Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Snowmaggedon 2008 trapped Molly in Seattle. She was supposed to fly to Boise on Monday, December 22 but when it snows in Seattle the city shuts down - literally. No buses, no taxis, no work. It is literally a winter wonderland. (The wonder part quickly diminishes though when you live atop a steep hill, like Molly, that becomes so icy there is a pile of cars at the bottom who have slid down and abandoned ship.)

Knowing she had a flight at 6 am on Monday and that more snow was expected, she got herself down to a hotel near the airport the day before. Her plan was to be close enough to the airport that she could just walk across the street to catch her flight and not be dependent on a taxi or a bus. She got herself to the airport - she drove herself - in the snow - which the people in my family REALLY don't like doing. She spent the night in the hotel only to wake up to her flight being canceled with little to no possibility of being rescheduled for a flight before Christmas. Needless to say she was bummed. My parents would not be spending Christmas with Molly and Molly would be spending Christmas by herself.

As I mentioned above, neither Molly nor I like to drive in the snow. We've both had bad experiences. Let's just say cars ended up in places and positions that cars aren't supposed to ever be in while we were driving in the snow. So there was no way Molly was going to make the 3 hour trek to our house over the pass which can be dicey in the winter.

Enter Court to save the day. Hearing that Molly would be spending Christmas alone, he hopped in his truck, drove to Seattle, picked up her and her cat and headed home. A round trip of about 7 hours!! What a hero!! Molly was on her way to spend Christmas with us.

But Christmas means presents and all her presents were in Idaho. The gift from Court, Grace and me was also in Idaho!! I immediately called my parents and had them ship her gifts. They were expected to arrive on Christmas Eve - but not guaranteed! The weather had been messing with deliveries from UPS and FedEx so we were all holding our breath!

Molly after the trek over the mountain pass.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived. Lucky for Grace, we had several costumes...I mean outfits for her to wear because she exploded in just about all of them throughout the day.

Molly's presents finally arrived at a little after 6 pm on Christmas Eve. I had been sweating bullets all day!

Christmas morning was marvelous. The four of us woke up and opened stockings, ate breakfast and then dove into the mountain of presents under the tree. But the best part, without a doubt, was holding our healthy, beautiful Grace on Christmas morning (and no longer being preggers, of course!!)

Court in his new red Christmas sweater. Grace in her fancy Christmas dress and the one outfit that kinda fits when you strategically place a baby over your belly!

Christmas dinner was at Dave and Priscilla's. Grace slept most of the evening in her car seat...but even asleep she looked good. Note the shoes.

Now if only she had a matching handbag she truly would be her mother's daughter!! We'll have to work on that for next year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Best Gift Ever!

Don't get me wrong. If Santa were to drop by and put diamonds or designer handbags under the tree I wouldn't complain. But if he doesn't, it wouldn't phase me because I have already received the Best Gift Ever!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Labor & Delivery

So December 12 came and went. The universe was obviously not listening to my pleas for Baby Grace to make her debut that day. I was pretty down as the day came to an end because I was certain that this kid was not going to budge until the last minute possible. To brighten my spirits, Court planned a busy day for us on Saturday to keep my mind off my discomfort and overall unhappiness.

Saturday morning we woke up to the first snow of the year. Our house and yard were covered in the white, fluffy stuff and that alone was enough to make me happy. We would have a white Christmas! I also secretly thought that Grace was sure to make her appearance soon because she must be able to sense how much I hate driving in the stuff. With snow and ice on the ground and the hospital at least an hour away, it all added up to the "perfect" time for Grace to enter the world. Despite the snow, we headed to Yakima for some lunch and a little Christmas shopping. We both wanted to stay busy to keep our mind off the baby. Just to be on the safe side, we packed up the car with our hospital gear - cameras, take-me-home outfit and all! I am not one to under-pack so I will let you imagine what our car looked like. I'll just say it was full. On a side note, I must say how weird it is driving around with a car seat in your car and no baby.

