Monday, March 31, 2008

Update to Oatmeal Cookie Chunk

So in my ice cream review post I suggested that raisins might be a better addition than chocolate chips. As luck would have it we watched a show about cookies later last night (whether it was a good idea for me to watch an hour show about cookies as a pregnant woman is another post altogether) and apparently when B&J were in the design phase of this particular flavor they did, in fact, try out raisins. The overwhelming opinion was that the rasins just didn't freeze well, hence the fudge chunks. Now we can all sleep better at night knowing that Ben & Jerry did try to give us raisins.

Happy Opening Day!

I look forward to this day throughout the long dreary Ohio winter every year. Even though the calendar tells us that spring started 11 days ago, this is truly the beginning of the season. Today is when baseball fans of all teams come together and rejoice over the return of their favorite sport, whether it's the statistical analysis, biting commentary, or just checking out the hotties in pinstripes, everyone can find a common ground during opening day festivities. Of course this social harmony and unified celebration doesn't last forever. Once the first pitch is thrown it's every man (or woman) for him or her self. My beloved New York Yankees take the field at 1:05 this afternoon against the Toledo Blue Jays. Unfortunately I'll be working when the game starts, but DVR is a lifesaver and I'm anxiously looking forward to getting home from work and watching the game in its entirety. Yay for Baby Charlie's first Yankee game!

It's also a big day for Yankee Universe as a whole - it's Joe Girardi's first game as manager and the last opening day ever in the fabled Yankee Stadium. I'll be there myself in only 47 days!! So let's raise a glass together (water for me, of course) and toast the start of a new season. At this point anything can happen. Let the drama begin!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

22 Weeks and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk

22 Week Picture:

An updated view from the top:

Two things stand out to me when I look at that picture:

1. WTF are my feet?
2. Belly button ring looks really tiny now. Time to get that pregnancy piercing!

It was a busy weekend for us but we still didn't get as much done as we had hoped. I ended up stuck at the salon on Saturday for 4 hours due to an appointment mix-up. I finally got my hair cut and colored for the first time since early October. I'll have to get a picture up tomorrow or Tuesday. We were waiting for two deliveries on Saturday morning, both absolutely necessary for getting our projects done, and for about an hour it was looking like neither one was going to come through, but they finally did and the Home Depot screw-up worked out in our favor - since they "forgot" to transfer the basement shelves they gave us a free upgrade and we got the bigger & better shelves for a freaking steal. Here's Charlie showing off his newly organized (well, partly) basement:

The floor installers come in tomorrow to finally fix the office flooring. We painted the trim that they'll be installing this morning and I started repainting the toy box that was mine when I was little so it can be passed along to Baby Charlie. Charlie ripped the old trim out of the bathroom and plastered the holes so we can paint next weekend. Yay!

On to the fun stuff. This week I decided to get Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk in honor of my sister-in-law Becky. Becky is also pregnant and is due only 2 months after I am! Baby Charlie is so lucky to have 2 other cousins who are just his age. I was the old and boring cousin in my family and always wished I had someone my own age to play with at family events. Anyway, I talked to Becky a few weeks ago about my ice cream mission and she mentioned that Oatmeal Cookie Chunk was her favorite.

"Sweet Cream Cinnamon Ice Cream with Chunks of Oatmeal Cookies & Fudge"

This is a Ben & Jerry's classic, originally released as a limited edition flavor but so popular that they decided to make it a permanent member of their line-up. An oldie but goodie, I find this particular flavor to have the largest cookie chunks out of all the cookie-themed varieties. The cinnamon ice cream is unusual but tasty with the perfect spice component. I enjoy the fudge chunks but the ice cream and cookie chunks could really stand alone. Raisins might be an interesting addition, but who am I to question the genius of Ben & Jerry?

