!] But when Mindy Kaling said that it takes effort to look normal I’m like “YESSSS!!! You’re speaking my language Mindy!!!!” I really do work hard to look normal and keep it around a size 8. Thank you, Mindy Kaling, for trying normalize normal for the rest of us schlumps!

3.  Now I’ve automatically committed myself to 5 more takes because it’s Friday and that’s what everyone does.  So here goes…

4.  I’m nearly 38 weeks pregnant!  I can’t even believe it.  Remarkably, I feel really good physically.  With Sara’s pregnancy at this point, I was literally a beached whale.  I was so swollen and uncomfortable and didn’t know how I would last another 2-4 weeks.  I’m not saying I’m bursting with energy and running 5 miles a day or anything, but I’m definitely not feeling as crummy as I was last time.  Emotionally though, I’m a mess.  I’m sure Dave, my mom, and my friends are all shaking their heads forlornly in agreement.  Sorry guys.  It’ll be over soon, and thanks for being there for me!

5. I’m on a baking kick lately which totally refutes my claims in take 2 of working hard to look normal but… pregnancy!  No, the real reason I’ve been baking more is because I got a thing of buttermilk last week and I’m determined this time, THIS TIME! I will use all the buttermilk before it goes bad!  [I know, I know, I can freeze it, but then I forget about it or I don't allow myself time for it to thaw when I'm making something that needs buttermilk.  Believe me, I've tried!  Why don't they make smaller containers of buttermilk??] So, earlier this week, SK and I made this banana bread and it turned out soooooo goooooooood.  For the past few years, I’ve tried all the healthy, low sugar, low bad things recipes and I’d forgotten how delicious real, fatty banana bread is. Yummmm.

6.  And today is rainy and gloomy and SK has a bit of a cold, so we stayed in, stayed in our jammies and made my favorite Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.

You can see some of our pretty new kitchen paint in this picture.  I promise I'll do a kitchen post next week!

You can see some of our pretty new kitchen paint in this picture. I promise I’ll do a kitchen post next week!

Do any of you have favorite recipes using buttermilk?  Send ‘em my way!

7.  Oh, and I have to share with all the other preggo ladies out there in case you struggle, as I do, with the dreaded night-time charlie horse attack.

Except it’s toes and legs!

A friend of a friend is a doula and I picked her brain over the weekend about what to do about them because mine were getting really bad last week.  She suggested coconut water, but not plain coconut water (she said plain is nasty. I wouldn’t know because I don’t buy healthy things.) but the chocolate flavored kind.  I went out the next day and got some Zico chocolate flavored coconut water and my legs have been great this week!  No charlie horses and no stiffness and soreness.  And the stuff tastes like coco puffs.  Win-win!

Linking up my 7 quick ones with Team Whitaker.  Happy Friday!

SK’s Nursery That Was

Apologies to our 5 readers for the blog-silence in recent weeks.  We have been pretty busy around here lately, but really I haven’t been blogging because I’m so pregnant and I don’t want to subject you all to my 24/7 train of emotions.  Besides, everyone else writes so eloquently about pregnancy and motherhood and waiting and pregnancy essentials and labor tips all that stuff.  I literally have nothing to say about anything, so…  I won’t.

Instead, before the world has turned a little more and completely shut the door on my first baby’s babyhood, I thought I’d do a little post about Sara’s nursery that was.  It’s now almost completely transformed into a little dude’s room for baby brother who, of course, will not use it until a few months down the road but preggo mama gots ta nest!  Once it’s done, I’ll share it with you but for now won’t you take a long, rambly, picture-heavy walk down memory lane with me?

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100We start with the basics, and very poor picture quality, of course.  Our nursery is our very tiny third bedroom which could only be a nursery or an office.  Pretty much all we could fit in it was the crib, chair, dresser and tiny rug.  From here I picked up some fabric for a crib skirt and curtain…

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

And I made a mobile based on this pin.  I really like how it turned out and it has added sentimental value because one of the doilies I used was crotched by my late Grandma Ross.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100The room filled up pretty quickly after that.  I tried to stick to a pink and green theme, but I’m not a big color coordinated theme-y person so it’s not perfect.  But I liked it. :)

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

The tissue paper poofs are so fun, but they didn’t stay for long. Dave is too tall and the ceiling is too low for things like that. Plus, it really make the room feel a little smaller, unfortunately.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

I’m a sucker for ball fringe.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Rose did this with grandparent pictures in Margot’s nursery and I loved it, so I copied it. SK loves saying goodnight to her grandparents  every night, so I’m moving them to her new big girl room so she can keep it up.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100 VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100 VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100SK loved her room too!  I remember excitedly putting the nursery together but having novice mom fears that she would never sleep in it. Luckily we never had a problem; hopefully her brother takes after her in that respect!




