Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun in the snow

About a foot more of snow came down in Springfield, MA yesterday. DH helped his dad shovel out the walk and the cars several times during the day. But there was plenty of time for fun too. Here is DH playing in the snow with our nieces, Caitlin and Meghan.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A very long trip to visit family and friends

A winter wonderland?!?

Yesterday at 4 AM DH and I left Charlotte to drive up to Massachusetts. We were in very good spirits having gone to bed around 9 PM the night before. We managed to leave on time which is usually a good indicator of the trip to come.

The first 10 hours or so were totally fine. I snuck in an hour nap before the sun came up and we only stopped 3 times for food/bathroom/gas breaks. Charlie seemed to be OK in the back of the car; his first long trip not being in his cage. I think he liked having room to move around and we had a travel water dish that he could drink from the whole time. Of course he didn't eat any breakfast but that's par for the course when he's not sure what's going on. Too bad it's now been 36 hours and he still hasn't eaten! I blame the snow.

The drive was great as I mentioned for the first 10 hours despite about 15 miles of dense fog our first hour in. DH learned how to turn on the fog lights so it wasn't all bad. But then when we got on 84E just over the Tapanzee bridge and it all went to hell. The roads were in bad condition from about 8 inches of snow and apparently no one, even in New England, knows how to drive when the roads aren't in perfect condition. One car coming down 84W spun out and rolled down into the ditch between the two highways right in front of us! If it had had more traction it could have come across on our side of the highway. Fortunately it didn't. For all we know, the guy is still stuck in that ditch. Farther up 84 we ended up in bumper to bumper, stand still traffic for over an hour because of another accident. It was so frustrating because we were about 1 hour away! Then the snow starting coming down again. I was never so happy to see my in-laws house as I was that evening.

We were on track for a 12 hour ride and ended up with 13 1/2. Which would have been fine if the crap happened in the beginning. But by the end my ass felt like it had been sitting on a wood chair despite the comfy leather seats. I have to say, though, the SUV was a godsend. I felt very safe despite the bad road conditions. And DH drove the whole way which was awesome. I'm still not sure how we (or if we) can do this next year with the baby.

DH managed to stay up late last night shooting the shit with his dad and brother. I was in bed at 8 PM along with the dog. I slept great except DH and I were smooshed together in a full sized bed. I'm not sure I like being so close to DH any more when we're sleeping...thank goodness we have a king size bed at home!

More snow is expected all day and we have all day to hang out with DH's family. We'll probably break out the Wii later and let the two older kids create Miis and play some games. They might even convince Uncle DH to play in the snow. Sometimes it can be great to be snowed in!

What do you mean I have to go outside in this shit?!?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday updates

The most important news of the day is that I passed my glucose test with flying colors. Apparently I was 88 which is completely normal. Bring on the holiday food!

DH and I are very much suited in the sense that we are both very organized people and plan far ahead. We leave tomorrow on our long drive up to Massachusetts and we are basically ready to go even though we have 20 hours or so before we leave. All that's left is packing the car and the dog starts to freak out when that happens so DH will do it while I'm walking Charlie.

I know that once we have a baby we will be relying on our planning and organization skills even more. However, instead of having a couple of days to get things ready, we will only have an hour or two, potentially coupled with managing a fussy baby. But there is no way we are taking this trip up North again next year with a 8 month old. Shudder. Could you imagine?

In the meantime, I am anxiously waiting to be done with work for the next two weeks. Well, that's not entirely true. This week has been crazy and there have been big schedule changes on my project so I will likely have to do some work over my vacation. I'm trying to be as productive as possible today but the BigFinance VPN has decided it doesn't like me and kicks me off every 5 minutes. Does anyone remember how we got work done before email? I certainly don't...

I plan on posting while I'm traveling but probably not as regularly. I can't wait to see all of my friends and family for the last child-free (on my end anyway!) holiday season. I promise to post lots of pictures and tell you how DH does hanging out with Mommy, Esq.'s twins. I wonder how many people are going to tell me how "big" I look?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time for Grey's Anatomy to go?