I'm lucky enough to have this flavor readily available in most of our local grocery stores. Becky, on the other hand, isn't so lucky. Rumor is that she made her husband drive her all over their town, checking store after store off her list, until she was able to locate her beloved ice cream. So sorry Becky, for putting that craving in your head, but lucky you to have a husband awesome enough to drive you around until you got what you needed. See? It's not just me :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Disturbing Trend is Appearing

Not sure which way the causal arrow is pointing here, but between 3:30 and 3:45 every morning I have been rudely awoken by both the cat's nose poking around my face and Baby Charlie poking around my uterus. I can't figure out which one gets up first, if the cat can sense that the Baby is up and looking for someone to play with or if Baby Charlie can sense Einstein in the area looking to start trouble. Either way, by the time I reluctantly open my eyes both of them are wide awake and ready to go. Nature's way of preparing me for the inevitable? I'll have to start waking up Charlie each time so he can practice, too.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This is a little late getting here, considering I enjoyed this meal on Sunday morning, but whatever.

Horton Hears a Who made it's cinema debut a few weeks ago. Having enjoyed this Dr. Suess classic as a child, I'd really like to see it but will probably have to wait until it's out on video since I don't have an actual child outside of the womb to drag along with me.

Deep desire to see the movie aside, I happened to see an advertisement for a promotion that IHOP is running in conjunction with the movie. They're offering Green Eggs and Ham and WhoCakes. For whatever reason I got the idea of WhoCakes stuck in my head over a month ago and I've been begging Charlie to take me to IHOP for breakfast. Charlie hates IHOP (and most other breakfast places like Perkins and Bob Evans, but none nearly so much as the dreaded Cracker Barrel) so it took a bit of work and convincing, but he finally agreed that we could go out for breakfast last Sunday, being that it was Easter and we heathens had nothing better to do. We also made sure our trip coincided with the general start time for Easter church, so we didn't have to deal with the brunch crowds. Didn't even have to wait for a table!

Anyway, I finally got my WhoCakes and they were fanfreakingtastic. I'm sad that I didn't think to bring my camera along, you wouldn't believe how pretty they were. Here's the stock photo, and for once the meal on my plate actually very closely resembled the advertisement.

The syrups are boysenberry and blueberry and the colored specks are rainbow chocolate chips. They were freaking awesome. I chose not to eat the lollipop, but it made a nice finishing touch. Baby Charlie enjoyed them too, or probably just the sugar content, even though his dad thought they looked like a train wreck on a plate and wouldn't even taste a corner. Apparently he hasn't learned anything from Dr. Suess and Sam I Am. I did see someone being served the Green Eggs and Ham dish. Did NOT look appetizing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Your Pregnancy Week by Week

I kind of liked this book up to this point. It's informative without being alarmist, unlike What to Expect When You're Expecting, which has earned a spot buried in the pile of crap that will be Baby Charlie's room. It's to-the-point, factual, and generally speaking has a lot of useful information. Of course it also has its downsides, like the corny "Dad's Corner" in each week reminding the dads-to-be that they should help with the housework and dinner preparation every so often because their wives are probably a little tired. ("Every so often" my foot. This is the updated version and they still talk like we're stuck in the 1950s)

Anyway, to the original point. So I was reading the section for this week and I came to the "How You Are Feeling" or whatever part, where they tell you how big you should be and how you should be feeling. I start reading and all is fine until it says that I should still be able to comfortably bend over to tie my shoes.

Hold the phone. I haven't been able to comfortably bend over to tie my shoes for the last 3 weeks or so. I know I'm not alone here, either. It has become such an ordeal to get my shoes on and tied every morning it's not even funny. I have to sit on the stairs and step into my shoes, then force my leg up in the general direction of my lap and hope I can grab my laces. God help me if something important falls on the floor, I have to squat all the way down to pick it up. There's no bending over in my world anymore.

