31 March 2007

Sautrday Fun.

Well, we drove around all morning and it was pretty much a bust. We went to look at a dining room table. Not so nice. We went to a couple of yard sales. Terrifying. We drove up around the new neighborhood to see how far the walk is to Constitution Park. It's a nice walk, and there is a big playground and a pool and stuff. We went to Big Lots, which is pretty much the best place in the world, and about a mile from the house.
Then we went to Dairy Queen and I had a waffle cone and Andrew had a Coke float. It was very nice. We also drove under the Clarysville bridge to see what's on the other side. Nice neighborhood.
Now Andrew is playing Fight Night and I'm just killing a little time. Tonight is movie night, I think. Erin Brokovich and Something's Gotta Give. Woop!
Tomorrow....no plans. Just church.
I feel huge. I feel like I gain about an inch a day in my waist. I wonder when she'll be here.
I am going to take a little nap, I think.

30 March 2007


I am tired. But I need to blog. I owe it to my faithful readers. Or whatever.
Baby first. We had our appointment today- everything is just peachy-keen, as usual. We have another appointment on Tuesday. From here on out, we're seeing our doctor more than we're seeing each other...
House next. We went to Lowe's last night and got some ideas on what we want to do in the house. We're pumped. And I really need a short nap before the 4pm dash. That's my cleaning spree just before Andrew leaves the office. A guy needs a clean place to come home to! :-)

29 March 2007


Ok, I've gotta make this quick since LB will be here soon.
We got the house! Woop woop! We close on April 27th. I am very, very excited. To celebrate, we're going to Lowe's tonight to play with paint samples. But now our paint samples will be even more fun, cause we actually get to paint something!!
We have lots to do on the house, and I think we'll officially be sleeping there by the 15th of May. It looks like we're going to spend a lot our summer trying to get this place in shape. It's not bad, but boy will it look nice with everything repainted!
Tomorrow is our doctor's appointment. The nice ladies at Coldwell Banker took one look at me and told me that we'd have Lucy on the outside by the time we signed, but I'm not sure I trust these total strangers.
I'm going walking on the track with LB and Suzzy. Not jogging or running. And I'm taking my water bottle and my cell phone, so I'm allowed to go.
This is a very happy day. Did you know that tomorrow is Katherine's birthday?

36th week development!

Fetal Development: 36 Weeks
36 Weeks

Congratulations! Although he may have a few more weeks to go, your baby is considered full term at the end of the 36th week. The only organ that still needs some time to mature is the lungs. While you may be ready to be NOT pregnant, remember that every day your baby spends in the womb increases his chance of the prevention of breathing difficulties.
This week, your baby may drop further into the birth canal in preparation for delivery. This makes breathing a lot easier for you, but walking becomes more difficult. You may be startled when your baby stretches into your ribs and bangs her head against your cervix. She is surely beginning to run out of room in those cramped quarters.
If she is not head down yet, your doctor may schedule an “external cephalic version”, which is a manual manipulation of the baby, turning her head down. There is a lot of pressure involved, but it can be a successful way to avoid a breech birth.The average size of babies in the 36th week is 19 inches long and 5 ¾ pounds in weight. Your baby is gaining more fat every day, and may be even forming those cute dimples around her elbows and knees. Her gums are very rigid, and she will be ready to nurse or bottle-feed when she is born.

Last month! You’ve finally made it. Are you starting to get uncomfortable? Many women nine months pregnant are dealing with swelling, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, back and sciatic pain, along with constant poking in your ribs. Your little one is finally running out of room.
Other physical symptoms include constipation, heart burn, bloating, indigestion, headaches, easier breathing after baby drops, more frequent urination as baby drops, increased difficulty sleeping, dizziness, nasal congestion, bleeding gums, increase or loss in appetite, leg cramps, itchy stomach, protruding navel, hot flashes, skin changes, fuller and leaky breasts, more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions, fatigue or extra energy (nesting), excitement, anxiety, relief that you’re almost there, irritability, over sensitivity, impatience, restlessness, carpal tunnel, tingly hands and feet, fetal hiccups, skin eruptions, and clumsiness.
Are you prepared for your delivery? If you haven’t done so already, now may be a good time to pack your hospital bags. Take one for labor and one for postpartum.
This month you will have doctor appointments every week. Chances are, your doctor will give you one or two internal exams to check your cervix for thinning, softening, effacement, and/or dilation. FYI, sometimes dilation can be misleading. You can be two or three centimeters dilated, but not have the baby for weeks. On the other hand, you can be ½ inch dilated and go into labor the next day. Lesson being, don’t put too much stock into the internal exams.Now that you’re ready for labor and delivery, be sure that you have all of your baby gear and supplies ready.

My night....

Times I woke up to take Tums: 3
Trips to the bathroom: 2
Times I rolled over on the baby and got kicked in a kidney: 2
Times Andrew tried to roll me from my back to my side in his sleep: 3
Bizarre dreams: 2

But Andrew had a face dream, and she looked just like me, with Cooke ears. Lucky girl. Of course, I had a face dream two nights ago, and she had a round little face with Andrew's nose. Andrew's current nose. I thought babies had to grow into those things, but apparently when they said, "She got her daddy's nose," they mean it.

I am going to eat breakfast. Then I'm going to start working on this paper. It exhausts me. I'd like to finish it today.

28 March 2007


When the poop are we going to hear about this house!?!? I can't even sing Petula Clark songs right now, I'm so stressed out. We worked out the financing, it all looks good and managable, and all we need is the go-ahead for the house. I am seriously going to pop a vein.
LB came over and made cookies with me! That was nice. Oatmeal chocolate chip. But what I really want is Lacy Oatmeal cookies, not oatmeal chocolate chip. Maybe I'll send these to Andrew's office and make the ones I'm really craving...When I'm under stress, I bake. So all I can think about is all the stuff I can do with quick-cooking oats. I need help.

