Thursday, April 29, 2010

House Plans

Mr. Cob and I have had a running list of “things to do to the house” since we moved in last year. We’re doing OK and slowly crossing things off. For instance we have:

1. Furnished our home office with a new desk and book shelves;

2. Painted the living room, dining room and kitchen;

3. Caulked and painted the trim in the living room, dining room and kitchen;

4. Painted the fireplace mantel;

5. Replaced the roof (this wasn’t so much something we wanted to do, but something we had to do);

6. Screened in the porch (pictures to come soon);

7. Decorated the sunroom (my mom was a huge help in this project – as in, she sewed all the curtains and recovered the couch and chair and bought the rug – it was a great birthday present last year!);

8. Built stairs off the back deck;

9. Many other small projects (i.e. furnishing and decorating all the rooms, gardening and landscaping, etc.)

And yet we still have a long list of things to do. And with the upcoming arrival of Baby Swan, the list keeps getting longer and longer everyday. Here’s our current list (which is sure to grow)…

A. Paint the downstairs hallway and breakfast nook (do I get points for already having bought the paint?);

B. Re-do all the beds in the front yard and lay down weed mats (we are half way there – three of the four beds have been reshaped and the excess dirt dug out, we just need to lay down the weed mats and mulch this weekend, assuming it doesn’t rain, again);

C. Finish the basement, including adding Mr. Cob’s brew shop;

D. Rework the heating and air duct system and add more registers in the living room and baby’s room (I need to take a picture of the ducts in the basement – they are industrial sized ducts and look ridiculously huge, not to mention the non-energy efficient aspect, which I’m sure is present. I fear this is an expensive project, but necessary as some of the rooms in our house just don’t heat/cool well);

E. Find a permanent solution for the “dummy door” in the baby’s room (there is a full sized door in this room that leads out to a 3 foot by 1 foot deck, which has no use – other than for perhaps sneaking a cigarette if one were to smoke and trying to hide it, i.e. when I was in high school. The door is also drafty. I’m just sure what our options are with this one);

F. Paint the baby’s room and the downstairs bathroom, oh and the laundry room and sunroom while we’re at it;

G. Fence in the back yard; repave and widen the driveway; build a lower-level deck or seating area of some sort;

H. Replace all the door knobs downstairs (we did purchase new knobs this week);

I. And any other project I whimsically decide to add to our list.

Guess we should get started, huh?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Are you there sun? It's me, preggo

It's cold here in Atlanta.  As in, my car thermostat registered 48 degrees this morning.  This is a problem, for multiple reasons.

1.  I thought Spring had finally sprung.
2.  I am over cold weather. (And rain.)
3.  The dog chewed a huge hole in my favorite purple coat.
4.  I don't want all our newly planted flowers to die.
5.  My work pants do not fit.  At. all.

So I'm the inappropriately dressed one in a skirt and open toed shoes, with a cowneck sweater.  I look ridiculous.  This is not one of my better fashion days.  But its the best I could do.  I tried on three different things this morning before finding something that "fit".  And by fit, I mean button.  I think its time to go shopping.  It's also time for Mother Earth to turn on the heat!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A journey in pictures

So far we have had three doctors appointments where we've been able to "see" Baby S on an ultrasound.  The first was on March 11, when I was 6 weeks along.  Baby S was merely a wee little thing.  (The itty bitty circle is Baby S)

Then a few weeks ago, on April 13th, we had our first "real" appointment with the OB and had another ultrasound.  Baby S was clearly getting bigger and more human-like at 11 weeks...

And then yesterday we had our third appointment, just shy of the 13 week mark (that would be today!)  Yesterdays appoitnment was with a maternal fetal specialist to do some testing to detect the probability of Baby S having any neural tube defects (i.e. Downs syndrome, trisomy-18, etc.)  The testing is non-invasive and is covered by our insurance so we figured we'd go ahead and have the tests.  All day Sunday I couldn't help but think about the tests and wonder why we were doing them.  If I was told that Baby S was probably going to have a birth defect, would anything change?  I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy and I would now have this worry for the next 6 months.  But on the flip side, I would be able to prepare.

