Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Recap

Here is the quiz that I've been doing for a few year's from Linda's website.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Put together a crib. Ordered/picked out a ton of baby things. Suffered through months of nausea and exhaustion. Basically lots of baby-related things.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Here were my resolutions:
  • Get to work on time. This means prior to 9:00. I am constantly missing the 8:45 train and then have to take the 8:55 which not ONLY has a mean conductor but also puts me in at right after 9. I already messed this one up on Day 2, but am going to make a concerted effort to show up on time!
  • Go to Digital 2 class. And by go, I mean actually sign up for the class and attend it this year
  • Save money. Hit our savings goal for the year that Mike and I set.

I think I've gotten a bit better at getting to work on time, even if I'm consistently getting there right at 9... at least I'm not rolling in around 9:30. I did go to the Digital Class, which was great. And we've done a good job of saving money as well. We hit the savings goal we wanted to, and then I took $500 out of that account to pay for the water damage to the floors we found when we redid the hardwoods. So we're basically there, I just need to transfer $500 back in!

As for resolutions for 2011, I have no idea. Maybe to not be a total control freak when Dos arrives and let Hubs be the involved, awesome Dad I know he will be. The only thing that would get in the way of that would be my own neurosis.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Mike's friend John and his wife Fran had a baby in September, my friend Jiyon gave birth in June. My brother's fiance's sister had a little boy just a few weeks ago. Lots of babies are on the way for 2011 as well!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Hmmm.... we've been pretty lucky overall. A close family friend died, which stunk. He was a really great person. And Mike's aunt died about a month ago.

5. What countries did you visit?

This was the year of domestic US trips, I don't think we went anywhere out of the country really unless you count the British Virgin Islands for a brief lunch stop over Thanksgiving! We went to Vegas in June, Boston in July, Napa in August, Baltimore in September and the Virgin Islands in November. I also took a trip to FL in April to attend a wedding with Emily, which was a crazy good time. Another trip to FL in September to visit my friend Dora, who is due the day before I am!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A real live human baby! On the outside of me! Also, I have been missing my waist for awhile now, that will be good to hopefully have back one day.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 10, when we found out about Dos. Sometime around September or so when I felt like Dos would definitely stick around.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Oh man, I feel like I didn't achieve that much this year. But I think I've realized how very blessed I am, which is probably a big achievement. I did work very hard to relax and try to let the baby thing happen when it happened, and I did enjoy a lot of the year because of that.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Getting hella frustrated with the babymaking process in early 2010. Not having faith that it would work out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Had a few colds, but nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

We got a new TV in January. New appliances this spring, which are pretty darn nice. I think the appliances probably win - the new convection oven and I are homies for sure. Redoing the hardwood floors was a pretty great thing to spend money on, and we took a ton of vacations. All good things!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Hubs for always being willing to deal with preggo complaints, hormones, and drama around food, and for not constantly rolling his eyes at me when I'm being difficult.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Politicians because they just seem to like to argue rather than actually do their jobs.. Other than that, not really anyone. This is totally the same answer as last year.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage. Bills. Savings. Vacations. Regarding allowance, I bought a ton of new clothes, including maternity clothes. I figure if I have to lose my waist I might as well feel somewhat cute in my clothes.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Baby Dos! Vacations... naps!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Like a G6

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? happier
– thinner or fatter? Um, fatter around my middle but thinner in my arms and legs. I lost a bit of weight at the beginning of pregnancy and it seems that the only place I've put it back on is around the baby-carrying area, thank goodness. I still have 6 weeks left so we'll see how that goes!
– richer or poorer? richer, just slightly

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Working out. Man, this is my answer every year. I really fell off the wagon though, I tried a few times a month or two ago but the belly just gets. in. the. way!!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We went to see Mike's family. We started the day with Grandma K at 11, Grandma H's at 12:30, then hit up a third set of grandparents for dinner at 3. Holy Christmas, Batman! Then it was back to Mike's parents' house to hang out with the older two nephews and watch them open a few presents (and beg to open even more :)).

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Yeah, I think I've fallen in love with this baby. I'm so guarded that it's hard; I know that not everyone who gets pregnant ends up with a baby, even those as far into the process as we are. But as we get closer it's getting easier to feel like it might actually happen, and I feel like once I see him/her it will all come rushing to me.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

How I Met Your Mother. Top Chef (normal season and AllStars - hated Just Desserts). Glee (oh how I love Glee!!)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. This is the same answer as last year....I can't say I really hate anyone. More like I really pity some people, people who do my loved ones wrong. Because they don't get to have the awesomeness that is my loved ones in their lives.

24. What was the best book you read?

I really liked Three Cups of Tea, and I read a ton of baby books. My favorite was by Dr Oz, and was called YOU: Having a baby

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Script - love the song Breakeven

26. What did you want and get?

Pregnancy. Husband not travelling so much!

27. What did you want and not get?

Baby Dos a bit earlier... I guess shim is on his/her own schedule. But the timing works out really really well for us - especially for me at work. So I guess shim knows what shim is doing!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Really liked Inception. I also liked going to see Sex and the City 2, even if the movie wasn't all that great. We went to the Icon theater on Roosevelt and I had some amazing dirty martinis and good times with the gals. The movie was a bit secondary to the event as a whole though!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31. Went to lunch with the coworkers at Rivers, ate entirely too many chocolate cupcakes, hit up dinner with my future sister-in-law at CPK, then came home and fell asleep on the couch. It was awesome.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not quite sure... as I said I've felt incredibly blessed. Maybe less things breaking around the house? haha...

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Whatever fits and looks remotely cute. Lots of Target, Old Navy, and Gap maternity clothes.

32. What kept you sane?

Does HGTV count? I did try acupuncture early in the year and that was pretty awesome. I actually saw a therapist for a few sessions and really appreciated being able to talk to someone about some things I was going through. I think everyone would benefit from a few therapy sessions a year. My Mom also keeps me sane by listening to me complain or mock whatever is going on at the time.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don't know, they are all a bit crazy.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I have no idea. I get kind of fired up at people just wanting Obama to fail. I mean, why would people want our president to fail? Don't they get that that has an affect on them regardless of their party orientation?

