Sweet Puppy.... as long as she's sleeping

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Open Letter To My Uterus

Dear Uterus:

I'm not sure if you have really been paying attention over these past 29 years, 5 months, and 21 days, but the body you're part of is not exactly known to be an 'over-achiever.'  Sure, we've been known to put in extra effort when it really counted, but as a rule, we've been pretty content in our mediocrity.

Take our musical forays, for instance.  Our ability to play by ear made us a very decent piano and French horn player.  However, our contentment with being decent led us to not practice.  Had musicality not come so easily to us, had we been forced to practice and practice to master the music, we could possibly have been excellent instead of being 'pretty good.'

You may also want to refer to our academic history as well.  We pulled down As and Bs in high school without cracking a book.  In college, we faced a little bit more difficulty but were able to maintain Bs and Cs with minimal studying.  Had we not been so content in our own mediocrity, we could've made Dean's List our entire college career, and not just our last semester.  If bits and pieces from the lectures hadn't naturally just clung to our brain and we'd been self-controlled enough to force ourselves to study for hours each night, we could've graduated with honors instead of just simply walking across the stage.

But you, Uterus.  You apparently want to get this whole child birth thing perfect.  So much so that you have decided to start practicing already.  Sure, the occasional Braxton Hicks is one thing.  It caught me by surprise the other day when I literally arched my back and had to grab the arm rest for support, but it was a one-time shot.  You need to start preparing yourself, I get that.  I forgave you for that incident.  However, today..... today was not cool.  I do not appreciate laying in the fetal postion (although the irony does not go unnoticed) for over an hour, clutching my abdomen as I have consistent contractions every 10-15 minutes.  I do not appreciate having to call the after-hours on call OB in a panic because I don't know if I need to come in or not.  I don't appreciate being terrified that I'm going to give birth 10 weeks early.

For the record, I do thank you that you stopped 'practicing' and that keeping my feet up and drinking water is making you happy.

So please take a note from the rest of this body - let's just be content in our mediocrity.  We're pretty good at winging it at the last minute.  I'm sure this birth thing will be fine.  We got this.

A very stressed out mamma who would prefer not to go into pre-term labor.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fun With Words

I'm sitting here, wide awake on a Friday night while my hubby is off in dream land for a while.  He is going through a pretty big thing at work right now and was up until 1 am this morning on the phone trying to trouble shoot a problem (after working about 11 hours), then went into work at 6 am, got home after 7 pm, and was on the phone most of the evening trouble shooting  more problems.  One of the guys that works for him is supposed to call again around midnight, so he's trying to catch a nap incase he needs to go in to troubleshoot again.  It's overwhelming for this pregnant wife and I am glad we only have about 4 more weeks of this!

I, on the other hand, while awake during his midnight and 1 am phone calls, slept until 9 and then took a giant nap after I had lunch with my parents.    So rather than bother him or keep him awake, I grabbed a pillow and a cozy blanket and Penny and I are snuggled together in the recliner watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony.  I am not sure why in the world I decided grabbing a blanket was a good idea.  In case you are unaware, pregnancy makes you hotter than blue blazes.  I was unaware of this until I started to have hot flashes.  Good gooley-moogley.  Add a 40 pound lap-furnace and I'm toasty over here.  The blanket is now being used as an arm prop instead.

In addition to watching the Olympics, I am cruising the blogs that I make a point to follow.  One in particular I frequently read is my lovely friend Darby from Life With the Hawleys.  I may have mentioned this before, but Darby and I went to college together and worked in the same office.  I love her style and reading her blog and aspire to be as good at blogging as she is!  Anywho, she did a Wordle post, and I thought it would be fun to do one too!!  So, here is my Penny Wise & Pound Foolish Wordle.

Clearly, I talk about teaching and my pregnancy a lot.  I thought it was pretty cool!  They are fun to do, just go to and you can create your own!  I wish I could do this with my texts... I wonder what words would come up the most!  What words would come up the most if you could make one with your texts... or better yet, Facebook statueses?!

I'm currently taking pictures so I can write a post about my kitchen.  It will definitely be a two part post, because I'll have to do the "before" and "after" pictures!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Incredible Growing Bump


So, I failed to post three times last week - I am dreadfully sorry.  I was exceptionally exhausted last week, sleeping probably about 13 hours each day.  I did spend one day on this post, but after spending about an hour editing my pictures and trying to get them formatted here the way I wanted to, I got frustrated and stopped.  But never fear, here I am!  

First, I promised growing belly pictures!  

19 Weeks
20 Weeks - Half Way There!
22 Weeks
25 Weeks

Today - 27 Weeks, 3 Days
In case you can't tell.... I'm getting HUGE.  Just as a comparison,  here is a side-by-side of me at 7 weeks and me at 27 weeks.

Such a big difference!  And I still have 13 weeks left to go..... good gravy.

Well, I suppose there is another big announcement to make in regards to the pregnancy....

 drum roll please.....

 It's a boy!!!!  We're so excited that we'll be having a son.  And look how handsome he is already:

Isn't he just amazing?  Needless to say, we're smitten.  We are also very eager for his arrival, but this little pumpkin pie needs to bake as long as possible!

 Well, I hope this post has at least been interesting.  It's quite late and I am struggling to be witty and creative, but I did want to make a point to show some belly pics.  I will try to be charming in my next post. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I've Got Class

So, I promised a series of fully-fleshed out posts of what I did in the eight weeks I neglected my corner of the interwebz.  I figure I might as well go straight down the bullet list I created for you in my previous post.  So first up to bat: long term substitute position!

As I mentioned way back in the beginning of this blog, I had to quit my full-time position as an Admissions Counselor in order to do my student teaching.  My student teaching internship ended in December and I knew I didn't want to sit around all day and twiddle my thumbs.  So, I became a substitute teacher for our local school district.  I thought it was a great way to stay in the classroom, sharpen my classroom management skills, and get to know other teachers/principals in the area so I could hopefully make good connections to be gainfully employed by the fall.

I loved seeing the different schools and for the most part, really enjoyed substitute teaching.  I also did remediation tutoring every Friday for a school that was literally two miles away from my house.  I must have made a great impression on them, because their long-term substitute that they'd set up for a 2nd grade class fell through and the principal asked me if I was interested.  OF COURSE!

I had 19 little darlings in my classroom.  They really were sweet little ones, although they tried to test every limit they possibly could.  I had two boys in there that I thought were going to put me in the looney bin.  They routinely played the classroom.  WHO DOES THAT?!  They would especially start this game when I was working one-on-one with another student.  One day, one of the boys fell and bruised his shoulder.  He begged the nurse not to tell his mom why he fell, but guess what - Mom got a phone call anyway.

