Friday, April 30, 2010

ode to feathers

I have a pillow that I’ve had since I was little.

It’s filled with down feathers and its white and blue ticking has seen better days. I used to come home to visit and spend a while searching the house to find “my” pillow to sleep on. At one point, it was gifted to my brother while he was living on his own, and I traced it back to him and bought him two new pillows to finally call the pillow my property for good.
I’ve slept on it ever since. Because it’s an antique, it’s only filled with down that pokes you if you’re not careful to make sure it’s aligned in the case properly. The whole thing must weigh three pounds, and it’s delightfully malleable to fit any position I choose.

My pillow delight has come to a bitter end.

My husband has threatened to “remove” my pillow for a while now, citing dust, stains, old-gross-ness, etc. and I always answered back with a “fine, then I’m throwing out your shoes.” (He has an abominable pair of cheap caramel loafers that have no traction and look awful, but he likes them for some reason).

Last night, the gloves came off.

He busted out the iPhone as we were lying down to sleep, looking up the stats and facts on old pillows. His findings were less than savory. According to a British doctor, a pillow over six years old is more than 1/3 complied of dead skin, dead mites, mite dung and other atrocities.

My pillow has to be more than three times that age.

I cried. (like every other self-respecting pregnant woman would do at 11pm).

I cried and cried and found a new pillow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

alone in the night

Phil’s headed into Philadelphia, leaving me at home alone. Now, this as most of you know, would be old, old news for a chronic left-at-home wife like me.

Not so, mon frère, anymore!

I have separation anxiety, and it may be from all those cuddle-less nights, but seriously, it’s serious. I have to find ways to entertain myself so I forget that I’m alone, even for a minute. Tonight’s line-up: Target—for some special treats, Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model—about 11 episodes. (I’m not allowed to watch it with him, so I have lots of catching up to do). I’ll eat cereal for dinner, and go to bed at 10-ish because I can sleep through anything and it’s definitely my comfort. I’ll be blissfully unaware that my neighboring pillow is empty. Then, I’ll wake up in the morning, get ready and drive the 45 minutes to work, but knowing that he’ll be back at the end of that work day will make it all worth it.

So now, I’ve made it through. I did fine last night although there were a few moments in the night that were atypical for my REM cycle. I woke up at 4:44 because the door to our bedroom mysteriously opened when the heat came on and would. Not. Close. For anything. But that’s okay, I just left it open. See, I’m brave! [with all the lights on].

Anyway, you’re probably thinking “why in the world would this girl that had her husband deployed three times, TDY countless times, and just “gone” for one reason or another for limitless days have a problem being alone? She lived in a foreign country for 6 months by herself!” And I choose to explain that for some reason, it’s the apartment. I am convinced that no one would ever bother me way out here, in the woods, near the water, in a strange community, unless they had intent to harm. That’s all.

Glad I made it through! And now, if you’ll forgive me, I need a hot carb.

Friday, April 23, 2010

pure bliss

Inspired by this site, I wanted to write a quick thought on what makes me blissful. There was plenty of it today, so sharing is no difficult feat.

1. I love this chair
I have a very deep love for all things British, from Beckham to buttered scones.

2. I love this wedding idea

It makes me want to get married all over again; I even proposed to my sweet husband on Facebook today. Isn’t that nice?

3. I love that my haircut is being redeemed. See this link

4. I love, love, love my family.

5. I love the funny little pokes I’m feeling in the belly region and I love the names we’ve picked out. And no. We’re not telling. Anyone. Don’t even bother asking. :)

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day. Psalm 139.16

What’s your bliss today?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I’m having a dilemma.

We decided to do a baby gender cake way back when to find out “all together” what we’re having. This is a great idea and could be potentially a great moment in our family history, however I find myself with a case of the snobby-tastebud.

Unsure as to what that is?

Well, call us—the man and me—food snobs. Blame it on the fact that we both had moms who were and are ridiculous cooks and bakers. (It even goes back further to other generations!) The pressure was on when we got married, and I’m happy to say that I’m not too shabby in the kitchen now.
However, because of our over-developed palate, we know a good cake versus a bad one. This ordering business is creating quite a problem. I feel the need to sample every bakery’s offerings before deeming it worthy to create something as important as my baby’s gender-revealing cake (I mean that in a strictly platonic way, certainly not literal. In that case, it would be a diaper—wait, that’s a funny idea.)

In any case, I really just want our traditional family chocolate cake with a line of blue or pink icing in the center. However, nobody can know (i.e. make the cake!) within the realm of the family, and family is who makes the best cakes! Such a to-do.
All searches have so far turned up the underqualified (i.e. grocery) the overpriced (philadelphia area custom cakes) and the unknown (the corner bakery, named for someone who may or may not own the shop…)

Any suggestions? I’m begging for crumbs!

photo credit to the Tillman baby cake unveiling!