35. Who did you miss?

My Grandma S. Still missing her, years after she passed. I guess the whole baby thing makes me really wish she were around. I know she would be so excited for us.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Can I say Gracie? She's not a baby anymore, she's a little girl, and I feel like she's a whole new person!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

I still haven't learned this fully, but it's that sometimes I can't just fix things, as much as I want to.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Oh, I have no idea!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yay, holidays :)

Hubs and I are off to Indiana tomorrow with beagle in tow, but just wanted to send along some holiday greetings! Hope everyone has a very merry holiday!
By Less Ordinary Designs

Monday, December 20, 2010

Misc update

It doesn't really seem like Christmas. There, I said it. Maybe it's because we went to the tropical vacation route for Thanksgiving... maybe because Mike and I were too lazy to put up any Christmas decorations save for one little stocking with a question mark on it (which is a tradition in my family when a baby is due - my mom used it for Jay and Katie and my niece... and I asked to borrow it before thinking that THEY might want to hang it up for Dos, oops :)) and one knick-knacky plate thingy that my Grandpa gave me from one of Grandma S's many collections.

Regardless of "feeling like Christmas" or not, all our presents are purchased and wrapped, and I'm looking forward to seeing the wrapping paper fly when all four nephews tear into their stuff. That is always a fun time. We gave Grace her presents last week in Fort Wayne and we got her a pillow pet, a little puppy toy, and some clothes. "A pill pet! A pill pet!" she kept exclaiming.... so cute!

All along, I've said that Valentine's day will be here before we know it and Dos will be here. The impending holiday is making that all the more real. The doctor has said Dos is measuring a little larger than normal, so I started to get worried that shim might come a little sooner than expected. So I moved up my audit-finishing timeline to January 15th, to hopefully ensure that my work is done before baby makes his or her appearance.

Yesterday we had a pretty chill day and I washed all of Dos's linens and diapers (we're going to try to cloth diaper when we're at home... the daycares won't do it). I felt really accomplished and like I got alot done. Then I couldn't get to sleep to save my life last night. I kept drifting in and out of consciousness and having these crazy dreams that the hospital wouldn't let us bring Dos home because we didn't have the crib mattress yet. Nevermind that the kid won't use the mattress for the first couple weeks AT LEAST and will sleep in the bassinet attachment of the stroller. Nevermind that the only thing you HAVE to have is a car seat. Or nevermind that there are these things called STORES that will sell you things that you do not have pretty much whenever you want it. Or that I am not even worried about the things we still need to get for Dos - after our last shower I plan on just adding the last few things to an Amazon list and having them shipped to us. I think my obsession with the mattress is that it went up $20 in price on Amazon like THE DAY I was going to order it and it's been ticking me off mightily ever since. I keep waiting for it to drop again, but I fear I'm SOL and I'm stubborn enough to try and wait it out :)

So anyways, that's what is going on here. A trip to visit Mike's family for Christmas, then we settle in to wait for Dos. I am excited to meet the kidlet, but not overeager... I'm liking that the kid is contained right now and the punches I get all day long amuse me. Let's just hope that shim waits until at least January 15th!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tada!


DSC_0092, originally uploaded by agstratt.

Gracie has been taking gymnastics classes and when you say Tada! she will strike a gymnast-at-the-end-of-her-routine pose. It's kind of awesome to just yell TADA whenever.

Gracie and the candy


DSC_0046, originally uploaded by agstratt.

One of my baby showers was this past weekend and Gracie ate about a hundred of these little candy baby bottles. I was cracking up at her standing here next to the table, like "what? I am totally not interested in this candy. What are you talking about?" trying to be all nonchalant. Hilarious!

Friday, December 10, 2010

St John - Day 6

Since Mike and I flew out at the buttcrack of dawn on Friday after Thanksgiving, the actual holiday was our last day in St John. This worked out pretty well. Originally we planned on Mike and I making dinner that night, but then my Mom and I got the idea to try and put together an impromptu Thanksgiving meal. We left it largely up to the Fates - if the grocery had the things we needed we would go for it. If not, it was going to be a signature April meal of goat-cheese stuffed chicken :)

Well, the fates complied and everything we needed was available at the store! After breakfast was over that morning, my Dad and I got to work on two pumpkin pies and baked those asap. Then my mom prepped the turkey breast she'd bought at the store and put that into the oven to roast while Mike and I peeled/cut up potatoes for the mashed potatoes. A couple days earlier Mom had cut up bread and set it out to dry up a bit for the stuffing. I cut up the celery and onions for the stuffing and Dad made some broth to make it as well. We were pumped that the turkey breast came with some junk (technical term that is, junk) to make gravy. So we didn't have to try and backdoor it as much with broth as we'd originally planned. Mom had purchased peas and corn to have with dinner as well, so I put some peas on to boil for an hour or two since Mike likes them mushy (everyone else got fresher peas!).

Around 2:00 or so everything was ready and we sat down at the table on the deck to eat our grub.
Everyone agreed that for something we didn't get too stressed over, it was really good. It helped that everyone pitched in, but really we didn't spend too much time cooking the meal. Mostly it was checking on things and then laying out on the deck some more! Plus, having a Thanksgiving meal with a view like this one was a great experience.

After the big meal, there was copious amounts of laying about and relaxing/napping. We took a belly shot for the week.... love the background. This will be fun to put in the Belly Book I've been using to document the pregnancy :)
This was the location of some of the laying around. Deck time!!
Later that afternoon I decided to finally get around to taking pics of the sunset. I had to have taken close to 200 over the course of an hour, watching the sun go further and further down. Here are some of my favorites.



So beautiful, and such a nice relaxing vacation!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

St John - Days 4 & 5

This vacation is not going to have as many posts as my vacations normally do... mostly because we chilled out alot more than normal!

On Tuesday we decided that a day in the beach was in order, and headed to Trunk Bay. It's rated consistently in the top three beaches of the world, and once we got there we could see why:
Amazing! Luckily, Dad kidding around with some cab drivers in the parking lot netted us a parking space and we sauntered in. You paid like $4 each for everyone to get in, because they had some pretty decent bathroom and shower facilities. I'll pay $4 not to pee in the jungle, so that was fine by me.

We basically laid on the beach and chatted and caught some rays. Oh, except for Dad, who rolled in the sand. Hahaha!
Here is a pic of he and my mom getting some swim time in. The boys spent some time snorkeling about as well. I had no interest in snorkeling, and very little interest in getting in the water (for some reason I was worried it would hurt Dos). But after some prodding from Mike I ended up in the water for a little bit.
For lunch we hit up the snack bar at the beach. Once we got home we got all cleaned up and headed into town for dinner. We started at this SoGo's place that looked pretty shady, had appetizers and drinks and decided to bail. Then we went to this place called The Fish Trap which was much better. The hostess insisted that I am having a girl and asked me to "bring her back to see us sometime!" So funny - I crack up at people that are so insistent upon Dos's gender being one way or another... I suppose they have a 50/50 shot right? We'll find out who is right in February!