Pre-pregnancy clothes....sigh.

I am wearing pre-pregnancy clothes today. It's nice. Granted, the skirt is elastic and the shirt is stretchy, but it takes me back to a time when I could wear what I felt like wearing...soon...I feel feminine and less potato-like today. Except for the foot in my diaphragm. But it's such a cute little foot- I don't want to move it.
I'm on my way out to the PO and to pay for the storage unit. We still haven't heard anything about the house. My nerves are shot. That's what imaginary decorating does to a girl. I need to slow down and relax. The nicest part about this whole house thing is that I'm very happy right here where we are. The house would be fun, and it would be nice to spread out, but I love our little apartment. Yes, it's tiny and stuffy and doesn't hold a lot. But we don't need a lot. I don't want our "needs" to change when we move to a bigger place. I like the way our priorities are right now. I love living here, because I never have to look far to find Andrew, we sleep with the windows open and listen to the birds, and I can snuggle in my bed and see the TV in the living room. I would like to have a dining room. A dining room would just send me. Right now, the only thing I do not like about our apartment is not having a dining room table. When Lucy can sit up for meals, I want her to sit at the table with us and enjoy having dinner as a family. That's my dream. My other dream is a washer and dryer in our home. Life would just be easier. But hauling laundry to the laundromat isn't the end of the world. At least we have somewhere to do it. I think I can be happy anywhere, as long as I have Andrew to greet at night and kiss goodbye in the morning. The rest of it just doesn't matter. If it did, we'd never be satisfied. As it happens, I am one of the most satisfied people in the world, living in this tiny apartment with my best guy. My life isn't always "perfect," but it's really a matter of perspective. It's perfect to me!
I am going to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today, just as soon as I get home. Tonight I'm going to work on my paper. I need Andrew to sit down and read it and reign me back in. I lose perspective easily, especially these days. I just need him to take a look at it and help me figure out what comes next and how far I have to go. At least we have til the end of April to finish it!

27 March 2007


I am pleased to announce that I have decided to add a culinary section to my blog. It has come to my attention that women my age cannot get past Minute Rice and microwave chicken. This is a big issue. I will be discussing simple cooking and/or ways to make people think you can cook. Every woman should be able to boil a pot of rice, for goodness sake. So, stay tuned. I'll have you cooking in no time.

Long day.

Andrew is in class right now. Tuesday nights are so awful. But it's almost over! Andrew is taking the summer off, and I am VERY excited about this. And, ATK is implementing a new 9/80 work schedule, so he'll have every other Friday off. This is beyond thrilling for me. He'll get an extra day here and there with Lucy, so we're all excited.
We haven't heard from the realtor yet. Jeez. This is getting nervewracking. It would be nice to know what's going on...I need to get on the financing stuff, if this thing is approved. I also still need to do laundry, but I can't carry it by myself anymore. I might have to ask Andrew to take me to the laundromat tomorrow evening...
I need some food. I'm making a late dinner, but I need a snack right now.

36th Week and looking fiiiiiiine.

This is me in our 36th week of pregnancy.
I still feel like I'm on the small side, but since there are a
lot of strangers who like to say, "Whoa! Any day now!," I
must be in denial. Oh well, at least I don't feel like a whale...


I have more to say.

One, I would like to discuss Aunt Suzzy, who is such a doll. Aunt Suzzy gave Lucy a beautiful silver necklave last night- it's an "L" for Lucy! I will try to find a picture of it. It's very pretty, and I know Lu will love it very mch. Aunt Suzzy is beyond pumped for Lucy, and some day when Lucy says, "Mommy, were you excited when you found out you were going to have me?" I will say, "Yes, but I think Aunt Suzzy actually died and came back to life when she found out." Suzzy is so excited. We will be picking her up on our way to the hospital, and she's going to wait impatiently for Lucy to be born. I don't know if she's packed her hospital bag yet- I need to ask her about this. I think we'll be able to get her through labor with fruit punch and cookies.

TWO, now listen up people. I am about to discuss my pet peeves.

  • Local commercials. Ack.
  • People who exclaim excitedly, "Guess who I saw!?!?" and proceed to discuss a celebrity sighthing WHILE THEY WERE ON VACATION IN A SUNNY LOCATION. Sigh. Ok, celebrity sightings of any variety bore me to death. I absolutely can't handle hearing the details about when you met so and so from a canceled reality TV show and he was so nice and you got a picture. Please. My only exception would be seeing the Pope at Country Club Mall. THIS is worth discussing. I dont know...maybe it's my upbringing. People are people, regardless of their occupations.
  • People who litter. This is pure laziness. If you're going to be an ugly sloth, stay inside. Nobody wants to pick up after you.
  • People who laugh to be polite. If I'm not funny, just don't laugh. Believe me, I'll do the same for you.
  • People who put their children on the phone, even though they can't talk/are too shy/have no idea who you are. The same goes for dogs and drunk friends.
  • Oh, yes. People who call you when they're drunk. Especially people who don't call when they're sober.
  • People who just can't "let it go." This goes for questions they think they have the answer to, friendships and relationships that are better off done and other various dead horses you just don't need to beat.

Well I must say, I feel much, much better. I am off to finish my email to Grandma Susie. She never litters.

A Monday for the books.

