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Cult of Domesticity

The exciting adventures of a 40-something in suburbia.

Updated: 2018-03-06T02:05:36.418-05:00


Old Socks and American Girls


D brought a pair of worn socks down to the kitchen this morning asking if I wanted to do anything with them or if he should throw them out.  I told him I would stick them in the bag of ripped and stained clothes that I drop in the clothing recycle bin.  But of course my crafty little brain started thinking about what I could make with them.  M is really in to playing with her American Girl dolls and I have been crafting for them.  I decided the socks would make cute skirts for "the girls".   Here's what the first finished skirt looks like on Grace:I took some pictures as I made the other skirt.  It's not a tutorial, just a few step by step pictures that give an idea of the simple process. First, find a sock.  We have a lot of orphan socks around here, but these were a worn out pair. The size of this ribbed men's Smart Wool sock worked well. So I cut the ribbed part off and saved the foot in case I come up with a project for that.I turned the sock inside out and pulled the top part of the sock up over the doll's waist to make a mini skirt that just barely covered her bum.  The bottom part of the sock became the hem of the skirt and I folded it up so I could hem it.  It was really important to hem it on the doll so that I knew it would be able to stretch over her legs.I'm not the most careful or patient seamstress, so here's what the hem looks like.  It's okay, because I'll turn that skirt right-side-out and pull the part I hemmed up as the waist.Katherine would be so embarrassed if she knew you could see her panties in these pictures! Here are the finished skirts on Grace and Katherine.  They are also sporting custom t-shirts with felt designs.   My daughter would probably narrate what they're doing in this way (because she watches a lot of YouTube videos about morning routines, etc.):"Grace and Katherine are all ready for a day out.  They're wearing adorable brown knit skirts and the most adorable custom t-shirts.  Grace is wearing cute brown shoes and Katherine is wearing purple flats to match her tee.  They've packed their tote bag and are ready to go."The shirt on Katherine (on the right) was made using an American Girl Crafts kit.  The cupcake tee on Grace is a t-shirt I bought on Amazon embellished with a cupcake made from a pattern in the same AG craft kit.  The dogs are glued onto Katherine's shirt but the cupcake on Grace's shirt is affixed with velcro so my daughter can switch it out for other designs like the heart in the first picture of the post (and below on Grace's hand).So, if you've got an old sock and a little time you too could make a doll skirt.  The skirt can also be worn as a cute tube top.  This is my first American Girl Doll post, but there will probably be more.  My daughter loves her dolls and both of us enjoy crafting![...]

Not Thirty-Something Anymore!


I haven't touched this blog in ages, but I have decided that I might start writing again.  I opened up the blog and what first struck me was the subtitle about being a 30-something in suburbia.  I'm still in suburbia, but I'm a 40-something now!  So many changes since I used to keep this blog!  For anyone who might have followed me on the past and still has me in an RSS feed, here's a visual update of "the nursery" closet which now belongs to my 6 year old daughter M.

A couple of those neatly labeled bins remain (not so neatly labeled anymore), and the color remains, but now it's a reflection of her personality!

Oh, and there are now some horses living in that room too...

And if anyone recalls that craft room/office project I was going to's where we are now:

Life kind of got in the way of tackling that project.  This is M's desk...she's a crafty girl like her momma (and takes after me in the neatness department too).

I'm working on a long story that I'm hoping will somehow find it's way to Julia Louis Dreyfus for inclusion as a side story in may have it's first audience on this blog...wait and see.

Putting thoughts on paper


This morning in the car I was thinking about writing to work through a lot of the things that are running around in my head.  Then I remembered that once upon a time I wrote a blog, and it still exists...wonderous thing this Internet.  So here I am, feeling like a very different person than I did when I started this blog many years ago.

The snapshot update is this:

My son "E" is nearly 5 years old.  Last time I posted he would only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Now he only eats peanuts (I exaggerate, but only very slightly..he actually eats about 6 additional crunchy foods).  He's a love.  I love him, and I worry about him...a lot.

My daughter "M" is almost 3 years old.  She's like a little version of me.  All feistiness and fun one minute, and crying into her blankies the next minute.  I love her a lot, but I don't worry about her as much.

