Monday, December 20, 2010

What a good weekend!

Mike and I had such a good weekend with Bug! Friday night, she was in such a good mood when I picked her up from daycare that we met Mike at Happy Hour at Gator Tales, formerly Clubhouse Grille. We had some beer and snackies, and then went home, curled up and snuggled a bit before bed. Saturday morning we went on a family walk before I left to go meet my mama friends for lunch at Carrabba's (delish blackberry sangria!) it was so great to see some of my favorite mamas- I  am so lucky to have made so many wonderful friends, all thanks to the NFRMC post-partum lunches. Then a few of us headed to the Nutcracker at the Phillips Center for some holiday cheer! I headed out just early enough to miss the traffic and got home to a smiley baby. My sis came over after her classes and we headed to my parents' apartment in Alachua to spend some time together for the holidays, got tasty take-out from Conestoga's and looked through photo albums from Christmases when I was little. Millie and I got to bed kinda late, but slept well and had a wonderful day with Mike Baby on Sunday! We all slept in, then Mike made me coffee while I fed the baby and we headed out for lunch at Toojays- we share the Jaynormous and it was delish and filling too! Then we ran a few errands, got some books from the library, and took Bug home for a bit to clean and chill out. Early evening, we headed to CVS for Mike's flu shot and to stock up on over-the-counter meds for all of us since my flex card benefits change at the beginning of the year. When we got home, we had Campbell's chicken noodle soup for dinner, which for some reason just signifies winter with me- I love it! Then I gave Bug a bath before taking one myself with a festive Candy Cane cocktail in hand. Mike Baby lit a fire and made chocolate chip cookies- his are the BEST! And after a family snuggle on the couch watching football, we all turned in early to read. I know it all sounds so simple, but we just had a really good, loving weekend. Good sleep, good snuggles, sweet baby. She's trying so hard to sit up and roll over, it's adorable! :) We've decided she's too cute to ever punish, so one day when she's 14, we're just gonna ground her for a year to make up for it. Haha!

It was Poopalooza at our house too, with Millie headlining. She had a blowout performance with a spectacular encore- Mike and I saw it all from our fantastic seats, and got up close and personal with our backstage passes.

Bug: I can't wait for you to start talking so you can provide me with commentary of your day. You've been trying to tell me so many things! I love you so much. Your socks have clouds on them today; you can walk around with all the angels since you are one!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bringing Home Bug- a recap of the hospital and delivery.

Every month I was pregnant, I vowed to begin a pregnancy journal, the half-assed version of which became this blog… although I never went way into preggo details here because I remember thinking at the time, no one cares about my silly doctor’s appointments or weird cravings or whatnot. And now without a doubt I wish I had recorded my pregnancy because it was a transitional period, bridging the gap between my old life and my new one, two paths that may occasionally run parallel or intersect, but that will never, ever run the same course again…. I wish I had those last few months recorded so I could better share with Millie the years 1-28 BB- Before Bug.

In the meantime, though I offer a vivid and shamelessly joyful recount of Baby Girl’s birthday.


I had my 39 week OB appointment on Monday, August 30th, with Mike Baby in attendance. We with Dr. Iobst, with whom we discussed the possibility that Dr. Agrios would not be my delivery doctor over the weekend should I go into labor- given that it was, ironically, Labor Day weekend. We were given the option to schedule an induction and, since I’d had such an easy pregnancy, Mike and I discussed it and decided to opt in for the induction. I was so nervous- my stomach was in knots, my nerves shot to ribbons- but in the end I realized I was going to feel that way about childbirth and the resulting baby no matter what, and knowing what to expect- knowing I had a day to put things in order, re-check my bag was packed, get a pedicure (yes, that was one of my last errands!) I felt relief as soon as the reality sunk in…and we were scheduled to check into the hospital on Wednesday night.


That Tuesday was Mike’s and my 2nd wedding anniversary, a day spent with little fanfare, having had our celebratory anniversary dinner weeks before at MT Chophouse on the off chance Bug decided to arrive early. Wednesday was spent cleaning house, getting a pedicure, checking and re-checking my overstuffed Vera Bradley duffel for all the items I deemed necessary for childbirth, from my citrus-scented facial wipes to my cherry Vaseline lip therapy… my Pretty Pushers hospital gown… my bright pink nursing pajamas that have, in hindsight, proven to be ineffective for actual nursing.


I spent the latter part of the day blowing out my hair,(a task I will forever be grateful for, as I am one of the few people who are happy with my I-just-pushed-a-baby-out-and-am-now-being-photographed pics!) and getting ready to go. When we finally called the hospital to make sure we had a room, we were told that yes, it’s all ready for us and a nurse was coming in for us at 9pm. We loaded up the car, petted the dogs, went on a walk…. We were so antsy! Finally we just decided to take off and stop by Publix for a snack on the way… my last BB meal was a chocolate milk, yogurt, and Lunchable. Lunchables were the official food of this pregnancy… and first 6 weeks post partum, in fact!


Our arrival at the hospital was a lot like checking into a hotel. We showed up, our room was ready, and we were able to settle in with ease. I was given Cervadil to help ripen my cervix, along with an Ambien to help me sleep as Cervadil can sometimes cause contractions. I changed into my jammies and we read and watched TV a bit before settling in for the night. In the middle of the night, I requested a half-dose of Nubain, a mild painkiller to ease the pain of contractions and let me get a better night’s sleep. The next morning, I showered (with the use of my handy-dandy shower cap to preserve my blowout!) and changed into my Pretty Pushers hospital gown. We started Pitocin at 9:00am…. At 9:07am Dr. Agrios came in and broke my water! He was like, well if we’re gonna do this, we’re really go for it! 2 hours later, I received a second dose of Nubain while I waited for my epidural- my anesthesiologist was in a C-section. When he arrived- Tony- I couldn’t have been happier! That was the worst of the pain- I even fussed at the nurses to be quiet because it was getting so hard to focus. After my first dose of epidural I tried to sleep for a bit, only it wasn’t taking on my left side! Tony came and saved the day though, and within the hour I was napping peacefully. I did have to be put on oxygen for awhile since with the Nubain, Bug’s heartrate had dropped a bit, but I slept through all of that, and I woke up at 3pm refreshed! The nurses came in to check my progress and laughed at my progress… They said I was ready to have a baby! I can still see Nurse Angie’s look of disbelief. While Mike shut down the computer and prepared for his official Hand Holding Duty, the nurses called Dr. Agrios, and fussed around a bit…. By 3:47pm I was pushing, with our pushing playlist going loud- Salt and Pepa’s Push It, Hey Ya by Outkast, Eye of the Tiger… We were having fun! Dr. Agrios came in joking with me about how he knew I’d be having the baby before 5pm… and sure enough, our precious darlin’ baby girl, Amelia Rose Herchel, was born at 4:24pm on 9/2/10. 7 pounds 4 ounces of perfection.


