Friday, July 8, 2011

Joy and Pain

The glow of pregnancy. The joy of being with child. The blessings. The.... REALITY.

Nausea: check. Headaches: check. Heartburn: check. Feeling moderately whale-like already: check. I was ready for all of this. After all, didn't I go through all of this just recently? So no major complaints to that end. A little whining, yes, but I'll live. What I didn't expect was heart problems again.

Last pregnancy while in my third trimester, I ended up going to the emergency room and the cardiologist. The ER thought I was bat-shit because I was complaining of rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath in my third trimester. I was treated like a hypochondriac but it didn't stop them from performing some rather expensive tests on me. The funny thing is, not one doctor, nurse or intern raised a stethoscope to my chest. Then I was sent to a cardiologist the next week by my OB who was not happy with the ER results. The cardiologist, who also did an echo and an EKG immediately put a stethoscope to my chest and told me I had a Mitral Valve Prolapse. Wow, to think my 4 hour ER trip could have been nipped in the bud that quickly! Anywho, it's not a serious condition... Many people have it and not only live with it day to day with no issues but many, like me, had no idea they even had the condition. The cardiologist told me that if I could handle the symptoms for the last month and just take it easy that I would need no interventions. He also let me know that usually, these issues pop up in the first rather than the third trimester.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. I was working, doing my plate slinging and people pleasing routine. About an hour into a crazy busy shift, my heart was going crazy. It was a racing mess and I felt like I was trying to breathe through a cocktail straw. Aw crap. Time to go back to the cardiologist. Unfortunately I've moved since the last issue and have to start over from scratch. So now I'm in the middle of the guinea pig routine. Over the next week and a half, I've got an echo scheduled, bloodwork, and will wear a 24 hour heart monitor called a Holter. I'm truly not over worried, I just want to make sure that not only am I providing enough oxygen for my little peanut but will be okay during labor and delivery. So don't fret my friends, but sending me a little good juju wouldn't hurt.

-via BlogPress

Friday, June 17, 2011

SHOCK! & awwwwwww...

When Dennis and I were still dating but already pretty serious, the subject of starting a family came up. After a relatively short conversation, it seemed as though we were pretty much on the same page. Stay at home parent, cloth diapers, breast feeding. Then the number issue came up. For a long time, for various reasons, I never really wanted kids. With Dennis, it was very easy to see that there would be an equal share in the work, discipline and love it takes to raise a tiny human. Balancing both of these thoughts, it's not surprising that I wanted one child. Dennis agreed, which pretty much sealed the deal. Flash forward to August 2009. I found out I was pregnant with Alex and we were excited, scared and very very happy. Throughout the pregnancy when people asked about the potential size of our little family the party line was always "one and done." I think quite a few friends and family can attest to the fact that we stuck pretty tight to this statement. Forward again to Alex at 3 months old. This is the age I lovingly refer to as the "potato baby" phase. Little potato sits in his chair or swing and waves his arms and legs, coos, smiles... And is so so very cute. Suddenly, we start considering another baby. The rationale became "if they're really close in age, we can get through the baby phase within 4 or 5 years.". We decided to let the chips fall where they may. We weren't taking basil body temps, but we also weren't attempting any type of prevention. Still, the party line remained. We figured if it didn't happen, no one is the wiser. If it did, "surprise!" This should be the end of the story, right? Well, not so much. As we approached Alex's first birthday, the possibility of close together babies was fading away. So we called and made an appointment for the baby factory to be shut down. Only problem was, we called in February, but they couldn't schedule the surgery until the end of April. We made the appointment and went about our merry way. Alex turned one, got his first major haircut and rocketed into toddler-hood. The appointment was kept, and to alleviate any issues between rammy toddler and recovering dada I dropped Alex off at my dad and s'mom's on the way to throw a baby shower for my favorite girl, Otter. While I was in NYC, I felt a bit off. I was extra clumsy, sensitive and just out of it. I chalked it up to sub par sleep and massive amounts of driving. After a night up north, I headed back to pick up the mini monster and head back home. It was the beginning of May and just a few short days after the surgery. Wait. The BEGINNING of May. The beginning of the month and no aunt flo. And I'm super cranky. And tired. And the girls don't look like they did a month ago, they look like I spent the weekend having a boob lift. Uh. Oh. Went to the store... Pee'd on a stick... And shazaam. So much for one and done. It was quite the surprise, to say the least! I had Dennis buy another stick for posterity. Yup. Took about 2 seconds for it to blaze bright pink. After a couple days of daze Dennis and I started thinking about names, moving into a forever home and boy versus girl. And most of all, about sweet cuddly potato babies.