The house is different too.  We've gotten new siding, a new roof, an awesome new deck and porch, and I finally re-painted the front door.  The little perennial garden on the side of the house is big and out of control.  There are no vegetables growing this year, the chipmunks ate the strawberries.

Cooking doesn't happen much at my house any more.  On occasion I bake gluten and dairy free treats, and once in a blue moon I cook a real dinner for my family.  Food has lost much of it's pleasure for me because my little boy doesn't is a source of stress, not of pleasure.  Grocery shopping makes me feel depressed as I look at food and think to myself, "is there any chance he'll eat this?"

As I write this, my heart feels heavy and my eyes are just barely not crying.  I've had depression for a very long time (probably always, but it didn't really rear its head until college), and I'm in a depressive stage right now.  It will always does.  I just have to ride it out.  In the past when things have gotten really hard I've just quit.  Quit jobs, quit relationships.  I've headed back to where I feel most parents.  But I'm a grown woman with a family of my own now and quitting is not an option.

I'm not sure who will read this or whether anyone will, and I don't think that matters (maybe I'm still in some people's RSS feeds).  The writing itself feels good.  And D (my husband) if you're reading, I will talk to you about the things I post here so they are not a surprise, but sometimes things come out much easier for me when I write than they do when I talk.  So ask me about what you've read...I might forget to tell you (or think I've already told you) since thoughts don't stay in my brain very long.

There are lots of blogs out there about lots of things and lots of them are awesome and inspiring.  Sometimes this blog will be like that.  If you're new, look back at my old posts and you'll see where I've been.  I'll get back there.  Maybe not to the same things...but to other things that are creative and productive or just plain silly.  I remember that writing this blog made me do things just so I could write about them.  Maybe that's not the healthiest reason to do things, but if it motivates me then that's good.

So that's that.  "Welcome back," I say to myself.

it's been a long time


I haven't even thought about this blog in a long time, but today I accessed it in order to copy some recipes that I knew I had typed on here. So much has changed since I last posted. I now have 2 children--E is 28 months old and my daughter M is 4 months old!

I rarely cook any more since E doesn't eat anything but peanut butter and jelly and D is rarely home for dinner. I'm still dabbling at crafts, but now they're toddler crafts involving things like pom poms, feathers, and glitter glue. Today I helped E make valentines for his cousins and I used tissue paper and elmer's glue to decoupage a clear plastic plate that I saved from the recycling bin.

Of course, I have to add some pictures, but I don't really want to post pics of the kids, so here goes:

E drew this on D's iphone:

E refused to walk in the snow, so I made this "snow muppet" for him:

This is the kind of "cooking" I've been doing lately (yup, that's play-doh):


8 1/2 months!


Baby E is now 8 1/2 months old, has 4 teeth, sits up, feeds himself cheerios, babbles with consonant sounds, holds board books and turns the pages, combat crawls, and charms the pants off of me every day!Here's a picture from Mother's Day when we went to the "beach" at NARA Park in Acton.And here's a picture I took of Baby E when I got out of the shower one day. I put him in his crib to play while I showered, and I guess he was so pooped he decided to take a nap. He takes after his mommy with the ability to sleep at the drop of a hat!So, I used to think D was a bit of a (blanking on the word I really want to us) freak because he didn't want his picture anywhere on this blog, but the Baltimore Sun recently grabbed a picture off of my friend Wendy's blog and now it's all over the place (it's a picture of our friend holding Wendy's baby). So, any of my blog reading friends (if anyone still has this in their RSS feed/google reader), I now think it's wise that the only pictures of Baby E on here don't show his face.Here's one last picture of baby E's little hand...And what would my blog be without garden pictures.... here's how it's looking this year...A rhododendron the deer didn't entirely eat.This year's tomatoes...SunGold and Green ZebraA caterpillar on my little ornamental tree...I hand picked 252 of them off the tree and didn't even make a dent.The left side of the front of the house after I planted a new spirea and D spread mulch. The right side is still a disaster.[...]