The fam all filed in, held her, congratulated Mike and me, fed us some tasty BJ’s, and left…The nurses came in and bathed Millie, we packed up our loot, and then moved into our regular hospital room (which, admittedly, is NOT as nice as the birthing rooms, but I digress.) I showered up and we settled in for our first night as a little family. Adrenaline kept us from realizing how tired we were, and we started learning how to swaddle, how to change diapers…. It all went by so fast! Friday morning the swept her away for tests, and we were able to nap then before Round 2 of visitors. In the afternoon, we took a walk around the NFRMC pond for some fresh air…. Nursing seemed to be going okay, and Mike was a champ at giving me water in a straw while I nursed, since it’s the most thirst-inducing activity I’ve ever done!


That night, we had our first Whoa! We’re parents! moment…. I went to get a popsicle and Mike was like, oh I’ll go with you! But then we looked at each other and were like, wait, we have a baby now! Can’t leave her!


Friday night was rougher- I realized I was allergic to Stargazer lilies, and they were keeping me up coughing and stressed, and Millie was hungry… we were refusing bottles and paci’s at this point, trying to establish breastfeeding while we waited for my milk to come in, and she and I both struggled to get some rest. By Saturday we were SOOO ready to come home, and were happy to have gotten released in time to watch the first Gator game on TV. I remember coming in to the house, setting her down in her crib, walking across the hall to lay down in our bed…and promptly realizing that there was no way, no how I’d have the willpower to keep her that far away from me! So we moved her into our room that very night… our first night at home as a family.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Random Stuff to be Excited About...

1. I'm wearing pre-pregnancy work pants today. I have no idea how much I actually weigh, but the pants are fittin'. Quite pleased with myself. :)

2. There's fun stuff going on every weekend coming up!
the 4th- Dudley Farm Cane Boiling Days and the Thomas Center Tree Lighting.
the 11th- Baby Shower Lunch for Cristin at Ballyhoo and evening New Mama's Potluck at home. Yay!
the 12th- Cookie exchange with Alachua County Mamas.
the 18th- Lunch and The Nutcracker with all my mama friends!
the 25th- Millie's first Christmas!

3. In January I will take my first trip with Milliebug- my sis and I are taking her to Philadelphia for a few days while I attend the American Bus Association's conference.

4. Oh, yeah- and we're staying at the Ritz-Carlton. Fo' cheap! (Thanks, Government rate.)

5. Millie is so stinking cute!

6. We have holiday photos scheduled for Thursday.

7. I learned how to make perfect seared tuna.

8. We are getting the maternity and newborn pics custom framed for the nursery.

9. We're about to hire a new person for the office!

10. We saw that new show at the Hipp, This Wonderful Life, and it was, well. Wonderful.

11. I had a great pedi at Spa Royale on Friday and got gift certificates to go back for massages, at the insistance of that awesome hubby of mine!

12. Holiday drinks at Starbucks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanks and Giving

Okay, first: Yes I am 100% aware that I am blogging out of nowhere, that I’ve not kept this updated and thus really have no room to complain about my lack of readers or the fact that I wax wishful that I will someday be a writer, erstwhile not actually writing anything…(save for my 2, soon-to-be-3, articles for Giggle magazine… but I digress.) I’ve pictures to post, tales to recount, memories to relive, all in the name of narcissism, which I am now packaging as posterity….. for Millie’s sake, of course.



In the coming days and weeks, I plan on posting a 3-part series that will hopefully catch my blog up to my precious, darlin’ girl’s current age, which will be 3 months this Thursday. In the meantime, please enjoy my thoughts and observations on our first Thanksgiving as a family.


I must start by saying that I’ve never truly understood Thanksgiving. It’s not a holiday my family celebrated much growing up- my traditions amounted to eating stuffing (still my fave Thanksgiving food) and watching the Macy’s parade; occasionally I’d participate in some sort of age-appropriate school craft, like a turkey made of handprints or a construction-paper Indian headdress. My dad doesn’t eat poultry, so turkey of any kind was foreign to me, and we rarely, if ever, used the occasion to voice words of thanks. As I got older, I viewed Thanksgiving as a gluttonous holiday, existing only to obstruct any progress on whatever diet or exercise program I was currently involved in…. and I’ve spent every Thanksgiving since I’ve been with Mike complaining- about the quality of the food we were eating (easy to do, seeing as I’m one of the best cooks I know) about my Black Friday spending limit (any and all shopping limits are a touchy subject in the Herchel House, so I’ve begun a new tradition of lunch, wine, and pedicures with Natalia to stave off further disagreements there) and our football plans for the FSU game (by then I’m SO over tailgating.)


This year, though, I felt like I had things I should be thankful for. I say should, because as poor an understanding as I have of Thanksgiving itself, I am even more unfamiliar with the act of giving thanks. I feel appreciation quite a bit- but rarely do I stop and acknowledge all the outside contributors that make up the blessings in my life, and truly feel thankful toward those who have given of themselves in some way for my benefit- and tell them so.


Well, this Thanksgiving weekend started off at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon as an absolute mess. I go to pick Millie up from daycare- she’s just waking from a nap and terribly hungry. I don’t have my nursing cover with me; I’ve only put a nickel in the parking meter. I’m scurrying around to gather her things, trying, and failing, to soothe her. I eventually find myself sitting on the ground in the church’s courtyard nursing the baby, one eye on the car in case a Parking Nazi came by. My things are scattered around me and I hear my phone ringing, but can barely reach… I know it’s Mike Baby wondering where we are. When I finally maneuver myself to the phone, I give him a frantic account of what I’m doing and he replied calmly, matter-of-factly, that he was on his way downtown to join me and Milliebug and we’d have a nice evening.


And we certainly did! A stroll around the farmers’ market led to a peek inside Simply Gorgeous, where I found the Vera Bradley message board that I wanted for the nursery on sale. From there we enjoyed cocktails and appetizers at Emilianos, and rounded out the evening with gelato on the plaza.


