Hurricane Day

Today is my Friday. Friday’s are usually exciting days – the gateway to the weekend. Today isn’t Friday though. So, even though today is my Friday, there’s a Thursday gloom that hangs in the air. It’s a nasty little rain cloud that hangs out over my head. Most days when this rain cloud takes up its residence over my head, it’s just a fluffy but gray rain cloud that sprinkles on me. Today, it’s an oversized, hazy, can’t make out a shape kinda cloud that’s brought thunder and lightening with it and splashed icy cold water down my neck. Oh, and wind. It’s brought wind with it today. It’s a level 3 hurricane around these parts today. 

Part of me wishes it were a hurricane cause at least I’d be at the beach. And this monstrous thunder cloud has me down, way down, and the beach would certainly be a cure. As it is, Ohio has no beach, and so this storm keeps blowing my mind off course. Being pregnant, on top of this hurricane, makes it seem like there’s no eye of the storm, that there’s no end to the destruction it will wreak on me. I just want to board up the windows and huddle in the corner with my scared kitty cat (Jericho is terrified of storms) and be told by a well dressed weatherman that this will all be over soon.

But there is no weatherman. There isn’t even a kitty cat to be scared with right now, which is good. Real storms are enough for him. He doesn’t need to be caught up in my emotional storm. I just can’t let go of some of things that have me down. I guess that’s why I’m writing. I needed to try to let it all go. I’ve vented all over the place already, but I’m still upset. I didn’t know what I was getting into when this all started. Now, I know. Now, there’s no turning back. I wouldn’t want to turn back anyways. I’ve gotten so many great things out of the deal, but that extra baggage, man, it’s heavy. I can handle the bears. I’ve been to the Smokies enough times to know that if you throw a bear a donut, it’ll be happy. It’s the snakes – the quiet, low lying snakes that strike from below the belt, those are my problems.

I try to focus on the good things in my life. Those things are what are important anyways. Like, my baby doing somersaults inside my belly. My warm bed waiting for me at home to curl up and take a nap in. And this: 

Yes, I have lots of good things in life. I love my little duck regardless of the amount of snake skins and bear claws that accompany it. It’s just hard to accept the way things are sometimes. I’ve been taught to go all St. Patrick on the snakes and oust them from my island, which is still caught in the rain, which will hopefully be downgraded to just a tropical depression soon. And, certainly, the duck doesn’t deserve a snake infested pond either, and there’s only so much the bear can do to help the poor duck. Le sigh.

The writing has helped, I suppose. I still don’t feel all that great. My storm will probably stay with me the rest of the day, but that’s life. Some days it’s got to rain. We wouldn’t appreciate the sun if there weren’t ever any rainy day blues. I’m still gonna wallow in my hurricane day.

Restfully Productive

This past weekend was a bit of an oxymoron – restfully productive. Yes, it was definitely both.

Friday was a half day at work for so I could take Josh to the doctor. Lines got crossed (not a surprise since this is the city we’re talking about) and, really, he needed me to take him Monday, but I couldn’t. I had my own doctor’s appointment. So, I sent him off on Monday with cheese crackers to help him with his blood sugar, if he needed it.

Saturday was the definition of restful. Josh had to go to work at 3:30. So, I napped from 4-8. It was delicious! I miss naps so much. I used take one like every day in undergrad and law school. The only thing that made this nap better than any in school was that Bellini and Maisy snuggled with me the entire time. Josh came home from work, we ate dinner, and I went back to bed for the evening. Lazy days are much needed therapy sometimes.

Saturday was exciting because we got our first big baby shower gift. My mom and dad dropped off Ellabelle’s crib and mattress on Saturday morning. Our itty bit has a place to sleep! Now, it only we had a finished room to put the crib in…  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Schoenig for Ellybelly’s bed and mattress!

Sunday was the productive part of the weekend. Josh went to work Sunday morning, and I attacked the house. And Houston, WE HAVE CARPET! It’s been so long since we’ve seen you, bedroom carpet. Oh how we’ve missed you. Look at it! I forgot what color it was! Hello, old friend! 

 All the laundry has been sorted and most of it has been washed and dried. (We ran out of time to do it all!) I spot treated and steam vacced the hallway that was beginning to look more and more like a dalmation thanks to Maisy’s UTI and her complete contempt of the “outside potty” rules. The towels now have their very own home. They’ve been moved to and from places for so long, living mostly in the laundry basket they were brought out of the dryer in. I can tell they’re happy to have a permanent residence. Home sweet home The toilet paper has it’s own home now as well. It’s just got to deal with noisy neighbors upstairs

The bathroom was scrubbed down (with an old toothbrush I might add) and unpacked. The shelves that were in the closet in our bathroom when we moved in were plywood and cheap and splintering. Josh whaled on them, and they went to Mt. Rumpke a long time ago. No other construction work followed. There was simply an empty closet in our bathroom. So, finally, the old laundry room shelves have been installed into the bathroom closet so that all our toiletries have a proper home. He also took the closet door down because, let’s face it, that thing was just as ugly as those old shelves. “Ohhs!” and “Ahhs” all around for the final product

The spare bathroom had this hideous glue residue from where the moronic previous owners glued a shelf to the wall. Not nailed. Not mounted with screws. They glued a shelf to the wall. I ripped it down the first day we moved in (it wasn’t even sturdy enough to hold toilet paper!) and we were left with an ugly brown build up. (Note: this is not the only shelf glued to a wall in the house. He also overrode all the safeties on the furnace which could’ve caused the whole house to explode. One word – moron.) So, I moved Josh’s self-proclaimed favorite picture into the bathroom to cover it up. I hung it up with one tiny little nail because I am not a moron. You can still see some of the glue they spread for who knows why across the wall. We have yet to discover a way to remove it successfully.

