Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yummy In My Dutch Oven - Updated

I must have been smoking crack last night when I posted this, because I left out half the instructions. MicroTot is stealing my brain cells.

When most people hear the word etouffee they think of a seafood concoction with a tasty sauce over rice. Or they think, "What's that?" I will confess - I'm not a fan of seafood etouffee. It's just not my favorite. However, many many years ago my mother and I discovered a recipe in an ancient, falling apart Justin Wilson cookbook that was probably published before I was born for a beef etufe. It's one of my favorite things in the entire world. And it's simmering in my dutch oven on my stove RIGHT NOW.

Ok, it's actually our version of it, but it's pretty close. The original recipe looks something like this.

My version is actually kinda close, but a little different. It looks something like this:

Beef Etouffee

1 - 1 1/2 lbs beef steak, chuck, round steak (I use whatever's cheap, it'll braise tender)
olive oil
1/2 - 1 cup onion (to taste)
1 small jar pominter (optional)
1/2 tbsp dry parsley
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 cans mushroom steak sauce (you can use one can for less sauciness)
1/2 cup cooking wine
1/2 tbs soy sauce
3 drops hot sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1-2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
rice, cooked (I use brown, but whatever)

Chop the meat into bite size pieces. Brown with onion in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven with a small amount of olive oil. Don't cook it, just brown off each side. If you cook it through it has a bigger chance of being tough. You want it to cook in the liquid (braise) so it will be tender. Add all other ingredients except the rice. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for at least 25-30 minutes. Or longer. Let it sit as long as you dare to let the flavors get all yummified. Serve over rice.

Now, this is a very adaptable recipe. As a matter of fact, it's all kind of an estimation, Mom and I aren't big on measuring exactly. This is a half recipe version of what we used to make, because the original makes enough to feed a starving hoard. If you have a starving hoard to feed, feel free to double it, although you probably won't need 4 cans of steak sauce, 2-3 is fine.

I can't wait to eat this for lunch tomorrow. It was very hard to nom on spaghetti for dinner tonight while smelling it cooking in the kitchen! Greg won't go near it, but I'm hoping Kaycie will so that I can make it for lunch more often. I'm also going to see if it freezes. If it freezes ok, I can make a full recipe for the starving hoard and eat on it for a couple of months.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Debate: Why I Hate AT&T

You know how sometimes I post stuff about a company and somebody from that company find it on a Google keyword search and responds?

U Verse

Wonder if any of those will pop. Actually, that would suggest that somebody at AT&T gives a damn enough to see what people are saying about them, which based on our recent experience, isn't likely.

I've known enough people with AT&T cell service to know better than to expect really good service. Most people I know who have them and have had to deal with customer service have had bad experiences. I was hoping for at least adequate. I didn't get it.

You see, 3 weeks ago we ordered U Verse plus internet service. I've talked about this before - our DirecTV reception has gotten kinda bad. Our only option for high speed internet has been Comcast, which hasn't always been dependable. We were hoping for a solution for both problems from AT&T service. We scheduled installation for last Thursday, two weeks out from when we ordered it.

The day before we got a call that they couldn't install on Thursday because of problems in our area. They were getting an engineers report and needed a couple of days to fix the problem and would call us back to reschedule. Honestly, I could live with that. Technical problems happen and I was glad they wanted it working before they started charging us for it. But...

No, they didn't call us back. On Saturday Greg called them to find out what was going on and the lady says to him, "Oh, I see you where you called us last week and canceled your installation date. Did you want to reschedule that?" Greg, being nicer than I am, didn't bite her head off. Instead he explained that THEY canceled our installation and yes, we needed to reschedule it. Fine. Monday afternoon, between 1-3.

So we clean out the corner of the bedroom they'd need to get to, dig a piece of furniture out of storage, and clean out our entertainment center with a plan to start over with all our boxes after we get the new one. Then Greg rearranged his entire world at work to come home early to be there when the guy came.