-via BlogPress

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

After some consideration....

I figured out what is holding me back from blogging more frequently. It's the sense that I need to publish full story-like creations complete with pictures each and every time. To do that, I have to sit up at my PC. Maybe it's the ridiculously loud fans, the EMF or a loathing of the constant need-to-be-cleared mess on the desk, but I really don't like sitting there. So I've decided until the folks at get their crap together an write an app for my gadgets, I'm going to blog away from my desk. Sans pictures (for now.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Corner of the Sky

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

From Pippin by
Stephen Schwartz

I have moved a whooooole lot over the years. The longest I've ever spent in one place was in my childhood home of Rising Sun, MD. For all its faults, it was a good place to grow up. Rolling semi-countryside, decent schools, teachers who cared and an obvious lack of commercial pollution. As far as I know (I haven't gone back much) the town got it's first McDonalds several years ago, and THAT was pretty high society. The best part was our house though. We had just enough land to run around in, a garden out back every year and a basketball hoop over the garage. Dad even painted a half court on the driveway. It was a nice house and yard to grow up in. Mom always had the door open to my friends, and my friends' houses were accessible too. That was awesome. There was a Christmas tree farm, a house with an above ground pool next to a private school with expansive grounds, and a house with bunk beds where we would dream of Patrick Swayze to the anthem of Slippery When Wet. All in all, it was a pretty fantastic place to grow up.

When it was time to go to college, I moved into Baltimore City. Throughout the years, I've lived in Charles Village, Towson, Upper Fells/Patterson Park, Govans, and my two favorites: Fells Point and Federal Hill. I think Federal Hill is my true number one. Not only is it the place where Dennis and I first lived together and where we raised Roscoe from a pup, but a place where we could walk to work. A place where we could go up the street and have a cocktail or dinner and the bartender knew our name. And best of all, a place where we were two blocks from a market with fresh seafood, flowers, freshly ground beef and produce among other goodies.

Despite this, when Dennis received a job offer out of state, we were okay with a change in scenery. He was to train in the company's home area of Winston Salem, NC. We were only there for 6 months, but it made quite an impression. North Carolina is painted in an unreal palate of greens. It's absolutely breathtaking. The town (city??!!) is a little, um.... slow, but charming and very friendly. We were a bit loathe to leave.

Next stop... Florida! I had lived in Key West previously, but spent all my time working. This time, I was going with no job and no sense of the land. What I discovered rather quickly was that each little area in the strip between Fort Lauderdale and Miami had it's own unique personality. We lived in Hallandale Beach where the median age was quite a bit older and shifted from a diverse mix in the off-season to a predominately French Canadian population during peak season. Hollywood (Hollyweird) is a condo town, a lot of them setup as rentals. So it was a nice mix of young and old, professionals, service industry and retirees. The weird part comes in when you consider that it's the halfway point between Lauderdale and Miami. Working in Hollywood exposed me to a WIDE mix of personalities and incomes. It was a strange soup to be sure. One of the great things about Hollywood was the beach area. It had a boardwalk with shops and restaurants, just like the summer beach of my youth. Florida was great, not for a forever home, but for making some incredible friends. My two and a half years in Florida introduced me to some of extraordinary people.

Alas, it was time to move again. This time, it was for a fantastic reason. We were heading back "home" to the midatlantic with our 6 week old son so that Dennis could be the chef at Dogfish Head. Would this be it? Would we finally be somewhere to settle down and finally grow roots? Well, it's taken a year, but I received the final piece of the puzzle-answer just a few weeks ago. The first piece was being close to family.

Granted, we're closer to my family than Dennis', but we could at least drive to visit the Marcoux clan and they could come see us.

That wasn't quite feasible while living in Florida. Second, we are a short two and a half hours from my favorite little city: Baltimore. I could go to my favorite spots and reconnect with friends.

Third, we have the beach 10 minutes away.

Fourth, we live in a quiet community across the street from a cattle field. It's not quite the boonies, but it's certainly not urban.

The last piece fell into place when I took Alex to a nearby trail that connects Cape Henlopen beach park with Rehoboth Beach. As we walked from the parking lot back to the trail, it became greener and greener. The trees joined into a gorgeous canopy.