The next day we rented a boat that departed from the nearby Westin's docks. Our captain, Stan, stopped by a good place to snorkel while the girls filled out our customs paperwork.
Then we stopped in Jost van Dyke to clear customs. Here is the police station that processed our paperwork.
Here we are waiting to clear customs. You can tell it was pretty hectic.
After clearing customs, we headed down Main Street to Foxy's bar. Dad was enthralled with "Main Street". About 80 people total live on this island!
Getting a drink at Foxy's.... love this pic of Mike...
Then we all got back in the boat and headed around the island to Soggy Dollar Bar. It is dubbed this because there is no dock so you have to swim in and then pay for your food/drinks with soggy money. Good thing I got over my reservations about swimming the previous day! The food at Soggy Dollar was just bar food, but it was really good all the same. I had a jerk chicken sandwich that was super tasty, and the onion rings were massive and the batter they had been fried in was nice and doughy. Hard to explain, but I highly recommend for a good midday meal!
After getting back in the boat at Soggy Dollar, we set off to find the small beach where the Corona commercials are taped... then settled on Sandy Key and some pics. It was this super small little island with nothing on it, so we swam in to hang out a bit. We cracked up b.c as we swam in we noticed Jay up on the beach trying his darnedest to crack open this big coconut. Jay was obsessed with cracking open coconuts on vacation, it was pretty funny.
Wednesday was "Jay and Kim dinner night" where they grilled some grub and we ate out on the deck. Delish!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

St John - Days 1-3

We started vacation on Saturday by getting up at the buttcrack of dawn and heading to the airport. Hearing horror stories about TSA groping patdowns and security lines of hours, we decided we should get to the airport arond 6:00-6:15 for our 8:20 flight. We had a cab pick us up at 5:30 and dropped by down the street to pick up Jay and Kim.

Of course, we were through security in about fifteen minutes. Figures.

Jay and Kim flew American and we were on United, so Mike and I headed to the Tuscany at one end of the B gates for breakfast. Why, you ask? Because there were pictures of divine-looking french toast hanging all over advertising the place. Count me in.

Once we were about done with our food, the parents and Grandpa Stratton showed up for breakfast, so we chilled out there until our flight.

The flight as a whole was pretty uneventful, and we got to St Thomas around 3 o'clock. We hit up a cab to the Red Hook ferry and took that to St John. We ended up getting the 4:30 ferry, which was then met by our rental car company and our villa company. The villa lady followed us to the rental car place, where we put my Dad and I on the driver list (me being the backup for sober-driving purposes). After that we headed to the villa, and were greeted with this place:


Pretty nice, if I do say so myself. The place was pretty cool and had four bedrooms and four baths. The downstairs bedrooms had their own baths, which was nice, but you couldn't reach them from inside the house. It wasn't too much of a pain to go outside down to our rooms, though.

Once getting our stuff in, we headed to dinner at the Lime Inn and then Mom/Dad picked up Jay and Kim from the ferry. They'd had a connecting flight, wheras ours was direct, so they were a bit later. It worked out well actually, since the car we had the first night only fit 5, and the parents picked up a larger car the next day that fit 7.

Sunday we pretty much just laid around the pool at the house and then headed into town to watch the Colts game ("game day baby!" says Jay). Monday we decided to take a drive around the island. It rained off and on throughout the day so we basically drove around the whole island, ate a lunch of cheeseburgers at Skinny Legs (the cheeseburger smell made me queasy, so I didn't get much down. But I did have a nice after-lunch snack of Goldfish and Berry Berry Skittles that helped), and settled on hiking to a small beach off the roadway called Salt Pond bay. It was so nice, and overall not very crowded at all. I didn't take my camera to this place since it was a bit of a hike and I didn't want it to get soaked. The boys snorkeled a bit and the girls and Gramps laid on the beach and caught some rays. Perfect start to vacation, esp since our bedtimes mysteriously migrated to around 8-9 PM (which was 6-7PM our time... not sure how we started that!). At least I was getting lots of sleep!!

Doughnut sadness, nicknames

With the end of Thanksgiving has come the day that I have dreaded... I am pretty sure that Dunkin' Donuts has discontinued their pumpkin doughnuts. So sad. It's become a Friday tradition for me to drop by and snag one on Friday (along with a Boston Creme for the Boss). They only had them about half the time though, so when I asked for it, sometimes I got greeted with "No." Not "We're out" or "Sorry, no more".... just NO. The Dunkin guys in the train station are such odd ducks. But so sad that I won't get my pumpkin doughnuts on some Fridays anymore. Ahhh, such is life.

