Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Very Long Story

Amy from "Our Happy Married Life" informed me by email the other day that I was apparently a substantial topic of conversation at her family's Christmas Eve dinner table. She also says that Crown Royal was an important guest, but I choose to believe that the two are unrelated;-). And then, her sister Meg (blogless:-)) finally came out of the shadows and commented yesterday...which I think makes me a legit Wagner Family Celebrity. I am going to consider that a pretty big honor! And, if there are any other Wagner family members reading...a big hearty hello to you all, too:-)


OK...story time. Not sure if this is a bad story, or just a kinda bad one, or maybe even kinda good. It is definitely not all good, and is kinda sad. Not real sure what the point of my telling it is, other than I just feel like writing it. And it does shed some light on someone who gets surprisingly little attention in this space.

Anyway...the key person in this story is Twin Sister's Wife (who deserves her own nickname...I should get on that). She is a sometimes-reader here, and I already told her I was going to blog this, and I will invite her to chime in if I leave anything out...she will also read your comments, so keep that in mind;-). I am a big fan of hers, as is her brother-in-law and the entire The Boy Family. Really great, sincere and caring person, and a great wife and mother [it should go without saying that this story is from her perspective].

As I mentioned earlier, her Father was here for Christmas, and is in fact semi-retiring and moving to Boston to be closer to his daughter and granddaughter. That is all good news...she was ecstatic to have her Father around for Christmas and is in love with the idea of him being closer to her permanently. The bad news is that this coincides with his splitting from her Mother after roughly 35 years of marriage.

According to her, growing up, she was extremely close to her Mother, and had a somewhat tougher relationship with her Father. She doesn't say that they fought or anything...just that she never felt super close to him, and always felt like there was sort of an awkwardness about their relationship. She was a pretty typical little girl.

As she grew through High School and college, she began to come to terms with her own sexuality, finally acknowledging to herself that she is a lesbian. Knowing that her Mother is a relatively traditional woman, she was certain that she would probably not be terribly thrilled at the news. However, she also figured her Mother probably already had some suspicions of this (like a pretty obvious disinterest in boys;-)), and she knew she could count on her to be understanding and supportive.

She was less sure about her father, though, and wanted to tell her Mom first so that they could tell her Father together. She took a long weekend to come home from school, figuring that she could talk to her Mom on Friday afternoon, and then be able to talk to her Dad when he came home from work. What she did not expect, however, was her Mother's reaction.

Her Mom was not simply upset and disappointed...she was angry. Really angry. There was some denial and some questions, but then there was just rage. Yelling and name calling and a whole lot of shit that seemed to stem from "the shame of telling her friends that she had a dyke daughter". She never got to find out how her Father would have reacted because her Mother threw her out of the house on the spot. Stunned and despondent, she drove back to her apartment at school.

Her father called her about three hours later, after her Mother told him what happened. His reaction was very different "Honey, stay there. I am driving up there now and we can talk when I get there." He was neither angry nor disappointed (at least not in his daughter...) nor ashamed or any of that. I am sure that he had all of the concerns that a normal parent would have, but his basic message to her was a desire for her to be happy, a pride in the woman she was, and a wish that she be true to herself.

She claims that it was an emotional connection to her Father that she had never felt before that.

He didn't actually stay that long. By the time they were done talking, it was pretty late, so he stayed there that night, but then he went back home after breakfast and she felt much, much better than she had the previous day. She felt like her Mother would eventually come around when the shock wore off and things would go back to normal.

Her Mother never came around. I have no idea how much of it was a philosophical issue with homosexuality, how much was her own selfish embarrassment (which is pretty stupid...), or how much might be something else. Not really my place to make that assessment. Whatever the reason, he relationship with her Mother has basically dissolved. What I do know is that her Mother barely spoke to her after that, and that she was forbidden from moving back home "as long as you are still gay."

Because this coincided with her graduating from college, that was not really that big a deal. She says that Holidays were, not surprisingly, the hardest times. Her Father tried to get her Mother to open up, but she never got past being rudimentarily polite at family functions. If she called the house and her Mother answered, she would pass the phone as quickly as possible to her Father or find some reason to end the discussion quickly. She stopped asking about jobs, friends, apartments or anything else.

Kind of a funny thing happened, though...that cold, awkward relationship she had with her Father? Gone, and replaced with a really healthy, happy Father-Daughter relationship. They talked regularly (which they never did before), discovered that they had more in common than they ever acknowledged and just basically appreciated each other more. As awkward as it seems...they all settled into an equilibrium whereby Mother and Daughter pretty much ignored each other, and Father maintained separate relationships with each.

That went on for years...Twin Sister reports that, while she saw her father-in-law all the time when they were dating, she met her mother-in-law exactly twice before they were married, and never had a conversation beyond "Nice to meet you". Not surprisingly, that sort of an equilibrium turned out to be unsustainable.

At first, her Mother refused to come to her daughter's wedding...she only came because her Father gave her an ultimatum. She didn't make any sort of a scene at the wedding, but she clearly didn't have a good time or make any effort to look like she was enjoying herself. While her Father has come here to visit her maybe 50 times since I have known them, her Mother has come exactly twice...once for the aforementioned wedding, and once right after they had their baby.

I am fairly certain that I saw her smile when she held her granddaughter for the first (and I think maybe the only) time...but that faded quickly. When The Boy and I got married last summer, her Father came to watch the baby and her Mother stayed home. In that case, she theoretically could have come for the weekend and never even had to see her daughter...she could have just played with the baby for two days and enjoyed the beach.

Since the baby was born, it has been pretty clear that something was going to have to give. Her Father has become less tolerant of her Mother's unwillingness to be involved in her daughter's life, which conflicts directly with his own desire to be around both his daughter and his granddaughter. He spent his entire professional career as an engineer at a very large phone company that offered older managers a really generous early retirement package earlier this year.

Since he was pretty close to retiring anyway, this seemed the perfect opportunity to call it a career. In doing so, he expressed to his wife his desire (and I am pretty sure that their relationship was on its last legs anyway...I can't see how all of this could not have been devastating to their marriage) that they sell their house and move a couple hours eastward so that they can be closer to their daughter and granddaughter. Her Mother responded that she had no interest in moving, and no interest in being closer to her daughter or granddaughter. In fact, she already felt like he spent too much time with them and the he was choosing them over her.

He told her not to make him choose between his wife or his daughter because he would choose his daughter. She told him that maybe that was just a choice he would have to make.

So he did.

I think that Twin Sister's Wife is a little bit emotionally confused about all of this. Obviously she is ecstatic about having her Father closer, and about being able to see him without always feel like she is doing something wrong or making him do something wrong. And life will be easier for her to never have to deal with her Mother at all.

But at the same time...she certainly doesn't feel good about her parents' marriage collapsing. And I think she recognizes that this likely means that whatever slim hope she may have had for a relationship with her Mother is gone forever. And that has to be sad.

So, for was both a really good Christmas and a really sad one at the same time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Catching Up on Christmas

I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do for you. I had intended to blog more while on my break, and have found myself being even less productive, if that is possible.

Christmas was lovely, and didn't seem nearly as hectic as it has in year's past. We had dinner at Twin Sister's place on Christmas Eve and it was awesome. She was a little nervous about having her first big holiday family meal, but she pulled it off beautifully!!! The Boy's older siblings were both with their in-laws, so it was just his parents, Twin Sister and her wife and their daughter, and me, The Boy and Munchkin. And there was present-swapping:-)

The pretend family came over to our place on Christmas morning for breakfast and more present-swapping. Really, that can be classified as "Munchkin's Haul" since 90% of the presents are for her. And, as usual, she totally cleaned up...for someone who wears a uniform to school, she has enough clothes for about a dozen people...

I didn't ask for much, and Munchkin took care of the little things I wanted...waterproof mittens:-), a body pillow and ear muffs were pretty much it...SHR and Big Sis each bought me some cute maternity clothes. Along with Papa Bear, they gave us (really the babies) an extraordinarily generous and thoughtful gift that was quite unexpected.

The Boy gave me a Kindle, which was the only present I asked him for. awesome. It does as good a job of replicating the feel of having a book in your hand as possible, and is super easy to use and has tons of neat features. Also, the e-ink is really cool...not at all like staring at a computer screen.

We had Christmas Day with the extended pretend family, which I always love, if only because it gives me a chance to go and hang out at Papa Bear's old house for an afternoon. (That was where they lived until around the time we graduated from college, and where I lived for the summer I spent out here. When he moved into the city, he sold the house to his nephew, SHR's cousin...hence the Christmas Day invite).