Monday at 3:45 we got an automated call from AT&T saying our installer would be there by 3. Seriously? It's 3:45. I figured that one out. They said he would be there by 5. And by 5 they mean just barely, as he rolled in about 4:45. Now I'm irritated.

He stayed less than 5 minutes. He took one look at our phone box and informed us that the "outside tech" hadn't done the blah blah blah to our phone box, so he couldn't do anything for us today. I'm sorry, what???? He made a call and said the tech had been out but he reported something about our box (it wasn't on their list or something blah blah blah, he wasn't making a lot of sense and I was pretty ticked by then). Sorry. No install for you today. Somebody from AT&T should call you in a few days to reschedule.

For real, people.

Our initial reaction was screw it, cancel the whole thing. I'm mad. Greg called 3 times to try to cancel but stayed on hold until his pager went off/somebody else called/we needed to go get dinner. The problem is we really were looking forward to the service improvements over what we have now. And we're out of other options. There are no other high speed Interweb providers in our town. We've tried Comcast cable and the reception was beyond horrendous. According to our neighbor, it still is. Soooo, what do we do? We talked about it over dinner and are contemplating whether to tell them to stick their service, since they clearly don't want our pile of money, or to just suck it up, try to reschedule again, and hope that we never ever ever ever ever have another problem that requires dealing with AT&T customer service, in the hopes that we actually get the TV and Interwebs we want.

I'm also debating writing them a nice (not nice, but nicer than I'd be on the phone) email of complaint. I don't think it'll do a lick of good, but it might make me feel better. The reality is, they need to understand that their lack of communication between departments in their own company is going to cost them business from potential very long term customers (I've had Comcast for over 10 years!). But is an email from me going to get their attention? No. Is it going to fix the problems we're having locally? Not likely. I dunno. I'm so frustrated I could scream.

It didn't help that my new couches arrived and were slightly different colors. And one had a 3" rip in the seam of one of the cushions. And my mom didn't get turned loose from her oncologist today, they want to do one more PET in six months. So much of my good news today has been tempered with "buts."

The Wait Is On

Today has been rather busy.

Doc appt this morning, where we were pleasantly surprised to get another ultrasound. Seems last time they saw a cyst on an ovary so they wanted to look again, no big deal. Everything looked fantastic and we'll go back in July. After that we met my parents for a late breakfast since they were in town anyway. Mom had her six month PET scan at 6:30 this morning and sees her oncologist, well, right about now. There's usually enough time in between to get together, which is nice. It will be nicer to never get to do it again!


If today's scan is clear, she is anticipating her doctor setting her free. No more six month checkups. Official cancer free for enough years to be deemed recovered. I'm waiting on that call right now. Ya'll just don't know how long we've waited for that or how incredibly happy those words will make me!

And if that's not enough going on today, our new couches are being delivered this afternoon, between 1 - 3pm. Except we were only able to move out one of our old couches last night so one of the new ones is going to have to hang on the carport until my father-in-law comes over after Greg gets home from work and they move the old one out. I'm a bit useless when I'm not lifting for two. As it is, there was no way Greg and I could get that couch moved out of here.


Because I'm not getting an afternoon nap anyway (even though I could really use one), AT&T has there second and final shot at installing our new internet and Uverse television this afternoon, also between 1 - 3pm. They were supposed to come last Thursday but called Greg on Wednesday to say they couldn't install that day because of problems in our area. They were supposed to call back to reschedule, but by Saturday we hadn't heard anything. Greg called them back and they were like, "Oh, I see you called us and had to cancel your scheduled time last week..."

They are so lucky that Greg is nicer than I am, because I would have lost it right then. Anyway, after sorting out the problem they rescheduled for today. We'll see if they actually show up! Once they do it'll take a couple of hours so I'm not anticipating getting any rest at all.

And if they don't, I'll have not taken a nap for no reason and they don't want to incur my sleep deprived wrath.

So, I'm sitting on the one piece of furniture left in my living room waiting on all kinds of phone calls and visitors. La dee da dee da...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Terrible Awful No Good Very Bad Day

Yesterday sucked.

