Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bebe Sophie Arrive!

Yesterday we went to the doctor and we were told that we should "propmptly" proceed to the hospital because it was time to deliver the baby. Friday had brought preeclampsia into the picture and by Tuesday things hadn't improved.

We headed home to pick up the infamous hospital bag, feed the cat, etc. and on Thisbe's earlier advice I also took the opportunity to shower and wash my hair.

Once we got to the hospital I was given a prostoglandin hormone thingie to get things moving and by 11:30 I had become the mayor of cramp village. Not to mention that I had also managed to drop my fetal monitor in the toilet, and I felt like a kid when Husband smuggled in Burger King and I had to hide my fries from the doctor. So, back to the cramps-- Ambien? Please, that's not working? Demerol? Try again. I asked the nurse whether the contractions I was experiencing were the same as ones I would feel after having pitocin. Her answer was along the lines of not really and that while sometimes the prostoglandin can cause spontaneous labor, its not likely in a first pregnancy.

Not feeling well is an understatement. Prostoglandin not likely to cause spontaneous labor in a first pregnancy? Meet the exception that proves the rule. Pitocin? There was no pitocin. By about 5:30am, after repeatedly making the Husband run interference with the hospital staff I was finally given an epidural. Suddenly I became a mix of Lindsey Lohan and Ray Milland from the Lost Weekend. Apparently I passed out long enough to get myself from 3 centimeters dialated to 10 centimeters. I have no recollection of anything that happened from after the epidural until about 8am when Doctor Shapiro said: "you're fully dilated, let's have this baby". According to the Husband I was verbal, but less than coherent, including at one point saying: "We missed the 7:29" I do vaguely remember answering questions in completely incoherent manners, but what can you do?

8am comes, Dr. Shapiro breaks my water (with what seems like to Husband a home depot paint stirrer) and I'm told to push. Easier said than done! Pushing it hard to describe. After a bit I was able to feel the contraction pressure and start to push, but meanwhile one of our Labor nurses, Jung, was being a complete drill sargent. Jung would shout "push-push-push-push-more-more-count to ten, Breathe!"

Breathe, don't breathe, push, don't push, put your legs up, relax your legs. Quite a work out. Luckily, Baby Sophie emerged at 9:09am (approximately 69 minutes after the initial direction to push!).

Turns out Sophie, at seven pounds thirteen ounces was a little big and my pelvis was a little small, so the combination required the assistance of forecepts. Sophie is fine, but I do believe she may now have gained a lifelong irrational fear of salad tongs.

All in all by this point I was feeling okay. I am still on magnesium to try and lower my blood pressure, but as a counterpoint to that, I keep being hounded by the breast feeding gestapo.

I'm open to trying breast feeding but am also hesitant because I take enough synthroid on a daily basis to drop a small hippo and am not to comfortable with the idea of this being passed on to the baby. But, at first I give it a try-- we worked for about 5 to ten minutes and Sophie seemed a natural, though also rather preturbed that no milk was coming out. She much preferred the bottle and seeing her appetite I can now feel vindicated that half of the crap I ate while pregnant was a direct command from the growing baby Sophie. Then the lactation consultant comes in. Can't answer any of my questions and when I ask to postpone our fuller discussion until tomorrow when I'm more coherent, she goes off in a huff. Next is one of the nurses-- she's pushing me to wake up Sophie and try and breast feed. Okay, but based on advice from Texas Jack, why again, are we waking a sleeping baby? Isn't getting the baby to sleep our number one goal? Fine, the nurse decides to wake Sophie by stripping her out of her swaddled woobie clothes, which does not lead to a happy baby. Then I pick up Soph and try again with the breast feeding. It is at this point where the nurse actually grabs my boob and tries to start "showing me" the "proper" technique. Okay, first off, I don't like being partially naked in front of strangers, secondly, I'd prefer it if strangers would not handle my breasts and third, while the baby has no teeth she certainly does have strong gums and now that we've woken her she's just not a happy little person. All I can say is its a good thing I'm a bit loopy from the high blod pressure meds otherwise curse words would have been hurled.

Anyhoo, baby is here, she is beautiful and over all the birthing process wasn't as bad as I had expected. Pictures to follow!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blog suggestions...

The other day, the Husband told me a story and said that it was blogworthy, so here goes. The Husband has a lot of problems with one of his big toes. It seems that things always get dropped on the toe, etc., etc... One day not too long ago he dropped a humidifer and it of course squarely hit the toe right where the nail meets the actual toe. Blackening of toenail ensued and then we had to hear about how the toenail was going to "fall off". I still maintain that this is just not something that happens to women. I mean I'm sure there are women who prove the rule, but as a general matter I have never expected that one of my nails will actually "fall off", though I know this has happened before to the Dad, and now, to the Husband. So the Husband keeps feeling the need to give me progress reports on the toe. I invoke the "it will induce my labor if you keep talking about this" claim, and while it is a low blow, it isn't enough to get the discussions (albeit onesided) to abate.