And then, we came to the door. Ellabelle’s soon-to-be-room has had a broken doorknob since we’ve moved in. Josh swapped the doorknob off the bathroom closest door with the broken one. Problem was the door still didn’t latch. (We’ve had it held shut with a hair tie and screw in the wall.) So, upon realizing the genius former owners (note the sarcasm, please) had simply drilled their own hole into the door frame to latch the door into, we did the same. There was no alternative. Josh wanted to remove the door and adjust it to the hole. That seemed like way more work than just making the hole bigger. So after some drilling, sanding, and vacuuming (all done by Josh) the door now officially closes! YAH! It ain’t pretty, but at least it works

This week has been busy and relaxing somehow as well. We’re both working during the day which is strange but exciting. I’m not used to coming home to an empty house. Monday, I had a doctor’s appointment. I’m still measuring on time, and Ellabelle’s heartbeat is steady and strong. I had an incident Sunday afternoon so they had to do an internal check (which btw is the worst thing I’ve ever had to deal with and that includes my teeth being drilled on without being numb.) Luckily, I’m still sealed shut nice and tight, and Ellabelle will continue to bake.

Josh had a physical and blood work on Monday as well. He passed the physical beautifully considering his size and weight. We’re just waiting to hear back on the blood work so hopefully there will be good *official* news here in the very near future.

I have my glucose test on Friday. Not looking forward to pounding back some straight sugar and then having blood drawn. Let’s hope I pass so I don’t have to take the 3 hour test. That would be awful.

The weather is being bipolar around these parts – cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. I’ve been alternating between flip flops and ugg boots. It’s awful weather to be pregnant in. Regardless of the temp, the days have been mostly sunny and clear so Maisy has been getting walks. She loves walk time. Last night we walked her to the mailbox. She gets so excited and runs as fast as she can until the leash runs out and then she sits down and waits for you to catch up with her and then takes off running again. 

We finally got near the mailboxes when I spotted two big, fat robins just sitting in the grass. They seemed to ignore me and my little blonde ball of fluff I had on a string, and, of course, Maisy never notices anything that’s right in front of her. So, I sorta dragged her over to them. One of them flew away once she was there. The other just continued to sit. So, I placed Maisy right on top of it (she still hadn’t noticed it sitting there). When their bodies met, hell broke loose. That robin tried to fly up and away from the intruder. The dog freaked out because there was a bird under her belly trying to get out. Needless to say, I realized that the poor robin couldn’t fly because it was injured. So, I had to drag Maisy away from it because now she wanted to play with it. To that poor injured robin, I am sorry I made my dog sit on you and then try to play with you.

We headed back to the house, and Josh noticed Maisy take a strange step. Well, girl’s kneecap popped out of place. Karma for the bird incident, I suppose. She limped for a few steps, it seemed to pop back into place, and she walked gingerly on it. So, Josh being the good daddy he is, he scooped her up and carried her home. Here’s the thing about Maisy, she doesn’t see things that are right in front of her (like the giant rabbit we saw in a yard), but the girl loves watching birds swoop up and down from spot to spot. So, while being carried she got super stiff and her ears perked right up. This, too, startled Josh. He thought something was wrong with her. I assured him she was just hunting birds.

The first time we took Maisy to NKU we were out in front of the science building that has a big open lawn. There were geese. Long story short, she managed to pull the leash from out of my hand and take off. She chased those geese like it was her job. She almost caught up to them too! Scared both Josh and me half to death. I couldn’t even chase her cause I was wearing flip flops and, it was muddy and loss of my shoes would’ve only added more trouble to the situation. Luckily, we yelled, and she stopped – right on the double yellow line of the street. The car coming saw her and, thankfully, stopped as she rolled over to have belly rubbed as Josh came to scoop her up. While it terrified us, I’m sure that was one of the best memories of her little doggie life. She’s so special she may just need a helmet

While the walk was nice and the cooler weather made me comfortable for a little while (Josh was cold and kept saying he needed a jacket), it wore me out. I couldn’t breathe when we got home. I figure Ellabelle was laying up near my ribs based on the pressure, so I blame her. Lol. We spent a rather quiet evening enjoying not being able to find anything to watch on tv. Sunday starts our Marvel marathon. It’s Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, one a day for the week, and then, for a Saturday matinee (because we’re too old for the midnight showing and too poor to afford it) we will be seeing The Avengers. Josh is so pumped. I’ll admit I’m excited about it too. Gotta make it through the remainder of this week first – there’s lots of baby things afoot. The glucose test is Friday, and the baby shower is Saturday. I’m sure there will be plenty of pictures to share. 😉

Things I love – right now

I don’t really have anything insightful or witty to say today. Although, this may seem like that’s the case every day. I just feel like I need to write. I need to do something to make myself happy. Cause, today, I am happy. I slept decently. I got up on time and took a shower before work. I even got some Maisy snuggles in. Plus, I leave here in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Today rocks. Yet, I still have this lingering feeling like I have something I need to say, something I need to put out there into the universe. I just can’t figure out what it is.