Thursday we spent the morning watching the parade before heading up to dinner with my mama at the Great Outdoors (where, incidentally, the stuffing was delish.) We returned to my parents’ apartment to find my dad missing, having been taking to the hospital for a heart attack. Given the stress that his recent medical challenges has caused me, Mike suggested that we go home, relax, and wait to hear whether my dad could have visitors instead of spending time worrying in a cold waiting room… and luckily my dad was okay, and Mike and I were able to enjoy the comforts of home and some fresh air on the deck while we waited it out.


Friday we woke to a fussy baby, but I was encouraged all the same to partake in my Black Friday custom- lunch, wine, and pedi’s with Natalia (and, incidentally my bright red Meet and Jingle toes are lovely.) On our way out that evening to the Hippodrome, the Hyundai broke down. Mike was calm, albeit annoyed, about the whole ordeal, deciding to leave the vehicle locked and secured on the side of 6th Street so we wouldn’t miss out on the friends who were waiting for to enjoy a night out together.


Saturday began in a frenzy of errands to take care of the car, drop the motorcycle off for maintenance, and get Mike Baby back in time to head out for an FSU party. My mama, having picked up my dad and settling him in at home, joined me at our house to pitch in with laundry, etc…. We even went to Michael’s to take advantage of their framing sale to order custom framing for our maternity and newborn pics of Millie. But then- disaster struck! Back home, as I dusted the bookshelf above the changing table, it came tumbling down on the baby! She burst into tears… I burst into tears. It was traumatic to say the least. The next thing I know, I’m nursing her and Stella Puddin’ trots into the living room and yacks up 2 days’ worth of dog food, leaves, and pine needles- remnants of her enthusiastic squirrel chases. Crying baby. Crying mama. Sick puppy. And lucky for me one compassionate, level-headed hubby who, despite the fact that we were both due to babysit our niece and nephew, suggested that I take a minute to finish nursing the baby and relax after all of my scrambling around before heading over.


….And then on to Sunday. We wake early, start our myriad of Christmas-related errands in preparation of our upcoming holiday family photo shoot. It comes out through our discussion that there’s been a big misunderstanding regarding our finances, and now I’m worried about whether we’ll end up having a Christmas tree at all! But after some rearranging and compromise, we managed to get everything we wanted/needed, and I am thrilled to say we trimmed my very first real live Christmas tree yesterday! The whole house is decorated for the holidays, and it looks beautiful. After all that work, an exhausted Mama and Millie crawled into bed, and Mike Baby came to tuck us both in. He peeked into the bassinet where our perfect, exquisite baby girl had just drifted off to sleep and with a smile, he whispered, “it’s amazing!” And he’s so right. It’s amazing how so many crappy little things happened this weekend- something every day, in fact- but we still managed to persevere and focus on the good stuff like tasty food, good times with friends, decorating for the holidays. It’s amazing how we’ve got this gorgeous little girl to call our very own and she’s the cutest, sweetest, silliest, most kissable lil thing in all the world. It’s amazing how much our life has changed in the 3 months she’s been with us- I can still remember the car ride to the hospital and how Mike Baby and I commented, it’s our last red light without a baby. But mostly, MIKE is amazing. He’s the most amazing hubby and papa in the world, and for every terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad thing that happened, he managed to make something wonderful and fun happen. He's amazing every other day too, bringing me coffee in the mornings, helping to pack up daycare and baby bag items, fetching the gallons of water I drink now I'm nursing.  And for that, I am so so thankful for him. And I thought maybe I should write all about and tell him so. :)
*I’m still working on the giving part, but for now I finally have the thanks part figured out!!

Happy Holidays! More blogging to come- it's my early New Years' Resolution!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Busy week updates!

We have had, in hindsight, a very busy week! First, after my blog on Wednesday early a.m, I am pleased to announce that my writer's block seems to be waning. I was even able to churn out a Tuscaloosa tailgating article on GT this morning, for which I am eternally grateful to the writing gods. They all must be football fans!

Work is going really well, I am going to be starting a UF Parents marketing campaign, which will, among other things, afford me the luxury of working from home, hopefully starting August 23, until Millie shows up. Here's hoping we can possibly move that date up even earlier, depending on whether we can get the materials in order by then! It's an exciting campaign and I'm looking forward to its success.

I'm also scheduled now for 4 tradeshows between now and April- Womens' Shows in Jacksonville, Savannah, and Raleigh; and the NBC Travel show in Miami. It feels good to have some travel back on the books to look forward to! I feel like it'll keep me focused on work post-baby, to have these shows to look forward to. Being in front of the visitor and getting to talk about Gainesville is such a great reminder of why I do what I do, after all!

We also have discovered The Warehouse restaurant, which you should stop reading and go try immediately if you live in Gainesville. Their chef is formerly of Steve's Cafe, their front-of-the-house manager is a former Eastside Culinary Institute and CIA graduate, and the food is incredible, and reasonably priced. Take this dinner-menu item, for instance: Grilled flank steak, accompanied by snow crab mac and cheese- for $13. Seriously. Awesome.

In baby news, Mike has been making EXCELLENT progress on the mural- will post pics soon! I love it and can't wait to see the finished product. I'm feeling Millie move around a bunch, including daily heartbeat sessions that cause my tummy to jump! Insane! I can't wait to meet her and see her little face. I ordered a blue-eyed, dark haired young'un and I just know she's gonna be brown-eyed, and at least start out as a blonde. Ah, well then I can just sing Brown-Eyed Girl to her, right?!

I'm going to be investing in a Belly Bandit for my hospital bag next week; Mike also ordered me my favoritest candle in all the land, Gardenia by Illume, for me to have in the delivery room to calm me and mask icky hospital smells. It's been my fave candle ever since Teresa and I stayed at International House in New Orleans, back before I could even drink- I think it was almost 9 years ago! So glad they still make them! Anyway, that fragrance takes me back to that gorgeous serene hotel lobby, with its neutral colors, attentive service staff, and all the delish food (mmmm, Bacco)  and great memories of that trip. I can't think of anything more peaceful to be reminded of as I'm screaming bloody murder through a contraction. If anything, it'll bring back comical memories of our long trek back to the hotel after my 5'9 sissy-love had herself some Hurricanes at Pat O's and I had to navigate our way through the French Quarter by myself, being stepped on all the way! See what a great caretaker instinct I had, even in those pre-baby days!

Laissez bon temps rouler! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm pretty sure no one actually comes to/reads my blog anymore, so this post is purely for my own purposes! I didn't keep a pregnancy journal, or do anything else to keep track of my feelings and thoughts during pregnancy, and for some reason I am certain Amelia will want to read alllll about my thoughts and feelings during her cookin' phase, that I regret that now. So here's a little update of what's going on with me, where I'm at with being preggers, etc. 