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Mike refers to me as "Upper Management." It totally cracks me up - when people ask us if we can do dinner or hang out, he says "let me check with Upper Management." So funny. He's been telling me that the Sportsguy refers to his youngest kid as "The CEO." Want to guess what Dos's second nickname will probably be? It's good that I think that nickname is pretty funny as well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holy whirlwind, Batman. The last half of November has been crazy for us.
  • Nov 10 was my birthday and we celebrated by bowling with some friends on the Friday following the bday. The actual birthday was fun - there were cupcakes that I brought to work but made Hubs make (although I frosted... artfully piped-on swirls of frosting are not exactly how Hubs rolls). And then my whole group at work went out to lunch and the Big Boss picked up the check. I had a lobster pasta dish that was super good! Then that evening my brother's fiance Kim and I went to dinner at CPK because Hubs was playing flag football. Good food, cupcakes and getting to bed by 9 - sounds like this preggo's idea of a good birthday time!
  • Saturday after the bday, a couple college friends came in from out of town. One of the girls is in a surgery residency and is super busy so we hardly get to see her - but she was in town for a medical conference. So she brought her boyfriend and we all got to meet him! We headed to dinner on Saturday at Lucia's (VERY good, and very reasonable since it's a BYO. Here is a pic of all of the girls from that night! So cute.
Can you spot the three preggos?
  • Sunday my friend Amy M (from Michigan) had stayed with me and we are both pregnant so we woke up at the buttcrack of dawn. We snagged breakfast and then she headed out of town. All week we'd been moving the little stuff in the living room to either the guest room or the upstairs den, and once Amy took off my brother came over to help Mike move all the living room furniture into the guest room in preparation for the hardwood floors to be redone. After they finished I took Jay home and then headed to Logan Bar and Grill for lunch with our out-of-town surgeon friend and some other gals. I got down a good part of a bratwurst sandwich with sauerkraut, yummy! The rest of the day was finishing moving crap upstairs or stashing it in the kitchen cabinets, and then Mike and I went through our benefits information and decided which plan to be on. I did some major research and figured out how we could save some healthcare dough even after Dos is born. Now that is grownup stuff, dude, going on an HMO with your husband and baby. Crazy. For dinner we took the out-of-town friend and her boyfriend to Pequod's pizza, our fave pizza in the city. I think they enjoyed it, and I enjoyed eating pizza and spending some more time with them!
  • Monday Hubs and I started working on putting plastic over the cabinets/windows and making all the edges airtight. I lobbied hardcore for putting the plastic over the windows since our blinds cost like a million dollars, are cloth, are impossible to take down without breaking, and cost major cash money to clean and/or fix after I break them trying to take them down. So putting plastic over them and taping everything securely seemed to work best.
  • Tuesday was batten down the hatches night. Everything was moved up or to the guest room and the taping and plastic was finished. We sealed off the door to the upstairs and started using the upstairs entrance to get in and out of the condo.
  • Wednesday was Hardwood Day. We had scheduled to have the floors refinished AND have some of the kitchen floor replaced. I realized earlier this year that if we didn't do this project before Dos, then we would NEVER get to it! The hardwood guys showed up at 7:30 AM. Oy. I wasn't even there when they got there since they'd said they would be there at 8. Milly and I were in the process of retrieving Milk Chugs and chocolate Donettes from the gas station. But Mike let them in. Thank goodness he stayed at home for his 7AM conference call b.c when the hardwood guys started taking up the little bit of hardwood they were supposed to replace in the kitchen (from an old dishwasher leak it was all warped and messed up) - they discovered some pretty decent water damage to the sublayers/subfloor. The guy who ran the crew kept looking at me and pointing at the floor and saying "This big problem" or "This bullsh*t". I got that he couldn't just put new hardwood over the water damage and expect that to fix it, but he wasn't giving me any options. At one point, I wanted to say, "Look, you fix floors. I write checks. Let me know how much the check needs to be and I will let you know if that is OK or not. Let's talk options." Instead I went up and got Mike who ran through some possible repair scenarios with the guys. Finally they agreed upon a plan and a price and they got to work. Yay! They were pretty good too... they started the lacquer around 3 so I scrammed and headed to my friend Amy C's house, since that is the smelly part. I came back around 5:30-6 to close up the condo and make sure everything was OK and they were done. It looked great! I grabbed a few more things and headed to spend the night at Amy's since the fumes were too much for Dos.
  • Thursday was a normal day at work, and Mike worked from home at our place and left a bunch of windows open to air out all day. By the time I got home it was definitely OK for me to be there. So I helped Mike with a little cleanup and then we head to watch the Bears game with friends. I stayed with Amy again that night, just to be on the safe side with fumes and Dos, and Mike and Milly stayed at our place.
  • Friday night Mike and I stayed at our own place and finished packing for vacation, cleaned up lots of hardwood dust, and worked on washing the walls. There was dust everywhere! But we got it pretty cleaned up, enough to make me stop twitching at least.
That bring us up to Saturday the 20th, where we got up at 5:00AM and left for the airport for the last pre-baby vacation. That is another post altogether, but let's just say that we had 6 days in St John and they were fabulous! Pics and vacation recaps coming soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glucose test update

I passed, I passed! So excited!

It was not a fun test, let me just tell you. I thought I was going to barf a couple times and was so thankful that Mike could accompany me to keep my mind off things.

But yay, no special diet for Dos and I!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Pic from the weekend's wedding


IMG_0466, originally uploaded by agstratt.

A pic of Hubs and I. I was worried that this dress was way too bright for a wedding but I ended up getting alot compliments and I loved it!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pet Peeves.... these are my feet, dude.

When it comes to pet peeves, I have about a million of them. One of them that got triggered this morning is people stepping on the back of my feet.

Plain and simple: If you are stepping on the backs of my feet, you are WALKING TOO DARN CLOSE TO ME.

Geesh.

So I started thinking this morning... I don't know that I ever step on the backs of someone's feet when it's not intentional. I mean, I like to give a flat tire with the best of them (esp to the Boss as we walk to lunch). But to unintentionally step on someone's feet? Really? Do you have to be walking that close? This isn't Europe and this one foot of space on either side of me belongs to ME.

I don't know, what do you think? I just really don't think there is much of a reason for it.

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In other news:
  • My dentist did not yell at me today like I had anticipated. I've been horrible about flossing, mostly because I usually fall asleep on the couch around 9 and am prodded up to bed by Hubs. So I figured I would get lectured thoroughly. I'm very glad that wasn't the case!
  • I failed my one hour glucose screening last week (just *barely*) so now I'm carb-loading as instructed by the lady doctor today, tomorrow, and Thursday, and then fasting and going in on Friday for the full-on three hour screening. Wish me luck, if I fail I am majorly screwed, as carbs are about the only thing I get calories from these days. I find it laughable that someone who has gained ONE WHOLE POUND (woo!) during pregnancy may be put on a diet and exercise plan. I may get out of this pregnancy 10-20 lbs lighter than I went in. Wouldn't that be a hoot. It sure would save me time at the gym next spring.
We're off to another wedding this weekend, and I'll be sporting this dress in fuchsia. It's super bright, but oh well.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Pic

Here is a pic from that wedding last weekend!
Go, Forever 21 dress. Nothing like spending 22.80 on something to wear out for a fancy night :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween!

Another year, and not one trick or treater. Oh well! More candy for me! Here is a pic of me in the Juno costume.
I don't know what it is about the bump, but it makes me make STUPID faces when I'm getting my picture taken. It's like I figure people are looking at my tum rather than my face and forget to smile or even try to look presentable. I have Mike take like 50 pictures so I end up with ONE that I'm not making StupidFace in. Oh well.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Check out this sexy beast

Check out this picture of Mike in his flag football shirt... aren't these the most hilarious uniforms?Arrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekend recap!

So this past weekend had a couple fun outings.... Friday night I went to the Bulls vs. Pacers preseason game with my friend Stacy, and Saturday we had a wedding!