So, while I wait for it to come to me, enjoy some of the things I am currently loving:

Maisytime in the morning 

Gurgley kicks from Miss Ellabelle – that’s one of the feetsies that keeps kicking me =)

Looking at our wedding pictures, reminiscing about where we were a year ago 






















Maisy walks – favorite time of the day cause who can’t be happy in the sunshine with a happy puppy 

Colorful socks – yes, socks scare me, even my own once they’re dirty. When they’re clean and on, some of my socks sing. These may actually be screaming, but they put a smile on my face 

Fruit and candy – strange combo? Maybe. But my sweet tooth is in full force these days 

So, my work day is almost over. I’m about to head out in the lovely weather. It’s suppose to turn chilly this weekend, but that’s ok. I don’t mind an excuse not to get out of bed on a Saturday morning. Maybe I’ll finally figure out what it is I feel like I need to get out on paper. Maybe I’ll be completely and utterly lazy and won’t. Either way,  have a great weekend!  

Ramblings from a pregnant brain on Coca-Cola

I just don’t want to die without a few scars.
-Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club 

Disclaimer: You’ll have to bear with me today. My brain is on speed since I had a can of coke for breakfast. I am not responsible for the whiplash that may occur as I alter course and change subjects on a whim. Do please try to keep up.

I like to think I’m adventurous. I like to think I’m fearless and willing to run off a cliff on a whim. I like to think these things, but, deep down, I know I’m not. I’m a chicken when it comes to a lot of things. I want to be spontaneous and then plan what we’re going to do in order to go be spontaneous.

I have this itch though, to go and do something – different. My bucket list includes visiting all 50 states. I don’t consider it a lofty goal, but it’s hard to do whenever talk of a vacation comes up and Josh goes, “Let’s go to Gatlinburg.” In all fairness, I’ve been to Gatlinburg more times than I have fingers, and Josh has been all of 3 times so he hasn’t absorbed as much of the Gatty-ness that is theGreatSmokeyMountains. It does cut into my (stealing the phrase from my mom here) new and different.

We have been trying to plan a small anniversary trip/babymoon for in May. Well, I’ve been trying to plan. He’s been shooting down my ideas. I wanted to go somewhere different (Josh suggested the ‘burg again). I wanted to go to a beach in Michigan. I mean, hell, I’ve lived in Ohio all my life and have never seen a Great Lake (I did go to Put-in-Bay once, but I don’t remember it so it doesn’t count), and Josh, he’s never even been to Michigan! This idea was vetoed.

Next I picked Caesar’s Creek lake/beach area. I don’t remember my visit there, and it’s close to home and different than our usual. Vetoed again.

Got our tax refund, so I planned a trip toNiagara Falls–Canadaside. I was 2 when I went, and, big shocker, Josh has never been to Canada. Other things took precedence over the trip though, and it was soon vetoed as well.

So, again, in an attempt to do new and different, I asked Josh aboutSoutheastern Ohio. So, we planned to go visit one of the state park beaches, and, much to his delight, Josh was going to get to show me aroundAthens. This plan has been pushed on the backburner as well, and it’s well on its way to a no-go as well.

Vacay plans, if any feasible ones surface, will have no choice but to be spontaneous this year. And that’s good. It’s frustrating for my need-to-plan gene that I’m sure I have, but it’s still good. I need some more bumps and bruises in my life that come from taking a leap of faith. I need more scars to show off.

I have plenty of emotional scars to show off. I’m a very emotional girl. I feel things. Like, I really feel them. When I see the sad puppy commercial with the dying animals, I feel it. I cry. I make Josh change the channel. I want to adopt them all. I have no blinders on my emotions. They come in great spurts. I halfass a lot of things in life, but my emotions are on full speed, all the freakin time. It sucks sometimes. I’m never in the middle. I’m never just content. I’m over the top excited or down, way down in the dumps. I’m a scorching hot summer day, not a cloud in the sky or I’m a blizzard in the heart of winter terrorizing the streets and pulling down power lines. My emotions have no middle ground.

So, when I’m angry, that anger consumes me. Josh doesn’t get this. He’s always like, “Just let it go.” Pshh, if only I could. If only it were that easy. I feel more than anything, dude. You’ve always known that. You need to just let go of the notion that I will ever just let something go.

My mind also moves at the speed of sound. Sometime’s Josh just can’t keep up. I’m up. I’m down. I’m left. I’m right. I think it’s why I get so bored so easily. I need mental stimulation at all times. Down time is not in my repertoire. But I have no good scars to show for this off the wall brain function. I’m a better safe than sorry kinda girl. I need to be more adventurous. I need to be more motivated. It’s such a paradox being so mentally active and so physically lazy. I could do great things…if I wanted to ever get off the couch.

Random photo time!

Bellini love is rare and much appreciated when received

Maisy loves her new chicken jerky – the one from the commercial with the annoying late and her collie

Discovered this on our US Bank online account – it made me smile because it’s the first time I’ve ever seen our names together written in his handwriting. I’m a dork. I know. ❤

Baby Update:

How far along? 25 weeks and 5 days

Total weight gain/lost: +5

Maternity clothes? Bought my first few this past weekend

Stretch marks? Roar. I’m a tiger.