I haven't had a day that bad in a very, very long time.

And it bothers me that I can't pinpoint why. I didn't sleep much the night before. I had a mildly chaotic morning with a bit a of stress. And my sinuses were hating on me big time. By nap time I was exhausted, so as soon as I put Kaycie to bed, I put myself to bed and passed out. I could have slept with my neck at a bad angle. I could have been grinding my teeth and putting pressure on my jaw during the stressful dream I had (that I woke up from gasping for air). I dunno. But I know that I woke up from my nap with a screaming headache.

I took some meds and ate something, hoping one of those would make it better. Turns out I was in so much pain I wasn't paying attention and took the wrong med. No big deal, Tylenol instead of Ibuprofen, but I'm not supposed to take Tylenol while pregnant. Great. Regardless, neither helped.

By the time Greg got home he found me laying on my back in a warm bath, with Kaycie pouring water over my head and piling toys on top of me. It had gotten so bad that I couldn't stand up without crying, so I got in the tub to help loosen up some of the muscles in my neck and shoulders. That helped. Marginally. Greg went to get us food (because cooking wasn't an option) and immediately after dinner I abandoned my family and went to bed. That was shortly after 6pm. I was done.

Thankfully Greg took care of all the necessary nightime/bedtime activities for Kaycie, banished the dogs from our bedroom and apparently threatened the evil spirits at the other end of his pager. I slept last night. Really, really well. I felt better this morning, but yesterday was so bad that I was afraid to get out of bed for fear something would trigger and I would start hurting again. So far so good, let's hope it lasts past naps. Because I'm not sure I can survive another repeat of yesterday. I don't think I'm as strong as I used to be when it comes to pain management.

Overheard On My Couch

Kaycie is sitting on the couch sorting things. Here's what I just heard,

"A shoe. A shoe. A shoe. A shoe. A DUCKIE!"

This came after she counted her shoes. 1, 2, 3, 4.  Then she started over, 5, 6, 7, 8!

That kid loves to sort and count.

I broke down and ordered her a potty chair. She's not ready to train yet but she's ready to learn about it and this will help me judge her level of interest going forward. If I'm ever allowed to open the box.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mash Up Father's Day Edition

Yes, I know it was yesterday, but the first two topics on my list involve Greg so I can call it a Father's Day edition if I want to.

My favorite phone-game at the moment is Fruit Ninja. My husband is a little competitive, so we play against each other each week. (The scores reset on Sunday.) As is to be expected, he's better than I am. I can usually score in the 400's, he normally scores in the 500's. Last week I managed a 560, which was the highest score either of us had ever gotten. I was FRUIT NINJA! I even sent him a text message (to the old Dr. Pepper commercial tune)-"I'm a ninja, she's a ninja, wouldn't you like to be a ninja too? I'm the ninja, I'm Fruit Ninja!" I shouldn't have gloated. He worked for DAYS to beat my 560. But of course he did. By Saturday night he'd managed a 610. Dang it.

That aside, I still have the best husband ever. Why? Let's discuss how did we spend our Father's Day weekend. Being bums. With the exception of the occasional need for take out food, we didn't leave the house for two days. It was nice. Saturday I didn't even get dressed, I was still in my pajamas at dinner. And Sunday, the actual "Father's Day?" Greg got up early with the baby girl so I could sleep until 10. And when she took a short afternoon nap (meaning I was getting no nap at all) he made me go to bed while he went and got her and played so I could nap and get rested up. He spent Father's Day being a great daddy so that Micro-Tot and I could get some rest. Because he's awesome. (And really, who wouldn't want to hang with the baby girl? She's hysterical.)

Speaking of my hysterical little potamus, she has two new obsessions. Counting and shoes. Not counting shoes, however, as that would be silly. But she loves to put her shoes on. And take them off. And put them on. And take them off. And she does not want any help, because she's a big girl who can do it herself. Today in the van she had a sandal on each hand and was clapping with them. Because she's a hoot.