Friday, I picked up Stacy and headed downtown. As I told her, "If I have to be sober, I might as well also be convenient and drive." Parking around the stadium was $20 and we split it - and it was the only $10 I spent all night really (aside from the $10 I threw in for pizza with Mike beforehand....hmmmm, Pequod's) - so it was super reasonable considering a cab one way would have been $12-$15. The owner of her company is obviously really important because they had a skybox on the first skybox level right in the middle of the court. It was awesome. I could get used to that kind of treatment! The skybox didn't have food because they just do the full service food for regular season games, but there WAS a dessert cart that came around and a fridge stocked with all kinds of beverages (adult and otherwise). Stacy opened a bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay that I'm sure was awesome and we sat in nice cushy chairs and watched the game and chatted about everything under the sun. When the dessert cart came around Stacy got massive pieces of both carrot cake and brownie cake (I don't even know what this thing was, but it was HUGE and covered in caramel and chocolate). I opted for a chocolate sundae with vanilla ice cream and a huge sugar cookie shaped like a bull. I helped Stacy a bit with the carrot cake and once I was all sugared up, Dos started his/her Tiny Baby Party dance. I took the cookie home for Mike, who loved it. I also may have had part of the cookie for breakfast on Monday. So good! Check out how awesome the cookie looked -

Saturday the wedding we went to was downtown at 1, then the reception was out in the suburbs starting at 6:30. It was nice that the wedding was downtown, because I had a couple hours at home in between the two events. I took Milly out and headed to pick up Stacy, another friend Amy, and then Mike from downtown (where he was studying) and got out there right as cocktail hour was starting. The wedding was at this really nice country club and was really well done - the food was good and the music was fun as well. Although I sat at my table alot of the night (being on my feet is not so fun with Dos!) I had a really good time. There was a fun photobooth and we ended up staying until the end. Bonus part of staying until midnight - almost no traffic the whole way home, so we were at home in bed by about 1. Still, that's later than I usually stay up so there were copious naps on Sunday. But that seems to be pretty par for the course these days for Sundays. In a couple weeks, after his test, Mike can join the Sunday Me/Dos/Milly nap party. I can't wait :)

I took some pics of me and Mike on Saturday on a friend's camera, so I'll post those when she uploads them. But until then here is our photo strip from the photobooth!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Funny conversation.....

The other day I was walking back from lunch with a friend and saw some of the guys who work downstairs outside having a smoke break. So I stopped to talk to them. The one guy asked if I was bringing in my kid for Trick or Treating at the office on Friday.

I was like "Um, I think it's not quite old enough for that."

He replies "How old do kids need to be to dress up and trick or treat?!"

I say, "Maybe.... born? haha."

He says, "You don't have any kids yet?"

To which I reply "My doctor tells me there is one in here" and pointed to my belly.

There was a chorus of "Congratulations!!!" and "I didn't know you were pregnant!" pretty enthusiastically. Fun and funny :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Random notes

I feel like I haven't had much to write about lately, but I've still been doing some fun things.
  • This past weekend on Friday I hit up dinner with the ladies. We have been trying to do a monthly girls' night out, and this month we hit up Las Palmas. It was pretty good, but next time we're going to have to go somewhere with less intricate tastes and more carbohydrates... if I am going to eat that is! The girls seemed to enjoy the margaritas and the chips and guac were super tasty. I had a good time regardless of whether Dos would let me eat or not!
  • Saturday Ronda was in town and we went to see Michael Birbiglia. He was super funny and the Vic was great! I had never been to the Vic even though it's within a half mile of my place and super easy to walk to. I'll have to hit that up in the future - it'd be a great place to see a concert b.c it's super small.
  • After the comedy show at the Vic we headed to The Crossing to meet up with my friend Peter who was in from out of town. It was pretty nice, but started to get crowded around 11, so we bailed. I am totally fine going out all preggo, but when I start to get weird looks from 25 year olds or have to wait a long time to go to the bathroom, it's time to go! I turn into a pumpkin at midnight :)
  • A couple weekends ago I visited some friends in Indy and they entertained my Olive Garden craving by heading there for lunch. What can I say, there isn't one anywhere near me! I wish I could have their breadsticks (with alfredo dipping sauce) and salad for every meal. Heaven. I could take or leave the soup, although the chicken gnocchi soup is pretty tasty. That night we ate at the Cheesecake Factory and OMG their pecan pumpkin cheesecake is awesome. The first layer is a pecan pie which then had pumpkin cheesecake added on top. It was amazing.
  • A group from my Dad's church came up last week and we hit up Pequod's and the Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo. He had a coach bus full of like 60 senior citizens. It was so much fun! The music during the show was so loud that Dos decided to have it's own Tiny Baby Party and was kicking super hard. At least we know that Dos likes Johnny Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis now. Duly noted!
  • Last night I had a full-fledged craving and talked Mike into driving me over to North and Western to procure some Pizza Hut. OMG so good. Did you know that they have garlic dipping sauce like Papa John's now? Not exactly the same, but a good enough substitute (no Papa John's in the city makes me a very sad panda). And lo, it was good. Most I've eaten for dinner in a while. We left Milly at home while we went to pick it up so we could eat some pizza in the car without a beagle snout in the pizza box. Poor Milly got some pepperonis when we got home, don't you worry.
  • As you've probably gathered from a few of these comments, dinner (and eating in general) is still pretty hit or miss for me. I can eat like 1/2-1/3 of what I used to be able to eat. Breakfast is pretty reliable, but lunch is shaky and dinner is usually only barely tolerated. I'm making it through with plenty of snacks and have finally gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It's not so much nausea anymore, as I feel like I had a lap band put in with the addition of a giant gag reflex. Too much food makes me feel like I am going to die. Oh well. This, too, shall pass.... right? I guess if it sticks around it will be much easier to lose weight in the future. Haha....
  • This weekend I'm heading to a Bulls preseason game with a friend on Friday, and then a wedding on Saturday. Should be good times! I'll have to post pics of myself in my maternity dress on Saturday - dresses make me look humongo!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I think it's official...

Dos has popped!
El bump is definitely out. I'm still able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy tops, and those hide the bump a bit more. But it's definitely crossing over from "Is she just getting fat?" to "Oh, THAT is what is going on...."

I like my little bump :)

On related note, buying maternity clothes is more fun that I thought it would be. I'm finding good stuff at the Gap, Target, and online. Did you know Forever 21 has a maternity line now?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Groupon thoughts

Yesterday my friend Emily and I took a Knife Skills class at Kendall College using a Groupon. And this got me thinking about Groupon (the class was awesome by the way, would totally recommend Kendall College for this kind of stuff).

I used to buy Groupons all the time. Until I got pregnant, I bought one for about everything I was interested in. Any restaurant that I wanted to try, anything that interested me. Since I got pregnant, even thinking about food sometimes made me want to throw up. So I pretty much stopped buying the things because I didn't want to look at the offer of the day and possibly get nauseous just looking at the picture on the thing. Today's is for Erwin, which is a pretty good restaurant. But still I hesitate.

