picture it

pictures! click em to make em bigger.

first up, we have bella taking her first dip in her new baby pool. the water was straight out of the hose and COLD, but it was well into the 90s and she didn't seem to mind at all. have I mentioned how this kid sweats? I've never seen a baby sweat like her. so I guess she's going to be like sean and be a "hot" person. know what I mean? some people are just hot all the time, some are always cold. I am somewhere in between, but sean's a hot person. and so is lil bella. so anyway - bella in the pool.

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and here are some vegas pics. including the one I said you guys would love. we had to take this picture facing the opposite direction, so it's blurry and not quite level. we didn't want to be obvious about taking it. but we could have, since afterwards we found another couple taking the same picture outright.

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and here is bella signing sean's father's day card. awww.

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cute stuff.


baby einstein

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she poops, she scores!

I don't think I told you that bella has again been constipated. we cleaned Giant out of all its prunes (another 5 2-packs - some earmarked for noah) and we had been applying them liberally for the past 3 days. finally, the dam broke.

all over sean.

I can't wait to hear him blog about it.

all hail the gerber puff

bella: she's cute. she's little. she's winning the hearts of all kinds of creatures.

there were two times in the past weekend where phone calls had to be made to sean to let him know about the cuteness that was unfolding before me. oddly enough, both have to do with gerber puffs, which are the greatest things that have ever been produced for babies.

one call was made after bella fed me some puffs. she gets them in her little chubby fist and crams them first into my nose, then into my chin, and then into my mouth. (actually, she has pretty good aim. for a baby.) a few of the puffs were a tad soggy and one had a dog hair on it since she had picked it up off the carpet, but hey. she fed me puffs.

the other call was made from the grocery store. bella knows the container that the puffs are in (much like maggie, our dog, knows the bag that her beggin strips are in) and gets totally excited, knowing puffs are going to be procured and she will be able to eat them. so she's in the floppy in the grocery cart and I get a new container of puffs, and hand them to her. she's kicking and flailing, and then she got all quiet and calm and tried to get one of the puffs off the label. a-dorable.

yesterday, we watched trent's first travel baseball game - which, by the way, he played HALF AN INNING and I am so pissed I can't even talk about it - and we brought the puffs for bella. she wasn't hungry so she didn't eat many of them, but she LOVED just sticking her hand in the container and moving her fingers around in all the puffs. she was looking off in the direction of the game, or looking at the doggie that was there, or whatever - not at the container - and just had her hand in there all wiggling around in the puffs.

perhaps I will fill her baby pool with puffs and she will just evaporate with glee. but I like her so I do not want her to evaporate.

I will be posting pictures hopefully tomorrow - not of puffs, just of babies and other interesting things. including one from vegas that you guys will love.

sad but true

later today, I swear I'm going to write about bella. because she hasn't shown her pretty face here lately and she's been doing cute things lately that haven't been properly shared.

first, though, in the course of my daily blog reads, I came across this story. which I think needs to be shared. so in case you haven't read it already, read it now.

the thing is, we're all somewhat cautious about what we write, whether it's because our parents or friends are reading it, or because it contains info about our work. but your parents and friends aren't going to ruin your life over it. or maybe they would, but hey, if your parents and friends are that psycho, I think you're better off without them. and I guess the same could be said about your employer. but while you can go on living without friends and parents, unless you or your spouse are totally prepared for this or have lots of jobs lined up just in case, you can't really live without a paycheck. and you shouldn't have to, not because of what you choose to say in a non-work setting.

the problem is that we all are sitting back and taking it. making it acceptable. because we have no idea what the alternative is or don't know how to utilize it.


the weight thing

I just wanted to say - it's all relative! I read some of the comments on my last post, and 140 is definitely relative. I'm BARELY 5'3". I am almost 10 lbs over what's considered healthy weight. 10 lbs is 10 lbs and it's damn hard to lose. unless you're like 400 lbs and then 10 lbs is really nothing. but none of us are 400 lbs. and that's just to get to the high end of healthy weight - I'd like to lose 15. just like most of us.

it's all relative. now you guys all post on your blogs about how you never have a problem reaching stuff on the top shelves or seeing over people at shows, and then I can comment on how I'm envious. okay? we all friends?


The Memory Test

Hello! Sean here (I forgot to say that it was me when I posted "Weight [A Moment]"...sorry for the confusion). On the plus side, you get a double post from me today. This one has nothing to do with the burdens of testing or weight gain. This is a funny story that happened to me the other day which pertains to embarassment in the workplace caused by my iPod toting character of a father.

I haven’t told anyone about this yet because it just happened yesterday as I was leaving work. There I was trying to clean out my inbox before I shut down my PC and leave for the day when I see this email from dad with a link. The link is for some sort of a game involving a memory test, so I announce to my co-worker, who is a woman from Panama, that I’m going to take the memory test before I leave for the day. Harmless, right? Usually, my dad sends me links to the top 100 movie quotes of all time or funny little jokes or animation shorts where a little Cajun chef imitates Lou Bega singing "Gumbo # 5". You get the picture.

So, I click on the link and the test begins after I click on a ball which will be hidden under one of three cups. The object of the test is to follow the cups to see if I can follow where the ball goes. As soon as the cups start moving around, a moving image of a big breasted woman appears below the cups (why didn't I see this coming?). What is she doing but shimmying and jiggling and shaking her boobs around like that scene from Airplane! I guess it was supposed to distract me from remembering where the ball was. Who knows what she did next because literally 2 seconds after this image appears, I “X” out of the window as to not offend my co-worker, who is watching the whole time. Panicking with red face, I said, “Now we can’t have that up at the work place, can we?” in a real short and shaky Chevy Chase-type voice. After that, I immediately turned to her and said, “Sorry if I offended you.” As I’m hoping that I won’t lose my job on the grounds of inappropriate web use or sexual harassment or some other complaint to HR, my co-worker starts cracking up laughing her ass off at the image and my face and how I handled it and everything else comical about it.

I was so relieved, but I was still a little pissed that my dad sent something like that to my work address with no warning. I was also shocked that I was even able to access such a site from work. I guess that one kind of slipped by the list of restricted sites. It just goes to show you that my parents (as well as many other parents I’m sure) still have no clue about email/internet etiquette and what's appropriate…especially in the workplace. Classic moment, though. I’m glad my job isn’t in jeopardy and that she was the only one in the room, which is a non-cubicle environment. Imagine a supervisor or manager or tight ass being there? I did announce what I was doing before the embarrassment, so calling attention to it makes it that much more hilarious I guess.

