Burning Lake of Fire

Before pregnancy, I had never had heartburn.  Now I look at food and my stomach becomes a boiling lake of acid.  This is the bottle of Tums I keep on my desk. It is guarded by a kangaroo that was given to me by a volunteer because we both have a babies in our bellies (you cannot see it in the picture but the Kangaroo has a baby in its pouch).  If you take my Tums or my paper clips the Kangaroo will get you!

This photo isn't that great, it is a cell phone photo.  Hopefully tonight I will finish setting up my home office and find my SD card reader :)


What a weekend

First, I have no photos for you.  Let me explain . . . . 

The weekend started off with the stomach flu.  Yes, it wasn't pretty.  Jason and I stayed home sick from work in torturous agony.  By Saturday the worst of the bug subsided.   Jason worked and I stayed at home cleaning up the house.  Then Saturday night we went to Matt's birthday party (Happy Big 3-0!).    Sunday, we woke up early and got to work (yes, we didn't go to church and instead we worked on the house - Sunday is the only day we have off together).  I found some very comfortable living room furniture at the Habitat Home Store this week for cheap, cheap.  In addition to rearranging the room we went ahead and knocked off a couple of items on my "To Do Before Baby Barks" comes list.  We got a new computer desk (and changed the location of it) and fixed (and moved) our falling down bookshelves.  Basically, we turned our house upside down.  Literally.  We got almost everything accomplished with the exception of setting up our home office.  Well, we assembled the desk (that took two hours) but we didn't get it all set up.  This is why there are no photos.  I don't know where my camera is or the little thing I use to download the pictures.  Hopefully, they will turn up in the pile of "office stuff."  


I've got nothing . . .

Yes, Internet I am still alive and I am not going to make my goal of posting 365 pictures.  I have the pregnancy doldrums.  I am exhausted, my back hurts and all my creative juices have gone away along with my waste (and sanity). Yes, I have started a great many post in my head, but they haven't got any further.  I promise to do better.  I would like to share with you a photo of the ice crystals on my kitchen window.  While I haven't really been feeling the cold weather, I must admit I love the frost on my window.  My old windows get ice patterns that remind me of illustrations in Christmas books.  

Happy Winter to All
Frosty Morning


Ice, Ice Baby

For My Sister Sherry
Ice, Ice Baby
This is a fountain in front of a big, beautiful home on Ocoee Street in Cleveland's historic district.  This photo is quite reflective of our current weather -- COLD.  In addition to the chilly temps it is currently snowing!  We don't get much snow in Tennessee so when we do it is cause to celebrate!  As soon as I finish dinner Ann and I are going to bundle up and take a walk.  I tried to snap a few photos but it is already a little too dark out.   Hopefully, the snow will still be here in the morning.  Please note, when I say snow I mean a light dusting (go ahead and laugh northerners).  After all folks, I am a southern gal.  It doesn't take much snow to get me excited!


Say Hello to My Little Friend

1.15.09  I used to have a waist
Say hello to my little friend
So, I thought it was time to give everyone a little pregnancy update and to show of my ever expanding mid-drift.  I am happy to report that I am feeling MUCH BETTER.  The second trimester has lived up to expectation.   The nausea has subsided and the fatigue has gotten manageable.  I wish I could say that the crazy has left, but it is still there and in full force.  The funniest things will make me cry, I obsess over everything and I am totally scatter brained.  I do think I am starting to keep the crazy under wraps a little better.  I am also constantly hungry.  I think I could eat 24/7 if I allowed myself.  All food taste amazing.  Jason seems to have adjusted better to pregnancy.  He has learned to not take my mood swings seriously and that it is best to just go along with my crazy.  He hasn't learned that when a pregnant women wants junk food you should feed her junk food, but hey, he is still learning. 

On the medical front, everything is just peachy!  We went to see our midwife today and everything is progressing perfectly.  We also got to take a peak at our little one who is adorable and very active. Baby barks was squirming and wiggling all over the place.  It just amazes me that a tiny person is living inside of me.  We did get a hint at the babies gender but I am not going to tell you what our midwife thinks it is.  She can't make a definitive statement so we will have to wait two weeks until we have our appointment with the technician to know for sure. Until then you will just have to wonder, is baby barks a boy or a girl!