A friend of mine who is due with her second around the same time as I am asked me the other day if I was anxious about SK not being my baby anymore.  I had to really stop and think about it.  I am anxious about a whole-lotta stuff lately; hardly a day goes by now without me melting down into a big ugly wet mess of tears and hormones about something.  But anxious about Sara becoming a big sister?  About her not being my baby any more?

Photo on 2013-09-15 at 12.00Honestly? No.  I’m sentimental about it, of course.  I’m trying to soak in these last few weeks, knowing that once the baby comes she’s going to seem HUGE. But mostly I’m so excited for her to be a big sister and to introduce her to this nebulous presence in her life: baby brother.  She seems more accepting of the fact that he really is in my belly, I guess because the belly is getting out of control lately.  But really, she has no idea.  And I can’t wait!

Part of the reason why I’m not worried I think has to do with her personality.  Sara has an independent streak a mile wide and she gets more and more bossy every day.  SK’s got this big sister thing in the bag!  I suppose another reason why I’m not worried is because she is already two, so we’ve had a nice stretch together and she really isn’t a baby anymore.  But you know what?  I don’t think there’s some magic-perfect space between kids and frankly, I think we Catholic moms are too hard on ourselves about spaces between children.  My first 3 sisters are really close together in age and then I’m 3 1/2 years younger than Claire and 5 years older than Mary.  Jim is 4 years younger than Mary and Joanie is 4 1/2 years younger than Jim.  But we’re all really close (and have been/will be) in different ways and at different times.  The important thing is not how close or far apart we are in age, it’s that we have each other.

A little while back when I was visiting my family, I had a talk with my Grandma about her relationship with her brother.  She said that they had really grown closer in recent years since she had lost Grandpa in 2009. Now Uncle Bill is the one who has really known Grandma for most of her life. I had never thought of siblings that way before.  I had always viewed Dave as my life-partner, and he is, primarily.  But my siblings, too, are my companions on this journey.  Mary and I will always be able to joke about the PBS shows we watched as kids. Rose and Jane will always hearken back to their ridiculous fights as teenagers. Jim and Mary will be able to reminisce about the lego and playmobile creations they made. While we are all very different people, we’re all cut from the same cloth, raised by the same parents, and experienced much of the same things growing up. What an incredible gift God and our parents gave us in our siblings!

Photo 97

I hope and pray that Sara Kate and her little brother are joined by more little siblings as time goes by.  But that’s all in the future and way out of my hands.  Right now, I’m anxiously (yes, anxiously!) awaiting this little boy’s delivery and praying for his health and safety.  But I’m also joyful and excited for Sara to meet her brother and for them to have each other.  VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

{phfr} Progress

Linking up with my favorite Like Mother Like Daughter on this beautiful Thursday in May.  Why can’t it just be May all year round? It’s so easy to come up with pretty, happy, funny, real things in May!



The best time of year is when the yard looks pretty with little to no effort on our part.


I had to put this picture of SK’s morning hair up.  The volume! Oh the volume!  I’m sure it will be annoying to her one day, but her Mom will always be jealous of it!


We finally tackled the big bedroom move upstairs.  Now Dave and I are in the front bedroom (that used to be our crap room) and SK is in her new big girl bed in our old room.


I don’t know if it’s technically feng shui (and I’m not going for that anyway) but having the bed fit between two windows makes me a very happy lady.  I love all the natural light in this room and it inspires me to keep it cleaned and keep the bed made.



Our last bedroom had two windows and this one has three, but instead of buying a whole new pair of navy blue blackout curtains (because Dave demands NO light for optimal sleeping conditions), I got a pair of lacy curtains from Ikea ($10!) to go with one blackout panel on these flanking windows.  The full pair of blackout curtains that remains goes on the third window in the corner.  It works out really well because the lacy curtains really emphasize all the natural light during the day, and at night the mini blinds and one blackout panel completely block out the light.

I think I’m finally embracing the fact that I like pretty things.  I’m not super trendy when it comes to home decor and for a while I was self-conscious about that fact.  But you know what? Lace curtains make me happy.  Chevron stresses me out.  There, I said it.


SK’s big girl room so far.  As you can see, it’s nothing special.  I’m going to make simple curtains and move some of her art and wall decor from her nursery, but other than that I think I’m going to keep this room simple and strictly functional.


