Thursday, March 10, 2011

When life hands you rain, make purple rain

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Yesterday, I decided to stop for breakfast before work. I turned to open the door of my chosen establishment and BAMMO! there was dude in front of me changing his pants. Standing in his boxers, digging through a duffel bag. I turned in a circle, my mind adjusting to this sequence of events. But as you can guess, no man will stand between me and a breakfast sandwich. So I just went past him, told the manager there was a dude changing his pants by the door and laughed with the employees about this strange morning. Today, it rained all day, and to top it off, the strap on the shoes I was wearing broke! So imagine me, almost seven months pregnant, running around in the rain with no umbrella and broken shoes. 

I'm a crotchety old man under normal circumstances, so I don't know how I'm in such a good mood after all this. Maybe it's because Starbucks is offering free treats today through Saturday, or maybe because now I have a good excuse to toss the old shoes I wore today. (I couldn't toss them when they were still "perfectly good," curse you practical Midwestern upbringing!) Whatever the reason, I felt compelled to document my rare optimism, so when I'm holding a screaming baby, I can look back and say, "Remember that time I encountered a dude changing his pants at Cosi? Those were the days."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last Ditch Efforts

I'm having the opposite reaction of most moms to be. Instead of accepting the fact that my grooming habits will soon go downhill, I'm making a last ditch effort to figure out the rites of womanhood while I still have time. Lucky for me, I'm lazy and my grooming habits are already at rock bottom, with nowhere to go but up. I literally don't know how to fill a half hour getting ready or "doing my hair." There is only so much eye shadow that will fit on my eyelids! When I hang out with other girls, I'm baffled by the time we need to build in for "getting ready to go out." Why aren't we ready now? My hair is a prime example. Current styling habits include: air dry, brush. Back in third grade, I was a teased bang aficionada, and I became determined to make a comeback.

Playing around with new hair tool (which made my hair too curly so I had to pull it back!)
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This weekend, we took a tour of the 42nd street New York Public Library and visited the Frick Museum. Another last ditch effort, just in case Zoltar is one of those babies who doesn't want to sleep peacefully in his carrier while his parents walk around the library. We had a lot of fun, and figured out that recently I have a new limit on walking and going without food. Poor Nick discovered this the hard way when I snapped, "I said I was hungry a half hour ago, that means we need to eat NOW."

Nick in front of the lions!
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Zoltar, 28 weeks, me with presentable curls!
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Ghostbusters reading room, scene of this hilarious Improv Everywhere stunt (NYPL was in on this as a publicity stunt)


 So while this has nothing to do with the library, I have to share the funniest IE video ever. Around the 1:10 mark, I start peeing my pants from laughing, despite not having seen Star Wars for a good 15 years.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Socks

I've been looking for a particular set of striped baby socks. Striped socks shouldn't be too hard to find, right? That's what I thought, until I walked into baby store after baby store for the past month and walked out empty handed each time. So, the other day, I walked into yet another baby store, or shall I say baby boutique. I can't help myself, I check every store I pass for these damn socks. I saw stripes! ... mixed with dots? Yes, purposely mismatched socks- one stripe and one dots for each pair. In the midst of $50 hand sewn stuffed mice and $30 infant tee-shirts, I had a few realizations: 1) the adorable mouse's head could easily be ripped off 2) I'm tired of $30 baby tee-shirts, organic/soft/well-designed/clever as they might be for the month or two Zoltar could fit into a given size 3) there's a limit to how much effort a person can put forth for socks and I had reached it 4) if you're going to get away with mismatched socks in life, babyhood is the time...

So I bought the socks! Aren't they cute?! This also serves as public notice that Zoltar's mismatched socks are no accident.

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You can see that I'm training Batman for the next phase in his life, one sure to be marked with utter confusion and forced patience.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Christmas in February

This Monday morning was like Christmas morning for a simple reason: freshly baked cheesecake needs to be refrigerated overnight. The weather turned windy and cold, so I resorted to baking my most favorite dessert as a means of entertainment. Note that cheesecake in general is not my favorite, it's this particular cheesecake which has an extra layer of vanilla topping.)