Firstly, there has been all this stink about Groupon hurting businesses. Like, if the Groupon is worth 20K, then Groupon gets like 10K of that and the restaurant gets 10K to serve 40K worth of food. Since restaurant markups are so big alot of the time, sometimes they can still cover their costs. But sometimes they can't. And that's where the drama comes in, b.c people say they hurt restaurants more than help. Which, in my opinion is a pretty dumb argument. I mean, if the restaurant is going to make poor business decisions, this just speeds up the Darwinism component to owning a restaurant. If you are going to go out of business you are going to do so with or without Groupon in my opinion.

Secondly, the other thing I've noticed is that alot of establishments that use Groupon are freaking MOBBED after the promotion. I mean, how could they not be? They just sold like 4,000 coupons. Oy. One of our favorite brunch places participated (in a very intelligent way I might add, but selling a $15 coupon for $7, which is only an $8 discount on what is surely at least a $35 brunch), and I can hardly bring myself to go back there after 9AM because it is so freaking crowded. Plus I bought a massage on Groupon, and the soonest appointment open was three months from when I called (and then the massage therapist called in sick and I had to reschedule for three months AFTER THAT, it was so freaking annoying). So now when I think of buying a Groupon for a restaurant I factor that into the cost. As in "Is this $20 discount enough to deal with massive crowds and stressed waitstaff?" Alot of the time it just isn't. Because again, it's probably not somewhere I would have gone ANYWAY, so it's probably not that much of a deal. It's not a good deal if the coupon encourages you to go to a dinner you probably wouldn't go to in the ordinary realm of your life, spend $70 you wouldn't have anyway, and also makes you have to deal with five million yo-yo's crowding the place.

Anyway, what do you think of Groupon? Have you had good or bad experiences? Or both like me? I like it, but I think I'll be a far less quick to pull the trigger on buying Groupons in the future.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pie, take 2.... a better result!

This week another sugar/pie pumpkin was delivered in our CSA share. It was mocking me. "Make me into pie," it said. "Pie that doesn't taste like baked squash," it said.
Since I clearly let myself be bullied by pumpkins, I had to take on the challenge.

First I pureed the pumpkin according to this recipe. Then I used something similar to this recipe to make the pie (the actual recipe was from my Better Homes and Gardens basics book, which I can't find a link to online. The only main difference was that it called for 5 oz evaporated milk and 1/2 cup regular milk instead of the regular milk that the link indicates).

It took ALOT longer to cook than it should have... cooking time was 50 minutes, and it probably took closer to an hour and a half. But it was a "deep dish" pie and homemade pumpkin puree has more water content than the regular canned stuff (because of this, I left out half the regular milk to make it less watery).

But it turned out OK! Better than OK even. So good that Hubs stood over the counter, eating pie and letting Dog have some scraps too. She was going crazy over the pie. Milly loves pumpkin, as we put some canned pumpkin in her food as a natural remedy to aid digestion when she is having problems.... so now she thinks that anything that smells like pumpkin is beagle food.

Let's just say it was hard to not have pie for breakfast! Thank goodness there wasn't another pie failure. I would have just caved and bought a frozen pumpkin pie and called it a day!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tip from Dad


On Friday, we had plans to have dinner at Deleece once my parents got into town. My brother picked the place and I'd never been there. So I pulled up the menu quickly to see what they offered.

"Oh no..." I sighed, as I noticed about four dishes immediately with truffle oil in them.

Truffle oil is my pregnancy kryptonite. The smell of it turns my stomach and even thinking about it makes me want to puke. If someone at the next table has something with it on their dish, that's it, I'm done. I won't be able to eat anything the rest of the night.

A bit dramatic? Maybe... But it's not like I have alot of choice in the matter. My eating weaknesses are one thing I've had to come to terms with in carrying Dos. I've NEVER been a picky eater before, so it has been super hard to deal with. And no, it doesn't always go away after the first trimester!

As I explained this to my Mom and Dad, my Dad piped in with a tip: "Do you have any VapoRub? Bring it to the restaurant with you."

I was a bit puzzled, and he explained further.... "It's a trick I learned when I was a cop. When we had to carry or deal with dead bodies. You just put some VapoRub under your nose and that's all you smell. Nothing else!"

Genius. So now I have VapoRub in my purse. And am cracking up that my Dad gave me a tip to stop the nausea that he learned from being a cop!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random updates

  • One of my favorite food bloggers posted about how to make homemade pumpkin puree the day AFTER I needed it. Oh well, now I know. And knowing is half the battle right?
  • I went to Tampa last weekend to visit a friend. We went to the outlet mall and I got all manner of cute maternity clothes and bought a couple sets of tiny onesies. I figure I'll pick up a few basics when I can for good prices, right? But OMG the newborn ones are SO SMALL. It's hard for me to realize that I'll have something that tiny in February. Well, husband was 10 lbs 12 ounces when he was born, so let's HOPE that Dos is little enough to fit into the newborn onesies! For my sake!
  • This weekend we had the fam up to visit for my brother's engagement party, and my Dad installed a new light fixture in the kitchen. The previous fixture, one of the tiny glass shades on the mini pendant fell down and broke. Do you know those tiny shades come with either a .75 inch hole or a 2 inch hole? Mine required a .9 inch hole. Finally I gave up and bought a new light fixture. It's soooo much nicer-looking than the last one. Love!
  • Dad loves to go to the diner up the street for breakfast when he is here. I love that he loves to go, because I get to have a Country Skillet. Hash browns, covered in cut-up country fried steak, eggs, and sausage gravy. Oh and with a side of biscuits and gravy. I split one with my mom and we still had 1/3 of it left to bring home. So tasty. Let me just formally recommend S&G if I haven't already. It's been around forever and it's a Chicago classic.
  • The brother's engagement party was a ton of fun. We had dinner at Pequod's, our favorite pizza place in the city and then headed to Zella's. Don't go to Pequod's if you don't want to split the bill evenly between all the people there, because the bill came and it was just a strip of adding tape with a bunch of numbers and no descriptions regarding what was what. I crack UP that we have ordered pizza there hundreds of times and they ask for our phone #, name, and address Every. Single. Time. Only pizza place on the planet to not have a computer system, but the pizza is so tasty I could care less!!
  • On Tuesday of the pumpkin pie disaster, I also made a pretty tasty butternut squash soup. I would probably make it with 4 cups stock next time, as it was a little soupy. But it was good! And very simple.
  • I've started feeling Dos move around the past few weeks and it's bananas. Shim likes to party right after I eat. I figure my stomach must be kind of loud in the digesting and wake Dos up. That's right, wake up during the day, baby! Day is for being up, night is for sleeping!
  • Milly has been such a good little puppy. Yesterday she curled up next to my mom on the couch and took a good little beagle nap. Such a cutie!
Hmmm, that's it for now! Hope you all had good weekends!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Disgusting

Dudes, I made the two worst pumpkin pies on the face of the planet last night.
DO NOT USE this recipe. It is partly my fault b.c I totally didn't read the reviews. But it was one of the only recipes I could find that started the pie from an actual pumpkin.