Just thought I'd share. So we've been working hard to get the disaster that is our house into some kind of manageable shape. We started with 5 rooms to paint and we've gotten through two so far. The new floor is being installed in the office next Monday, almost exactly 18 months since the leaky bathroom was discovered. I can't wait to actually have an office again instead of having to rely on the Windows 2000 laptop on the coffee table. Just in time for my comp exams this fall/winter and the writing of the big D.

Here's what Baby Charlie's room looks like right now with all of the stuff that has been temporarily displaced:

We have a looooooooooooooooong way to go.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

21 Weeks and Imagine Whirled Peace

21 week picture:

I had my first "stranger comment" at Fresh Market on Friday, so I guess it's becoming more obvious by the day.

This week's ice cream flavor is Imagine Whirled Peace, a frozen tribute to John Lennon. From the Vermont guys: "When Ben & Jerry’s wanted to talk about peace, we couldn’t think of a better person to exemplify the message than John Lennon. Through his art and lyrics he imagined a world without war and asked us all to ‘Give Peace a Chance’. We hope this whirly mixture of toffee cookies and fudge peace signs enlightens your bellies and souls and makes you ask what you can do to promote peace in your lives."

Very appropriate flavor for the week, considering we watched the movie "Across the Universe" last night, a movie set to the music of The Beatles about the love, politics, music, and war during the Vietnam Era. Doesn't sound like something Charlie would like? Well, it wasn't, but I liked it anyway. Poor Charlie. What a trooper. I keep telling him it was payback for Beerfest.

To the point: My top 3 Ben & Jerry's flavors have been cemented for a number of years now: Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz, Mint Chocolate Cookie, and Half Baked. Given the introduction of this new flavor there may be a shakeup at the top levels in my ranking book. This ice cream is freaking phenomenal. It might finally make up for the loss of Deep Dark Chocolate and Holy Cannoli, two flavors whose time in my grocer's freezer was cut short far too soon. The toffee cookie chunks are plentiful and the chocolate peace signs provide the perfect textural opposition to the ice cream itself. I think it has taken the place of Half Baked in my all-time top three. Get thee to your local store and taste a pint yourself. (Pint, that must be a convenient size. Pint of beer, pint of ice cream. I guess I've just traded the former for the latter for the time being)

Friday, March 21, 2008

What are you doing in there Baby Charlie?

Just have to ask. Why are you bouncing around and poking at me? Do you not like it when I'm at work? I'm going to keep a list of activities and food that provoke you.

- Sitting at my desk at work
- The elastic band on my maternity jeans
- Soda
- Ice cream
- Iced Caramel Lattes from Dunkin
- Sleeping
- Einstein laying anywhere near you (yet you still haven't kicked at him when he's actually on my lap, which is interesting)
- Putting my hand on my stomach
- Rolling over in the middle of the night

To be continued.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Swiss Cheese on a Quesedilla?!?!

Who does that? I've been craving Mexican food for the past few weeks, specifically a chicken fajita quesadilla from the hole-in-the-wall place down the street where we used to go for pitcher margarita night every Wednesday. Yesterday was a horrendously crappy day at work so Charlie said we could go for Mexican to satisfy my need and hopefully cheer me up some. Unfortunately, the compromise (there's that "C word" again, darn it) was that we would eat at the place on the other side of town. The one that's "less scary," in Charlie's words. So we go and we order and I'm all excited about my dinner that had been running through my head for weeks, seriously. The waiter brings out the plate and I can't wait to take a bite. I put some sour cream on my fork, cut off a bite of quesadilla, place it in my mouth, and... WTF?!?! This doesn't taste quite right. Is that... is that swiss cheese? On my quesadilla? At an "authentic" Mexican restaurant? The excitement was over. I'll try again for my chicken fajita quesadilla another day, but it will be at the scary Mexican restaurant, where the Margaritas look like Ecto-Coolers. At least they know what kind of cheese they're supposed to use.