Before I share my funny pictures, I have to explain that I do not live in the “ghetto”.  It makes me mad when my side of town is referred to as such.  No, it’s not the expensive pretty side of town, but our community has a rich history.  Basically, it’s one of the oldest working-class neighborhoods in the country and I’m proud to live here!

(Stepping off my soapbox…)

We have a little pocket of helpful businesses in our neighborhood that are a quick walk (and even quicker drive) from our house.  Some of  our most frequented establishments are the CVS, a little hidden post office (it’s a gem, I tell you), the obligatory Dunkin Donuts, a liquor store and the Family Dollar.  The Family Dollar is a hoot.  It’s like a mini-Walmart; it’s got a little bit of everything, and it’s all pretty cheap and not very classy.  But, it’s a very useful place to have right down the road!  Need a can of tomato paste last minute?  The Dollar probably has it.  Need bread?  Well, you’re probably outta luck there.  They sell out of bread pretty early in the day. But, do you need underwear?


They’ve got ya covered.  And they have lots of options.


How about a huge neon colored teeshirt with a pro-marriage message?


While we made progress in the getting ready for baby department last weekend, we still have lots on our to-do list.  Plus, the kitchen reno is still in the early stages, and we’d really like to have it done before himself comes along.  Behold, projects and players who are waiting on deck for their at bat:


The nursery (gah!) is a hot mess.


A thing of beauty.  My dishwasher waiting for cabinets to be removed and plumbers to pull permits.  Soon my pretty.  Soon.


Fabric for SK’s curtains and for little fella’s curtains and crib skirt.  Can you tell which is for whom?


And, oh yeah, baby boy sitting large and in charge at 34 weeks.  We can’t wait to meet him!

For more {phfr} click on back to Like Mother Like Daughter!  Oh, and do pick up a copy of The Little Oratory; I’m hogging my mom’s copy at the moment and I can’t get enough of it!  

Fake It Till Ya Grow Up

Well, the inevitable happened.  As of yesterday, I stopped wearing my wedding rings.  I’d like to think that this sudden swelling of all my appendages has everything to do with the mercury rising and nothing to do with the ice cream in the freezer, but! It is what it is.

I find myself desperately wishing myself into the future.  The obvious one is wishing it were 7 weeks from now and my little guy is here. The delivery, however it’s going to happen, happened and pregnancy is over.  But it’s not just that.  I wish I was 10 years older, maybe even 20, and the little vain things that I worry about are not a big deal anymore.  My varicose veins are just a fact of life and I don’t give them a second thought.  I’m established in my community and I no longer have that pit in my stomach when it comes to making or maintaining friendships.  I no longer feel defensive when it comes to the things I do and don’t do in comparison to my peers.

I want to be that mature mother and wife, who knows all the things and has been there done that and doesn’t freak out and refuse to post Mother’s Day pictures because my arms were too pale and beefy and my face was too pregnant-puffy.  I want to be the mother who doesn’t pass those insecurities on to her daughter(s).

The thing is, I’m beginning to wonder if/fear that we never get over our insecurities.  Maybe everyone else is just faking it?  Sure, women who are 10 or 20 years older than I am have experienced more and they’ve done their time, but maybe they do still angst about their friendships and their varicose veins?  But maybe they just don’t let on like they do.  Maybe they’ve learned to ignore those nagging insecure voices in their heads and just move on and live.

So that’s my new motto: fake it till ya make it. And in my case, make it = grow up. Maybe if I just pretend that all these things don’t bother me, eventually they won’t.  I’m about to have my second child and I know I won’t have as much time to worry about this stuff.  God willing, this is a pattern that will repeat itself as I enter my 30′s: more babies, more on my plate, less time to worry about silly things.  I think the silly things will always bother me to a degree, but if I start faking it and pretending that they’re no big deal, maybe they will indeed become no big deal.

My first attempt at faking it is sharing this picture against my vainer judgement.

My first attempt at faking it is sharing this picture against my vainer judgement.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On a loosely related note, Dave is slowly working on our kitchen facelift.  Right now, things are looking pretty crappy.  The walls and trim require a lot of prep work and sanding before he can actually paint and in the meantime they look awful and there’s a thick layer of dust over everything and we track it all throughout the house.  Ordinarily, I think, this would be an annoying process but I’m usually pretty chill about living with chaos.  Being at the end of pregnancy, though, means everything is bothering me.  EVERYTHING. I know that I just need to be patient and it will be finished.  Dave reminded me that it’s going to look a lot worse before it looks better.  That’s just how life is, right?

The awesome thing about this picture is our new kitchen table and chairs that fit the space sooooo much better than our last set.  And! The chairs are not wobbly death traps! Everything else is looking pretty awful, especially the floor.