DH and I finally watched the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy last night. All I have to say is, "Ugh." There was so little I liked about it we were talking about taking it off our Season Pass. Here's what I still like about Grey's:
  • They still make me care about patient's stories. Except for last week's episode (that teenage girl was very annoying AND an over-actor, never a good combination) I usually find myself crying at some point. How is it that they can show a patient's story for 8 minutes and I'm still asking for a tissue? Of course they are usually heavy on the tragedies but sometimes it's good crying.
  • Christina rocks. She is probably one of the most complex characters on TV.
  • Little Grey. Yes, she's grown on me. I thought I would never like her from last season but despite the despicable intern self cutting storyline (come on!), she's been very cute this season. A nice bubbly contrast to her half sister. I don't even mind that she and McSteamy are getting together; although I could have done without the whole throwing herself at him. Why does Grey's always rush into the sex? Let them date first...
  • Derek and Meredith are together. Finally! Sure it makes for a more boring relationship and I've seen Derek be a lot more manipulative than I thought he was but I'm OK with that.
  • Dr. Bailey rocks. Is there a more kick ass character on TV? I think not.

Not a bad list, right? Well, check out the negatives:

  • Die, Denny, die! DH and I chanted this the first time around that Denny was on the show and it is no less desired this ridiculous second time around. Now he's hanging out in the hospital with Izzy? Gah. Hate it. I kind of hope that she does have a brain tumor so that they can kill off her character. Remember strong Izzy from the first season who ripped off her clothes to prove a point? Where has she been?
  • George. He used to be my favorite character but now he's just pathetic. Yes, he grew a small pair to retake his intern test but other than that, he's just a mumbly mouthed blob wandering the hospital. It was all downhill after he and Izzy got together. I'm not sure if they can redeem his character.
  • Revolving door of new characters. Remember the good old days when we could keep track of who was on the show? I barely learned Han's name before she was gone. And don't even get me started on Addison leaving (too bad Shonda Rhimes ended up creating such a crappy vehicle for her; and yes, I do watch it). There are just too many characters around these days plus all the patients of the week.
  • Lesbian storyline. I don't object to showcasing lesbians on network television. I am from Massachusetts after all! But I hate that they had to "turn" Callie into a lesbian. It wasn't really gradual or authentic feeling. And now they have her falling in love with Melissa George's character? Terrible. Absolutely terrible. It's a good thing I like Callie and Mark's friendship so much. Or Callie would be crossed off the list of redeemable characters. By the way, I hated Melissa George on Alias and she's even worse on Grey's.

What about the rest of you? Are there things you like or hate?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday thoughts

It is supposed to be in the 60s all week in Charlotte. This geography rocks! Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy snow. Small amounts of it that disappear after a few hours, but I do like it when it's all pretty. But here in Charlotte people can't even drive in the rain, so imagine how bad it is with a few flurries coming down. I haven't worn a coat in days. If this is global warming, I'll take it.

Can restless leg syndrome also be restless arm syndrome? I've been having numbness/tingling in my left arm (all the way from my neck down to my fingers) for months. It really only happens when I'm lying on the couch or in my bed. I've been OK for a while but it woke me up half a dozen times last night. I'm going to have a baby doing that, I don't need a weird feeling to do it too.

Even though my retirement funds are down 40% I am impressed with the reduction in prices for every day things. I just heard that our natural gas company will lower rates by 7% next year. And gas prices for cars is the lowest it's been in years. We filled up the SUV the other day and it only cost $28! I bought a big, framed mirror at HomeGoods for only $40. $40 for a nice mirror! That's crazy.

DH and I are apparently mind readers. Seriously. Twice last night he said something random and I was completely thinking the same thing. Perhaps we are actually ready to have this baby.

My parents didn't have power for over 72 hours this weekend. Aside from warm weather, I love Charlotte because a lot of the neighborhoods have had their power and other lines buried before the neighborhood got built. So if there is a big ice storm then we don't have the same risk factor that everyone enjoys in Massachusetts. Our house was built in 1972 so someone was thinking ahead. We do still have occasional brownouts but I'm going to blame Duke Power for that.

Enough ramblings for today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The home stretch to vacation

Two weeks off! Two weeks off! Granted, it will also require a 14 hour drive to Massachusetts and similar return feat but two weeks off from work will be wonderful. I'm already in planning mode (as is DH because he is more organized than me) for what needs to come with us. The list is already a page long. Thank goodness we bought an SUV in August or we could have been in trouble! And, I'm very happy with the downward trajectory in gas prices. Buying an SUV doesn't seem so dumb now!

Needless to say, concentrating on work will be hard this week. What's great is that BigFinance doesn't begrudge people taking vacation. In fact, it encourages it. We just have to make sure that someone can cover for emergencies. I'll probably check email every once in a while so I'm not overwhelmed but that's about it.