Update: we've got a solution and a third party cake decorator to fix all of this for us. So, thanks to some creative finagling by Grandma Gaunt and Mom, we're set for the baby cake!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

for love of a bike

Bicycles have a special place in our family. At one point, I’m pretty sure my dad’s and brother’s bikes outnumbered our family members. You’ve got to have one for everything. Mountain bikes, road bikes, time trial bikes, fixed-gear bikes for track, everyday bikes, special racing bikes, even wheels that get their moment of glory for an event or two. I loved growing up and attending races to cheer for my dad and brother, their teammates, anyone wearing the color pink…

Bike races are a whirl of color and so much fun. Even to the local who knows nothing about the “chess match on wheels”—as my dad puts it—enjoys watching and cheering on the efforts. I’ve been in feeding zones, matched with an oversized golf umbrella with big, colorful flowers so my dad could “aim” for us to pick up his grub; I’ve cheered in the rain and sun and it never got old. We watched some of the Paris-Roubais this weekend (a race in France that is often preparation for the upcoming Tour de France—also the toughest one day race purportedly) and it winds its way through narrow streets, tiny roads, and over cobbles to the finish in the French countryside. People line the streets and roads to cheer for the athletes: they watch the race’s progress on the telly then run outside to catch the brief glimpse they have of the race itself on their street, then head back inside to watch the finish in the amber light of their local pub. It’s a sport enjoyed the world around. (like soccer—or football—my fave!)

Check out any local races you might have, and you’ll be sure to enjoy the excitement and swirl of color and speed.

While I was raised in a family of racers, riders, and those-who-do-it-just-for-the-exercise, I was never a bike rider. I occasionally got myself onto a two-wheeled contraption, but for the life of me, I still can’t understand how they deal with how uncomfortable it is!

I remember dad taking off my training wheels and just letting go. That was all I needed: a secure grip and a gentle slope and I was golden.

I’m happy to announce my bike riding days are going to be revived. I’m confident that “it’s like learning to ride a bike” and I’ll be good to go; a few trips on some wide-wheeled-wonders on beach vacations made me certain of that.

Speaking of wide-wheeled-wonders, check out this beauty I’ve got my heart (and my triumphant return) set on.

Many happy trails! Are you going to check out a bike race in your area? It’ll be fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

the girl and the geek

As I tell the hundredandeleventieth person “thanks” about their comments on my new haircut, the thought struck that the poor geek living in the cubicle next to me probably wants to pull out his own hair.

I come to this conclusion since this particular guy and I have a passing co-worker relationship, but not so much as to say hello in the morning or goodbye in the evening, even though we breathe pretty much the same air.

Let me explain the haircut issue, and why it probably does nothing to endear me to him, or him to me. I wrote a post awhile back specifically about this guy, then deleted the entire thing, because I discovered that my pregnant-angst (a VERY real thing) was driving my irritation with his penchant for crazy anime on his computer screens, screechy Japanese pop music he likes to play, his condescension when we actually talk because I lived in Japan, and I didn’t learn the language…but I digress.

Every time I see a new person who hasn’t seen my [drastic] new haircut, they have to stop at my desk and say something, and every time I start with: “they cut off a lot more than I thought” or “it looks nothing like the picture I had!” This has happened a dozen times or more in the week+ I’ve been “chopped”. While I hope my cubicle neighbor tunes out my broken record, he probably doesn’t because he’s a bit of a suck-up with the powers that be, and probably has his enviable position by my desk to “watch” me. As does the new guy who moved into the cube behind me. I’m sure they’re all spies. That might be paranoia or just my overactive imagination, or my habit of writing and blogging new posts at my desk. Hem, hem.

I’m sure he could recite my hair story verbatim by now:
“Too much got cut off”
“Not sure if I like it”
“Oh, thanks! You really think it’s alright?”
“I wanted a change for spring”
“It’s fun”
Anyway, I bear his strangeness and he has to bear my girlyness. OH, here he comes, the SPY, I must run.

Here's us at Ben and Heidi's last weekend. Note the hair.
Have a great weekend! We’re 17 weeks today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Mom did Easter baskets for us this weekend, just like she’s done every Easter since I can remember. I love when my mom buys me presents. She puts a lot of thought into each one, thinking “would she like that?” or “would she wear it?” And every time she presents us with our gifts, she has to disclaim it, saying “if you don’t like it, or won’t wear it, I don’t mind”. She even leaves the price tags right on there if she isn’t sure we’ll love it. We all laugh because our sense of style and our opinions may vary, but ultimately we all got them from the same place—her.
Let me just say it’s a huge bummer that her shoes are 3 sizes too small for me.

She’s the sweetest thing, buying me baby gifts for the last 7 years we’ve been married. I have a collection I mentioned before in the Armoire Drawer—err, well, right now it’s in a suitcase. Every Christmas she overdoes it and we end up with a mountain of gifts to give and to get, and it’s so exciting! I might be 26, but I’m never too old to love getting presents from mom. Dad lovingly tolerates her holiday mayhem, and we all absorb every bit of it. We all went searching for our respective baskets on Sunday; then she had two egg hunts for us.
Yes, we’re all the ages of 13, 20, 23, and 26, but don’t hate.

She got me a ring the size of a pecan, green like my eyes, and from Israel because she knew I’d love it. I’ve worn it ever since. The funniest thing was that when she picked it out, she knew it was totally me, but had to “make sure” by asking my opinion on it in the catalogue, what I thought about the one she picked for Kylee, and so on and so forth. She second-guesses her fabulous intuition probably because there were a few ungrateful teen incidences, but for those we take full credit. We’re better off for it, “no-thank-you-helpings” = case in point (more on that in another post).

I know she’s just been waiting for a grandbaby for a long time, so she can spoil him or her. We’ve decided to go with “Gigi” for the abbreviated “Grandma Gaunt” since that one’s already taken! She isn’t the typical grandma type, so something different and spunky suits her best, anyway.
I’m pretty sure the baby just poked me in agreement, or maybe it’s just because he or she really likes malted milk Robin’s Eggs, like me. And like Gigi.