Not A Real Post, Just An Update On How Pathetic I Am.

Hello Blogstalkers.

UPDATE 5/30: I was hospitalized part of this past weekend for extreme morning sickness and dehydration.  I'm feeling a teensy bit better but have been given a diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum, which is not any fun at all.  In the midst of all THAT yuck though, we did get to see our babe's heartbeat so I'm floating on a cloud right now.  A cloud covered in cracker crumbs and used tissues and five seasons of Gossip Girl (ugh I know, don't judge) but a cloud nonetheless.

I am SICK.  Like lose six pounds in the last four days and try to feed my dogs Saltines so that when Ryan counts my Saltines to make sure I am at least eating Saltines he is tricked SICK.  Like I accidentally thought about a potato today and got sick SICK.  Like my doctor is all blah blah blah hospital, stick you with needles SICK.  And also like cough cough SICK on top of that.

But I'm attempting to stay positive! Morning sickness is a good thing! You know what is gross? Sausage! So I was going to go ahead and post anyway.  But then I took the dogs outside and it's raining here and so it smelled like worms and wet dogs and now I need to be sick again for a while.

Be patient with lily-livered, melodramatic, WOE IS ME, me?

Also, never Febreze a wet dog.  It does not help.  In the words of my grandma, "It's as useless as putting a bonnet on a pig."

And now I have to go. I have to email Ryan at work and ask him to stop at the store and get me more lemonade and no more god damn potatoes.

P.S. If you have like... a full time job and two kids with soccer practice AND morning sickness and are still getting through it with a nod and a smile then you are a superhero and I stand in awe of your strength.

P.P.S.  If all of this means I'm growing a healthy little thing then I will take it ten times over.  And then I would have ten babies! Yay!

Tuesday Giveaway - Origami Owl Style

Hey Blogstalkers!

Sorry for not posting in the last couple of days but I feel AWFUL.  I wake up sick and go to bed sick.  I can't say with certainty that I feel sick whilst I sleep but I feel there is a strong possibility as last night everyone in my dream was eating burritos and I was sitting on the sidelines shouting "Keep those burritos away from me, they're making me sick!"

So that's what I've been doing.  But today is Tuesday, so a new giveaway must be started! (Real post tomorrow!)  First the winner of the Blue Monkeey giveaway is Rachel M whose five year old would just love the clips!  So if you're Rachel, email me at to claim your prize.

Moving on.  Today's contest is brought to you by Lauren (cool name right?) who works with Origami Owl.  If you're not familiar with the company, they work with jewelry, specializing in something called a Living Locket.  Basically you can create a locket using charms and metal plates and such to represent the most important things in your life, the things that really define you.

As the other Lauren says, "I believe everyone has a story to tell, and Origami Owl is the perfect way to wear your story, start a conversation with a stranger, or make a new friend."

Just to try out the process I went to Lauren's Site this morning and created my own locket (though, as always, I am in no way being paid or perked for this giveaway.)  I decided to write the story of Lauren (me) and Ryan in jewelry so first I chose a plate with the word "Always" on it, which I've always thought is like a nice way of saying forever RYAN.  Then for charms I threw in a graduation cap an engagement ring, a baby carriage and an elephant.  The first three are self explanatory, the last one is to make Ryan nervous.  

"Lauren I get the rest of the charms but why the elephant?"

"Oh you will see Ryan, you will see."

So details of the giveaway: Lauren (not me) is giving away a $65 credit to Origami Owl so one lucky reader can create their own Living Locket.

To enter, she is asking that you "Like" her Origami Owl Facebook Page and then I am asking that you leave a comment here to let me know you've done just that!  A winner will be chosen randomly as always early next week.

Have fun!

One Fish Two Fish We Granted Ryan's Wish

Hello Blogstalkers!

Since Ryan has been an absolute prince lately what with the knocking me up and all, I've been racking my brain trying to think of something special I could do for him.  But could not come up with anything that seemed just right.  Until we were flipping through the channels one Saturday trying to find a random movie to watch before going to bed and he stopped it on a shot of a group of men in a restaurant eating sushi off the body of a not-very-clad woman.  And he laughingly said something annoying about that being on his bucket list, just to bother me.  I was about to dismiss the entire episode but then I remembered that he'd said basically the same thing when I had forced him to watch the Sex And The City movie years ago and how I had been severely affronted and huffy.