As for the counting, it's mostly because of this silly book at got her on PBS called the Fisher Price Little People Number Circus. Now, we've been reading counting books since before she could walk, but for some reason she's gotten attached to the number circus. I think I'm about ready to run off and join the number circus. Regardless, she can mostly count to 10 now. If you ignore the pesky 4, which she doesn't care for and often skips. I find it funny. And more than a little frightening. I'd rather she know her alphabet before her numbers, just because it would give me an upper hand over her daddy, who is a geek and likes to count by 8's.

Meanwhile we have a bonus pup at the house this week. Miss Molly is back while her family takes a trip to the mountains. I think she thinks she's being punished. Casper has long learned where to hide when Kaycie is in a chasing mood. Molly just think the little hairless pup has lost her mind.

I'm cutting this short for two reasons. One, my laptop battery is about dead and my charger is down the hall. Two, I'm thiiiiis close to being done with a book and I want to go try to finish it. Or nap. One or the other.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Wedding Recap

I cannot believe I didn't get a picture of the shrunken head.

And that I didn't make that up.

Last weekend we went to my cousin's wedding. Technically he's supposed to be a distant cousin, as his dad and my dad are first cousins, but his dad has been in and out of our lives since as long as I can remember, often living next door to us when I was growing up, so we don't really stand on ceremony when we label his kids as cousins. They are. They now live in Minnesota, although one kids lives next door to my brother in Vicksburg and the one that got married just graduated from Mississippi State and will be in med school at UMC in the fall. I had a feeling there wouldn't be a lot of people from our side of the family there, since the wedding was just outside of Memphis, so I talked my mom into going. (That was real hard. I said, "Hey Mom, wanna go?" and she said, "OOOOOHHHHH!!!!! Let's go!!!!!!") I'm glad I did, as we were one of very few people there for the groom and most of those were from his mom's side.

The wedding itself was incredible. I wish I had a recording of the service because the minister talked about the mystery of marriage and used passages from Song of Solomon and I wish I could remember everything he said because it was awesome. One of the things I love about weddings is how I usually feel a renewed sense of purpose in my own marriage after the service. I sent Greg a text right after and told him we should go to church there. It's only a 4 hour drive!

And right outside the church there was this old train that you could climb on. So of course we did. Because what else are you going to do when you're all dressed up and waiting to go a reception?

They had the reception half an hour away at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis. What a bizarre place. I don't know how to describe it, and we only saw the main hall. Most of the museum was blocked off. There were all kinds of taxidermied animals and birds, artifacts from all over the world, including a shrunken head in a glass class as the center display.

How did I NOT get a picture of the shrunken head?

The light was awful so I didn't get to take many pics at all, but I did get one of the outside of the building and the polar bear. Yes, they turned the polar bear exhibit into the gift station. How awesome is that?
And here's a picture of the happy couple, Sam and Ashley.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Mash Up of Other Items I Missed This Week

Last Friday was my mom's 65th birthday. I'm glad I got to go on a road trip with her for the occasion. We never get to do that, just the two of us, and we had a BLAST. Trying to use Dad's GPS unit alone provided enough laughs to fill the weekend. I adore my mom. She's so much fun!

Sunday we went to Morton to see Greg's sister, Misty, and her son, Randy, who drove over from Texas on Saturday. We celebrated Randy's birthday and the fact that he's staying in Morton for a while with my inlaws this summer. I hope he has a great time, and that Misty managed to get some relaxation in at home while he's gone! I'm looking forward to seeing him a little more often too. As it is, we've seen him about once a year since we got married.

Yesterday was my BFF Sharonda's birthday. I'm such a slug I didn't even get a card in the mail, even though I thought about buying one every day for an entire week and half before. Sometimes I kinda suck. I'm just saying.

