Category Archives: Musings

Thursday Thoughts

Some random cell phone photos of what we’ve been up to.20130402133604218-imp

At around 33 weeks my ankle and foot swelling got to the point where my midwife said I needed to work from home so I could try to keep the swelling at bay.  As my loving husband pointed out my feet looked like bread dough that had risen. *sigh* Thankfully my employer was agreeable and I started working from home last friday.  So far it has had a dramatic effect on my swelling so I am very encouraged that we can keep it under control with elevation of my feet, frequent breaks (every 20 minutes), compression socks, and walks in the pool.CameraZOOM-20130316092634488-imp

Matt and I have taken some classes in preparation for Blobby’s arrival.  Above is the baby Matt selected for us (because it was sleeping!) at “Day about baby” which was a day long Saturday class about the basics after birth.  We found out that Matt is much better at swaddling than I am. We also are wrapping up a 7 week series on natural childbirth called Birth Zone .  This course was recommended to us by not only our midwives but also every doula candidate that we interviewed. I cannot recommend this series enough- if you are in the Seattle area and trying for natural childbirth either in or out of the hospital it is a great class. We also took infant CPR and have breastfeeding and Happiest Baby on the Block class coming up in May.  I must say, it is a lot easier for me to schedule a class than to read a book these days.


The birth bags are packed, the nursery is ready, and the car seat is installed!  Last weekend Matt and I installed the car seat and then he took it to be checked out at the hospital car seat clinic.  We only had one thing done incorrectly and the car seat checkers raved about our choice of seat.  On the recommendation of a well-respected mommy friend we purchased the Diono RXT convertible car seat.   For a lot of reasons (many unique to our situation and vehicle)  we decided to forego the infant car seat.  Our Honda Element is one of the few cars that can easily accommodate this seat in the rear facing position. It was meant to be!  I have to say though, it is a little funny to be driving around with an empty car seat. robotpaint-imp

More robots!  I broke out the silhouette this weekend and made a robot stencil using vinyl.  A little aqua acrylic paint and the white locker bins got some decoration!  While I was being crafty I made some labels for the bins too.  Look at me being productive.

Well that was a pretty baby heavy thursday thoughts post! But hey, baby may arrive anywhere from 4-8 weeks from now so we do have baby on the brain as you might imagine.



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Filed under Musings, We Grow

Tuesday tidbits

Long time no blog. I have so much to say since we put Cassanova down in June. Matt and I both want to tell you all about the Cassman and the impact he made on both our lives. This isn’t the post where we’ll do that. Nope this is a post filed with random stuff that I can blog about on my bus ride home.

I am not even irritated that my bus is late… it’s beautiful out! This summer for off to a very slow start and has been very cool in Seattle in general. Yeah the rest of the country is all heatwave and we are barely getting out of the 60s. But today is perfect.


So the weather app on my phone is lying… there is no partly sunny about it. Check out that blue sky!


Yep that is the lovely bus stop by my office, I know you are jealous.

Speaking of my phone… Matt and I avoided losing our unlimited data plans with Verizon by preordering the Galaxy S III. I am in love! Ice cream sandwich is such a great improvement over gingerbread. If only because I can finally take screen shots of my phone.  Matt hasn’t activated his yet… something about rooting it first… I don’t know, he is missing out!


In early July we celebrated 2 years of marriage. We continued our tradition of giving from both the traditional and the modern anniversary guides. We had dinner at La Fontana Siciliana followed by my favorite musical Les Mis. Our seats were amazing and well worth the $.


We have a new edition to the family. He deserves a whole post to himself but I can’t resist sharing a photo of our new kitty Hugo.


Ok, who am I kidding…here are a bunch of Hugo photos.




We took an insanely short trip this weekend to Indiana to meet my newest nephew. As expected he is adorable which seems to be a trend with my nephews.

So the bus is so bumpy today, certainly glad the hubs got Swype beta working on my new phone. If you have a smart phone and don’t Swype you gotta check it out.

Speaking of my commute… after doing this for 6+ months we are not loving it. I love my project, team, manager, hate the commute. It is costing us some additional money (extra gas and bus fare) vs when I worked in the same building as the hubs or when I worked from home. But the largest cost is in time. I lose 13.5 hours a week commuting, Matt loses 4.5 hours a week driving me to/from my carpool and then to his work location. My project is coming to a close in early 2013 and I am already planning to try to find a way to reduce my commute. As you can see with the reduction of time available, blogging has been cut from my regular schedule. I am lucky if the house is clean.