And so a plan was hatched.  If he wanted to eat sushi off a semi-nude body so badly (gross gross gross) then I could give him that.  And then he could cross it off his nonexistent bucket list that he only brings up when he knows it will drive me mad and we would never have to talk about the sushi thing ever ever again.

And everyone would be happy.

So I googled pictures for inspiration.  And made notes.

More leaves than this for sure.

SO many more leaves than this.  Also Samantha you are in front of a window you silly whore. 

And then I enlisted a partner in crime because this was obviously not a one person job.

And so OJ (my husband's very best friend with whom he has a terrifyingly intense bromance) flew in from Dallas just for this.  Ok not really.  He was flying in the next day for a bachelor party anyway but he flew in a day early just for this.

We started with an arts and crafts hour in which we made not-at-all-scanty leaves and lifelike flowers for decoration.

This was the planned ensemble: (Which would be worn OVER UNDERWEAR, let's make that clear right now.)

I still was not sure it was enough leaves.

We bought cheap sushi from Jewel because we were unsure if Ryan would actually eat any of the sushi off of a person (because seriously who does that?) even if it happened to be the person he loves best in the world and then we waited until about fifteen minutes before he was due home from work and started work ourselves.

There were lots of "Ahhh OJ NO!"s and "Don't look yet!"s and "My leaves are slipping! Don't you dare try to fix them just hand me some tape and turn around!"s but eventually we got the job done.

And that is the story of how when Ryan got home and climbed the stairs he was met with this sight:

I should be a paparazzo because I am obviously excellent at getting "up the skirt" shots.
What? You didn't think it was going to be me on the table did you?

Then Ryan was all, "What the hell!?" and OJ was all "I've made you dinner darling!" and Ryan was all "Why is this happening! I don't want this." and I was all "It was on your bucket list RYAN, I was just trying to do something lovely for you."

I swear he is wearing boxers under the leaves.

Eventually Ryan came around.  I am SUCH a good wife.

UPDATE: Holly who is awesome sent me the most magnificent artwork that has now been made into a t-shirt on Zazzle.  Thank you Holly! (I'll post the actual Zazzle link as soon as it pops up in their system)

Tuesday Giveaway - Blue Monkeey Style

Hey Blogstalkers!

It's Tuesday and you know what that sometimes means - time for a giveaway!  Today's contest is especially appropriate given yesterday's announcement.  I hope you enjoy! (P.S. This is my last 'baby' themed post for a while I totally promise.  I'll be back with another pretty amazing post - if I do say so myself - on Thursday - with pictures, lots of pictures.)

Hi Everyone! I'm Renee and I run the Etsy shop Blue Monkeey.  Blue Monkeey is named for my daughter whose favorite color is blue and whose nickname is 'Monkey'.

First I would like to thank Lauren for giving me this opportunity and for thinking of me for her Tuesday giveaway series! A very brief overview of how Blue Monkeey came to be - I left the world of sales when my daughter made an early debut (by 6 weeks) 3 years ago and became a Stay at Home Mom. As my little baby started to grow hair I started buying her clips...As she got older (and was able to speak) she suddenly had an opinion on the clips and wanted them to match her outfit (example: she had a hedgehog on her shirt, had to have a hedgehog hair clip). If the clip did not match she would not wear it. 

Fast forward a bit - After getting tired of buying clips I decided to figure out how to make them myself. Soon I was making them for my daughter and family. My daughter started pre-school this year and I started getting compliments on her hair clips. After some encouragement and support from family and some positive feedback from her classmates' moms, I decided to try selling them at her school's holiday craft fair as well as opening up an Etsy shop and they were a huge hit! 

Once I opened up shop and created a Facebook Page and became public with friends, I started to get more suggestions and feedback for different products. I started off just making the felt hair clips (since that is what my little one was wearing and wanting) and hair clip holders (had to find a solution to better organize all the clips!) and have since expanded to making headbands (for kids and adults, metal and elastic) and hair elastics (for kids and adults). I love trying out new things and figuring out how to do something different (it keeps me from getting bored). What makes it all worhtwhile for me is the smile from my little one when I cave and let her have a new clip or headband :).