Getting out of the house definitely helped my spirits...or maybe it was just quality time with my husband that made the day! Christmas shopping was a bit of a bust but Yakima isn't the shopping capital of the world so I wasn't expecting much. After a few stores, we decided to forgo the
shopping (or lack thereof) and head to Costco. We figured that after Baby Grace came, the last thing we would want to do is drive an hour in order to stock up on toilet paper, PLUS we needed to buy some baby essentials - diapers and diaper wipes. Once inside Costco, we hit the fun sections first. The books, DVDs and CD's. I think I wasted too much energy on those isles because once it was time to get down to business and shop for the paper towels, dog food, etc, I hit the wall. I was exhausted. My feet were beyond swollen and my back ached and ached. People kept staring at me because I obviously looked like I was about to pop at any moment and I was limping around the warehouse trying to save my back as much as possible.

Finally, the essentials had been rounded up. We paid and loaded up the car which was a bit more difficult because as I mentioned above, the car was loaded up with our hospital gear. Once packed, we headed home, both a little disappointed that all the walking and shopping had not enticed Baby Grace to make her debut.

We got home, unloaded the car, made dinner and settled in to watch a movie called A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar. It was a documentary that follows several law students in California on their quest to pass the infamous bar exam. There were interviews with several famous attorneys and the anxiety for the law students built as they approached the three day exam. The movie brought back much of the nervousness Court and I felt when we studied for the bar three years ago. We both had a pit in our stomach watching the movie. (On a different note, some of the students the movie followed had sat for the exam several times and when I say several, one of the gentlemen had failed the exam 41 times and was attempting his 42nd bar exam! Can you imagine??)

Anyway, the movie must have hit a nerve in both of us because we woke up the next morning each having had nightmares about the bar exam. Once we finished discussing our dreams, our conversation turned to how we were going to "kill" the day as we assumed Baby Grace would continue to hold us hostage.
As Court suggested driving to the Tri-Cities to go to the mall (something that under normal circumstances would make his skin crawl) I felt a sensation that required a trip to the bathroom. I rushed to the bathroom in the middle of Court's offer and he got frustrated. He felt like I wasn't appreciating that he was basically offering to take me to a place equivalent to his hell. "I think my water broke!" I exclaimed. That got his attention and the look on his face when he glanced at my lower half made it pretty obvious that indeed my water had broken.

Since only 10% of pregnant women experience the bag of waters rupturing, I just assumed that I would not fall
into that category. I wasn't expecting it at all and it kind of made me happy and excited to experience that sensation. Although the real reason I was excited was that the hospital has to admit you once the water has broken so I knew we were on our way! We were going to have a baby very soon! (I like to think that the nerves associated with watching the movie about the bar exam caused my water to break.)

The funny thing is that although my water had broken I had not felt any contractions. I was actually feeling pretty good - or at least as good as you can feel when you are 10 months pregnant with a pinched nerve in your back. I got dressed and Court packed up the car. My water broke at 8 am and by 8:30 am we were in the car headed to the hospital. We had a leisurely drive to the hospital as I was not in any pain. We just kept laughing because
we couldn't believe that this was finally happening. After 9 long months, we were about to have a baby. The leisurely drive also allowed us time to call our families and activate Operation Baby Grace. Court's parents were in Seattle and headed over the pass upon getting the good news, as did my sister. Unfortunately, my dad had to work and was unable to head up. My mom jumped on the first available flight to Yakima and was due to arrive at around 9 pm that night. We all had our fingers crossed that she would arrive in time!

We got to the hospital at around 9:30 and by 10 am, I was admitted and hooked up to an IV. My bag of waters had not completely broken so they finished off the job so they could start pumping me full of the labor inducing drug, Pitocin. Just as Molly and my in-laws, Dave and Priscilla, arrived at the hospital, my contractions began. Little at first, but slowly intensifying. By 2 pm, my contractions were pretty regular and just starting to get
uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I was only dilated 1-2 centimeters.

I must pause here to say that during our entire stay at Memorial Hospital the nurses we encountered were amazing. Each and every nurse was helpful and professional. What was even more comforting to me was that although the nurses see several babies born on each and every shift, they made me feel like my birth experience was special and unique. They were comforting and encouraging, thoughtful and sympathetic. They really made our birth experience fantastic.

