Saturday, May 28, 2011


Jason officially graduated last night as a Journeyman Electrician.  He shook hands, posed for photos, and received his certificates (as well as a pretty snazzy pocket protector).   

I keep wondering how the conversation between the guys standing at the front of the room went…something much like a conversation about who has the embarrassing mom in Junior High …”Dude!  Whose wife is the pregnant one with braces?  Ya know- the sweaty one with cankles, wearing high heels…She hasn’t stopped taking pictures or smiling like a goon since we got here!”  Cue Jason’s “I don’t know, but I bet her husband is wishing he would have left her at home.”
I wanted to look good.  I wore a “little” black maternity dress and heels and yes, even panty hose.  My hair was done (thanks to my seriously patient sister-in-law, Kristen).  My makeup was on.  For the first time, I was meeting people in Jason’s other life, his work life.  I wanted these important people to not do a shocked double-take when they saw me standing next to this…
Seriously, my husband looks like he just stepped off the pages of freaken GQ magazine (granted, this is his blue steel face…lol).
Anyway, the real point of this post…I couldn’t stop grinning.  I’m so ridiculously proud of him.  Over five years of hard work and homework and night classes and tests…he rocked it.  When I think back to how our relationship started, I’m not even sure how we got to where we are now.  It doesn’t matter really, because where we are is absolutely perfect. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back Off!

OK…make way for the hormones.  What is it about pregnancy that brings out the rude side in a lot of people?  Is there a sign hanging from my baby bump… “Say whatever pops into your head!  I’m pregnant!  It’s allowed!”?  Somehow, pregnancy triggers people, often complete strangers, to suddenly feel comfortable with randomly commenting on your size, your looks, or your parenting choices.  Like I said, maybe it’s the hormones making me extra sensitive; maybe it’s that something out of the norm like pregnancy makes it difficult for people to make socially acceptable small talk.  I don’t know.  But since most of the time I’m not the kind of person to give an honest response (and return the favor of making them as uncomfortable as they have just made me), I’m going to do it here.
Here are some examples of the things that have been said to me this pregnancy, including my actual response and the one I wish I had the nerve to express…
Comment:  “You’re enormous!” 
Response:  Smile, uncomfortable laugh, nod in agreement.
I should have said, “How do you get your foot in your mouth like that?” or “My excuse is pregnancy…what’s yours?”
Comment:  “Are you having twins?”  (This is really just another way of saying, “You’re huge!”)
Response:  Smile, uncomfortable laugh, “That would be quite the surprise.”
How uncomfortable would it have made this already uncomfortable situation if I would have started sobbing and said, “Do you really think I look fat?!”?  Maybe I should have just said, “Hmm, I wasn’t aware you are the authority on pregnant women and size.”
I started to write more of the comments, but I’m realizing they are just different ways to say, “You’re large!” (i.e. “You’re due any day now, right?” or “You always carry more weight in your thighs and rear end with a boy.”)  My response is always the smile and uncomfortable laugh. 
The thing is some days I might feel huge, without the confirmation of a stranger.  But most days, I’m in love with my baby bump, and I’m savoring the beauty that is pregnancy.  I don’t really need anyone to try to squash those feelings like bug.  So if you’re struggling with what’s acceptable to say to a pregnant woman, ask yourself, could I say this to someone who isn’t pregnant without offending them?  If the answer is no and you still choose to comment, be ready.  And seriously, if you pass a pregnant woman, don’t be afraid to tell her she’s glowing or that she looks adorable.  Those are the comments she deserves and most likely is not hearing often enough.
OK, these swollen feet are stepping down off of the soap box now.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baby Cake!