The awesome thing about this picture is our new kitchen table and chairs that fit the space sooooo much better than our last set. And! The chairs are not wobbly death traps! Everything else is looking pretty awful though, especially the floor.

I’m getting more puffy and veiny (and whiny) each day, but soon there will be a baby!  Amazing!  Afterwards, I’ll probably still have veins and scars and more belly flab, and all these things will get more pronounced as I age and as we add to our family.  But we’re building a beautiful thing, right?  I need to let go of my superficial woes and embrace the bigger picture of what we’re doing here.  I know it’s so worth it.

She makes construction look adorable, doesn't she?

She makes construction look adorable, doesn’t she?

7QT: Late and Messy

Linking up a day late and dollar short with the famous, published, and fabulous Jen Fulwiler, author of Something Other Than God. [Whew! Lots of words in that sentence!  But I had to get in my SOTG link; I need to win that banana suit!]

1. Right now, I’m lounging with my feet up, sipping a tall, cold glass of… water, relaxing after a full day of First Communions! It was such a great experience teaching 2nd grade this year.  It’s very humbling getting kids ready for Confession and First Communion. Ultimately, the parents are the primary educators of their children (as we all know), but I definitely had a few kids who were getting 100% of their religious education solely during our hour long class on Sundays. And some weeks they wouldn’t even show up! It’s nerve wracking knowing that the only exposure to religion some of these kids get is from me but I feel pretty confident that all the kids were ready today and His grace just poured into their hearts.   Not because I’m awesome, but because He is.

2.  The kids certainly looked ready in all their finery today!  Obviously, I didn’t take pictures of a bunch of other people’s kids, but I did snap a quick grainy picture of their feet.  I swear I’m not a creeper with a foot fetish, I just have a question to ask all of you: photo (1)

Do the little boys all wear white suits and shoes where you live?  This is completely new to me.  Growing up, the boys wore suits or a navy blazer and dress pants and normal dark dress shoes.  Apparently it is very much the norm in this area for the boys to wear all white, including their shoes!  I can’t get over this!  Girls might wear their white shoes again for Easter and other special occasions, but when would a little boy wear white dress shoes again, ever?  Anyway, what’s your experience/what do you think?

3.  Before I delve into the messy portion of these takes, I have to show you exactly what I’m lounging on right now:

photo (3)

The thrifting gods smiled on me this week when I found this leather chair and ottoman on craigslist for $500!  We weren’t exactly in the market for a new chair, but it’s always been a goal of mine and Dave’s to own a nice leather chair one day.  You know, one day in the very distant future when we’d have the $$$ just lying around for a leather chair of all things.  I never even thought to check out craigslist until Auntie Leila shared her craigslist Pottery Barn chair a while back.  Why hadn’t it occurred to me that this area is just crawling with wealthy folks redecorating their gorgeous houses and getting rid of their expensive leather furniture??  Anyway, I got into the habit of occasionally popping on craigslist to check out what they had and this week I lucked out!  No, I really lucked out because Dave completely okayed the purchase.  What’s gotten into that guy?  Anyway, the brand is Storehouse which was apparently a nice(ish?) furniture chain in the south that went out of business about 10 years ago from what we can tell from the google.  It’s really nice leather and in pretty good condition and it is so. darn. comfy.  I forsee my little guy and I will be logging some serious hours in the chair this summer.

4. Now that you have this bucolic vision of me lounging in my luxurious leather chair, let me turn up the reality dial a little for you.  My house is a mess!  This week has been really busy with First Communion rehearsals, a preschool co-op meeting and mothers group, long-busy-exhausting work days for Dave, and I’ve let the house slide, partly out of necessity and partly out of laziness and/or exhaustion.  It’s amazing what ignoring the sink for 12 hours will do!

I love how my owl cookie jar's big eyes are peeking out from the back as if to say "Save me!"

I love how my owl cookie jar’s big eyes are peeking out from the back as if to say “Save me!”

5. I know, I know, dishes in the sink are totally small fries.  It’s not just that.  It’s been one of those weeks where I had to re-run the washing machine on the same load 3 times because I just kept forgetting about it down there! My floors are all really groady and my bathroom needs serious attention, but every time I get a spare moment to think about all the chores, I suddenly realize that I’m exhausted and my feet are puffing up!