Our nurse suggested that I get up and move around to help get things moving. However, with the pinched nerve
in my back and the extra 55+ pounds I was carrying made the thought of pacing the halls unbearable. So she suggested an alternative of sitting in a spa bath for an hour. For her previous patients, the spa bath had spurred the dilation process by 3-5 centimeters. Jackpot!! Spa bath here we come!! By 2:40 pm, I was sitting in a huge bath tub surrounded by warm water and blaring jets. Almost heaven, minus the strengthening contractions. At 3:40 pm, I somehow managed to heave my huge, convulsing body out of the bath tub and walk back to my room. At the time, I thought this was a feat on par with giving birth.

Once back in the room, the contractions were becoming absolutely unbearable. I have NO IDEA how the pioneer woman rode a horse while in labor only to pull over, give birth and hop back on to keep riding. I would have made a terrible pioneer woman.

At 4:30 pm, my doctor was called in to see if I was ready for The Epidural. Although I was only dilated to 3 cm, based on the amount of pain I was in, they ordered The Epidural. The Epidural was administered shortly
thereafter and life got a whole hell of a lot better! The person who invented The Epidural, in my mind, deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize or at least, something equivalent. It really is the best invention created by man. One minute, you are seriously contemplating death, especially when you hear you are only dilated 3 cm and have to get to 10 before the REAL fun begins and the next minute you are watching the Cowboys - Giants game on TV hoping to catch a glimpse of Jessica Simpson cheering on her QB boyfriend, Tony Romo. Let's just say your perspective dramatically changes.

Within an hour or two of the epidural, I dilated 5-6 cm. The nurses said the calming effect of the epidural helps your muscles to relax which in turn allows your body to dilate easier. Apparently, the breathing techniques you learn about are supposed to have the same effect on your body. Ahhh...come again? There is absolutely no way a little bit of breathing can calm and relax you. NO WAY! All I can say is hallelujah for modern medicine!

By 8:30 pm, I started to feel the urge to push. The nurses said to hang on as long as I could without pushing in
order to conserve energy. First time mothers can end up pushing for hours - completely exhausting themselves. By 9 pm, I could no longer "hold" the urge and so the pushing began. Pushing in comparison to contractions feels like a walk in the park. I would push all day long before I agreed to feel contractions ever again.

I went into labor telling Court that I expected to throw up at some point. It is normal for women to vomit during labor and since this pregnancy had me before the porcelain God more often than not, I just assumed that throwing
up was written in the stars for me....and I was right. About a half hour into pushing, the nurses made me drink some water so as to keep hydrated. (I really didn't see the point since I had been on an IV for 12 hours but figured they knew best.) A few minutes later, I had thrown up all over myself. Obviously, they stopped making me drink water after that.

Court was a true champ throughout the whole process. He offered plenty of comic relief when needed and was the best hand-holder, push-counter you can imagine. What's been even more impressive is the way he has taken care of me and Baby Grace since returning home from the hospital - cooking, cleaning, running to the grocery store...but that is for another blog entry. I will say he has been nothing short of amazing.

The doctor arrived at about 9:50 pm. Like I said before, the doctor and all the nurses were amazing.
Everyone kept telling me I was doing a great job and that I was almost there. For whatever reason, even if they were just blowing smoke, it really helped! It kept me motivated and focused to keep pushing. The doctor announced shortly after his arrival that the baby would likely be born in two more contractions. The home stretch!!

He was right. Before I knew it, Grace Elizabeth was resting on my chest....eyes wide open, tongue moving in and out of her mouth, quietly taking everything in. Whenever I read or hear what new moms says about this moment, it always makes me gag because it sounds so cliche and cheesy. But the reason it sounds that way is because that is the way it is. It is a life changing moment. You are in complete shock that this little human was inside you. For some reason, I didn't expect such a human like baby to appear before me. The images I created in my head were more cartoon-like for some reason. I don't remember exactly what I said - but I know there were a lot of "Oh my God's" and "She is so beautiful."

