Friday, November 26, 2010

Why I Don't Shop on Black Friday

Because I don't have to. Is that good enough? Okay, no, there's more, I think. And I'm compelled to explore it further.

Tell me you like my sweater, and it's likely I'll respond with something similar to, "Thanks, it was only $20!" or "Thanks, I got it at the consignment store!" I am a proud bargain-hunter and deal-finder. I hate paying retail. I take advantage of sales on darn-near every other day of the year. I am a coupon-user, an impulse-sale-buyer, and a craigslist-customer.

My new couch was 25% off. My rocker for the babe's room was 20% off. I absolutely love that I get 5% off all of my Target purchases now with my Target Card.

You get that I love deals, right? Then why would someone who is SO against paying retail, so eager to look at used goods, and so enthusiastic about a new set of coupons in the mail absolutely REFUSE to shop on this sacred shopping day?

Because I don't have to. Maybe there's not more. But even as someone who is not phobic about crowds or people, I just can't imagine the deal that would be worth the lack of sleep, the cold, the parking, and the fools (not that all people who shop this day ARE fools, but gather any large group of people and you will encounter many fools). I don't want to deal with the fools. I don't need anything that cheap that badly.

But someday I might. That's the thing. Right now, I am a blessed woman who revels in deals because it's fun. If my couch was not 25% off, I still would've bought it. It just makes me happier that it was on sale. But I have been a person who revels in deals because they're necessary. Right now, I do not want for food, for clothes, for medicine, for money to pay the bills. But I have been there. I hope I will never be there again, but nothing is impossible.

If I am there again, I might definitely consider waiting in line at midnight to buy my daughter a Christmas gift I would not otherwise be able to afford. THAT I get. THAT I appreciate. But right now, I just don't see the point. For me. For you, dear friend, it might be the highlight of your Thanksgiving weekend. And that's fine with me, whether you really need the bargain or you just enjoy the bargain. To each her own. Just don't be one of the fools.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My friend writes

I, clearly, do not. Since I promised to blog more this summer, but then didn't, it is obvious my dream of being a published author someday will merely remain a dream. Not so for my dear friend Molly. I've known she was being published for reals (she's been published in journals and online, but those obscurities [sorry, babe] don't seem as real to a non-author) for about a month, but today she sent me this link, which, despite its big-business capitalism, makes Molly's book REAL to me. Real, real. See for yourself:

In case you don't know Molly well enough, her professional website is here. Her blog is here. She writes beautiful poetry, takes marvelous pictures, and is due with her first baby girl two days before I'm due with my baby girl.

So proud of you, Molly!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Idle hands no more

Feeling sluggish this week, I decided to get my knitting out and try to remember how to do it. With a little help from my friends, I am now on a knitting rampage. I figure I can make the kid all sorts of stuff before it comes out! Tuesday, I practiced. Yesterday, I made a pair of booties. My first time ever following a knitting pattern. Here is the first one I completed, and in excitement, took a picture of:

The second one is smaller. So, they don't match. As Patrick said, "I hope these never fit the kid," because, obviously, if they did, he/she would have very mismatched feet.

Tonight, I went to Michael's to find a pattern or two to start work on. Well, I was very disappointed, because there were literally five times more pattern books for crocheting than for knitting. There was ONE baby afghan book for knitting. There were five for crocheting. There were ZERO layette books for knitting. There were three for crocheting. And like, six or seven assorted baby projects for crochet. But, that's just one store. So, I'm putting off those projects, even though I intend to make both of them before baby comes. I just think it'll be pretty cool to bring the baby home from the hospital in something I made.

Anyway, I didn't leave Michael's empty-handed. But I'm working on the first project now, and I will post a picture of it when I'm done. I'm pretty excited about it :-).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Adventures in Cooking

(Read about this yummy summer salad I made using my CSA ingredients at this blog.)

I have always enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes, and I am blessed with a husband who will try anything once (and twice sometimes, but he doesn't know it). This year, two new things regarding cooking are a part of my daily life.