Afterward, I responded to my dad’s email. Here's what it said:

Yo dad!

What the hell man? I’m at work here! My female co-worker watched me do the concentration test. She was deeply offended, and my job is now at risk!

Nah, just kidding. I did have to close it right away because it was kind of inappropriate for the workplace, but at least she’s cool and we got a good laugh out of it. Luckily, there were no managers or sups or tight asses in the room. Give me a heads up next time you send me a link like that because I do most of my email from work.



As you can see, I spared him some immediate guilt out of love by telling him that he shouldn’t worry because my co-worker was cool about it. In fact, she wanted me to forward it to her so that she could forward it to her husband. I said, “Okay, but you didn’t get it from me” as I deleted my signature (as if that would elimnate me from any trace of it). This crazy interweb kills me sometimes. “There’s no need to argue. Parents just don’t understand!”

Weight (A Moment)

My brother, Billy, can tell you that I've been watching a lot of movies lately. He loves them as much as I do, so whenever a week ends, I give him a little movie review of what I've seen in the past week in my weekly emails to him. Before Bella was born, it would be 1 or 2 movies at the most because that's all I had time for. Since Bella was born, it's been 5, 6, 7, sometimes 8 movies that I'd be sending per email, so that means an average of 6 to 7 movies per week since last October. That's a lot of movie watching, which means a lot of sitting.

This week's email had one movie review in it (Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou [5 of 5, I might add]). The reason why I only watched one movie this past week is because I realized that I’m becoming a fat, lazy ass that does nothing but sit with Bella and play with her when she’s awake (not necessarily a bad thing except for the sitting part) and sitting with Bella and watching movies when she’s asleep (movies are good in moderation, but not when so much sitting is required). Of course, Patrice put it in nicer words than "fat, lazy ass". Her telling me that things aren't getting done around the house on my days off like they used to helped me realize, as you already know, that weight loss is now mandatory.

So, the heaviest I’ve ever been was 245 before I lost all of the weight doing Slimfast followed by Weight Watchers and tons of exercise. When I started my new job last year (coming from a job where I was standing and lifting all day to a job where I am sitting at a computer all day), I weighed 190, which isn’t a bad weight for me. Almost a year and a half later, I’m almost back to my old self. I weighed myself this morning…230, and I feel it too. That’s the thing. I’m not that concerned with how I look, but how I feel is a different story. I’m eating too much, and I’m sitting around too much. I need to eat less and exercise more. Sounds easy, right?

My plan started last Tuesday. It consists of walking for at least half hour per day every day. It consists of eating three square meals within reason. It consists of only light snacking between meals when I’m hungry (no junk). It consists of eating as little as possible before bed with the lightest possible dessert (if any). It consists of making better choices for my healthy lifestyle instead of the anything goes lifestyle I had in the past year. What it comes down to is being active with Bella when she’s awake (long walks, dancing, lifting her in the air multiple times, etc.), and putting her down and working around the house when she’s asleep. Being on my feet will help me burn calories; the house will look nicer; and I’ll feel better about myself while Bella learns to sleep without being held.

I follow a schedule that Patrice and I crafted last week for Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday, I follow the same schedule except, as a reward for hard work, I substitute a movie for house work. We’ll see how the plan goes. I have a lot of weight to lose. My goal is to get back to 190 (which is 40 lbs). If I go below it, I won’t complain as the ideal weight for someone my height and age is between 160 and 180. Wish me luck! More water/ fruits/ vegetables/exercise and smaller portions and less movie watching/snacking will hopefully equal my key to weight loss.


the skinny on the fat

okay. so. all that posting about blah blah losing weight. when sean and I talked about it, he said "are you sure you want to be putting your weight on your blog?" and I said "yes." so. I weighed myself this morning.

normal weight for someone of my height with an "average" frame = 121 to 135. I am 140. my lowest weight was right before nicole's wedding and that was 117. my goal weight on ww was 120, I think. or 125. not that it matters much, though, because my 2 indicators are how my clothes fit, and whether or not I have a double chin.

I will make sure sean weighs himself and posts as well. and I won't obsess about it - I'll just keep you all apprised as to our progress. and thank you, interweb, for listening.

in other news, we are "babysitting" my niece chelsea. chelsea is having a bit of a bad streak when it comes to, oh, everything. my sister denise is actually moving out of her house in a small town in upper bucks county to a house more in the middle of nowhere specifically to ensure that chelsea can no longer sneak out of the house and spend the night at her boyfriends' house. no, that's not a misplaced apostrophe. boyfriends is plural. drinking, smoking, stealing, staying out all night, skipping school...

so yeah. SHE'S FOURTEEN. and is now staying at our house. and I get to watch her alllllllll weekend.

it will be interesting to see if I can manage to stay on my little diet for the entire time, or if I will resort to ice cream to numb the pain.

and, as a coworker pointed out to me, I have pms. didn't I just fucking have that??

I'm waiting for the sweet release of death. or the weekend. whichever comes first.


what's in a name? really?

so much name stuff going on today. first I read this at the boospot, and then I got in trouble TWICE today because I actually use 2 different names at work. I never changed my maiden name to my married name because, well, I just don't want to. but in a brilliant stroke of, um, brilliance, I decided to put my married name on my job application and now that is how I'm known here, except on my pay stubs, which had to match my soc sec card. so HR is all confused, and it happened that today, 2 different people needed clarification on my name in order to do whatever it is they were doing.

and then I tried to use our supercopier. one with all kinds of touch screens and staplers and binders and stuff. I was trying to make a copy of trent's insurance card for his maniacal soccer league -the one that requires us to pay them alot of money and jump through alot of hoops so that we are graced with the opportunity to allow our son to play. they want a NOTORIZED copy of his insurance card, front and back on one 8.5x11 piece of paper - both sides of the card on one side of the paper. so I went to go do that on the copier.