It is a great big old classic New England house, and I just love it! It is also remarkably close to the city for being in what is really a pretty quiet area (for the locals, it is in Brookline). It is probably less than three miles from where I live, yet it sits on a pretty quiet two acres or so. As much as I generally disdain suburbs, I could totally live there...well, except for one tiny little fiscal complication;-)

Anyway, I am off-track... The day after Christmas was my annual child-swap, so we got Munchkin packed up and shipped out early in the morning, and then headed to the airport in the afternoon to pick up Tinkerbelle. She is as cute as ever, and we have had a great visit! It is nice to not have any work or school or anything to worry about, and to just be able to bum around with her. We have done some shopping, and drove over so I could show her my school, and gone to the movies...and yesterday we tried to go ice skating in the snow, but there was a lot more rain than snow, which kinda ruins the mood:-).

She is coming to a New Year's party with with us on Thursday, but I don't know how long we will stay. She is not quite as outgoing as Munchkin, so I have a feeling that she may get overwhelmed by the noise and excitement and all of the new people. Also, if there are too many drunkards, I may pull the plug early;-). I hope she makes it until midnight, but I am prepared to bail early if needed...I will just have to make out with The Boy early:-D

I guess that about does it for now...I have a lunch date:-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Message from Everyone's Favorite Canadian Josh Lyman Fan

Munchkin is safely in St. Thomas, likely drawing the attention of dashing foreign boys again;-), and Tinkerbelle is safely here, keeping Munchkin's bed warm while she is gone. I have a whole week to spend with her and very little else on the agenda. Lovely!

Kind of a change of plan today on the blog front...granting a favor to one of my long-time favoritest bloggers. Brandy sent this out and asked a whole bunch of people if they would be kind enough to post this to their blogs. She is, and has always been, one of the funniest and most thoughtful people in my Google Reader, And since this will automatically improve the quality of writing on this blog, how could I possibly refuse?


My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He's a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He's the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He's the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He's a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He's made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He's listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He's recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He's the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I'm overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren't sure what's happening. He'll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what's going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as 'brandy's hot awesome dude'). If you don't pray, please keep him in your heart. This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I'm throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn't a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It's just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven't already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I have sent a bunch of emails to blog-friends, and have also conversed with some of you over the last couple of days on other things...but if I missed you, please have a wonderful Christmas (or day off, for my non-Christian readers)!

The Boy and I, and Munchkin, are headed over to Twin Sister's place for dinner tonight...which is something of a landmark family event for them: first big Christmas meal at Twin Sister's house, and she is adorably nervous about it. She told me yesterday "AM, this is a big responsibility...I could totally ruin Christmas!" She'll do great, though!

[By the a day or two, can someone remind me to write a little thing about her Mother-in-Law? She really, really rubs me the wrong way, but now is not the time].

Speaking of Munchkin...she is holding up OK, but she is definitely kinda bummed. She did pretty well at the airport (it was a super-sweet kiss good-bye and it broke my heart just a little bit) but she really broke down in the car. She kinda started out alright, but as she talked about it, she really melted...just basically over the unfairness of it all. Not a whole lot of reason that you can impart to an emotional 14 year old girl that just said good-bye to the love of her life for probably at least six months or so:-(

She definitely perked up for Big Sis' birthday party, and being around a lot of people was helpful. As she promised yesterday, Big Sis did indeed bring her flowers and an early Christmas present (a super cute scarf...she is a big scarf wearer;-)) to cheer her up. And all of that worked, but when we got home, she got really bummed out again. She had a little bit more crying to do, so I slept in her bed with her just so she didn't feel lonely. Definitely woke up to find her sleeping with her hand on my tummy...kicking babies makes everyone happy:-)

She talked to Frenchie this morning to make sure he got home OK, and just because she missed him. So, now I have to get her out of the house so she stops sulking;-). Not real sure what we are gonna do...maybe just walk around, look at decorations, have lunch somewhere and do some window shopping. Just something to keep her busy.

With that, I am out! Here's wishing you a happy, healthy Holiday full of family and good Cheer!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday!

I spent yesterday afternoon and a lot of this morning doing most of my Christmas shopping...which was actually a pretty good way to do it. Stores are a lot less crowded during weekdays, so I didn't feel at all rushed or stressed. Because I didn't really have good ideas on what to get people, I sort of had to go browse around...I couldn't just do it all online. Now, I have a couple hours to get it all wrapped. Have I ever mentioned that I hate wrapping presents? Well, I do.

Then we have to bring Frenchie to the airport, which will be tough on Munchkin:-(. They have had a really great visit, and he has been a lot of fun to have around. I think it is wonderful for her to have someone that she gets along with this well, and I also think it is going to be good for her in the long run to have discovered what a positive, healthy relationship can look like at such a young age. Unfortunately, it all comes with a really big "but" and one giant impediment.

So, on the one hand, I am incredibly sad for her that the two of them can only be together on such a limited basis. On the other, I am happy for her that she has found such a good friend that she enjoys so have to care for each other a lot to go through what they do to see each other even as often as they do. And, if I am being really honest, if they were in the same class at school, this likely would have come and gone like most 14 year old romances...I think the distance makes it all just a little bit more fairy-tale for them, and maybe that much more interesting.

Bottom line, she will cry a lot tonight, and that always breaks me up:-(

However, it is not all doom and gloom around here, because today is a super, special day...and a very big day for the other pregnant lady over here in AM-land:-) It's Big Sis' birthday!

Yay!!! Streamers and balloons and noisemakers and confetti all around!!! I have written a whole lot over the years about how awesome I think she is, and how great she has been to me and to Munchkin...and all of that still stands. Now, I will add that she is gonna be a great Mom, and a great Auntie to my two little ones. Should her baby-of-unknown-gender turn out to be a boy, I would totally let either of my girls date him:-)

The Brain Surgeon is throwing her a sort-of birthday party tonight...really we are having dinner and then a whole bunch of her friends are coming to meet us and hang out afterwards. Should be lots of fun, and will also serve to alleviate my major concern for the day: it will keep Munchkin busy and keep her mind maybe a little bit distracted.

And if that doesn't work...her forthcoming trip to St. John will certainly do the trick!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let's make fun of the fat chick!

In light of the big snow storm we got yesterday (and Munchkin having school cancelled), I took the lovebirds and two other friends of Munchkin's sledding! OK, that is maybe a little bit misleading...I drove them to a popular sledding spot, and then I went to a little soup and sandwich place up the street to read and enjoy the warmth while they stayed outside in the cold. had a pumpkin bisque for lunch that was absolutely out of this world. A super hearty, comfort-food kind of hot meal in a bowl. Really, really awesome...I gotta go back for more soon:-).

So, I went back to get them and they were not quite ready to go yet, so I decided to hang out for a bit and they talked me into one sledding run. Not sure if that is kosher for the pregnant girl, but I had dressed for it just in case:-).

So, I did one run...and then realized that I couldn't get back up the hill!!!

Seriously, it was too steep and slick and I just couldn't get my legs and feet to work like they normally do...carrying too much extra body weight.

So, yes, my one effort at sledding today ended with me laughing uncontrollably at my own sorry ass while I walked to the stairs at the end of the hill.


Saturday, December 19, 2009


Holy shit...this is my 800th post...that seems like a whole fucking lot. I still remember vividly sitting down to write my very first post three years (plus) ago on a Friday night...and that seems like a really, really long time ago. I guess I never really thought about the idea of sticking with it for this long. And I definitely never thought that I would get nearly as much out of it as I have. Beyond just having a really good diary of what I was doing and thinking for all of this time, I have "met" a whole ton of people that make me laugh and cry and do all sorts of other things. I have also found that there are a lot more people that I have things in common with than I ever thought...I have found no fewer that a half dozen people who spent some time raising a sibling, which I could have never anticipated.

And a quick inventory shows that I have moved twice, gotten married, gotten knocked up - twice at once, started graduate school, bought a condo and found a new little sister. Pretty busy couple of years! I have also taken a Trans-Atlantic voyage with little sister #1 to visit her dashing foreign boyfriend....

Which brings me to the initial point of this post...our French visitor. And yes, this is the second post that I have written in about an hour, but it seemed too long for just one entry. Frenchie's plane was about a half hour late on Thursday, which actually gave Munchkin and I a good chance to talk a bit before he arrived. OK, so an airport Starbucks isn't really where we usually have in-depth conversations, but it will do when necessary;-).

He seems to have grown about a foot since we last saw him four months ago...and he remains supremely adorable;-). And they are super cute together...they hold hands when they walk sometimes, but they aren't at all annoying and clingy. And they talk in French sometimes, which really just means that he talks really slow and uses simple words and helps her, since she has one semester's worth of French...still, it is really cute. Her Spanish is better than her French, but she doesn't have any Spanish or Latin boyfriends;-)

His parents sent him with some gifts, including a few baby things, some chocolate...and two bottles of wine. Not sure they thought that one through know, sending a 15 year old on an airplane to America with Please don't tell customs!