8 Weeks...


Yesterday was the 8 week anniversary of E's birth. What a difference 8 weeks makes. I was just looking through the pictures from his first day and he looks so incredibly little!! E was 6 1/2 lbs when he was born, and if I had to guess, I would say he's 11 lbs now (we'll find out on Monday). He now smiles like crazy and makes really cute noises. He's also capable of sleeping for 4 hours straight...I wish it was more than that, but I'll take 4 whenever I can get it!During the past few weeks we've developed somewhat of a rhythm. I wouldn't call it a routine yet, but we're getting there. D gets up with E around 5:30 or so and feeds him, changes him, and plays with him/falls asleep on the couch with him until about 7:30. At that time, D puts E in bed next to me and gets ready for work. Sometimes E will sleep with me for another 2 hours, sometimes only a 1/2 hour, but I just love cuddling with him.When E wakes up I feed him and change him and usually change him out of his PJs into his clothes. Then we watch some Ellen (live, or on the DVR) while I have coffee and breakfast. I usually do a quick email check and double check the calendar to make sure I haven't forgotten something we're supposed to do that day (I LOVE Google calendar). If we don't have anywhere we have to be, we just hang out and play on his playmat, or he snoozes in my lap while I watch some TV (I record 2 episodes of M*A*S*H and 1 episode of Jeopardy! everyday so that I always have something on hand to watch if E's fussy and just wants to be held).We try our best to get out of the house every day. We'll either do some errands, meet up with other moms and kids, or get out for a nice walk around the neighborhood. These days I try to get back to the house by 1pm because E is taking somewhat predictable afternoon naps. While E sleeps, I do some laundry, cooking/baking, write thank yous, clean up/organize my piles of stuff, work on things for my Friends and Newcomers Club, or sometimes even take a nap.Towards the end of the afternoon we usually end up back on the couch, often catching up on things we've recorded on the DVR. I never watch the news, though I probably should sometimes. I'm in a media vacuum--I know nothing about things happening in the world unless Ellen talks about it. I used to listen to NPR faithfully on my way to and from work so I was always up on what was happening, but I never seem to remember to turn the radio on when I'm at home.When D gets home from work, I give E to him so they get to spend as much time as possible together. Then I go into full on dinner cooking mode. I am so grateful to have my hands free that I have been making pretty good dinners the past few weeks. Nothing is gourmet or takes longer than about 1/2 hour to make, but we're no longer eating Mac and Cheese out of a box on a regular basis. I've also gotten better about grocery shopping once a week with a list. I never really would do that before. I typically would pick things up here and there, or would buy way more than I needed at Trader Joe's or the produce market and never had things that would make a full meal. Having to take E with me everywhere means I like to do as much one-stop-shopping as I can, and I covet drive-thus. Today I had Dunkin Donuts coffee for the 2nd time since E was born because none of the Dunkin's near us have drive-thrus and I don't want to get the baby out of the car just to get a coffee!So, after dinner I usually try to get some laundry done (which reminds me, I have to put some in the dryer now) and then spend time on the computer doing email, organizing/editing pictures, checking on my meetup groups, or working on WFN stuff. I tend to get lost in an online time warp and the next thing i know it's 11pm and time for me to go to bed!!! The next day it starts all over again.I have to say, I am the happiest I have ever been. Being a stay-at-home mom with a wonderful husband and an adorab[...]

I Liked this stuff enough to save it for 20+ years...


I went through some boxes in my garage today while E was sleeping. The boxes came from my parents' basement and are things that were in my room/closet at some point. I'm thinking I must have boxewd all of these up before entering high school because there were some real treasures in there! The pottery items are all my original designs from middle school...I also found a book of poetry I wrote 20 years ago--very deep, dark stuff...worthy of a Pulitzer! Most of this stuff went into the garbage (I thought about Freecycling it, but really, who would want this crap?), but I did hold on to some of these objects d'art!

I look like my mother...and my grandmothers!


The other night I was catching up with my Google Reader and one of the bloggers mentioned the site E was occupied sleeping with D on the sofa, so I spent a little time creating a whole family album using the site. Here are a few of me...

In this one I look like my mom's high school yearbook picture:


Here I look like my father's mother:

And here I look like my mother's mother:


Six Weeks!


The past 6 weeks have been the fastest of my life! It's hard to believe E is already 6 weeks old. I guess time passes quickly when you don't get more than a few hours of sleep at a time.

There have been so many times that I have thought about blogging, and had observations or thoughts that I wanted to blog about, but it sure is hard with a newborn. I think I'll try to get in 1 post a week from now on...even if it's just a few words.

It's time to feed E and then go get my flu shot!