So enough background on the GIVEAWAY for this wonderful Tuesday! I am offering a "Summer Bundle" (see picture for actual items). In the bundle there are 6 felt hair clips in summer themes (including a patriotic flower) and an interchangeable elastic loop headband. The headband is super soft and stretchy and has a loop so you can wear it alone or attach your favorite clip to it. The hadband is hand sewn. I personally LOVE these headbands and wear them all the time! 

In addition, I would like to offer a special discount to everyone here. From now until June 18th 2013 save 15% on your entire Etsy order ( by entering coupon code TUESDAY15 at checkout. 

Thank you and good luck!


Thanks Renee!  Isn't her stuff awesome? (And SO affordable - most of her clips are under $3.50).  I pretty much wanted to buy thirty clips for myself when I first ran across her shop but Ryan was NOT all about that idea.  But now that I am having a small child I can totally stock up on hair clips.  Boys wear them too right?  I know my brother Davis did at least....though that might have been because he had four older sisters and we needed another pursuit after we got bored with painting his nails and draping his neck with feather boas....

Come to think of it I do remember my dad coming home from work and not being entirely pleased about Davisina's striking ensembles.  Hmmmm.

Anyway, her prize is fantastic and enormously suited to summer but I also wanted to show off some of my other favorites from Blue Monkeey.

Same rules as always apply.  To enter leave a comment.  A winner will be picked randomly on Monday.  May the odds be EVER in your favor Blogstalkers.

OH Happy Day

Ryan & Lauren

Sitting On A Knee


First Comes LOVE

Then (a very long time later) Comes MARRIAGE

Then Comes A Baby In A Baby Carriage.

We are so excited to welcome our first little bundle of joy in very early January 2014.**

**I'm actually due ON my 30th birthday.  We're pretty early along to be announcing this to the world but I will be writing about my pregnancy for another publication and as far as the internet goes I wanted all of you, who have been so incredibly supportive and all-together amazing, to know first.  I am so blessed in this life.  How on earth does a girl get so lucky?**

P.S. Now that there are more than 200 comments, to see yours you'll have to click on the "Load More" link at the bottom of the page.  I am beyond overwhelmed, in the most delightful way possible, at the outpouring of well wishes I have received here and on FB today.  I've never before uttered the phrase 'Aww Shucks' but it's come out of my mouth numerous times today and for that I have you all to thank.

Rules For Life - A Completely Stolen Idea

Happy Friday Blogstalkers!

First I want to let you know that next week on this here blog is going to be like, EPIC so be sure to check back.  Also OJ will be here next weekend so that bodes well for the week after that.

Today though I am completely stealing The Bloggess' Rules For Life idea.  Forgive me.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery right? (Except when one of your best friends wears the exact same dress as you to the eighth grade dance and you are flat as a board and she has boobs to spare and you feel like she's shouting at you, "What!? I was just showing you how the dress is SUPPOSED to fit.")

Lauren's Rules For Life

Buy tights/nylons one size up from what the package recommends.  You will thank me.

Listen more than you talk.

Carry hairspray, it solves most of life's problems.  Among many other things it: removes ink stains and can be used as a substitute for pepper spray. (Do not use it to remove ink stains from all over your mouth after a pen explodes in your mouth.)

Say you're sorry.  Mean it.

If you must cut your own bangs, make sure you've not had any drinks beforehand.

Even if you don't think you need to pee, never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

Just dance.

If you somehow humiliate yourself by running into a wall or accidentally slapping yourself in the face or literally slipping on a banana peel that someone has discarded in the middle of a crosswalk while you are on a second date just go with it.  Bow, curtsy, say "Ta Da!" and throw your arms up in the air, whatever.  It's much less embarrassing than crying or pretending it didn't happen.  You can cry about the banana peel thing whilst praying to the gods to please stop making your resemble nothing more than  a comic strip later when you are alone.

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. (This is from my dad.)

If you are new to working out with weights, read all of the instructions for all weight machines at the gym before using them for the first time.  Do not just assume you know what you are doing.  If you do not read the instructions and just dive right in you are not allowed to be upset when someone comes over and corrects you.  Also, never tell a trainer that is correcting you, "Oh I know, I use this machine differently than most people, to really target my heptoid muscles."  Trainers know all the muscles and they will call you on that shit.