I got my Carolina back! I realized that I now lived somewhere with access to the best elements from each of the places I'd lived. The only missing part is the friends I've left behind. But my heart has enough room to keep them with me too.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Much T'do, How 'bout Nothing

It's 7:30. The peanut is in bed, dinner is going to be quick, the hubby is at work... and the house is a mess. And for some reason (a 23 lb very active reason) I feel absolutely NO motivation to do anything about it. I have 5 metric tons of laundry to fold, toys to put away, a guest bed to strip. I just can't be bothered. Not even to feel guilty about it. So my dear readers, join me in my full blown sloth. Lazy loves company!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Less Worry

When Alex was born, I was super hyper in the way that an inexperienced first time mom is prone to be. There was a whole world of dangers out there that our over media-exposed brains are forced to process. Chemicals in diapers! Vaccines and Autism! Baby seats that harm rather than protect your baby during a crash!

I've now addressed all of these and more. While I'm not as concerned about chemical burns from diapers, I do cloth my kid. I've got a really great Britax car seat that I would never have discovered on my own. I owe that one to Facebook and Sarah Yarborough. He's had vaccines, and while I am personally no longer concerned about links between Autism and vaccines (I've done my personal research, so I'm not looking for a debate here) I do have Alex vaccinated one shot per visit. I do this to minimize the guessing game that would be involved were he to have multiple shots and then have a reaction.

This brings me to my biggest worry to date:

Ah yes... the dreaded peanut allergy. Alex's cousin Josh has the allergy and it's worried me a bit. While Dennis and I may not be peanut junkies (aside from Dennis' hardcore addiction to Peanut M&Ms) we do have things in the house that include nuts, are surely "from a plant that processes nuts and nut products," and occasionally crave the random PB&J. I was hoping not to have to go through all the machinations of school notes, reading every line of every product I bring home and medic alert bracelets. I have mad respect for the parents that have to do this... anyone who has to worry about a simple common item causing anaphylaxis in their kid, I don't envy you. So I thought about the ways I could knock out this worry. Hand the kid a cracker with peanut butter and have a spoonful of Benadryl ready to shove down his throat? Take the peanut butter jar with me to the Pediatrician and feed it to him there? Or better yet, feed it to him in the drive of the local emergency room? Then I had one of those moments where I talked myself off the over-protective ledge: "Amy, you're being ridiculous. It can be a serious situation, but you are making WAY more out of this than you need to, considering Alex has had Honey Nut Cheerios and taken a bite of your Snickers Ice Cream bar with zero issues." So I bought a jar of organic PB at Giant (might as well allow myself this little fraidy cat concession) and brought it home. I gave Alex a teeny bit on the end of his baby spoon. He smacked his lips, gave me look and reached for the jar. I had to pry him away from the gooey goodness with promises of his first PB&J this evening as long as there was no reaction. So far so good, which makes for one less worry.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ms. Direction

I have no problems with "some assembly required." Usually. The ole wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of he month, but with Alex's Auntie Donna coming for a week, Kristi possibly coming for a weekend, the Otter's baby shower and the snip heard round the world (a subject for another time,) there was no time like the present for, well, a present. Alex and I went to Lowes to get Dennis a new grill.

Last year when we got to town Dennis and I realized that it was the first time in our history together that we weren't at least two stories off the ground. It was time to start grillin'! Only one problem: we were really REALLY broke. So on a trip to Lowes we picked up a cheapy grill. Well in the time honored tradition of "you get what you pay for," it was ready for the big BBQ in the sky after 4 months. The lid hinge hanging on by a thread finally gave out a month ago, sealing the sad little grill's fate.

So it was time to get a sturdier model. I knew Den didn't want a gas grill (what's the fun in that?) so I pointed out the charcoal models the last time we went in for veggie seeds and a wheelbarrow. He pointed to one non-commitally, but I knew that was as big a confirmation as I would get without tipping my hand. So here we were, ready to buy.

Got the sucker loaded into the back of the HHR and headed home. Alex fell asleep on the way, so I thought "score! Time enough to assemble." Or is it? I pull in the drive, roll down the windows and leave the monster in his seat. I spread out the pieces, read the directions, then start with #1. I get to #2 and realize the directions weren't clear on the position of the base posts. Soooo back to #1. Get back up to #2, proceed to #3. Notice that the holes for the wheel axle don't line up. The directions didn't mention to look out for this in #1... so it all came apart again and back to #1. Get to back to #3, proceed to #4. Directions didn't mention that the holes on the top of the base were at a slight angle to attach the grill body. And that said angled holes need to be FACING IN. Apart the base went once more and back to ratchet fratchet fringo }¥#*#$;&:$??!!! #1.