Baby Feet


10 Days Old


It's hard to believe that little E is already 10 days old! The past week has flown by in a blur of feeding, changing diapers, pumping milk, receiving visitors, and not getting much sleep. E appears to be thriving, and when we went to the pediatrician on Tuesday he had just about regained his birth weight. I had a fabulous lactation consultant come to the house the day we were discharged from the hospital and that was definitely a good move. I had done pretty well with nursing at the hospital, but the lactation consultant helped me with my latch, gave me a feeding plan, and gave me a pump to rent. Interestingly, this lactation consultant, recommended by my pediatrician, taught the breastfeeding class that D and I attended at the hospital the night before E was born--in fact, I was timing contractions during the class.

I'll write more about the week leading up to E's birth and his birth story in the next few days, but for now I've got to sleep. Here's a preview of what went on at our house in the week leading up to E's birth (this picture is from the day before he was born):





I took this photo the day before my son was born. I'm not sure how it ended up B&W like this, but I think it looks pretty cool.

It's A Boy!!


My son E was born on Friday, September 12th at 10:53am! He's 6lbs 8.5oz and 19.5". He arrived a week early and I was completely unprepared for an early arrival--I was counting on him being late. In any case, he's here and D and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Seeing how D is always concerned about privacy, I won't be revealing his name or showing pictures here (except for this first one).

Nursery--A Work in Progress


A few weeks ago I was having my recurring anxiety dreams--I'm in high school and I have a paper due and I haven't read the book yet, or I'm in a play and I don't know my lines. These dreams are pretty transparent in meaning--I'm feeling unprepared. The lack of preparedness I was feeling had to do with not being ready for the baby--emotionally I'm ready, but as far as "stuff" I wasn't feeling ready at all. Now I know that practically speaking babies need very little "stuff"--just somewhere to sleep, somewhere to be changed, a car seat, something to wear, and that's about it. But of course these days we've been convinced we must have lots of special baby stuff, and I of course feel compelled not only to have it, but to make sure it's cute!Now, when these anxiety dreams started creeping in, I had already had one shower thrown by my sister and my friend Wendy, both experienced mothers. I received a car seat, a pack n' play, and clothes so really at that point the baby's basic needs were going to be met. But I still didn't have anything for the nursery. I had bought fabric for the nursery ages ago, but didn't have a crib, changing table, place to put all of those little clothes, etc. I knew the crib was coming (it was delivered last Saturday), and we were still trying to figure out the changing table situation (we ended up getting a hand-me-down from a neighbor), but at least I could get started on the closet.I had purchased some bins at HomeGoods but didn't have nearly enough for all of the stuff in the closet. Target to the rescue! I bought 2 Closetmaid bins, and then sent D to Lowes for some more. They fit perfectly in the closet and are the right size for all of the different categories of stuff. I made prompt work of filling them and labeling them. I felt much better after that and the anxiety dreams ended! The baby's closet is very well organized (at least until the baby actually arrives).About a week ago my neighbors brought us their changing table and it's perfect. The baby's room is very small and is made smaller by having one wall entirely taken up by a closet and another entirely taken up by windows. Wall space to put furniture against is at a premium. This changing table, in addition to being cute, is nice and small.Fast forward a week and we've got a crib. Now the room is looking much better! After a second shower thrown by my mother-in-law and D's grandmother I have just about everything I need!!! I've got crib sheets and mattress pad, changing pad cover, etc. Yesterday was my first day as a stay at home mom (to be) and I washed a ton of baby stuff and got to work putting the nursery together. Here are the results:Now I know you experienced mom's are thinking, "she'd not going to want that there," "that will never work," or "I would be easier to have X over there," and I know that when the baby actually arrives and I start using the room I'll be moving stuff around. For now, it's just nice to have a room that looks ready for a baby to come home to. Tomorrow my mom is coming up and we're going to make the valance and crib skirt. This weekend D and I will hang the Bunny My Honey picture and the ABC needlepoint that my grandma had made for me when I was born.[...]

My belly


I'm 38 weeks (give or take), but I don't look nearly big enough to be having a baby in the next few weeks. My doctor says the baby is probably about 6.5lbs and my weight gain is good (26lbs total), but my belly just doesn't look that big. I keep telling myself it's because I'm tall so the baby has more vertical space and doesn't need to stick out as far in front.

