November 30, 2011

Little Walls likes to sleep.

We had a 3D ultrasound today. Baby was sleeping. Right now, baby is almost always sleeping between around 7 am until 10 am. She usually kicks around a bit before I get up in the morning, but during shower, hair drying, and getting myself out the door she is normally a silent little one. So when I scheduled this ultrasound at 7am, I sort of knew she'd be fast asleep. The past two early ultrasound visits, she's been snoozing. But, I love the 3D and squeezing them in before work means not taking off extra hours. So it was no surprise when little bitty was taking a nap bright and early when the tech started the ultrasound. The tech was training to specifically look at adrenal glands, so we got upgraded to the better machine (woohoo!)

Anyway, at one point, she yawned and then rubbed her arm over her eyes. LIKE A REAL BABY. My little heart melted. I could feel her kick me after that, like hey leave me alone! And then she actually turned away a few times, hoping we'd stop prodding at her. The good news is they caught the yawn on camera.... You can skip the video if 3d baby pictures freak you out a bit. But I love it.

I think she looks like J already. Maybe I'm just a crazy mama. Happy baby watching! And sweet dreams little baby, I hope you also like to nap from 7 am to 10 am when you're an outside baby!

November 27, 2011

60 memories for 60 years.

One day I was browsing Pinterest, and I found this idea for a gift, from another blogger. I immediately fell in love with it. My mom's birthday was approaching and I knew 100% I had to make this work. So I stole borrowed the letter in that original post and gave it some updates. I emailed to friends and family. I mayyyybe even broke into my moms's email account and got email addresses. For those of you too lazy to click on the link and read about the project, here's the letter I wrote to friends and family.

Dear Friends & Family,
Okay first of all, this is a seeeeecret. So don't tell Pammy I am up to something! I want her to be surprised with this gift.

I was browsing the internet and found this AWESOME looking present for a 60th bday:

As most of you if not all of you know, my mom turns 60 this year! (Sure she would love me broadcasting). I want to take this idea of "60 years of memories" and fill up 60 envelopes with memories from friends, family, etc... and let her open them on her birthday. I will take care of putting all of the letters in uniform envelopes and numbering them- like on the website above. Her birthday is near thanksgiving, so I'd love to have these by November 1st if you can help me out. Also, I don't have email addresses of everyone mom cares about (her cousins, old friends) so if anyone has someone's that they think I may have missed PLEASE pass this along. If they don't have email, tell them about the idea and feel free to pass along my mailing address.

So I need your help!!! If you have a spare moment in the next few days, we would be so grateful if you'd jot down a favorite memory you have of my mom and either email it to me or hand write it and send it my way. I know handwritten would mean a lot, if you have the time. It doesn't have to be anything fancy -- you can just write it down on a piece of paper and sign your name. You can mention anything you like -- although the more nostalgic the better!

Thank you for taking some time to share your favorite memories. I know my mom would treasure this gift more than anything we could give her. Again, please remember to keep it a secret!!

I provided my email, my mailing address, and hoped for the best. Letters starting pouring in. I looked forward to running up to the mailbox after work to see what new treasure I'd find for my mom. I knew she was a great woman already, but the stories and pictures and cards I got had me smiling, crying, and laughing. Most people didn't seal them and left them open for me to look at. Here's what my floor looked like trying to organize after everything got here:

I got cards, letters, handwritten notes. Emails, typed memories. Old photos. And the collection of them all together would make this present perfect. I bought 2 packages of manilla envelopes- one for the smaller letters, one for people like my mom's sister who sent me (no exaggeration) an album of memories. And I labeled them 1-60. 60 memories for 60 years.

Once they were all in their perspective envelopes, I wrapped them all together for the presentation. At this point, I wondered if anyone had told my mom about this, but it seemed no one had.