PS.  What is my favorite thing about pregnancy so far?  Maternity pants.  Seriously.  Pants with elastic waist are absolutely brilliant!  They are SO comfortable.  It is like wearing Pjs to work.  


My dilemma

1.14.09 I want to be good, really I do.
My Dilemma
Yes, this is a photo of me with a banana on my head and a fudge round in my mouth.  I have been trying very hard to eat healthy. However, sometimes the baby wants junk food.  I try to be strong but every now and then I cave. Today, I caved.  Instead of eating my banana I devoured this fudge round I found in the office snack drawer.  I think it was the best fudge round I have eaten.  Maybe tomorrow I can be good.

I would also like to note that wearing a banana is quite reflective of my mood this week . . . Totally CRAZY.


The Weekend

1.10.09 Burn Baby Burn
Burn Baby Burn
On Saturday we had friends over for dinner. For dessert I made Jason's favorite, Creme Brulee. Of coarse, Jason loves it because it means he gets to play with fire. If I could incorporate the use of the torch into all our dinners Jason would be the best cooking assistant ever.  

1.11.09 Making Room For Baby
Making Room for Baby
On Sunday we started the tedious process of cleaning out our guest bedroom so we can convert it into a nursery. Our guest room had became a catch all.  The amount of JUNK Jason and I have collected is amazing.  We cleaned out all the drawers in the furniture (we are in the process of selling it) and pushed everything into the center of the room so Jason can start painting.  Thank you Jason for offering to do all the painting.  I LOATH painting.  I cannot wait until this project is done so I can check it off the ever growing "things to do before baby comes" list. 


On the street where we live

1.09.09 Nighttime in the Hood
On the street were we live
Our little home is downtown.  We live extremely close to Lee University and extremely close to section 8 housing.  We live on a hybrid street.  Some houses are nice and some slums.  We have mix of homeowners and low income rentals.  There were more than a few folks who were leery of our home location due to its proximity to low income housing.  But the house was cute, cheap and we loved the fact that we could walk or bike to downtown parks and the greenway.  So, we bought it, and couldn't be happier with our investment. For the most part, our street is peaceful and I always feel safe in our little neighborhood.


So Fresh n' so clean clean

So fresh 'n so clean clean
All the rain has turned our back yard into a mud pit. I am so sick of mud. Because of the condition of the yard, the pups haven’t had a lot of outside playtime. However, the weather has been pretty the last two days so Jason decided to let them run free for a while. This meant that they came straight in the house and into the tub. Giving little Prissy a bath has never been hard but bathing Ann has proven to be an adventure in the past. Ann's puppy stage was hard. She would get so keyed up that she would act like an absolute idiot. We had never had a puppy before. When we adopted Prissy she was over a year old. Yes puppies are cute, but they will make you crazy. There were many times that Jason and I contemplated giving Ann away. Often this discussion was after bath time.  She would squirm, wiggle and shake the entire time. The last time we gave her a bath inside (in the summer we would bath her in the yard with the hose) Jason had to get in the tub with her. Which was hilarious, but not fun for Jason.  This time around, she was golden.  She let Jason scrub her down and then patiently waited while Jason rinsed Prissy.  She didn’t try to escape and she didn’t even shake.  Her behavior was a shocking and pleasant surprise. I must admit, I am glad we stuck it out with Ann.  She is growing up to be a very sweet and well behaved dog. Congratulations Ann, we are going to keep you!

Just for kicks, here are some individual shots of the girls during the bath time extravaganza!




The Story of Prissy

I couldn't tell you how many times I have said "her name is Prissy but we didn't name her that." Not that there is anything wrong with that name. Once I openly stated my dislike for the name Prissy to some one who actually had an animal named Prissy. It was awkward. Regardless of your thoughts on the the name, it just doesn't fit "us." I never imagined that we would have a dog named "Prissy." To be honest, I never imagined having a dog. The truth be told, I have never been an animal person. I realize that those of you who read my blog will find this totally unbelievable. I post more photos and write about the dogs more than I do my own husband. However, it is true that up until little Prissy joined our family, I hated dogs. Ask any member of my family and they will agree. They still laugh at the notion of me with two dogs, one of which sleeps in our bed.