Luckily, the ultrasound part of the test came back normal - baby S has a "thin neck" which is a good sign and the fluid behind the neck was in the "normal" range.  We won't get the final results back until the doctor runs my blood work and combines that information with my age and the ultrasound information.  But the doctor said the chances are low that anything is wrong.  PHEW!  We'll return when I'm 19 weeks for the second part of the test - they check for spina bifida at that point.  But, we'll also be able to find out the sex of the baby then!  So only 6 weeks to go until we know if I can start shopping for pink or blue!

Here are the pics from yesterdays S is getting bigger and the ultrasound machine was a much higher quality than the previous two.  OH, we also heard baby S's heartbeat for the first time - which made me start crying!  Such a strong little one - beating at 160 bpm.

Baby S is waving at us here!  He/she was quite the wiggle worm  yesterday!

Our sweet little one!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tip of the Day

I just learned something new today and thought I would share it with the world.  Somehow, between waking up this morning and sitting down in my office, I got a splinter in my big toe.  I'm guessing its from our back deck - I let Wrigley out this morning and stepped out on the deck in bare feet.  But I'm still a little confused as to how I went a whole hour, drove to work, pumped gas, stopped for a smoothie and walked the couple of blocks from my parking garage to my office without noticing the small piece of wood stabbing me in the toe.  But once I realized it was there, the annoyance not to be ignored.

So I closed my office door and pushed on my toe, trying to squeeze the little splinter out.  No luck.  I next went looking for a pair of tweezers, as that's what I've always used to remove a splinter.  But tweezers aren't readily available in a law firm.  Luckily, Jeanette, the office momma, came to the rescue.  She handed me a needle and said it would work.  I was very skeptical, but seeing as how I had no other option (aside from walking around in heels all day with this pesky splinter), I decided to give it a whirl.  Sure enough, the needle popped the splinter right out - much quicker and painlessly than any pair of tweezers would have!  So next time you have a splinter, reach for a sewing needle.  Unless you're deathly afraid of needles like my husband - guess he's stuck with the tweezers and the big hole they leave behind.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"A grand adventure is about to begin!"

I couldn't have said it better than Winnie the Pooh: A grand adventure is about to begin!  Actually, it's already begun...about 12 weeks ago.  28 more weeks ahead of us.  For those that haven't figured it out yet (and for everyone else curious about the past 12 weeks) continue reading.  This should explain my writers block - its hard to write when you're not yet public about the one thing that's constantly on your mind!  I've been writing the below posts since the end of February and saved them to share until now. 

Needless to say, we are very excited!
Friday, February 26, 2010 - I got home from work a little early and decided to take a test, yes a pregnancy test. I wasn't exactly "late" yet, but I was getting there. Mind you, I had already taken 2 tests this week. One the previous Saturday - we were going out for cocktails and I wanted to partake but wanted to make sure it was "OK". The test was negative (a/k/a a BFN). Then on Wednesday we were going for drinks again and I wanted to check again (at 29 days this wasn't unreasonable thinking). Again, BFN. But Friday, I had this feeling. I had stopped at the store on Thursday to stock up on tests, seeing as how I'd used up the remaining ones already (at this point you're probably noticing a trend of me taking pregnancy tests at any sign of lateness...) I had promised myself I would wait until Sunday when I truly was “late.” But I’m impatient.

So I got home from work, didn't even take Wrigley out of her crate, and peed on the stick. I waited the 2 minutes and for the first time in my life, the second line actually appeared!!!! But it was a faint line. The directions specifically say that the second line may not be the same color as the first, but that a faint line still means positive. As I stared in shock, I decided I need to take another test. But not the same brand that I’d just taken (yes, you read that correctly, I didn’t just need 2 separate tests to confirm I was pregnant, I needed two completely different brands of tests. I’m a lawyer, I need evidence before I reach my conclusion). So I got back in the car and drove to Target to pick up another test. I called Mr. Cob on the way to see when he’d be home. He not so enthusiastically reminded me that he was swamped and would be home a little later than he hoped. I wanted to scream through the phone “GET HOME NOW! I have news to share with you!” But I controlled myself. At this point I didn’t have the double confirmation that I needed, anyway. So I got back home, second test in hand and sure enough, 3 minutes later, a faint + sign appeared. I was now convinced. I am pregnant!