Here's a picture from August 31st (it looks like I'm sticking out my belly with my hands, but I'm just holding up my shirt):

And here are 2 from September 7th (heads are chopped off because D likes to be anonymous):

(image) (image)

More cooking--Blueberry Cobbler and Macaroni and Cheese


(image) tAfter the wild success of the banana bread, I was back into cooking. The next day I went to my favorite produce market and picked up a nice quart of blueberries with the intent to make muffins. Instead, I decided to make Blueberry Cobbler which I had made a number of times last summer. The recipe I use is fabulous and is from America's Test Kitchen 1996 Cookbook. It can also be found on the ATK website, but you have to have a membership to access it (current season recipes are free, back recipes require a paid subscription). D and I finished off the cobbler pretty fast, and I ended up making another one a week later with wild Maine blueberries which we brought to his cousin's house.

On Labor Day, I set to work cooking again. Two women in my newcomers club had recently had babies so I wanted to make meals for them, and also to start stocking my own freezer. I chose to make Macaroni and Cheese because pretty much everyone likes it (and it's usually a hit with toddlers, which both of these women have). I use the recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It's a classic baked mac and cheese with a white sauce and bread crumbs on top. It's delicious and freezes well. It's very similar to the mac and cheese my mom makes, though I think she usually uses just cheddar. I do about 1/2 cheddar and 1/2 gruyere, sometimes emmentaler. Really whatever cheese is available works--I haven't done this, but it's probably really yummy if you use all of the bits and pieces of cheese leftover from a cheese platter after a party!(image)

Cooking again--Banana Bread


After a lapse of about 9 months, I have finally started to do some cooking again! My first foray back into the kitchen was to bake 2 loaves of banana bread one Friday afternoon. I baked the 2 loaves (one with chocolate chips) and left them on the counter to cool while I met up with a friend. When I came home about 3 hours later, the chocolate chip loaf was almost entirely gone, and D was lying on the loveseat holding his belly. Yes, my husband had eaten an entire loaf (just about) of chocolate chip banana bread! D is generally a very healthy eater, but he does have his weaknesses--if there are sweets, baked goods, or Ben & Jerry's in the house he has no control over the quantity he eats! Whole pints of Ben & Jerry's disappear in a matter of minutes, a box of thin mint girl scout cookies might last 2 days, and banana bread vanishes in a flash.

Here's the recipe for the magical disappearing banana bread.

2-3 overripe bananas (the browner the better), mashed
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. white sugar
1 egg
3 tbs. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour (I use white whole wheat or AP)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix all ingredients well by hand.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes (depending on the pan and the oven--I used to do the full time, but with my current pans and oven just an hour seems to do the trick--more than that and it's too dark).

Here's a picture of the banana bread I made about a week later (someone bought bananas and then didn't eat them all week--I think he wanted me to make more banana bread).


Baby turtle


Remember the nesting turtles? Well, I haven't seen any of those nests disturbed, but look what D found about a week ago...

(image) That's a dime for scale!

Little Dipper


On Saturday morning I pulled out the paint leftover from the previous owners so we coulf put a fresh coat on the walls of the baby's room. After prying off the rusted top of the can, we found that the paint inside was a solid mass--the nursery must have been the first room painted by the previous owners and the paint was OLD. So, off we went to Benjamin Moore with a piece of the label from the old can that had some of the paint on it.

I wanted to paint the room a very similar color, but a little less bright (it's a light yellow). There were 2 colors that met that criteria--Banana Appeal and Little Dipper. Basically I made the choice based on the name of the color and preferred Little Dipper.

D and I taped the trim and then he got to painting. We used the Aura paint again since the fumes aren't as bad as other paints. D did a really good job on the painting, especially considering it was his first time ever painting walls (I had painted my bedroom with my dad's help when I was in highschool--coincidentally it was also light yellow). On Sunday he did a second coat and the inside of the door. Tonight we can move stuff back into the room and we'll be ready for when the crib is delivered on September 6th. We still need to buy a dresser to use as a changing table, but in the meantime we'll just use and old one that I had (which may drive me crazy because the drawers stick).