First, some details: I am 34 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy. And I've hated the word "pregnant" the entire time. I like "my condition," or calling myself preggers, or referring to myself as a crock pot. But for some reason the way "pregnant" sounds just makes me cringe. I'd even rather saying jokingly that I'm knocked up! I think it just conjures up images of single teenage girls. I don't know why- maybe it's too many episodes of 16 and Pregnant, but to me, "pregnant" sounds like a problem to be fixed, Like "I'm anemic" or I'm diabetic. but "Having a baby" sounds so much more positive! I'm getting something out of this deal! Awesome! And maybe too that "I'm pregnant" makes it sound all about me, whereas "having a baby" or "expecting," well those terms are more about me AND Millie. 

I'm strange.

Anyway. We finished our childbirth series at North Florida, and I am pretty sad that despite my best efforts to befriend our instructor, a newcomer to the area who I adored and sent several desperate emails to about things to do in the area, places she should visit, and the fact that Mike and I are cool fun people who tailgate to boot, she has not ever responded to those emails and only maintained an interest inasmuch as she was my instructor. But nevertheless we had a wonderful experience in her class and I do feel more confident in my decision to go from that coveted scheduled C-section I wanted in the beginning to the opposite end of the spectrum, wanting to wait it out for an epidural for as long as is physically possible. I came to this conclusion based on the recovery times, the difficulty that C-section mamas have losing their baby weight, and the fact that I only have 6 weeks off of work and want to spend as much of that with Amelia as possible. (Plus, there's the practical reason that apparently I can't eat if I get an epidural. And anyone who is familiar with my CBS- Cranky Baby Syndrome- will know that I should NOT go very long at all without eating something. I have unstable blood sugar that is far more dangerous to my health and the health of those around me than natural childbirth. I'm just sayin'.) 

Since then we’ve also had my baby shower, which we held at our house and it was so much fun! Casual, comfy. We’d originally planned on a “bees and teas” theme at Fat Tuscan, and due to several conflicts with peoples’ schedules, it just wasn’t going to be as well attended, and so we changed to a Friday evening “Bedtime Stories” theme, with everyone in their jammies, “bedtime snack” pajama party food, (pizza, popcorn, yogurt pretzels, milk and cookies…. Yummers!) we had lots of fun games- a Rockabye Baby “name that tune,” baby trivia that stumped all of us, and a hilarious Bedtime Story mad libs that was just fabulous. It was a great party, with lots of great friends in attendance, and we made out with a bunch of loot too! Yay! J We had our maternity pics with Sweet Serendipity Photography that weekend too and are really pleased with the results. Now we have the unhappy task of deciding which pictures to purchase! We got some great shots at the stadium and at Lake Alice- it’ll be hard to choose! We decided to do a milestones package with the photographer so we’ll get newborn shots;  3-month pics (for holiday pics!) 6-month, 9 month, and year shots, including a smash cake session. Yay! 

Now that those fun things are over, it’s a balance of hurry-up-and-wait and Oh Crap! We still have XYZ to do! The nursery isn’t ready yet, although Mike has been working diligently on the T-Rex mural, which will now contain Amelia’s name written in skywriting across the wall. Once that’s finished, we can move everything back to its home. My daddy is ordering my shiny new pink glider this weekend and I can’t wait to set it up and put the finishing touches on the nursery! I still lack the Jim Harrison Baby Gator print, some wall hooks, a storage bin, and a lamp. Hopefully those items will come quickly throughout August. 

There’s also packing my bag- I’ve had a list of items to pack for over a month now, and keep adding to it, confirming with other lists, checking other baby sites and message boards for affirmation. I finally have my going-home outfit selected- (yes this was a big deal for me!) my maternity black leggings, a comfy but still cute baby pink tunic tee from Ann Taylor Loft (I bought 3 of these, which I’m wearing now over my current tum-tum, but they’ll make great transition pieces for that post-baby bloat.) and my comfy Jcrew critter flip flops that I have lived in during pregnancy.  Millie’s going home outfit has pretty much been selected- or at least narrowed down. Basically we are lacking baby mittens of any kind, and while the helpful newborn care class instructor suggested I put socks over her little hands, she clearly had no idea who she was dealing with as far as proper accessorizing, so literally part of what has me up at 3am is the fact that I was at Target earlier and neglected to pick up baby mittens. Other than that though, Millie will be coming home in a pink Gator cap, a pink and brown floral onesie, and little socks that look like mary janes. She’ll have pink baby mittens, as-yet unpurchased, and will most likely be wrapped in her pink and brown leopard print baby blankie- I think it’ll be too hot for the blankie that her nana made her. 

There’s a few key items that we still need- our baby monitor, a breast pump and accessories… but if she decided to come today I think we’d be pretty prepared. I found some great diaper coupons for Amazon and signed up for their Subscribe and Save program to combine with the coupons and get 2 diaper cases at 50% off so we feel a lot more confident in our gDiaper supply too. I think Mike’s nervous about our diaper choice, but if we just keep at it and develop our diaper routine around the g’s, I think we’ll be okay. 

As far as how I’m feeling- well I feel like my writing has lost it touch. I wrote an article for giggle in June and have felt a large heavy safe-type door closing on my creativity with writing. I don’t know if I was expending that on shower plans, because I really got into the theme and ideas for that, or if I am just so baby-focused right now, but I haven’t been able to churn out blogs, or articles for GatorTailgating, nothing. It’s really upsetting given that I want to be writing all the time and yet feel so scatterbrained and overwhelmed when the time comes to produce something! I also am getting more and more nervous about actual childbirth, and also how Mike and I are going to handle this transition. We got a TV device to stream downloaded media to our TV (the xbox having long ago crashed- we’ve watched many a TV show from the computer monitor!) and we’re getting Netflix streaming on it. I’m worried because last fall we cut off our cable and I don’t want us to enter back into the bad habit of wasting away hours in front of the tv. We have so many new things coming at us- baby,  football season, etc- that I’m concerned with how we’ll adapt and whether we’ll make enough time for ourselves and our marriage. But as much as I’m concerned about that, I also know that Mike has been simply the most loving, involved, positive husband and daddy-to-be that I ever could’ve asked for and as long as we’re aware of the possible strain on our relationship, we’ll take the necessary precautions to nurture it. I am hopeful, but still nervous about how we’ll do. 