After this, Alex woke up. So what would have been a completed grill was only half finished. Now I had a monster on the loose. I pulled out the outside play pen. Alex let me know in no uncertain terms that this was quite unacceptable (read: shrieked his head off to the point that neighbors poked their heads out to see who had lost a limb.) So out onto the lawn he went and the rest of the grill assembly proceeded like this: line up a bolt and nut, turn bolt 2-3 times, say "Alex, come back here buddy." Turn bolt 2 more times, run around the car, grab runaway monster, tote him back. Rinse, repeat. By the time the grill was put together, tulips had been de-petaled, enough dandelion seeds had been dispersed to weed the entire neighborhood, baby shoes were missing, baby socks were nearly black and I had a sunburned neck {insert lower Delaware joke here X}. I rolled my finished project to the back lawn and walked away from it shaking my head. What should have taken 40 minutes took 2 and a half hours. *sigh*

In the end, Dennis likes his grill, Alex got to play outside on a pretty day and I didn't have any spare parts left over. All indicators that things started with the best intentions, while sometimes taking a crazy path, finish with great results.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

So it's no great shock that I'm a huge fan of craft beer. Especially Dogfish Head. So that's why I'm not afraid to pull the wifey card once every month during the off season in order to enjoy the fruits of my hubby's labor. Beer dinners are the best of two worlds: The creative and groundbreaking world of small brewhouses trying to cut their way through the swath of yellow fizz, and the long standing tradition of culinary chemistry pairing with potent potables. If you see my non-Kate Moss sized body, you can guess that I am a fan of good food. So it makes me absolutely giddy that some of Dennis' best work thus far in his career has been at these beer dinners, of which I have enjoyed every one so far. As I write this segment, I'm sitting at the downstairs bar enjoying a Ta Henket and waiting for the festivities to begin. As usual, I will be joined by my partner in dine, Maizie Wallace.

Alright... Here I am, upstairs at last. It's another sold out event, so it's nice and noisy, the way a truly social event should be! Here's the menu:


Welcome- Fungus Tea'Mungus

Awesome beer... very little left. Brewpub exclusive as a small run.

Trio of She Crab Soup with Wit Spiced Rhum, Pimento Cheese with Baguette, Fried Chincoteague Oyster with Lemon Cayenne Aioli
Served with Midas Touch, 60 Minute IPA, and Lawnmower

She crab with the Midas: the crab was rendered all the more sweet by the midas.
Pimento Cheese with the 60: The semi aggressive hopping of the 60 was just what was needed to cut through the richness of the cheese without overpowering the pimento.
Oyster with Lawnmower: the Lawnmower is often swept under the rug as a "starter beer" but held it's own tonight against the lightly briny oyster and the nicely spicy aioli.

Maizie Says: "More Oysta's please!"

Sweet Tea Glazed Salmon with Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Chevre, Local Lettuces and Peach Vinaigrette
Served With Aprihop

The hoppy-ness of the beer was great for toning down the salmony-ness of the fish, but the light sweetness of the glaze was highlighted by the Apricot in the brew. It was great to have the compliment of the dressing against the beer, and the goat cheese and fried green tomato were just acidic/tangy enough to add nice bright notes to the dish.

Maizie Says: "MMmmmmmm" (mostly because her mouth was full)

Shrimp and Grits-Huge Woodgrilled Shrimp, Stone Ground Crispy Grit Cake, Homemade Smoked Pork Belly Sauce
Served with Ta Henket

The Ta Henket, which is a phenomenal beer, almost needed to be a bit more bold in order to shine through all the richness of this dish. That being said, the in-house smoked pork belly AND BACON were incredible! The giant shrimp were grilled perfectly, down to the little "snap" when you bite into them.

Maizie Says: "Holy CRAP! That's rich!"

Warm Cream Cheese Pecan Brownie with Brown Honey Rum Caramel Sauce and Fresh Whipped Cream
Served with World Wide Stout

Buzzzzzzzzzz.... Sugar... chocolate... rum-caramel.... World Wide Stout.... yup. It was that amazing!