Editor's Note: When I say/type/write the word "quesadilla" I can't help but say it Kay-suh-dilla, a la Napoleon Dynamite's grandmother. Tina, eat. Eat the food.. EAT THE FOOD! Now that we've gotten on the subject of llamas, click here for some serious llama fun.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So, Babies R' Us

I've decided that BRU is like my own personal hell and I'd love to say that we don't have to go back there again. Unfortunately we most likely will - none of the carseats that I painstakingly researched fit in the back seat of my car. WTF? We bought this car to use as a family vehicle, thinking that the full back seat and hatch would surely come in handy when we had kids. I fell in love with the Chicco Discovery carseat and stroller, but when we checked it out at BRU Charlie was concerned that the stroller wouldn't fit in the trunk. We pulled the car around to check it out, and while we were there I decided to go ahead and stick the carseat in too, just for shits and giggles. Good thing I did. It most definitely did NOT fit. I went home and started the research process over again, only to find that this is a common complaint with European cars - the American carseats are just too big. One of the smallest infant seats out there is the Graco Snugride, so we'll probably be heading back into the fire pit that is BRU to see if it fits.

My co-worker told me about a German brand that they purchased when their son was born (same reasoning, none of the seats they looked at would fit in their car), so if the Graco is a no-go then we'll look into that route. Cross your fingers that it won't come down to that. I like to see and touch what I'm buying.

So we went about our business, trying to figure out what we needed and didn't need, winding through aisles full of pregnant women (who I'm sure were feeling just as bitchy and crabby as I was), ambivalent dads-to-be (scanning random crap just because they could), and screaming children. 1/2 hour in and I wanted it to be over.

Last thing on our list was the crib. That was another freaking fiasco. As we were wandering around the furniture section one of the employees was setting up a new display. It was the perfect crib and dresser at the perfect price. We decided that we wanted it and went to the desk to place our order, only to be told that we couldn't order it because the warehouse didn't have it in stock yet. We asked when it would be available to order, went around in circles for a good 10 minutes, and the conclusion was that even though we were sitting at the desk, money in hand, ready to buy the crib and dresser, someone else could come in tomorrow wanting to buy it and if there happens to be one in stock at that moment they would get it. What a bunch of bull. This was toward the end of the shopping trip and my patience was wearing extremely thin. Luckily Charlie recognized the look in my eyes because he strongly suggested that we leave the store, get some lunch, and call back another day. (unfortunately, lunch sucked too)

I was still severely irritated when we got home so I called to speak with a manager. Supposedly we now have a raincheck for the crib and dresser and will be notified as soon as they are available to order. For their sake, I sincerely hope that's the case.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

20 Weeks and One Brownie Cheesecake

20 Week Picture

For variety, a view from the top :)

Baby Charlie has definitely been more active lately, waking me up early early in the morning and giving Einstein a run for his money as the early riser in the family. Thankfully there has only been one late night party in my uterus so far. Here's to hoping he gets an early start on sleeping through the night :) His kicks/punches have been refined, Charlie can feel him too now which is very exciting for both of us. I keep waiting for the day Einstein is laying comfortably/lazily on my stomach and gets a swift kick in the side. I don't know if Baby Charlie really likes the cat or really dislikes the cat - he always dances when he's around. Guess we'll find out soon enough!

We had a great time at IKEA yesterday and even bought Baby Charlie his first stuffed turtle.

(don't let the shirt on dad fool you, Baby Charlie will be a Yankee fan through and through)

Babies R' Us is a whole other post, so we'll save that for another day. Just thinking about it makes my heart race. Definitely overwhelming, definitely overcrowded, and definitely not going on a Saturday ever again.

Perhaps the best thing about this week has been the energy surge I've experienced. All of the laundry is done, and even if it's not folded yet it's still an accomplishment. We've also made some progress cleaning out the "yellow room," soon to be the "as-yet-undetermined-shade-of-blue room."

On to this week's ice cream - the important feature of this blog, after all - ONE Brownie Cheesecake.

Cheesecake ice cream and chocolate brownie chunks, with a purpose!