Speaking of house cleaning… when you spend 13+ hrs a week committing, paying someone to do it is the best thing ever. That’s all.

Another thing that had been essential with our new schedule is Amazon Fresh. It is only available in the Seattle metro area for now. I do my weekly grocery shopping from my smart phone on the trip into work.


I can arrange for it to be on my doorstep by the time I get home that day or by three time I wake up the next morning. So easy! They also can deliver select things from regular Amazon with your grocery order. Matt always adds CDs to my bigger than normal grocery orders to get free delivery ($50 minimum order, $100 minimum for free delivery)


I actually like the days I take the bus home instead of carpooling. In addition to getting me out in the city I love so much (the blue trees in Westlake),  it lets me have time to decompress and to blog (like today). I think my carpool buddy would miss her HOV dummy though.

So maybe the lesson is I need to bus it home more than 1x pet week so I can blog more.  Upcoming posts include the aforementioned tribute to Cass, a proper introduction to Hugo, a recent silhouette machine project roundup, and recaps of some of our spring adventures including our annual lobster boil.

And someday I will finish recapping our 2011 Roman adventure. Sigh.

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Filed under Daily Life, Musings

1997 to 2012


I have no words right now.  Perhaps I will come back and tell you all there is to tell about this amazing cat.  Our Haus is grieving today.


Filed under Musings

Kitty Prayers

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I am home sick today- sick in the I’m having trouble breathing/coughing and I don’t want to infect my co-workers  kind of way. But I can’t sleep. My normal sick day buddy isn’t curled up next to me. This morning we took Cassanova to the vet for the second time in 5 days. My little guy isn’t doing good and my heart is breaking. Our Vet is running tests, hydrating, and hopefully forcing him to eat while I am puttering around the house with a box of kleenex.

Up until a couple of months ago you would never know Cassanova is 15 years old. I got him at 6 months old in February 1998 as a junior in college.  He has been my sidekick through the ups and downs. He’s moved from Indiana to Denver, back to Indiana then to Phoenix and back to Indiana. He lost his companion Cleo in Wisconsin and picked up his new buddy Cheese. He enjoyed Atlanta before finally settling in to our home in Washington. He is a cat who thinks he’s a human, or at the very least, a dog. He is fiercely affectionate and full of energy. He loves his humans so much that he has always waited up for me (or us) to get home and keeps watch when I am sick.  His loud purr is a constant sound in our house.


Earlier this year he lost his bottom right canine- the first signs that he is getting old.  A couple of months ago I noticed him eating lots and running around like a crazy cat.  I suspected hyperthyroid and was right.  We got him on thyroid medicine (I am hypo-thyroid so Matt gives him the meds) but he really hates the pills so we had the medicine compounded into a cream that we rub on the inside of his ear.  Slowly over the past few months he has gotten really skinny.  It was hard for us to notice because we see him every day but my Dad noticed when he came to visit for memorial day weekend.  Slowly he has gotten lethargic and seems depressed. He spends all his time on our bed and doesn’t move much.

We took him in last Thursday because we noticed he was hardly eating anything.  He also had some wheezing when we would pick him up/put him down.  The vet noted that even though his weight hasn’t changed much since the appointment where she diagnosed his hyperthyroid that he has lost a lot of muscle mass in his hind quarters.  She suspected he might have a low-grade sinus infection so she gave him an antibiotic injection (lasts 2 weeks).

I had changed his food weeks earlier and we suspected he wasn’t a fan of the new flavor. We bought the old flavor and when I opened the bag he was very interested. He ate a couple bites and came back later for a few more bites. We were encouraged, however, over the weekend he never ate more than a few bites at a time and he continued to get weaker and weaker.  He turned his nose up at chicken and milk- that never happens. He doesn’t purr anymore. This morning when I put him down from holding him he fell over.  My heart broke.

We dropped him off at the vet as soon as they opened. When Doc saw me walk through the door her heart sank.  They are running blood tests and giving him IV fluids.  I think they are going to try to force him to eat.  For years my biggest fear has been losing him, I would tear up just thinking about it. Now its staring me in the face.

In a couple of months he will be 16, please buddy, help us figure out what is wrong.  I’m selfish and I want a few more years with you.

If you can spare some prayers for a cat today- I would really appreciate it.