She was whisked away for the Apgar tests. I didn't hear the score for the first round but they gave her a 12 the second time because they said she was so beautiful. As a new mother, you just can't hear enough how beautiful your new baby is!
Finally, the momentous moment came for Grace to be weighed. Court, Molly and I had all placed bets earlier in the day as to how much Grace would weigh. My guess was 7.1 lbs although I secretly hoped for more because that would offset my massive weight. Court thought 8.1 lbs and Molly thought AT LEAST 8.8 lbs. In the end, Molly was the closest. Baby Grace weighed in at a healthy 9 lbs. 3 oz and measured 21 1/4 inches long. Needless to say, I was in total shock that I had just given birth to a 9+ pound baby! I wasn't expecting that and can't imagine what the next baby will be like. They say the more babies you have, the bigger they get!

Anyway, I could go on and on about the details surrounding her birth but I want to get this posted. I have been trying to write this entry for over a week per all of your requests to know the details of Grace's labor and delivery. But every time I get started, I get interrupted and with the lack of sleep...well, you understand. I also want to take this opportunity to apologize for not contacting as many people as I hoped and planned to after Grace's birth. Now that babies room in at the hospital, neither Court nor I got much sleep and we were both too overwhelmed to make phone calls, send emails or to accept guests at the hospital. I promise that I will eventually get back to you. Please be patient! If for some reason I don't get to you this week have a very Merry Christmas! More pictures and stories to come!!

Court holding his new daughter for the first time. He is a natural!

Grace's first outfit. Pretty in pink- naturally!

Our little angel.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Welcome to the World!

Grace Elizabeth
December 14, 2008
9 lbs, 3 oz

We are all home and doing well.
Let the blogging resume!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

our Christmas tree.

I've got to do something to keep my mind off the fact that I am still pregnant!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tough Times Call for "Secret" Action

Baby Grace apparently has a mind of her own because she is blatantly ignoring my pleas for an earlier, rather than later, delivery. People are telling me to jump up and down, walk, stretch and eat spicy foods to get things moving, but I am resorting to a new method - The Secret.
Jack Canfield explained the "secret" to Oprah as: “The thoughts we think, the images we hold, the things we focus on, what we give our attention to… all of that affects, how we feel, and the feelings actually send out a wave into the universe. And anything that’s vibrating at a similar level gets attracted in our life...The law that The Secret is built around -- is “the law of attraction." Your feelings and thoughts have an emanating energy that is sending out messages and drawing like things to you. Thus, one’s negative attitude will only continue to bring negative outcomes. However, if you think positive thoughts, those thoughts lead to feelings which lead to actions which lead to the universe bringing that good thing into reality."
In a nutshell, think good things, and good things will happen. Simple enough. So I am sending lots of "good thoughts" out into the universe that Grace will make her debut this Friday! To help me focus my energy, I have posted notes ALL over my house saying "I am happy and grateful that Grace was born on December 12!...well, at least the important places...the places that I frequent several times a day...

My Computer

The Fridge

My full length mirror (UGH)

And on top of the Rice Krispy treats I made this morning.

If this doesn't work, I am convinced that I will be pregnant forever.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Katie the Hut

Being eight days out from my due date, naturally, I am miserable. As far as I am concerned, this can't be over soon enough. My back hurts. My joints hurt. My legs, feet and hands are swollen. My one maternity outfit is fraying and my mental and emotional well-being are on the brink of cataclysmic disaster.

To get "things" moving, I have been walking every day. Luckily, the weather has been goregous as I think dark, gloomy skies might be just the thing to throw me over the edge. However, yesterday on my walk, my left foot started hurting. It is this horrible pain on the top of my foot. Of course, the pain started when I was at the furthest point from my car so I had to hobble back, stopping at every bench along the way for relief. I thought that perhaps a nerve slid out of place or was being pinched by the swolleness of my foot and that a good night's sleep would be just the trick. But after a good night's sleep (my definition of good has dramatically changed since about the seventh month of pregnancy) my foot is still throbbing whenever I apply weight to it. So it looks like I am not only trapped in the Yakima Valley, I am also trapped in my house until my foot feels better.