In other news, apparently our baby is about the size of a rutabaga and is adding some baby fat. Unfortunately this doesn't include being more aggressive in the movement department. Still more flutters than anything else. I am hoping that DH will get to feel something soon...I plan on asking the doctor about it now that I'm 25 weeks. Of course I've been trolling the message boards at WebMD and BabyCenter and am now totally paranoid. Yes, I know better than to compare my pregnancy to anyone else's but I can't help it!

I go in for my GD test on Wednesday morning. I'm already thinking about what I can have for breakfast that won't interfere. Probably eggs and tomato slices. The test is at 10:30 which is the worst because I have to eat something beforehand or I will be a total grumpy bitch. The best part is that my practice trusts it's patients so they gave me the syrup ahead of time. That way I don't have to wait in their offices for an hour. Woo hoo! DH is coming with me so we can go out to lunch after.

If I fail the test I am going to be totally pissed. I plan on not eating any sweets for the next two days and I only had one Christmas cookie yesterday. A three hour follow up would be required if I fail. Ideally before we leave on vacation but that wouldn't give me a lot of time to schedule. Which means it wouldn't be for a few weeks and I'd have to be good over the holidays. Grrrr. Totally not interested in that! As you can see, I'm already thinking worst case scenario. Mostly because Mommy, Esq. failed. However, she was pregnant with twins and my other sister, A. passed with no problem. So hopefully I'm OK.

While I don't want to necessarily "game" the system, I don't want to have to focus on everything I put in my mouth for the next month and a half. That's what weight watchers is for after I stop breastfeeding. So, any types from women who have been there? I have two days to get into fighting form.

Friday, December 12, 2008

eBooks - friend or foe?

Those of you who know me know that I am an avid reader. In fact, I'm not sure avid is a strong enough adjective. Voracious, perhaps? I can't go anywhere without something to read. Preferably a book but a magazine will do in a pinch while waiting in line at the post office or at the nail salon.

For my honeymoon, 2 weeks in Hawaii required about a dozen books. And I think I ended up buying a couple more because I ran out. Books are an investment to me. I typically re-read books because I read so much fantasy and authors are constantly continuing a series. Robert Jordan has 10 books out right now and I will re-read all of them before the final book in the series comes out (and it's the final book only because he's dead). At 500+ pages a book, that's a lot of reading! I think I've re-read some series as many as dozens of times.

I visit the library constantly to reduce on book expense and have been known to frequent used book stores and Amazon Marketplace (particularly for hardcovers). I could spend hours in Barnes and Noble but find they are somewhat lacking in the Fantasy/Sci Fi area. Online is typically how I purchase my books these days.

DH and I had a contractor build 17 feet of bookshelves in our "formal living room" which has now become the library. I'm sure it will eventually be the baby's playroom but for now, it's all mine. I've done a decent job filling the shelves and will probably have them all filled in a couple of years. DH gets one small section of shelves for his books. And I've taken them over with old MBA text books. Sorry, dear!

Library built-ins, in progress. They are complete now but this was the only picture I had handy. It's small because Snapfish now requires you to pay for full size downloads! What a rip off!

I read an article recently about Amazon's Kindle product. Apparently the small niche for eBooks is growing. There are quite a few advantages to eBooks. Weight alone of all my hardcovers can overwhelm my luggage. Not to mention the valuable clothing space they take up! They are also significantly cheaper than the typical $25 I spent for a hardcover. But despite those advantages, I'm not sure I will ever go the eBook route. I love the feel of books. Paperback, hardcovers, big, small, there is always room on my lap for a book. I wonder how that will fit with a baby too???

How about the rest of you? Should I be more open to the eBook trend? Are we going the Star Trek route when Kirk is viewed as "quirky" because he reads real books rather than computer screens?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nursery update: construction complete

DH put in long hours last week finishing up the nursery so that it is now all prepped for the final decorating touches. He has probably put more effort into this room than any other in the house. His goal going into the project was that the room look great - like a professional did it. I would say he succeeded but you be the judge...

The first step was to rip out the closet built ins and rebuild them. The first time around DH built 3 drawers and some shelves. Here is a picture.

Original closet built in

We both weren't happy with it for a couple of reasons. The primary one being that the drawers were really shallow and would be hard to use. DH has also gained in knowledge and number of power tools over the past year and a half so he knew he could do a better job. I also had a better sense of what I wanted for storage. So we re-designed the built in and DH went to work. It went much faster than the first time around. This was due in no small part to DH knowing what he was doing and having the correct tools. The two best tools? Table saw and nail gun.