So on Wednesday night, we skipped out on the pre-thanksgiving bar going tradition (let's face it, 27 weeks preggo and in a crowded bar isn't my first choice anyway), packed our bags, and trekked to my parent's for my mom's actual birthday evening. While we waited for dinner to arrive I gave my mom the present and let her begin her journey down memory lane. Envelope #1 held a letter from me to my mom and explained the gift. I got a few pictures of her I loved during this. She had letters from close current friends, family members, friends of mine and mybrother's from when we were little kids. Notes from friends who live in the midwest and family who live in North Carolina. I even got a letter, photo, and the pagelong yearbook letter my mom wrote to in the 1960s to her friend, Ann, who she now emails with. That was probably one of my favorites.

The picture above is after my mom read my dad's second memory he wrote to her. They were recounting the story of a road trip trip during their early marriage days pre-kids when my mom made up a 58-verse song "George" and sang to my dad about their relationship thus far. Hilarious, and yes, she is definitely my mother. Actually both Matt and I have been known to break out in made-up songs. Our kids will appreciate that one day. Or hate it. Either way, they will laugh a lot.

The memory that took the cake and provoked some tears was from my grandpa who just passed away a few weeks ago. He sent it to me the week before he died, and hand-wrote it. He had a hard time writing but told me he wanted to make sure he was part of this present. And was he ever...

My mom loved her gift... and spent hours and hours before and after dinner going letter by letter, word by word, laughing and crying, and just kept telling us all how much it meant to her. Memory #60 contained photos of two ultrasounds- one from our baby and one from Matt and Sam's. And it read "finding out you are having two granddaughters". Our family is so lucky.

Then we had cake & mom blew out the candles. I don't know if she made a wish, but all the thanks I needed for this gift and all the time spent was worth it, when she looked up and said,

"It's good to be sixty!"

November 21, 2011

Belly rubs and Baby love... plus a housewarming

When you're pregnant, you sooometimes get left out of things. People assume you are too busy, too tired, can't travel, can't drink coctktails. And I have to live vicariously through other people's vacation photos and dirty martinis (funny thing is, I don't even love martinis, but I DO love olives lately).
But, this weekend, I didn't feel that for a minute. As I walked down the sidewalk of a cute little neighbhorhood on a mild November weekend in fishtown holding Jamie's hand, I heard squeals before I ever opened the door to my friend Jen's new home. Squeals and screams and voices telling me I was welcome there.  My friends encircled me the minute I walked in the door and made a huge fuss out of the baby belly. Most times, if strangers or people I'm mildly friends with touch my stomach, I am freaked out. But not these girls, they talked to baby, kissed baby belly, and made it clear that baby and I were welcome in their presence. It was so heartwarming and made me feel filled with happiness. Friends who are single, engaged, married. Doesn't matter, we have always been scattered in life stages but we make it work. We love each other like family and I'm so grateful for that.

Not to mention, once I found out baby was a girl, they had to buy my little one presents. Beth bought the cuuuutest shirt that says I love my auntie (sorority sisters for life) and an adorable baby gap sweater that I would wear if it came in a bigger size. And Jen brought me onesies and little booties that were pink and cute and had a little monkey on them. Adore.

The point of our get together was not to lavish my tummy with love (though that happened) or to squeal some more over Lauren's engagement and to die for diamond (also happened), it was to see Jen's new home. And it is super cute. Gorgeous hardwoods, bathrooms in every bedroom, and a lot of space for entertaining. Perfect for my newlywed friends. There's so much to celebrate and so much to be thankful for.

I'm happy in my heart.

November 19, 2011

the co-sleeping debate

I'm not a mom yet. And while my job gives me opportunities to advise others based on empirically supported research on pediatric snoozing, I don't claim to be a know-it-all of sleep. So I can say this: I am not anti-co sleeping. I am not pro co-sleeping. I am pro healthy babies and safe environments. But the ads from the Milwaukee anti co-sleeping campaing this week, in my opinion, have gone too far. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click on over here: anti-co sleeping campaign. and get the basic gist of it.