Unfortuanltey, this now allows me to draw some comparisons between myself and this not Princess Leia....Jabba the Hut. That is definitely how I am looking and feeling these days.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I feel like I should have something poignant or reflective to say today as it is my 30th birthday -but I don't. Just as I am in denial that any day contractions will start, resulting in a living, breathing baby, I too am in denial that today I have been alive for 30 years. Luckily, 30 is the new 20 so I guess I don't have too much to worry about...I still feel like a spry 20 something - except for the fact that I can't drink as much, I can't recover as quickly from a night of binge drinking, I can't stay up late, and I assume that my metabolism, learning that I am now 30, has elected to enter semi-retirement believing there are more important things to do than melting away the fat I have accumulated over the past nine months. Awesome.Somehow that fact should stop me from eating birthday cake, but it won't, it hasn't. In fact, the birthday cake given to me on Thanksgiving is already gone. But don't worry, I am sure it can be found on my ass for the next two years because now that I am 30, that is how long it will take to work it off!

What is there not to love about being 30?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Humble Pie

Since we got married, Court and I have rotated celebrating the holidays with each set of our parents. If we spend Thanksgiving with my parents, we celebrate Christmas with his. The following year, we switch which set of parents gets us for which holiday. Following me so far??

If we were to continue this schedule of celebrating in 2008, Thanksgiving would be spent with Court's family and Christmas with mine. However, because I am so close to my due date and we don't know when Grace will make her debut, Court and I are unable to make the drive to Boise for either holiday. So this year, we decided to host Thanksgiving and invite both sides of the family to our house.

This was a huge undertaking on my part (and a brave one on the part of all the family members who agreed to join us) as I have never so much as watched my mother prepare the Thanksgiving meal, let alone cook any part of it! Not to mention that I was going to do this all while 9.5 months pregnant!

Just like we love us some cake, we also love tradition and the Thanksgiving meal is packed with family tradition. We always have turkey but in recent years we've upgraded the turkey to a brined turkey which is heavenly! I highly recommend it if you haven't tried it. We always have bread dough pancakes for breakfast - an Armenian tradition - rolls made from homemade bread dough and butter noodles made from scratch. A few years ago, we added a sweet potato souffle to the lineup that has quickly become a family favorite. And, of course, the staples - stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, salad and cranberry sauce. Dessert is always a plethora of goodies - cheesecake, spice cake, cookies and since I was in college - birthday cake - so we could celebrate my birthday while we were all together. It is a FEAST and according to my mother, it takes days of preparation!
I don't think I was mentally or physically prepared for the amount of preparation that goes into a meal of this magnitude. Luckily, my parents realized the absurdity of me cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal by myself, so my mom flew in a few days early to give me a hand. Thank God she did!! I don't know how the holiday would have turned out had reinforcements (my mom, dad and sister) not shown up a bit early to help!
My mom insisted that we start setting the table as early as Tuesday. We hand washed all the china, spread the table cloth, folded the napkins and searched my cabinets for serving platters, bowls and other needed cooking utensils. Of course, I was missing a lot of the essentials (as I had never done this before) so at 4 pm, we made a last minute run to Wal-Mart to buy things like candles, matches, platters, etc. Wal-Mart, one of my least favorite places on Earth, was utter chaos and my body, weighted down by 9 months of pregnancy, barely made it out of there in one piece. I was so relieved to get home, put my feet up and not have to go anywhere. Being on my feet all day, particularly the jaunt to Wal-Mart, caused my feet to swell beyond all recognition.

Wednesday morning, the cooking began! I made a Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and my mom tackled the homemade bread (for bread dough pancakes and rolls) and the family favorite, Tex Mex Dip!! (Not the most traditional dish but definitely one of the most loved!!) Wednesday also included my dad, sister and brother all rolling into town - all bearing "gifts" for the feast. My dad brought the turkey all the way from Boise and my sister brought beautiful flowers from Seattle as well as many items one can't get at the local Safeway. Like I said, my family was key in making this a beautiful, EDIBLE meal!!
The big day finally arrived and I woke up REALLY early to get breakfast rolling. Much to my surprise, no one wanted any breakfast. They were all saving themselves for the main meal. So after shuttling all the breakfast stuff back into the fridge, it was time to start the turkey!