Best moment of the week: Adventure Day on Sunday

Missing anything? Subway

Movement? Lots and lots – saw her kick yesterday!

Cravings: anything I can cram into my mouth

Anything making you queasy or sick? nope

Have you started to show? Yep, but I think I still just look fat.

Gender? Lil Miss Ellabelle

Labor signs? nope

Belly button in or out? in

Wedding ring on or off? On

Mood: really weepy lately

Looking forward to: My shower next week! =)

So there isn’t much on the baby front to report. I’ve been weepy. It sucks. I cry for no reason. She’s still a little wiggle worm, and she’s apparently decided to try and break free from my belly – through the belly button. She scoots up against my belly, and it feels like she’s pushing with all her might. It is very uncomfortable. She kicks like crazy, and, for the first time, last night, both of us saw her kicking. That was pretty cool. Nothing else to report on the itty bit.

I have to get something off of my chest about this baby growing business though. I’m going to be honest about it – I hate being pregnant. Like hate it, hate it. I find almost no redeeming quality about being “with child.” I’ve heard of women loving being pregnant. I thought I’d be one of them. No. Didn’t happen.

I never had that glow everyone talks about. Nope. Not unless sweat from the exhausting process of throwing up everything, including water, counts as a glow. I don’t see anything enjoyable about having to buy new clothes you won’t (hopefully) have to wear after this whole experience is over. I don’t like the roadmap my stomach has become because my genetics suck, and I’m one of those lucky women who grows stretch marks like the yard grows weeds. I hate my shoulder blades aching constantly. Not being able to bend over anymore. Having to have Josh help me off the couch every time I get up. The constant feeling of having to pee, and then the pressure of a baby on the bladder that makes it almost exhausting to actually pee. I’m tired of my hips feeling like they’re trying to literally tear away from one another and rip me in half. I don’t want to have to wear a belly band to keep gravity from adding more pressure to my already achey legs. I don’t want to give any more blood, take any more test, have my cervix examined, or be poked and prodded again. And don’t even get me started on how much I’m looking forward to the actual act of giving birth.

It doesn’t make me a bad mom. It doesn’t even make me a bad woman. My body is made to do this; that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about all of it. I just hate people who say it’s such a gift to be the one to carry the baby and bring new life. It is. I’ll admit that. This is something very special only I get to do. I get to grow a person. I will miss the feeling of her inside me once she’s here, but I certainly won’t miss the pain and discomfort the whole situation has caused. I want control of my body back.

July cannot get here soon enough. End vent.


This is my life:

This is how life usually looks:

This is how life looks from where I stand today:

Life is really just a giant game of tetris. The pieces fall, and, sometimes, they fall right into place. Others they stack up funny, and you’ve got to start all over. And that’s life. It speeds up and pieces fall so fast you feel like you’re going to freak out. Panic sets in. You’ve got find a way to get everything back down to a manageable level before it hits the top of the board. Other times, the pieces click and fall away easily.

We’ve got plenty of pieces hovering up in the deck. Let’s hope we have that straight piece fall right into place for us.


I’m not sure how cohesive this post has been. It seems pretty pointless as I look back at it. I don’t know if I really even connected back to the point the whole thing was suppose to make. Either way, from the little box that is the window I can see out, I can tell it’s sunny and green outside. That means a Maisy walk is in store for me tonight! I love Maisy walks. I’m so looking forward to the weekend. Josh works Saturday and Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t still have a good weekend. Major nesting is in order. Plus, lots of Mommy-Moo snuggle time. 🙂

Choose Your Own Adventure

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
-Helen Keller

 When I was younger, like in the 4th grade, I loved those “choose your own adventure” books. I will, however, admit that I always cheated and would flip to both options then decide which adventure I wanted to take. Even at a young age, I was a control freak who wanted all my options laid out before me before I picked the one I wanted. It’s part of the reason why I’m hardly ever spontaneous. I like things planned, and I like to know where I’m going and when, and in advance. It’s just how I am. It’s who I am.

We had an adventure this weekend, like those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Except ours was real. And I just went with the flow. No looking ahead to see where we would end up. And it was beautiful and sunny and warm. I wore flip flops and a tank top. Josh complained that he forgot his hat. Spring truly felt like it had arrived.


Maisy has been getting more walks than she’s used to lately. She’s pretty lazy most days (all day, every day, really). Pick up her leash and she’s off though. She’s so spirited. It’s like she’s a balloon that just inflates and floats around when outside. Unfortunately, I’ve been having such bad hip pain, it’s been really hard to get her outside. So, not only have we been giving Maisy the gift of the outdoors, but we have a very tired pup to spend our evenings with (which is the best kind). 

She’s so funny when we go for walks. She has to sniff everything, and I mean everything. It starts before we leave the driveway. She usually relieves herself in our yard, as usual, and then stands in the driveway and waits. She gets really still, her ears up, and her nose just twitches back and forth, especially if it’s windy. And then, once I give her the go, she runs across the street to smell the yard where the wiener dog lives. She loves this yard. She loves every yard. And every lamp post. And every street sign. And every tall patch of grass. 

You can tell when girly is tired on the walk though. She starts walking in the street like “I’ve had enough smellies for the day. Let’s go home.” She prances across the cement with her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. She wiggles her butt and then stands on her back legs when she sees people we won’t let her go meet. She tries to circle back to the people after we’ve passed them. She thinks she’s super sneaky and super clever. It never works.