This was around 5:10pm. I knew Mr. Cob wasn’t going to be home for a few hours so I had to sit with this news alone. I was excited and shocked and totally in awe. I had just been to the doctor 2 weeks before for my yearly check up and she told me that on average it takes a couple 8 to 9 months to conceive. Well, we apparently are not average. One month was all it took. So you see, I was a bit in shock.

I wanted to tell Mr. Cob in a fun way, especially since he’d been having such a stressful week at work. The night before he didn’t come home until almost midnight and from our conversations on Friday, I knew his week wasn’t getting much better. So I decided to bake him his favorite cake – Funfetti. But instead of making a double layer round cake, I made a 9X13 sheet cake – with plenty of room for a message on top. I decorated the cake and then waited for him to get home.
Finally close to 7pm he arrive home. He could tell something was up by my odd smile and bouncy cheerfulness. I told him I had a surprise for him and then brought out the cake. I wish I had captured the look on his face when he realized what I was saying. That look will forever be emblazed in my memory and that day will always be one of the happiest of my life. We spent the rest of the weekend letting the news sink in. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops, but Mr. Cob convinced me that it was fun to keep it our little secret for a while. So for now, it’s just our exciting news.

I go in for my first ultrasound and “confirmation of pregnancy” appointment next Monday, March 8. And then we meet with the doctor again on April 13. We are very, very excited about this baby!

Monday, March 1 - Today I have felt more tired than usual.  I've also been quite hungry and eating a lot, but mostly good foods.  Apples, V8, vegetables, but also a slice of ice cream cake at work.  I haven't had any coffee in the past two days as I'm trying to eliminate caffeine from my diet completely during the pregnancy.  I have had a headache since the mid-afternoon and its getting worse as the day goes on.  At 8:30pm I finally decided that I needed to take some Tylenol to try to alleviate the pain - I feel like my brain is going to explode out of my skull!  Also, an unflattering "side effect" (yes, I'm blaming it on the pregnancy) is some seriously odiferous flatulence.  Mr. Cob is really hoping this is a short term side do I!

Tuesday, March 2 - I slept for 10 hours and 15 minutes last night - yes, that means I went to bed at 8:45pm.  I was exhausted and my head was pounding so I just lay down with a hot clothe on my temples and I just fell asleep.  The next thing I knew it was midnight and then 7 am.  I woke up this morning with a very sore throat - luckily, salt water gargles, tea, soup and orange juice seemed to do the trick.  I'm still not feeling 100% tonight, but I'm not in as much pain.  I do have more energy tonight though, so I guess it's a trade-off.

Thursday, March 4 - I tried running today and failed.  Seriously, I had to stop after 30 seconds.  Not because I was winded or out of shape.  Not because my shoes were too tight or my mind just wasn't in it.  No, I stopped because I couldn't take the my boobs.  They are so sensitive and just plain painful.  These hormones have some not so comforting side effects.  And no, the gas hasn't gone away either.  I just keep telling myself, it's all for the baby.

Wednesday, March 10 - I'm considering giving up dairy.  No more milk, yogurt, sour cream or cheese.   The cheese is what's holding me back though. I love cheese. (The fact that I can't have blue cheese for the next nine months is driving me crazy!  Seriously, I love it.) Where is all this crazy talk coming from (aside from the raging hormones surging through my body)?  Books.  Pregnancy books.  I bought one specifically on nutrition because I strongly believe that I have a moral responsibility to eat well while I am pregnant.  I chose to bring another soul into this world and I should do everything in my power to give it the best chance to thrive and succeed from the get go.  I believe that what I eat has a direct correlation to how healthy my baby will be before and after birth.  And tonight I read some scary stuff about milk.  I've already made the switch to mostly all organic food (and feel luckily that I am able to make this switch from a financial standpoint).  But what I read about dairy today just freaked me out.  Are we, as humans, really supposed to be drinking the milk of another species?  I asked Mr. Cob if he would drink my, um, milk and he disgustedly and emphatically said NO.  So I asked why he feels OK drinking it from a cows teat?  To which he replied that we've been drinking and eating dairy since cave men time.  Not exactly a great answer.  So he proceeded to give the song and dance about dairy's positive aspects, i.e. calcium = stronger bones, prevention of osteoporosis, etc. etc.  Well the book I was reading said that there have been tests that show that dairy doesn't actually lead to stronger bones and that a vegan has as much calcium in their body as a milk drinker.  He told me that you can find a test to say anything you want it to.  Perhaps.