So, how did we come to be dog lovers? We happened to drop by a The Ark, a pet rescue shelter in town, on the 4th of July. Having just purchased our first home a few weeks before, Jason decided it was time for a dog. When we strolled into the Ark we both immediately noticed Prissy. She was on the only dog in the place that wasn't barking. She had just arrived there after a week long stay at the vet. The guy running the shelter that day didn't know anything about her past. He welcomed us to take her out and play with her. So we opened the crate door and she cowered in the corner. She was terrified. It was obvious that she had been mistreated before the Ark found her. She was scrawny and her hair was a mess. After a few minutes we coaxed her out. We spent the next 20 minutes trying to get her to warm up to us. Honestly, she never really did. However, you could tell that she was really sweet and really needed love. Despite her sad state, I was ready to leave her there. Sometimes folks, I can be a heartless witch (edited for the kiddies). I wasn't really sure if I was ready for the responsibly of a pet and Prissy was literally the first dog we had looked at. While I was unsure, Jason was convinced that she was OUR DOG. After a lengthy discussion he won and we left the Ark with her.

The first order of business was to change her name. I know that it is supposed to be easy to do but is wasn't. The only name she would half respond to was Prissy. She was so sad those first few days. She would barely let us touch her. Finally, we caved and started calling her by the name Prissy. She would at least come to the name (most of the time). Slowly, she warmed up to us as she realized that she was safe and loved. By the time she became comfortable with us we felt it would be mean to change her name. Also, while it pains me to admit this, the name fits. She is in fact quite Prissy. She loves to be cuddled and pampered and hates to get muddy. I have thanked Jason over and over again for insisting that we adopt her. In addition to being an adorable puppy, she was also a wonderful companion to me in the months after my mom's death. Jason's job at the time required him to travel a lot leaving me and Prissy home alone. She was a wonderful friend. She has wiggled her way into our hearts and turned us into the crazy dog people we are.

Here is one of my favorite photos of Prissy. This was taken in the first few months she was in our family.



My first love

Coffee, I owe you an apology
My First Love
I am a coffee lover. I always have been. From a very young age my mom and I would share our morning coffee together. Of course, when I was a child it was mostly milk. There are stories of me rolling out of bed at age three, rubbing my eyes, and begging for my coffee. Coffee has always been soothing to me. It reminds me of home and my mom. However, here lately I have been cheating on my beloved beverage. Pregnancy has made the smell of coffee a bit nauseating. So, I started exploring the possibility of drinking hot tea. Initially, it was just harmless flirting. A little taste here, a little taste there, totally innocent. Innocent until I found P.G.Tips tea (oh no, the dancing monkey on their website only makes them love them more!). This tea is special. It is flavorful, rich and absolutely perfect with a little cream and sugar. I must confess that I have had a cup of P.G. Tips everyday for the past week. I know, I should be ashamed. I still love you coffee, I promise this is just a fling. Please forgive me. Hopefully, when my affair with P.G. is done you will have me back despite my indiscretion. Maybe I can make room for the both of you? Maybe we have a little hot beverage polygamy? Sigh. What is a girl to do?


Rain, Rain Go Away

1.6.09 Lake Front Property
Lake Front Property
This is my backyard, completely flooded.  Fortunately, the slant of our yard has kept the great lake from getting up under our house.  During warmer (dryer) months we spend a lot of time in the yard.  It is sad to look out at it now.  The water has washed away my landscaping as well as knocked over our chairs and strewn empty flower pots, that were stored under our barn, all over our yard.  It seems like a life time ago that we roasted marshmallows and wasted hours just hanging out by the fire pit.  How many more months until spring? 


365 - Sick Day

1.5.09 Keeper of the Kleenex
Keeper of the Kleenex
Baby and I have a terrible cold.  I only worked a half day today.  I came home, curled up on the sofa and didn't move.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will start to feel better. Prissy is an excellent companion when you are sick.  She loves nothing more than to cuddle.    