The final discussion point happened on Friday. The Husband told me that the nail had finally fallen off.... unfortunately, he left it on his desk at work. Not too often that you expect to hear that is it?


I know that this month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars, and I am a big fan of Star Wars, but enough already on Cinemax. It's like the Star Wars franchise are the only movies they have these days. Everytime you flip past any Cinemax (other than the "adult" channels) it's playing some part of the series. Last night, 1am, its Return of the Jedi. One can only watch Yoda die so many times before a little bit of the magic disappears.

Lindsey Lohan with another DUI and in rehab again, clearly that "talking to" from Jane Fonda wasn't very effective.

Did anybody watch this Sunday's Meet the Press? Bill Richardson was the guest. Here I am in my kitchen making crispy crowns, cream cheese eggs and toast and I've got this on in the background and at first I'm thinking, okay, this guy sounds like a boob, what the heck is he doing on tv and then I see beneath his picture "Democratic Presidential Candidate". Oh dear. At one point Tim Russert starts talking about how when Richardson was the Secretary of Energy we lost various nuclear secrets from Los Alamos, etc. Richardson's witty retort? To discuss how during his tenure as Secretary of Energy he got the "Energy Star" rating on air conditioners and various other household appliances.

Russert begins discussing how Richardson is a shareholder in Valero? Richardson's answer (which was repeated many times) "I've got to make a living". You're the fricking governor of New Mexico, isn't that a living enough? No, let's believe that you are strong on energy policy meanwhile you've got stock in Valero. Gee, Bill. There's a Valero down the street from my house and the Sikh man who runs it is really mean. Can you do something about that?

Anyhoo, in other news, going this morning for another biophysical profile (I feel a bit like Katie Holmes, it may have been more cost effective for Blue Cross Blue Shield if we had just purchased the ultrasound equipment at this point) and then back to the doctor at 2pm. Blood pressure this morning? 165/100. Nice. Because I was so aggravated while sleeping.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

At World's End...

This afternoon we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. We lasted 2 out of the 2 hours and 45 minutes. What can I say, we looked at each other and said, its sunny outside, we have the pool and we could be barbequeing right now. Had it been a rainy day or nighttime I think we could have lasted, but unfortunately, we just couldn't.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Press Conference...

This morning at 11am Eastern, President Bush decided to give a Rose Garden press conference. Ostensibly it was to discuss the war in Iraq and the newly proposed immigration plan. Really, we all know it was to take some heat off of the Rosie/Elisabeth debacle. Why else would he chose to preempt The View?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reason Number 657 Why I Love Saks

As I mentioned yesterday, Saks is my happy place. This afternoon that fact was proven correct once again.

Last week I dropped off a sweater and a scarf at the dry cleaners. Not just any scarf, a Missoni scarf that the Dad treated me to back in February. Since February I've worn it quite a bit, it's black, green and white and all was going well until my last day of work when I managed to spill Ben & Jerry's Cookies and Cream ice cream on it. I managed to dab off all of the ice cream, but I'm a bit of a moth-control freak, so I was concerned that I should probably have the scarf dry cleaned.

That was my first mistake. Since coming to Princeton we've been using Craft Cleaners. They're a pretty big operation but they have a bit of a lackadaisical attitude. Typically its things like they'll lose your clothes for a day or so, not have things ready when they've said they'd be ready, or they fail to crease your pants despite having the "all pants creased" directive, etc.

This time I go in to drop off and pick up clothes. The woman says to me: "I'm having a hard time finding where your order for pick up is" and I'm thinking, "Oh, great, they've lost my stuff again." Nope. Instead she comes out from the back with my Missoni scarf which now has a GIANT HOLE IN IT. It's Wednesday. The scarf was supposed to be ready for pick up last Friday.... the woman says: "The seamstress was supposed to have fixed this already." Fixed already? Were you not going to tell me you put a hole in my scarf??? I ask, "Why didn't anyone call me???" "How is she going to fix it? What kind of yarn will she use?" "She'll try and get something as close as possible." AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE? It's from Italy. Most importantly it was made by people in Italy, it wasn't made by your seamstress! I wouldn't mind if I had brought it in with a hole and was asking for it to be repaired, but why is it okay for the dry cleaner to put an 8 inch hole in my scarf and I'm supposed to be fine with just having it "repaired"??

So, I say to the woman-- what if I'm not happy with the repair job? "Then we'll give you a claim form." Great, get that claim form ready.

Now I'm thinking, what the heck do I do? I don't have my receipt for the scarf, I could look up my credit card record but it's not going to indicate what was purchased, and not to mention, I'm going to have a repaired scarf.

So, I do the next thing that comes to mind-- call Saks. I get put through to Tina in the scarf department. I describe my scarf and she says to me: "I know the one you mean, I have one left." Better yet, Saks is currently in pre-sale mode and the scarf will be 30% off next week. I give Tina my Saks card and she's shipping me the scarf! God knows what kind of fight I'm going to have with the dry cleaner people but at least this way I'll have an undamaged scarf and evidence of how much the scarf cost, and they'll get the benefit of mark-down depreciation.