I had another little boy that was pretty much me in 2nd grade... he was constantly reading.  Which isn't a bad thing.... I get excited when I see kids who love to read.  However, when I'm trying to explain the differences between the European explorers to the class for the umpteenth time because as a class you can't tell the difference between Christopher Columbus and Christopher Newport because they have the same name, maybe reading about the origami Yoda isn't the best decision.  For the record - second graders should NOT be forced to memorize the explorers, they just.don'  Most of them can't find Virginia on a map yet.  How in the world should they be expected to identify France, England, or Spain?

Overall, no matter how many times I wanted to pull my hair out during the day, I ended every day feeling incredibly happy and fulfilled.  It made me very confident about my decision to switch careers at 28.  That being said - I have no desire to teach second grade permanently.  Oh my goodness.  Give me my 5th graders any day of the week.  I love those kids.  However, I'm grateful for the knowledge that I am a 4th or 5th grade teacher.  Some people are meant for Kindergarden, some people are meant for the older kids.  I just happen to be best for the older kids.

It does make me a little sad that I decided to take this coming year off.  I'm eager to get into my own classroom and make my mark.  However, being a first year teacher taking maternity leave in October just stressed me out, so I'm staying home with my little Squido for the first year, and then will jump back on the teaching horse in 2013!  Yay!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm baaaaaack

WHAT?!?!?  I haven't updated since May 13th?!  Oh my goodness.  I dropped the ball on that one, folks.  My bad.  So here's my plan.  In this post, you get one quick "Here's what you missed" overview.  Then, I pinkie swear that I'm going to post at least thrice this upcoming week to be more specific on everything I tell you here.

Heeeeeeeeere we go.

  • My long-term sub position was amazing.  That is the main reason I was lost in an apparent black hole.  I loved being with the same kids, day in and day out.  I got to learn their little idiosyncrasies, think fast on my feet, and really became more comfortable in my role as a teacher.  That being said... I hate second grade.  
  • One upcoming post will be a photo series in which I call "Watch how my stomach grows".  The Squido that is temporarily calling my uterus home is doing splendid.  I will also do a super fun gender reveal in that one. :)  I'll save all the fun, baby related issues for that post.... but baby is going great!  I'll be 25 weeks tomorrow, and Squido Magillicudy has been kicking up a storm lately.  I am loving feeling those little baby kicks!
  • My kitchen floor currently consists of half avacado green 1976 sheet linoleum and half luan.  Pictures and explanation will come, I assure you.
  • It's freaking the hottest summer on record, Penny hates that we can't play outside, and I'm pretty sure she gave me the silent treatment one day this week.
  • I went to Ohio for a week.
  • I picked out a nursery theme.

So, everything that has happened in the past months can pretty much be summed up with these bullets, so be on the lookout for fleshed out posts! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vloggy Vlog

Inspired by my amazing friend Darby over at Life With The Hawleys, I've decided to to my very first Vlog.  She and her friend Crystal from Homemaker in Heels are hosting a Vlog link up party.  I decided to jump on board since I have been interested in making a Vlog for some time now.  Also, I've been really feeling a desire to get more into the world of blogging and becoming more involved in things like this.  I'm eager to get connected with other blogs and I saw this as a great ticket.  Darby and Crystal met via blogging, and hopefully soon I can be friends with people like Crystal (I'm already in love with her blog!) and other amazing blogging ladies out there in cyberspace.

So without further ado, here is my very first attempt at a vlog.  Enjoy!


So, the other day I posted about my goal for this week: to make (and drink) green smoothies every day for breakfast.  It's healthy, portable, and perfect for an on-the-go breakfast.

This morning, I made a menu for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week.  Grocery list in hand, I made my weekly shopping trip today, and got everything I needed for the week, including fruit and spinach for my smoothies.  As I was putting my groceries away, I got to thinking.... I have to be at school before 7 am every day.  I am not a morning person.  Will this discourage me from making smoothies each day?

So, instead of getting overwhelmed, I got practical.  I went ahead and prepped everything I needed for the entire week!  Here is everything I purchased, although I already had the random kiwi and the frozen fruit.  I will say that I normally use Almond Milk instead of greek yogurt, but the store was slam out of the almond milk I usually get in the pint-size, and I knew I couldn't use 1/2 a gallon in 7 days, so I got the Fage for my protein instead of the almond milk.  I love Greek yogurt, so I know I'll devour that by the end of the week, even if I'm only putting a little bit in my smoothies!

I decided to prep my strawberries because they were super-duper ripe and wasn't sure how long they would last.  Even though these are "green" smoothies, I just felt weird using the greenery on the strawberries, so I tore that off and halved or quartered the strawberries.  I used all of the strawberry, except for the few that had some soft/spoiled parts.

I divided the strawberries and put a cup in two different containers.  This way, I can just grab one for each day I'm using strawberries in my smoothie.  Then I sprinkled the strawberries with a few spoonfuls of sugar to help them keep over the next few days, and make that delicious strawberry juice.  Mmmm.

Next I prepped my lemons and limes.  The recipes I've used in the past called for the zest and the meat, but not the hard white stuff between the two.  So I went ahead and zested the fruits and will cut off the white part when I de-seed them to throw them in the blender.

Next, I went ahead and cut two bananas in half and froze them.  A few days, I'll probably use a whole, fresh banana, but some recipes call for 1/2 a banana, and the frozen part helps make it a thick consistency, so I decided to have both on hand.

Finally, I separated the spinach into 5 baggies so I could grab one each day.  Easy peasy lemon breezy!  

Finally, here is the prepped fruit all laid out in my fridge!  I'm so excited and can't wait for the week to begin.  I will most definitely keep you updated on my progress!

Next on my agenda today: cooking up some quinoa so I have my lunch for Monday and Tuesday, then I will be making my vlog!  I am participating in a vlogging link up party and I am so excited!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Next Week's Goal

I'm hoping if I write a post about my goal for next week, it will come to fruition.  So, fingers crossed, next week will be successful.

When I was writing my soap-box blog solely about weight-loss, I wrote a few posts about green smoothies.  I loved making green smoothies - they were so yummy and kept me full and healthy and I felt really good.  And, even though this isn't a focus for me now, I lost weight while I was drinking them.

One big reason I stopped making smoothies daily is I was tired of washing my blender every day.  For some reason, it just seemed overwhelming to me.  Also (and I know I'm an airhead), I didn't know that the blender came apart for easier washing.  How did I not know this?  The *whole* thing comes apart so you can scrub the blades.  This discovery did make my life much easier!