Maisy walks are a highlight of the day when we get to take them. Josh always gets impatient with her when she wants to stand in a yard and sniff the same spot for 5 minutes. I just let her go. A dogs life is 8x short than ours. What’s an extra minute or two in our lives if it makes her happy for the shorter minutes of hers?


Friday was “Friends and Family Day” at Advanced Auto Parts. I was the only person to show up. I got free cake though. Josh showed me around his store, and I proved how little I know about cars.  Looks like we finally found a q-tip for Josh that’s big enough to get the job done


Saturday was a day filled with family. Karen, Josh’s stepmom, had us all over for her birthday (which was Friday the 13th). Granted, it was all her family, but it was nice to spend time with Josh’s dad and stepmom.Trent was excited to show Josh the dragon he made on his new xbox game the easter bunny left him. He’s also decided that Ellabelle’s work-in-progress bookshelf is now his gun rack. Karen went all out and made an easter/birthday feast since we were all unable to make it on Easter – ham, turkey, stuffing, green beans, mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, chocolate birthday cake, all made from scratch. It’s nice to just slow down and be surrounded by family and just be.


Sunday was our adventure day. With Josh still searching, hoping, and praying (to Joe Pesci, of course) for full time work and currently working part-time, money’s been a little tighter around here. Not that we’ve had much anyways. It just seems like somehow each penny has had to be pinched just a little bit more these past few months. So, how the cash is spent has become much stricter. So, on Sunday morning when Josh looked at me and said, “Let’s go an adventure today,” I was slightly hesitant. So, things had to be examined and rearranged a bit, but we were able to take our adventure.

It was gorgeous out, and Josh has been dying to go putt-putting. So, we went to Fairfield Golf Center to play at Golf Mountain. The putt-putt place was gorgeous with irises and these bushes with little purple blooms. I beat Josh by 3 strokes, but I’m pretty sure he let me win. 

The dreaded Golf Mountain – muahaha; but seriously, that thing was hard to walk up and down! The stairs were awful.Irises

Josh taking his golf game very serious Josh taking his golf game not so serious M y golf pose I love water falls – even if they’re fake and are a golfing hazardEllabelle kept getting in the way off my club us enjoying the fake water fall

After we golfed, we headed to the Eastgate Mall. We hadn’t been there in years. There wasn’t anything too exciting at the mall. We’ve both apparently reached the age where malls just aren’t fun anymore. We did spend a good deal of time in Toys R Us. Apparently, you’re never too old to enjoy Toys R Us. There was a Seuss book sale so we got Ellabelle 3 more Seuss books. Then, we went and visited Joe at work (Best Buy), and Josh went all squeally teenage girl because Joe’s boss is a former professional wrestler. He even almost got touched by the wrestler when he walked past Josh. Josh may have fainted if there had been skin to skin contact.

We spent our “going out” money on a special meal and went to Joe’s Crab Shack on the river for dinner. I totally schooled Josh on getting the crab meat out of his crab legs. It’s quite sad considering I don’t even eat seafood. Josh all suited up for his crabs Yoda joined us for dinner I just love the wall in the bathroom

We were headed home when Josh goes, “Let’s go to Gold Top.” I thought okay why not. Another ice cream shop to cross off the Summer Ice Cream Bucket list. Then he goes, “Isn’t Putz’s this way?” And I was like, “Yeah it is!” So we went to Putz’s instead. Gold Top will have to wait another day. Gold Top is good, but, come’on, you can’t beat Putz’s. It’s older than most people’s grandparents. 

So we each got a cone at the busy little creamy whip. I got the usual cherry dipped vanilla. Josh got peanut butter dipped chocolate in a waffle cone. We decided that the cherry dip is better than The Cones, but the peanut butter dip is not. Mmmm, I want another already Josh’s fat kid waffle cone This was a totally legit drip-stopping lick. No shame.

Putz’s has so many memories connected to it. The place has been around since 1938. Parents brought their kids there, and now they’re grandparents bringing their grandkids. You can just see the generations while you sit and enjoy your creamy delight. There’s a lot of history there. I remember my dad taking Angie and me there in the mustang. I look forward to taking Ellabelle there someday. Putz’s just rocks.

Maisy got a short walk after we got home since the whole original plan was to take her for a long walk on the sunny day. It was okay though. She spent more than enough time sniffing spots and marking poles. She was worn out and hot by the time we got home.

This weekend’s choose your own adventure was a complete success. It ended with us on the couch, just as tired as Maisy, watching Chopped All-Stars. It was a great way to bring the new work week in. We certainly need to try and do more spontaneous things in the nearby future.

A Letter to Grandma from her Sweetcake

So, this letter is being posted a day late, but I don’t think she’ll mind. 😉

April 12, 2012

Dear Grandma,

Today is your 93rd birthday. Can you believe it? 93 years ago you were brought onto this planet. It seems so long ago to someone my age. I’m not even a quarter of a century old, and you, you’re getting so close to the big century mark! Time sure flies, as I’m sure you know.