I don't like the concept of photos with knives next to babies. Nor do I like the accusation and assumption that comes along with this: Sleeping with your baby will kill them. It makes me uncomfortable and it makes me feel like all those mom decisions are being judged. Yes, do not put your tiny tiny infant next to you when you are exhausted and had 3 glasses of wine (a lot of SIDS cases result post parents using alcohol or drugs and then co-sleeping). But if it is your culture to sleep with your baby close by, and you have a safe arrangement, I am not going to step in and tell you that you might as well knife your child. This just for some reason gets under my skin.

I have a number of other blogs I follow. And sometimes the most sarcastic are the best. Take a wander over to Raising Colorado, a self-proclaimed hippy mama who is fond of co-sleeping. Her "response to the ad" cracks me up.

Now I am 100% all for babies being safe. And the truth is, I probably won't co-sleep in the very basic term of the word. Baby will be in our room, near us. But not in our bed. Mostly because Jamie tosses and turns and moves his legs like he is running from a monster in a dream and often kicks our cats off- so why not baby? But, also because to me my bed is ours. Baby will have her (gorgeous) crib to sleep in. But on nights when she is sick or unconsolable, I'm sure I'll give in a few times.

My point here is, let's watch how strongly we suggest something with butcher- like ads. And Milwaukee has one of the highest SIDS rates, so sure, do something about it. But maybe don't do this. Moms who co-sleep are not monsters. It won't be my first choice, but it works for some people.

So educate yourself on the American Academy of Pediatric Sleep Guidelines. And, here is the SIDS policy statement.OH HEY MILWAUKEE, the AAP told me if I see media with a baby not sleeping on their back to report it. Should I report you? Just saying. Also if you read this carefully,  the AAP's stance is sleep in same room, not same bed. But, there is rarely mention of avoiding co-sleeping specifically. Clearly baby on back with his/her own space, and on an appropriate surface is "best". But let's not attack the co-sleepers of the world. Because, you know, it's most of the world.

Safe babies. Less judgement. Sleepy time.

November 18, 2011


We're at 26 weeks today! Almost to the third trimester. And in unrelated news, I think winter arrived today. My "icy caution" light turned on in my car this morning on the way to work. Who told winter it was time to come to our area? I am not ready yet! I was loving fall. Dark early at night and cold when my feet hit the floor in the morning... dislike.

On the flip side, winter keeps me cool when I have my prego hot moments and feel like I am going to pass out from the heat. And lately the baby is being a little soccer player who moves around tons while I'm at work. Maybe her energy is making me warm too. That makes me happy.

And me? Well currently, I look like this:

My hair is still growing quickly and wildly. I love it. And, now that I am totally tummy popped out preg, getting dressed is easier. No more "do I look pregnant or fat" in this outfit. Just some cute little clothes. Got my dress for my baby shower in the mail today and LOVE it. I think it will last me through most of the rest of of my pregnancy too, a good perk!

My plan for being productive and possibly delving into painting this evening quickly came to a halt when I realized I had a few more errands to run for my mom's 60th birthday next week... and then my wonderful hubby cooked me dinner when I got home. Oh well, God laughs when we make plans. Or something like that.

Instead, tonight is going to be:
DVR of Regis' last Live show
Maybe a movie if my eyes stay open
Oatmeal cranberry cookies baked fresh in our new kitchen
A big mug of warm sleepytime tea
A blanket
My husband
...and likely our 2 weirdo cats who will want to force cuddling upon us.

Life is so good.

November 17, 2011

happy things and diamond rings.

This year, I cannot count the number of times this year I've beamed with joy getting phone calls, texts, and emails from friends with good news. Engagements, weddings, babies. And while there's been some sadness lately, the happy times keep rolling in too.

I love, love, love when my friends are happy.

Most recently, two of my favs got engaged. And because Baback is one of my FAVORITE faithful followers, they get an extra special shout out. Congrats you two! I can't think of two people better for each other.

I wish you a life full of happiness, cupcakes, love, and laughter graphic tees.

Oh ps if you want some advice on how to pick out an absolutely gorgeous ring, ask B. Lauren's is sparkly and show stopping.  So excited for the wedding celebrations that will come for these two! I have a feeling it will include things like dancing, cupcakes, other delicious food, and lots of happiness and happy tears.

Love love looooove!