I was a little worried about having the two of them without his parents around, but so far there are no worries. He is very respectful of her (and therefore of me:-)), and they haven't been trying to sneak around to make out too much;-). We had dinner with the entire extended pretend family last night, and they are going to the movies this afternoon (can you make out during Avatar? I will have to ask her). The Boy and I have a Christmas party to go to tonight, and the two lovebirds are going to their own party at one of Munchkin's friend's houses.

Tomorrow, he is going along with Smoking Hot Roommate and Munchkin to their weekly Fantasy Football watching date...I doubt that he knows what he is in for. That is roughly equivalent to meeting a girl's father for the first time, only instead of a father it is half a dozen probably-overprotective 27 year old guys with a bottomless cooler of Miller Lite...;-)

(That reminds me of a really funny story...she got in trouble at school one day because she forgot to turn her phone off and it rang during class. I asked her who could possibly be calling her on a Tuesday afternoon..."Oh, it was (guy in her fantasy football league) asking if I would trade him a running back".)

That's about all for now...this is a whole lot of blogging for one Saturday morning for me. But it has kept me from wanting to go outside is this brutally cold weather!

Babies Update

It seems like I haven't given much of an update on the babies of late...I have been so busy with other shit that I haven't blogged much, and when I have, it's been about other things.

I am about 20 weeks now, and my next doctor's appointment is Tuesday. So far, all of the tests and screenings have been normal...blood pressure is good, sickness has passed, sleeping well, weight gain is good (I have put on about 20 pounds, at least, and feel big as a house!) No distortion of my stomach tattoo yet;-). If the ultrasound pictures on Tuesday are good, I will post them. And I will try and get a belly picture in here at some point as well;-)

The biggest thing is that they have started kicking a lot. I have been able to feel them for about a week and a half now, and within the last couple of days it has really picked up so that other people can feel the kicking if they are touching my stomach. Sometimes they kick me hard enough to surprise me and make me jump and squeal a little bit:-)

I can still wear some non-maternity shirts and sweaters if they are long enough and not super tight. Pants are pretty much all maternity, although if I got one of those belly bands, I could still wear a lot of my old pants. Mostly, though, I just don't have the need to dress up very often! I can totally get away with wearing sweat pants to school, and can also wear my fantastic array of hippie skirts that I wear all summer, provided that I wear some warm tights or thermal leggings of one sort or another;-). Shoes are tough to match with those, too, but I feel like a lot of boots work fine.

We also have also settled on a definitive plan regarding school, et al. I may in fact be completely crazy to try, but I am enrolled for the second semester, and planning on going full speed ahead. I am taking something of a big chance that I am not put on bed rest for any lengthy period of time, which would sorta blow this whole thing up. While I won't be able to spend entire days at school right away, I shouldn't miss more than a week of classes (I know that sounds ridiculous, but it will really only mean being at school for a couple of hours each morning). A big part of this semester will be another semester-long project, which means I will be able to work a ton on that while everyone else is on spring break, and then not feel real guilty about the rest of the group not having me around as much after the babies are born.

What makes all of this possible? Why, that would be the Saint-In-Waiting that I generally refer to as The Boy's Mom. As we had talked about before, she is going to move in with us from the time the babies are born until the end of my school year to play Nanny (at least on Weekdays, she will probably wanna go home on weekends!). She is gonna stay in Munchkin's room, and Munchkin is gonna re-locate to Smoking Hot Roommate's place for the time being.

Obviously, it is beyond an ideal situation for me, since it will allow me to not miss the semester, and not feel like a bad parent for leaving the babies with a Nanny right away. C''s their grandmother, right? Also, I would be kind of hesitant to accept this kid of arrangement from most people for fear that they would be overwhelmed...but she had twins, so she knows what she is in for!!! She has her own reasons for wanting to do it as well, beyond just being super nice, and I know that she is actually really looking forward to it. I will definitely owe her one;-)

And then we can worry about next fall later;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The final final

One last final in 20 minutes, and then I am DONE with semester #1 of graduate school! A couple of my classmates are coming over for lunch before some of then take off for the break, and then I plan on not thinking about supply curves, cost of capital, operational bottlenecks, 7 M's, five forces, four p's (or three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree for that matter;-)).

The big news after that is that Munchkin is leaving school early today so that we can go to the airport and pick up Frenchie (and to drop off my friend and her husband so that they can get back to Venezuela for the holiday). I haven't actually had a chance to talk with her much about this visit, but we should have about 45 minutes to sit and chat at the airport.

I know that she is super excited, which is to be expected. And, not that she needs a lot of guidance, but I do want to just make sure that we are on the same page on a couple of ground rules. I don't think it will be an issue...the two of them were very respectful when we stayed with them this summer, and I expect the same...but I just want to set the expectations explicitly.

And yes, this is partially influenced by an incredibly awkward conversation that I had with her a few weeks ago...I will keep that offline, though (definitely in the category of "Things I am glad she asks me and that I want her to talk to me about, but that I would much rather she simply not thought about at all"). Basically, he is not coming to visit so that they can make out for a week;-).

OK...exam time...wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today's Girl Crush

So, I have documented a couple of my girl-crushes in the past...Kate Beckinsale is like the Queen of them all. Salma Hayek is another. Allesandra Ambrosio, of course. And Katie Bell and Jessicas Alba & Biel. Oh, and Charlize Theron.

But, today, I have an official Blog-Girl-Crush, which is a first for me. The lucky lady? That would be my sorta-neighbor in two places, the divine and inspiring JenniferAlaine at You'll Grow to Love Me.

The reason for the girl-crush? It's not that she is tall and foxy, although that would totally justify it. Nor is it that she is from Chicago, or that she goes to a smart-kid school a few miles from here, although either would be perfectly acceptable reasons as well.

The real reason is that she has the stones to pull this off;-) Awesome beyond words!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fun times

So...that group final that I was cautiously optimistic about? Absolute 16 hours of Chinese water torture with a brief break to sleep and eat in the middle. And culminated with me snapping at a professor who irritates me.

The first problem is that there were two girls in my group who, for some reason, absolutely hate each other. One if Bulgarian and one is Japanese, and they just completely hate each other in a way that I can barely comprehend, and never expected to see in this sort of environment. The Japanese girl is super quiet and the Bulgarian one is kind of high-strung, but very smart and generally a very serious student. In other words, neither has a personality that generally rubs people the wrong way...except for each other...

So, right from the beginning, it was kind of a weird, tense situation. I think if I had known about their dislike, I may have talked to both of them ahead of time about burying it for a day and a half. That is the stuff that I am usually pretty good at, but I didn't really figure this out until it was too late.

The next problem is that two of the guys were kind of counter-useful. One is just kinda lazy (which, to be honest, is really unusual...there are not a whole lot of lazy people in my class), and another is really smart, but tends to take "intellectual shortcuts"...he jumps to conclusions without really thinking things through. Like, he gets an idea and that seems interesting, and then he just goes with it, rather than thinking it through or vetting alternatives. Thankfully, the sixth person was a guy that I consider to be super smart, very hardworking and a great idea where we would have ended up without him.

Basically, we were given a case and tasked with making a product strategy presentation based on the facts of the case. Friday included a lot of wasted time and frustrating starts and stops. We ended up working until almost 8:00 to not get nearly as much done as I had hoped. And by that time, the pregnant girl was cranky and tired and no longer of use to anyone (lest you think I am claiming to be the perfect group member;-))

Saturday was more of the same, but having a deadline at least lit a fire under people. I definitely felt like the work we were turning in was sub-par, but it was way too late to do anything about it. And, when we faced the professors later in the day to deliver our presentation, it was very quickly clear that the faculty agreed with my assessment...we got absolutely killed when it went to Q&A. (And when the two girls half got into a fight in front of them, that certainly didn't help).

I did, however, think that at least one of the questions was totally unfair, and I let the professor who asked it know. In the end, it worked out pretty well, because it was kind of intentional on his part and he wanted someone to stand up and defend us on it. I ended up getting a higher grade than some of the people in the group, and I think that was part of the reason. Still, I was snippier than I needed to be. But, he asked us a question in a really smarmy way as if we should have known something that we didn't...I responded that we didn't think it was safe to make that assumption, and were bound by the rules of the exercise. But I was kind of a bitch about it (fortunately, I think the other professors think he is an ass, too...)