It's 7:30am. I did not sleep all night. One, I had a dream I got a job at a tire shop and I had no clothes. Umm....yeah. Two, Andrew read the Bradley book again last night and spent all night waking me up to flip me over so Lucy "won't be dumb." I love him. He always adds such an interesting perspective to my life.
The LDS went well. Andrew is a great speaker/leader. I sat in the back and worked on our counter offer. Our seller countered, and last night when we got home, we decided to just go for it. We will be a little house poor, as is the norm when you first buy a house. However, we will still be paying off bad debt and putting money in savings. Excellent!
Our counter offer is this:
  • Buyer pays full price. (Which isn't much...let's just say...it's a great house for...1/5 of what we would pay for it downstate. We would have tried to drive this down more, but with the following work being performed, we're getting a deal.)
  • Taxes paid equal. (This is fair.)
  • Seller removes entire current heating systen
  • Electric heating is professionally installed prior to closing
  • Basement window is replaced.
  • Main level and stairwell carpet is replaced to buyer's specifications.
  • House passes structural, pest and asbestos inspection prior to closing
  • Closing date April 30th

Yes, you read that right. Our current closing date is our due date for Lucy. But why make things simple? We're hanging on to the whole "If God is sending us this house, He'll give us a chance to sign on it."

There are a lot of small improvements we would need to make, but upfront, we will

  • Replace stove and fridge
  • Buy washer and dryer
  • Repaint entire house
  • Replace locks
  • Powerwash entire exterior of house
  • Start on landscaping in front of house

Slowly, there are a lot of other things. We want to make this house our home, and we talked last night about how important it is to us to learn to do the work ourselves and to work really hard to make this our home. Our children are going to have their first memories in this house. We want it to be a special place where they like to be. In time, we'd like to

  • Renovate the bathroom, make it smaller, and turn half of it into a laundry room
  • Reface kitchen cabinets
  • Replace kitchen backsplash with tile
  • Replace countertops with stone
  • Add butcherblock countertop between fridge and stove
  • Combine den and living room
  • Buy a mountable TV for the living room
  • Finish basement
  • Change lighting fixtures in most rooms
  • Renovate downstairs bedroom/add closets/remove paneling.

It seems like a lot of work, but I think it will be more time than money that we need to spend. And we have a long summer ahead of us, with lots of time to work on the place.

I can't wait to get the final word from Jim today. I am very nervous.

Otherwise, baby is doing well. We just can't wait to meet her. Andrew said this morning, "I can't wait to smell her baby smell." He's such a devoted papa. Baby smell is very important to us.

She should be almost 6 pounds this week, and is getting the hiccups about 4 times a day. It's cute, and while I'm sure it's annoying for her, It's nice for me because I know her little lungs are working nicely. She still hasn't dropped, but she'll do it in her own time. We have an appointment on Friday, and I'm hoping he'll do an exam and let us know what's going on.

Well, I need to eat something and get going on my day. I can't even organize myself right now. I need to make a list. I feel like my list could top 7 or 8 pages today...sigh.

26 March 2007

My menu already changed.

I am so bad at this menu thing. Jesse came by last night and asked us to come over for dinner, since they had a ton of leftovers from Lynn's scrapbooking thing over the weekend. So we went, and it was really nice to visit. So, since I forgot to buy lunchmeat, I'm scrapping the Memphis BBQ from the menu and using that for lunches, and moving Sunday and Monday to Monday and Tuesday.
It's going to be a long day. We have an LDS tonight for Andrew's Leadership class. An LDS is something that the GOLD Program does. Andrew and I both had the opportunity to work for GOLD when we were undergrads, and we really enjoyed it; it's a Leadership living program within one of the residence halls on campus. Each student is required to attend a weekly Leadership Development Series, and they eventually graduate from the program, depending on who their leader is that year. Andrew was a great leader when he was an RA in Frost, and I had the chance to lead for a short semester during that fateful trial run the first semester in Cumberland Hall. Ack.
So, because Andrew is in a Leadership class in his MBA program, part of their program this semester is to host a leadership event. But their event is on May 4th, and there is a chance he'll miss the conference altogether. So he's leading an LDS program tonight to make sure that he's coordinated a program just in case Miss Lucy is late and decides Daddy shouldn't go to the conference.
I'm going to go over to campus soon and print up a bunch of stuff for tonight, and maybe find Suzzy for lunch. I don't know if she's back from her Idealist Conference yet...her niece misses her!
I have a lot of other small things to do today. I need to run to the PO, drop off some bills, run to the grocery store, finish Andrew's FAFSA and talk to Financial Aid.
I'm glad I'm so busy today. Otherwise I'd sit her and wait for Jim to call all day, and I'd be one hot mess.
Oh, EXCELLENT news. Fort Hill High School is performing "Oklahoma!" this weekend. Date night, here we come! I am very excited about this. I love high school plays.

25 March 2007


Woop woop! The offer is in. Now we wait. I am not a good waiter. So I went to the grocery store and I'm going to make interesting dinners this week to keep myself occupied. Sigh.
I guess we need to call our mortgage guy soon. Well, Andrew does. Let's just say...it's easier to get things done in this county if you send a man in to do a man's work. Sad, but true.
Tonight we are having chicken-bacon-cheddar-ranch sandwiches and fries for dinner. Oh, well, I can put my whole menu here. Maybe this will commit me to it. :-)
Tonight: See above.
Monday: Cajun steaks and marinated crock-pot potatoes. Yum.
Tuesday: Memphis pork sandwiches & mashed potatoes.
Wednesday: Stir-fry
Thursday: Pizzas!
Friday- Chicken Breast with tomato-alfredo
Saturday: Date Night!

Now maybe I won't change it up this week. Changing your menu is a good way to waste money...sigh.

Louisiana Avenue

The view from the front porch

That white building on the right is the garage. The parking
garage in front of you belongs to the hospital. So yeah,
we'd have plenty of parking.

The dilapidated front steps.

Andrew & Jim on the front porch.

Jim at the back of the house.

The side yard- nice and roomy!