From Ben and Jerry themselves: "We have a lot in common with our friends at Google. We're both passionate about searching for answers! So we've teamed up with Google to spread the word about ONE, a grassroots campaign dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable diseases around the globe. We can end extreme poverty in our lifetime if we all agree to be part of the solution. Learn what you can do by visiting today!"

I happen to be a huge fan of both cheesecake and brownies, so this ice cream is a pint of heaven. It's a perfect combination, the ice cream is smooth and creamy with a great cheesecake flavor - sweet but not overwhelming. The brownies are the standard Ben & Jerry's fare - tasty chunks of soft brownies. This flavor was definitely better than last week's and I'm looking forward to eating more over the next 6 days!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Halfway Point

Yay! Today marks the halfway point! We're going shopping today, which I'm sure will be lots of fun. The new IKEA opened last week and I'm really excited to get in there!

I'll post a new picture and an ice cream review tomorrow as usual :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Introduction to Cloth Diapers

My co-worker brought me in one of the cloth diaper samples that she has, so I figured I'd post it here for those of you who aren't familiar with how far technology has come. These aren't your grandma's cloth diapers!

I present to you the Bum Genius 3.0 One-Size-Fits-All Pocket Diaper:

Isn't it cute? This particular model has 3 sets of snaps that you adjust according to how big the baby is. The pocket diaper has, in case you couldn't guess, a pocket, that you fill with the absorbent material of your choice. You can then stick a disposable liner on top, which can be flushed in a regular toilet. I'm torn between the pocket diapers and the All-In-Ones, which look pretty much the same but have no pocket to stuff, just flush the disposable liner and throw the rest in the wash.

These things are so incredibly soft, you wouldn't believe it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Aw, Baby Presents!

My co-worker Lynn brought these in for me today :)

They're so smiley!

For Real This Time

It's a boy! It's the first thing the ultrasound tech saw when she flipped the switch. Very clearly, without a doubt, 100% boy!! Of course, I can't tell anything from the pictures, but we're sure. He slept through most of the ultrasound so we almost had to go back in to get another one, but luckily he woke up 20 minutes in and we got all the measurements we needed.

We're both very happy that everything looks healthy and we're very excited about little Charlie!

The man behind the belly proudly showing off his son (or "minion," as we've taken to jokingly calling it)

A blurry picture of baby Charlie. I really need to learn how to use the digital camera soon, I'll have to get a better one up there later

My cousin Danny is very excited that it's a boy, as he's been "praying for a penis" for days now. He can't wait to take him bowling :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's a....

Secret! I know all of you are anxiously awaiting the results, but we still need to tell some people over the phone so they don't find out over the internet. As soon as the phone calls are made I'll post pictures!

Good news is everything is developing the way it should, it has all of the pieces it needs, and it stuck its tongue out at us.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

19 Weeks and Cake Batter

19 Week picture:

Flavor of the Week: Cake Batter!

It's the Ben & Jerry's 30th Birthday special flavor! Yellow cake batter ice cream with a chocolate frosting swirl. There are also three other new flavors that were just introduced, including ONE Cheesecake Brownie (next on my list), Imagine Whirled Peace (up after Cheesecake Brownie), and (those who knew me as a child should sit down for this one) Strawberry Banana FROYO!!!!

I'm very excited to try all of the new flavors, provided I can find them in our local grocery stores. No one around here carries Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz, my absolute favorite Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Anyway, the Cake Batter is exactly as expected. The ice cream certainly tastes like cake batter, and the frosting tastes like frosting. It's tasty, but not quite the high quality uniqueness and chunkiness that I've come to expect from our friends in Vermont. We watched a documentary on dessert yesterday and the Ben & Jerry's factory was included. I've decided that we really really need to go there. All in all it's a tasty flavor, but I don't think I'd get it again. It just doesn't have the same excitement as other flavors.