Anyway, the whole thing was a totally miserable experience that I am glad to be done with. I ended up getting the equivalent of about a B- or so, which I can live with...I have done better on all my other finals and in pretty much everything all semester. I have two left, but they are much more traditional exams...just show up, take a test and go home.

The rest of the weekend was actually pretty nice. Christmas party at a friend's house on Saturday night, and then got some Christmas shopping done on Sunday morning before the rain came all afternoon. I have done almost none of the shopping that I need to (90% of which is for Munchkin) but I am counting on having almost a week off before Christmas to get all of that done.

A week which includes a non-chaperoned visit from Frenchie...oh I really up for this? Yikes...

Friday, December 11, 2009

The mother of all exams

Super busy today, but I wanted to check in and let you know that I am not dead:-). I have a final that starts at 10:00 and runs all day today and tomorrow morning as well, which should be super fun.

It is a group project that is sort of an integrated case study and we have to turn in a presentation tomorrow morning and then deliver the presentation to a group of faculty at noon. I don't even know exactly who is in my group yet, since I will get a room assignment at the beginning of the process, and go to that room and find out who else is in my group. Fingers crossed that I get the smart, easy-going people:-)

Yay Saturday exams!!!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Road

Total and complete change of subject...who has read The Road? It is Cormac McCarthy, and it is going to be a movie really soon starring Viggo Mortensen. I picked it up (literally...The Boy had it laying around) last week and read it last weekend.

First of all, it is an easy book to is quite short...but it is very hard, emotionally. I find myself thinking about it as much or more than virtually any novel I have ever read, and certainly more than any I have read in a very, very long time. (Next up on the agenda is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which Ella recommended to me like two years ago and I am just now getting around to...a little close to home for me).

Anyway, before I go rambling about my thoughts, I wanted to check and see who has read it. So...The Road...have you read it? Did you like it? What did you think?

You can shoot me an email if the comment field is not long enough;-)

Monday, December 07, 2009

And a martini...dirtier than a Mexican hooker and just as dry

I forgot this little Munchkin ditty from dinner on Saturday:

First things first, the restaurant is a steak house, and it is kind of a guy place. And it is relatively fancy and pretty pricey. So, what does your normal, 14 year old girl order for dinner? Easy...a 24 oz. Rib Eye ( is really, deep down, an Investment Banker?)

And then, when the waiter asked her how she wanted it cooked, she responded in the oh-so-cool "However the chef thinks its best".

I am not quite sure where she learned that trick from...I have several suspects, though;-)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Is that a tree in your living room, or are you just happy to see me?

First off...I have turned on the comment validation thingy for a bit to see if I can cut down on the spam comments, which are getting super annoying. Hopefully I can take it off in a week or so and not have this problem. We'll see.

Random note: who has seen the Yoplait commercial with the woman yelling at the cake in the bakery? That makes me giggle every time I see it..."There's no such thing as a bear sheriff"

So, let's see...finals start this week, but I am feeling pretty good about them. I have stayed on top of things all semester, so I don't really feel the need to cram like mad for them, and they are spread out so that I don't have two of them in any day. I am sure that I will wig out at some point, but for the most part, it should be a manageable, if stressful, couple of weeks. And then I will have a whole bunch of time to do nothing, which will be a super treat! I will have Munchkin's boyfriend here for a bit, and then I will have Tinkerbelle here for a bit, and then I will have some time totally to myself:-). I actually thought that maybe I would go and visit The Mouth for a few days just to get away from the miserable weather...we will see...

Lovely, low key weekend...started with playing taxi-driver for Munchkin on Friday. She went to a semi-formal winter ball sorta thing with a boy that is related to The Boy (he is actually the son of The Boy's Mom's cousin...follow?). And, in true Munchkin form, she made a quick visit to Big Sis after school, "borrowed" a dress, spent a few minutes putting her hair up and putting on some lip gloss...and looked like she was ready for the red carpet. Smoking Hot Roommate coined a new phrase for her "She would put the airbrushers out of business".

It was in a town that is about 15 miles from here, and she could have stayed overnight, but I could tell that she kinda wanted to come back home (she is funny like that...likes her own bed:-)) and I didn't mind going to get her, so I did. She actually had a really great time...met a ton of new people, and I think she really liked having a date that wasn't really a date.

Saturday started with Christmas Tree hunting:-) We picked out a good one before it started raining and got it into the apartment, set up and lit. We didn't put the ornaments on yet, but that is OK...really it's the lights that make the Christmas Tree. And, please, don't bother me with those fake can't really love Jesus without a real tree, people...

On Saturday night we had dinner for Papa's Bear's birthday (which was last Tuesday...Happy Birthday, Pretend Dad) at my favorite restaurant. As always, it was outstanding, and with Smoking Hot Roommate, The Rocket Scientist, Big Sis, The Brain Surgeon, The Boy, Munchkin and three unborn children, it was quite the full crowd! We ended up spending nearly three hours eating, obviously a lot more talking than eating;-). By the time we were done, the rain had turned to snow and it was actually sort of pretty outside:-)

And today I did nothing exciting. Munchkin and I went grocery shopping earlier, and then I spent the afternoon studying while the rest of the household watched football. The snow made for a spectacular visual this morning...bright, sunny and peaceful, but very wintry-cold. And that makes me want to stay inside and drink tea, which I did:-)

And that, folks, makes for a nice weekend:-)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Survey says...

Pretty sure it's two girls:-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

How did it get to be Christmas again?

First, a random question...Anyone getting a lot of random anonymous comments lately? I have gotten a bunch of things that are advertisements, and then yesterday got one that just said "Hello. And bye." I don't want to publish that because I feel like it will be a weird link when I do or something. Anyone seeing similar things?

So, let's see...the rest of the weekend was really nice. I did end up going out on Friday, and stayed out later than I had anticipated. I felt good, and it was fun, and I didn't feel any effects of it on Saturday, so that was all good. The Boy, however, had a little too much to drink so he wasn't feeling so great when we got home:-P.

Munchkin came along to The Boy's family's traditional two-day-late Thanksgiving feast, and that was really fun. He has a couple of cousins (er...second cousins maybe?) that are about her age that she always has fun hanging out with. They are cute boys that flirt with her and try to impress her...of course she has fun:-). Actually, she is going to a dance with one of them at his school next weekend, which is sorta cute.

Yesterday was spent sorting through the Christmas decorations and finishing the swap out of summer clothes for winter clothes. That entails a lot of giant Rubbermaid tubs going back and forth into storage;-). Next weekend I get my Christmas tree, which makes me super excited every year...and then I have to worry about shopping...ugh.

And's appointment when they should tell me what kinds of babies are living in my tummy!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Eating for about 7...

I have been told that, contrary to the standard wisdom of "eating for two" (or, I guess, three), a pregnant woman is not supposed to eat twice as much;-) A healthy diet is something like 500 extra calories per day, with obviously a focus on high-nutrient foods.

Well, let's just say that I am good for a couple of weeks now. I ate my extra 500 calories for yesterday, today, tomorrow and several days after that! There was turkey, of course, and stuffing and potatoes and squash and corn bread and vegetable casserole and sweet potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and apple pie and chocolate cake and cheesecake. Oh my!!! My foreign guests were thoroughly impressed with the brilliance of Thanksgiving, and they even contributed a traditional Venezuelan corn bread and cheese thing that was a valuable addition to the lineup:-)

Today I find myself in a very unique position...with absolutely nothing at all to do all day...and it feels wonderful! There is absolutely no chance on earth that I would go anywhere near a store today, and I have no school work and really nothing much else to do at all. I may take out some of the Christmas decorations to see what kind of shape they are in...or, I may curl up under a blanket and read all day, or maybe I will just watch stupid TV. The world is my oyster!!!

The Boy has a sort of unofficial college reunion tonight which I may or may not go to. I certainly won't stay out nearly as late as the rest of them, but it might be fun...especially if I have all day to nap in preparation:-). Munchkin is also not feeling great, so I may just stay in with her and do girly stuff...for now, I am just going to appreciate the complete lack of responsibility for the day!

Tomorrow...more Thanksgiving;-) The Boy's family has their traditional T-Day+2 get together...more Turkey!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Possibly the best thing about America...?

There is a whole lot to like about America, and I think we can probably all agree on that. By no means do I think we are perfect, but we get a whole lot of stuff right, and we have a history of improving ourselves.