I’m also worried about pumping for breastfeeding when I go back to work… but beyond that, these are my main concerns! I don’t worry about diaper changes, having a fussy baby, being able to handle taking care of her. I just worry about Mike and me being okay, and whether I’m gonna be able to feed her once she gets here. So that’s gotta be a good sign, right?!
I’m still planning on going back to work after 6 weeks, and have lots of great programs to look forward to upon my return- front desk FAM trips, an ambassador program at Oak Hammock that I want to start, redesigning our .org website to coincide with a redesign of visitgainesville.com. Yay work! For now I definitely feel like I’m developing short-timer’s syndrome, but only because I feel like I can’t really get started on any new projects right now since we don’t know when Milliebug will make her debut. 

In other news, my precious darlin’ Natalia is moving away to grad school in 3 weeks. I have SO not accepted this. She is moving out of her apartment on the 5th of August, and to Ft. Lauderdale on August 14th to start her new life as a doctoral candidate at Nova. I’m pretty devastated by this and can’t imagine my life in Gainesville without her! We’re both preparing for these big life changes and I wish I could be more involved in her moving process, I feel like I’m missing out on all of it because I’m busy being preggers, and meanwhile she’s been such a fundamental element of my support system here in Gainesville that I just know I will have the biggest, emptiest void after she goes. Of course long-distance friendships can survive, and thrive, lucky for me since my other lifelong bestie is allll the way in Pittsburgh, but nevertheless I will be crushed when she leaves. :(
 
Other than that, we’re waitin’ around for a baby; looking forward to her being here and getting to know her, and seeing how our little family does! I will probably start a new blog once she gets here to follow our many trials and triumphs as newbie parents, and am especially excited about an element of new parenting that I’m going to try to adopt, which is devoiding our entire family diet of corn syrup. I thought I’d actually been doing a good job of this already until I found corn syrup in my COTTAGE CHEESE AND PINEAPPLE the other day, an item that I just didn’t even check, so certain was I that it would not contain such an atrocity. Will be looking to Max Baby for a lot of support on this. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Post-Delivery Food Requests

I've been thinking a lot about labor and delivery ever since we started childbirth class last week, and of course the most important part for me is what I'm gonna wear and what I'm gonna eat. I think I've gotten both of these questions answered finally!

The what'm I gonna wear? answer is the Dressed Up Delivery gift set from Pretty Pushers. I either want it in yellow or stripes, or both- what the hell, this is my first time after all! And I want to get some super cute slippers and slipper socks too because I hear my feet will get cold.

Now on to the what'm I gonna eat?

Here are my requests, faithful family readers:

1. Neal's spaghetti.
2. My momma's ho-made yeast rolls.
3. My sissa's cheese dip with the raspberry jam on top and Carr wheat crackers.
4. Mike's momma's blueberry pie. A whole pie all to myself.
5. McDonald's vanilla milkshake.
6. Starbucks Iced Green Tea.

I think that about covers all the required food groups, yes?

Yummm........Makes you wanna come visit me in the hospital in 3 months, doesn't it!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

10 Random Things

1. I am a terrible blogger. I never suggested I wasn't. But letting an astonishing 7 weeks pass between post does not a successful blogger make.

2. Luckily, I am not relying solely on my blogging ability to be discovered as a wonderful writer and hired off by some glamorous magazine. I proactively offered my writing services to the local publication giggle magazine, for free, and they graciously accepted! My first deadline is June 16th for the August/September issue, featuring family-friendly tailgating tips. So excited to be thisclose to getting published!

3. It's my dream to be a writer. You'd just never know it based on my inability to regularly blog.

4. This hasn't been too random yet. Platypus. Nitwit. Gobblydook. There, that's better.

5. Everyone knows it now, but I should post it here anyway: Sprout Baby's a GIRL!! Amelia Rose Herchel is on her way, and in the past few weeks has gotten ever more active! I can't wait to meet her.

6. I am in love with the shrimp sauce at Bento and want it on anything, at any time. Kinda wishing I had a big bowl of lo mein covered in veggies and shrimp sauce right now.

7. I desperately need a pedicure.

8. Our babymoon to the keys was SO.AWESOME. We had so much fun at Bahia Honda, at our bed and breakfast (the Weatherstation Inn.) and just hanging out. Lovely, lovely, lovely time.

9. I'm looking forward to Mike's birthday party next week so I can show off all of my party planning skills, yay!

10. Tomorrow I am doing the Gator Football Women's Clinic at UF. Apparently there are lots of football drills. I am pretty sure me and my 26+ week belly are going to be cast as defensive line due to our solidity and brute force.... and hopefully I'll win some raffle prizes! Good times.

That's all. For now. More to come!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lately, I have realized that the planner in me has been a little unprepared. Unplanned. Up-in-the-air. All characteristics that previously would cause me a great deal of anxiety. I used to really consider myself a meticulous person- very organized. Never really very neat, but organized nonetheless. I’m the kind of girl that travels with a trip folder, carefully labeled with my destination city, all of my travel documents organized by their order of necessity- directions to airport, info about airport parking, e-ticket already printed out, shuttle reservation to hotel, HopStop directions from hotel to lunch restaurant, from lunch restaurant to spa appointment, from spa appointment back to hotel…. You get the idea. Preparedness generally gives me comfort and a sense of control in a chaotic world. (Name that movie, folks.)

Anyway, what I have noticed of late is that my “pregnancy brain,” a condition that I once didn’t believe in, has caused me to be a lot more relaxed about my schedule, my to-do list, and veering off path. For instance, the following is a list of pregnancy-related truths that I held dear, that I have since reconsidered:


1. Scary full-belly maternity pants. I swore I wouldn’t wear these, that I’d only buy the ones with the low-panel that sits below the tummy. However, my very FIRST pair of maternity pants were the scary full-panel ones. And I will tell you that I love them, because they keep me from scratching my itchy, expanding tummy and also give me a nice smooth line under my maternity shirts to boot.


2. Find out Sprout’s gender. I was pretty adamant about this one too. I felt like if something was going to be completely out of my control and I was just gonna get whatever I was gettin’, I may as well go the distance and wait it out. And I think I would’ve too, had it not been for Name Wars. We still can’t agree on a boy name at all! So in 5 days, we’ll know if we can stop arguing about it…. Or if we’ve wasted all these weeks and months agreeing on a girl name for nothing! *incidentally, now that we’ve decided to find out, I’m DYING for the ultrasound day to get here! Maybe part of me wanted to find out the whole time and since I couldn’t before now, I convinced myself I didn’t want to know anyway so I wouldn’t have to wait? Who knows.