The general idea was to eat at around 4 pm with our guests arriving at around 2 to leisurely enjoy cocktails and appetizers. As with every holiday meal, this is not exactly how things went...

As I was the hostess, the turkey was my responsibility. At 11 am, the bird went into the oven making Thanksgiving officially under way. According to the directions, the several cookbooks I read - even Oprah - the turkey was supposed to be ready at 3:30. Perfect! That would allow time for the turkey to rest and then to be carved. So far, right on schedule!!

Everyone pitched in and helped prep all the side dishes. It required a lot of organization, effort and energy but I was having fun, especially with my family in the kitchen helping me. So far, all was going well and all was on schedule to arrive on the dinner table promptly at 4 pm.

But things didn't go according to plan - which they never do I have learned - on these momentous holiday occassions. Guests didn't arrive until after 3 pm and the turkey was done at 2 pm!! Or at least, I thought it was done. The meat thermometer indicated that the turkey had reached the desired internal temperature so I pulled it out, tented it in foil and hoped for the best. As I scrambled to get the rest of the other dishes pulled together, I set Court and his father to the task of carving the turkey. Much to my surprise, they announced the turkey was not done! Now the timing of the ovens and all the side dishes were thrown off - all the planning and organizing of how to cook 6 to 7 side dishes in two ovens was officially worthless and now we had to wing it. (Not my strong suit in the kitchen!) Being 9.5 months pregnant, stressed and hungry - I was, to say the least, a little emotional. But as my father has always told me, when you start crying, your brain stops working (he could write a book of these one liners I swear), so I pulled it together.

Even with the turkey snafu, with the help of my mom and sister, we were seated around the table by 5 pm, with warm food and slightly overcooked turkey in front of us! Although, I was upset that things hadn't gone the way I planned, all were fed and all were together so I will consider this a successful first attempt at hosting Thanksgiving.

I do have a whole new appreciation for what my mom has done the last 28 years - making the Thanksgiving meal all by herself WITH NO HELP! I give kudos to all those out there who silently trudge through the holidays, cooking, baking, prepping, washing, cleaning, etc. - all for a meal that takes less than a half hour to consume.
A BIG thank you to my mom for sharing all her secrets and for her endless energy, to my dad for his nose - he is able to smell when the turkey is done, my sister for helping me maintain my calm and for some comic relief and to Court, for doing ALL the dishes. I will never forget my first Thanksgiving as being hostess and I couldn't have done it without my reinforcements and a few bites of humble pie!

Friday, November 21, 2008

We're Baby Grace?

Much like Shelby in Steel Magnolias, pink is my signature color! Hopefully, it is Grace's too!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

All Signs Point to Go

The ultrasound revealed that Grace is in the correct position to activate launch...I mean... delivery. This is good news because as much as a c-section would make life easier by allowing me to plan for her debut, I wasn't too excited about being sliced open. Sleepless nights have had me up watching shows like "Critical Delivery" on the Discovery Health channel and let's just say it probably is not a good idea to watch these types of television programs when you are three weeks away from delivery.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The End is in Sight

Thanks to CNN, Court and I learned a valuable parenting lesson this morning...

Don't let your kid near the edge of cliff!!

Now that that lesson has been safely tucked away in our new parenting brains let it be known that we are officially 30 days away from Grace's due date. The end is in sight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Best Day Ever!

Three years ago, Court and I had the perfect day. We walked down the aisle in the beautiful Napa Valley. It was the best day of my life...

luckily, each day gets better and better!

Court, thank you for being an amazing husband. I love our life!

Happy Anniversary!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ratatouille - kind of

I have long told my sister, Molly, to write a book. The strangest and funniest things always seem to happen to her. I swear if she were to write a collection of short stories of all the things she has seen and experienced, the pages would stretch from here to Seattle and back!