The back of the house

Back of the house.

LONG weekend....

Well, our last Pre-Lucy event is officially over. I have got to say, we're pretty pumped about that! Now we have a month of counting down to our little girl's big day!
I will start back at Friday. Andrew wishes me to share that I punched him in the face about 3:42am on Friday. Apparently my constant fear that his face-down sleeping will kill him almost killed him. I apologize. I just like him better not dead.
We decided on Friday that we are putting an offer on Louisiana Avenue. We're really really excited about this whole thing. We're gonig to meet up with Jim today and sign the offer so he can turn it in tomorrow. God somehow heard us over here in Frostburg and a lot of our prayers have been answered for this situation, and we're feeling really confident about making an offer. Maybe it's the elevation that makes it easier for Him to hear us. ;-)
We put a lot of stipulations in the offer, but we think it'll be easier to get them to accept it with smaller terms that they can change around. And, the house is showing very badly right now, so we think that now is a great time to put an offer in, before they complete the repairs and the weather gets nicer. I can't remember if I posted pictures of the house. I will check on that...

On Friday afternoon, we left for Hagerstown around 4, and got to the hotel with just enough time to check in and run upstairs to Suite 210. This was a big sign from the heavens to me, but explaining that doom follows the number 210 isn't really a nice way to start off the weeekend. Made me glad we were in room 135.
The rehearsal was successful, and we ended up back at the hotel for the dinner in record time. The highlight of the rehearsal for me was a sign outside the door that said, "Please places butts in butt container. No butt in parking lot or grass." Of course, it was about as good as "Toxic spray on stones." Maugansville, MD has some interesting ways...
The dinner was nice, but I ended up getting pretty sore pretty fast. As far as weight gain and physical change, I've gained the most weight right in my belly, and it's so heavy! It's always a compliment when someone says, "You're carrying her so well!," but to be honest, not carrying her all over means I have that basketball belly pulling in one place, rather than getting support from several different places. So the top of my belly gets very sore very quickly. By about 5pm every day, I've had my fun and need to lie down to get to the other end of the evening!
So I took some Tylenol, and made it through the rest of the evening. Andrew and I retired to our room by about 11:30, and had a nice evening, snuggling and watching National Lampoon Should Stop Making Stupid Movies, or whatever it was called.
On Saturday morning, I pulled Andrew out of bed nice and early and requested Denny's, because I was going crazy thinking about Belgian waffles. So we went out in the rain to find breakfast, but apparently broken waffle irons are a Denny's thing. I almost started crying right there at the table. I ordered French Toast, but it felt like major defeat...
We all got ready for the wedding and headed over to the ceremony site, and the wedding lasted exactly 7 minutes! Very short. The reception was very nice. We said goodbye to everyone around 8:30, and got back on the road. We stopped at Blockbuster on the way home and rented "A Good Year," and watched that when we got back to our cozy little place. It was a nice way to rest our sore little feet. I passed out about 30 minutes into it, and Andrew hauled me to bed around 11:30.
Today we're heading to New Creek to sign the papers on our offer. It would be amazing to see it accepted, but I'm sure they'll counter. We just love that house. If we don't get, we move on the way we have been, and just keep our eyes open, I guess. Once we settle on an offer, we'll have a few days to get our finances in order. I think that right now, I'm most concerned about all the stuff we will have to do AFTER we buy the house. One thing at a time, Laura...one thing at a time...

23 March 2007


Ah Friday...It's payday, and we're going out of town today. I like fun Fridays. :-)
Andrew and I worked on our Bradley stuff last night. It's hard for us, because no matter what we practice now, we still have no idea what to expect when the time comes. I know it's going to be painful, but how painful? I know it's going to be exhausting, but how exhausting?
We're both so excited. We always fall asleep on our sides, facing each other, so we can talk as we fall asleep. Lucy always flips over like us, and lies on her side with her little body just like mine. Last night she was lying on her side and I could feel her little hands and feet wandering around the "top" side of my belly. Andrew put his hand on me, and I could feel her little hand trying to grab at his and figure out what was going on. I'm going to miss being pregnant. It's the most interesting and fun experience. I'm starting to get sore now, but it's worth all the achiness and heartburn to feel her little head bopping around, or to see the outline of her foot as she tries to stretch out.
I am so sad for John and Elizabeth Edwards. I am glad they're continuing with the campaign. You have to keep going, right? And, I think it's important for the world to watch her as she deals with this. She's a strong person, and has so much to say about breast cancer and awareness. I can't say I'd vote for John Edwards, but they really present a strong and loving front through all of this, and I don't think that's a campaign trick. He has a lot on his plate right now, and I think that she is his number one priority, but I do understand their reason for moving ahead with his campaign. I suppose if you let cancer stop your plans, you're letting it run your life. Good for them for pursuing their dreams in the middle of this whole thing.
I have so much to do today. I need to pay "real bills." That means I actually have to mail things and drop checks off to people. Yuck. I'm sure Jesse will pass through here at some point and I can give him his check. I have to drop off our storage rent, and I need to go to the police department to pay a ticket. Andrew left the truck parked the wrong way in our one-way alley and went to Baltimore for the weekend. Well, at least he wasn't breaking a more serious law. I'd much rather he park the truck the wrong way than streak down Main Street.
I need a bowl of cereal.

22 March 2007

Pat on the back for Laura

I cleaned. I cleaned like a crazy woman. I don't know what came over me. This place even smells good. I feel very good now. Thursday nights are our fun nights, so I like to have a clean house. AND, I would really like this place to be clean when we leave tomorrow, so that we come home to a nice clean house on Sunday. I hate coming back from a weekend away and seeing the place in shambles.
I'm going to update my google calendar now. Good idea, Laura!