I'm usually pretty good with electronical gadgetry, but this copier seriously is like a nasa control panel. I tried 23 times to get the thing to do what I wanted it to. and it was 23 times, exactly. know how I know? because once I finally did it the old-fashioned way (made a copy of the front, made a copy of the back, folded each, put the copies on the copier, and copied the copies onto one page) and figured out that I had actually scanned in the image of the card and hit "start" a couple of dozen times, and when I finally set it to copy instead, out popped 23 copies of the card. and the scanned copy is still in there. luckily, they'll never know it was me, because trent has yet another last name.

oh wait, my name is on the card, too.

oh well.


and so it begins

my fellow blogscapeitarians, the time has come. the pants have spoken; the mirror doth not lie; the lens of the camera is as wide as it is wise. yes, it is time...TO DIET.

because I don't like the food nazi I became when I was last on WW, I have decided not to go that route again. I've done alot of thinking on the subject, and this is what I've come up with.

here's the thing about weight watchers, and this is no slight to the people who have or still are losing alot of weight via that program (or any other.) in the end, it's a business. businesses are interested in one thing - making money. the goal of many a marketer is to encourage repeat business, and in the diet industry, that means making people dependent on your product so that as they get thinner and feel the need to diet less, they still look to you to maintain their weight loss, and that they equate your product and service with their success. I do feel like WW is infinitely better than, say, jenny craig or LA weight loss in that they don't require you to buy special foods. but still, the idea exists that you can't do it alone, that you need the meetings and the points counters and the motivation of being in a group. and alot of that is totally true. in fact, all of it is. however, I feel like I don't need to get those things for $12/week from WW when I have a group of peers that would gladly keep me motivated, I have eyes and can read the nutrition facts, and I'm NOT alone in it if I choose to share it with others. (there is the fact that spending money on weight loss is a tremendous incentive to do well, but that doesn't fit in with my argument here, so I am just going to not mention it. forget you read that fact.)

that, of course, is my personal opinion and since millions of people use WW (including some of my dearest friends, and ME - I am a lifetime member) it has to be good. but I have decided that I am going to try what I feel like is the common sense way. I am not going to count points - I am going to make smart decisions about food. I am not going to eat more than one portion of the foods I do decide to eat. I am going to weigh myself regularly and post the results here. I am going to help sean do the same, as he helps me to make better choices. I am not going to deny myself foods I enjoy eating, but I am going to make better choices about how many times I am going to eat cheeseburgers as opposed to veggie burgers. and I am going to exercise, and this is where I really deviate from WW - I am not going to allow myself "extra food" as long as I exercise, I'm just going to do it and eat normally. food (or extra points, as WW does) is not going to be my reward for jogging. (ha! gotcha! like I'd ever jog.)

WW did teach me alot about nutrition. and I am grateful. and now I'm going to use that knowledge and apply it in a way that fits my exact lifestyle and eating habits. and hopefully I will lose weight. I'll let you know.

and I will totally eat crow (which is high in fat, I'm told) if it doesn't work and I haul my fat ass back to the local WW center. sean and I are giving ourselves 3 months to do it on our own. wish us luck.


I hate competitions

in my work life, I feel this sometimes irresistible urge to be competitive. it's the nature of business to be that way, I guess, which is why the american people at large don't just work for one giant company that does everything. but honestly - I hate competition. that's not to say I'm not competitive by nature, because to a certain extent, I am. I just hate it because I hate how it makes me feel.

in order to be competitive, you have to constantly figure out how to be better than everyone else. and that means being better than you are right now. which inherently means you're not at your best, which means that there is something wrong with the way you're being right at this moment. I tend to be insecure to begin with, and to have added pressure to be better than someone else is just torture. but when the pressure comes from within, you can at least quell it. when it comes from, say, your superiors - that's when things get really bad for someone like me.

so I've been on pins and needles lately and am doing everything I can not to "play ball" with people who try to bait me into competition that I feel is needless. I have no idea how it will play out.

anyway. so the haircut - short, in order to accommodate 6 weeks between trims instead of 4. not bad. even styled okay when I got home. so I can't complain. but I do need that color, and quick. larry, my guy, tells me that box color is ruining my hair. I should at least go to the beauty supply and mix my own from the stuff they have there. yeah, right after I get done eating my fucking bon bons, I'll get to the beauty supply store. half the part of me dying my hair a different color every time I buy haircolor is because I buy what is on sale and cannot remember what I used last time anyways. it's not that much of a priority to me what color it is as long as it has no visible roots. in fact, if they made brown-with-a-whole-lot-of-gray as a color, I'd totally use that and be done with it. I'm comfortable enough with myself that I don't care about gray hair.

I've tried using temp color, so I can grow out the part that is permanently colored and let the rest fade to gray, but even temp color that supposedly washes out doesn't wash out of gray hair, and it fades too quickly anyways. so I wind up doing it more often.

what I should really do - like I said yesterday - is shave it and start fresh. but, unfortunately, it's not exactly socially acceptable to do that for a lady.

at any rate, thank you all for your kind comments. I am not photogenic and so pictures don't always tell the right story about how I look, but it's nice to hear that some of you think I'm purty. but don't get any ideas, folks. I'm married.


ye of little faith

another hair cut tonight. the plan is - just a trim. but I totally need new color. I did this stupid "color pulse" thingie that washes out in 8 - 10 shampoos and it really took alot of the original permanent red out of my hair and now it's just...blah. I don't know if I'll ever make the leap to getting it done professionally. who knows.

anyway, poor sean. know how we spent the few hours we have together on sundays yesterday, father's day? we ordered in cheesesteaks because I was too tired to get ready to go out. bella was EXTREMELY constipated (which is rare for her) and grouchy, and I had tried to rearrange our bedroom and be done by the time sean got home. well, needless to say, it didn't happen, and when sean got home, I was still in basically pajamas, bella was wearing only a onesie, the bedroom was completely torn apart, and the rest of the house was in shambles. so I asked if he really wanted to go out, and being the nice guy he is, he said we could just stay in. and then he wanted to catch up on six feet under since we missed last week's episode because I was away, and now we're going to be really behind because I'm getting my haircut tonight. so his father's day was bogus, because we didn't watch 6fu; rather, I finished rearranging the bedroom. to my credit, it looks DAMN good. before, it was just a room with a bunch of furniture lying around, and now it looks like a room with a bunch of furniture LAYING around.

actually, bella was all confused when I went to take her to bed - all "this isn't the same room at all, I shall now register my discontent by screaming and going rigid." I swear, this kid could get a job as a railroad spike if she wanted to - it's impossible to bend her when she's standing stick straight. like when she's resisting the high chair or the carseat or just sitting on the floor.

anyways, fit's hitting the shan here at unnamed place of employment and people are dropping like flies, so I've been laying low. or lying low. whichever. more tomorrow, when I log in to tell you all that in a fit of desperation for something new and exciting, I decided to cut off all my hair. actually, that's not a bad idea since a) that's the only way I can ever get out of dying my 90% gray hair ever again, and b) I saw a picture of myself from vegas and man. you know when you think you look pretty good and then you see yourself later and you realize that your mirror has conspired against you to make you look okay when you leave the house when you really look like shit? yeah. that's me.