Maizie was:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Being Well Read

As some of you may know, Alex has not been very cooperative in the sleeping department. At a year old I had visions of a well rested baby waking after a full night's sleep. That was fantasy land. Instead, he wakes up at the very least twice a night. Therefore, so do I. I want it to be known that this is not a bid for advice. Trust me, I've heard it all... And most of it from people who have no kids. This makes me laugh maniacally at their expense as soon as they're out of earshot. The point of this is that I refuse to beat myself up over my lack of blogging. Trust me, I still have plenty to say, I'm just too tired to say it! So I'll make my readers a deal... If you read my blog but don't "follow" it, sign up! If I get 10 more followers I'll immediately get on the stick and write away. If not, you'll just have to wait until I get a little more rest. So motivate me!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stuff I Like

These things have been rattling around in my head for a while... I'm going to write two separate blogs about the things I like for me, and the things I like as a mommy. I'm starting with the me stuff, so without further ado,

Stuff I like as a chic:

Cheap long sleeve tees. Old Navy seems to be my best source for these. As stated in my last blog, I like to get the next biggest size up. I can wear a medium, but only through a couple of washes. Then the sleeves are WAY too short. I love the fact that they are inexpensive enough that if one gets ruined by one of my husband's "Sharpie in the washer" incidents, it's not a huge deal. The best part is the new colors and patterns several times a season.
I've also lucked out at Marshall's in the activewear department. They have more/better items of this type in their workout wear than they do on the regular "knits" rack. I found Green Apple Organics tees with designs on them for less than $15. They look a bit like these, but with cool designs:
24" L/S V-Neck Tee

Flared pants. Being a girl with a boo-tay, I like jeans and pants with a flared leg. Skinny jeans do absolutely nothing for me, as I am not, well, skinny. The flare gives me balance top to bottom. The best flare leg jeans I have found is the "Long and Lean" from Gap. Despite the name, they aren't skinny.
long & lean. mid rise, fitted in the hip and thigh, flared leg opening.

I'm also a fan of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brand flares but never buy these retail. They always tend to pop up at Marshalls at some point :)

Fuzzy socks... how could you not love fuzzy socks. Don't care about the brand, color, or print. Just gimme the fuzz.

Merrell shoes have saved my back. These too I buy at Marshalls, like my Moc clogs

But the ones I really want are full priced at Zappos.
But since this is all about stuff I like and not necessarily about what I own...
can you say Christian Louboutin????

But I digress.

Being a stay at home mom, I don't wear much in the way of makeup, but I do have some essential items in my repertoire.

The first couple are the "base coat" if you will. My mom turned me on to Cetaphil as a cleanser, and I haven't used anything else for 12 years. I also swear by Oil of Olay complete sensitive as my moisturizer. I've tried others, but it's so clean and non greasy I always come back to it.

For eyeshadows, I only have a couple colors but if I could only buy one brand for the rest of my life, it would be MAC. I got on the MAC train when it was just being acquired by Estee Lauder in 1996. The acquisition started in 94 and was complete by 98. (bet you didn't know Estee owned MAC, did you??)
I love their colors and finishes.

Mascara wise, I learned a long time ago that grocery store mascaras hold up better than department store brands. I've been through my share of brands and types and have finally found my happy place, lash wise. I wear contacts and have a bit of dry eye, so I have to be careful with "thickening" mascaras as they tend to have fibers in them. Once the mascara has been on your lashes for a while, it will flake. Right. Into. Your eyeballs. OUCH! That being said, if you throw out your mascara every three months it cuts down on this problem. I may be frugal, but I can't stand to have ouchie eyes. I decided to try Lash Blast Length as it was advertised to be anti flake. I wore it for a year when I decided against my better judgement to try Lash Blast Fusion which is the combo of their lengthening and thickening mascaras. I was pleasantly surprised. Little to no flaking, super black falsie eyelashes.
Last but not least is my nemesis, makeup wise. Lip stuff. I look horrible in lipstick, can't stand stains and hate gloss stickiness. I found my true lip love in Whole Foods years ago. Thanks to that wonderful bee-man Burt, I get soft color without icky lips.
Lip Shimmer - Burt's Bees

Hope this is helpful to a gal or too looking for some new stuff. Mostly, I just like blabbing about my favorite things!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Way I See Fit

So, the last time I checked, I'm a girl. I'm as typical a mom/wife/chic as any artsy person can be. So why oh why is it that I hate (and I mean with the fire of a thousand suns) shopping? Oh sure, window shopping occasionally is fine. I even like to load and unload online shopping carts ala Stephanie Mansueto. But when it comes to the real deal, the actual trying on and purchasing of garments, I want to run screaming from the strip mall.