But here's an excerpt from one article talking about some of the potential downsides of dairy:

Science, however, has been raining on dairy's parade. Observations in South African black townships, with virtually no dairy consumption, showed residents there experience almost no osteoporosis, while the chronic bone disease afflicts millions in dairy-devouring places such as Scandinavia, Canada, and the United States. In a finding published in the American Journal of Public Health in June 1997, the 12-year Harvard Nurses' Study of almost 78,000 people found those regularly consuming dairy products had no protection at all against hip and forearm fractures. Indeed, women drinking three glasses of milk daily had more fractures than women who rarely or never touched milk.

Other studies are investigating dairy's links with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, iron deficiency, insulin-dependent diabetes, cataracts, food allergies, heart disease, asthma and colic. Common toxic contaminants in dairy include pesticides, drugs and antibiotic traces. (Milton Mills, Got Milk?

So with that, I'm thinking of cutting out dairy.  Let's just say that what I read freaked me out so much that I couldn't even eat my Greek yogurt I'd just bought and I went without my daily string cheese snack.  I'm also now and forever swearing off all artificial sweeteners - they're the devil's work and the situation surrounding their FDA approval is suspect at best.

[UPDATE (from a month later) - after 2 days of no dairy I decided the book was being extreme and that I didn't need to take such drastic measures.  All other pregnancy related books have raved about dairy and say its an essential part of a pregnancy diet, so I'm choosing to follow that advice.  Cheese is too yummy and I've decided the baby will be just fine with me eating dairy.]

Thursday, March 11 - Today we went to the doctor for our "confirmation of pregnancy" appointment with the Physician Assistant at my OBGYN's office.  And it's been confirmed, we are having a baby!  Due date is November 2, 2010!  When we first got to the doctor's office and were put in the exam room, Mr. Cob was visibly uncomfortable. (It probably didn't help that I was a ball of nerves and had been crying before we went back and was just emotional.)  I quickly realized the stir-ups covered in athletic socks were glaring at him, as well as pictures of vaginas/uteri and birth control pamphlets all around...not exactly your typical male doctor paraphernalia.  He then became more fidgety when he realized I was about to be examined, um, internally, by some woman (nevermind that this woman had her medical license).  He boldly stated that he could never do what I was doing and allowing myself to be exposed as I was.  I told him that it would be a lot worse on the delivery day and that I'd been going to the "girly doctor" since I was like 15, so after 13 years you just kind of get used to it.  He also blushed as he said to me, "the nurse knows we had sex".  Well, yes, dear, that's how most people get in our, um, situation.  I told him the cat was going to be out of the bag soon enough and the world would know that we'd had sex.  But he corrected me, the world would know that I had sex.  Sigh.  He then said he had a dream last night that we had a black baby and he reacted very poorly.  I think the pregnancy hormones are affecting both of us!

Aside from "confirming" the pregnancy, the PA also did an ultrasound.  We got to see our little "Apple Seed" for the first time!  It's tiny.  But we clearly could see the yolk sac and most importantly, we saw the little heart beating!!!!!  This was such an incredibly emotional and amazing feeling.  The events of today have made this whole thing finally seem real.  I am going to be a mom.  WOW. 

Friday, March 12 - As I was laying in bed tonight trying to sleep (I say trying because the nausea kept me up...) Darius Rucker's song "It Won't Be Like This for Long" came on the radio.  I laid in bed and just started crying.  They were tears of joy and such intense emotion.  It finally feels real that we're having a baby and I am so thrilled.  I feel so blessed that this sweet soul has chosen us as parents and is already bringing such joy into our lives. 

Saturday, March 13 - Spreading the Word.  This weekend Brent and Ana Lisa went to North Carolina for a weekend getaway for Ana's birthday.  So Mr. Cob and I babysat our nephew from Friday night until Saturday night. Mom, dad, Brent and Ana were coming over to celebrate Ana's birthday tonight, so we decided it was a good time to share our news with them all.  And we had Stuart in on the plan.  I found a shirt for him on the internet (you really can find anything online these days - thanks that said "I'm going to be a BIG cousin!" 