3. Schedule a c-section delivery. This was, again, borne from my control-freakishness that I was in no way going into labor unexpectedly, to have post-birth pics taken of me looking scraggly and brow-beaten, to miss an appointment or a meeting or something because Sprout was unpredictable in his/her arrival. But now I know that c-sections are a lot harder to recover from, that it’s major surgery that causes a lot of pain, that the body doesn’t recognize a c-section birth and therefore weight loss is significantly more challenging, and that if I want to be back to work in 6 weeks, as I do, I’m gonna have to go about things differently in order to make it up and about by then.


4. Use disposable diapers. Oh, hush, readers who think I’ve gone crazy. I read a lot about the absorbent gel in disposables is a big cause for diaper rash, first because of the chemicals in the gel, and second, because they tend to be changed less, especially in daycare centers, as a result bc they just don’t feel wet. Now, I’m not going to go 100% cloth here. What we’re going to be using, and I WILL NOT be swayed on this, is 7th Generation disposables when Sprout’s a newborn, and once he/she is a few weeks old and a few pounds heavier, we’ll switch to gDiapers. They’re a “hybrid” of cloth and disposable- a cloth cover with a disposable , flushable liner inside. It’s a lot better for the environment too- disposables take up to 500 years to decompose, while this will be flushed away, with all contents, therefore eliminating mountains of stinky diaper trash as well. They can just be thrown away too, which is nice- so we’ll still have the obligatory diaper genie- but we’ll be producing much less trash, and I’ll feel better having less plastic and chemicals on Sprout!






Here are some of my fave pregnancy items that I’m just dying to have right now:


Stylish hospital gown from Bring Your Own Gown:




This cute Olian maternity top, it would be so cute for our belly-to-baby pics we’re having taken!



Oh, and lots of skincare products like organic lotions (paraben-free,) facials and massages, baby yoga videos.




For Sprout, I really want some Trumpette socks. And just lots of random cute stuff. My latest baby purchase was this super adorable doorway jumper:




I got it on supersale! Originally $69.99, I purchased this rockin’ convertible on zulily.com for $34.99, minus a $10 first-purchase-credit, minus a $10 additional coupon code, for a grand total of $24.24 shipped! Can’t wait to see him/her cruising along in their new ride.


So, okay, I’ve definitely been bitten by the materialistic maternal bug, but seriously I just can’t wait to start setting up our nursery. It was painted last week, a bright, cheerful Key Lime color, and waiting to start filling it up with all things baby is killing me! As soon as we’re able to move the futon out, the crib can go in, and then it’ll really start seeming real.


Stay tuned for the big Gender Reveal!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prime Rib: Yummmmy- and worth the wait!

The Orange and Blue exhibition football game was this past weekend, and the day came and passed with lots of success for GatorTailgating. We had friends up to stay with us, the weather was perfect, and we cooked up some delish beer-can chicken with a tasty rub. A great day to tailgate.



But then it was all over, and the sad fact that more tailgating  is a full 4 months away hit us like a season-ending SEC loss. Low-spirited, we zipped up the tents, loaded up our coolers, and trudged unceremoniously back to our cars. None of us has any patience, after all, and here we were, forced with a 4-month wait… Although, to be fair, the boys have it way easier than I do- Sprout’s arrival coincides with the return of football/tailgating season, so I have the added luxury of waiting around with an ever-increasing belly girth to keep me company!


But, I digress. I decided that there surely must be a way to pass the time, something with a juicy, meaty reward that also has the added bonus of teaching us a thing or two about delayed gratification.


Of course! Prime Rib!



Lookit that beauty. Now, this is what’s called in the meat department as a “standing rib roast.” One bone should feed two people. I say should- Mike and I polished off this baby our ownselves. Be smart, err on the side of caution and buy the biggest hunk of meat you can afford. No matter where you get your rib roast, you will not be sorry!


*I ask my butcher to cut the meat off the bone and tie it back on with twine- this helps tremendously when carving the meat later.


Here’s what you need:



Standing rib roast. Butter (REAL butter, now! No cheating!) Salt. Pepper. That’s it!


First, turn the oven onto 500 degrees, and remove all but one rack- place it in the second to lowest setting. While the oven’s heating up- it takes awhile to get that hot- let the roast come to room temperature.


Next, take a big hunk of butter and rub it in your hands to soften and warm it. You’re about to become the world’s best meat masseuse.


Take your hunk of meat, stand it rib-side down in a roasting pan (I just use the bottom half of my broiler pan) and give it a good rubbing. Really get in there and massage the butter into the meat.



*You didn’t think this was diet-friendly, did you? C’mon, I’m preggers. What’s the point?


Once your rib roast is slathered up good and buttery, sprinkle on a generous amount of salt and pepper.



It’s important to make sure it’s standing on the bones in the pan, so the meat is up above its own juices and can roast evenly.


Now, pop that hunk o' hunk o' buttery beef in the 500-degree oven and let it roast for 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES ONLY!!


…..and then turn the oven off.

Here’s the next part, which is when all the most wonderful things in the history of prime rib happen. You leave the roast in the oven for 2 hours.

DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!! GIT YO’HANDS OFF THAT HANDLE!! BACK AWAY FROM THE OVEN!!


See, the residual heat after turning the oven off will slow-roast the prime rib until it is absolutely perfect- cooked slightly medium at the ends, but a warm pink medium-rare all throughout the rest of the roast. So you wanna just leave it well enough alone. Go mow your lawn. Walk your dog. Watch a movie. Anything to keep you from peeking, because once you let some of the heat out, the cook time is ruined- you can’t get that heat back. Yikes!


In 2 hours, after you’ve nibbled your nails to nubs and paced the floor in anticipation, it’s time to take the roast out of the oven.


Cut the twine, remove the bones, and feed them to any good dogs you may have in the vicinity. We didn’t have any good dogs around, only bad ones, but they’ll do it a pinch.


Next, take the remaining roasty goodness and slice it for the number of servings you need.

I strongly advise you to not let the hungry mob gathering in your kitchen serve themselves- the first person in line will quite possibly walk off with the whole platter, never to be seen again.


At some point, you’re gonna want to set out some sour cream to mix with a spoonful or two of prepared horseradish.

We love creamy horseradish upon our prime rib, but it’s really up to each individual to mix it to their own degree of spiciness- plus it’ll create a diversion so you can make off with more roast.

I’m just sayin’.


So here you have it, folks, the best prime rib ever, ever EVER. This method is guaranteed to work regardless of the size of your roast, is eyes-rolling-in-the-back-of-your-head tasty, and may help pass the time until tailgating season.