From now on I'm just going to buy stock in Woolite and take my chances washing by hand.

Today's Latest Pretentiousness Update from Martha Stewart

Martha grows her own kumquat trees, inside her house (as told to Jean-Georges Vongerichten).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tonight's Dinner

After my adventures in the city, I came home and made us a Giada special. Linguine with pecorino, kalamata olives, chopped arugula, artichokes and capers. The pasta and other goodies were tossed with butter and olive oil and ended up being very tasty. We had it with some good crusty bread and mozzarella and tomato. Tomorrow night-- sausage and peppers over angel hair pasta.

Reasons Why I'm Not Coming Back into the City for a Long Time

Today I came in to the city for a doctor's appointment and ultrasound. That went fine and then I visited Aaron Basha on Madison to oogle the baby shoe charms and then I headed to a lovely lunch with Emily at Icon in the W Court hotel on 39th. All's well so far. After lunch I met up with the Husband to show off the 3-D ultrasound pics and we wandered over to Saks for a few moments. As Thisbe can attest, Saks is our happy place. Unfortunately, my run of luck ended there. I should have gotten on a train straight away after going to Saks. But no, I tried to push my luck. I went to Buy Buy Baby-- picked out a host of goodies including a skip hop insulated bottle holder, skip hop travel changing pad, sleep positioner, shopping cart liner and play yard sheets. I spent about an hour there. I go to the register, everything is rung up, I give them a gift card that I wanted to use and all of a sudden the registers froze. All of the registers. We were told it would be at least ten minutes. I waited. Once the registers came back on line, my gift card still couldn't be recognized. Their solution? Use it next time. Considering that the only Buy Buy Baby locations close to us are in Paramus and NYC, I don't anticipate there being a next time. Unable to complete my transaction with the desired payment method, I decided that it wasn't worth it. One hour, lost. Then I start walking up seventh avenue. For whatever reason I was craving a frappucino and the woman at the service desk at BBB (asked prior to register meltdown) said there was a Starbucks a few blocks north. Well, I managed to find the only 10 block radius in New York without any Starbucks. I didn't even know such a geographica oddity still existed. I keep walking and soon enough I'm within sight of Penn Station. At this point, I'm talking on my phone to the Husband and walking up 7th at a leisurely pace (again, since I'm nine months pregnant, and ideally shouldn't be walking around anyway...) All of a sudden I feel something catch the back of my shoe (which is a 2 1/2 inch heeled sandal) and it almost trips me/rips my shoe off. I turn around and see a man pushing a baby carriage. At this point I call him an asshole. I think its justified. He was behind me, I didn't dart in front of him-- I had been walking in a straight line, and personally I had already had my fair share of people pushing strollers with abandon. The guy then yells various curse words at me. As if it were my fault that he tried to take my shoe off with his cheap Maclaren rip-off umbroller. His boyfriend does the same and makes hand gestures because I'm on a cell phone, as if it distracted me from the eyes I have in the back of my head, all the while their Asian baby looks on, confused. Yes, I was hit and then cursed at by a gay couple and their adopted child. What could happen next?

Next I go to Penn, still needing a frappucino. I need the frapp even more at this point. All I can find is a Dunkin Donuts. Fine. I get in line and as I'm being asked what I want to drink a woman in her early twenties gets in my face asking for money. I tell her I don't have any extra. She starts to walk away and then turns and hits me in my right kidneys. The DD cashier yells at her. She keeps wandering around the shop. Unfortunately, by the time I got my drink and headed over to the police kiosk she had wandered away. Usually you always see a couple of cops patrolling Penn. I guess Bloomberg's cutting back.

Common Sense

How come no one has any anymore? Specifically, people who work at the grocery store. I was at Wegman's yesterday and I used one of their newfangled small carts-- it consists of two baskets one on top of the other. I find it more manueverable these days than their other bohemoth carts, but naturally I overfilled it. When I go to check out I ask my cashier if she could ask someone to bring over a larger cart because I don't think the groceries (when bagged) will fit in the cart I have. She begrudgingly mumbles, "you can ask the manager"

I can ask the manager??? For a new cart? There's a big sign at the register that says: "Helping Hands, please ask your cashier for assistance if you need help bringing your groceries to your car" doesn't asking for a bigger cart fall into this category? A moment or two later she must have made the connection because then she asked the manager, but come on! All she has to do to get a manager's attention is flick her light on and off, me I'd have to waddle over to the service desk at which point I would be close enough where I could just get the cart myself.