:::Edited 2:49 Monday:::

The vet called to say his blood work looks great.  They gave him IV fluids and he has been eating a bit.  They gave him 5 different kinds of wet food and he eat some of 3 of them. They are keeping him overnight. Still no word what may have caused this or what is going on. 😦


Filed under Musings

PSA: Don’t Be a Crappy Friend (like me)

For most of 2012 (maybe some of 2011 if we are being honest) I have been a crappy friend.  No, really I have and I own it. Unfortunately this means my husband is guilty by association and together we’ve been crappy friends to our peeps near and far.   We’ve missed kid’s football games, engagements, birthdays, almost whole pregnancies for strategically vague reasons I mentioned previously (i.e. I really don’t want to discuss it IRL or online).

This week I had a long over due phone call with my best friend.  She lives in the midwest and sadly we’ve never developed a good online way of keeping in touch on a regular basis.  Life is busy and with a 3 hour time difference the time between phone calls has gotten longer and longer.  Talking with her this week was the greatest gift I could have been given.  I felt connected, loved, and understood. It felt like she was just around the corner and I miss her so much. I left the conversation feeling uplifted and like the world had returned to normal- if only for a short time.

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Photo: Amore Studios

Yes, she knows me the best- but there are wonderful people in our lives here in Seattle that know me too.  People who we’ve neglected as friends. Friends I hope who still want to be friends despite my self-imposed social hiatus.  This summer we’re really making an effort to reconnect and to put my discomfort in social situations aside. I know small get togethers are best for me but I need to put on my big girl panties and figure out how to be social in a larger group setting too.

This post is incredibly self-indulgent- just a brain dump of where I am at on  paper the screen- a follow-up to my last post.  Still not 100% but working my way about of that aforementioned funk.

I don’t want to misrepresent 2012- we’ve had some amazing adventures with friends and family.  After a couple of self-absorbed posts I’m ready to recap our Austin, Colorado, and Seattle adventures with friends and family.  Coming up next, eating like a Hobbit in Austin!


Filed under Musings

What I Would Say If I Had the Chance

Saturday January 21st a little after 6:30AM my phone rang. My heart sank and I knew the call before I answered it.  My mom told me that my Grandma had just passed away.  I knew it was near, my mom had boarded a cross-country flight just days earlier because my Aunt urged us that  her time was close.  The tears have been slow to come, mainly because I said good-bye to my Grandma years ago when Alzheimer’s took her from us. Instead of hitting me all at once, the loss of my Grandma has hit me slowly over 6 years.

The funeral is this week. I’ll be doing a reading at her funeral Mass, just as I did for my Grandfather.  I will not be speaking publicly about my Gram, I’ll leave the eulogizing to my Mom and her siblings.  But I have lots I want to say and thoughts I want to pull together. So, indulge me for a while… I want to muse a little.SCAN0146

Yvette Tartre, but everyone called you Mickey (nicknamed after Mickey Mouse).  I adore your given name but you seemed to prefer Mickey. Speaking of names, they were something that you never got right on the first try.  “Jo, Teresa, Betty, Jane… Amy”  I loved how you would call me by your sisters names or your daughters names before you finally got to “Amy”.  I also love how you would call me Josephine when I was being impish.  I have no idea where that came from but I love it to pieces.


I feel lucky to be the oldest granddaughter.  You were in your 50’s when I was little and you and grandpa were quite active.  I was lucky to stay with you  for a week or two each summer.  You integrated us into your daily life and I learned so much.  I would wake early and crawl into bed with you and grandpa where we would watch the morning news.  I mortified you one morning when I proclaimed that you had a neck like E.T. (having your chin tucked created creases on your neck that reminded me of E.T. but you thought I was calling you old) but we had good laughs about it for years to come.  Breakfast was always Cheerios and grapefruit while watching Regis and Kathy Lee.  Grapefruit for breakfast always reminds me of you and grandpa now and I have a soft spot in my heart for Regis.  You would take me with you while you ran errands, went to get your hair “did”, and met your girlfriends for lunch at the country club. I learned proper table etiquette early on and you always made me feel included in these lunch dates.  We spent days at the Maine beaches and went on shopping trips.  Shopping trips always meant lunch with Grandpa because his office was by the mall.  We would also go shopping for the fixings for dinner. You taught me that it is important to find good fresh ingredients and often took me to farm stands for vegetables and to the fish mongers on the docks for seafood.  I learned to always insist on wild caught salmon and to interrogate the fish guy if it isn’t clearly marked as such.


The dinners you prepared were straight out of Bon Appetite.  When I was grown and  on my own you bought me my first subscription and you became my food and party planning coach.  Whenever I was planning a dinner party I would call you to consult on the menu.  I’d tell you a little about the event and the people and you’d call me an hour later with suggestions and recipes. Bon Appetite will always be on my coffee table. I inherited your  adventuresome cooking gene and your zest for party planning.

amy and gma

You weren’t there when I got married but you did meet my husband just days after he proposed to me.  I will never forget when the haze lifted enough for you to really, really recognize me and understand that I was introducing you to the man I was going to marry.  It was the last time I saw you and I believed in my heart that those seconds of recognition were enough to sustain me. I was wrong because even now I miss you so much.