New closet built in

While DH was working on that, I was planning the design of the nursery. I found a great 8x10 rug on Craig's List that coordinated with the fairy prints I had framed. We bought the changing table/dresser off of Craig's List as well. That website is a gold mine! It had quite a few marks on it so DH sanded it down and re-stained it. New hardware completed the look. The crib is new but we got a floor model and a really good deal. Plus it converts to a toddler bed so we should be able to use it for many years. The other knickknacks I found through HomeGoods.

The next big decision was the paint colors. I was thinking about two different colors but ended up picking two shades of purple. We used Glidden's "Touch of Violet" for the base color and "Elevator" for the contrasting stripes. The base color was flat but the stripes were in semi-glossy to give them a little extra pop. That was DH's idea and worked really well. He also removed the shoe moulding and base board so that he had more room to work with and didn't have to cut in the walls as much. We planned on getting slightly higher baseboard anyway. The shoe moulding was easily removed and reused. Total cost for the baseboard and the chair rail was $140.

DH and I set up a chalk line around the room to represent the chair rail. Once that was set he drew 6 inch lines to represent the stripes and starting painting. One thing we learned from hard experience is that you can't leave painter's tape up very long or when you peel it off it will take paint with it. So DH did a few stripes at a time. As a result it required very few touch ups.

Stripes, in progress

DH also removed the door and the bi-fold closet doors. He sanded them down and painted them. Twice actually since the first time around he used flat paint. Glossy paint is the norm for that type of woodwork. I told him that it looked fine with the flat paint but he was in his perfectionist mode so Saturday morning was repainting time. The chair rail, baseboard and shoe moulding went up easily. Thanks, nail gun! You've paid for yourself!

Then it was time to bring in the furniture. The crib took us about an hour to assemble. It was a lot bigger than I remembered. That made furniture placement a little more challenging. We are still going to bring in a glider and ottoman (thanks Scott and Penny!) and a small table and lamp for next to it. Other than that, the room just requires hanging the pictures and mirrors. We may be replacing the ceiling light/fan as well but it depends on what Lowe's has in stock and on sale.

The finished (almost!) product

So, let's hear it. What do folks thing about our little girl nursery? DH thinks that she will be sick of purple but I think it works well. Of course, purple is one of my favorite colors so I could be biased.

Here is a link to all before and after photos. You need a Snapfish account to view.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How much income is enough?

I came across an interesting article on MSN that discussed household income in major metro areas. It takes a lot more money to be "rich" depending on where you live. Not exactly rocket science, is it? One of the reasons DH and I were fine with moving down to Charlotte was because it is so much cheaper to live here. The primary expense being a house. A 2800 square foot house 5 miles from downtown would go for an absurd amount of money in Boston. Even with the falling house prices.

Overall the top 5% of earners in the country make $311,000. Obviously that is a lot of money but would you consider that to be rich? I think of wealth more than income when defining whether a household is "rich" or not. Americans are notorious for spending up to their income level. So it becomes difficult to build true wealth.

In Boston you would be considered rich if you are a family of 4 and make at least $633K. It takes even more in NYC, San Fransisco and DC. How ya feeling now about your earnings?

The article suggests that by forgoing kids and moving to smaller metro areas we will feel even richer. But if DH and I ever move back to Boston we will feel significantly poorer. I'm not sure I'm ready to face that! Especially with a baby on the way.

Assuming our wireless is working tonight I will upload photos of the nursery for my next blog post.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Chistmas cookie time!

Last year I decided that I was going to help shoulder the burden of making Christmas cookies for the holidays. You need to understand that Christmas cookies are sacred in my family. One time my mom got really sick with the flu a few weeks before Christmas and couldn't make cookies. I thought there was going to be an uprising! Mom always made the dough ahead of time which wasn't really a good idea. We would pick at it until she ended up having to make more. Then once the cookies were done, she would try to hide them so we couldn't sneak them before Christmas Eve. Ha! The best hiding place was the dryer but we always found them anyway...

So last year was kind of a disaster. I had an old cookie press (Mirro brand) that requires you to manually twist the dough out. I credit it for my carpal tunnel syndrome. By the end the handle wasn't even working. I was only able to make the wreaths and ended up using candied hots instead of bows of red icing. Mommy, Esq. complained about that for three days!