Because Molly won't write them down, I am am taking it upon myself to steal them. Yep, that's right. Because strange, funny and bizarre things RARELY happen to me and seem to always happen to her, I might just have to blog about her life to keep things interesting. (Besides, how much talk about pregnancy can one really endure - I know I am sick of it!)

So here goes the first of Molly's life adventures....

Last night Molly and a friend went to dinner at one of our favorite Seattle restaurants, Cedars. Some of you Seattleites/UWers might know it. It is on 50th in the University District and serves Indian food at college student prices.

So Molly and her friend finish their dinner and are getting ready to pay when the "decor" on the walls starts moving. (Mind you, the decor is a GIANT spider plant that has lived in this restaurant soooo long it now winds around the entire restaurant several times.) So the decor starts to move and out from the spider plant jumps a RAT! Yes, you read that correctly. A RAT! It jumped out of the plant and down onto one of the patron's tables and scuttled around the packed dining room. Molly - shocked and disgusted - screams "RATTT", jumps up and heads for cover. The owner quickly runs over to Molly to shut her up. To calm her down says, he says, "Don't worry. It was just a rat. Happens all the time."

WHAT?!? Happens all the time?! Not being able to hold back her shock and utter disgust, Molly tells the owner that having a rat in a restaurant is disgusting. Just for background, Molly and her friend have taken cover near the exit while everyone in the restaurant continues calmly eating. NO ONE else was alarmed by the fact that a rat was flying through the restaurant. In fact, one hippy-esque customer said loud enough for all the diners to hear that rats are one of the cleanest animals and that there was nothing to worry about. Yeah, that is why rats are directly linked to some of the most deadly diseases. Does the Black Plague ring any bells??

Molly and the owner continue to discuss the situation and Molly assumes that after such a horrifying experience, one can't be expected to pay? Can they? Well, the owner, now livid that Molly might be walking out on her bill, claims that all restaurants in Seattle have rats and that Molly must pay for her meal.

Molly, still horrified and verging on pissed off, reiterates that having a rat in a restaurant is disgusting. Her friend chimes in that this incident is on par, if not worse, than finding a hair in your food and one certainly is not expected to pay for that! The owner, who obviously can't fathom Molly's shock and awe, literally starts yelling at Molly to pay, calls her disgusting and then tells Molly she is no longer welcome in the restaurant. WHAT?!?!

Let's review. A restaurant - which is by no means clean to begin with, rat or no rat - just had a rat run through it's dining room, ON THE TOPS of tables while people are eating and Molly is the disgusting one who is no longer welcome to the restaurant? Where's Ashton? Where's the candid camera? Is this really happening?

Yes, in fact this did happen. At some point today, Molly plans on posting comments on and other websites that review restaurants - including the Department of Health. She's already sent something into the Stranger. I'll have to get more details because I can't wait to see what she writes. I will keep you posted.

Obviously, Molly will never go back, nor will I and I encourage anyone else who knows the place to keep moving.

Now isn't that story a bit more exciting (and tummy turning) than a quick story about how my fingers are so big and fat I can no longer wear my wedding rings or how the iron supplements I have to take make me nauseous?? Thanks Molly!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

35 Week Update

Yesterday, we had our 35 weeks appointment. Nothing too exciting to report except that I had my Strep B test (I will spare you the nasty details) and that the doctor still can't tell whether Grace is in the proper position to prepare for birth.

At our next appointment, the doctor will perform an ultrasound to see which way she is facing. The "hope" is that her head is down and her face is pointing towards my back...BUT...if she is breach, we could schedule a c-section instead of waiting around for her to make her debut. I am not worried or concerned (too much) about labor and delivery - it is the NOT knowing when she is coming that is driving me crazy! I mean, how am I supposed to to plan her coming home party when I don't know when she is coming home?!?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Here!

Almost 30 years ago, my mother started a music box collection for me. Over time, it gradually grew and contained mainly Beatrix Potter characters like the one below. After telling my parents that I was pregnant, my mom packed up all of my music boxes for us to put in Grace's nursery - to carry on the tradition. Benjamin Bunny
(Send in the Clowns)

Much to our surprise, my parents also gave us THE most adorable and precious cradle a new baby could possibly rest her head in!