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I carried one of your embroidered hankies with me on my wedding day and we served your wedding punch at the reception.  The highest compliment I was paid on that wonderful day was when my Aunt told me how proud you would have been of the lovely party that we had thrown. I wish you could have been there.

The day you died I honored you by having a dinner party with friends. Something you loved to do and something that years earlier I would have been on the phone consulting with you on the menu.  We had homemade pizza, defiantly not something you would have recommended but perfect nonetheless.

You live on in me so many ways.

The blog is going to go quiet (or more quiet than usual) for a couple of weekes so as I travel back east to pay tribute to a woman I loved so dearly and grapple with the emotions of her departure.  Below I have pulled together a bunch of photos of my grandma that I had to share.


She was a nurse and perhaps her most important patient was my grandfather. She managed his Type 1 Diabetes so well over the years that he outlived the expected lifespan for a type 1 diabetic.

Wedding Photo 1

I love his bridesmaids and matron of honor dresses, I wish I could tell what color they are.

Family shot 60s

My mom is the oldest of 5 children.


Skiing was an important family past time and my grandma skied into her 60s.


My grandparents were well traveled. the photo on the right is from their 50th wedding anniversary trip to St Thomas. The whole family went together. I especially love how they are holding hands.


Seriously, how sharp are these two on a trip to Hawaii?


Welcoming their first grandchild, my older brother.

Enjoying lobster rolls at the lobster shack.

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Reading to her 2nd Great-Grandchild, my nephew, the Boy.



Filed under Musings

5 Little Things I’m Enjoying

I’ve got some random nothingness floating around my brain.  Things I’m enjoying at the current moment.


1. Haircut 2. Under Armor Shirt 3. Espresso machine

1. After a year with the same haircut I decided on the spur of the moment (i.e. in the chair while my stylist was cutting my hair) to change things up with a new cut. It’s stacked in the back and is pretty piece-y on the sides. It requires a flat-iron every morning if not a full blow-dry and flat-iron.  Funny thing, this cut was actually a compromise.  I wasn’t feeling well when I went to get my hair cut and I proceeded to tell my stylist to cut it all off really short.  She didn’t think I should be making rash decisions when I wasn’t feeling well so this was the compromise.  I love the new cut but its 2 weeks + later and I still want to cut it all off.  I’m itching for a pixie cut… I *might* have spent some time searching the celebrities for inspiration…


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2. My new under-armor shirt. I can’t lie, I wasn’t sure what the heck I was going to do with this shirt when I opened the gift from my in-laws. It’s a Cold Gear Compression shirt, as in meant for outdoor cold weather activity. Although I would love to snowshoe, I don’t (I have the gear but nobody to go with- *looking at you Mom*)- I don’t do any cold weather sports. However, today I figured it out… It’s now my “working from home and don’t want to turn up the heat because my husband told me that me working from home with the heat at a normal temp has raised our heating bill” shirt. Seriously, I’m comfy and warm in my 65 degree house now. And I’ve found that the compression is oddly comforting. Hummm perhaps it is a human version of the Thundershirt.

3. Cappuccino from my new DeLonghi Espresso maker (thanks Babe!).  I’m not really a Cappuccino person but its all I know how to make right now.  I haven’t perfected my Cafe au lait made with decaf espresso yet… all in good time.  I *might* have used extortionary tactics to get the Hubs to buy me this perfect gift- my daily walks to the espresso hut were costing around $4-5 a day. So far I am loving it!


4. Joseph Joseph Elevate 6-Piece Heat-Resistant Utensil Set.  The hubs saw these on over the Christmas break and ordered them.  I love that they match our bright and colorful kitchen and that they don’t require a spoon rest, the little feet keep the spoon/spatula part off the counter.  Love, love love!

Jessica Simpson Tylera Boots

5. New short boots.  I love these boots.  I need to have the hubs take a photo of me wearing them because the picture above does not do them justice. They are the perfect lazy woman boots- there is no zipper , both sides are slit and you seriously just step into them.  They are the right height for a short girl and they make my muscular calves look slim. My winter wardrobe has expanded to the earth tones with the addition of these to my shoe rack.  *happy girl*

That’s all. A handful of non-important stuff that is making me smile today.

What is making you smile today?


Filed under Musings