Not very Comcastic...

I wrote a big long post. My internet died and ate it. I hate Comcast. Strangely enough, I was so mad that I called Andrew and freaked out about it, (the fourth day in a row) and decided to take a shower and run my hiney down to the Comcast office to flip out. As I was turning on the shower, I looked out the bathroom window and the Comcast truck was rolling up. I threw my smelly clothes on and fairly flew to the poor guy as if he was a mirage. I yelled, "Are you here for me?!!?" He had this look on his face like, "Oh please don't let her go into labor over her stupid internet..." He said, "Well, apartment B said they were having problems..." It was like Highway to Heaven or something. I was tickled. It was like the Think System come to life. So "Steve and Ronnie" have been working on our internet all day, coming up to update Rocky and I about every 5 minutes. We all swapped cell phone numbers and we're just called back and forth like old friends. My internet is still shaky, but I am very pleased with Comcast's prompt service.
(Oh, Rocky is our neighbor. I'm not making people up, I swear.)
Now I will brief you on my lost post. I am so mad. I wrote all morning. Poop.
  • We looked at an 8-bedroom in Ellerslie. It was a little...large. An interesting place that was in our price range, but I am only one woman, and I refuse to clean a giant house. It was odd. It was strategically placed between railroad tracks and a large, fast-moving river. About a sixteenth of a mile from the house on each side. So, if one of the kiddies gets out of the castle, we have 40 seconds to find them before they're hit by a train or drowning in the river. It just seems like buying that house would be a shaky deal.
  • We went back to Louisiana Avenue again. We love it. It's in our price range, has a beautiful view and a decent yard, is a block from the hospital, and will be a "renovator's dream." I think we're going to sit down tonight and work out a whole bunch of stuff, and see what we can do as far as an offer. Our realtor is a great guy, and I think he'll really be able to lead us through this with little or no trouble. The biggest issue is going to be money, as in, liquid cash. BUT, we had GREAT NEWS last night. I followed up with our insurance and my previous temporary state insurance, and it turns out that with our new ATK insurance, the state insurance acts as a secondary, and will cover absolutely everything that Blue Cross doesn't cover for the delivery. So that means we don't have to worry about the gigantic co-pay! It feels like a very big weight has been lifted as far as that goes!
  • Um....other news. I think the baby is considering turning. That would be fab. I have my 35 week appointment next week, and would love to hear some good news!
  • Tonight is Grey's Anatomy. Woop woop!
  • Today's lunch is a PB&J, Fritos, Applesauce and a glass of milk. And if I eat it all, I get a brownie!
  • Tonight's dinner...well...leftover pilaf and something. The trouble here is that I have not thawed any meat. Ok, I'll be honest. We have no meat. I think I'm going to go to the store and buy ingredients for French Dips and Fries. Yep. That's what I want. And Andrew will eat rocks if he can dip them in something, so he'll be thrilled. Curly fries get him every time.
  • Tomorrow we leave for Hagerstown! I am very excited about this, because we're staying in a hotel, which I always love, and we're going to a wedding, and we're having crab cakes! My life is a dream.

21 March 2007


I just finished balancing the budget for the next few months. I am mentally drained. (As if that's not the norm.) This payweek is one of those weird "we have a whole bunch of unexpected things that you never plan for" weeks. Everything went all out of whack. Out of nowhere, we got about 7 bills we weren't expecting for various things here and there. But the good news is, we won't have to touch our savings with my careful juggling. As long as I can put something in savings from every paycheck, I feel like I'm on the top of the world. I'd put my right leg in savings if they'd take it. And I did such a good job that we're STILL putting $100 in savings. It seems like so little, but it's the discipline that matters. Even if I put $20 in, it's still something. Every little bit counts when you're about to receive a gigantic hospital bill...best insurance around, and we're still going to end up owing. Maybe THEY would take my right arm. At least we'll have our little sweetie to show for it!
So, tonight Andrew and I will sit down for our monthly finance meeting and go over everything.
But, that is AFTER we see a couple of houses and I take my walk. I think I'm going to head to the library and PO now, and then I'm going to head to the mall to wander around until 5. Andrew and I are meeting at Gabriel Brothers to drive to Ellerslie together, and then we're going to see Louisiana Avenue again. I'm excited about that. We'd sure love to have that house on the hill...looking at it as almost as good right now, since we're really not going to be ready to buy til the end of the summer...our house is out there somewhere, I'm sure...

20 March 2007

Weekend pics!

I make my friends peel grapes for me. With their teeth.

Beautiful West Virginia!

Driving into Keyser. It's a sad little town, but it's so pretty out there!

Ah...West Virginia.

NOW do you believe us??

New Creek. We like that it's "Unincorporated."

Andrew's office up in the mountains. Oh, the power. The mountains
behind the buildings belong to ATK as well.

"Pizza In, Pizza Out"

The Idle Browser Is The Devil's Playground.

I was going to start a long blog, but I keep feeling a little foot poking straight out of my belly, and I think I'm getting a "feed me or suffer the consequences" vibe from Her Royal Highness...back in a minute.

I'm back. Looks like the Lucky Charms worked. For the time being, anyway.

Well, we made an important decision last night. We decided that short of getting rid of out Internet altogether, the second best thing we can do is cut back to email, news, the blog and weather. The Internet and its "entertainment" is wasting our lives, to put it simply. How much time are we wasting in the evenings and weekends, by surfing the net and finding our entertainment there instead of real life? Plenty, I think. So, we're limiting ourselves to little or no Internet, except for basic needs. We do want to be able to get news quickly and email the people we care about, but other than that, what purpose is it serving? Last night we turned off the computer and watched "Dancing With The Stars" together. It's a stupid show, but we sat and cuddled and ate ice cream, and we were together. We're determined that Lucy isn't going to remember her childhood as one parent playing with her and the other on the computer. We have an active, vibrant family, and we want to keep it that way.