Be warned, though- whoever you feed this to will spend the rest of the day in a meaty stupor, stammering their undying affection for you. If you feel this could get annoying, I recommend scheduling an appointment immediately following the meal so you can get some peace and quiet.



Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Weekend 2010

A little something to know about Mike and me- we aren’t Easter people. We just aren’t very religious, and while I am all about wearing pastels and eating coconut-covered bunny  cakes from the grocery store, we just don’t have much of a reason to partake in traditional Easter type traditions. So we’ve pretty much made our own Easter weekend tradition of gettin’ the heck out of dodge. One year we went boating in Cedar Key, ate clams, and drank beer. Last year we went kayaking on Orange Lake, ate chicken, and drank beer. This year, we went beachin’ on Amelia Island, ate all kinds of tasty local vittles…. And drank *non-alcoholic* beer. (By the way, Beck’s makes a tasty N/A if you’re in the market for beer flavor without all the other benefits that beer generally offers.)

I had a gift certificate for a free night at the Amelia Hotel on the Beach, a comfortable select-service property that is literally steps from the soft sandy beach. It’s a little bit of an older property, but our room had a view of the ocean and a fabulous whirlpool tub that Mike Baby paid an upgrade for me to get, and I enjoyed it immensely. It was one of the best parts of the trip, to have a leisurely soak in a bathtub! (Mine’s broken at home, so only showers for the pregnant lady. Bor-ing.) After check-in, we headed downtown to Historic Fernandina Beach to check out the farmers’ market and the local shops. The farmers’ market was packed with people, so we didn’t linger long- but we had enough time to sample some delish natural-raised pork products! After much debate, we made off with some link sausages that will soon be grilled up with onions and mushrooms for dinner. Yumm. We also picked up some local strawberries to much on while we strolled about, and enjoyed browsing the little shops along the way- the Trailer Park Collectibles, the local bookstores, and an interesting store that had lots of fossils and sharks’ teeth.

We meandered our way to the waterfront café for lunch, and noshed on dip of crabby, creamy, cheese goodness; a shrimp and crab quiche with sweet potato salad (me); and a Cuban with lobster bisque (Mike.) Stuffed silly, we returned to the hotel for a nap and a walk on the beach before washing up and heading to Amelia Plantation for a look around. We found a lovely spot in front of the spa, with rocking chairs and a pretty view, to relax for a few minutes and just talk (the amazing smells wafting from the spa didn’t hurt either!)



Amelia Plantation was beautiful, but I will say this- resorts like that could be anywhere, near any beach, and there wouldn’t be anything very distinctive about it. There were chain shops on the premises- Chico’s, etc., and the spa, while truly gorgeous, was comparable to other spas I’ve visited. We appreciated our visit, but as we rocked, we talked about our values in regards to travel and we agree that for us, travel is more about enjoying an area as it is- we prefer unique experiences that provide us with the local feel and flavor more than the all-inclusive, Anywhere, USA (and beyond) ambiance that resorts like this tend to have. Sure, there’s a focus on high-quality service, but when it comes down to it, if the idea is to never leave the resort, then what’s the point of traveling far to get there? You may as well go to the resort down the street!


Anyhow, after our leisurely stroll around Amelia Plantation, we picked up a few treats- Stewarts’ Key Lime and Orange Cream sodas and a refreshing tropical Pure Fuji starfruit candle for my office- and we headed back downtown to catch our sunset cruise along the intercoastal waterway. The cruise was lovely, with some narration and a good view of the wild horses at Cumberland Island, and after a beautiful sunset we returned for dinner at 29 South Eats.


29 South is one of the great examples of local flavor! They are a farm-to-table restaurant that uses as many local, natural vendors as they can, and even have a garden of their own behind the building! We gobbled up our pulled pork spring roll appetizer, and our entrees were to die for- tempura lobster with a lavender honey-mustard glaze over buttermilk mashed potatoes for Mike, and a sweet-tea marinated pork chop over homemade mac and cheese, drizzled with blackberry preserves for me. Quadruple yum! But nothing- NOTHING- could’ve prepared us for dessert. I kept seeing all these reviews for the restaurant, and even the bad reviews claimed that the dessert was the best they’d ever had; many confessed they even returned a second time just for dessert. What was this irresistible confection? Coffee and Donuts. As in, a krispy kreme bread pudding. Topped with mocha ice cream. On a drizzle of caramel. With a strawberry garnish. And when they came to take our plate away, there was nothing left but the memory. Oh. My. Gawd. Thinking about it now makes me want to stop typing immediately and drive the 2.5 hours back to Amelia Island just to get one. It’s that good!

After dinner, we rolled ourselves back into the car and headed back to the room to change, and then we wandered over to the beachfront bar across from our hotel. We had a drink or two- again, my Becks’ non-alcoholic brew was quite tasty- and listened to waves crashing for a bit before turning in. A great first day!

We spend Easter Sunday morning on the beach getting some sun before everyone else showed up after church and brunch, and had fun reading and playing in the sand. I crafted a lovely sand fish which Mike devilishly crushed, cackling wildly, and after that a devastated, pouty, you-just-pissed-in-my-Cheerios Tammy decided it was time to go. We grabbed a quick bite back in the downtown area and then made our way back to G-ville, relaxed and refreshed- a lovely weekend!


We did decide over the course of the weekend that we’re going to test the waters on selling our kayaks in favor of other agua-based activities- a little jon boat for Mike and a bathtub for me.  But we’ll see where that goes. We prepared for the transition by dusting our trusty Hobies off and taking them out for pictures to post once we make our decision for sure. Loading and unloading the ‘yaks was a lot of work, though, so afterward we treated ourselves to sushi (Bento does a great deal on Sunday, buy 3 rolls, get a signature roll free!) and saw Hot Tub Time Machine at the movies, which was sooo friggin’ cute and funny! We really enjoyed the characters and the jokes and it was a great way to end the day!


A few more weekend pics:


Hope everyone else had as happy an Easter as we did!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Lil Show Dogs

For the past two years, Mike and I have made our way north to High Springs for the annual Mutts and Pups Dog Show to benefit the High Springs Farmer’s Market. This is no ordinary dog show- oh no, with categories like Best Smile, Best Trick, Best Kisses, Owner-Dog-Look-A-Like, and more- any and all dogs have a real shot at realizing their inner champion, pedigree or not!


Stella and Yeller have always fared well at this show. Yeller has placed second in the Best Smile competition two years in a row, and Stella, the defending Best Kisses champion and an Honorable Mention as Best in Show under her belt! (er, collar.) So this year, we knew we had to come in for our third year with our heads down and our game faces on, prepared to fight for our titles.
This is us in preparation for the competition. Clearly you can see the determination in our eyes, and the eyes of our dogs.