I just want things to turn around and have dry, frizzy, flat-toned hair be en vogue, along with next season's hottest accessory - the double chin. everyone's wearing it!


Happy Father's Day!

Hello. Sean's back bloggin' with his one-paragraph style (I try to break it up once in a while). Where have I been? What's my excuse for being away? I wasn't in Vegas or anything. Oh wait, I was busy holding the fort down. I guess, first, I have to answer my "tagged" questions:

If I could be a painter, I would stick with it instead of quitting to join a politcal cult that does nothing for me but give me false belief that the "organization" will make the world a better place by recruiting college kids to sit around singing German choir and reciting Socrates and quoting FDR...

If I could be a chef, I would work in Washington DC and make it my mission to spit in the food of Dubya, Dick and Donald...and hell, why not Condoleeza?

If I could be a linguist, I would eat lots of fettucini alfredo and make bad jokes that I am a linguine-ist in my spare time.

Since you all have been tagged, and I can't think of anyone else to tag, then I'll just complete a fourth scenario instead.

If I could be a world famous blogger, I would idolize Dave Mustaine.

Now that we're past that order of business, I would like to tell you about a large amount of pressure I've been feeling. I am bummed that I'm sitting here at work during my first biological Father's Day, but something is keeping me from worrying about that. I'm up for a promotion next month, but in order to get it, I have to pass a grueling 100+ question test in 5 hours or less in order to earn it. What ever happened to getting promoted because management thinks I'm the best for the job? Not where I work. So, my livelihood, intergrity, career pursuit and financial gain all hang in the balance and will be determined by how well I do on this comprehensive test that covers every single facet of my job along with some things that we never cover. I thought that my test-taking days were over when I graduated college, but apparently not. My friend, Joe, told me that he had to take a test to get promoted while working for a bank, so I suppose it's not so uncommon. I just hate that, at this stage of life, such important life-altering moments come down to a TEST! The good part about working today is that a co-worker of mine, who will be out of the department by the time I'm taking the test, is here now, and today is his last time we're working together not under the watchful eye of management. I'm gonna get as much information out of him as I possibly can along with others here who have been tested. If you don't see many posts from me in the next month, then you'll know that I'm reading posts occassionally but mostly studying my butt off so that I can bring more bread home for my family. The date is July 18. Wish me luck!
Because I can't think of anything else right now due to the importance of this test (I even have reoccurring nightmares that I'm back in school at the end of a semester and have failed everything because I haven't studied an inkling), I'm gonna end this post, but before I do, I want to wish all of the fathers and spouses of mothers who read regularly a happy Father's Day (belated by one day since you are all probably off today and will be reading this one day after the fact). Working weekends bites sometimes.


making up for lost time

a multi post day!

here, I offer an email exchange between me and nicole:

From: patrice
Date: Jun 17, 2005
Subject: [Strangeafeet] 6/17/2005

sean said that noah's teeth are like riiiiiight there. exciting! and crawling!!

I think bella is going to go right to walking, but not for a while. she still can't roll over.

On 6/17/05, Nicole wrote:

he bit down on mark's finger last night and left a mark. course he won't really let us get in there and look at them. how long does it take from the first little bit that surfaces to being full-on out?

who needs rolling when you can walk? when was the last time you rolled?

On 6/17/05, patrice wrote:

when was the last time I rolled? why, just this week, actually.

it depends on the teeth thing surfacing - it could just pop through one day. the rest aren't nearly as bad as the first. and sometimes teething causes diaper rash, too, fyi. teething sucketh.

On 6/17/05, Nicole wrote:

yesterday my mom told me that the first top two are worse because they are bigger and often cause headaches. but like all things - i think all kids are probably different. like some kids LOVE teething. they can't get enough. they cry when the pain subsides. and if she never learns to roll - the worse thing about it is that she won't be able to say "That's just how I roll..." because she won't.

On 6/17/05, patrice wrote:

she'll instead say "I don't roll like that."


vegas, a haiku:

heat and pleasing noise
strippers sing show tunes badly
I then run away

the nicest thing about leaving for 5 days is having 5 days' worth of blogs to read. I have alot of work ahead of me. it's going to take me a lil bit to catch up. but what I did see was the J-lady's blog where she, ahem, tagged me. okay then.

Complete five of the following statements, and then tag three others to do the same:
If I could be a musician, If I could be a doctor, If I could be a painter, If I could be a gardener, If I could be a missionary, If I could be a chef, If I could be an architect, If I could be a linguist, If I could be a psychologist, If I could be a librarian, If I could be an athlete, If I could be a lawyer, If I could be an inn-keeper, If I could be a professor, If I could be a writer, If I could be a llama-rider, If I could be a bonnie pirate, If I could be an astronaut, If I could be a world famous blogger, If I could be a justice on any one court in the world, If I could be married to any current famous political figure

if I could be a bonnie pirate? are you serious? well, I'm totally qualified to do this one, as I stayed at treasure island in vegas. so. if I could be a bonnie pirate, I'd make a law (pirates can make laws. look it up.) that says that no pirate shall ever be called bonnie ever again. and then I'd make johnny depp take me out to dinner. because we'd both be pirates.

if I could be a psychologist, I'd find out what it is about bonnie pirates that makes me so upset. what's the big deal about bonnie? it's not rooted in my mothering area of my subconscious, as my mom's name is mary jane, not bonnie. in fact, I only know one bonnie and I actually like her. so, what is up with bonnie-hating? not to mention all that juicy gossip. don't you ever get the feeling that your shrink totally goes to parties and tells stories about you?

if I could be a world-famous blogger, I'd totally cut the requirements for this list down to 3. or 2 if you're jet lagged. since people would listen to me and all.