So, my goal for next week (and really, the next 5 weeks) is to drink a green smoothie every day.  I am starting a 5-week substitute teacher position and will have to be at school at 7 am every day.  I've been struggling to come up with a healthy breakfast that I can eat on the go and this seems to be a perfect fit.  Plus, it will help me get in my fruits and veggies every day because I've been struggling getting those daily requirements in.... thank goodness for pre-natal vitamins.  Also, they take like, 3 minutes to make and are super portable.  Last time, I used kale as my primary base; a few times I used parsley.  I have been on a huge spinach kick lately, so I plan to use baby spinach as my leafy green this go-round.  A bag of it is relatively cheap and it should last almost a whole week.

My goal for this weekend is to sit down and plan a week's worth of healthy smoothies, lunches, and snacks since it'll be like I have a real job again for a little while.  On Sunday, I'll go buy everything and prep what needs to be prepped.  That way, during the week, I can reach out and grab whatever I need to throw in the blender that day.

Hopefully, this will give my little nugget a surge of good vitamins and get me more healthy as I prep for motherhood.  I can't believe I'm almost at my halfway point.  So, next week, make sure you stay on top of me and ask me about my smoothies!  Make sure I'm being healthy.  What's good for mamma is good for baby, and I want to make sure my baby gets all kinds of goodness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Penny Wise #2 - Love Everyone Cautiously

My original intent for this blog was to talk a lot about Penny.  I currently have several ideas jotted down and hanging out in my drafts folder, but I haven't been able to express myself the way I want to, so for the past six months or so, they are just sitting there.  I'm glad they are in cyberspace.... I'd hate to have something else to dust.

So I am finally venturing out and completing this post about one of the biggest things that Penny has taught me.... love everyone, but be cautious about.  I know I have mentioned this already, but I pretty much have the sweetest, most adorable hound dog on the planet.  She's very loving and has her smart moments (which might be slightly out-numbered by her hard-headed moment).  Penny loves people.  She will curl up in your lap and just begs for a belly scratch.  However, she's not an attention "whore".  When she meets someone new, she goes up to them, but them timidly backs away.  Then she'll get a little closer, then back away again.  She seems skittish, but it's a little dance she's worked out when she encounters people when we're taking a walk, or at the dog park, or when new people come to the house.  Advance, retreat.  Advance, retreat.

I typically tell people at the park when they try to pet her that she just likes to pretend to be shy.  But I think it's more than that.  When someone bends over to pet Penny, she wants them to pet her.  She's dying to be petted.  There's nothing she loves more than attention.  However, I've come to the conclusion that she doesn't want people to know she wants attention.  She wants to make people work for her love.  Plus, she wants to make sure they are actually true in their intentions of petting her.  She doesn't want to show her pure excitement.

I think that's a good life lesson for us to take note of.  I know when I was young and na├»ve, I would bare my soul immediately - to put it in dog terms, I would immediately run up to be petted.  I made my desire for attention well known.  As I get older and more comfortable with myself, I am much more hesitate to immediately intertwine my life with a stranger.  I'm a lot like Penny... I advance, usually with a friendly smile and a warm hello.  I don't retreat in a literal sense, but I typically just make small talk - I don't want this person to just have an open door into my life.  This dance continues until the small talk is not existant and I've developed a genuine friend.  It takes time and effort for friendships to really grow.

Sometimes this process takes a year.  Sometimes it takes a week.  Sometimes it's amazingly easy - other times, forming a friendship can be hard.  However, I think the most important thing Penny's advance/retreat dance shows me is to make sure that someone genuinely wants to be a friend before I bare my soul.  This is not to say that the friendship will be perfect if I follow this advice.  Sometimes the people we love the most can have traits that make them take us for granted or take advantage of us.  And we love them through all of it because we know they need us, or we need some part of them that makes the friendship work.  However, if you realize that you're constantly the one who does the calling, emailing, making plans, or sending smoke signals, take a note from Penny.  Advance, retreat.  Advance, retreat.  And if that person still has their hand down to pet you, it's probably the real thing.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Today, I graduated with my M.Ed in Elementary Education!  It was a very exciting, albeit long, hot, and exhausting morning.  Here is a glimpse into my day.

First, I have to show you my graduation baby bump.  I will be 16 weeks tomorrow, so my bump is getting very round!  It's pretty cool that the Squido got to come to graduation with me!

Once we were all ready, my mom, husband, and I piled in the car and headed to campus.  I was worried about traffic, but we got there in record time and I was actually early.  So we decided to snap a few pictures before I had to line up so we didn't have to fight the crowds after the ceremony.

So then I had to go stand with all of the other graduates for over an hour before we finally got to process to the library plaza.  The processional took forever and then we had to sit in the hot, hot sun while all the special announcements were made and the speeches were made.  Our commencement speaker was Michelle Bachmann, so that was pretty neat.  Then, every person was charged, had their degrees conferred, and then walked across the stage.  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it the whole ceremony.  I made it through all the grad students, but I got super hot and super dizzy and my mom sent me a text that really encouraged me to get out of the sun, so I snuck away and we escaped before the masses fled.  I did have a headache for the rest of the afternoon, but overall it was a wonderful day!  Here are some more pictures of everything I just mention:

During the processional in to the plaza.

Commencement Address

Shaking hands with the Dean of the School of Education

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baby Bump

Bump-tacular.  Here is my baby-bump at 14 weeks, 3 days.  Please ignore my funky hair, I was cleaning the house most of the day.  I'll try to take a better picture next week! :)

To compare, please see this picture from week 7.  In this photo, please ignore my weird duck face and the semi-mess on the floor.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tri, Tri, Tri Again

Yesterday, I hit week 14 of this pregnancy!  Woo-Hoo!!  That means that no matter when you believe the 2nd trimester starts, I am officially in it, so let's celebrate!  Before I became 'in the family way,' there was so much I didn't realize that I didn't know about pregnancy.  First off, I didn't know there was some disagreement in when the 1st trimester ends and the 2nd trimester begins.  Some people say the first day of the 13th week is the big day.  Some say 13 weeks, 3 days.  Others insist it's the beginning of week 14.  Ay yi yi.  But I'm here!  I know I am so blessed to be at this point and I thank God daily for getting me safely through each week and pray for a safe and healthy rest of the pregnancy.  Since I am at this juncture, I thought I would put up a post about my first trimester!