Meanwhile, yesterday was also the anniversary of the day my Uncle Lacy died, I think it was six, possibly seven years ago. I can't miss that one, as it falls on Sharonda's birthday. I really miss my uncle. He used to take me fishing when I lived in Philly. And he adored his kids, one of whom is my BFF Lynn. She and I grew up as best friends, and her parents were always awesome to me. I remember the year we drew names for Christmas (his last Christmas, now that I think about it) he got my name. We had a $10 limit on gifts that year. He bought me a set of pearls - necklace, earrings, and bracelet. He never was one to follow rules! I wore them to my wedding, hoping in some way he would know. He meant a lot to me and I would have given anything for him to know Kaycie. He would have though she was made of nothing but awesome, just like his own grandkids. He's one of those rare people who I knew loved me, not because he was family and had to, but because he liked me and cared about me. I hate that we lost him so soon. And I know that for as much as I miss him, Lynn misses him ten times more.

I told you I had a lot to talk about this week. And I'm sure I'm leaving something out whatever it is, I'm sure it'll wait, because right now I need a nap. Who am I kidding, I always need a nap.

A Post In Which I Sound Grumpy and Judgemental

I'm tired.

But I love ya, and I feel bad about not being in touch this week, so I'm postponing my own nap to post. And to run through 6 of the 755 blog posts I currently have to read in Bloglines. And I'm not exaggerating that number.

My schedule this week has been like this: wake up 8:30-9. Run around like crazy to get Kaycie fed, dressed, read to, and to music camp by 10. Spend an hour running around like a crazy woman keeping up with my kid at camp. Go do _____ (grocery store, lunch with Greg, whatever else I needed to do that day). Get home either to make lunch or right after lunch. Take naps. Wake up around 3:30, make snacks and start dinner...

Normally, the "take naps" part of that routine is when I clean house, make dinner, take pictures, and blog. Not lately. Too dang worn out. I blame MicroTot.

So let's start by talking about camp. I want to tell you about the wedding I went to last weekend, but camp is fresher at the moment so here we go...

I've never really felt like I fit in with the other mom's in Kaycie's music classes, but until this summer I never really felt like I was way out of my league. There are two nannies that come to our class. Really. I don't have a problem with people hiring nannies, but both of these situations are weird. The first one has a 3 year old and a set of 2 month old twins, so I totally get the need. What I don't get is why the nanny and twins come with them to class. These people live in Madison, so it's a hike. And the 3 year old in the class acts like she's pretty desperate for attention that she's not getting from her mom who likes to stand in the back of the room and chat with the other mom's until the teacher has to ask them to be quiet because the kids can't hear what's going on. That's happened at least once a day this week.

Sadly, I've met this woman before. She was in Kaycie's first music class at Galloway and had the same problem there, before she was pregnant with the twins. I wasn't real thrilled to see her in the class.

The other nanny situation is even more bizarre. This family has one child, age 2 1/2. Both of the parents AND the nanny come to class. The poor kid doesn't know who to play with and the adults are almost constantly struggling to get her attention away from one of the other adults.

Sadly, I know these people too. The dad used to be one of my clients at the bank. I know ENTIRELY too much about this man to be hanging out with him in a casual camp situation. And it's brought back some of the trauma of that job for me. He was in my list of top 2 craziest people I ever met (#1 on that list was one of his relatives...). I've started having the weird working at the bank dreams again this week. And the first day I saw him there I had a serious emotional reaction after we left. It kinda freaked me out. There are things I don't ever want to have to put thought into again, and my years at the bank are pretty high up on that list.

Meanwhile, the other mom's are all chatting during class, comparing locations of their beach houses and how often they go and trips to Hawaii and dress their boys in matching outfits with embroidered animals on the smocking. I will admit, there's one mom there that I really like, despite the fact that they also have higher class tastes than I do, but she's very cool and I've enjoyed talking to her. She's also the only one (other than my former client's wife) who has said one word to me. Am I wearing a sign that says "I don't own a beach house" or "I'm not rich enough to be your friend"?

Perhaps I'm simply over tired and mornings haven't been my best time of late. Not throwing up, but feeling yucky most mornings. Not to mention I'm having pregnancy hormone related emotions weirdness. I'm sure I'm overreacting. But as much fun as Kaycie has had this week, I'll be really glad when tomorrow is over and camp is done.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Sorry for being delinquent of late. Had a wild weekend and Kaycie has music camp every morning this week, leaving me exhausted. But I also have so many things I need to talk about!  I'll get to it. Eventually.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reason #847 Why My Hubsband Rocks

I'm so irritated with the world today that I thought I should post something positive just to move on.