The weekend - Project 365

1.3.09 Foggy
1.3.09 foggy
Every morning I look out my kitchen window as I make my morning coffee.  This morning I looked out and saw nothing but gray.  The intense fog combined with the bare trees made for a bleak morning view.  Every time I see fog I think of cats thanks to this poem I read in high school:
FOG by  Carl Sandburg

The fog comes 
on little cat feet.

It sits looking 
over the harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

1.4.09 Prissy and Planet Earth
1.4.09 Planet Earth
Jason and I have started watching the Planet Earth Series on DVD. Our little dog Prissy, who never pays any attention to the TV, was riveted.  This is the back of her head as she watched a grizzly bear who lives in the Rocky Mountains.  Her favorite part of the installment we watched was the Ethiopian baboons.  She stood up at the very edge of the sofa with her ears sticking up. She intensely watched their every move.  I wish I had a picture of this, but we were to busy laughing at her.  

PS.  We just got our flat screen TV (thank you Jason's parents) and we don't know what to do with all the wires.  They look awful, any suggestions???


Project 365

Watch out internet . . .I have a new year's mission to post 365 pictures! Oh yes, a photo for each day! I was reading The Miles Family Adventures and Jennifer mentioned that she was going to try to do Project 365. After a little research, I decided that I too needed to participate. The idea is to capture your life in little snippets. The photos can be of people, places or objects. The goal is that at the end of the year you can look back and remember all the little things we tend to forget. Also it provides people a glimpse into your daily life. I realize that with the baby coming I might not be able to post a photo each day but I am really going to try to come as close as I can. So, get ready you are about to see a ton of random pictures. Here is my first one . . .

Jan. 2, 2008
My life on the computer
My life on the computer
I start my day by checking my email. They I go to work where I sit in front of a computer. Once I get home, I once again check my email and check up on all the blogs I follow. Some days I feel as though most my life is lived sitting in front of a computer. I think I would like this photo to serve as a reminder to break free once in and while.

Do you have a blog and camera? Please feel free to join me!

A New Year Full of New Things

I love New Year's, it is a new beginning. It is refreshing, like clean white sheets. I am always reflective this time of year. I spend a lot of time thinking about our lives and what we accomplished the previous year. For us it has seemed that each of the past few years have had a theme. 2006 was the year from hell, I am not exaggerating. It was the year that my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and we moved to Florida to help take care of her. If dealing with finding out your mom (the only parent you have ever had) has terminal cancer wasn’t enough Jason's parents both had surgery and we both ended up in the ER. Not only did we have to go to the ER but we went without insurance which is very expensive and scary. 2007 was the year of loss. My mother died in June. My mom and I were very close. Watching her take her last breath is the most profound event in my life to date. Losing her was losing a part of me. I spent the remainder of the year struggling to learn who I was without my mom.

As I look back at this year, I realize that 2008 has been good. Really good. The year of stability. I still miss my mom every day, but I have found my footing again. Jason and I have finally settled down. For the first time in our marriage I feel like we have made a home. A real home. It is funny because when we were in college we were both so opposed to staying in Cleveland. Now, I don't want to leave. It feels like home, it is where I belong. I love my job and our friends. I like the fact that most the time when I am out running errands I see at least one person I know. We moved a lot in the first part of our marriage and I think we really needed the stability that we have found this year. As for 2009, no one knows for sure. Well, I do know that we have a baby on the way and I am pretty sure that the baby may dominate the year. I am going to go ahead and call it -- 2009 Year of the Baby!

I hope everyone has a wonderful year full of joy. We all have a clean slate and new start. In addition to my yearly themes, I also love New Year's resolutions. I know they are cheesy. I also know that a lot of people don't follow through on them, but I love them. Every year I create a few resolutions and try to see them through to completion. While, I have had a few failures, for the most part I am pretty successful. My primary resolution is to organize our personal paper work. I realized that it was time to do this when I found my 2007 tax returns stuffed in the drawer in my coffee table. I am an adult and adults have file cabinets. They keep their tax returns in neat well labeled files, not in coffee tables. It is time to cross the final hurdle between me and adulthood. It is time to purchase a file cabinet. In addition to filing, I have few other goals such as surviving life with a new born, organizing our closets and starting a book club. Do you have any new year’s resolutions? If, so I would like to hear them!

Happy 2009!