I was quite lucky that I really got to miss out on morning sickness for the most part!  I was plagued by nausea and extreme queasiness from about week 4 to week 9 or 10.  I had a lot of advice to keep crackers around and once I did that, if I felt a little nauseated, I would eat a few Ritz crackers or saltines and I would immediately feel better.  I did have your typical "I gotta throw up" outta nowhere episode once, so I didn't escape unscathed from the morning sickness beast; plus, brushing my teeth always made me dry heave and gag a bit - which was just miserable.

Around week 12 I started getting bad headaches.  No where near as bad as the migraine I had in week 8 when I became stranded an hour away from home because I couldn't see to drive.  Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who came to get me and a wonderful friend who lived near the rest stop I was stranded at and let me park my car at her house for a few days until we could come back and retrive my poor little Saturn.

At 10 weeks, I was told that since I was overweight, we wouldn't be able to hear the heartbeat via Doppler, so I didn't get to hear little Squido at that appointment.  However, at week 13, I was finally able to hear the sound of my little one.  It was the most magnificent experience of my life.  I'm hoping to be able to record it for J-dubs at my next appointment so he can hear it too!  At my 13 week appointment, I also got a 'bonus' ultrasound!  I had this stabbing pain in my side and my ob thought it might be a cyst.  So we did an u/s just to make sure.  Turns out it was just Round Ligament Pain, which is common during pregnancy as your ligaments are stretching out and your uterus is getting bigger.  BUT - I did get to see my tiny baby and see the heart just beating away.  I didn't get a good profile shot, as Squido was squirmy, but I saw that big ol' baby head and I literally saw his/her heart beating.  It was like a little drum  It was beyond amazing.  

I also scheduled my BIG ultrasound that will tell us if we're having a boy or a girl!  We'll know on June 5th, and I am SO. EXCITED.  Once we find out, we can start decorating the nursery! 

So, on to the stats: 

How far along? 14 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain: -11 pounds
Maternity clothes? Sometimes!  I ordered a lot from Old Navy, but they are still a little big.  I am mostly in sun dresses.
Stretch marks: None so far!
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well, I am waking up a few times a night.  Sleeping 
Best moment last week: Seeing & hearing Squido!  It was amazing!
Miss anything? I have never wanted a tequila shot more in my life.
Movement: I have felt a few flutters, but nothing substantial yet... I have a few more weeks before I feel kicks!
Food cravings: Still craving grilled cheese sandwiches.
Anything making you queasy/sick: Not really.
Gender: We'll know for sure in 6 weeks, but I think it is a boy!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Most of the time I'm happy but I have had many moody moments!
Looking forward to: Our June 5th appointment to find out what we're having!

I will really try to take a picture tonight and upload it tonight!

Monday, April 16, 2012

When Easy Listening Takes Your Breath Away

Holy cow.  I have literally had this blog entry half typed and open for over a week now.  This is insane.  I clearly need to carve out some time to write, I really enjoy it and want to keep all these memories.  However, lately all my online time is spent on the message boards at!!

Somewhere, during all internet research about pregnancy, I read that my body has been pumping about 50% more blood to accomodate the work that it's doing growing a small person.  The article said that it  might lead to becoming out of breath for activities that used to be easy.  I thought this meant that I would have to take it a little more slowly on my walks with Penny.


I really enjoy listening to music, especially while I'm getting ready for my day.  The other day, I turned on one of my playlists and hopped in the shower.  The playlist happened to be in the middle of a Jack Johnson set of music.  I was belting out Sexi PlexiBubble Toes, and Banana Pancakes when suddenly I realized "Holy cow, I am out of breath."  Apparently, shampooing your hair while sitting Bubble Toes is enough of a workout that I needed to stop and take a breather.  I mean, really.  I thought Jack Johnson was supposed to be easy listening music?  It's not like it has a heavy bass or is the type of music you can really boogie to. It blew my mind.

However, after I got out of the shower, Sexy & I Know It came on the playlist.  And boy, I did break it down to that song.  After that, my heart was racing, but in a good way.  I considered it my workout for that day.  I also decided that someone needs to bring back the 90s dance staple, the butterfly.  It goes perfectly with that song!

Friday, April 6, 2012


So, in exciting pregnancy news, I've lost 12 pounds.  I'm super excited about that little tid bit!  And I've consulted the internet/pregnancy books and it is normal for women to lose some weight in the beginning of pregnancy, especially if they were overweight to begin with or have really bad morning sickness.  Well, I haven't been throwing up, but I've been very "regular" if you know what I mean, and I've had zero appetite, and the doc thinks I'm healthy, so we're going with it.

However, most of my jeans are too tight.  This blows my mind.  In the past, when I've lost a few pounds, my pants become loose.  However, it pains me to button a few of them.  I'm not quite sure I'm showing yet, but maybe I am and just can't tell because I've lost my "fat" but replaced it with "baby" and it's all evening out?

Who knows.  Pregnancy is weird.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

First World Problems.

This morning, I got up early to pick my husband up from the body shop and take him to work so he can have some work done on the truck.  I know, I'm an awesome wife.  So I'm driving down the road and I see this Jaguar infront of me, in the next lane over.  The license plate said "SWAGUAR".  I immediately roll my eyes and say "douche bag".  We come up to a stop light and I catch sight of him.  Initially I am taken aback because out of the corner of my eye, I swear he was wearing those 1980s, super cheesy, slightly oversized sunglasses.  For some reason, my initial reaction was "He's a swarthy weekend hipster!" followed by "Can you be ironic if you're driving a luxury car?"  I was starting to wonder if I'd made too much of a snap judgement when I labeled him a douche, and was contemplating the type of person who clearly worked in an office environment during the week but had a hipster streak.  Would this type of person be someone I wanted to know?  What kind of hipster buys a Jag?  Is the Jag a relic of his old, "keeping up with the Jones life," and now he's embraced the hipster ways but thinks it's impractical to buy a new ride?

I pondered these thoughts about the swarthy hipster for the duration of the light and during the drive up to the next light.  We were stopped again and I looked over again to evaluate this new found oddity.  When I did, I realized that my peripheral vision sucks and this guy isn't wearing hipster classes.  He was wearing some fancy-pants designer sunglasses!  I immediately called him a douche again, and was rolling my eyes at his fancy pants glasses and fancy pants dress shirt and his stupid fancy pants car with the most douchey license plate EVER when I saw that someone had keyed the back of his car, behind the driver's side passenger door.  I thought "HA!  It's probably some girl who you did WRONG, jerkface!" and generally mocking him until he got on the interstate and I kept straight.