For a variety of reasons, the United States has been the source of much of the great technological invention of the last 150 years or so. [To briefly get off on an almost political tangent...I would like my left wing readers to recognize that one of the the two biggest reasons is our version of capitalism, and I would like my right wing readers to recognize that the other of the two biggest reasons is our history of encouraging immigrants. OK, off my soapbox]

The steam engine, the cotton gin, the thresher, the combustion engine. They weren't all necessarily invented here (or exclusively here) but they certainly came to fame here. Mass production, oil refining, steel making...again, none of it was invented here, but it was all perfected here and the world is a better place because of it. How about the airplane? The electric light could be the single most important invention ever (OK Germans, the printing press is right there). The world would look a whole lot different without the silicon chip or the Internet, too.

A huge portion of the world's great medical breakthroughs have come from our Universities and Hospitals. Many of the great materials and chemicals science comes from American labs and school as well. We even invented the business school ( comment on that). know what could well be the single greatest American Invention ever? Thanksgiving!!! Seriously, it is an entire day devoted to eating and watching football...what could possibly be more American than that? Also, it is a four and a half day weekend with no expectation of shopping or tree-trimming or any of the other pressure of Christmas. Just a day to hang out with family, eat turkey and think about how lucky you are.

I will be spending the weekend with a small portion of my actual family (Munchkin), along with my newly acquired family (The Boy's) and then my pretend one (Smoking Hot Roommate, et al). In addition, a Venezuelan girl from school and her husband are coming along to learn why we have a random five day break in the middle of the year. Boy are they in for a treat!!!

So, in case I don't get to post before then...everyone have a great holiday! And try and give thanks for living in a country cool enough to invent a holiday like this:-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pictures...finally (some of them)

I am rapidly becoming the worst blogger ever. Several weeks late, here are the best images from my last ultrasound. Not nearly as good as the 3-D images I got last time, but this will have to least until December 1, when we get to find out the sexes:-)

They refer to them as the "presenting" one and the "non-presenting" one, although I don't know why...I generally call them "top and bottom", "frick and frack" or some other random combination of two names. Regardless, that is one picture of each of them...hey, they look a lot like twins:-)

So...geez...what am I up to now. I got some responses to my federal deficit questions, but I don't really have the energy to respond. At least I don't have the energy to really respond, since I will get totally wound up and ramble for hours. Short version...Obama's budget chief, Peter Orszag, says the deficit next year will be bigger than this year, and his motivation would be to under-estimate it right now. Obama's own projections from march (which they have already scrapped as too optimistic) call for a 10 year plan where the deficit is never smaller than it was in the year before last. The Obama and Bush administrations have spent a trillion dollars in the last year and no one can give me one tangible piece of evidence that it has had even a tiny positive effect.

(By the way...some simply math tells us that, for $700 billion, you could hire all 7,000,000 people that have lost their jobs for $100,000 a year...just nibble on that for a second). I am not looking for people to perform miracles....just balance the fucking budget. Or at least pretend you are gonna try! And don't even get me started on health care...the system is broken, so our solution is to make it bigger? How does that make sense?

OK, there I go...totally wound up. I should stop now...but I do hope someday to have a job where all of my problems can so easily be blamed on my predecessor:-)

Anywho...busy busy busy around here, but I am feeling better and not quite so tired all the time, which is good. Some fun stuff up for the weekend, I hope, include a practice Thanksgiving dinner:-) Because no one should go to Turkey Day unprepared;-)

Friday, November 13, 2009


I have an open challenge:

In 2009, the Federal deficit is going to be $1.45 Trillion.
In 2010, the Federal deficit is expected to rise to $1.5o Trillion.

Someone tell me why this is even remotely acceptable?

Also, George W Bush currently holds the unofficial title as "Least fiscally responsible President ever", based on 8 years of huge deficits, culminating in a record-breaking 2008 deficit of $1.0 Trillion. is Obama not way, way, way worse?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Happy Thursday everyone...I have once again been a terrible blogger this week, which I apologize profusely for. I have been super busy with school stuff, and have been doing a little bit of work on the side (including most all day yesterday) for my dear former (and likely future) employer. Actually, kind of a nice way to pick up some extra dough;-) Should be pretty calm for the next few days, though, which is good.

I got an invite to a dinner thing tonight with a Big Name Investment Bank where they are recruiting interns for next summer, and then presumable employees for a year and a half from now. They went through the resume book, picked out people who's background matches what they want, and then invited us to dinner and then to interview formally tomorrow. Dinner is at a notoriously swanky place in Cambridge (overrated, but that is neither here nor there) and they seemed totally shocked that I declined. But seriously...I doubt I would ever work for them, and I would way rather have chicken fingers!!!

I am going to interview, though, even if I don't want the job (since this is technically only for summer internships, it is for a job in New York next can probably guess what the odds are of me taking that;-)). You never know what may come up later on in life, so I would like to at least meet them and get the chance to talk to them. It never hurts to work on the personal network:-)...and I wouldn't completely rule out the chances of working for them after school. OK...those chances are like 1%, maybe...but there is a chance...

Moving on...we are getting two very important visitors for Christmas. Well, one before and one after, to be specific. Frenchie is going to come for about a week before Christmas (December 17-23, or something thereabouts). Actually, his last day of school is supposed to be the 18th, and he and Munchkin originally proposed that he come from the 19th until the 26th, but his Mom nixed the idea of him actually being here for Christmas...their compromise was that he would skip the last two days of school before the break and therefore get about a whole week in before the holiday.

This is a big deal, since it is the first time that one of them has travelled by his or herself to see the other. The last two times they have seen each other were when his father brought him here and when I brought her there. I'll have to have a talk with her about some ground rules before then, but that shouldn't be a huge issue.

Then, I am doing my annual child-swap right after Christmas...Munchkin is going away with her friend's family again (Let's recap...2006 - sailing in the Caribbean, 2007 - Aruba, 2008, St. Maarten, and now in 2009 - St. John. I really kinda hate her sometimes:-P). But I will survive because Tinkerbelle is coming to visit again:-). That should be all kinds of fun, and I am really excited about it...this is a couple years now where she has come at Christmas, and come for a while in the summer and I get back there to see her a couple times a year, too. Obviously, I would love to see her more, but we have been pretty good about seeing each other a pretty good amount.

So, that is about it for now...I haven't forgotten that I owe you ultrasound pictures, and will get those up soon. You just in time to have my next one on December 1:-P.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Waiting, Family and Girl Power

Back to my story from Friday...

I showed up for my 8:30 doctor's appointment, and was surprised that they were ready for me right away. Generally, I find that all doctor's appointments require a mandatory 25 minute wait. So, good start.

Let's flash back to my last doctor's appointment for a second...I finished, did some kind of a blood test at the lab downstairs and went on my merry way. A couple days later, a nurse left me a message about scheduling some kind of a test or another that I still needed. So, I called back, and since they don't answer the phone and this whole process requires leaving messages back and forth (since they always call during class), I ended up in a messaging conversation where the nurse asked me what test I needed to schedule..."Um, I called me." In the end, I figured that, if it was important, they would call me back. Which they never did.

So, the doctor was looking at my records and noticed that they never did the Down's syndrome screening, which we had told her we would probably do. And, it is now too late for the initial screening (has to be done by like Week 13, and I was 14 weeks 3 days on this visit). Ahh well, they still have a few days where they can do the ultrasound, so if I could schedule an ultrasound right away, they could do it Friday.

I didn't really want to miss a whole morning of class, but who can resist the chance to get more pictures of the babies:-)? So, the radiologist said they could fit me in that morning, so once we finished up with the doctor, we headed a block away to the radiologist. Where we waited for about an hour (I did catch up on US Weekly, and discovered that Taylor Swift has managed to find herself a younger is that even possible?)

And what did we find out when we finally saw the radiologist? Oh is too late to do the Down's screening by ultrasound. That has to be done before Week 14, too. So, medically speaking, that was about two hours that were totally wasted (but I did get to see the little nuggets some more:-)...I will scan the pictures when I get home today). Not a huge deal, since they can do a different blood test later on, and it is really just an informational test anyway, but super frustrating.

And for real...does anyone in a doctor's office know how to use a computer? Every freaking visit, they take an entire medical history, enter it into "the computer" and then miraculously lose it. How hard is it to operate a patient database? And, to keep a schedule, while we are at it...

Anyway, enough ranting. Had a great visit with friends and family this weekend. As expected, my surprise was not much of a surprise at all:-). They all pretended to be shocked, but it was painfully obvious that they all already's hard to keep secrets in big families;-) I managed to take it pretty easy but still see everyone I wanted to. The Boy went out with BFFb and a couple other guys on Saturday night, so he didn't survive in nearly as good a shape as I did...hee hee...they were pretty banged up yesterday.

Mostly, I was happy that I managed to make the trip and not get sick. I was a little bit worried that the change in routine, excitement and activity would get to me...but it wasn't too bad. I didn't take any Zofran, and only took a couple of Tylenol for a headache that won't go away. All in all, not too bad. Hopefully the worst of the sickness is passed for now...fingers crossed.