We thought it'd be fun to just put the shirt on him and see how long it took everyone to catch on.  My parents came first and mom immediately looked at him, looked at me, read his shirt again and then kind of screamed. She's thrilled! She said she thought I might be pregnant (since I didn't drink again at dinner the night before) and she almost asked me that night but decided not to. She was really cute. My dad was excited, but more quiet about it. At dinner I was sitting next to him and he just kind of smiled and leaned over said how happy he was for me. I think he's really happy but was kind of stunned :) Daddy's are so cute! 

Brent and Ana took a little while to realize Stuart had on a new shirt, but then they kind of flipped out. Ana started tearing up and said she couldn't believe she was going to miss everything (since they'll be moving to California when I'm about half way along). Brent is really excited - and glad he doesn't have to run the half marathon with me this weekend :) I think they were both REALLY surprised, but happy.

So now my side of the family knows our good news and in just four short days, when Mr. Cob's parents come to visit, we'll get to share the happy news again!

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - Spreading the word part 2:  Mr. Cob's parents drove down from Illinois today for a little visit.  They first met their granddog, Wrigley for the first time and then once Mr. Cob got home from work we laid on the other news!  I'd found some Tumblers that said "Grandma" and "Grandpa" on them and Mr. Cob served them each a drink in their cups.  They weren't sure if the reference was to the granddog they'd just met....or something else :)  They were ecstatic when we fully explained that while Wrigley is a wonderful granddog, in less than 8 months they'd have a real grandchild to spoil!  That night we called Al, Mr. Cob's sister and shared the news with her - she was excited for us.  We then called Mr. Cob's grandparents and told them.  Grandpa Shoe was so cute - Mr. Cob said, "How does it feel to know you're going to be a great grandfather?"  And grandpa understood right away and was so happy and just kept saying "That's so wonderful."  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.  Next we called Mr. Cob's brother Scotty and while it was a day or so late, Mr. Cob said "Happy St. Patrick's day Uncle Scott!"  He was very surprised but happy.

So our family all now knows, as well as some of our good friends.  Now we just need to tell the rest of the world...I think I'll wait a little while longer for that announcement.

Monday, April 5, 2010 - People who tell you that not drinking alcohol while pregnant is easy are lying.  Or they have severe morning sickness and the smell of alcohol literally makes them sick.  I do not have this problem.  I'm sitting here, at 4:00pm and the only thing that sounds good to me is a Dirty Vodka Martini with lots of olives.  I'm serious.  Maybe I should try just eating some olives and see if that does the trick, though I doubt it.  I could try pouring olive brine in a martini glass and pretending, though that might just make me gag.  At least I'd get over the craving, right?  I'm really wishing I had a normal craving for like ice cream or pickles - that I could easily resolve.  But this?  There is absolutely no stand-in for a martini.  And it'll be another 7 months before I can have one. 

Please excuse this random bit of insanity and alcoholism.  I'm really not that bad.  Although, my girlfriends did all immediately know I was pregnant when I refused a glass of red wine on our last trip.  What can I say, I like vino and that didn't just magically go away when I got knocked up.  It's called will-power and fear.  No mother wants to be held responsible for her baby's fetal alcohol syndrome.  So its best to avoid it altogether.  Ok, I've now lost you. And I've lost myself.  So go, enjoy your cocktail while I have another glass of water.  Just know that I'm giving you the death stare and secretly hating you right now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - This pregnancy thing is bizarre.  I feel very lucky to not have been struck with morning sickness or any other debilitating side effects.  My fatigue hasn't been that bad.  And I'm typically an emotional rollercoaster anyway, so I can't really blame the mood swings on the pregnancy.  But there is one downside to not having any side effects - there's no constant reminder/indicator that a baby is growing inside me.  Which makes me a little nervous.  I'm anxious for our appointment next week.  Our 6 week, 2 day "confirmation" appointment went well and the PA said everything was looking good, so I have no reason to believe things have changed and I'm sure Baby S is doing just fine.  But I'll still feel better when we see the doctor on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - Baby Swanson is doing GREAT!  Today we went to our first official OB appointment.  After a nice little hour and 20 minute wait, we were brought back to an exam room.  15 minutes later the doctor came in.  Mr. Cob was less than excited about all the waiting, but it was all quickly forgotten when we had the ultrasound. All my fears about the baby were put to rest when we saw its little head and body and the heart beating strongly!  Baby S even waved at us!  My now official due date is November 5, 2010.  While I've known I'm pregnant for almost two months now, it really hit home today.  Seeing the baby on the ultrasound and the fact that it actually looked like a baby made it all that much more real.  It is so insane that there is this little human being growing inside me.  It really is miraculous.