Then we get to bagging. She puts 2 six packs of soda cans and one six pack of glass bottles of soda in one bag, and just says to me: "this is kinda heavy, I'll put it on the bottom" yet, the same person puts my box of rice krispies in a bag by themselves. When I get out to the car I notice that she's put the containers of wet cat food (containers that love to break open on their own) in with my uncooked chicken breast cutlets. Dry cat food? In with the swiffer. Tell me, why not group all cat food together? Since when does it sound like a good idea to put the little container of turkey and giblets in gravy next to my Purdue boneless breasts? And of course, by the time I got home I noticed that my Pepperidge Farm bread had gotten squashed into a rhombus.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Tonight we had Stacked Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Cheese... it's the cover meal on this month's Bon Appetit magazine! Turns out the recipe was created by the culinary director for one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Rosa Mexicano. I served it with cilantro lime rice and pinto beans (with jalepeno). It was a time consuming recipe, but all in all it was very tasty! I would recommend adding cheese between each layer of enchilada (I used grated munster, emmenthaler and sharp white cheddar) and I also substituted flour tortillas for corn tortillas.

I made the cilantro lime rice with texmati rice, one can of chicken broth, 2/3 of a cup of water and a good bit of lime juice and lemon juice. I also cooked in with the rice a lime rind and a few sprigs of cilantro (and once the rice was finished I tossed in minced fresh cilantro for extra kick).

Weekend and then Some

We had an exciting weekend. Saturday it was another jaunt over to National Pools and Spas to get pool chemicals. I stayed in the car looking to conserve engergy because I knew a visit to Best Buy was in our future. After we picked up chemicals we headed over to the rare Chick Fil-A freestanding unit in Hamilton Square and had quite possibly the largest Chick Fil-A chicken sandwiches known to man. Note to self-- never get the lemonade again. I love Chick Fil-A but geesh, that lemonade. Its so sweet you should have your dentist sitting there with you filling cavities as you're drinking it.

From there we took the scenic route over to Best Buy. We were looking for a new tv. With the whole floor debacle over and done with we've been moving all of our stuff back into the house and doing a bit of redecorating while we were at it. As an off shoot of redecorating we deployed our old bedroom tv and tv cabinet down into the living room and thus needed a replacement tv for the bedroom. We also moved our bed to a new spot which meant that it was facing a blank wall big enough for.... a plasma tv! I have officially turned the Husband over to the dark side. Originally, the Husband was one of those "no tv in the bedroom" people. Now, he actually excitedly purchased a 42" Plasma.

Anyhoo, we get to Best Buy and it's always an adventure there. We headed back to TVs. There were tons of them, LCDs, plasmas. I've had the discussion before with Dave about LCD versus Plasma and I love the whole LCD concept, but at the end of the day between what Best Buy did and didn't have in stock and price points and size we got a 42" plasma Panasonic. We could have gotten for about the same $$$ a 40" Samsung LCD, but we liked the Panasonic better. For a moment we were also almost lulled into buying an open box 32" LCD special, but then when we realized that we had to spend a small fortune on monster cables and wall mounting equipment we thought better of it. As my Dad noted, you go to Best Buy and if you're not careful they'll have you walking out with three tvs.

Next issue-- getting the TV into the car. Why is it that TVs are always too big for your car and the Best Buy employee always suggests taking it out of the box? I realized this is a risky proposition because what if something happens on the way home and you need to return it? Yeah, the first thing they're going to say to you is-- "where's the original box?" Oh, that's right, you told me to take it out of the box and then you mysteriously spirited the box back into the store. (This being one of the few times someone will actually throw away a box for you).

Our first night home with the tv, the Husband still had a lot of unpacking to do and other such stuff so we didn't start the installation process until about 11pm. At this point we decided that we're totally not mounting it on the wall. Yes, originally we had lofty goals of hiding the wiring behind the wall, yada, yada, yada. Then for set up purposes we put the tv on top of our linen chest and what ho! It's just the right height for tv viewing. Of course, a trip to Radio Shack was still involved (as is the case whenever you make an electronics purchase) and due to our stellar wiring in the house, multiple extension cords are currently part of the bedroom landscape to make this whole thing work. Regardless, we hooked up the new DVD player (because they got us to buy one of those too) and what a nice picture!

Yesterday we got ambitious and actually decided to hook up the Comcast Cable box. Is the box HDMI? Of course not. But I did manage to scrounge up some old component monster cables. Hook them up. Great picture, no sound. Hook up the co-ax cable directly to the tv... decent picture, sound, no guide function and half of the channels are missing since you need the box to descramble the signal. Hook up the box just using co-ax cable (in order to determine if the monster cables are bad) great picture, no sound. Granted, the picture on the HD channels was so nice that we spent a good 30 minutes mesmerized by some travel program (without sound) but after a while I decided to just call Comcast and see if they could help.