As the beginning of the competition drew near, we gave our dogs some pep talks and some booty scratches for luck, and then it was time to line up. Mike and Yeller were up first in the Best Smile category. Yeller gave his widest smile, Mike lifted him in the air like the show dog that he is, put him down, gave him snuggles- he pulled out all the stops.
 But the competition was fierce. Following Yeller, a Pomeranian stepped into the ring. Known for their perpetual smiles, this Pomeranian tripped us all up by glaring, rather than grinning, at the judges. Yes! One down. Next up- Big White Dog. Big White Dog had a large smile on his face while standing in line, intimidating the other competitors- dogs and owners alike. We squirmed. We fretted. We gave Yeller lots of hugs. But in the end, Yeller prevailed and took the First Place blue ribbon in Best Smile!!! We were so proud and excited that he’d jumped up in the rankings!!



But alas, we hardly had time to celebrate before needing to line up for Stella’s category- Best Kisses. Up against three other dogs- a Jack Russell, a Chihuahua, and an indeterminate Little-Bitty Dog, Stel stood out as the only big dog in the mix. We entered the ring, I stooped down… And Stel attacked me with kisses! Not in her usual fashion- she generally jumps up on me and knocks me over. But I believe she was just watching out for the new white maternity shirt I was wearing. We watched as the other dogs took their turn in the ring, an held our breath as the Jack Russell kissed not one, not two, but THREE of its family members. Stella looked concerned. I looked concerned. I petted the lil white stripe on her head.


At last the judges submitted their scores, and the time had come to announce the winners. Stella and I entered the ring, wide-eyed and big-bellied. As the third and second prize were announced, we breathed a little easier- I knew she’d placed somewhere, after all! And here we were, First Place Best Kisses for the third year running!!! We were so excited as we tied on her blue ribbon, and beamed at our TWO Show Dog Champions!


After their categories were over, we reviewed our loot- dog treats, discounts for haircuts and canoe trips (Canoe trip anyone? We got two gift certificates!) We also won a $10 coupon for The Station Café and Bakery, and went for a celebratory lunch of turkey clubs and ice cream cones (the dogs feasted on a few choice bits of bacon from our sammies.)


All in all, a fun, successful family day at the dog show- and all for a good cause! All you dog lovers, we invite you to join us next year… Although, I’d stay away from Best Kisses and Best Smile competitions. We’ve got those locked up! :)

A couple more pics:



Thursday, March 18, 2010

....And This is All I Have to Report

  • My bestie just got into her first-choice grad school!! Congrats Nat Baby! (And congrats to me too, since she'll just be in Ft. Lauderdale and I can still see her!)

  • I am not sleeping well. Either I can't fall asleep until 1am, or I go to bed early only to wake up (or be woken up) in the middle of the night and not get back to sleep, or I have RIDICULOUS dreams that wake me up.

  • We attended Troy's fabulous 40th birthday- a Mad Men theme. Pics of myself have been untagged on Facebook due to the fact that in my opinion I appear to be the size of a small house. And PS: Maternity dresses are not as flattering as I'd thought them to be. But, I did thoroughly enjoy my Italian sodas provided by the lovely Mrs. Bleeker and candy ciggies, which were one of my favorite childhood treats. Seriously.

  • Mike Baby and I booked our "babymoon!" We are headed to the Florida Keys over Memorial Day weekend- we'll be camping at Bahia Honda state park for 2 nights, and recuperating from camping at the lovely Hawk's Cay resort for 2 nights. There's a pool and a day spa, so I'm sold.

  • Our other travels this year include a free weekend in Amelia Island that I won at a trade show (yay!) and an Orlando weekend for hang-gliding (Mike) and Universal for the unveiling of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (for me.) Can't wait!

  • My sis is bringing me Girl Scout cookies tonight. Hence, I have not been posting my Cookie Cravings postings. I am pretty sure that I don't need to bake any cookies with the amount of Thin Mints headed my way. :)

  • I leave for Nashville on Sunday for the Southeast Tourism Society's Spring Meeting, where I will graduate from my 3-year Marketing College Program and be an official TMP- Travel Marketing Professional!

  • I also get to go to the Grand Ole Opry and see Trace Atkins and Luke Bryan for free. Oh, and eat barbecue. And probably wear my cowboy boots.

  • Next weekend Stella will be defending her Best Kisses Champion award for the third year running in the Mutts and Pups Dog Show! Wish us luck!

  • I celebrated St. Patty's Day with a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's; a green O'Douls and chicken zingers from The Red Onion; and hanging with Lauren, my lovely neice Hannah, and my handsome nephew Halen. Having the beer-and-wings flavor combo after 3.5 months without was absolute bliss. Baby, I miss wings-and-beer nights at Clubhouse/Gator Tales so much! You're my favorite drinking buddy ya know!

  • This morning I ate Krispy Kreme for breakfast. In line, I asked, "do ya'll have fat-free milk?" which was met with a blank stare, followed by: "Uh... no. But you wouldn't really be here if that mattered, would you?" For some strange reason, that made my hot glazed donut and whole milk chaser that much tastier. Why, no I don't care about fat free dairy products! I'm preggers!

  • Name Wars 2010 is still raging in Casa Herchel. Seriously, if anyone has a half-decent boy's name suggestion that isn't James, and isn't picked off the Gator Roster, please email Mike about it and let him think it's his idea. I'm not ready to wave my white flag just yet.....

  • ...But I might be on April 20th- the date of our next ultrasound! This will be the sonogram that will determine Sprout's sex- should we choose to find out. The deciding factor will be the state of Name Wars at the time of my appointment. If we can arrange a peace agreement by finding out, then so be it- but if a compromise is reached before then, the mystery will remain.

  • My sister is bringing me girl scout cookies tonight. I actually didn't realize until I was halfway through typing this sentence that I've already told you that. Either I've got preggo brain somethin' fierce- or those cookies just mean that much to me. I'll let you decide!

  • My coveted baby bag is on sale, but thanks to my office' awesome per-diem travel reimbursement policy and my impending work trip, I can't get it this week. I'm currently accepting donations toward said coveted baby bag. Ya'll saw it, you know it's perfect for me...er Sprout. I accept cash, check, and condolences. Because if it sells out before I get it, I will certainly need to be consoled. :(

  • ....And that's all I have to report, folks. Stay tuned for more from the wonderful world of Tammydom!