Then I had a terrible realization.  I was essentially mocking him because he was in a luxury car.  And Guess What.  I was in a luxury car, too.  Yup, we drive a BMW.  It's still new to me, we've only had it for 3 weeks.  But..... ours is a 2006, we bought it used with 76k miles on it and we paid less than we would've for a new SUV.  So for a second I was all on my high horse because of that.  Well, ours is used and we paid almost nothing for it, but hey guess what, no one else knows that.  For all they know, we bought it in 2006 and have money to blow on things like that.  OR, like me, they aren't car savvy enough to identify a car by it's year and just know that it's a 'Bimmer'.  Maybe they think *I'm* a snobby, good for nothing socialite that gets whatever she wants.  

However, then it all came clear to me.  I didn't think he was a douche because he drove a Jag.  I thought he was a douche because his license plate said SWAGUAR.  Just typing that out makes me throw up a little in my mouth.  (Or maybe it's morning sickness?  Who knows.) 

Anyway, after I had this whole internal debate, that took place over the course of about 2 miles, I realized that this internal struggle was so #firstworld (to be cool like the Twitter folks) that I had to blog about it - so here you go.  I clearly need to work on snap judgements, so I'm going to work on that.  What about you folks out there?  Do you make snap judgements?  What sets you off?  Would you've made a snap judgement on such a stupid license plate?

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Oh, Baby!

So I started this blog to have a place to blabber on about weight loss and my sweet pooch.  I decided to also add random insights/funny sayings/experiences from subbing (and hopefully soon, teaching).

Well, now, I have an entirely new thing to blog about!  And oddly enough, my new topic is going to basically over-ride the whole "losing weight" thing, because I'm going to be GAINING for a while!  And it's the one time in my life gaining will be encouraged!  I am going to have a baby!

I finally made it public knowledge today on Facebook.  I've been plotting that for a while now.  I knew I didn't want to announce it too quickly, so I decided to wait until I started my second trimester.  After my first doctor's appointment I slowly started to tell my 'inner circle' of friends, but kept pretty quiet about it overall.  However, after consulting a calendar, I realized that April Fool's Day was only two weeks before I was going to make my public announcement anyway, so I decided to go for it.  It made my giggle to think that everyone would think I was joking when I wasn't!

I initially made the announcement with this picture:
I immediately got several congratulations, and then the fun started.... posts to the tune of what I'd been expecting: C'mon people, it's April Fool's Day, or Is this for real? and various other "I'm not sure what to think but congrats?" posts.  After a while, I finally said "No joke, I'm for realsies pregnant!".  Then I put it on my status and still got a few questions about the validity of my announcement, but for the most part, I'm getting tons of love and congratulations.  I'm so excited that the news is finally out there!!

So I've put together a list of questions I know you're just dying to know the answers to, complete with all the answers.  I am quite sure that I will be updating this blog much more frequently now that I have something exciting to talk about!  (Side note: some of these questions I made up on my own.  Some I stole from this blog, which I've fallen in love with.  She beautifully details her pregnancy and I am pretty sure I'll be stealing a lot more from her.  Plus, we own the same dress from Target.  Not sure how that's relavent, but it seems like a good sign.)

Were you trying to get pregnant? Pretty much.  We didn't have an agenda or timetable to get pregnant.  We wanted a baby, but were in no huge rush.  We do know where babies come from, and realized that by taking no preventative measures, a baby was a possibility, so we were prepared (and excited) for the consequences. We just took it month to month.  It took us about 3 months of sorta-kinda-maybe-a little trying before we got preggo.

How did you find out? I was supposed to start the P on a Saturday.  It also happened to be the Saturday of one of my best friend's baby shower (remember the diaper cake?)  Well, that whole day I was waiting and waiting.  Nothing happened.  The next day, same deal.  I kept waiting and waiting.  I started to get suspicious.  So, we drove home from South Hill and stopped at the Rite Aid by our house.  I grabbed a test, we rushed home, took the test, and stood over it for two minutes while we waited for the two lines to pop up.  And low and behold... they did.  There was lots of smiling and jumping up and down and hugs and kisses and a few tears.  It was magnificent.

Gotta love the mirror images when you take pics with a Mac...

Did you have a suspicion? I kinda did.  The week before I took the test, I'd been overwhelmingly exhausted.  I chalked most of it up to it having been my first week as a substitute teacher, but I was constantly tired.  I came home from school every day and slept for several hours.  It had only been about 6 weeks since my student teaching had ended, and I was surprised that I could have gotten so lazy after not having worked for that short period of time.  I also could not stand to eat greasy food.  It made me gag and once I had to spit out a hush puppy.  A HUSH PUPPY!!  Which is basically the best food item ever.  It made me sad to have to do that.

Have you been sick? I've been incredibly nauseated, but I haven't really been sick.  I had your stereotypical, turn green and run to the bathroom morning sickness precisely once.  However, there was one day I had a migraine and couldn't take my medicine and I've never been so sick in my life.  It was miserable.  That, so far, has been the worst day.

Have you had an ultrasound? Yes!  We had one at week 7.  It was amazing and I almost cried.  They didn't give me a picture to take home though. :(  Lame.

How far along are you? I am 11 weeks today!

Have you gained weight? Nope!  Not yet!  I had lost 10, but I gained two back, so I've down a total of 8 lbs.  I suppose I'm starting to gain weight now, but we'll see.  My Nanaw lost 20 pounds when she was pregnant with my mom, so maybe it's in my genes to lose weight during the pregnancy.  I have plenty to spare anyway.....

Do you miss any foods/beverages? Tuna. Wine. Sushi.

Are you craving anything? I don't know if it's a craving, but I've been wanting grilled cheese sandwiches a lot lately.  I haven't really had an overwhelming, if I don't get this NOW I will kill you feeling, but when I'm asked what I want and I think about it, the answer has been "A grilled cheese."

Are you starting to show? No.  I keep feeling like I might be, but I was so chubby to begin with, I think it'll take a while to show.  

Do you have a gender prediction? I think it's a boy!  J-dubs and I have both had dreams that it's a boy so I'm kinda on the boy wagon.  Although, we're just praying for healthy.... which sounds cliche, but I've a condition called Neurofibromatosis 1, which in addition to creating tumors it can cause some complications during pregnancy and it's genetic, so when I say that, it's not cliche, it's down right honesty.  

What are you looking forward to? I can't wait until I'm showing!  I'm also eager to find out what the gender is and feel the baby start kicking.

So there ya go, peeps.  My first of many, many, many postings about being pregnant!  I am so excited to be entering this new chapter!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ABC.... Easy as One, Two, Three!

I remember when the internet really started to pick up and be accessible to more and more people (at least in my small home town).  Once my friends and I all got our super cool and original-sounding Yahoo! or Hotmail accounts set up, we passed around gobs and gobs and gobs of surveys.  At one point, I thought it was the best way to "get to know" my boyfriend at the time and I peppered him with a variety of surveys so I could learn all about his inner thoughts and feeling.