Surprisingly, it worked. I got on the phone with a representative and told her my problem. Of course we had to go through the whole rigamarole about whether the sound volume on the tv was working, etc., etc. Finally, after a few minutes she started walking me through the remote control codes. With a few button pushes and some cable company mumbojumbo (which was all very Harry Potter-eqsue) I managed to be operating the TV with the cable remote (woo-hoo!) then, a few more magic spells (i.e. "press and hold the cable button, release, press and hold the set up button until the cable button flashes twice, hit the volume up button until the cable button flashes four times, hit the code 9956, hit the set up button, cross your eyes and dance a jig") the volume control on the cable box was miracuously "unlocked" and we actually had sound! BBC News never sounded so good. Now who knows why the cable box and remote had decided to "lock" themselves into a mode without sound, and mind you I still don't have the guide function (which I referred to on the phone with the cable person as "Gee-d", being "Guide" in French which is what we call it because we're weird like that, and that thoroughly confused the cable lady) but at this point, I'll take sound and no Guide.

Last night as a result of having the box set up we watched National Treasure on NBC HD (with commercials approximately every 9 minutes) and the remake of The Omen. I can see there will be many nights of bad tv viewing ahead, just because of the picture on the TV. The Omen was a horrible movie, but we couldn't get over the fact that we could see just about every pore on Liev Schrieber's face (not that you necessarily want to, but it was kind of like a train wreck-- you just couldn't look away).

Wheel of Fortune

Guess what? Wheel of Fortune will be taping three weeks of shows here in New York in September. I'm notoriously bad at Wheel of Fortune, but the Husband is like some sort of savant. I've signed him up.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It was the Excitement!

Last night I completely couldn't sleep. I woke up at some point before 4am and eventually passed out at some point before the alarm went off at 7:30 but I was straight up awake for the bulk of that time in between. I kept flipping from side to side (not helping), my feet were hot, I was thirsty. Once the cat set off the motion detector the Husband woke up and was nice enough to head downstairs to get me a bottle of water, but still, couldn't sleep. I knew the baby furniture was being delivered between 7 and 11am and was paranoid that the delivery men would come while I was in the shower and I wouldn't hear them. So, once the Husband got up at 7:30, I took a shower, got dressed and had some cereal. About half way through watching Regisn and Kelly I decided to try and take a nap. That was right about when the delivery guys came. Just as they were leaving the woman from Window Accents came to measure for blinds for the baby's room, and then while she was making the estimate, the POD retreival guy came. I was mesmerized that all of this managed to occur by 10:30am. The furniture looks great and we should have window treatments within two weeks! A bit later I went out and ran some errands (had to get the wagon inspected, got lunch at Panera) and by the time I came home I was totally wiped out. By 3:10pm I was out like a light for a long time. What can I say, I was watching Studio B with Shep Smith and the man's voice just put me to sleep.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What Next?

So, they think that an errant flare fired from a NJ Air National Guard fighter jet (while on training exercises) may have started the wild fires in the pine barrens that have caused thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes. This is right up there with the strafing of the Little Egg Harbor Elementary School by an F-16 on training exercises in 2004. Should we maybe rethink letting these folks have live ammo and other flamable objects at their disposal?

If you're too Good for the Shuttle Bus from the Port Authority...

This shot was taken outside the IKEA at exit 13A in Elizabeth. A little far, for a cab ride, no?

Tintin and Snowy on the Loose

Plans are apparently in the works for a series of three Tintin movies, with Steven Spielberg helming at least one of them!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What I'm Doing Now...

Sure, most people are probably watching "Dancing with the Stars", whereas me, I've managed to find another Republican Candidate Debate. What about the damn democrats? Why do I keep missing those? I'm also making ratatouille with roasted potatoes and couscous (because you really just can't have enough starch

Ratatouille update! I used the recipe from the Gourmet cookbook and it turned out really well! I could have used some good crusty french bread but I forgot to pick some up. I added in cooking sherry and balsamic vinegar, together with some thyme and oregano, all in all I would call it a winner!

Monday, May 14, 2007


So am I the only person that this happens to? Every time I buy a bottle of Windex, once the bottle is about 2/3 of the way empty the spritzer nozzle decides to stop working. What's with that???

The View

Yet another argument between Rosie and Elizabeth about 9/11 conspiracy theories.


Tonight I made roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. The roasted tomato soup was based on a recipe from Michael Chiarello of the Food Network-- I had seen him make it on Friday and it sounded good.

I roasted six tomatoes (which had been quartered and marinated for a bit in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper) for 35 minutes at 500 degrees. Once the tomatoes were done I sauteed mirepoix with garlic and olive oil until tender. I also added in about 1/4 of a cup of chopped fresh basil. Once the mirepoix had softened I added a small can of chicken broth and all of the roasted tomatoes (with their juices) and simmered for about 10-15 minutes. Next I pureed the soup mixture in a blender and added a bit of cream and a bit more pepper and balsamic vinegar. The soup consistency was a bit chunkier than I would have preferred, next time I would let the soup cool for longer before puree-ing. Overall though, it was very tasty and went well with a nice crusty bit of italian bread (and it wasn't too bad with the grilled cheese, either).

Sunday, May 13, 2007


So, one of the partners I work with recently gave birth to her baby. She gave birth via c-section on Monday evening and was home from the hospital by Friday. I had spoken with her on Thursday and then carried on a short conversation (mostly responding to her inquiry about my maternity leave status) via email on Monday.