1) We joined a CSA (that's community supported agriculture, for you novices). This means we get a box of produce from a local farm every week for 20 weeks for about $200. The excitement is you never know what'll come in your box. It forces you to experiment with new recipes and generally eat healthier. We've gotten two boxes so far, and have enjoyed kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, turnips, herbs, cabbage, and a few others I've forgotten at this time. Read all about it (if you care) on this blog, which I share with my other dear friends who are also enjoying shares from the same farm.

2) I now have a kitchen garden, as they say. I am a rookie gardener who is amazed at the growth in my plants in the first month. From 3 inches, to almost 3 feet for those tomatoes. In a MONTH! Crazy. I haven't had the opportunity to use anything from my garden but the lettuce so far, but there's all sorts of stuff that'll be gracing my plate come July and August. You can follow my gardening progress on this blog, which is just me :-).

Please enjoy my adventures in cooking and [other] blogging.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Brief, but important

I will make this as quick and painless as possible, but I am compelled to document this feeling.

My maternal grandpa died only a couple of months after I was born. My paternal grandpa died when I was 12. My daddy died when I was 15. Although it was lovely to get a father-in-law (a fabulous one!) a few years ago, mostly, Father's Day has just been a painful reminder of what I lost too early for many, many years. It has never passed without me feeling incredibly sad. (In case anyone who has lost a parent or anyone close to you wonders, the sadness of their loss never wanes; you only learn how to deal with it better in time.)

Every day I think about my dad. So many things remind me of him. Experiences, emotions, objects, random-ass weird things (this makes sense if you knew my dad), and just about anything else. Lately, of course, I remember how much he wanted to be a grandpa. Believe me or not, (and even I'm not always certain he was kidding) when he knew he was dying, I was 14. I had a "steady" boyfriend. He joked (I hope) all the time that I should quick have a baby so he could have a grandchild. I could still go to school and all that, for he pledged to take care of it. And because I remember the care he took braiding my hair while I sat on the edge of the couch before my P.M. kindergarten, I know he would've been a super grandpa. He was full of love above all things. The sadness creeps in.

Today, however, is a renewed feeling for this holiday, for there is now a new father in my life. The father of MY baby. And although his child is only 11 weeks along in my tummy, he has already proven in countless ways that he will be a superb father. His own role model for this position is, as earlier mentioned, an absolutely wonderful man, and my husband will only continue what appears to be a family tradition of excellence. This man who already takes such good care of me will soon be taking the best care of our child. A woman could not possibly be happier.

So, now I can say with confidence once again, "Happy Father's Day."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New things

So, it's been 6 months, and many will never read this because they gave up on me entirely, but I will start to post on here again. Mostly because it's summer and I not only have more free time, but more interesting things about which to write.