And finally...a little girl power from Saturday:-) I love when the girls beat the boys!!!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Doctors, Chicken Fingers, TV and more

Spent the whole morning at the doctor's, and then the radiologists. My normal appointment turned into like a three hour extravanagnza, all because, as far as I can tell, the medical profession is incapable of using a computer or making a reasonable schedule. I will go into more of this on Monday, promise:-). Also, I have some new ultrasound pictures that I will post, too...and maybe even a wedding picture or two while I am at it:-)

But on to other things...

I stayed up for an entire slate of Thursday night TV last night, which is the first time long time? Started with chicken fingers, and despite Lisa's suggestion, I did not withhold honey mustard because Munchkin got one A minus :-). One of the guys from my study group and his wife joined us, which was a nice treat. As you all know, I consider Thursday night chicken fingers to be a sacred ritual of the highest order, and an invitation to come with us is just about the highest honor that I can bestow on someone.

And I still find myself kinda guarded about my non-school life to people at school. The Boy has met a bunch of them by now, but I don't really talk to most of my classmates about non-school stuff. I can't really explain my rationale for that. There are a couple of girls that I would call good friends already, but the huge majority of my classmates know very little about me (I'd say that 10 people know I am pregnant). But the guys in my study group are awesome, and I spend a ton of time with them, so they seemed worthy of an invite and the right to meet the divine Ms. Munchkin. So it was nice to give him a little view into my world, and to get a chance to hang out with his wife a bit, too. Hopefully, the rest of them can join us sometime in the future:-)

OK...back to TV:-). I watched Community and then Parks and I love Joel McHale, but that show wasn't impressive. Bad episode maybe? Kinda the same on Parks and Amy Poehler, but the show is a little bit forced. I did laugh a little bit, though.

The Office is still got kinda weird for a bit last year, but it is back to its hilarious roots. I think that Andy may be my favorite character on that show now...he just completely cracks me up. And just the whole idea of Pam and Michael scheduling a time for her to punch him in the face is brilliant.

And 30 Rock is still awesome, too. Just really, really well-written, clever and all over funny. And, I even caught a full first-run episode of Project Runway. Love the three finalists, they were clearly the best of this group from Day 1 through last night, so I was glad that they picked them. I think Irina will win, giant-teethed bitchiness and all...but Carol Hannah is my favorite. She makes the prettiest, most wearable stuff, and Althea makes consistently neat things, too...but Irina is the most visionary talent of the bunch, and I think she will be the winner.

We are off to Chicago for the weekend for the first time in a LONG time. Munchkin wants to see her niece and her brother, and I have a lot of family and friends to catch up with. Technically, I am going to announce to them all that I am pregnant, but I don't know how much of a secret it is. Tinkerbelle and her Mom know, which means that the rest of my father's family probably knows, too. And I have told one of my Mom's sisters, and I have a feeling she told the rest of I expect a lot of pretend surprised looks;-)

I am going to try and take it easy and not wear myself out too much...but we will see how that goes. Definitely going out with the BFFs and their significant others (new girlfriend for BFFb, the same boyfriend that I found her for BFFg) Saturday, but likely not real late. Beyond that, just some general visiting.

So, until Monday...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Still perfect:-)

Munchkin brought home her first term report card, which read:

8th Grade English and Literature: A
8th Grade World History: A
9th Grade Biology: A-
9th Grade Algebra: A
Spanish II: A
French I: A

Also, all A's in her non-academic courses: music, art, drama and phys ed. Since she is in two 9th grade classes, her GPA is actually 4.23 out of 4.0, which is good for #1 in her class. And she is taking an extra course because she picked up the second language (hmm...wonder why:-)?).

All this on the day that she scored her first varsity goal in soccer, too.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I let her do whatever she wants;-)

Monday, November 02, 2009

You Asp Hole!

It turned out to be incredibly warm on Halloween...and I was just a little bit sad that I am past the days of getting dolled up and going out in a super-slutty Halloween costume. It reminded me of the year that I tried (unsuccessfully) to get Smoking Hot Roommate to go out with me in body paint. Ahh well...maybe if I lose all the pregnancy weight, we can slut it up next

Munchkin did end up going out with the girls on Friday night...they really wanted her to come, so a couple of the girls promised to pick her up and then bring her home before the rest of them went out for the night. She was cool with that, and they had her home by 9:30, which was fine by me. Much of this was actually related to a sophomore boy with a crush (figures)...and typically, she is not all that interested. That actually explains why she was not totally bonkers about going all week long. She is a funny kid sometimes;-)

Busted out some sweet togas and went to the party as Anthony and Cleopatra...easily the most comfortable Halloween costume I could have come up with! And it was actually a pretty fun party...people definitely let loose a little bit away from school. It is very much the same kind of feel as people in an office being different away from work.

Let's see what of a nice weekend. Soccer on Saturday morning, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Warm, sunny, all kinds of spectacular color...I could have sat out there all day long. SHR stopped by at the end of her morning run to watch the second half, which gave us a chance for a nice visit:-)

Semi-annual drinks with the school Mom's tonight, which I am hoping to have enough energy to go to. I haven't officially told them all that I am pregnant, but I think they probably all know already...and if not, I get to tell them. At least two of them have twins of their own, which will be nice. is over, so that is all you get for today;-)

Friday, October 30, 2009


You guys pretty much confirmed what I had already decided about Munchkin hanging out with the older girls tonight. I suppose if she really put up a stink, I would probably figure something out, but she doesn't seem all that broken up by the whole thing. She says that she wanted to go, but if she really, really did, I would probably hear more about it than I did. She also has some stuff to do with her own friends.

She did, however, play her first game with the varsity team yesterday, and even played a little bit at the end of the game. She was very excited about that, and her big sister was even awake enough for chicken fingers:-). I sure hope that babies like chicken fingers...

The Boy's mom got in a car accident:-(. She got hit by someone who went through a red light and got the passenger side of her car pretty good. Her car is wrecked, but she only had a little cut on her hand, and is pretty much unhurt (I am sure she will be really sore today, though). So that was a little bit scary, but everything seems to be OK now.

Should I have a Halloween costume by now? I am supposed to go to a party on Saturday night at the house of one of my classmates, which means that I need to come up with something by then. I suppose that I could go as a pregnant woman, which will be news to almost all of them;-). I am going to have to tell them all pretty soon anyway, so maybe that is as good a reason as any...:-D.

Not much else up for the weekend...hopefully I will get plenty of sleep again:-). Soccer game tomorrow morning, but nothing really on the agenda for the afternoon or Sunday. I was actually thinking about cooking a big meal on Sunday since I will have the whole day to do so. Any suggestions?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To TP or Not

Took a sweet nap after I am awake, which I will pay for in the morning, but am gonna take advantage of now. It is time for one of my favorite activities: Parenting by the Consensus of Strangers! And what stranger? guys, of course:-)

As mentioned, Munchkin has been called up to the varsity soccer team, which I am extremely proud of her for, and which she is super excited about. Traditionally, on or near Halloween, the varsity girls soccer team drives around and throw toilet paper on the houses of the boys on the varsity boys soccer team. All in good fun, and pretty harmless.

Now that she is a member of the team, Munchkin has been invited to go with the girls this weekend to commit said acts of vandalism;-) I have a couple of concerns...

First, it is a lot of driving the kids she goes to school with are scattered around in a bunch of different towns. This would mean riding around in cars with 17 and 18 year old girls all night. I certainly trust the girls, but...well, you are kids.

Second, I am concerned that there is no firm "plan". I have a feeling that they will end up at someone's house, but I don't know who's, and I don't know where. It could easily be a person that I don't know, and possibly someone she doesn't know. I am a little worried that they could end up at a friend of a friend's house, and she may know nobody but the couple of girls she is with. And, since they are all 17 or 18, they could easily get distracted. instinct is probably to not let her go. I doubt she will be totally heartbroken, but she certainly would like to go if she could.



We got a package in the mail from The Boy's older sister (not to be confused with Twin Sister) yesterday. She sent us the following gifts...

And for him:

How cute are we?

I did find it a little interesting that mine is cut like a regular T-shirt, not a maternity T-shirt...which is an issue with my slightly-protruding belly;-) But no reason I can't wear it again after they are born:-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rested and Relaxed

I had an awesome weekend and...for the first time in seemingly forever...I don't feel completely exhausted today. It could be that I got a lot of rest over the last few days, but I am also hoping that maybe I am over the horrible initial exhaustion. The sickness seems to be better, too (although I threw up a bunch on Saturday morning).