I had been wondering for a while whether or not we would be invited to the bris. I mean I had been hearing the gory details of this woman's pregnancy for the last seven months, five days a week.

Turns out she had scheduled her new son's bris for Tuesday.

Further turns out she invited one of our paralegals, a junior associate, another partner and even an of counsel who has moved on and works at another firm. All of these folks attended the bris and indicated that there were over 60 people there. We got no invitation. Nada, not even an 'unvitation' along the lines of "we'd love to have you but we know its far and you're so pregnant don't feel like you have to come". The further irony of this is that she knew I was going to be in the city the day of for a doctor's appointment, so it actually wouldn't have been inconvienent to attend, in theory. We had even already sent a baby gift that she received when she returned home from the hospital!

At the end of the day did I actually want to attend this event? Not really, I'm too big to move at this point and the woman has essentially been the bane of my work existance since she joined our group in 2003, but that's not the point! The point is I feel like Elaine from Seinfeld. I mean, I had been invited to her bridal shower, went to her wedding, yada, yada. I think in the cosmic scheme we were owed a bris-vitation, as a courtsey, if nothing else!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Random Things You Hear When You're at Home All Day...

Per AOL News: "Plague season runs from April to November during periods of moisture and moderate temperature." Yes, apparently in Colorado they've found a number of squirrels and at least one bunny dead from the Plague. As in the Black Death Plague, you know the one. Let me ask you-- since when did "Plague" have a season!?!

When discussing the wild fires engulfing the Griffith Park section of Los Angeles, Governor Schwarzenegger said during a press conference this afternoon: "I shot all of my Terminator movies there, One, Two and Three."

And, finally, HSN is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars. That's right, you too can own a "museum quality" millennium falcon scale model for just $1,995.00.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


So, I'm pretty confident this is my last day coming in for work. Hence we had a bit of a reunion of sorts on the train this morning. While I didn't run into Wendy from Click! We did see Joe, pencil-thin mustache man, the Indian couple who have replaced the Russians as our arch nemesis vis-a-vis seats together and the card player. Yesterday we saw the man and his wife who we affectionately refer to as "The Guru" (he looks just like Jimmy Mistry). Now if only we could run into the short-haired woman who rides her bike to the station we'd have a full house.

Today's pregnancy update: Swelling. It happens. Thank goodness I bought the new shoes. My poor feet look like little snausages.

One upside to all of this-- while my annoying college habit of eating ice chips has returned with a vengance (I can now finish a 7 pound bag in three days), I cannot crack my knuckles anymore. I desparately want to crack them, but as my fingers and joints are swollen it's just not happening. Now I have to hope that the no-knuckle cracking will stay with me after pregnancy and the ice chip craving will go by the wayside. It was pretty bad when I actually had to stop by the Wawa market (or as Em affectionately refers to it, the "Wa") on my way home the other day to buy a bag of ice. Let's not even talk about how I smuggled ice out of the Marriott in a ziplock bag, what can I say, it was in big thin chips and easy to crunch!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


This afternoon I got a manicure and pedicure at Bliss on 49th Street. There are four mani/pedi stations and each station is assigned a big flat panel tv up on the wall of the spa. When I got there all of the tvs were in synch and showing the E! True Hollywood Story of Lisa Marie Presley. Somehow or another during the course of my manicure my tv got turned to The Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch". Somehow the scenes of men with hip boots trawling the North Atlantic for some sort of fish product just seemed to kill the spa mood.

Another Great Pregnancy Side Effect

Snoring. As if I wasn't getting a bad enough nights sleep these days, now I even wake myself up.


Tonight's dinner was penne rigate with bolognese sauce (from Mario Batali's recipe, with a few tweaks-- mostly a half a cup of cream and a half a cup of milk instead of a whole cup of milk, also some balsamic vinegar, italian seasoning and basil) and eggplant Parmesan. I got to use the infamous graffiti eggplants to much success! However, while trolling for the eggplant recipe I found a recipe on Epicurious for Ratatouille, and now I have become fascinated and am on a mission to make our own Ratatouille. On the downside I'm figuring it's going to be hearty but not spicy (and I'm a fan of spicy), on the upside, the recipe indicated it can be served with rice or potatoes. Given my feelings for starch, I was thinking it might be great served with roasted potatoes. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New Floors!

Here's a picture of the new old floor in the dining room!

Here's the new old floor in the nursery! (We're still working on the mantle renovation... the mantle itself has arrived, now we just have to reface the plaster....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just Like Home...

One other thing about staying at the Marriott. Someone got the bright idea to create the "Just Like Home" linen re-use program.

That's right, your bed linens are "fresh when you arrive" but if you actually want them changed after that more frequently than every third night you have to indicate such by putting this little card on your bed. It's part of their conservation efforts.

Listen, I may not change my bed linens at home on a daily basis, last time I checked I don't have to pay $249 per night to sleep on my own sheets. Not to mention that I know where my linens came from and who has been sleeping on them!