That said, I will now update you on our weekend. We had a GREAT weekend. We spent Friday night eating Chinese with Suz and her mom, and slept til 10 on Saturday. We went out for our weekend drive and spent 4 hours in WV looking at houses. I love our drives. We met up with our realtor, who is a riot. He invited us up to his church for a bean soup dinner. We'd had other plans, or I think we would have taken him up on it. This area is full of interesting characters. We went inside one house, which was on a HUGE lot in New Creek, but the house....ai yi yi...it was VERY large, with 5 bedrooms, a giant kitchen, etc. But it would need about $30k worth of work to turn it into "our home." I think it's still under consideration, but it's on the low end. New Creek is nice. I think we're going to try to get back into Louisiana Avenue this week or next. It's really in an amazing location, and it a really cool house, but it would really need about $20k in improvements. It may actually be worth it, we think. So we're going to get a second look. It just keeps popping up in our searches; maybe God is trying to tell us something. :-)
On Saturday night, we ordered cheesesteaks from Gianni's and watched Titanic. We hadn't seen it since high school, so it was fun. LOL, we were sitting there all sucked in to the movie, and Jack said something to Rose about the nickelodeon. My sweet hubby, who very rarely says anything without thinking, says, "They had that channel then? Wow." I died. He's a gem.
On Sunday, we slept in again, and then went to Mass at Cook Chapel. We ended up going to the computer lab. We went home around 4, and realized we hadn't eaten since 9. Andrew made me waffles, and I ran a bath so I could relax and read my books for awhile. Then he decided to cook. Now, anyone who's reading this had probably heard about Andrew's previous attempts at cooking. This one may have topped them all.
He gets all excited and jumps around and runs in circles for a few minutes, and then settles in to cook. This is my cue to get OUT. I see him putting pizza rolls on a cookie sheet, which I know he can handle. Then he declares, "Oh, but this is only the beginning." As he pulls out a pan and the eggs, I'm running to the bathroom with my eyes closed, pretending he's not about to mix eggs and pizza. He yells to me, "I'll take pictures!" Lol, ok....
So I hear him clattering around in the kitchen for about a half hour, and then he fairly screams, "Where's the camera?!?!," followed by "Do we have any salsa???" At this point I feel like I'm in an alternate dimension, but continue to indulge him, because I want to encourage his independence and creativity in the kitchen.
Pretty soon, he's knocking at the bathroom door, yelling, "Are you ready for this???" I was not.
He lowers his plate down so I can see it, and it is UNIQUE.
It's what look like an omlette, but with pizza rolls spilling out of it. It has cheddar cheese on top, and the plate is garnished with apples slices. He puffs up his chest very proudly and announces, "I call it 'Pizza In, Pizza Out'." So endearing and sweet. He likes to name new dishes. So he ran off to eat his new creation, and I settle back into my bath. He later admitted it wasn't his greatest creation, but it was still a turning point in culinary history. He also wrote a recipe, which can be furnished upon request. I love that guy.
We spent the rest of the night relaxing and just watching tv and yakking.
My car has a giant oil leak, and no one called about it this weekend. Sigh. I can't take this anymore. Pics to follow.

18 March 2007

A little bummed.

Andrew just yelled at me from the shower as I was mid-bowl-of-cereal. "Laura!!! I need you!!"
This usually means he forgot a towel or couldn't bring himself to stick his arm out of the shower to close the bathroom door. I was nice and went to the bathroom door, and asked him what he needed. Well, you know when they begin with "Promise not to make fun of me?" it's going to be good. I said, "No." How can I make a promise I probably can't keep??
Turns out it was just something invisible on his ear. Sigh. Not nearly as exciting as I had anticipated, and I had to schlepp my bowl of cereal with me to the bathroom. I mean, we're talking about Lucky Charms here.
Reminder for me to write about tomorrow: Nickelodeon, Pizza In, Pizza Out, Buckwheat and the toilet paper.

16 March 2007

Frostburg- this place is a sham.

www.weather.com says we're expecting 6-10 inches of snow. I don't know why I check that ridiculous site anymore. I really don't think the weather.com people have any idea what happens up here. We usually double the numbers they give us, and that's about right...it's coming down like crazy right now. What's really sad is that I was too hasty, and our down coats are in the storage unit, along with our sweaters. I was too excited. But I should have known better. I've been here for 6 years now- I should know not to put these things away until the end of April...I was just too excited.
HAHAHA, I just heard a snowplow hit a curb.
Frostburg's elevation is about 3,000 feet. This makes it a little town on top of a mountain. Population 8,000. It's cute. But cold.

15 March 2007

33 weeks; ah, the glamour.

Well, I'm back from my 33 week appointment. Since I had a bad nosebleed last night and some swelling this week, I wasn't looking forward to it, but it turns out the nosebleed is fine, since it stopped...and I've gained a pound, which is fab. Baby Cooke is just doing swimmingly, and Doctor H once again told me to "keep up the good work." I must be good at this people-making business!
The truck is out of the shop, $750 later...sigh. I feel like all we do is talk with those nice guys down at Red Ridge. Maybe I'll take them some cookies on Monday. They deserve it after wrestling with the S10.
We're supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow tomorrow, according to weather.com. Guess that means another 6-8 inches is headed our way...we usually take what they tell us and double it, and it's usually pretty accurate. I am so upset over this. I just put the big fat jackets in storage. Guess I'll head over tomorrow and get them out. Puh.
Tonight is pizza night! I love our Thursdays. We usually eat something good and junky, and then we cuddle up and watch The Office and Grey's Anatomy. Tonight we have brownies, too! It's going to be a Thursday for the books!
Well, I am going to do a little homework before my gorgeous hunk o' man gets home. I will be back later...I could have sworn I had something important to say.