if I could be an inn-keeper? who wrote this? and how did something from 1878 make it to the blogiverse? I guess if I could be an inn-keeper, I would...um...keep the...inn...from being....out.

and lastly, I'm going to take a little liberty here and add my own. if I could be a famous person, I would totally be katie holmes. and then I'd tell you what the fuck I am thinking these days.

so. now I "tag" someone, is that how it goes? okay. I tag sean, which is totally cheating but whatever (and he won't respond until next weekend) and I tag...um...jeez, jaws? I'm running out of people who weren't previously tagged, I think. she gets tagged for alot, and I haven't checked blogs in a week, but whatevs. and I tag YOU, THERESA - NOW YOU HAVE TO BLOG. ha! okay, just checked theresa's blog and she was already tagged. by jen o, who was my next choice. and theresa tagged jon. and I feel stupid even typing all this. so...I'm tagging myself. see above. now you're in an endless loop. how's that feel?

so thanks everyone for wishing me well on my trip. because you're dying to know, yes, I did win $18,058 on one $1 slot pull, and they put me up in a high-roller suite, and it was great and all, but I gave the money to a bum on fremont street because it was the devil's money. but I did keep $10 to play air hockey at the jillian's there. and I totally kicked jarrett's ass like 14 times, all on that same $10.

okay. no. so I spent a few dollars and didn't win much, but I did have fun, and nothing in vegas could hold a candle to the excitement I felt when I saw bella from across the terminal and when she saw me and broke out into the biggest grin I ever saw on her little chubby face. (side note: hold a candle? who holds candles? that's a tribute to jarrett, whose ass I kicked at air hockey.) I like being home. but I kinda wish everything had the ability to spit out money like a slot machine. like our stove or maybe the dishwasher. or my computer. or bella, better yet. she's spitting stuff out all the time, might as well be money.

it's good to be home...


and....she's outta here

okay, people. I know you're all worked up about me not posting for like 6 days, but please. try to contain yourselves. weeping isn't the answer.

all kidding aside, I don't think I've mentioned that I am scared shitless to fly. and...have I mentioned I am going to miss my baby? see, if she were trent's age, it'd be no biggie. but she's so...little.

anyway. can't think about that now.

I am leaving the office, and my plane beckons at 6pm on sunday. I return at 7pm on thursday. I can't wait to tell you all about it. (sidenote: I always manage to type "abou tit" when I type that phrase. abou tit indeed.)

have a good week and weekend. and if I die, I have instructed nicole to take over rearing bella from a female standpoint.

stuff to take to vegas, a list

okay, okay, multiple posts. I was (and am) desperately trying to put off doing something at work that I should have done weeks ago, so this is actually helping.

stuff to take:

  • underwear/bras
  • $60 knickers (as opposed to underwear) (however I am wearing them today, so do I wash them or just bring them?) (the tag says that they get softer and lighter with each wash so I guess I'll wash them again.) (but with what?? I just did all my laundry last night.) (with bella's clothes - she needs her wash done.) (but they might bleed onto her cute clothes.) (how bout with some towels?) (our towels smell like ass, I was planning to actually buy new towels.) (I know, I'll wash them with some of sean's stuff. he won't care!)
  • enough clothes for 5 days plus extra in case I leak/spill something/am so sweaty that they stink
  • something relatively nice looking - maybe that black skirt (of course I wore that yesterday) (but I didn't roll it up in a ball and put it in the hamper) (I think I hung it up - but I'll have to iron it when I get there because it'll get wrinkled in the suitcase)
  • hair stuff
  • makeup
  • nursing pads
  • pad pads (you never know)
  • notebook
  • digital camera
  • ipod that I bought sean for father's day that he now knows about thanks to apple putting their fucking return address on their package but it's good because now he's letting me take it with
  • cdnow messenger bag - for toting pump and notebook and also because of the cred
  • Pumpy the Pumping Pump
  • advil
  • shirts with company logo that don't match anything
  • paperwork for the cirque show we're going to see
  • hotel paperwork
  • shoes of all kinds
  • protopic (as bubbles have appeared on feet as a result of stress and not enough water)
  • nail file
  • book
  • purse
  • cell phone
  • hat
  • toothbrush
  • deodorant
  • travel stuff - toothpaste, face wash, whatever else I decided was necessary last time I went to the target travel size aisle
  • RAZOR - I always forget this and have stubbly legs
  • self tanner, though it's making me orange (for legs only)
  • sunscreen
  • pictures of bella and trent and sean
  • tissues
  • sunglasses for airport (puffiness concealment)
  • immodium for impending IBS episodes
  • an already-worn onesie of bella's so I can smell her

this is going to be so hard. I can't think about it now. anyway, did I forget anything?

when kids attack

I'm not usually one to ooh and ahhh over stupid internet baby pictures, and I hate forwarded forwarded forwards, but this picture (which I originally saw like 3 years ago or more) has always been my favorite "aren't kids fucking ridiculous" pictures of all time. so when sean forwarded me a forwarded forwarded forward including this picture, I had to snag it and post it on the off chance that you've been living under a rock and have never seen it. it's usually accompanied by the caption "why men shouldn't babysit" which I happen to think is unfair, as I could totally see this happening on my watch. click it to make it bigger, since at this small size, it looks like the baby is kinda, well, unliving.

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anyways, expect today to be a multi-post day - a) because it's only 9:14 right now, and b) because it's the last blogday before my trip.


some good, some bad

let's talk about the good first, because the bad is so bad that it makes me feel totally shallow regarding the good.

the good - I got some new clothes and they feel great. the rigamorole to get the clothes wasn't fun (it took over 3 hours to get 4 new shirts and 2 pairs of pants) but wearing the clothes in the last 2 days has been wonderful. I broke my rule of spending more than $20 on a shirt and got some great tops at, oddly, ann taylor. is it ann taylor? yeah. ann taylor. it didn't sound right at first, like it was really amy taylor or something. anyways. and I also did something crazy and got a....deep breath....$56 pair of DENIM KNICKERS from express. I still haven't taken the tags off them because that's just totally insane. I'm not sure I'm keeping them. anyways. that's the good.

the bad - I nearly killed bella. I nearly brain damaged her. I am still so wracked with guilt. I brought her up with me to bed, I placed her on the bed about a foot away from the edge of the foot of the bed, sitting up, facing the head of the bed. I turned around for the proverbial "one minute" and thud. it makes my heart ache to just relive it. she somehow fell backwards and off the bed and must have turned completely around midair and landed ON HER FACE on the splinter-ridden hard wood floor of our bedroom. it was loud and thudding enough to have sean race up the steps before she even had the breath to scream - and before I even had the breath to scream. I picked her up immediately and flew to the steps to scream for sean, who was already up them, and the wails were piercing. amazingly, and this is something I have to remember any time there's a good deed to be done in the future, as I'll have to repay this for years, there was no scratch on her. no blood. no broken cheekbones, no busted nose, no black eyes. we were spared from my stupidity.