So, I was home sick today and I was catching up on all my favorite blogs.  I moseyed on over to Life With the Hawleys, where my fantastic friend Darby writes about, well, everything!  Especially her two adorable pups.  I saw this here ABC's of Me and I was instantly transported back to endless hours answering inane questions and I got super excited.  What else am I going to do while I'm curled up on the couch, staying hydrated?  So here ya go, blog world, the ABC's of ME!

A. Age: 29
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore that you despise: Putting away clothes.  I love to fold them, but putting them away is the pits!
D. Dogs: Penny, 2 1/2 years old
E. Essential start to your day: Diet Coke
F. Favorite color: Green!  Any shade!  I love it!
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5' 5"
I. Instruments you play: French Horn, Piano
J. Job title: Substitute Teacher.... I'm in the midst of applying for teaching jobs so I can have my very own classroom!
K. Kids: On the way!  I'm knocked up, yo.
L. Live: Hampton, VA
M. Mother's name: Julia
N. Nicknames: Erino, Queen of Grace, Erin-Doodle
O. Overnight hospital stays: So far nothing!
P. Pet peeves: People who don't know when to use the correct "you're" or "your" and when they use 'text speak' for emails/fb statuses/anything, really.
Q. Quote from a movie: "You're killing me, Smalls!!!!"
R. Right or left-handed: Righty
S. Siblings: One younger sister, Leslie
T. Time you wake up: As late as I can possible sleep on any given day.
U. Underwear: Required.  At all times.  
V. Vegetable you despise: I love veggies.  However I really only like kale with some vinegar drizzled on top.
W. What makes you run late: My inability to get motivated in the morning.
X. X-rays you've had: Dental, and then CT and MRI, if they count.
Y. Yummy food: Cheese.  Potatoes.  Ice Cream.
Z. Zoo animal: I do like the big cats.  And elephants.

So there ya go.  The ABC's of me!  If you decide to do one, lemme know!  I love to learn about people! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Win, Lose... Call it a Draw.

I decided I wanted to be fun, healthy, and creative for dinner tonight.  I had a hankering for crab cakes so that was a shoe-in for the center piece of the meal.  I had some strawberries on hand and on a whim bought some baby spinach to make a strawberry spinach salad.  And today at Target, I walked past some french bread in their bakery section that just seemed to bring it all together.  In my mind, I was a brillant chef, ready to prepare a wonderful dinner for my husband and myself to enjoy together.

Well.  The french bread was amazing.

Also amazing?  The strawberry spinach salad.  It was light and flavorful and my husband was amazed that I worked strawberries into a salad.  The dressing was superb.  I will upload a picture tomorrow when I can find the cable that connects my phone to the computer!

So two wins, dinner must be on a roll, yes?


The crab cakes did not turn out.  Mainly because I thought I was so sure of my culinary abilities that I didn't follow a recipe, deciding that I could just 'wing' it and it would still be amazing.  I also used the wrong type of crab meat because I couldn't find canned lump crab meat at the grocery store and thought "eh, good enough" with the random crab meat that I bought.  Also, I think I used too many bread crumbs.  It was disappointing and we both just ate it as quickly as we could and focused on the salad and the bread.  And, thanks to the power of Facebook, I now have two new recipes from friends to follow the next time I attempt to make crab cakes!

Mmmm.... the bread.  I cannot stress enough how amazing the bread was.

So, like I said.  The salad, a win.  The crab cakes, a loss.  So dinner was a draw, but it still nice to sit down with my sweetie at the end of the day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

From The Mouths of Babes

I thought going two weeks without blogging was a long time.  Now I've gone over a month.  I blame my outrageous schedule, and there are a few other reasons that shall be outlined in a future blog.  But I have missed writing my thoughts down for the interwebs.  I have thought about some blog topics and ways to update my blog, but I've been remiss in adding them.  However, my dear friend begged me to update, so I'm updating.  Thanks for the kick in the rear, L!

My amazing friend Fazawesome once suggested that in addition to thoughts about  my dog and weight loss, I should include cute things my students say.  During my student teaching placement, I collected a few of my favorite gems and I am FINALLY getting around to posting them.  Enjoy!

During my 4th grade Student Teaching placement:
I loved my 4th graders.  They were wonderful.  However, my girls were so fidgety and several of them were members of a local cheerleading team.  They would not stop doing cheers in the lunch line, which inevitably caused me to get ugly looks from the cafeteria ladies.  One day, the food line was exceptionally backed up and one of my little darlings was clapping, turning around to talk to people, and just all around out of control.  I asked her to please stand still, adding "you must have the wiggle worms today."  Without missing a beat, she looked at me, crossed her arms, and very tersely informed me "I do not have the wiggle worms, I have ADHD".  Oh.  I see.

During my 2nd grade Student Teaching placement:
I was pretty in love with my second graders too.  One girl particularly stole my heart.  On my very first day, my Cooperating Teacher had written on the door "Go introduce yourself to the student teacher".  This little girl was the only student who came up to me.  She shook my hand, said "My name is T-, but no one can ever spell it correctly."  I had a lovely little conversation with her.  One day, I had gotten up early and on a whim, straightened my hair and put on a little make up.  I sat with the students that day at lunch, and this little girl stared at me intensely, and finally demanded why I put make up on.  I replied that I just had extra time and felt like a little make up and she told me "You don't need make-up, you're perfect the way you are."  It wasn't the funniest thing I heard from the second graders, but it made me feel so good and just brightened my whole day.  What a smart little girl.

I also had an amazing autistic boy in my 2nd grade class.  He had 3 or 4 older sisters, so he picked up things from them and would repeat them, not knowing what they meant.  He made me smile almost daily.  One day I was teaching a unit about the states of matter.  In 2nd grade, they learn about solids, liquid, and gases.  We did an activity to talk about characteristics of gases, and it involved them writing down what they knew about gases.  He wrote one sentence describing what a gas was.  Then he concluded with "Water is not a gas.  Water is for sharks."  This made me laugh hysterically for days on end, to the point that I asked him if I could keep it for my portfolio.  Fortunately, he obliged, so I have this nugget to keep with me forever and ever.

Once I get my own classroom, I expect that I will keep a notepad around, just to record the things they say.  It's amazing what comes out of the mouths of babes.  It adds a fun layer into the crazy daily life of a teacher.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Missing In Blogging Action

I've gone 14 days without blogging.  I've really wanted to and had a few good blog topic ideas, but I just haven't had time.  I started substitute teaching so that I can continue working in a classroom environment while I was searching for a full time teaching position.  That's taken a lot of my time and energy away from fun things like blogging and watching TV.  So, I hope that this post will serve as a post to both catch up and update, all at once.