They look pretty though don't they?

Darnit, now I'm craving a pumpkin pie. A not-disgusting one.

Updated to add - they were awful b.c they tasted awful. The recipe didn't include any sugar or cinnamon, and it just tasted like baked squash. Gross!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Snickers cupcakes

Tomorrow is my coworker's birthday, and you know what that means... CUPCAKES!!

I found an amazing recipe for Snickers Cupcakes and sent it to to the coworker along with links to the cupcake sections of a bunch of other websites (my go-to's are Smitten Kitchen, Annie's Eats, and Martha Stewart). Luckily she picked the Snickers cupcakes! I was so excited to try them and I'm pretty sure they won't disappoint.

First I baked the cupcakes. As I took them out of the oven, I smacked one against one of the wire shelves in the oven. Of course since that one was messed up I HAD to eat it. Even without the frosting or filling, it was amazing. This might become my fallback chocolate cake recipe... even if it's a bit on the complicated side, I think it would be worth it.

After letting the cupcakes cool, I made a hole in each one with an apple corer. I chopped up Snickers bars, made a homemade caramel sauce, and mixed those to make the filling. Here are the cupcakes all filled.

There was a little filling left, so Mike and I had some out of the bowl with a spoon. OMG, good.
After filling, I whipped up the frosting and iced them, then topped with more chopped Snickers bars. The frosting looks a little janky, as my icing tip and I got in a fight. I think I need to buy more large tips - I lost my tried and true guy, and the other ones I have are for more detail. Here I come, Joann Fabrics, for more icing accessories. After seeing the cupcakes all gussied up, I am looking forward to trying a finished one tomorrow!
As an aside, I know alot of people diss on the KitchenAid mixer, but I know for a FACT that I would not cook 90% of the things I made if I had to mix manually or with a hand mixer. There is just something about being able to toss ingredients in the stand mixer as it works that is awesome. If any of you are on the fence about a stand mixer, I say go for it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dreaming

Pregnancy dreams are super awesome. I keep having variations of the same dream - I go out, get drunk and then realize at the end I'm pregnant. Oh noes, what do I do?! Obviously this is not something that is going to happen but it’s still funny that is shows up in my dreams so often.

Last week I dreamed I was in Bloomington, IN, where my alma mater (Indiana University) is located. I dreamed that for some reason I was there with Bill Clinton. So Bill Clinton wants to go drink and I of course want to take him to Nick’s. I mean, nothing says quintessential Bloomington quite like a pizza and a game of “Sink the Bismarck.” But noooooo……. Bill doesn’t want to go to Nick’s – he’s been there before and Obama dropped by his last time in Bloomington so that is SO 2008. No, Bill wants to go to the Bluebird. Which, I can’t really argue with – it’s not like Bill is demanding that we go to the Vid or some other such hole in the wall place that I didn’t frequent in college. The Bluebird was definitely a favorite – live bands all the time and 15 cent drafts on Wednesdays add up to a ton of great memories. I remember thinking in the dream there was a good band on that night but can’t remember who. Maybe Dave and Rae?

Regardless, Bill and I walk over to the Bluebird from the Nick’s area/IMU (walk! Bill Clinton!) and proceed to get hammered at the Bluebird. There are shots and pitchers of beer and general college shenanigans. But at the end of the night I remember I am pregnant. In the dream, I was about the same amount of pregnant that I am now – showing just a little but I could have also just had a big meal or too many burritos lately. So it wasn’t like anyone noticed that I was pregnant.

I am still trying to figure out why Bill Clinton showed up in my dream and why we drank in Bloomington. I will probably never know. But I do know that Dream Bill was a darn good partier. Plus, how many times will I get to party with Bill Clinton? Since pregnancy dreams are so vivid, I feel like it’s more of a memory than a dream!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday. I've posted these ten things about him before, but they stand reposting again. My Dad is the bomb dot com, and I hope he realizes how special he is to us all!
  1. His laugh. When my dad really cracks up, he rocks back and forth and scrunches up his face, just laughing really hard. It is funny, it's like his whole being is laughing
  2. He knows how to do everything. I swear to you, he does. I can call my Dad and ask him anything from investment questions to how to anchor some mason screws in a concrete wall. I am not saying this in the typical little girl "My Dad can do anything" way. He really can. Go ahead, ask him!
  3. He also knows everything. Closely related to #2. But seriously, it blows my mind how much this one person can cram into his brain. He knows everything from which little old ladies at the church need their walks shoveled during a snowstorm to how to whip anyone at bags (ahem, Calbert Cheny, ahem).
  4. He is super sporty. My Dad can pick up almost any sport and win at it. It makes me feel hopeful that my athletic non-prowess is a dominant gene, and somewhere there is a recessive gene for athletic ability that my kids may someday inherit.
  5. He more gets along with Mike. I have never had a problem with the typical "Girl marries someone like her Dad" stereotype because mine is so great, but it really delights me that they look forward to seeing each other.
  6. His committment to my mom and our family. We've been through rough times but I have never once doubted that we wouldn't get through those times as a family. He has set such a great example for my life and my marriage.
  7. He's not afraid of anything. He'll jump up and defend me in the middle of Kilroy's when some 6'5" chick threatens me. And he'll order a shipment of stone crocks from China to start a new business.
  8. He helps so many people. Whether he's going to Mississippi to rebuild or evacuate a town, heading the relief efforts after a tornado, or just visiting people in the hospital, he is constantly leaving a real imprint on this world in a positive way.
  9. He supports everything I do. He may play the devil's advocate with me sometimes, but he is proud of me and supports everything I do in life. It's amazing to really know, deep down in my soul, that kind of support.
  10. His big heart. He cares about everyone and everything, and loves me and the rest of our family so fiercely that I cannot even describe.

For all these reasons and more, I love my Dad so much! I am a total Daddy's girl, it is no lie. My hope is to spend many more happy and healthy birthdays with my Dad.

Oh and here is another point, #11. My Dad is the best Grandpa ever! He loves Gracie so much and I know he is going to be a great Grandpa to our little one. He was so excited about us having a baby he might have let it slip a couple times before I was really ready to tell everyone. Now he is so funny, going "I'm not telling ANYONE until it is born now! I don't want to get in trouble!!" Lol. You can tell people, Dad. I swear I won't get mad! Happy Birthday!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

It's about time....