I know every baby takes a tumble at least a few times, but what I did - it was just stupid. in that it was preventable. I hardly slept that night for checking to see if she were still breathing and not in a concussion-induced coma. it was awful.

anyway, tonight I begin packing for my lonely trip to las vegas. that means laundry. a mountain of laundry. and tears. I don't know how I'm going to get through it, especially with all this almost-killed-the-baby guilt I have now.

the very meek bright side is that maybe $56 denim knickers and self-imposed mommy guilt will prove to be the very good luck charms I need to be able to win big in vegas and justify the amount of spending I've been doing lately.

ps, I tried to find the knickers in question on express' web site. I had to do like 5 searches to even find express' web site address in google, and I still wasn't able to find it outright. it's http://expressfashion.com - but damned if it isn't SEOd or even PPCd for searches for "express clothing" - DUH! so I made an affiliate happy and clicked through a link on someone else's site. and now I'm cookied for at least 3 months. and for those who don't know me, this gives you a clue as to what I do for a living.


get it out get it OUT GET IT OUT!!!

today, I accomplished 2 major things. one was to go to trent's annual GIEP meeting (gifted individual education plan) with his resource teacher. the idea is that you go over last year's goals, see if you met them, and set goals for the next year. the invitation is extended to trent, me and brett, trent's resource teacher, his regular teacher, the guidance counselor for the school, and the principal. it used to be a law that the principal and the guidance counselor and the teacher had to be there, but a few years back, that law got repealed for some reason. so...they don't come. I like to think that they are too busy, but there are only 3 children in this enrichment course at trent's school and the GIEPs for each child are not scheduled at the same time of the year, so it's not like they had a ton of these to attend and couldn't come. I guess this is the culture of "no child left behind unless they do well on the standardized tests and then we might as well just forget about them". sure, trent's doing above-average work, but does that mean he doesn't deserve to have his guidance counselor take time out of her day to come and see his progress? how is no one showing up "enriching"?

anyway. so usually we go over a few goals, add some goals, and talk about things he did during the year, since our GIEP is always in June (as opposed to at the beginning or middle of the school year.) because trent is going to middle school next year, though, and will have 50 gazillion teachers instead of 3, there are 5 pages of goals for him for next year. I think he was overwhelmed. I think I was overwhelmed. it didn't help that it was my lunch time and I hadn't eaten and it was HELLA hot in there and apparently his school isn't air conditioned.

anyway, that done, it was time to go back to work and get ready for the blood drive, which actually was today.

anyone who knows me knows I'm big into giving blood. but that I hate needles and the thought of my blood draining out of me. my biggest peeve about giving blood isn't the needle stick, though - it's the needle itself lodged in my vein, and the blood spurting out of it (albeit into a tube). this time was no different. the worst is when you're done, and the nurse is doing more than one thing at a time (or more than one person) and they take the bag and lay it up by your legs and leave the needle intact. this is how it went and my thought process:

rolling the tube, rolling the tube, rolling the tube. I had been well hydrated, so the bag filled fast. okay, she checks, I'm done. she takes the bag from below the cot where I'm lying and lays it up against my bare legs, since I am wearing a skirt. THE WARM, HUGE BAG OF MY BLOOD IS NEXT TO MY BARE SKIN. I'm counting the ceiling tiles to keep my mind off of it. meanwhile the tube is still taped to my skin, so I know the needle isn't going to move around in my vein. because that's a big fear of mine - moving so that the needle moves in my vein in my arm. I mean like, I had to just stop typing and compose myself just in talking about it.

anyway. so then she removes the tape from the tube and the needle is able to just be tossed about. it's not being tossed about but it could be at any moment. this is when the panic starts setting in. I start saying to myself "I wish she'd take it out." then, she goes over to the other bed and does the same thing with the other guy, who is also done. but this is going to take about 5 minutes. 5 minutes with the needle in my arm, unprotected. the tech who takes the blood takes my blood bag from the cot. and bumps it. I wince. the banter in my head gets louder. "I wish she'd TAKE IT OUT." then I am picturing the tube like an unmanned hose flailing all about spurting out my blood. of course, this isn't happening, but IT COULD BE. my eyes are now closed. she's still not back. I'm screaming in my head "TAKE IT OUT TAKE IT OUT TAKE IT OUT" and starting to feel sick. just as I'm about to call out to her to come and take it out before I totally freak, she comes and takes it out. but the nausea is still there. I'm trying to keep it together and not freak out, I sit and eat my goddamn cookies and orange juice, and here it is 3 hours later and I'm still feeling sick.

so, when they say "be nice to me, I just gave blood" they're not telling the whole story. I want a sticker that says "be nice to me, I just gave blood and it could have been spurting directly out of my vein for nearly 10 minutes, all to save someone's life, so give me my due and hand over your credit cards."



you know it's a crazy weekend when your husband looks at you and says, "well, at least you can blog about this."

saturday. sean has his 8 hours of comp time for working on memorial day, which is usually stupid because even if you get comp time, it's not on a holiday, so who fucking cares. but this time, it actually came in handy, as sean's dad bill had invited us to his house in jersey for a belated birthday/gloucester county day celebration. (we usually go to bill's house on memorial day weekend for bill's birthday, which is I think may 25.) anyway, so sean got home at 10:45am (because he works 12 hour days on saturday and sunday, 8 hours is only 2/3 of a day off) and we packed up and drove the hour and 15 mins or so to bill's.

bill lives with his girlfriend loretta, and I guess they'd be common law husband and wife if she weren't still married to her first husband. I am pretty sure I'm not supposed to say that so don't be surprised if this is edited next time you read it. loretta has 2 daughters of her own - kerry, who lives with her boyfriend brian bucher (he is always called brian bucher, never just brian) just outside of west palm beach florida, and jen, who has a son close to trent's age and nearly-5 year old twins. bill is also one of the most gregarious, loud, slightly insane (I say that with love) men I have ever met. his relationship with loretta is, how you say, interesting. it is not volatile at all, and they're both fairly good natured about it, but I really think that loretta thinks that bill is the biggest nitwit on earth.