I've never been good at any sort of diary or journal regularity. I write when inspiration hits. I've been meaning to start keeping track of the important dates in my pregnancy, and what better place than here. So here are some tidbits:
February- I stop taking the pill and calculate that if I AM ovulating, I will be doing so on our Mexican vacation. The official trying to have a baby begins.
March 9- Period comes. Not surprised...who gets pregnant after one month of trying after being on the pill for 11 years?
April 5- Just home from visiting Jen in Texas, and yup, my period comes. Again, only two months. No big deal.
April 26- I think I'm pregnant. I'm so sure, for some reason, that I lose all sense of patience and stop at Walgreens on my way home from work to buy a pregnancy test. I take one immediately when I get home. I had read online that even if your expected period is 10 days away, there's like a 40% chance there'll be enough hcg (the pregnancy hormone) in your system to detect it. This is deviant behavior, my taking this test, because I had promised Patrick we'd find out together. Believe it or not, at age 28, this is my very first pregnancy test (I'm very careful). Well, the fates must've agreed this behavior was deviant, because the test is negative. I admit my moment of weakness over dinner, and assure Pat that it doesn't mean we're not pregnant. In fact, despite the test, I still think I am. I don't know exactly why. But I contemplate taking the other test every day that week. Wise husband convinces me to be patient. I convince myself to wait until the next Monday, when my period is supposed to come.
May 1- Saturday. I really, really want to take the test. Patrick says go ahead. But, we're going to have dinner with his family, and I decide that if it's negative, I'll be down, and won't have as much fun. So, I decide not to take it. But still believing I'm pregnant, I don't drink. My sister-in-law notices this immediately and begins the "You're pregnant, aren't you?" conversation with the whole room. Despite our trying to change the subject, they keep teasing. In my head I'm thinking, "YES! I hope so, so shut up and stop jinxing it!" To little avail.
May 2- Sunday morning. No plans. Just got up and sitting in the living room. I stand up, "I'm gonna take the test. Okay?" He says, "That's up to you." So, I take it. I wait. I go back into the bathroom. And there it is. VERY faint, but that second line is there. Because of my previously stated research, I know that a false positive is next to impossible, and that any line, no matter how faint, means you're pregnant. So, I slowly walk back into the living room, my hands covering my mouth, and tell Pat. "It's positive! We're pregnant!" He gets up from his chair and we hug and hug. I drag him in there to look at it. We are thrilled. We go out to breakfast at The Egg and I to celebrate.
May 3- All day at work I am crampy and worried I'm getting my period. I go to the bathroom like 4 times. This time anxiety, not impatience, gets me to stop and buy more pregnancy tests. This time, I get the digital one. I again take it immediately. Within a minute, it says, "Pregnant." Hurrah. Then I start reading stuff to find out if my cramps are normal. Of course they are. With the initial fear of being wrong behind me, I decide I can't possibly keep this to myself, so I call my sister. She was about 10 times more excited than Pat and I put together. It was the most fun I had telling anyone. I wish it could've been in person.
May 9- Mother's Day. I get breakfast in bed and flowers from my husband, and two cards in the mail, one from Jen B. and one from Les. Many more cards and gifts come from friends in the next few weeks. I am thrilled with each one. We had waited to tell my mom, so we could tell her on Mother's Day. I got her the usual hanging plant, but with a "grandma" mother's day card. We're taking her out to brunch, so we were just picking her up, but I insist on coming in quick to pee, and then make her open her card before we go. Pat and I stand in anticipation and she puts her reading glasses on, opens the envelope, and just stares at it. I'm thinking, "Can't she read?" She slowly turns to me and says, "You're not messing with me, are you?" Classic. "No," I whine. So, she screams and starts jumping up and down. Yay.
May 10- Now that Mom knows, the news goes virtual, as I post it on facebook. It is super fun in the following days and weeks to be congratulated and asked about it.
May 20- First appointment, but it is only with nurses. They give me all the info I need to get started. Most importantly, I am told to stop taking my Prilosec for my acid reflux. I now have heartburn almost 24/7.
June 2- First appointment with doctor. She examines me and says everything is great. She tells us not to be disappointed or worried if she can't find a heartbeat, because at only 8 weeks, it's unlikely. But she finds it almost immediately. And it's strong. And amazing. I can still hear it in my head. Of course, I can also hear it for "real" if I want, because Patrick does an uncanny impersonation of it. Sounds weird, but he can replicate the sound almost perfectly. The doctor finds this odd, though, and suspects I may be further along than 8 weeks. So, to my delight, she orders me an early ultrasound. We are unable to schedule it to the following week, however.
June 11- Ultrasound! At 9 1/2 weeks, I didn't even need to do the vaginal ultrasound (use your imagination), so it was very easy and quick. She said all was well, I was right where I was supposed to be, and everything was peachy. Due date: January 10. It was amazing to see the baby on screen. He/she moved his/her little arms and legs all around. I didn't expect it to be moving like that. It was so cool. Proof that there is a life inside of me. This time, we had dinner to celebrate, and we went to Brasa.

Now, I am at ten weeks, and one day. So far, so good. Time to pack for my trip to Arkansas.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day!

Home sweet home. In my pajamas watching TV and drinking coffee. I would be teaching fourth period right now, but no. This is the second time we've had a snow day in five years. I had almost forgotten how wonderful it is. Except for that I should go shovel. I don't want to. Pat usually shovels. He's not here. He's out of town. Boo. I miss him and all, but I might miss his shoveling abilities more :-).

No witty insights today. Brain off. Except I will use it to grade papers later. Yes, I brought them home just in case. Hard to let go completely.