How on earth can you run a hotel and have the gall to suggest that I should let you know when I want new sheets!?! God knows what they're doing with the towels.

Reason Number 263 Why I Should Have Cat for Dinner

Today is the last day of floor refinishing. After I had lunch I decided I would head out for a bit since (a) I needed to pee desperately and couldn't walk across the floor and (b) since the guys were starting the final polyurethane coat the family room was starting to smell funny. So, I gather up my things and glance around to confirm the whereabouts of Miss Kitty. No Miss Kitty. Not on the cat tree, not hiding under the beige sofa in the nook, not under either coffee table, not under the ottoman. No Miss Kitty up in the basket above the television, not on the ledge in the nook (which required me to climb up on the sofa to determine...), not under the sectional (not like there was any way she could squeeze under there anyway... No Miss Kitty under the other sofa, not hiding in between any of the boxes of books currently lining the nook, not behind the nook sofa not on the windowsill of the little nook window. This of course, brought on by pregnancy emotions and the fumes starting to cloud my thinking, creates sheer panic. The last time I remember seeing Miss Kitty was while I was eating lunch. At lunchtime I had heard a mysterious loud noise akin to something hitting the roof of the family room. This had caused me to go out into the garage, open the garage door and look outside. I had distinctly remembered that I went into the garage but quickly came back into the family room to cover up part of my lunch (as Miss K is a fan of anything sour cream based and I had been having some chips and dip...). With the knowledge that I had come and gone out the garage door I was now convinced she had escaped. Now I'm searching the garage, which of course, is full of furniture. I've got a flashlight, I'm kneeling down trying to look under our other sofas, chairs, etc., etc. No luck. I'm climbing over our bicycles, on top of rolled up rugs. I'm calling out "Kitty dinner! Kitty dinner!" I'm throwing cat toys around as an inticement, I'm making that cluck-cluck noise, I'm calling for Kitty. No response.

I go outside. Now fearing that it had been at least an hour since I had opened the garage door, I'm thinking she's got to be long gone. Run free, free as the wind. I employ the hard wood floor guys in my search. They've walked around the perimeter of the outside of the house. No Miss Kitty.

Now, I hope you recall that one of my reasons for deciding to leave the house was that I had to pee. Now I still have to pee, have been bending down much more than I should be at 8 months pregnant, in order to look under furniture and am generally getting completely freaked out.

I call the Husband.

Sensible as always the Husband stays calm. He figures if she really isn't in the family room then she probably has just gotten into the garage and not actually run out of the garage and that we'll be able to find her, eventually under the furniture.

The Husband suggests that I go back inside and he walk me through one last search of the family room. It's like clock work, I go all around the room, checking once again under every piece of furniture (as hiding beneath skirted sofas is her usual MO). Nothing.

Then, the Husband asks, could she be under the pillows on the couch? (You see, since being displaced from the bulk of our home, all of our bed linens have been residing on one of our family room couches, together with our overcoats-- why this combination, I'm not sure.)

These are the pillows on the couch. I say to him, "should I move all the pillows?" And he says, not if I don't think she could be in there. So, ever doubtful, I stick my hand into the middle of the mass of pillows.

What do I feel?


Now you can see that pile of crap right? Why on earth and how on earth did she manage to bury herself in there???



Last night I watched a portion of the Republican candidate debate on MSNBC. Mostly to see Rudy Guiliani and of course because Chris Matthews' inability to control the volume of his voice is always entertaining. I really wish they had made more of a big deal out of these things-- I would have loved to have caught the Democratic debate because I'm sure that must have been a hoot as well.

First off all, who the hell are all of these people? I know Rudy, John McCain (who has aged dramatically since the last time he ran, and he really was seeming a bit senile if you ask me) and Mitt Romney, but that raises the question of who the hell were all these other people? There was an ex-governor from Virginia and an ex-governor from Wisconsin, somebody with a wacky name who I guess is in the house of representatives and a slew of other random old white guys who I've never heard of before.

The only useful thing is that when asked down the line most of these jokers want to get rid of or at least reduce the Alternative Minimum Tax (whole heartedly agree with that one), but then what was with a few of them talking about a flat tax? I thought we laughed Steve Forbes out of the race when he ran on that ticket and now everybody seems to be embracing it.

Now, how about the candidates themselves? Mitt Romney scares the hell out of me. I'm concerned because he is the slickest of the bunch-- he has that easy listening radio voice and he just looks like a stereotypical politician. But come on, let's not forget this guy is a Mormon. Not that there's anything wrong with being a mormon, but what are the likely odds that people would vote to put a mormon in the White House? Granted, I'm sure that if Hilary weren't running this guy would probably have Bill Clinton's support because after all, he might try and legalize poligamy, but come on.