It arrived on Monday and we put it together Tuesday night.
(Luckily, it was much easier to assemble than the crib - there are no injuries to report.)
Doesn't this look familiar? How perfect is that!!

A BIG thank you to my mom and dad for adding just the perfect touch to Grace's nursery.
The cradle will be treasured and will hopefully be passed down to the generations to come.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thoughts on Election 2008

I am not usually one for politics. When the topic turns to politics at the dinner table, I usually tune out. They might as well broadcast one of those emergency warning tests that they play on the TV every now and then. "This is a test. This is only a test. Were this an actual emergency...


But this election is different. This election is far too important to bury my head in the sand and look the other way. Too much is at stake. The wars, the economy, the national deficit, our health care and education systems, a woman's freedom of choice! This time around, I am paying attention. I am interested.

I think I would be interested in this election regardless of being pregnant but part of my interest does stem from the fact that I am about to bring a child into the world. And like every parent before me, and every parent to come, I want the best for my child. I want her to grow up, to the extent possible, in a stable, healthy world. A stable and healthy world starts with choosing a stable and healthy leader.

I am not going to use this forum to tell you who to vote for (Obama) or who I am voting for (Obama) or why I think Sarah Palin as a VP is the scariest thing since... since...the absolute scariest thing you can possibly imagine! I'd like to - but I won't. Not here.

What I will leave you with is that by the time Grace is born, there will be an African-American or a woman in the White House! How amazing is that?! No matter your thoughts on the candidates this is an amazing turn of events for our country. Grace and all children her age will grow up not knowing any different. How that broadens one's perspective! How amazing to be a young black child and see Barack Obama as your President...and how as a young girl seeing Sarah Palin would cause you to think that someday you too could be President of the United States. (There. I did it. I found the silver lining of a McCain/Palin victory. *sigh of relief*)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We may have taken it a bit too far...

Last night was Halloween and we had a spooktacular time. We went as Juno and Bleaker from the movie Juno.

Court can be seen here demonstrating how tough pregnancy is on a physically (and mentally) strong a man must be in order to endure nine long months.

If he only knew...

The cast of characters for the evening included:

Joe and Aimee

(80's Rapper and Minnesota Girlscout)

Tim and Kari

(Old Mexican Man and Cheerleader)

Amy and Jeff

(Devil and Hamburgler)


Friday, October 31, 2008

Ode to Halloweens Past...and Way Past

Katie and Court's first Halloween! (2003)

In our second year of law school...
we were obviously too busy drinking beer and carving pumpkins....I mean studying, of prepare costumes.

Molly crashing Katie and Lauren's nursery school Halloween party in 1983.

Lucky for her, she was pretty cute (aka -hadn't started talking yet) so I let it slide.

Katie (7) and Molly (4)

Who loves being a drunk, homeless clown for Halloween?
Molly does!!

(Notice the black painting in the background - I think Molly was expressing
her feelings about her costume.)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Surprise in Seattle!

Court and I were in Seattle Tuesday night. He thought we were in town for appointments and errands, but little did he know we were in town for a surprise baby shower in Court's honor!
I must say that inviting guys to a baby shower quickly changes the dynamics! Things are said and done that would never happen in a room full of women! Although the dynamics were a bit different with the guys, the baby shower definitely had a woman's touch!

From decorations...

to baby shower games....

to of course, presents...

(What new father doesn't need a book about raising adolescent girls?!)

the night was a HUGE success!

Court was TOTALLY surprised! In fact, I could have sworn that I saw a little tear in the corner of his eye - he was so touched!

Speaking of tears, no crying for me at the party, but there were definitely some tears shed last night as I reviewed the pictures of the event! Everyone looked so great (and skinny)

and then there was me.... unsightly view of my thighs, not to mention I look like a linebacker. UGH

Court and I are so lucky to have such great friends who would go to such lengths to make Court feel so special. He is the most generous person I know and it was a happy moment for me to see him with all of our friends one last time before he becomes a father. Thank you to all who planned and attended Court's Surprise Baby Shower! We had a great time!