on the way there, I told sean that I was crampy and cranky and tired. and he said, "well, you're headed to the wrong place, then." and I knew that to totally be true.

there were many things about the day that made it both hysterical and very trying, but here's a snapshot of one of the more funny parts of the day:

bill asks if sean wants to go to the beer store with him. sean is a big beer fan and loves microbrews, and bill's nickname for sean has been Beer for a long time. sean asks if I want to go, I say sure, we leave bella with loretta, and I drive, since parking is at a premium as gloucester county day is less than a block away at the park near their house and everyone is parking in their development. and I was in the driveway, so there was no way that someone would steal my spot.

as we head out to the car, bill has strapped on his latest gadget. and bill has lots of gadgets. it's his new iPod. (and that's the last time I'm capitalizing that dumb P.) he's even got a leather ipod holster. he's donned his fake-oakley sunglasses, and...and this was just classic...his headphones. only they aren't the headphones that come with the ipod. they are 80s walkman headphones. so he's got his sunglasses, his headphones, and his ipod, wearing his eagles t shirt and a pair of shorts, socks jersey style, and sneakers. and he's singing to the music only he can hear.

so he's in the car, singing, giving me directions to the beer store. (and it's jersey, so it's "not this one. the one down here. on the right. not on the left. next to the other one.") we get there, and he busts in singing. kerry, who was up with brian bucher visiting, had requested that we get this mango cocktail mix. I was prepared to look around a bit, and if I didn't find it, I'd ask the owner, but bill decided to just ask straight away. "HEY, YOU GOT SOME KINDA MANGO THING? LIKE DRINK STUFF. MANGO. YOU GOT ANY? WHERE'S IT AT?" as he is still wearing the ipod and listening to his do-wop ("hey sean, you can just type in do-wop and it lists all your do-wop, or you can just say chicago and shit and all the chicago and shit comes right on your screen!") at top volume, so he's SPEAKING EXTRA LOUD.

I quickly told sean to just call kerry on his cell and ask her what kind of mix it is, as "mango drink stuff" doesn't exactly help. she tells sean it's a rose's mix, and sean relays this to me, and bill hears him. "IT'S ROSE. YOU GOT ROSE DRINK MIX HERE? MANGO? WE NEED MANGO. YOU GOT THAT? WHERE'S IT AT? ...hey, if you feel like givin' me a lifetime of deeevoooootionnnnnn..."

so bill's milling around in one aisle screaming about the mango mix, and how he needs some beer for his son, and sean and I are locating the actual mix we've been asked to get. they don't have mango. bill: "YOU DON'T GOT MANGO? WHAT KIND DO YOU GOT? AW, SHIT, SEAN, THEY DON'T GOT MANGO. THEY WANT THEIR FUCKIN MANGO. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MANGO SHIT, ANYWAY? CALL EM BACK. TELL EM THERE'S NO MANGO." all the while, singing random parts of songs. ".....yeah!.....baa babbabaaa......ocean.......da daaadadda.....STOP! and thank you baby!" sean's having trouble keeping a signal, so I call the house from my cell, but I go outside - a) to get a signal, and b) to stop myself from peeing myself from laughing. they say that watermelon and cranberry would be fine. I go back in, bill's getting the beer now. I remind them we need ice, and bill, who's already loud and tends to get louder when he's excited, says "MAN, THANK GOD WE GOT PATRICE, THAT'S THE WHOLE REASON WE WERE COMING HERE IS TO GET ICE! SHIT, THE ICE! MAN, THE ICE!" sean uttered the "at least you can blog about it" line as we were getting the ice out of the ice bin. then, after we get the whole payment thing down ("NAH, I AIN'T PAYIN FOR BRIAN BUCHER'S MANGO WATERMELON SHIT, AND THIS GREY GOOSE? PUT THAT SHIT ON A SEPARATE BILL.") we start to head out of the store. as a way of either explaining himself, or just to show it off, bill pulls up his shirt to reveal the ipod strapped to the elastic on his shorts. "GOT MY IPOD, SEE?." the store owner says "yeah, I see that." bill says "IT'S GLOUCESTER COUNTY DAY." and heads out without waiting for a response. the store owner and I make eye contact as I leave, and he gives me an eyebrow raise. I just lower my eyes and follow bill out the door.

as if this story needs more, the following happened on the way home: bill is a retired philadelphia cop, and recently retired also from the septa police force, where he was a dispatcher. he's officially retired from all stuff now. anyway, he likes to screw with cops. he thinks having been a cop gives him this right.

so he's in the backseat of my car, all the windows down, still listening to his ipod. we're at a red light close to the site of gloucester county day, and cops are directing traffic. bill decides to scream out the windows "HELP! THEY'RE KIDNAPPING ME! HELP! OFFICER, OFFICER, PLEASE HELLLLLP!!"

ah, bill. never a dull moment.


Vegas Dilemma Resolved

Hey! Sean here. I just wanted to let everyone know that we have reached a solution to the problem we were having with figuring out Las Vegas. However, I won't go into detail because I'll leave that to Patrice. I know that this is an issue that has been nagging away at her, so to put it to bed by venting about it and giving you all of the details will be like a huge weight off of her shoulders. I don't want to give anything away, and I do want to create suspense for the sake of a dramatic climax...okay, it's not dramatic at all, but let's just say that everybody wins somehow. Although, Patrice still has to leave Bella for 5 days, and I'll miss visiting Vegas, and we'll be penalized $100 for me backing out of my flight, but at least we'll have a credit to use toward another flight at a later date, and Kathy and Pat will still get to watch Bella while I work on Sunday and Monday (originally scheduled off due to now cancelled departure). So, that means that I'll have 8 more hours of personal time that I'll get to use later on this year that I didn't plan on having. Maybe a family outing to Hershey Park will be the proper occassion to use these hours. Along with the forthcoming Hershey Park trip, I can say that I had my fun in Worcester, and I still have Atlanta and Ocean City to look forward to, so I'm not disappointed about missing this Vegas trip. I'll get to go another time. I get more satisfaction out of giving Patrice peace of mind knowing that Bella will be with me for 3 out of the 5 days, and there's no way I can't look forward to that! C'mon, you've seen her, and many of you have met her. What's there not to look forward to? Besides, I have a flexible choice in not going. Patrice's choice is not as flexible. If she backed out, then that wouldn't look too good from a professional standpoint, so this was the logical decision.
I feel pretty fortunate that we have this issue to deliberate over while some people have the misfortune of deliberating over where they will sleep tonight or where their next meal will come from...wait a second! I just realized that I gave the whole solution away before Patrice had a chance to vent about it by telling you. Oops! Oh well. Maybe Patrice can add in extras that I missed or use her time to post about something else like her weekend. Now THAT'S a story! Wait until you hear about our visit to my carefree, retired, iPod-toting dad.