November 16, 2011

It's been awhile... but back to reality.

Between the PSU scandal and then my grandfather passing away, I was distracted to say the least over the past week. My heart broke on a lot of levels, and after spending a few days in Connecticut with my family, getting some love from some of my best friends in NYC on the drive home, and curling up Sunday late afternoon under a blanket with tea and reflecting on the week, I finally am back to earth.

So, we have some busy weekends coming up. But we have either one or two days a few of them that are free, and we really need to get down to business on this baby room and finishing a few other house projects. So when I write things, I feel more responsible for them, here's where the list lies for now. Oh yeah, our cats currently eat and lounge in our office- which is turning into the baby room. So that has to be fixed. We have a room between our TV room & garage that is currently storage. That's the new cat digs. Or soon it will be.

House & Baby Prep List
Finish last piece of tile
Recessed Lighting
Light over sink
Choose paint for eating area
Paint eating area
Paint trim
Finish reno of china cabinet

New Cat Room
Clean out "storage" area
New FLOR carpet tiles
frame new door
move cat things (beds, food bowls, litter)
create cat door into room

DIY Crafts & Baby Projects
Change hardware on baby armoire to Anthro pulls
Buy second hand dresser
Renovate second hand dresser
DIY name project (secret even to me since we haven't picked a name yet)

Baby Room
Move all office furniture out of room & store
Clean, Clean, Clean!!!
Paint second coat of ligher yellow paint
Move in furniture (December delivery)
Hang chandelier & wire lighting
Clean out closet (dreading this) to make room for baby clothes
Hang Wall Decor

And yes, I did write and then cross off "choose paint for eating area". I did it, but it's sitting under our kitchen table I think. I need to get on top of that. That would be a good weekend project maybe. So much to do, but we've handled worse and more! Anyone want to volunteer to lend a hand? Also if you have any brilliant suggestions for me, send them my way.

Lists make me feel better. And I'll update as we go!

November 8, 2011

Irish Patriarch

Today I got a call on my way to work with horrible news. My grandfather passed away this morning. In true George Tuohy Sr. fashion, he died without suffering. He lived until his last day with the appearance of being tough and gruff and in control (though we all knew his heart was weak and he was not as strong as he always said he was). He always told us he wanted to "just die one morning" and he did. Sadly, my grandma, who he has been faithfully married to for many years, was not ready for this. I've been married a little over a year. They were together 60 something. Heartbreak is not even a word that can encompass what that must feel like.

I received phone calls, emails, and texts today as people found out about his passing. Words such as "character" "hilarious" "big smile" "greatest guy" were used again and again. Friends who I have only known for 5 years were able to talk about memories of my grandpa. Because, his personality was big. If he met you once, he knew you for life. He remembered your face (and maybe your name, maybe not as he got older) and the anecdote you talked about the last time he saw you.

He was a stoic man in some ways. And serious. And stood by his beliefs. Irish Catholic is an understatement. "Old School" best describes him. Came home from work for lunch until the day he retired. Soup and a sandwich daily. He called me "Meggy" and treated me like I was still the baby in the family, even as a full grown adult. He was inappropriate and politically incorrect. He had no filter. But he was in his late eighties, and even on the days when he made my bleeding heart liberal skin crawl with his comments, my adoration for him always won me over.

There are too many memories in my mind that cannot be transcribed. But, the point of them all is that he made us laugh. Whether talking about the Joe Be Doe under the bridge on our hikes, or making up catchphrases that made no sense, such as, "You're talking like a man with a paper ass", we rolled on the floor laughing hysterically. He tried to pick up a waitress at a restaurant during my college graduation for my brother. He yelled out the car window to people. He asked for extra potatoes at our wedding.

He was a true man of tradition. He and my dad began our Mt. Washington family hikes years ago.  And grandpa insisted we go back every year, and that someone pick him up along the way. And at 70 years old, he toasted to his health at the summit. My brother can tell much better stories about our days as kids and teens in New Hampshire with my grandpa. There was never a dull moment.