6.  Along with feeling overwhelmed by house messiness, yesterday was Dave’s birthday.  I always try to make his birthday special and really surprise him with a thoughtful gift or two, but it’s just so dang hard with men, isn’t it?  I was planning on getting him a pair of Rainbow flip flops because he lives in his flip flops after work and on weekends from April to November.  But then when I sat down to order them, I balked at the price tag (for flip flops!) and remembered that he’s been talking about getting himself a nail gun for all the house projects coming up.  Now, I should clarify that when he “talks” about getting a nail gun, he really gushes about how cool it would be to have a nail gun and how DJ (Claire’s husband) has a nail gun and should he get this one or that one, etc.  He was really excited about it!  So finally I just asked him if this is what he wanted for his birthday and he said yes. Bada-bing bada-boom.  Adult birthdays.

7.  I also got him a bottle of Makers Mark, though.  I figured a man’s 30th birthday warrants a $30 bottle of booze, right?

photo (4)I’m also linking up with Blythe, the veritable It-girl of the Catholic blogosphere. :) I swear, I’m not trying to be a kiss-up to the cool kid, I just really dig her blog but more really?  The woman who comes up with the BRILLIANT idea of a Hot Mess link-up is a woman I want to be friends with.  Because my homemaking life = a hot mess.

7 Quick Pregnancy Positives

So, I’m into my 3rd trimester now (31 weeks on Sunday!) and beginning to experience all the wonderful side-effects of these end times.  Yes, that was sarcasm.  But don’t worry! I’m not going to complain!  No, there’s lots of legitimate things to complain about in pregnancy, but there’s also a lot to love, right?  Before things get really intense and the weather gets too hot, I’d like to list some of the fun things about pregnancy as a reminder to myself in May and June of how great I have it.

1. Guilt-free pedicures.

I got my first one of the season/pregnancy today!  Also, I can't believe I just posted a picture of my toes on the internet.  Sorry, world.

I got my first one of the season/pregnancy today! Also, I can’t believe I just posted a picture of my toes on the internet. Sorry, world.

2.  Guilt-free fast food.  Ok, I know, there’s no such thing as guilt-free fast food.  I just needed to share with everyone that the McDonalds Bacon Clubhouse Burger WILL be the reason why my son tips the scale at 10 pounds.  It won’t be my fault, folks.

Baby needs the protein!

3.  Flawless skin and hair.  I know not everyone experiences this in pregnancy so I’m sorry if that comes off as braggy.  But don’t worry, I’ll go completely bald at 4 months postpartum and have several adolescent skin reversions due to the breastfeeding hormonal surges.  Right now I’m enjoying the lusciousness. :)

4. Wearing form fitting tops.  Photo on 4-14-14 at 3.55 PMI’m one of those gals who is normally always trying to divert attention from my waist area because I’m, what do you call it? Apple shaped?  That’s a nice way of saying that I always have a pooch and love handles no matter how much I work out or how much weight I lose. But during pregnancy I actually have a socially acceptable shape for a few months, so I embrace it.  Of course, at the end my belly is alarmingly big so it’s not socially acceptable anymore.  But there’s nothing I can do about it at that point!

5. The constant drive to get shiz done! Sure, I collapse on the couch most afternoons for a spell, but my mind is always spinning thinking of all the little mundane things that MUST GET DONE before June 29th.  I’m not a git er done kind of person normally, so it’s really good for me to have these spells when I’m crazy-productive.  And the best part about feeling this way while pregnant?  Inevitably I do too much and start to melt down from exhaustion or being overwhelmed and my knight-in-shining-armor of a husband has to save me and do it all for me in the end.

6. Little feet in ribs.  I know, it’s annoying and uncomfortable, but it’s also incredible when you realize, “Hey! This is a little foot!” I felt our little guy’s foot (like, actually felt the outline of it and everything) for the first time the other day and I almost started crying.  Soon that little foot and chicken leg will be kick-kicking angrily while we change his diapers.  It’s a wild thought!

7. Little clothes, blankets, diapers, burp cloths, etc. I love preparing everything for the baby.  I love washing the clothes and getting the drawers all organized and ready for baby even though they won’t stay that way once he arrives. It’s the best kind of anticipation in the world.  I think that’s what makes the third trimester marginally better than the first.  God willing, in the third trimester you are soooo close to meeting your little one.  The anxiety about giving birth really gets intense there at the end, but I think the excitement trumps the anxiety.  My first trimester this time was full of anxiety and nausea and I had a hard time trying not to be down (literally and metaphorically) all the time. So, I’m trying to remember with all the aches and pains and swelling and veins popping between now and the end, it’s better than the beginning!

Well, what do you think? Was that more or less annoying than listing 7 crummy things about  3rd trimester life? If your answer was more annoying, I apologize heartily for my smugness (<–crassness warning). Here is my humble disclaimer:

Don’t forget to check out all the other takes at Conversion Diary.  Have a great weekend!