So, let's of Smoking Hot Roommate's friends from high school, who now lives in Denver, was in town all weekend, so I went out for a little bit on Friday to see her. But I was home pretty early, and slept really well (save for the half hour of throwing up at 6:00am). I went to Munchkin's soccer game on Saturday morning, which I probably shouldn't have because it rained a lot...but fortunately it was really warm, so I didn't end up catching anything. If it has been colder, I would have avoided the flu risk. Of course, then I would have missed the two goals that she scored...bragging:-)

Speaking of which, she has been called up to practice with the varsity team at school for the rest of the season, and maybe to even play a little bit. It is such a small school that it is not unusual for freshman to play on the varsity teams, and not totally unheard-of for eighth graders to be on the teams as well. Especially if it is late in the season and the coach thinks that they will be on the varsity team next year...she likes to get them involved in practices and whatnot.

Obviously, Munchkin is super-excited, and thrilled about the prospect of being on the varsity team as a freshman next year. However, it may have an impact on her summer plans next year if she wants to be able to practice with the other girls on the team (they aren't allowed to have actual practices with the coaches, but the captains can get everyone together for informal practices)...oh, decisions, decisions!

I took a nap on Saturday afternoon, which was just absolutely heaven. Of course, I woke up to find that The Boy and Munchkin had taken the rainy afternoon as a reason to go and see a matinee of Where The Wild Things Are. I found that to be both completely adorable...and kinda rude!!! Seriously, they couldn't wake me up for that? Mostly, I just think it is super cool that they can do those things together.

Went out a bit on Saturday night, too, this time with The Boy's friends. It is much more fun to be out when you can tell people that you are pregnant, rather than make vague excuses about being tired and not feeling Again, home and in bed pretty early (by 11:00) and slept great. Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, and included a walk, a nap, and some mischief. Munchkin and SHR ran a road race in the morning and hung out all afternoon, so I had The Boy to myself again...hee hee.

And then to bed early again last night. So, very low key, lottsa rest and feeling pretty good today. No Chicago this weekend, either, but next weekend is firm for that...

Friday, October 23, 2009


My little sister could be the most remarkable person I have ever met. Nothing specific happened recently to remind of this, and anybody who reads here regularly is well aware of her many outstanding traits...but I found myself lost in thought this morning (sitting in traffic...ugh) lamenting that I don't see her as much as I did before school started, and being thankful for how easy she makes my life.

That may sound odd, considering that I pretty completely re-organized my life to move her out here with me. I guess, in the absolute sense, life would be easier if she didn't live with me...but that was never an option I would have been able to live with. So, the moving in part was pretty much out of our control, but I can tell you absolutely that the ease with which it has worked is entirely due to her.

There are a million things about normal teenagers that could cause me all kinds of trouble, and she foists none of them on me. She could be sneaky. She could argue with me. She could not tell me what she is thinking. She could skip school work. She could test limits. She could ignore me, or openly defy me. She could resent that The Boy gets my attention. Or the babies. Basically, she could be a 14 year old girl...

But she does none of that. She has an enormous amount of amount that would be totally unmanageable for almost anyone else I have ever met at her age. I give her that much independence because a) she has proven capable of handling it, and b) it is just plain easier. Checking to make sure she did her homework every night, or enforcing a strict curfew, or lecturing her on what she can and can't do, or explaining why it is important that I spend a certain amount of time at school...all of that stuff takes work, and the fortunate truth of my parenting is that I don't have to do any of it.

What makes her so remarkable is that she just gets it. I've never had to tell her why it is important that she do well in school, or why she needs to listen to me or to someone else...she just understands it all on her own. She knew that I had a responsibility to get up every day and go to work, and just inherently understood that she had the same responsibility to take school just as seriously. She has just never had the same self-absorption that most kids have (and that I certainly had at her age) and has never really had to be taught about responsibilities and priorities and the like.

I think that is a lot of why people who meet her are so genuinely taken with her. Not only is she incredibly sharp and self-confident and self-assured...she just naturally thinks of others and their feelings in every interaction she has, and that, to me, is a lot of what comes across as her maturity level. Most people develop that sort of external awareness at a much later age...but she just sort of has it.

It would just be so easy for her to have all kinds of issues, and they would all be so explicable that they would almost be forgiven. Marginal family life when she was little...lost both parents...older sister moved her to a new city, and was totally ill-equipped to deal with an emotionally wounded 10 year old...dropped right into a social circle unlike anything she ever knew before...hard-to-define system of supervision...not much in the way of authority figures. It is a psychiatrist's dream. And yet, the one psychiatrist she even saw (at the insistence of the court;-)) basically said "There is no reason for her to keep coming, she is impossibly well-adjusted".

Anyway, I am rambling now, and kind of gushing. And I am not real sure what the point of this post is, other than me feeling like writing it. But I was thinking this morning about how incredibly lucky I am to have her live with me, to have her as a sister, and just basically to know her at all. She is an amazing kid, and I have to remember to tell her that:-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am mostly done venting

Sorry if my post yesterday was kind of a downer...I was just in kind of a pissy mood and sort of vented it here. I didn't intend to sound that negative, but it sort of came out that way.

One thing I didn't mention...plans to go to Chicago this weekend. Good reason that I didn't, because I cancelled them;-). I want to tell my family in person, so I was hoping to get there this weekend, but Munchkin wasn't gonna be able to come with me, and that, combined with my general need for sleep and rest made me re-think. So, I decided to put it off until next week...although now that may not work, either. I will keep you posted.

Even though I just apologized for venting, I would like to highlight a few more things that piss me off today:

It snowed on bullshit. Like, really snowed, not just some flakes here and there. The Patriots game showed it pretty well.

I was awake at 6:20 this morning, and it was pitch black out, still. That will only get better when daylight savings time comes, at which point it will get dark at about 5:00 pm.

Teenage boys. Aaron, I am beginning to think that guns do have a place in the home.

My lack of ability to eat sushi. Kind of the only thing I am really dying for right now.

Some of my classmates. My wisdom for the day: There is little that is more dangerous than a smart person who is not quite as smart as he thinks he is.

I should also point out that I adore some of my classmates, as well. We have these semester-long group projects, and I am really lucky to have four excellent partners in my group. They are all super nice, work really hard, make great teammates and are genuinely high-productivity, low-maintenance people. There are some other members of the class that would cause me to seriously consider slashing my wrists if I had to spend that much time with them.

OK...this was kinda random and I am not sure I accomplished a whole lot...but that is all I have for you today;-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three Years

[Yikes...I initially titled this post just "Three", and then realized that could have a whole other meaning!!!]

Today is my three year blog-iversary...and as much as I would like to talk about how much things have changed over those three years, they are gonna change by a whole lot more next year!

I find less and less time to blog recently, as school is really kicking my ass these days and I am still sick kind of all the time. Most days, I wake up feeling pretty squeamish (although I don't really throw up very often) and it takes me a while to get ready because I can't be rushing around without getting sicker. I try to take as little Zofran as possible, but I would say that about one out of three days I have to because I am just too sick.

Eating is a pain in the ass, too, and I can't wait until food tastes good again. I have to eat kind of all the time, because I get really sick if I don't, but nothing actually tastes good, and I find myself eating whatever doesn't repulse me. Except animal crackers...I totally heart those. And I eat a whole lot of them...

So, I get to school at 8:00, have class all morning and early afternoon, then start in on the mountains of homework and group work and whatever else is on the docket that day. I get as much of it done as I can, but by about 6:00, I just plain have to go home. I usually feel worst in the evening, but The Boy and Munchkin are very good about taking care of me:-). Once I have had dinner and get into my jammies, I try and finish whatever work I have left, and I am usually in bed by 9:00 or so.

The fatigue hasn't been as bad lately...I have a little bit more energy...and it should get better for a while before it gets a whole lot worse after the New Year. But for now I am dealing. Unfortunately, it leaves very little time to do much else...I haven't seen many friends lately, and haven't been blogging (in case you didn't notice).

So...what am I getting at? Well, I guess I am apologizing ahead of time for a continued slow down in blogging. For the first six months or so of my blogging, I posted every day...and since then, I have been a pretty consistent five-day per week blogger. That has slowed down, and I don't anticipate that it will pick up any time soon. But, there is no need to worry about me...I am fine, just super busy and sleeping whenever I have some free time:-)

I need to make an effort to blog more, which I very much want to do. As I have mentioned, the part of this that I like most is the daily diary aspect...which is obviously reliant on actually doing it;-). I could blog during class, but that kind of defeats the purpose (not that I am unwilling...), so mostly I am just hoping that I will get over the fatigue for a while and have some more time to get everything done that we need to.