Most recently, I saw grandpa at the end of August. A little over two months ago. And I would have loved to see him more frequently, but the distance between us sometimes got in the way. No regrest though, I had so many good times with him over the years. We told him we were expecting Baby Walls during our last visit. And while I am horribly saddened he won't get to meet this little one, I know that he will be watching over us. I'll hold him in my memory as he was in this picture. Smiling, loving, and with a zest for life, even in his old age.

And in the words of my grandpa, every single time we said goodbye...

May the Road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
Until we meet again,
May the good lord hold you in the palm of his hand.

November 7, 2011

A sad day in PSU sports

I thought I've seen sad days in PSU sports before. Those last minute losses. Injuries. Bad sportsmanship, at worst. But the headlines that splattered today's papers, facebook, CNN, were so overwhelmingly present that it was impossible to ignore. And as a PSU alum, it was a sad day.

Now, some people are tearing JoePa apart for this disaster, and yes, maybe he should have gone to the police instead of the administration of PSU.  We are also forgetting something, in my opinion. He didn't see anything himself.  He was a third party knowledge receiver. Not that it excuses it, but this old penn state proud guy has done nothing in his time at PSU but set an example of loyalty, dedication, and a deep love and admiration for the school.  Joe Pa, you should have probably done more when nothing else happened after you went to your higher ups... but you didn't cover this either, and that's more than we can say for most of these men involved.

That being said, this dirtball Sandusky can rot in hell as far as I am concerned. And the university administrators who swept this under the rug? They are not Penn Staters to me. Now, this stuff maybe gets me riled up more than most because my job and my life have been built around providing support and putting the building blocks of success in place for kids who need a little extra love. And I clicked on the "graphic images" PDF on CNN of the actual charges and almost vomited. I hope he goes to jail forever.

No one deserves this, and the kids he took advantage of were mostly from the Second Mile, a non profit aimed at enhancing positive behaviors and influences for children in Pennsylvania. I feel bad for this organization, whose main page now streams an issued statement regarding this horrible event. I hope they continue to get support because those kids deserve it.

Penn State is not just a football team. Or a football coach. Penn State is not two or three or even five administrators who thoroughly screwed up and put chilren at major risk.  And, in addition to hoping that Sandusky gets life in jail, and that university authorities and executives all over the country take a second look at themselves, I hope something more.

I hope that the reputation of a school filled with pride, who bleed blue and white, doesn't get torn down. I hope that the football program that holds together a community changes their tune, but continues to build a community of better values and honesty. I hope that the students who raise $9 million dollars a year for kids with cancer remember that the student body is the core of their motivation. Because Penn State is that. It's dedicated students. It is a long-standing football program of college athletes who pour out their hearts. It is philanthropy. It is greek life. It is the smell of the air on a fall morning walking from the south hall dorms to the Williard. It is friendships and parties. It's late nights and early mornings of 8 am classes, followed by a bagel in the Hub. It is College Ave shops and nights at the G-Man. It is an alumni association that stands across the nation. Because, despite this tragic news, WE ARE still PENN STATE. And I suggest we all stand by our school as it rebuilds and grows and hopefully puts people in charge who hold the values that PSU stands for.

THIS tragic news is not Penn State. This is a disgrace. And I'm sorry that PSU's name has to go down with the horrible people who commited these offenses. Because that's not my Penn State. And they are certainly not Penn Staters.

November 5, 2011

A whole 24 weeks. That's 6 months if each month really had exactly 4 weeks (but they don't).

Yesterday we hit the 24 week mark! Which is crazy to think that equals 6 months. Half a year of pregnancy? Is that even possible?! Have I been growing this little one for 6 months already? But then I think back to working my other job, my long commute, and flying to Bermuda back in the early summer and I remember ohhhh yes, it has been quite awhile.

I can't believe she will be here in a little less than 4 months.


That seems so soon. And I can't wait (but oh my we have TONS to do!!)