Speaking of time, this year is the 5th anniversary of your death. It’s so hard to believe it’s been 5 years since I’ve seen you, had you hold my hand, and had kisses blown to me at the door. I can still see you sitting in your chair covered with its green knit blanket and just watching the life around you. You loved to just watch all the people you love be together. We were everything you lived you life for, and I don’t think you were ever happier than when we were all together. Well, add a cup of tea and then you were set.

I know you’re happy to be with Grandpa again. I know you missed him by the way you always talked about him after he was gone. You’ve missed a lot around here. Although, I know you’ve been watching from wherever it is you and Grandpa are. It’s been almost a whole year since Josh and I got married. I know you would have been so happy that day. The last words you ever said to me were “You’re so beautiful.” I’m sure you would have repeated them that day as well. I felt the more beautiful that day than I can ever hope to feel again. I wonder if you felt the same way the day you married Grandpa, all those years ago. You would have loved having all those people together, all those people who loved your girl, who were all so happy for me and for Josh. I wore your ring that day. I wanted to have you close to me, to let you share in the special day too. Your ring; his grandma’s pearls We found a way to include you =)

I brought Josh to meet you both on Memorial Day last year. He was very polite. I believe his said something along the lines of, “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Schoenig. I’m Josh. I’m sorry I never got to meet you.” It was really hard being back there, where you’re bodies are, and knowing that that is all that’s left here of you. I know your souls are off watching all of us together, but visiting the cemetery was surprisingly hard. 

I wish you could’ve met Josh, formally that is. I know you would really like him. He reminds me a lot of Grandpa. He’s a big goof, always cracking jokes. He’d also do anything for me. He’s going to be the broad shouldered (remember you said he looked like he played football?), bad kneed grandpa someday that I always had. He’s certainly going to have the gray hair part down. I know you would have loved him just because I love him, but I have a good feeling you would’ve genuinely liked him as well. He’s good, kind, and hardworking – everything you would’ve wanted for your girl.

I was actually going to bring Josh to meet you on that Saturday before you died. I just wasn’t sure if you’d want to meet new people in the state I’m sure you were in. It’s one of those should’ve-could’ve-would’ve things I’ll live with forever. I’m sad the last time I saw you was after your surgery in the hospital. I don’t know how much time you spent in the nursing home, but I never made it out to see you. In a way, I’m kinda glad though. I’d rather have my last memory of you alive be when you still looked and acted like you. I hated seeing Grandpa the way he was in the end.

So, Josh came to meet you almost 4 years after that should’ve-could’ve-would’ve day. I wanted to make sure he got a proper introduction since he is your grandson-in-law. We also brought a little something special to meet you guys that day – my Maisy. I know how much you love little dogs, and, my girl, she would’ve melted your heart. She is the sunshine of my life right now. She can make any day better, and I know you would have loved her. My dad certainly does. She didn’t get a truly proper introduction, staying in Josh’s arms the whole time, because 1) I wasn’t sure if she was even allowed to be in the cemetery, and 2) I didn’t want her peeing on you guys (or anybody else for that matter).

Fast forward to this year, and I know you’d be so excited about your first great-grandbaby especially since it’s a girl. You always told me how much you loved you boys and how glad you were that you had all boys, but I knew. You couldn’t hide it. I knew you loved the idea of having a girl of your own. I was the super lucky one who got to be your first girl. So your girl’s girl? That makes her extra special. Plus, she’s due on your twin’s birthday! You have got to be excited about that one. PS: Thanks for not sending twins my way. Josh’s head would’ve exploded with a high risk pregnancy.

Anyways, I wanted to make sure you knew that her name is going to Ellabelle Louise. You heard right. She is being graced with your middle name. And, on top of having your middle name, I found out that Louise means Famous Warrior. It’s special because Robert and Roger also means famous (bright fame and famous spear, respectively). So her middle name connects you all.  So her name will mean Beautiful Famous Female Warrior. You helped give our girl a strong name there. She’s going to be such a loved little girl especially with two namesakes watching out over her (plus her great-grandpas). 

So, I hope you have a very happy birthday. Know that you were missed greatly today. You’re missed every day, but there are days, like this one, that are special and make it even harder to not have you here. Life goes on, and, I know, that’s how you would want it. I think the reason death is so hard on the living is not because the person is gone, but because all of the things they miss in our own lives. You are off, somewhere, with Grandpa, free of the pain and the worries that inflict themselves upon the living. You are much better off. Us though? The ones you left behind with these big gapping holes in our hearts? We deal with the thoughts of “I wish Grandma and Grandpa could be here/see this.”  You weren’t there to smile at my wedding. You won’t be here to hold your little namesake. You’ll miss her first birthday, and my dad retiring. You miss everything, and that’s what hurts the most. 

So, watch over my itty bit until it comes time for her to get here. Keep her safe and, please, help her arrival come easily with all her parts in the right places! Enjoy your day, and know that we all miss you, both of you, so much.

All my love,
your sweetcake,

Little Rays of Sunshine

I’m having a bad morning. Every joint in my body hurts. Every brain cell in my head is still asleep. My eyelids keep trying to close. I’m fighting every natural urge in my body to go home and get back in bed – and this is all after having a cup of coffee.

Luckily, I have sunshine on a rather cloudy day, and I’m not talking about the beams outside the window. Josh spent most of his morning trying to cheer me up – sending me pictures of my manimals (cause who can frown when looking at a furry sleeping animal?) Plus, who’s heart wouldn’t melt when a 31 year old man says, “Maisy is the sunshine to break up the clouds.” Well, maybe not everyone’s heart would melt, but mine sure did.