What's Been Happening the Last 14 Days:

  • I started typing a very passionate blog about my feelings toward the Komen Foundation and all of the bad press they were getting a few weeks ago, but I started substitute teaching and the post was left largely unfinished.  However, it was quaintly titled "I Thought We Were Saving The Ta-tas?".  Now that the media firestorm and public outcry basically strong-armed Kommen into renewing support to Planned Parenthood, no one has really heard anything about it since and it does not seem like it's worth getting up in arms about again.
  • My diaper cake was also a large success at the baby shower.  My husband even remarked that it "looked professional."  I had so much fun making it, I want to make more!  Friends, start having babies.  Or maybe I should start a little side business.  Hrm.....

What's Going on Right Now
  • Valentine's Day was yesterday.  My husband and I didn't really celebrate the holiday that much at all - I did make him picture frame that has our wedding vows and a picture of us from our wedding, but we decided to just veg out and will celebrate "Birthentine's Day" next week on my birthday.  While it bummed me for about a second seeing all of the pictures of flowers on facebook with captions that said "My boyfriend/husband/lover is the BEST.EVER", I realized a second later that my allergies are so bad I couldn't even smell them so it would've been a waste of $50.  My husband did attempt to get me some flowers, but there were no parking spaces at the local grocery store and he thought it would take too long to get the flowers and wanted to come home and see me.  Which I think is a super sweet sentiment.
  • Nationwide, we're experiencing an exceptionally mild winter, which has led to an early onset of allergy season.  Which means I'm miserable and can't breathe and basically hate my life right now.

That's about all I can think about right now.  But I have several ideas for posts coming up, so I promise to be more frequent on here!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The First Time I.......

Welcome to the second episode of "the first time I...."!  Today, I made a diaper cake for the first time, so I wanted to share it on my blog because I'm super duper excited!

I've wanted to make a diaper cake for a long time, but I've never been brave enough/taken the time & energy to make one.  However, one of my oldest and dearest friends is having a baby this Spring.  Hurray! We have been friends since 6th grade.  We lived together on two separate occasions.  I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.  She is wonderfully special to me, by golly, so she was worth the effort it took to experiment with this project!

First, I gathered my supplies:

Then, I sat down and rolled up all 84 diapers.  To hold them in place, I used these clear plastic hair bands.  To roll them up, start at the bottom, small end and roll it up to the top, and then wrap it with the hair band.

Finally, I had a nice, big, stack of rolled up diapers!

Next, I took a big rubber band and put it around a bottle of lotion.  This served as my base.  Then I just kept adding diapers until I had three layers around the lotion.  Then start level two.

For the first layer, I used a small bottle so it could also serve as a vase for the top.  To make it stable, I used a sticky dot to attach the bottle to the lotion pump.

Then comes the ribbon.  Hurray ribbon!  Now, you may say "why isn't this blue or pink or sea foam green"?  Well, the mamma-to-be went to VCU (go Rams!) and bleeds black & yellow.  Her theme for the nursery is black, gray, and yellow and her stroller set and car seat that she got are simply adorable!  So I am continuing the theme!  I put the ribbon around the cake layers, and then topped the cake with flowers!

Now, time for decorations!  I used the sticky dots to attach craft sticks to the mini-bottles.  Then I scattered them around the layers.  I also rolled up some mittens and socks to look semi-flower like and tucked them into the cake layers.


And - drum roll please - here is my finished project!!  The ribbons aren't perfect right now, and it's a little lopsided, but I have to transport it to the baby shower next weekend, which is 3 hours away, so I am going to take all the supplies with me and touch it up and make everything perfect then.  I am just so tickled and proud, I wanted to share it with you today!

Overall, this project was really easy!  It took me exactly 2 1/2 hours to do this.  I started at 11:40 and finished at 2:10.  The longest part was rolling up the diapers, that took me 35 minutes.  I had a lot of fun and would happily do it again!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crap I Cannot Unlearn

I used to work at the same organization with this pretty amazing woman.  How amazing?  Well, not only is she insanely brilliant, witty, funny, and loves Jesus, but our first conversation involved frank descriptions of what happens to your body during pregnancy and I'm pretty sure the term "crotch rot" was used.  Our second conversation covered the dilemmas of wearing Spanx and a thong at the same time.  Mind you, all of this was via Office Communicator.  We didn't meet face-to-face until two months later.  Instant. Connection.

Once we bonded over the fact that we were both impossible to faze with bodily functions and had similar senses of humor, we began to email each other funny things we found on the web.  Thanks to her, I discovered TheBloggess via the now insanely famous Beyonce the Metal Chicken.  Once I wiped the tears from my eyes, I became a semi-devoted reader to this blog.  Student teaching made reading any blogs virtually impossible, but the graduating from school and subsequent unemployment has given me plenty of time to read all of the blogs on the interwebs, thus making me a daily reader of TheBloggess, who I find simply amazing in every possible way.

That being said, I was reading her blog the other day, and every week she has a weekly wrap up section, "shit i did when i wasn't here."  She is a contributor to several other websites, including this satirical sex column, sexis.  Usually I find the stuff on there tame and humorous.  It's actually safe for work, for the most part.  Except in one article, she listed about the top 10 strange things for January that readers had emailed her.  And number one  And made my soul cry a little bit because I can never go back to the moment before I clicked "play."  Brace yourself.... Are you aware.... That there is a world championship for masturbating?!!?! What the what?  Never in my 29 years would I have ever imagined that to be 'competition' material.  If you're brave enough to follow the link above, it's a YouTube interview with the current world champion.  You don't see anything really dirty, but you do have to confirm that you're over 18, 'cause that shit is serious, y'all.

I am pretty sure my jaw was on the floor the entire duration of this interview.  I cannot even go into details why, I will let the more adventurous ones of you go see for yourselves... Also, you adrenaline junkies out there, if you are brave enough to click on that link, check out the banana candle.  But be prepared to throw up in your mouth a little bit.

Now that I've scarred you for life, I do hope you'll come back around.  Next time I will post about something happy, I promise.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yoga For Fat People

For the past few weeks, I've been feeling tense and achey.  Some days were better, some days were miserable - overall just icky.  This morning, I woke up feeling much better than I had over the weekend and decided to take some proactive measures to stop feeling so all around blah.  I've been wanting to get into yoga for a while now, so I searched Netflix, found some yoga work out videos, and set out to stretch my muscles and get in touch with my internal organs.