17 more hours!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

White Death of 2008

The biggest snowstorm we've seen in a while came through yesterday and today. We're under a Level 3 Snow Emergency and not allowed to be on the roads. I really should have done something productive, but it's too cold to paint and I flat out just don't want to clean, so we've been sitting around all day. I did manage to get one load of laundry done.

This is Einstein by the back door this morning, we had a brief break in the action around 7:30.

We had about 9 inches at that point.

It picked back up an hour or so later and we got another 4-5 inches, the ruler fell through the snow when I tried to take another measurement.

Since I'm not supposed to be performing heavy labor, Charlie took care of shoveling while I built myself an armchair and supervised the clearing of the driveway.

I also took the opportunity to make a snow angel.

So that's Saturday. Now we're watching movies, Ghostbusters comes on at 8! Who you gonna call?

It's daylight savings this weekend, don't forget to turn your clocks ahead. 42 more hours!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Things That Make Me Cry, Installment 2

We have "Donut Tuesday" here at the office where a select group of us take turns bringing in donuts for the rest of the group to enjoy. I look forward to it with great anticipation every week. I usually get whatever looks tasty and includes chocolate. It's not uncommon for me to think about donuts on Monday nights, then I wait not-so-patiently for the donuts to make their appearance in the lunchroom.

Sometimes people come in later than usual, which delays the consumption of donuts. When they don't show up by 9:00 I start to get antsy. Well, a few weeks ago, the donuts had not yet made their appearance and I was really hungry and really excited about having a chocolate frosted donut.

Around 9:15 I made my way back for another check, and I could see a box on the counter. My heart raced with excitement, and I rushed over to the box, peeked inside, and saw... Bagels. Bagels, people. Yes, they are round, yes, there is a hole in the middle, and to the untrained eye it might be easy to confuse the two, but there was no excuse here.


Obviously NOT donuts (note the lack of frosting or sugary goodness of any kind)

Don't get me wrong, I like bagels, but not when I really was expecting a donut, and not without cream cheese. What did I have? Plain freaking bagels. I went to the bathroom and cried because I really wanted a chocolate frosted donut.

Moral of the story? Don't deny a pregnant woman food she's been thinking about for hours.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Serious Turtle Cuteness

A local Nestie showed these to me and I had to post them here because they're just so effing cute. I don't usually like pink, but I can deal with this.

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I really like the purse, too bad it doesn't come in adult sizes.

These pants are absofreakinglutely adorable, too:

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This shirt says "Short Stack."

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Tiny turtles:

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Finally, here are perhaps the cutest sunglasses ever:

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So anyway, if our little bean isn't a girl someone I know better be having one so these discoveries don't go to waste. (You know who you are!)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Looks Like the Ice Cream Diet is Effective

Even with the increase in ice cream consumption I've only gained a pound in the last 4 weeks. I was definitely suprised to hear that. So I'm up 7 pounds total, and I'm coming up on week 20, after which most women average a pound a week, so that would be a grand total of 27 pounds plus whatever I gain in the next 10 days. Not bad.

7 more days!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

18 Weeks

18 week picture:

Things seem to be going well at this point - 8 more days until we find out what it is!

I've decided to add a new feature to my blog, the Ice Cream of the Week. I've always loved ice cream but for whatever reason I've now decided that it's the Best Thing Ever. I will try a new flavor of Ben & Jerry's ice cream every week and let you know how it is. Everything in moderation and if I have 1/4 cup of ice cream 4 times a week then I think that counts as "moderation." Right?

So week 18 is brought to you by Americone Dream.

Ben & Jerry's describes the flavor as "a decadent melting pot of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. It’s the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth." While I would much prefer to see Jon Stewart looking back at me from a pint of ice cream the wonderful flavors found under the lid make Colbert an acceptable second choice. Sure, there could be more caramel swirl stuck in there, but the chocolate covered waffle cone is To Die For. The theme also goes well with election season and the Ohio Primaries are right around the corner. Don't forget to vote! Mmmmm, I love liberty!


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