Here are my little rays of sunshine today, trying hard to break through the little rain cloud over my head: 

And, of course, can’t forget about my stinkyface, all cleaned up for his interview today (Good luck, baby!):

So I’ll let my personal sunbeams warm my cheeks and open my eyes and keep trying to solider on the best I can. Maybe I’ll be able to shake this rain cloud.

Easter weekend

Easter weekend at the Hawkins house was exactly as I had hoped: quiet and relaxing. It was nice to spend all weekend at home and not have anywhere to go – these types of weekends are so far and few between. It was kinda sad not to get to go out to brunch or have Easter dinner with family, but a weekend with just my Josh and my manimals was a welcomed change of pace.

Saturday the spare bedroom finally got unpacked. It’s only been 8 months since we’ve moved in, and, finally, all the boxes have been gone through, all the stuff has been sorted, and the room is starting to look like, well, a room. Which is good, since it will be Ellabelle’s room. I’m sad we won’t be able to get the new flooring put in before the baby shower. It’s a bit more pricey than we anticipated. We’ll figure it out though. The cleaning and organizing took a lot out of me (what doesn’t these days?) so I took a nap and we had dinner together and stayed up late. I saw midnight for the first time since, I think, our wedding. I’m an old lady who likes to go to bed early and sleep in late.

Sunday morning I hid “easter bones” for Maisy to find. She ate about 3 of them, and the rest were hidden. One bone hidden 

Another bone hidden

Enter the Great Cat/Dog Fight of 2012. Jericho was investigating the spot where one of her bones was hidden. Maisy gets very angry and possessive of her bones when it comes to the cats. She jumped down off the couch and cornered Jericho. Jericho, not liking being cornered, took a swat, and the fur went flying. Literally. I broke the two of them up, and Jericho’s fur was floating around. Maisy took a big chunk of fur right out of his cheek. They are both okay, only prides were hurt.

Sunday also meant Josh’s pancakes! He makes the best pancakes ever. He burnt my first one, so I made my 2nd and 3rd, and, somehow, his burnt one still tasted better than my perfectly browned one. I don’t know how he does it.  Mine had dried cherries in them; his had peanut butter and chocolate syrup

I tried to take a cute Easter shot of Maisy. Josh helped. She did not cooperate. The final result was not the picture I set out to get. I have plenty of blurry and sideways glances of her though. Observe: 

The final shot: 

My mom and dad brought a little Easter cheer over when they dropped off our Easter baskets. Maisy got a box of Milkbones and a baggie of t-bone chewies. They walked Maisy, wore her out, and the Poop Lady did her job for the day. So, Maisy was pooped in all ways necessary for a quiet evening.

Easter isn’t a big deal to us. It’s not a holiday that has any significant impact on our daily lives (except that the manly bunnies get to come out for a little while). It’s more about traditions that we’ve always had and will soon be passing on – like the great Easter egg debate. Josh says Easter eggs get hidden outside. I say they get hidden inside at home, outside with Grandma Fulmer. I say you hide the Easter basket as well; Josh disagrees. Next year, I will have my way. With an 8 month old that should be crawling around, inside is where the eggs will go. The year after, we can’t seem to agree. I tried to compromise – some inside, some out. Josh didn’t want to budge. Funny, he’s the atheist. At least, I was raised Catholic. My Easter rules should trump his, but I digress. We’ll just wait and see, I guess.

With the delivery of my easter basket, my sweet tooth has had plenty of sugary confections to nosh on. I’ve been obsessed with Twix the past week anyways. I’m so gonna have to go to Kroger tonight and snatch up some sale bags of the miniatures.  They are like drugs to me

Looking at the calendar this week, I’m happy to report it is blank! Yeah! That means more Maisy time. More nesting time. More Josh and me on the couch time. More time to just be. 

Just realized

I realized some things today. Nothing too life changing, but finding little things out about myself keeps things interesting.

Like the fact that I canNOT stand “light” yogurt. Give this girl the full fat stuff. It’s just so yummy the way it is. I’ve even switched back to 2% milk since I’m pregnant. Skim will be in the fridge once this little bambina pops out, but til then, give me my fat!

I also realized that while I don’t like baseball, I love Cincinnati. This city is obsessed with it’s baseball team. It’s obsessed with Opening Day. So much so, many people around here think it should be a citywide holiday. (Yeah, never gonna happen). This place bleeds red (which is really a stupid saying considering we ALL bleed red) and has Reds fever for the summer months. And then there’s me, and I hate baseball. It’s boring. Nobody hits anybody. The peanuts are fun for like 10 minutes, but then the shells you throw on the ground end up in your flip flops and stuck to your feet. That point aside, I love this city. I root for this city. I will cheer on the Red because they represent me because Cincinnati’s a part of who I am. I love this cities insanity for a sport I do not understand. I love the eclectic group of people who gathered together yesterday to celebrate this great city and the team the represents it. (Only 151 days til footballs back!)  Set up for our Opening Day lunch

Lunch – complete with red color changing GTC cup

Also, I now know that I apparently cannot control myself when it comes to sweets. I have a glucose test coming up at the end of the month to check for gestational diabetes. I told myself two days ago, “I’m going to watch my sugar intake, drink lots of water, and be ready for this test so I don’t have to worry about GD on top of everything else baby related.” Yeah, that lasted all of those two days. Without even realizing it, I had a “share” size bag of skittle (riddle flavors where the colors don’t match the color) and a can of coke for breakfast yesterday. I had a coke and cherry poptarts today. The vending machine NEVER has cherry poptarts (so I had to buy them, of course), and the pop machine gave me two cokes for the price of one. Apparently, the universe wants me to eat my sugar. Either way, I officially fail. 