Budgeting for three.

I am acutely aware of how fortunate Andrew and I are to be in a position where I can stay home, but sometimes it's a little discouraging to manage a one-salary home. So many people don't have this luxury, and I know that choosing this lifestyle means choosing a simpler way of living, and a slower growing bank account. We're so fortunate to live in an area where the cost of living is so low and Andrew's salary is so "high." Anywhere else in the world, we'd be paupers! We do consider that often, and we're so thankful for this unique and wonderful situation. We love this area so much, and there isn't a day that goes by that we don't thank God for putting us out here in His country. We met out here in the mountains, we fell in love here, and now we're raising a family here. Sometimes it's hard not having the city luxuries we're so used to, but spending a weekend in the city makes the drive home such a peaceful and happy thing. There is nothing better than settling back into our slow little world after a long weekend of family craziness and heavy traffic. I can only hope that Lucy realizes how lucky she is to grow up out here.
That said, we're slowly recovering and rehabbing from living the type of life we needed to in Baltimore. We have a small amount of debt that we're paying off in big chunks, but it seems like there's always something else! Most people don't talk about money. It's something I'm comfortable doing, and I feel like it's a necessary evil to gain the experience you need to have a good handle on finance. I think that I'll always try to discuss finances candidly like my mother does, because I really think that this new generation of debt comes from a generation of Baby Boomers who have enough not to talk about it. Money shouldn't be a depressing topic, but it is for so many people who have no idea how to manage it. I'm learning slowly, and we're starting off on a good foot. I'm aware that we're very young, and we can't expect to have it all at once. Just having a growing 401(k) and a strong life insurance policy is a huge step for a 23 & 24 year old. However, it's not good enough with a growing family. We're working on this stupid credit card; the balance is not big, but it seems like every time we pay a big chunk, something else goes wrong! I would love to pay off our student loans really quickly, but I'm trying to pace myself and prioritize!
But why complain? Money is in and out of our hands before we even see it! We have our health, we pay our bills, we have the Lord, and we have a lot of love. The rest of it will take care of itself in time. How fortunate I am to be able to be at home to care for Andrew the way he cares for me. I love being able to welcome him home to a neat and orderly home, and to have dinner on the stove when he walks in. He's such a simple creature, and he's also so grateful for the very small things I do. I know he hates going to the laundromat and the grocery store, and I'm glad I can do those things while he's at work. He's such a peaceful person when his little home is orderly and neat; it's nice to be able to provide that little piece of happiness for him. He says I'm a "plant within a plant." I think he likes the "behind every strong man..." concept. And in return, I have the happiness of knowing that we're taking care of each other in a basic and good way. There will always be monetary sacrifices for us to make. That's life. But we are so blessed to be living the life we've always dreamed of with a just enough left over to buy ice cream. Any more than that and we'd lose sight of what we truly value. Love, Laughter & Ice Cream.

14 March 2007

Burning eyes.

At 6am, just before the alarm was supposed to go off, we heard a "WHOOMPH" and a crash. It sounded like an explosion. Andrew got dressed really quickly and ran downstairs to look around, and of course I got the "stay in the house!" from him. He's really good at that authoritative voice when he knows I'm about to run outside and do something ridiculous.
Turns out a guy in a very small Nissan truck knocked over THREE power poles and into the building next door. It was a giant mess. There were live wires everywhere, glass ALL over everything and a truck in a building. Luckily, the poles fell sideways and didn't fall on the house. It would have been an even bigger mess trying to tell Jesse...the police and ambulance and power guys are still out there trying to figure out how to get the poles moved out and rebuilt. Andrew let me go out once he checked on the guy, who seemed to be just fine. Whew! I should get some pictures. Then again, that would probably be rude. (And my windows are in the wrong place...) Well, at least everyone is safe. Now it's just a matter of getting the power lines back up. Surprisingly, our power is still just fine! I have no idea how.

13 March 2007


I just got back from a 3 mile walk. It was very nice. I went to the library and got 4 books, I secured a storage unit down by 7-11, I went to the PO, and I stopped at Gianni's for lunch. That hill is a killer, but it's nice to feel what little burn I can still feel, being this pregnant. And the baby loves the exercise. She gets very wiggly and excited over it all.
Let's see...this past weekend was really nice. Mom and Nina hosted a beautiful shower, and everyone was so generous and giving to our little Lucy. It was so nice being around all of the women who make such a difference in my life!
Andrew and I met with Rick and Celeste about Lucy's baptism. I think we're going to do it in June, hopefully the same weekend of Josiah's party. We asked Lisa and Michael to be Lucy's godparents this weekend, and they were thrilled. I know they'll be wonderful. (Ack, I need to call Good Shepherd and get this baptism scheduled. I'm going to do that right now. Line's busy. Well, I de-registered from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, so that's a step in the right direction.
In that case, I'm going to be really proactive and get Dr. Menchavez settled as her pediatrician. I am such an on-the-ball momma.
Ok, well, Zeita was not in. I left a message. Good enough. I feel like a very responsible parent at the moment.
Andrew had his dentist appointment this morning. He has one wisdom tooth that needs to be pulled. That is going to be done at the very beginning of next month. I'm glad we're getting all of these things out of the way before B-Day; it'll make the event much more relaxing!
I get to move a bunch of stuff to storage this week! I am so excited. We have so much stuff and just not enough space! It will be really nice to get some stuff out of here and get this place a little more open and cleaned out. I need more space if we're going to move a munchkin in here!

12 March 2007

Pics from the weekend!