Check out this weekend's cake...what a fun way to announce to coworkers that you're expecting (and it was super fun to make too!)...
Congrats Deana, John, and Big Sister Jana!  :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bedtime Stories

As a mama, I’m a firm believer in the power of a schedule.  I'm not saying that a schedule like ours would work for every child...maybe it won't work for Cohen at all, but for our family, at this point, it works.  I should probably expand on this.  I’m not raising a robot.  It’s not really about doing things at exactly the same time every day... it’s about doing things in the same sequence.  I think routines help my lil’ bean feel safe. Knowing what to expect next helps her make sense of her little world, and therefore, she’s more cooperative.  We have yet to have experience a bedtime struggle.  I think she knows the order of events and has time to prepare herself for bedtime, because she knows it comes after her bath and a story.  She’s awake when we leave the room, but not at all upset that we’re leaving.   I should also add that I think they are even more effective for Addy when she has some control of them (Which pajamas would you like to wear?  Which book should we read tonight?).  Anyway, here’s the routine.  Every night, usually between 7:30 and 8:00, I give her a bath.  She plays with her mermaids and drinks from her tea cups (“Don’t worry, mama.  It’s just pweetend”).

Jason helps get her out of the tub (given my current state) and we take her to her room to get dressed for bed.
Like I mentioned, we let her pick out the book we read each night.  Lately, the book of choice has been one from the compilation of Curious George stories.  We tuck her in to bed and lay next to her, me on her left, Jason on her right, which is why I read the left page, and he reads the right. 
When we’ve finished the story, Jason says his “goodnight” and turns out the light.  I stay in bed with her every night for a while.  Maybe this is more for me than it is for her, either way, it’s one of the times with her that I’ll always cherish.  I stroke her hair and search for the slightest bit of “baby” still left in her features.  I would normally just whisper to her about what we did that night or what we’d be doing the next couple of days.  Sometimes I would get all emotional and tell her about the day she was born or the things I want for her future. 
One night a couple of weeks ago, I started telling her all about being a big sister… “You’re already accomplishing things I haven’t.  You’re going to be the best big sister.  You can teach baby brother how to color with crayons and go down the stairs the safe way and share his toys.  He’s so lucky to get to come be with you, but you will always be my first baby.  You will always be the one who made me a mama.  I love you…”    
She loved it.  Much to my surprise, the next night she rolled over, put her little hand on my face (mimicking what I do to her) and said “Big Sister?”  She wanted to hear it all again.  She has asked every night since.  I usually run through the things she did that day and tell her how she’ll be able to teach them to Cohen.  It melts me every time to see the proud grin on her face when she hears about each thing he'll get to learn from her.  She likes to hear it so much that a few mornings ago, when I went to get her out of bed, the very first thing she said to me was “Big Sister, again?”
I'm realizing that while she may not completely understand how her life is going to change, she's going to be just fine.  She's going to be great really...and besides, a see-saw doesn't quite work the way it should without a lil' friend on the other end....

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Love.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


"Baby Brudder's Room" is officially ready for him!  And while we're unveiling things, we're going to go ahead and let the cat out of the bag that it's now officially "Cohen's Room."  :)

Before we know it, there's going to be a tiny little body in this crib, his favorite books on the bookshelf, and one completely blissed out mama in this chair, reading stories to her two little beans.

I've already stocked his dresser with all of his teeny-tiny clothes (seriously, Addy was once that small??).

Yes, the changing table is already stocked with some diapers (but not much else).

Here are some of the other details...

including some simple canvas paintings I did to complement his rockin' Woodstock one...

and a frog piggy bank picked out by Addy...and of course, an empty picture frame, ready for our first photo as a family of four.  I promise to just keep this post about the room...will not get mushy, will not cry. 

I have one seriously patient husband...he spent hours moving furniture around this room.  I totally owe him.  On to the next nesting project!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

by popular demand...