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Another Christmas present was finding mini cans of Dr. Pepper at the nearby grocery store. We've been holding out for these forever! When we lived in Maastricht, only one of the 3 Albert Heijn stores in our neighborhood carried Dr. Pepper. By the time we moved to New York, all 3 did. Now, we don't drink that much Dr. Pepper, we only buy a few cans a week (or zero cans a week if the store doesn't carry the right size!). But I have a strong suspicion that selling a few extra cans probably tripled Albert Heijn's Dr. Pepper sales, which led them to offer it in the 2 additional stores. I like to imagine that when we left, we left a Dutch grocery manager in a state of utter confusion about what was happening to his Dr. Pepper sales.

On Thursday and Friday, I retired my puffy coat and happily wandered around the city in only a cardigan. On Saturday and Sunday, I unretired my puffy coat and we finally went in search of maternity clothes. Until now, I've been mostly getting by with a belly band and my normal shirts, but now I'm undeniably pregnant! Today, we wake up to snow! Puffy coat it is. Even bundled in winter gear, Zoltar has been recognized by 3 people so far, who offered the pregnant lady (me!) a seat on the subway. What's funny is that my winter coat is actually a child's XL, because the length was better on me and it was $100 cheaper than the women's XS version. Who knew that a kid's coat could fit a 6 month baby bump inside?

Luckily we decided to take a few pictures of Zoltar in Central Park before the snow hit today. (Now at 26 weeks or 6 months or -3 months old!) The park is still pretty dreary and gray, but there are only so many apartment poses that a fetus can make.



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This weekend we went to see the Oscar nominees for live action short films. It was so much more fun to bypass all of the big movies and see the categories and people whose accomplishments are usually highlighted with a small footnote. I thought that seeing these short films was an only in New York thing, but I was wrong! You can even see these bad boys in Duluth! So if you live in Duluth, we strongly recommend a trip to the movies!

And now, Nick, Zoltar and I have some cheesecake to eat.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Womb-book

Babies! Zoltar has a new cousin, his first and only, named Zoey Jane. We talked to my belly and shared the news, and I said in my Zoltar voice (which is uncannily similar to my mouse/ant voice) "I already KNOW, I saw it on womb-book."

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Zoey Jane and her proud parents

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And as for Zoltar, here we are together at 24 weeks!

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He is kicking more and more often. I've felt him for almost six weeks, and within the last couple of weeks, Nick has been able to feel him and even see my stomach move when Zoltar kicks. El bebe has also getting more and more demanding in his cravings. For the first few months my sweet tooth all but disappeared, and the only strange craving (which still persists!) was for extra scoops of Chipotle's mild salsa. See if you can tell what his highness wants lately...

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Breakfast foods: dairy, sugar, and fruit! The kid already has good taste- heavenly vanilla brioche French toast with syrup, berries, and marscapone cheese, which is a brilliant addition to balance out the sweetness. On Sunday, my lunch was a glass of chocolate milk, a milkshake, and a latte. Say what? As I type this, I'm waiting for my chocolate strawberry shortcakes to finish baking, and you can bet your ass there's dairy involved (sour cream topping!) I know this isn't just me looking for an excuse to eat; milkshakes aren't my style. Surprisingly, I don't eat as much as I thought I would as a preggo, because the baby is quickly taking over the stomach real estate that's normally reserved for extra food! Being pregnant with Zoltar is my firsthand experience with gentrification in NYC. When the ultrasound reveals he's opened up a miniature Starbucks in my womb, we'll know he's ready for a change of neighborhood.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pictures strictly forbidden

What better way to show off some recent New York adventures than with some prohibited photography? First off is the SNL studio at 30 Rock. We scored tickets about a month ago to see Gwyneth Paltrow, who is tall, pale, and slouchy in person. Pictures strictly forbidden! Unlike some places that don't bother to enforce their rules, the SNL pages were watching the audience like hawks. For the first time in a long time, people put their damn phones away. We had our chance to swipe a photo when a girl behind us went to the bathroom, which is apparently a big deal, so the page left to go with her.