A couple of nights ago I had this conversation with Greg:

Greg: Did you get a nap today?

Me: No. I rested a bit but never fell asleep.

Greg: You really need to start sleeping more in the afternoons...

I would like to point out that this was right before he unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded it, and ran it so that I wouldn't have to deal with it the next morning.

And yesterday we had this conversation via text:

Me: I just had a dream that we were texting about whether or not to go get salsa tonight.

Greg: LOL

Me: For the record, in my dream we decided yes.

Greg: That sounds good to me!


Did I mention that he's taking off work tomorrow to hang with Kaycie while I drive to Memphis with my mom to attend a cousin's wedding? We were originally all going to go and make a weekend of it, but some other things came up and we need to back home Saturday anyway so... We decided not to torture Kaycie with the long drive (I'm picking Mom up in Philly before heading up to Memphis, adding a couple of hours to my trip each way) Greg suggested they stay home and Mom and I go. Because he's awesome. He also suggested I go ahead and drive up to Philly tonight so I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow, but I'd rather wait. I really don't dig being away from my little family any more than necessary!

And, to top it off, I casually mentioned that I couldn't decide what to make for dinner tonight, so he immediately informed me that we had $15 of food money left for the week (we get cash tomorrow, so the week ends today) and if I had another $3 we could get pizza and wings so I didn't have to cook.

Now if you'll excuse me, Kaycie is asleep, so I need attempt to get some rest myself. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears and Giraffes and Rhinoceroses

Back in April I got this brilliant plan. Kaycie was really getting into animals so I signed up for an annual zoo membership. Our zoo membership is stupid cheap. I didn't even go for the least expensive one, I got the companion membership, so me (or Greg) plus one other person can go for free (well, $1 for parking each time) all year. And that's an extra person, because Kaycie is free until November. After that I think she qualifies as my extra person and then MicroTot can be free until age 2. For $30 a year. Awesome. Mostly because I really don't enjoy going to the zoo and spending all day, which I always feel compelled to do when I'm paying per trip. Gotta get that money's worth! Plus our zoo isn't fabulous. It's... well, I'll be kind and call it adequate. They've updated some parts that are better than the old areas, but they have a loooooong way to go. Some areas are seriously inadequate. But anyway, with the membership we can go, check out two or three animals, and leave. Or just go to the petting zoo part. Or hang with the otters in their nice new air conditioned space and then bail. We can do that once a month and it would be well worth it, considering adult admission is $9 a pop.

So when I signed up for the membership in April it said it could take up to three weeks to get our card. Dang. But ok. I wanted to get in some trips before the oppressive heat set in, but that should leave me some time.

Four weeks later, I still didn't have a card.

I contacted the membership lady at the zoo, who said they'd mailed it April 7. Crap. But the nice lady said she'd glady get me a new one printed and ship it off. This was the first week of May.

Four weeks later, I still didn't have a card.

I contacted them again on Monday and the nice membership lady no longer works there, but a new nice membership lady told me they had indeed mailed it. Twice. ????? But being the nice membership lady, she printed me a third one and left it at the ticket window for me. Thank you, nice membership lady!

Except now it's June. And I'm pregnant. And while it's June, it actually feels like August, which is a valid complaint for people who understand the subtle differences between 90, 95, and 100 degrees. And being pregnant, I feel that subtle difference even more than usual. I suffer.

But we trooped on. This morning we picked up our card, paid our $1 to park, and skipped off into the zoo. Where we stayed 20 minutes. We didn't actually see any lions. Or tigers. Or bears. We did see the giraffes, which Kaycie found fascinating. They had the mama and the daddy (who happens to be named Casper!) an adolescent, and the baby! We also saw the brand new baby tapir, and assortment of swans, ducks, and flamingos (who Kaycie wanted to climb in and join), and the rhino. I was looking for the elephant but never found him. We were both about to pass out by this point so that was all we took in today.