Then poor Rudy. Rudy is my favorite. Unfortunately, I truly doubt he can win. But think of it, if we elect Rudy, not only would he be the first Italian-American president but he would also likely start handing out quality-of-life citations all over the country! If he doesn't win, I would at least hope that one day he might come back to New York. The man at least deserves to be mayor for life. Bloomberg (who officially won't endorse any candidate since he has to "work closely" with so many of them... what exactly is that supposed to mean?) is really just lame. Take one look at the "Times Square Shuffle" and I think you'd have to agree with me. Not to mention that during the big Nor'Easter he did his press conference wearing this very bright pink v-neck sweater. Get a stylist, please. I have that sweater. It's from Ralph Lauren, in the women's department!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cash Cab....

How come I've never managed to snag a ride in The Discovery Channel's Cash Cab???

Hitting the Wall..

So they've still got me working. I'm also watching CNBC and they're showing a replica of the 17th green of the golf course where the UBS tournament is played... the replica is of course, at Rockefeller Plaza. Even though I am "working from home" I can still feel in touch with Rock Center. Most importantly though is how damn uncomfortable I am. I don't know what it is but whenever I have to sit for any period of time or work on a computer I get this crazy insane back pain. When its not hurting my back then it shifts to my right rib cage. I have actually found myself trying to work on the computer in something akin to the downward dog yoga position in order to try and alleviate the back pain. Yeah, that's so not working.


I completely fell sleep for a good half hour. Its no wonder when all there is to watch on tv is CNBC's Market Watch.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

All the Latest from Philly...

The floor people are almost done. Yesterday they stained. Today will be two coats of polyurethane and then the same on Friday. Two hours after they're done on Friday we can walk on the floor (in socks) and have the furniture moved back not long thereafter. In the mean time, however, we've been sleeping at the local Marriott. I had originally made two reservations-- one at the Residence Inn near the house (they, after all, accept pets) and one at the Marriott. We checked out the Residence Inn and it was a bit scary. I mean, surely, it was probably just fine but it was the type of place you'd pull off of the highway to stay at while driving cross country. At least the Marriott is a "resort and conference center". I will say that given that the last hotel we stayed at before this was the White Elephant in Nantucket, before that the Mandarin in Miami and before that the Villa D'Este in Cernobbio, we're a bit spoiled. But, whatever, it's nice enough. The main complaint I have, however, is the tv service. They're clearly not Comcast subscribers. I'm not sure exactly what cable service they subscribe to here but all I know is the hotel is in the same zip code as the house and all of a sudden we've gone from having all three major networks broadcast from both New York and Philadelphia to having just Philly stations. I feel so out of touch. It is really weird to only have Philadelphia news. I never watch the Philly stations when I'm at home, I'm a local news snob. I guess it's because we used to live in NY so things just don't seem normal unless Bill Ritter and Liz Cho are involved. Janice Huff is the only weather person (besides TWC's Jim Cantore) who seems vaugely informed and trustworthy. Now I'm stuck with these people I've never seen before and they're reporting about things happening in Delaware. How is it that you can literally drive 2 miles and be out of range for New York news?

Let's also not forget the bed. Before we moved in here we were sleeping on the old guest room mattress on the floor in the family room. I thought that was bad. It's a queen and it's hard as a rock. Not to mention that the Husband spilled some gasoline in the garage a while back (where the mattress had been residing after being displaced during nursery construction) and now the bottom portion of the mattress kind of has that gasoline smell to it. Luckily when you're sleeping on it, you can't notice it-- hopefully nothing toxic is seeping into our feet. Anyway, again, I thought this was bad. Then we came to the Marriott. They initially gave us a room with a king size bed but it smelled like smoke and it looked like there was mold. We asked to be moved. They moved us to a room with two double beds. We quickly learned that me, at 8 months pregnant, the snoogle maternity pillow and the Husband can't all fit comfortably in a double bed. Thank god the cat wasn't with us. Since that fateful night we've been sleeping in separate double beds, a la Lucy & Ricky. I'm actually looking forward to getting back to sleeping on the mattress on the floor in the family room, cat, gasoline and all....

Ah, the wonders of the Internet

I went to use my Whirlpool Duet dryer this morning and it wouldn't turn on. Indeed it had power (as the interior light was on) it just seemed to be stuck in "Control Lock" mode. I have no idea what "Control Lock" mode is, how one turns it on or what purpose it serves, all I know is hitting other random buttons didn't fix the problem. This, simply stated, is a manual question. I checked in the drawer underneath the dryer in the hopes that it would be where we would logically store the dryer manual but of course no luck.

This wasn't the best day for the dryer to decide to stop working. I've already not had phone service for over 24 hours and my new FiOs internet is also down which means that in order to make this post I am sitting on the floor hardwired into our old Comcast connection (thank goodness I had been slothful and not yet returned Comcast's router and/or cancelled the Comcast service!)

Luckily though (for the dryer's sake) I was able to log on to Whirpool's webpage and actually have troubleshooting assistance (and manual access). The problem was an easy fix-- "hold down end of cycle button for 3 seconds". Amazingly, this worked. Again, no explaination as to why any of this happened or why the end of cycle button acts as some sort of master dryer reset but I'm just happy that my socks are drying.