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Next up is the Earth Room, which is a free art exhibit that's been around since 1977. It's a room completely filled with 2 feet of dirt. Really?! Really. Like a big flower pot, but without flowers, in a room in the middle of Soho. And now it's art. There are so many wonderful places that come and go in this city (RIP beloved Neuhaus chocolate on the UWS), but somehow a freeloading pile of dirt has managed to find shelter in Soho for more than 30 years. Go figure!

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For those of you who wonder how the city reacts to the blizzard, here is a hint. The sanitation department waits until the snow melts to pick up the garbage! Thankfully, it doesn't smell. The last time it snowed, we even walked past Christmas trees barely peeking out from their snowy graves. (You can see how tall it is compared to the awning behind it!)

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This photo wasn't strictly forbidden, but it's rude to take photos of strangers isn't it? And she probably doesn't have a permit to sell fur coats on the street, so let's keep it on the down low.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bacon Makes Everything Better

I've had a monster cold/cough for 3 weeks running, and am banned from taking any good medicine. I miss NyQuil, I used to look forward to being sick just because NyQuil sleep is so damn enjoyable! So what is a sick NYC preggo to do with a dreary day off of work? I slept in late, went to get my hair done and sought out the best pancakes in New York City. Blueberry pancakes with maple butter (!), bacon, and hot chocolate!

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Zoltar seems happy with my diet of fruit, veggies, sugar, and pork fat, that's what counts. I just bought Zoltar the cutest onesies ever, I will keep them in hiding until he's here to show them off! His drawers are almost full... of clothes, a memory box, stuffed toys, baby medicines. At 5 months, it seems like I've been pregnant for a really long time, but there is still so much more to go!

New York-tivities

Finally starting to show around 21 weeks!
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Over the long weekend, we bumbled about the city, trying to take in and do the things that we won't have time for when Zoltar arrives. Started out on Saturday with SNL! Lucky Nick won us tickets. Not too shabby. The rest of the long weekend we spent shopping, museum hopping, eating our favorite pizza and trying Persian food for the first time.
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I saw this adorable Metrocard rattle online and added it to our registry, but as luck would have it, we just happened to walk by the store that designs/makes it. It was fate! We try to teach Batman that the rattles aren't his. I rattle it by my stomach and say "Zoltar's" and then squeak one of his toys and say "Batman's" and let him bite it. Meh, I dunno if he gets it.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's a.....

BOY!!!!


Ted Brogan

Nick | Myspace Video

http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/59514868

Today we found out we're having a boy! He was bent in half, so there were some 3D pictures of his little feet kicking in front of his face (which do not photograph well.) This one is cute, he looks like a little anarchist giving a passionate speech.

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After the ultrasound we went out for lobster rolls and blackout cupcakes in Mr. Zoltar's honor. Then we came home and decided to practice with some of our new baby things- we swaddled a teddy bear and Nick proudly mastered the Baby Ktan.

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Is this heaven?

We left New York with no snow on the ground and returned to no snow on the ground. Hellz yea, we are lucky! Minnesota, on the other hand, seems to be getting colder and colder since we moved away. When we got to Iowa and got out into the 50 degree weather, I literally recited Iowa's marketing slogan, "Is this heaven?" Believe me, that was a first.

We spent a lot of time running around to see all branches of our families. I wasn't really showing much, but here is Zoltar with his girl cousin, who will be born January 21!

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Nick's mom also hosted a baby shower with Nick's family and some Des Moines friends. Everybody brought a book for Zoltar's library, so it was a lot of fun opening books, flight friendly gifts and pictures of the non flight friendly gifts!

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I kept everything in the gift bags until the very last minute since they were all so cute. I even packed a few of the bags in my suitcase so I could hang on to them for a little longer, until.... we got home and built Zoltar's dresser. It was sort of strange to be building something for a person who doesn't exist yet. We got a lot of baby things, but they are all so teeny that they only take up three drawers. We both thought putting together the dresser was a fun project; I think we're ready for parenthood if we're satisfied with spending a Friday night building a dresser!