I guess, in summary, I have to recognize that the last three years are likely to be the high-point of my blogging. I still read everyone that is in my Reader (even if I don't comment as much) and will be a regular blogger...just maybe not as much as I once was. Which sort of makes me sad...but that's the way the cookie crumbles, for now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


A few of you managed to guess my secret, or at least some version if it.

Today's big news is that I am not the only person in AM world that is pregnant;-). The divine, spectacular, and all-around awesome Big Sis is joining me in the great pregnancy adventure. She is about a week behind me, schedule-wise, and actually found out a couple days before I did.

Without a doubt, I am way happier for her than I am for me:-). There was a time (not that long ago) when she was pretty firmly against the idea of children. Then, maybe a year and a half ago, she changed her mind a bit, and she and The Brain Surgeon decided to try and have a baby. She had a devil of a time getting pregnant, though, and was beginning to get terribly frustrated.

They did not get to the point that they went through fertility treatments, but they were thinking about it (don't you just love blogs? I get very sharey:-D. Don't worry, she told me it was OK to blab!). In the meantime, she had gone from "Yes, I think I want a baby" to "I really, really want a baby, and am becoming terribly worried that it hasn't happened". Which also explains why she was much more diligent about taking a pregnancy test when she was late than I

Because she had had trouble getting herself knocked up, she asked that her pregnancy be kept an ultra-super secret, even from the blog world. In fact, she would not have told me right away had I not had my own issues;-). But, following her doctor's appointment today, I am free to tell all of my wonderful readers!

So, while I am partially terrified at the idea of being pregnant, and totally terrified at the idea of twins...I am very much comforted by the idea that I get to go through this with one of my most very favorite people in the world. I will most likely deliver quite a while before her now, but that is OK...I am gonna love being knocked up with her!

So, please send a hearty congratulations and wishes for a healthy, safe pregnancy to Big Sis. She reads this, so she will get all of your comments if you leave them:-)

And one note, before you response to the obvious question "Does this mean that you will try and have a baby, too, now?" Smoking Hot Roommate (who virtually never swears) would like the record to reflect "Not on your fucking life!" She will have to settle for being an Auntie three times over...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


You might be thinking..."Hey, AM, in the last two months, you have bought a condo, been to France, started graduated school, got married, got knocked up and found out you are having twins...surely, there is no other major news that you could be withholding from us, right?"

Wrong!!! I have been keeping The. Best. Secret. Ever. So secret that I was not even allowed to blog it to anonymous interweb-friends (although I told some of you via email, whatever).

But...I think I am allowed to tell you all tomorrow:-) So you have that to look forward to!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whatever happened to my dream condo?

It was actually sort of refreshing to hear everyone pretty much confirm what I am already thinking...that I am just going to have to play it by ear, see how I feel in December and make a judgement then. Best case, it will be really hard, and it may not be doable. I will just have to wait and see.

Lori S-C pointed out something yesterday that I should have noticed on my own. Call it "personal evolution", but she correctly noted that I am better at accepting help than maybe I was four years ago:-). Part of that is true, and part of it is just the overwhelming idea of two babies at once...
And Smoking Hot Roommate was upset that I left out a key logistical part of that plan...we have three bedrooms: one for us, one for Munchkin and one for the babies. Obviously, if The Boy's Mom moves in with us for that month (which, by the way, would be a complete Godsend), we have no place for everyone to sleep. Solution? Easy...Munchkin takes a month-long field trip around the corner to stay at SHR's place:-) They are both very happy at that summer camp!

Next issue, though, which some of you have already gotten arrangements. We bought our condo in August, and I have written at length about how much I love where we live and intend to live here for as long as I can see. Now, however, I am not entirely sure that it will be enough space. We are going to have to think about this one.

We have three bedrooms, and the whole place is about 1,600 square feet. Which...if it is two boys or two girls, would probably be plenty. It is not exactly palatial, but given where we live, it is likely to be adequate. What gets tricky is if there is a boy and a girl. How long can they share a room? They will be four and a half when Munchkin goes to college...can they share a room until then? Munchkin says that she will happily share a room with her little sister if she has to...but is that really fair to her [late I really just refer to it as Munchkin's little sister? Not quite!]? I know I am getting way ahead of myself here...but if Munchkin is 20-21 and living at home for summer or more, is it really OK for her to share a room with a 6-7 year old girl?

And beyond that, this would mean that we have no extra space for anyone else. Will that get old? one thing that is absolutely not an option: moving to the suburbs...ick!

So, this is not at all a pressing is a minimum couple of years away, and may not be an issue at all. But, at some point, we are gonna have to think about this...

Monday, October 12, 2009

To stay or to go

Dreadfully boring Organization Behavior class (which everyone refers to as "OB"...which I refuse to do for what should be obvious reasons...) and rather than pay attention, I am going to blog:-). God bless classroom Internet!!! How did people go to school before 2000? They probably learned a whole lot more.

First things first...weekend was really nice:-). I went out for a little bit on Friday night (tonic water and lime looks just like a vodka just have to be careful not to let anyone order you a drink!!!) but was home and in bed by 10:30. Munchkin had a soccer game on Saturday morning that I went to, and then we had lunch and I took a That is how I roll these days:-). Woke up from the nap feeling kinda shitty, and ending up bagging out of dinner with some friends...too many smells in restaurants if you stomach is a little edgy...

Woke up yesterday feeling fantastic...and also feeling incredibly horny...hee hee. Munchkin was out all afternoon with Smoking Hot Roommate and some friends of ours, and things got plenty debaucherous while she was gone:-). Don't blame me...pregnancy is weird. Um...hormones...

So, a couple of you have asked some practical questions in regards to the two monsters inside of me, and I haven't been avoiding them, I just don't really have firm answers to them just yet. The first will this effect school? I am not entirely sure. If you recall, my original plan was that I could maybe have a baby right at the end of the school year, and be home all summer with it and then there would be some day care options come fall when I had to go back to school.

Then I ended up getting knocked up a little earlier than planned, and my due date of May 4th cut the end of the school year closer than expected. I figured I could manage that, though. Maybe I would have to take some finals a little early (or a little late)...but maybe not. I figured I could work all of that out with my professors, and hopefully could reach some working agreement with whatever groups I was working with on group projects, too.

Well, now that has gotten stickier. First of all, while my due date is still May 4th, there is no actual chance of me going that long...most likely it will be at least a full month before that, and probably closer to six weeks (Late March). What that means is that I don't have to worry about scheduling end-of-year stuff, but I will have to worry about how much time I will miss in the middle of the semester. And what if I am on bed rest at some point? I could find myself not able to practically do the work required to be in school.

And then what about next year? Will I be able to be a full time student with twin infants at home? They would be about 5 months old when I go back in the fall, most likely.

As far as I can see, there are a couple of options. First, I could take a leave after this semester and come back second semester next year (Spring 2011) or even the year after. I couldn't come back in the Fall, because the curriculum is all mapped out, so I would have to join in with the first-years next school year. This obviously has the advantage of avoiding the scheduling problems involved with delivering twins mid-semester. On the downside, it would mean delaying school by at least one full year, and I would have to recognize the possibility that, once I stop, I will never start again. I would intend to, but you never know how these things work out.

Second, I could just go ahead and enroll second semester and hope for the best. In a perfect world, I would miss a complete week or so of class, but would be able to be back in school pretty much right afterwards (actually, in a really perfect world, they could be born over spring break:-D). The advantage of that is obviously that it wouldn't cost me any time, and that The Boy would be home full-time for at least the first couple of weeks back while I was working out the schedule. Things would be ridiculously hectic for a month or so...but I would be able to stay on track to finish in May of 2011 just by suffering that one crazy month or so.

The downside is that it may still not be manageable. Even if it goes according to plan, I may find that I just can't keep up and have to take the year off anyway. Or...maybe it won't go according to plan, and I find that I have to be in bed for a few weeks ahead of the birth and miss too much time entirely. In that case, I will have spent all of that effort from January through March, and still have to come back and start over again next January anyway.

One huge thing working to our advantage...The Boy's Mom, recognizing that this could be an issue, has offered to basically move in with us for that month or so (the time between when The Boy has to go back to work and when I will be done with school) to be a full-time Nanny and let me finish the year of school. I am not sure that I can really express how generous that would be of her, or how much of a massive help it would be...what it would mean is that I could reasonably be able to find enough time to study through the end of the semester. So, there is that, too.

I am not real sure where I am leaning at this point, and I don't have to make a decision until December at least. By then, hopefully the doctor will have a better idea of whether I will have any health issues that could confine me to bed, or if I should be pretty mobile right up until D-Day.