Now, I had no allusions that I would be gliding through poses with the greatest of ease.  I knew that it wouldn't be easy.  I took 2 warm yoga classes last year and I knew it was challenging, but I wasn't sure how much of the difficulty was attributed to the 98* room and how much was attributed to my own awkwardness.  I was pretty sure that I wouldn't end up on the bathroom floor, white as a ghost, clutching the toilet wondering when I would pass out (true story and basic summary of my first warm yoga experience), but I wasn't sure what to expect.

So, I rolled out my awesome green yoga mat, pushed play and did my best to go along with the moves.  For the most part, I did okay.  However, once you get into some of the moves, it is very difficult for a size 18 body to maneuver.  For example, please review this picture I snagged off of Google:
See her taut little body nicely folded in half?  Very easy when you don't have a gut in your way.  When this yogi does this pose, you can see whatever is behind her.  When my much more tubby body tries this, it is a sea of rolls, boobs, and squished blubber.  Having boobs doesn't make this any easier either.  They are just in the way.  If you have a belly pooch, like I do, any move that involves bending over or planking is just super hard.

I felt really good afterwards, despite being a little sad that I couldn't do all of the poses correctly.  I kept saying to myself "they need 'yoga for fat people' videos." So I decided to google it - there are a ton of pages about this and I found some helpful modifications.  Hopefully if will continue to get better!  I can only hope.

To be fair, it's not only my excess body fat that makes yoga hard.  I am a giant bag of medical issues.  First, I have a several fibroid tumors on my lower spine/pelvis, on my L4-L5 and my L5-S1.  Basically, right here:

This makes laying on my back uncomfortable at times, and during some of the poses I thought I was going to pass out.  It happened to be on each of the poses where she said "Feel all of the blood rushing through your spine".  Turns out my tumors don't like the blood rushing down there.  Ironically, I get the same feeling when I drink liquor.

Also, my neck is kinda messed up, which makes sitting up straight and elongating my spine kind of hurty.  See, a normal neck is supposed to be curvy, like the second picture below.  My neck is like the first picture below.  It's fixable, and I've seen a chiropractor about it once before, but I just haven't gone to the therapy for it yet.  It's on my "to-do" list.

So I will continue to try yoga, but I think I'm going to have to make some adaptions, supplement with cardio and hope that yoga gets easier as I lose weight.  It can only get better, right?!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Musings on Horrible TV

So I'm quite disgusted with myself right now.  I've watched about 70 minutes of various episodes of Sixteen and Pregnant.  I don't know why I'm not turning this off; it probably has something to do with the fact that there is nothing good on at this time of day.  These high schoolers are so... soo... I don't even have a word for what they are.  And this show frustrates me because I do feel like it somehow glorifies teen pregnancy.  But in watching these few episodes, I have a glimmer of hope that it serves as a method of birth control.  It is my sincerest hope that young girls watch this show that young teenage boys are assholes.  In almost every episode, they flake out on their significant other as soon as she pops out that baby.  They either peace out or don't take any responsibility.  They let their d-bag friends convince them that they should still "be a teenager" and party or play video games and shirk responsibility.  No, sir.  You need to man up and help out.  Especially in this episode where the father is NINETEEN.  Why are you nineteen, jobless, sleeping on your girlfriend's mom's couch.  Son.  Cut your Justin Beiber skater boi hair, stop smoking hooka, take the freaky-deaky hoops out of your lips, and get a job.  You're a father.  You've got a precious baby boy at home.  You need to support him and your sixteen year old girlfriend and stop leeching money from her parents.  ARGH.

I wish I could yell at these kids.  But since I can't, I'm yelling on my blog.  I am so angry, I think I'm just going to go clean something.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Time I.......

My super amazing friend, Emily Fazawesome, inspired this blog.  In fact, she's really quite inspiring period.  Seriously.  Check her out here to see the original inspiration for this "The First Time I...." post, and then you should head over to Long Distance Lobsters to see her current masterpiece that she updates daily along with her friend Zoe.  Seriously, right click, open in new tab, and read.  Now.  I'll wait........

Okay, now back to me.  This blog is all about the first time I..... *drumroll*.... refinished hardwood floors!

My husband and I are house hunting.  And by house hunting I meant my husband J-dubs (his selected blog nickname from here on out) looks at houses on Zillow each and every night and then decides we don't have enough money just yet to buy.  But we have gone to look at a few that really caught our interest.  One such house was this GORGEOUS tudor-style (my fave) house in a near-by neighborhood.  It was almost perfect, but we were concerned about some water damage to the roof and backed off a bit.  But it had lovely hardwood floors on the first floor.  We were driving home after touring this house and were talking about how much we loved the hardwood floors.  Now, we've known for a while that our entire house has original hardwood under the dull tan carpet.  We were also planning to re-carpet the house once we sold or rented, due to some stains left over form when we were housebreaking Penny.  The question is posed: What condition do you think that hard wood is in?  I said "Well, let's find out!"  My darling husband replied "When?"  to which I replied "I don't have any plans today!"

So, we came home, moved some furniture around, and proceeded to rip up all the carpeting in the living room.  And the hardwood floors in this part of the house were in really great condition.  That night I ran out to a bachelorette party, which led to me spending the night at the bride-to-be's house.  I arrived home the next morning to find J-dubs standing in the middle of the living room with a random orbital sander.  Apparently, we were ready to go. 

So, we sanded and sanded and sanded the floors, then wiped everything down with Mineral Spirits, and around 10 PM we started staining.  We choose a darker color, Red Mahogany.  J-dubs didn't trust me with  the staining part, so he would brush on the stain and I followed behind to mop it up.  We waited the requisite time between coats and then laid down poly.  The first coat of poly went on around midnight.  Then he had to get up at 3 am to lay down the second.  Yes.  Three.  In the morning.  It was insane.  But our floors looked amazing.

The only problem was that we couldn't walk on it for something like 48 hours.  We ended up boarding Penny for a night, and then I took Penny to my parents for several days so we would not be banished to one room.  Also, for that entire day that Penny was boarded, I had to enter and exit via the window in my room because of the lay-out of our house.  But it was so worth it.  I am still shocked some days when I come into the living room.  It was a very hard task and there are several areas we smudged a bit, but overall it is wonderful and I'm so proud of us for our diy project. :)

Below are some pictures of our ordeal!  I have a few more to add, but I have to get them off of his phone... mine died during the documentation of the sanding and staining:

Ripping up the existing carpet

It's in good condition!

Staining the floors

Difference in colors.

Putting down the poly!

My only way into and out of the house for a few days.