Don't lick knives.  Even if they are covered in peanut butter.

If you learn how to ride a bike once, then you always know how to ride a bike.  The same can not be said about rollerskating.

This is a pretty standard one but, if someone is nice to you but mean to the waiter then they are not a nice person.

There are a lot of things to be said about an immaculately clean house.  One of those things is, A lot of time is wasted keeping your house immaculately clean.  I'm learning that clean enough is OK.

It's ok to take the cliche literally and totally judge an actual book by its cover.

I can almost guarantee you the words "throbbing" and "mewling" are used repeatedly in this book. (From HERE)
If at first you don't succeed, try try TRY again.  I find the fourth time is the charm for me usually.  I am very forth-right.

Learn to cook/bake one thing expertly.  Then you and everyone you know can call it your "Famous whatever".  Like...Lauren's Famous Chicken Salad or Vanessa's Famous Bruschetta.  (Before the chicken salad there was actually a delightful pork tenderloin dish.  But then there was a misunderstanding with my sister being all "Lauren and her FAMOUS LOIN are here!" during a family party.)

And lastly, don't ever be afraid to be exactly who you are.  This is dumb and cliche but I was scared to just be me for a very long time.  I'm so much happier now.  And slightly chubbier.  But hey, me likes cheese.

What would you add?  If anyone wants to tackle this idea (originally The Bloggess' idea) on their own blog, let me know and I'd be more than happy to link up to your post!

Milo Baines
Everyone On This Bus Is Drunk
Stories About My Underpants

Have a great weekend!

Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place To Raise Your Kids.

Good Afternoon Blogstalkers.

Today began like most days.  I woke up, showered and then practiced my high kicks for when there is a giant blizzard in Chicago and half of The Rockettes are stranded due to snow and the other half are injured due to trying to hurry to the theater in the snow and slipping on the ice and the producers inevitably call me to come to the rescue with a splendid one woman high kicking show.  And so I throw on my glitter leotard and carefully make my way to the theater, shaking off the grasping hands of all the fallen dancers dotting the icy path. "Get your cold ass hands off of me Tammy Lynn, this is MY day," I shout to a particularly persistent hanger on.  Finally I safely reach my destination and strangely enough the blizzard has not prevented the theater from being completely packed.  And Ryan begs me to get him a last minute ticket or let him watch from back stage and I am like, "No".

I take the stage and cue up the orchestra.  The opening bars of Elton John's "Rocket Man" fill the theater.

I'm a Rockette anndddd I'm living out my dreams up here alone!

The audience is enthralled and sits with mouths gaping and eyes misting.  Except for one rude patron who is all, "This is gonna take a long long time."  And I am like "Alright, who the fuck let Ryan in?"

And then that is the end of that fantasy because Ryan has ruined it, just like he ruins all of my fantasies.

So to punish him I begin to google picture of babies so I can send him his weekly Don't You Want A Baby? email.

But then I have a brilliant idea.  Instead of sending him pictures of random babies, which is clearly not working, I decide to send him a picture of what OUR baby would look like.  It will obviously be so cute that he will not be able to resist, I tell myself.

So I upload both of our pictures and then morph them together.  I wait with bated breath eager to see the angel babies that have sprung from my internet loins.

I can tell they are my babies because of the large foreheads (to make room for the large brains) and the fact that one of them is wearing a costume.  Then I figured that if Ryan's and my children are pretty adorable then Justin Timberlake's and my babies would be like blindingly gorgeous.  I decide to test out this theory.

What the hell.

I suppose I shall just stay married to Ryan.

Guess Who's Back, Back Again. Lauren's Back, Tell A Friend.

Hola Blogstalkers,

Hope you didn't miss me too much in my sojourn away from all things internet.  It was a much needed break.  One that gave me time to decompress and get ready to attack this blog with a renewed vigor.

Anyway, if you've been around these parts for a while then you know that Ryan and I started dating all the way back in high school.  And he was all popular athlete with his varsity letters and his hemp necklace and his free nachos courtesy of his adoring lunch lady fans.  And I was all science nerd with my many Science Olympiad medals (which I totally wore to school the Monday after the state tournament even though no one else on the team did.  I was like Queen of the Nerds, not because they respected me or listened to me or because I was the smartest but because I had the most regal medal-covered nerd costumes.)  We were not a match made in Seven Minutes In Heaven.