After a no-less-than-exhausting night Friday night (aka 5 hours sleep) and some seriously swollen ankles on Saturday, I finished a wedding cake and groom's cake.  It was overwhelming and at the same time, a welcome challenge.  Oh the challenge.  Needless to say, when it came time for the delivery, I quickly snapped a few pictures in the flourescent lights of the hall.  These aren't the most flattering pictures, but the bride has assured me that I will be getting some better ones as soon as she does.  Anyway, here they are...a replica of their new boat to surprise the groom, complete with him at the wheel, her on skis, and their two pups to supervise and a simple red velvet, fondant covered wedding cake.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Jason graciously let me steal an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning to help make up for my lack of sleep Friday night.  I came down stairs to this...

Yep.  A fire in our fireplace and our 8 man tent in the living room.  Girlfriend was lovin' it.  Seriously?  Don't you wish your dad was that cool? ;)

Have a great week and stay of the nursery to come before the end of the week!  Love!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Jason had to make it the Mother's Day CD into a video for me to be able to post it, but for anyone it is.  :) 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

the remedy

So, I’ve been pretty M.I.A. this week.  Frankly, I’ve been working my tail off.  Anyway, this post is probably going to be a little lengthy and all over the place…hang in there…
I'm walking away from this week knowing a lot more about myself, but also a lot more about my husband.  I'm amazed by how sometimes he seems to know what I need before I do.  For example, I woke up in the middle of the night last week, with one of those AWFUL pregnancy calf cramps.  It was the first time I've experienced one with this pregnancy.  Anyway, somehow, he knew to grab my leg from under the covers and start kneading it back to normalcy.  Somehow, my writhing and wincing - but no words- was all he needed.  He sent me text messages from our bed as I was on my way home from work - "What can I get ready for you to eat?  I know you're tired, but you need to eat."  He bought me Dunkin Donuts decaf coffee grounds so that I could make my own iced coffee in the morning.  He knew that I needed those extra 10 minutes with Addy in the morning because I may or may not have made it home before she was snug in her bed.  To top it all off, when I got home Friday, exhausted and overwhelmed, he had the remedy - my Mother's Day gifts, two days early.  I’m reminded this week that he’s got my back.  He knows what I need sometimes before I do.  Don’t get me wrong…he still called me Nadia Sulman this morning because my lips are so swollen from the stress-induced canker sores I have.  It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but most of the time, when I need a butterfly or two…he’s got me covered.  Besides, who would want rainbows and butterflies all the time? 
Anyway, this weekend was perfect.  My Mother's Day gifts were perfect.  I got her first CD, complete with original cover art (an awesome finger painting) and 3 minutes of her sweet voice.  This is what you get when you have a husband who’s an incredible musician and a great father - a CD that starts with "Happy Mudders Day!  I Wuv You, Mama!" and is followed by her favorite parts of her favorites songs (including You are My Sunshine, in which the skies are not "gray" they are "great").  Seriously.  Could not stop this crying mama.

*Sidenote - I cannot seem to figure out how to post the audio file, but if you see me in person, I'm most likely carrying the CD around with me and would be happy to share.  :)

He gave me the serious belly-laughs induced by this…
On Saturday we went to the Beaux Arts Festival in downtown Davenport.  
the arts...

the summer-time street food...

girlfriend ran the streets with her new butterfly bubble wand...

I got to watch the girl I love being loved by the ones I love.  :)
she made me some new fridge art...

I enjoyed a relaxing Mother's Day and even managed to get a headstart on the wedding cake I have coming up on Saturday and work on my girl’s second birthday party.  It was just a good weekend.  I hope all of you mothers are feeling as wonderful as I am this Sunday evening.  You deserve every bit of it.  Love.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Folding whites is the worst...mainly because of all the socks that end up without a mate (this volume seems to have increased since Addy has become fascinated with our laundry chute).  This, my friends, is how you make folding whites the best…
dress-up (and re-dirty) some of Daa-Daa’s clothes.  This girl is lovin it!  J
With work being as crazy as it is for me right now, let’s just say…yay for having time with Addy and Jason, even if it involves laundry.  
Let's get to the weekend...