grumpy old (wo)men

I feel sick. not like this, or like this, but like...well...this. because of this. and this. there. if you really don't want a little too much information, don't click on those links. my stomach feels like I had one of these filled with this, and I'm tired and cranky.

here's the vegas dilemma:

I don't want to leave bella. I have been agonizing over leaving bella. I haven't been able to be remotely excited about visiting las vegas because I've been agonizing over leaving bella. there are 4 options:

  1. don't go at all
  2. go as planned
  3. go and leave sean behind
  4. go with sean and take bella

1 and 2 aren't really feasible. (well, 1 definitely isn't; 2 is the dilemma itself.) sean doesn't like 4 because he feels like it would be a waste - we wouldn't be able to do anything at night. and he's right. someone suggested that the concierge would certainly arrange for childcare in the evenings. a) cost and b) stranger? I'm having difficulty leaving her with family!

and let me clarify - it's not that I don't trust my father and stepmother to watch her. it's that I can't bear the thought of her missing BOTH her mommy and daddy for 5 days, being in a strange house, and being with people who, only because of proximity and not because of knowledge, do not know exactly what she wants when she wants it. now, if she were a little older, things would be different. but she's just learning about mommy going away and coming back, and I just don't feel like going away for 5 days is going to help that process. whatever. I am not going to justify it anymore - I just can't do it.

so. sean's actually the one who offered not to go. our tickets are non-refundable, but for $100, we can reuse the tickets. I told sean that he and trent could use the money to buy tickets to atlanta, where we were supposed to go in july. I'd stay behind with bella. it'd be a boys weekend, since the trip itself is to see a college friend of sean's.

I guess it's not a dilemma since I know what we're likely going to do. the real dilemma is how to tell my dad and stepmother without them thinking I find them inept. suggestions?

up this weekend - a new jersey festival at sean's dad's house, and an early birthday party. it seems my mom and sister have decided to come over on sunday for roughly 7 hours, bringing things to make pot roast and a cake. fine by me. I don't ever turn down birthday stuff. and I guess this year's birthday week will be extended to a birthday half-month, which is also fine by me. I'll be in vegas on my birthday anyway - without my husband or either of my kids. it makes me so sad. I just want to take everyone with me...



look at it all.

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and it's still not enough.

got milk? all over the floor?

I do!!

2 stories that are crappy for me, funny for you:

1. so I'm upstairs in the glorified bathroom stall that is our lactation "room" (sidenote: the response to the email? "I am forwarding your comments on to Hrpersonwhowon'tgiveashit, and we'll let you know if we decide to make changes.") and I'm pumping my brains out. 6 ounces later, the goddamn storage cup, which does NOT have enough threads on it to properly screw onto the pump, pops off. splish splash I was takin' a bath in my own goddamn milk. first, ew. even though I feed this stuff to the baby and it makes alot more sense than cow's milk, which is breastmilk for calfs, breastmilk is kinda grody. and it was everywhere - even in my shoe. but that's not the biggest issue here - 6 OUNCES OF PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS LIQUID GOLD, GONE. I have a deadline. I have to have tons of milk produced by June 12, when we leave for vegas. (which reminds me, a post for another day - the vegas dilemma.)

so yeah. I guess that's not funny for anyone. but this one is...in a sick, twisted, fetishist way:

2. picture it, lansdale - 2005. (shout out to the GGs!) anyways, so trent, bella and I are outside on saturday watching a storm roll in. oooo, look at the storm! look at the...wait...what's this on my white tank top? it's all over my cardigan, too. and...hey! my hand! it's all green!! yes, it's what you're thinking. unless you're thinking of boogies, in which case...no. full on catastrophic level 9 diaper blowout, all over me. and all over bella. emergency bath ensued, after changing her diaper while laying her on a receiving blanket that then had to be thrown away, it was just that shitty. then, la la la, we're in the bath...remember that storm we were watching? as I was wiping green baby shit off my shoulder (how did it even get...??) I heard crashing downstairs. but what can you do? so when we were finally done getting everyone clean and changed, we assessed the damage from open windows: one broken glass, one broken lamp, one antique wooden vanity that was completely soaked, 2 feet of kitchen floor puddled in front of the back door, everything on the back window sill knocked into the dirty sink, everything on the kitchen counter in front of the window scattered on the floor, and one bottle nipple chewed by one freaked out dog. the upside - later there was a rainbow. with a lovely shade of green that matches my now-stained white tank top.

and with that, I bid you good day.


I spent the better part of this morning chugging water. chug chug chug. I had signed up for our company's blood drive and I know that the more you drink, the faster it comes. I hate needles and the thought of blood draining out of me and into a bag...and a needle inside my vein....makes me a bit woozy. so the faster we can do it, the better.

my appointment was for 11am. so I've been chugging chugging chugging. just as I was getting ready to go to the bathroom for my final pee before the blood letting, I decided to check my calendar again.

I have this thing where I am obsessive about checking my calendar and driving directions. when I have a meeting, I have to check my calendar about 30 times to remember where it is located and what time it's for. when I'm driving, I have to check my directions like once every 5 minutes, which gets tedious when you're driving for a few hours or more. it's like what I imagine OCD people are like constantly. I'm lucky it's only these few things. (though I am sure I could think of more. but I'm totally not OCD.)

anyway, I've been trying to be better about the calendar thing, so I only checked it once, now, just before 11. just to be sure.

and the blood drive is next week.

soooo....here's a picture of a baby in a bikini with a binky. it's kind of creepy to have a baby in a bikini with a binky, isn't it?

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more later....