Here's a couple 24 week pictures. I am not sure it looks that much different than 20 weeks, but I feel soooo much bigger and I've gained about 3.5 pounds since then. Maybe the outfit I had on was not really in line with the outfits I usually take pics in. These were on the go on the way out the door, my hair is being totally crazy, and I am standing funny. Maybe We will have to take some more in my normal yoga pants & tank top... I was also getting kicked during the photo session, made me laugh.

I am also really pale and tired looking. Which I actually blame on iron deficiency and not my lack of exposure to sunlight. Well, that is what the doctor suspects. She told me last week, "your color is off". I said "you mean I look really pale?" Well yes, indeed she did. So they are going to do my blood tests and check for anemia, which is really common and would just mean an extra iron pill or two a day. Maybe I wouldn't look so ghost-like and sleepy!

Spending the rest of this weekend relaxing and getting some things done around the house... and then next weekend we head up to NYC to see two of my most favorite people and their hubbies too. It will be nice to have a mini vaca to the city and see my best friends. It's been WAY too long!!

November 3, 2011

it's the small things....

I've been sick all week for 2.5 weeks straight and battling ear infections and sinus infections and other things that don't make one a happy camper. But, I finally am on the upswing. And a few things have brightened my day lately.

1. My mama's birthday gift coming together (sorry mom you can't know what it is -- but it's a good one and will warm your heart like it is warming mine while I make it).

2. My ugg slippers. They go on my feet immediately after work.

3. When I get to tell new people my cat's name is "internet". Always good for a dinner discussion or random conversation.

4. Auntie Anne's unsalted pretzels.

5. Mini dill pickles (fridge section of grocery store, always cold). 

6. The fact that I have text message convos every night with multiple other pregnant women in my life. My baby will have some cute little baby friends.

7. the random guy at dunkin donuts that keeps calling my stomach a "he" and makes me laugh every time.

8. BONES IS BACK tonight!! And she's preg. See everyone is doing it (I mean getting pregnant, not "doing it" though I guess both have to occur in order for the former to happen...)

9. Getting thinking of you cards or emails. They make my heart have butterflies and love.

10.  Saving 9:00pm on Thursday nights for Grey's Anatomy and a chatting date with Kelly to discuss the episode.... which has now turned into discussing our lives instead most nights (besides Zola, they are losing me with the story lines).

Almost the weekend. Happy Friday Eve!

November 2, 2011

I'm starving.

Pinterest is the devil of foods. I sign in and I start to salivate. There are some days when I sign in and the ENTIRE first page is food. I am tempted to go to the store, scoop up every ingredient, and have a cooking/baking fest. And maybe that's what will happen this weekend. But anyway, let me share in hopes that my cravings subside and I can hold off until dinner time.

Fine, I cheated this picture does not match up with the website and recipe. But SAME concept. And a wonderful one. If someone would like to split a pan of these with me, I'm open to it. J hates chocolate, so this won't go over well in our house and instead I'll eat 24 cupcakes. Volunteers?

I think this was called "cranberry salsa" on pinterest. It looks amazing, and uses cream cheese too. Yum! I think I might give this a go for thanksgiving at my parents as an appetizer. Or maybe just as a Sunday afternoon treat while J watches football and I pretend to pay attention but actually browse pinterest and babycenter.

I know I know I can't get away from eggs benedict. But YUM for this one. Had to be included. J, if you're reading this, and want to make me this for Sunday morning breakfast I won't argue.

This looks AMAZING. Imagine it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some apple cider on the side. And after a nice fall dinner. Maybe your husband will make it for you.

Fine, these don't really go with the fall theme, but I am obsessed with anything we can put in our slow cooker/crock pot and come home to ready after work. Pulled pork? Yes. Whole chickens? Yes. So lime chicken tacos and a twist on some of our more "boring" recipes? Sign me up.

They are healthy because they aren't smothered in bacon. But they've still got starch, and cheese. So that is enough for me to give them a thumbs up. And J looooves sweet potatos, so this would go over well in my house.

I'm totally craving some savory foods. But, I also crave crunchy fresh foods and had a salad and fruit for lunch today (by choice). So someone pin some really good salad and fruit ideas so I will stop wanting to make cupcakes and cheesy items. 

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