So as you can imagine our high school experiences were very different.  Ryan, because he was cool or something, didn't even carry a backpack.  He got by with a graphing calculator and a pencil tucked into the pouch of his hoodie.  Whereas my backpack was one worthy of warnings to parents on the nightly news, a veritable health hazard.  It weighed approximately forty pounds and contained all of my textbooks plus a five subject notebook for each class as well as the brown bag lunch my daddy made me since no one gave me free nachos.  I had to hunch halfway over to be able to lug that thing around the halls of our ridiculously large school.**

**Our high school was enormous.  Like we had an Olympic sized pool and approximately ten different  actual buildings including an ice rink enormous. 

Also, Ryan was excellent at gym class and I was...I would say less than excellent but that doesn't quite grasp it...What is the opposite of excellent?  Yeah.  Less than that.

Unfortunately gym was mandatory for three of the four years of high school.  And it was a regular class so getting anything less than an A+ would have destroyed my GPA.  Luckily, though I was not great at somersaults and jumping jacks (true story, once I hit myself in the ear so hard it bled a little and I had to go to the nurse) I was fantastic at gym teacher espionage.  That is not the correct word.

So without further ado, here is a partial list of how I managed to get an A+ in every gym class I ever took without even being able to stand on one foot.

--As my school housed an ice arena, all students were required to take a two week ice skating unit.  Worse than that, 20% of your grade was based on a skills checklist.  I spent the first week watching, usually with my butt and/or face on the ice, while everyone else checked off their skills.  Once I fell sort of both backwards and forwards at the same time and ended up in a half split with my arms in the air and shouted "Mrs T. Look at me! This has GOT to be a skill!" But sadly it was not.  So I may or may not have gotten a doctor's note (from my dentist who was a close personal friend and lived next door) saying I had weak ankles and should be kept off the ice as much as possible.  I was allowed to take a written skills test.  I'm sort of ashamed of this but in my defense if I had continued that unit I almost certainly would have broken my ankle or sliced off the tip of my index finger.

This is a professional ice skater doing exactly what I did except her arms don't look as good.  It was definitely a skill.
--While playing coed badminton with one of my best friends as a partner and the opposing team in cahoots, on the day we were being monitored by the teacher, I claimed I had broken my glasses the day before and thus could not see very well (I was wearing contacts).  Every time I missed the birdie I would say, "OH! If only I had my glasses!" And my very good friend would say "It's true, you should have seen her yesterday, she couldn't miss."  And the girl on the other side would be like, "I for one am glad she broke her glasses yesterday, maybe we'll actually win for once!" We may have taken it a little bit too far because I was approached by the Girls Badminton coach the following week to ask if I wanted to try out for the team.

--I always volunteered to lead the stretches at the beginning of class.  As I am somewhat double-jointed I can appear to be very flexible.  I would say things like "Ok now clasp your hands behind your lower back.  If you're extremely flexible and good at gym class like me, you might want to take this stretch further by pulling your arms up over your shoulders and head.  Oh? Only I can do that? It must be because I am excellent at gym and should get an A+ no matter what my performance at volleyball today."

-- Freshmen year when my male teacher was holding my weak ankles and counting how many sit ups I could do... After two sit ups I accidentally umm.. farted a teensy bit and then burst into tears.  He was all flustered and said "Let's just say you did 50 sit ups," which was great because honestly I was done at two.  I then considered something like this approach in the following years and even practiced sit ups at home while making fake noises with my mouth and then fake tears with my eyes but couldn't bring myself to do it again.  Luckily all the practicing meant I was surprisingly good at sit ups all of a sudden.  

--Junior year I convinced my teacher to let me run two four minute half miles on consecutive days instead of one eight minute mile in one day.  Then I got a tee shirt from the President of the United States himself for being an excellent runner.  Or something like that.  It looked like this.  I wore it to future gym classes instead of my gym shirt to alert my teachers that I was an excellent athlete and not one they needed to watch but could just give an A+.

I'm sure there are more, I know I got extra credit for wearing cowboy boots to Line Dancing once for example but I have to go eat a chicken and then take a shower so I'll cut it off here.

Miss me?

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