Saturday night, after the painting, lawn mowing, and grocery shopping (it took me as long to grocery shop as it did for D to mow the lawn which is just a sad realization of how slowly I move these days), D suggested we go out for a date. We headed to Helmand, an Afghan restaurant in Cambridge which is one of our favorites. Unfortunately the car ride there and home were very uncomfortable for me (baby is pressing on my bladder), but the meal was delicious as usual. Our favorite thing on their menu is called Kaddo, "Pan-fried then baked baby pumpkin seasoned with sugar and served on yogurt garlic sauce." It is so good. And, the flatbread at Helmand is to die for--we sat right beside the clay oven and got to watch the baker make it.

Garden Flowers and Bugs


(image) Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and Bumble Bee

(image) Dragonfly on Hydrangea Leaf

(image) Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris Thysbe) on Bee Balm (Monarda)

Cherry Cheeks Daylily

Grasshopper on Daylily Twice As Nice "Orange Velvet"


Frog Behind Daylily Stella D'Oro

Itchy and Scratchy


Somehow I've managed to get poison ivy even though I spend almost no time outdoors these days (and certainly don't stray from the yard). Last summer I had a really bad case, but I can understand that because I did go into the woods around the house once or twice, but this year not at all. Perhaps I got it from D's clothing after he went trekking in the woods to find Mercury (who is still missing), but D was really good about washing his clothes and taking a shower as soon as he came inside.

I guess it doesn't really matter where I got it at this point, I just wish it would go away. It started as a little patch on my neck, but now I have it on both legs, my back, my hip, and a new patch sprung up on my arm this morning. I've been using the usual over the counter suspects to treat it, but to no avail. I've used domboro solution, caladryl lotion, benedryl cream, benedryl tablets, techu ivy wash, and most recently a new product called Zanfel. I was really hoping the Zanfel would work because I read great things about it online, and my doctor recommended it. Supposedly it washes away the ivy oils and calms the itching. Supposedly. Oh, and it costs $39.99 for a tiny tube.

I used the Zanfel on my neck yesterday afternoon, and then on all of the other spots last night. The itching didn't stop. I used it again this morning on all of the ivy spots and I still itch. I was really hoping I'd be blogging today with a glowing endorsement of this product, but alas, no.

Last night, I also started using a 2.5% hydrocortisone cream my doctor prescribed. That hasn't helped all that much either. Just hoping it goes away on it's own still using just these topical remedies (and the benedryl tablets at night so I can stop scratching long enough to fall asleep). Last year I had to go on oral steroids, but my doctor wants to try to avoid that due to pregnancy.

Oh, and I'm going to look so nice at my baby shower on Sunday with my red and bumpy chin, neck, arms, and legs!



The past week has been a major roller coaster of emotions for both me and D. Last Sunday afternoon, Mercury, our kitty, didn't come in after a rainstorm. Then she didn't come in for the night, and on Monday morning she still hadn't appeared at the back door crying to come in and eat. I tried not to panic and D searched the woods calling her name. I tried to be calm figuring she had just wandered into someone's open garage or shed to escape the rain and had gotten trapped. By Tuesday there was still no sign of her and D and I canvassed the neighborhood putting signs on all of the communal mailboxes.

By Wednesday there was still no sign of her. D rang doorbells on the street and handed out flyers. I had called animal control and the local shelters, plus a few of the local vets to alert them that she was missing. My hope really began to fade. On Thursday or Friday D was visited by a neighborhood boy who has made it his persponal mission to find Mercury. He's canvassing the neighborhood on his bike looking for the cat. He rang the bell on Sunday letting us know that he hadn't found her yet but was not going to give up. "I will not fail. I will find her and bring her back to you and you will live happily ever after" is what he said. If only everyone had such a dedicated cat hunter in their neighborhood. I should mention that the boy, I'll call him William, is probably about 13 and has an intellectual disability. He has such a drive to find our cat that we don't want him to feel like a failure if he can't find her...we want to make sure he knows it's not his fault and that we are so grateful for his help and drive to find her.

I try to remain positive and hope that the cat has wandered off and is enjoying the food at someone else's house for a little while, but the reality is that she has probably fallen prey to one of the bigger and more wild animals that live in the woods and wetlands around our house. We had been warned by the neighbors when we moved in that many cats had gone missing from our neighborhood, but Mercury's joy at being outside overruled the warnings. As a former city cat, it was like she had died and gone to heaven having mice to chase, bugs to eat, tall grass to play in, and a warm stoop to lie on. I couldn't deny her that pleasure.