To tell you guys why I've been a bit quiet for the past few months....











Some of you may know already.....







Not there yet..............



















Keep going!












I've been spending all my time feeling like I was going to throw up and/or fall asleep!

Yes, that means that all the trips lately have been alcohol-free for me (Vegas was super annoying sober, mostly because everyone there is hammered all the time, but Napa was actually still awesome!) but you really don't miss drinking when you feel hungover all the time because you are nauseous and exhausted.

I'm about four months along, due Valentine's Day 2011, and we are unbelievably excited!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Retrieving Milly from daycare

This is how Milly leaves daycare every.single.time. She is such a spaz!
video

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Girls+Jay Weekend August 2010!!

This weekend Mike headed to an Roast for an old buddy as part of the other guys' wedding festivities, so my Mom took the opportunity to come up for the weekend. And she brought my sister and niece with her! Jay was in town so all the siblings got to hang out with Mom and little Gracie. It was an awesome weekend.

Friday they got there around 8. Katie had forgotten her and Gracie's suitcases at home! Luckily Katie could wear my clothes, but Gracie is not so lucky. So we headed to Target for some Gracie duds before eating a pizza with the fam and then going to bed.

Saturday Grace woke up bright and early and immediately set about making friends with Milly. This included feeding Milly multiple chicken liver treats (those little discs that are spread about on the floor around her).

Then we headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which has no fee to get in! She thought the monkeys were pretty cool!
But the cows were definitely the coolest!
After some lunch and quick naps, the fam headed down to the Millennium Park. We got in a picture of us with the bean. I love this pic!
Gracie took a few "pictures" herself with her play pink camera. Jay proclaimed "I've got doubles!" and we all laughed that Gracie wouldn't even know what that meant when she got to be our age.
Then we headed to the big fountains with the faces for some toddler and Jay play time in the water.
Gracie was digging it to say the least. We didn't think she would get into the water fully, but the water that spits out of the faces' mouths gradually tapers off at the end and she was under it when it happened once. So she got unintentionally soaked. After that she was all about running through the water!
I've just got to say - these fountains are a GREAT thing to hit up with little kids. They love them, and besides paying to park, they are free. After fountain time, Gracie was DTS, as Jay says (Down To Snuggle). Look how moody-Abercrombie-model Jay looks in this shot!
Katie went out with some girlfriends from college, so Jay and Mom and I got sushi and stayed in that night. The next day we went to Bakin' & Eggs for brunch. So tasty. Gracie really loved my eggs from my Southern Comfort bowl, and powered through a ton of them.

Once we got home she wanted something sweet so I gave her a plastic cup with some Captain Crunch in it. Milly figured out begging with Grace is a million times more productive than begging from adults.
Oh, and this is what happened when we asked Gracie to give the doggy kisses and Milly was too far away. Milly got pulled a little closer by the ear. Poor Milly!
I think Milly had fun chasing Gracie around, as did I. But she was a little more glad to see Gracie go than I was. I had so much fun with Mom, Katie and Gracie here, and it was good to have all three siblings in one place for so long! I wish we all lived in the same place!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Napa, Day 3

Everyone was pretty slow-going on Saturday morning after the events of Friday, but we got up and made it to our first appointment at Honig. Honig is also a small winery and are very ecologically conscious - they had several displays about their energy use and environmentally conscious winemaking practices. Very cool, in my crunchy hippy opinion. While were there we made friends with a group of vacationers from New York that were hilarious (Major Accents) and our server was from Iowa, so we talked some Big Ten fun for awhile. We sat outside in the courtyard, which was pretty well sized and so cute.
After that we headed to another smaller family-owned winery called Arger Martucci. We were literally wine-tasting in someone's backyard. I want this to be MY backyard. Our server was very diminuative and sweet, and we tasted all kinds of yummies.
After this tasting, we were all hungry and were a stone's throw from Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Automatic Refresher) in St Helena. We got there just in time, as we only had to wait in line for about 15 minutes. Once our people got to the front, the line wrapped around the entire yard and had to be closer to 45 minutes long! This place is a fancy (and pricey) hot dog/hamburger stand but it is SO AWESOME. I got a chocolate milkshake that was to-die-for and also scored a chili dog and some onion rings. I totally couldn't eat it all. They do have more sophisticated dishes like an ahi tuna sandwich or fish tacos (which Meghan got). Jay got a double cheeseburger that was as big as his head.
My chocolate shake. So YUMMY.
After Gott's, we stopped by an Olive Oil store, which was pretty cool, then headed to Del Dotto. Around this time, Kimmy was a little broken. I bet she didn't think she could have too much wine, right?
Before a tour, I took a pic with my little brudder, Jay!
Del Dotto's thing is that they give you a tour with some wine background (here the tour guide shows the various types of toasting that they give barrels by firing the inside of them. This affects the "oakiness" level that you taste). Then they lead you into the wine caves and let people taste directly the barrel (well they use a fief.... I think that is what it was called.... to take it from the barrel and put into your glasses).
The wines are pretty good but they are pricey. The first location has a wine cave that is over a hundred years old and you can still see the pickax marks in it. The new location is opulently (to say the least - some might argue the word is more "gaudily") appointed with Italian marble and is Over The Top decorated (complete with Italian opera music in the background). Everyone we talked to in the region called it "Del Blotto" because everyone gets so wasted there. We ended up tasting 11 different types of wine, but the whole tour only took about an hour and the group DEFINITELY wasn't wasted! We did the tour in the old location on our honeymoon and it was way more of a party. We had a nice dinner planned for that night though, so no one minded too much. I doubt it was really worth the $50 tasting fee though, like the other location was. Regardless, I think everyone liked the wines (they only do reds and our group was a fan of the BIG reds!).

After that we headed home to get ready for dinner at Cole's Chophouse. Mike and I had eaten there on our honeymoon and it was super tasty, so we definitely wanted to try it again. Plus everyone we'd talked to over our three days in Napa said it was the best steak in the valley, so that was also encouraging. Dinner lasted almost three hours and was a pretty hefty bill, but was totally worth it. I loved loved the hash browns, my lobster tail, and especially the desserts. If you like steak, this is definitely a great place to hit up in Napa. Plus it's in the downtown area which is SUPER cute!

Well, that's it, that's our time in Napa. It was another amazing vacation and I think it secures a spot in my list of Happy Places. I would move there in a second.

Hey Napa, WILL AUDIT FOR WINE!