This year I bought a new press from Crate and Barrel and went to town. There is one drawback to the automatic cookie press. Who ever designed it thought that two small notches was enough to secure the handle and the top. I blame a man for that one. The problem is that the cookie dough is really dense so the top and handle kept popping off as I went. Extremely frustrating to say the least. I had to make sure that the dough was basically room temperature. But then I couldn't get the Christmas trees and starts to come off the press. But I persevered and managed to make 10-12 dozen cookies.

Here is me in the kitchen. I think it is hour 2 of five. Making the dough was the easiest part. It was pressing the cookies that took forever!

It was a two day process. Trees and stars on the first day and the plain wreaths. For the second day I whipped up some green frosting and DH helped me to decorate the cookies.
I plan on sending some to Mimi, giving some away at work, and of course leaving plenty for the holidays and daily snacking :-) And yes, Mommy, Esq., I managed (or rather DH did) to put bows on all the wreaths.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Isn't labor itself enough to worry about?

Did you all see the latest from A state trooper gave a couple a $100 ticket after they drove in the breakdown lane. Normally I am all about making people obey the sanctity of the breakdown lane. I used to hate to see those f&*%!rs zipping by while stuck in traffic over the Borne Bridge. But this couple had a great excuse: she was in labor. And her contractions were 3 minutes apart! I don't know much about labor yet but that seems close.

Boston's traffic has not noticeably improved with the completion of the Big Dig so I can understand why they felt the need to drive in the breakdown lane.

The best part? The trooper didn't believe she was pregnant and demanded to see her belly. Who the heck allowed this guy to get into uniform?

Um, not only is DH responsible for getting me good drugs during labor, he is also responsible for getting me there as quick as humanly possible. If that means breaking some laws, then so be it. I guess what I question is why the state trooper didn't help the couple with an escort to the hospital, not even to mention the $100 fine! My dad used to get escorts when he rushed to the hospital to perform an emergency surgery. Just because labor is more common than a liver transplant it doesn't mean it doesn't deserve the same level of respect.

The couple claims they won't file a complaint against the trooper. I guess they are filled with love after having the baby. But if that trooper kept me from having pain meds faster, I would file!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's about damn time!

I consider myself a very laid back person (why is everyone laughing??) and haven't really worried too much through these first two trimesters. But I was definitely starting to stress out about the fact that I'm more than 23 weeks pregnant and I still couldn't feel the baby move. Yes, I had one experience a couple weeks ago but no repeats and I wasn't even sure that it was really movement.

It got so bad I started trolling the WebMD message boards looking for insights from other frantic posters. But the longest anyone I read went without feeling anything was 20 weeks. Sure, I knew I was dealing with an anterior placenta but the baby had clocked in at over a pound in the last appointment so what was the deal?

I woke up Tuesday morning at 4 AM and lay in bed worrying. I had an appointment in couple of weeks. Should I wait that long? And even then my appointment didn't include an ultrasound and just listening to the heart wasn't going to cut it. I went into work and scarfed down a bagel in 2.5 seconds flat. I started working on email and got absorbed in my work. And that's when she struck! Literally. Starting at 9:15 for about half an hour she was dancing all over the place. And it continued off and on all day and into the night. From the last ultrasound she was head down and most of the movement I've felt has been below the belly button so I'm going to assume she's a puncher and not as much of a kicker. But I'm sure that will change...

I still can't feel the movement through my hand so I assume that will take a few more weeks. But I can't wait for DH to be able to feel it. It's almost 9:15 and I'm starting to feel some movement again. Looks like she's just as habitual as her mother...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All the news you can use

It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day just exactly fits in the newspaper. - Jerry Seinfield

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself to be a news junky, but I probably spend more time reading, listening or watching the news than the average American. DH and I subscribe to many, many magazines. We were suckered by the airlines asking us to use our miles. Why the heck not? If it's not USAir then we ain't flying it any more.

We subscribe to the Charlotte Observer (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and I like that I now know what goes on in the area. Not that we do any of the events...

On top of The Week, I am also reading The Economist. Talk about a heavy magazine! After 3 issues I've moved into skimming mode. If a magazine has more than 100 pages it should be labelled as a book. But I do read Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly religiously. Hey, entertainment news is still news! I do recommend The Week for people who want to get a quick overview of headlines from the week (duh) for both US and the world. It's a very fast read. And they have cartoons and "properties of the week." What more could you ask for?

Aside from the pile of magazines I go through on a weekly basis (usually when DH is watching Sunday football from 1 PM to 10 PM) I also surf the web. CNN, TMZ,, NY Times. I would read the Wall Street Journal online but they are trying to make a profit and charge. Hmmm. Isn't the Internet about free content?