I keep thinking I hear her cry, but it's always my imagination. I leave the basement door open for her just like I always have, and D leaves fresh food on the deck for her every morning. I pray that miraculously she will just show up on the back deck someday and it will be as if she never left. She's been my constant companion for 5 1/2 years and even though D says he didn't want a cat, she has come to be his co-worker in the past 8 months that he's been working from home. She loves our family snuggle time, and is my nightly reading buddy. I can't even express how much I miss her and worry that she is or was out there in the wild suffering.


32 weeks and counting


So I'm now about 32 weeks along and overall I'm doing really well. I get hot really easily (par for the course) and unfortunately I've started throwing up again. Last week was my worse pregnancy thow-up experience yet because I was at a focus group facility with a client and had to sprint out of the room to the bathroom and didn't quite make it in time. Thankfully I was able to clean up my clothes pretty well.

Here's a new picture of me. It's not great, but does show my growing belly somewhat (though it still looks small compared to my chest). The picture is from the back room of a furniture store where I was trying out rockers.

D measured my belly yesterday and it's 41 1/2 inches. What amazes me is that it's only 2 inches bigger than it was the last time we meaured it which was 13 weeks ago. It looks like it's grown a lot more than 2". For the most part I'm still maintaining the no sweets diet (still not craving sweets, though they don't gross me out anymore), so I think if I wasn't gaining baby weight I would probably have lost about 8-10 lbs just from not eating candy and sweets.

I'm going to pick up our new (to us) car in about a 1/2 hour. After hemming and hawing over it, we finally decided on a used Toyota Highlander. We would have liked something more fuel effecient, but the reality is we wanted the all wheel drive (the roads get rough where we are in the winter), and I found the seats on the Highlander to be much more comfortable than the Forrester or CR-V. I really thought I would be a station wagon owner rather than an SUV owner, but none of the wagons were quite right for us. Other than being higher off the ground, the Highlander is a lot like a station wagon.

In getting the new car, we're saying goodbye to D's Camry. He bought it new when he finished college and has put 205,000 miles on it over the years. It was a good car, but it's time for it to go...just didn't make sense to replace or repair anything on it at this point.

Nightmare Traffic!!


I typically have about a 45 minute morning commute. Sometimes it's a little less depending on what time I leave in the morning (the later I leave, the better). This morning, my commute took 2 hours 15 minutes--3 times as long as usual! I started out on my usual route. I heard on the radio that it was a little backed up, but that's par for the course on a rainy day. After sitting in the car for 1 hour 15 minutes, I finally called the traffic hotline. Turns out, the on ramp I take from one highway to the next was completely closed due to flooding and they were re-routing everyone who wanted to get onto 128 North onto 128 South. Great. So they're taking 3 lanes of traffic, merging them into 2 on the on ramp, and then merging them into the rest of a busy highway when half of those people want to be going in the opposite direction. Most people who needed to change direction got off at the first exit but I knew that would be massively backed up, so I decided to go down another exit. Of course, then the northbound side was bumper to bumper with people merging back on to the highway.

I ended up driving a big loop, going way out of my way, in order to get on roads that were going a decent speed. Here's the route I took to work this morning:

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View Larger Map

Oh, and I forgot to mention that for the first hour of the drive I felt like I was going to throw up at any moment. I even reached around to the back seat and grabbed one of my reusuable grocery bags in case I needed to vomit spontaneously and couldn't pull over in time. I almost pulled over 3 times. So that was my morning. I'll be calling the traffic hotline before I go home. Right now, is telling me that the on ramp for a different highway on my way home is closed due to flooding. Great. Hopefully I can find a shorter route to avoid flooding than I did this morning.

A Shout Out to our Tomatoes


So, I was checking on the analytics of my blog today because I like to see how many reader I have and where they come from. I had a whole bunch of referrals from a site called so I visited the site to check out how I got on there (most of my referrals come from blogs where I have left comments...I had never heard of this site). There, in the July 6th post, was a picture of my tomato plants and a link to this blog. Check it out here.

And here's a picture of the tomatoes from July 9th. We enjoyed the first red tomatoes when we returned from vacation on July 14th.