And that's ok. Because we can go back next week if we want and look for the elephant. Except we won't because Kaycie has music camp next week and we'll be at the church from 10-11 every day. But the week after that, we can go on a safari in search of the elephant! They also have a story time on Tuesday mornings that we might check out at some point. And the Discovery Station play area was closed today but I'm hoping that'll be open soon and she can go through that and the petting zoo. Overall, I think it'll be worth the $30. Especially if I still feel like waddling through in the fall when the weather becomes bearable again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Look

In all the insanity of the past few days I didn't get to blog about our first doc appointment for MicroTot.

We went last Thursday. In truth, there wasn't much to say. We saw pictures. The little MTot heart was pounding away at 141bpm. They confirmed my suspected due date of January 16. Greg requested Dec 31 for the tax deduction. I requested a duplicate of our original Tot model. Dr. T basically said she couldn't help with either of those requests.

Dr. T also told me to gain 25-35 pounds. I asked her if the 20 I'd put on since Kaycie was born counted. She said no. Drats. Although I don't think I'll have much trouble this time, as I've been eating six times a day.

We go back the last Monday in June for a regular checkup. Don't expect any more pictures until we go for the anatomy scan at 18 weeks. That's when we should find out the gender. Due to my "advanced maternal age" we'll be seeing the high risk doc, Dr. Perry, for that visit. I've been told the high risk scan takes about an hour, which means it's considerably more detailed than the one we got last time. I'm ok with that.

Today was a rough day. I felt... yucky. All day. I was very tired but didn't get to rest during Kaycie's naps because I had so many things I needed to do. By the time she went to bed I was beyond exhausted and still felt yucky. BUT... Despite feeling like slug slime much of the day, I still felt better than I did most any day of the first trimester with Kaycie. So for that, I'm still going to be thankful.


No, I wasn't abandoning you on purpose. I've been sans-webs since Thursday. It's a hard life when all your family lives in the boonies.

So I'm pretty much tired to the point of falling over. Let's recap the last few days:

Thursday - doc appointment at 8:30am. Took the potamus. Was there forever. Got home at 11:30, had lunch plans with BFF Sharonda at noon. Got home at 2:30. Had to pack and get on the road between 4 and 4:30 for a funeral visitation in Forest. When that was over we drove to Philly to drop off Kaycie then drove back to Morton to spend the night.

Friday - Drove to Hillsborough for a funeral. (Greg's Uncle Butch, if I hadn't mentioned that before. Lung cancer. Very sad.) They had a grave side service at the church cemetery. Yes, that is outside. It was hot at 10am. I got dizzy and nearly passed out halfway through the service. After that we went to the traditional lunch at a relatives house nearby, then back to Morton to get our stuff. Then we drove back to Philly, where we'd left Kaycie.

Thankfully we were done with the driving for a bit. We decided that as long as we were there we'd spend the weekend with my parents. Except Saturday we ended up going into town (about 10-15 miles away) 3 times. I was worn out. Sunday we drove home via Morton again, where we'd left the poor pup so he wouldn't be out in the heat all weekend.

I took a monster nap Sunday afternoon. I needed it.

Meanwhile, Greg's cousin is doing fantastic. They were supposed to move him to Methodist Rehab today, which is amazing. He's standing on his own a little bit, walking with help, and eating real food. Dude. Amazing.

And one of my dearest friends found herself in a similar spot, as her father fell and had a brain bleed last week. They were also in ICU waiting for a neuro bed with her dad in a coma. But they didn't make it. Her father died Sunday morning. I can't even begin to guess at why one is miraculously saved and one is not, but it's not for me to know. Breaks my heart though. Such a sweet family. She has a kiddo two weeks younger than Kaycie.

And on a final, totally unimportant note, after a year on the wish list at PBS, I finally got a copy of The Help this week. Now I have to find time to read it.