Oh, and have you ever looked at the back of the poptart wrap with the microwave directions? It says to cook in the microwave for 3 seconds. Really? Well, I’ll have you know that I cook mine for a whole 25 seconds. Watch out! 

I realized that the old cliché in the movies is true: you can fall in love with the same person over and over again. I fall in love with Josh daily. I think to myself often, “What would I do without him?” He sings and dances and does anything he can to put a smile on my face. He makes me happy – “you have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself.” – “Love” by Roy Croft (read at our wedding)

Yep, I love him ❤

I realized that I must drive Josh nuts when he’s off work. I’m constantly asking where Maisy is, what’s he doing, and, the worse of all, can he send me a picture of the dog. And he does. I’d hate to be him sometimes, lol. It’s just not fair that he gets to be home with her and all her cuteness while I’m stuck at work. I need more puppy cuteness in my life. And just wait til he’s home with the baby…These are just from today

I just realized that today is Good Friday. There’s that little part of me, way deep down, that is still brainwashed by the Catholic teachings I had for 12 years (and one semester of college) that’s yelling at me for being bad and not remembering. I mean, I knew Sunday was Easter, but Good Friday? Totally slipped my mind. Lent’s almost over which means I can stop pretending I’m going to start giving something up. Maybe I’ll just say I gave up giving something up for Lent. That’ll work. And now, I’ve got the Lord of the Dance song in my head. It pops in every Good Friday. Oh, the memories you can pull out at the most random of times.

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body & they thought I’d gone
But I am the Dance & I still go on!

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He!


Alright, enough with the realizations. I have discovered and shared enough for one day. I am looking forward to lazy weekend of nothingness. No where to go. Nothing to do. Just sleeping in. Eating when we want. Watching Skinny Steve (aka CaptainAmerica) on Saturday. It promises to be a good weekend, even if the easter bunny doesn’t stop by anymore.

xo, amy

Weeks 22-23

How far along? 23 weeks and 3 days

Total weight gain/lost: +2lbs (Finally over my prebaby weight!)

Maternity clothes? Not yet

Stretch marks? Getting darker every day =(

Best moment of the week: Fake Easter

Missing anything? Hot dogs

Movement? She’s been very active lately

Cravings: nothing particular; just random things here and there

Anything making you queasy or sick? nope

Have you started to show? Got a bitty bump

Labor signs? nope

Belly button in or out? in

Wedding ring on or off? On, when I remember

Mood: today tired, but good overall

Looking forward to: getting her room all cleaned out and the new flooring down

Week 22 and 23 were eventful but still quiet. Ellabelle has got lots of goodies waiting for her out here. Josh’s dad and stepmom are fixing up an old bookcase and an old rocking horse for us that we saved from the flea market. She’s got lots of new onesies to wear once she makes her great arrival, along with a carefully picked out coming home outfit. It’s quite adorable, if I do say so myself. She’s also got a quilt made by her Great Grandma Fulm-Fulm along with a crochet blanket. She is certainly loved already.

We had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday of last week, 3/29. Her heartbeat is in the 140s which is good. I was measuring between 20 and 21 weeks when they measured my belly. However, I’ve been underweight, and she’s been pretty steady this whole time. Maybe my belly will have to catch up. Plus, to be honest, I wouldn’t be made if she came later just cause I’d almost rather her be an August baby. We don’t have any of those yet.

I took a vacation day on Friday and slept the ENTIRE day. Seriously, got up to call off, slept, ate lunch, slept, and dinner, and then, you guessed it, slept.

Saturday we ventured to Indiana for an Amish dinner. The food was good, but, by far, not the best we’ve ever had. Did get to see some puppies and a horse though.

Amish horse
My sweet new ride

Sunday was Fake Easter with Fulmers. I found 3 eggs on the hunt thanks to Aunt B-Nana letting me go before the boys. Lol. 

As always, Fulmer family events never fail to deliver. Grandma finished Ellabelle’s blankets for me so I was super excited to take them home to Josh who had to work all day.

Ellabelle’s quilt

Josh finally felt her kick the other night. It was during Rock/Cena match for Wrestlemania, so he wasn’t super excited like I had hoped he’d be. He’s very impatient with her though. He doesn’t really seem all that interested in feeling her.

I got a free photobook from Shutterfly the other day. I love when they send out free stuff! Anyways, I plan on making Ellabelle a book all about her and us waiting for her arrival, but I certainly don’t have 20 pages worth of pictures yet. So, I put on my thinking cap, and I made up a story about her kittycats instead. It’s called Bellini and the Scary Noise. What little kid wouldn’t love a book about her own pets? You can view it here:

This week we are on a tight budget. So, the weekend should be fairly quiet. Josh wants to set up at the flea market on Saturday. So, we’ll probably just lounge the rest of the time. Sounds pretty darn good to me.