Here we are at JB's party!
I missed him a lot over my week away. It's just more fun having him close to me.

Jackie, taking a break mid-party.

SO cute.

Alison feeling Lucy.

JB focusing on his cake.


Mom getting ready for the shower!

The kitchen.

Nina having a fit about vacuuming!

Me before the shower!

Andrew showing off his guns.

Slacking. Lots to say.

First, a few more pictures of the rest of our trip. Here is Lucy at the wave pool.

Here are Brendan and Paul in their class. John was in a different class, so I didn't get to take a picture of him, but he was on a smile strike as it was, so I suppose I'll have to sneak up on him soon.

Here is me feeling cold and large in Jamestown. It was really windy and I had a foot in a mojor organ.

Here is Lucy in front of a cannon.

Here is Lucy in front of a giant anchor.

Here is Lucy in front of the Discovery. She really loves the sound of water, so it was really hard to stand still and take these pictures. It's easier to walk and rock her a little so she keeps her little feet tucked in where they can't hurt me.

09 March 2007

Suzzy reads my blog.

Ha, Andrew was wrong. I have at least three people reading my blog these days.
Andrew will be here today! It's been a very busy week. Today is payday, so bills are all paid, and we got out tax refund this morning! Woo!! What we need to do is put the entire thing toward paying off debt. We're doing really good. However, I think we need to wait til the end of the weekend to see what we still need to buy for Miss Thang, and then put the difference toward debt. I think we'll need to buy the carseat and the jogger. This leaves me with a huge dilemma. See, the jogger isn't really museum/mall/crowd friendly. But I really want it for working out, since the terrain in Frostburg is less that adequate for Graco's sweet designs. However, the carseat is going to be about $150. Well, a travel system is the same price, and it's got a smaller stroller with it. I don't know how well Andrew will respond to my plea for two strollers, but there's no point in buying a car seat when you can buy a car seat and a matching stroller for the same price. Hm. I am going to have to butter him up really good...his biggest concern is going to be storing them, but the Graco would probably just stay in the trunk of the car permanently, for the mall and other outings, and we'd be using the jogger around the nrighborhood, so I'd keep it in the garage. I hope he reads this today and realizes how sensible I am.
I am going to go upstairs and take a little shower. I do love my showers. Andrew will be here in less than 12 hours!!! Ahh!!! I love him!

05 March 2007

Comments for everyone!

I changed my blog so that everyone can leave comments now.
I just got back from a walk around the resort. So many children...I think that once Lucy gets ready to travel, I really don't want to do "family vacations." I know this sounds mean and horrible, but we really want to expose our kids to things that are off the beaten path, where people don't bring throngs of kids to experience all the same things. And with a giant waterpark in the middle of the resort, it's hard to get them to do anything but swim.
I'd really like to take Lucy to Africa when she's about 6 or 7. I'd love for her to see a bunch of different cultures and people, and to learn that you don't need to stay in your own country to feel like you belong somewhere. I feel like raising a kid in the US really cuts your off from the rest of the world. Maybe it's because we're so closed off from other countries. I just think that there is a huge snobbery that goes along with being an American, where most US citizens never feel the need to see the rest of the world. There are so many amazing things out there, and so many people I haven't met. It would be a shame to never try to meet them. I don't see how anyone can ever stop moving around and settle in one place. It just seems like there are so many places I haven't tried. I need to see at least 13 more countries before I decide on the best place to live. What if my best fit is somewhere in Ireland, or Mombazique? I just hate to make a decision when I don't know all my options, and I'd hate to raise Lucy to think she doesn't even have those options.
I think that's what scares me about Allegany County. There are so many different things out there, and I'm so afraid to raise Lucy in a town full of people who are so set in their ways. I want her to approach people, ask questions, eat anything, speak many languages, plan less and never settle for what's in front of her. I want her to know that there is always another way to do something, and there is always someone out there who does things differently. I want her to know that there life doesn't begin and end with purchases, and that love isn't confined to Mom, Dad, your siblings and your grandparents. I think the biggest challenge in raising a child today is raising them to be free of the societies around them, and to challenge them to think bigger than themselves and their daily routine. I don't care if Lucy never goes to college, as long as she lives a life dedicated to serving the people around her. I'm not the most interesting person, and I'm definitely not the smartest, but if Andrew and I can raise a child who relies on compassion, empathy and wit to get the job done, I know that I will have lived the right life.

04 March 2007

Colonial Craziness!

Our trip to Williamsburg begins with 3 very excited little boys.

This is them one hour later.

I took this because the word "Backlick" is too good to pass up.

Two hours into the trip.

FBI Field Office somewhere on 95.

Paul napping.

Some guy had his dogs painted on his tailgate. It was worth documenting.

We made it!

The Great Wolf Lodge. It's really, really big.

Paul and I in the waterpark, waiting for check-in.
And, yes, I am 8 months pregnant and looking fabulous. (The camera adds ten pounds, by the way)

John and Brendan getting off the waterslide.

Paul in the wave pool.

Brendan was having so much fun- this picture just cracks me up.

IHOP- The food made everyone but Paul more tired. The syrup went straight to his bloodstream, and he's back at the pool as I type this, trying to kill some energy before bed.

Brendan and I at dinner, waiting for our food!
All is all, it's been a very good trip so far! We're having a lot of fun. Tomorrow is the educational day. I'm going to skip the first half of the day to rest up a little, since I'm pretty pooped and sore today, but I can't wait to see some of Yorktown tomorrow afternoon! The boys have been great little travelers, and are having lots of fun. I think we'll probably end up at IHOP again tomorrow night- you can never go wrong with pancakes, and this family could live on nothing but. Ugh. I am exhausted. I'm going now, but I'll be back tomorrow!