I like pretty things, I like to look at them and touch them. And I'm pretty happy body-wise with myself these days. Could I lose a few more? Sure. But all in all, I don't have a bad body image. So with the combo of these two positives, how could clothes shopping be such a negative? Its due to the tweaking and shifting of standard sizes by clothing companies to make you feel better about yourself. One label will shorten their "regular" length to play to the just over petite crowd. Another will make their long really really long for... well, I'm not sure why. I'm 5'9. I shouldn't drown in a long when the average height for an American woman is about 5'4. And let's just touch for a moment on the subject of "rise." I don't want to wear jeans that are Erkle-licious. Whenever I try on jeans my mind wanders to the "Mom-Jean" skit from SNL.

HOWEVER, I don't need my arse crack to show. Low rise is for the thin and fit. I know this and don't go there. But there has to be a happy medium between low rise and under-the-booby jeans. This is where mid rise is supposed to work out, right? Not so much. Mid rise jeans (on me) tend to either expose the top of my arse or squeeze my hipbones to bruising. When I trying a larger size, I take two steps and they're around my ankles. *Sigh*

Aside from the pant problems, there are issues in the skirt, top and undergarment departments as well. With skirts, it seems you either need to be in your 20's or living in a nursing home. Due to heredity and child bearing, my upper legs are a bit of a road map of veins, so minis are out. That does not, however, mean that I want to be covered to mid shin. *double sigh* Tops typically fit well through the body at medium, but if I forget once and put them in the dryer, keeping in mind that I ALWAYS dry on low heat, the sleeves become 3/4 length. I'm not gonna touch the subject of bras, because if you are female and reading this, you can fill in just as many, if not more horror stories than I can provide.

My solution? "Large" activewear tops, designer pants, and screw wearing skirts. Designer pants just fit better. I hate to admit it as I'm as frugal as the day is long, but a good Calvin Klein cord is going to fit me 1000 times better than an Old Navy one. For the first time in my life, I finally see the benefit in paying more for a better label. They hug my curves without hip strangulation or danger of mooning the neighbors. The tops are less a department store's definition of activewear and more a yoga style top that is fitted through the body. I get length in the sleeve without looking like I'm styling the latest Hefty-bag. As for skirts? I crawl after a 10 month old all day. Who am I kidding?

Finally, the bra situation. Well, that's enough material (or lack there of) for an entirely separate post. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Final Countdown

Insert the cheesy Europe song here. Just by writing the title, I'm insuring that the song will now be cemented in my brain for at least a week. So what are we counting down to? Weening. Ohhhhhh yes, my friends. I'm kicking the Medela habit. I wish I could say that I had mixed feelings about weening, but as my readers know (if I have any left after the radio silence) Alex didn't quite do his part in the breast feeding tango. Instead of warm fuzzy bonding thoughts, all I can think of is putting together pump parts half asleep. A few people have asked me if I ever needed the pads you put in your bra if I hear a baby cry or think about Alex too hard. Not so much, folks. Maybe if I heard a straw squeak in a to-go cup in a methodical fashion, or any other pump type sound. So there are no mixed feelings.

Now the only problem comes from impatience. The little be-horned Amy on my right shoulder keeps whispering that I could just quit now. No harm, no foul. The halo'd Amy on my left knows (and reminds me) that it's just a bit too early, and I don't want to blow my freezer stash too quickly. So to placate the right shoulder, I remind my self daily, several times daily if I'm being honest, of how many days I have left. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with 2 to 2 1/2 extra hours in my day. Because when you add it up, that's the amount of time I spend chained to those evil plastic cones. I DO know that I'll be getting extra sleep. I think I better dedicate at least 30 minutes of it to exercise as I truly believe that the breast feeding has been the biggest contributor to my weightloss. Running after a soon-to-be-walking Alex will definitely help, but I refuse to shelve my hard won size 10 jeans.

I'm thinking I can use the rest to launch my promised website and make more jewelry. By February I want to have a torch set up at the local glass shop so I can start knocking out some original glass cabochons, beads and objets d'art. I'm going to try my hand at some teaching as well. Small stuff first, like byzantine chain weaving and 4 in 1s. Then maybe a hot head glass class. If all goes well, I'd like to take a weekend and go to Philly to get certified as a PMC teacher. Sorry if I lost some of you, but hey, isn't that what Google is for?

Thinking about all of this helps me get through the day to day yearning to be weened from the pump. In the meantime, Alex is cruising, walking with a push walker, and crawling like lightning. He is, of course, into everything and anything he's not supposed to have. He's an explorer and very brave by nature, so I'm sure he will take the "new milk" like a champ. I've been trying him on sippy cups, for which he has no use, but he'll get it eventually.

So keep the good vibes coming my way so I can make it these last few weeks!