The only radio station I listen to is NPR. In the shower, in the car and sometimes when I'm cleaning the house. While I like the news (except I'm getting a little sick of Iraq and Afghanistan) my favorite shows are "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me..." and "Car Talk." I try to schedule my cleaning or running errands around those shows so I can listen to most of them. I'm still kicking myself for not going to see WWDTM when they were in Charlotte in 2006.

For TV I absolutely hate watching regular news. It's always so freaking depressing. And don't get me started on the 24 hour news stations. Talking heads can be very annoying. So the solution? DH and I have started watching The Daily Show with John Stewart. Perfect! Granted, the show doesn't cover that much news but it does make me laugh. They even had me chuckling with the commentary on the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. How many shows can do that? We do check in on The Colbert Report but that is a little more over the top and can be hit or miss depending on the guest.

All in all I probably spend 15+ hours a week on news. Yes, that does include entertainment/gossip! How about the rest of you? Any preferred shows or magazines to recommend?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why pregnant women waddle

I was walking through the halls of my office the other day thinking to myself, "Nice! You are walking totally normally. No waddle yet!" The scientific reason that pregnant women start waddling is because our hips start to separate to facilitate labor. Kind of gross when you think about it. But I disagree. I started waddling yesterday for one very specific reason: back pain. Yes, I have experienced my first back ache in conjunction with the pregnancy.

I have always poo-pooed people who complain about back pain. Suck it up! It can't be that bad! Well, yes, in fact it can. And to think, for me, it has only been my lower back. I ended up going to bed at 8 PM last night because I couldn't find a comfortable position watching TV. Pathetic. And of course I don't want to take any pain medication. Oh no. I'm tougher than that! Or I will be until labor sets in and DH will be responsible for getting me the good drugs.

The waddle comes about because I can't really straighten up fully (although my mom would argue that I never really walk with a straight back). I know that the pain was caused by sitting at my computer all day, leaning forward. So I'm on a mission to do better while at work. First up, sitting up straight. I've moved my keyboard towards me so I don't have to reach as far. I have also promised myself that every hour I will get up and do a lap around the floor. Lame but it serves the dual purpose of stretching and an excuse to stop and talk to people. It should get the circulation going and keep me from agony after 9 hours in front of the computer.

I'm better this morning and very glad that my sleep was not interrupted by back pain. I was woken up by dreams of bugs attacking my husband, but that's another story.

Any other suggestions?

Monday, December 1, 2008

A long lazy weekend

While I worked on Friday I only received about 10 emails so to say it wasn't busy is an understatement. That means I felt as though I had a 4 day weekend. The last time I had one of those was in October but we traveled to Hilton Head so it doesn't count. I think that a weekend that involves travel cannot be, by definition, a long lazy weekend. I am trying to store up now since I won't have any of these once the baby arrives.

DH did more work than I - he started painting the nursery. I picked out two colors, a base color (Touch of Violet) and a stripe color (Elevator). DH removed the baseboard (to make painting easier, thank goodness for a nail gun to put it back on!) and put up two coats of the base color. It looks great and I can't wait until the stripes go on. But first I have to help with a chalk line that will represent the chair rail. That won't happen until tonight. The contrasting colored stripes will run below the chair rail. I promise to put up some before and after painting pictures once it's done.

I did manage to rouse myself enough to go shopping. I picked a few presents for the nieces and nephews. I was really tempted to buy some stuff for our baby but I resisted. Well, I did buy one thing but I couldn't help myself! It was just too perfect. Despite all radio reports to the contrary, I didn't really find any spectacular deals. It could be that they only happened on Friday and I was not about to fight the crowds during that day. I also wrapped most of the presents. What can I say, it was a tough weekend :-) I just have the stocking stuffers left to wrap which are always the most annoying because they tend to be oddly shaped.

Next weekend I hope to put up Christmas lights and take out the few Christmas decorations we have for the house (yes, DH, even the ceramic Christmas tree you hate so much!). I might start Christmas cookies but it depends on how strong my wrists are feeling. I have an old fashioned cookie press that requires twisting to make the dough come out. I usually have to get DH to help me once my carpal tunnel kicks in.

Is it just me or does it feel as though Christmas is just around the corner? Thanksgiving was "late" this year. Plus DH and I leave in three weeks for our long journey up to Massachusetts. I'm almost wondering if it's worth it to do Christmas decorations if we'll only enjoy them for a couple of weeks...