And I'm now ready to share the news with the world.  I told my boss after work today and the conversation went over so well.  I feel very lucky to work at a place, and for a man, who puts people first and truly cares about the people who work here.  He told me that his main concern over the next 7 months is me and the health of the baby and that nothing we do at the office should ever put that in jeopardy.   I feel a great sense of relief after having now let the cat out of the bag.

I still can't really believe that I'm going to be a mom.  I'm 100% confident that I will not be anywhere close to the perfect parent and I won't win any parent of the year award.  But I do know that Baby S is going to be one super loved kid.  And I think that alone will start him or her off on a good foot.  I also never knew you could love someone without having yet met them, but I've now been proven wrong.  But while I can't wait to meet Baby S, I'm going to try my best to enjoy these next couple of months and cherish this time with Mr. Cob.  Because in November, baby makes 3...(or 5 if you count our furry kids) and that is going to turn our world upsidedown!

Monday, April 19, 2010 - Did I mention that there is a food court beneath my office building?  This morning I had chik-fil-a for breakfast (correction: for my second breakfast...I'd already head a bowl of cereal at home) and in about 2 minutes I'm going to go down and get a Blizzard from DQ.  The thought alone is making my mouth water.  No, I'm not trying to become one of those women who gain 70 pounds during pregnancy, but I am giving in to temptation more so than usual.  But I'm also continuing to work out and burn some of these additional calories...but not so much that the baby doesn't get the goodies.  And a blizzard does have some protein and calcium, so its not all bad!

On another note, last night Mr. Cob told me he felt like he was pregnant too becuase he's suddenly hungry all the time.  Well this morning, in one of my weekly pregnancy emails from WebMD, it says that "Fathers-to-be might also experience pregnancy symptoms, called couvade or "hatching," during the third month and at delivery, including nausea, abdominal pain, appetite changes and weight gain."  So maybe there's something to his appetite change :)  It's nice to know I'm not the only one...

BTW, the blizzard was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Yum.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jumping on the Adoption story blog post bandwagon

Anyone who has read the news lately has surely seen the headlines about the American woman who "returned" the child she'd adopted from Russia.  While I myself don't know how I feel about this, especially given the lack of facts (did the adoption agency misrepresent the boy's true nature/behavioral problems, what sort of problems did he have, what did the "mother" try to do to fix the situation, etc. etc.), it has caused serious debate and raised more issues about international adoptions. 

But I just read a story about an American adoption gone wrong and feel outraged.  An unwed mother lied and told the father she'd miscarried, and then after she delivered the baby in Virginia she gave it up for adoption in Utah.  Apparently Utah has some crazy adoption laws and the father has now been pushed out of the child's life, even though he filed for custody in the state the mother gave birth.  Check out the story here. This is clearly a case where the legal system has failed, in a huge way.  It's also the kind of story that makes me think I'd really enjoy doing family law - although it would be very emotional and I think that would wear on you after a while.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hola. Jambo. Salut. Hallo. Aloha.

Anyone out there?  I realize my blog posts have kind of trailed off the past couple of weeks.  So I'm wondering if I lost some readership?  Or do you all just not like to read?  Do you hate contests?  Or was picking your all time favorite book too hard?  So far I only have 2 entries for my blog giveaway.  This is depressing people.  Seriously.  So either I have no readers, you hate to read, or you don't like the question.  Well I can't do much about issue #1.  If you hate to read, you might be a lost cause and probably also fall into category #1, because why would you be reading a blog?  So if its #3, I'll cut you some slack - how about telling me the most recent book you read (or the current book you're slugging through)?  That should be easier than picking a favorite.  And since we all like incentives, if I get at least 5 more people to sign up for the contest, I'll reveal something secretive about myself or my life (who doesn't like juicy gossip.  Wait, did I say juicy?  My life isn't too juicy, but maybe I can come up with something...or maybe I have something in mind.  Or maybe I'm just toying with you to get you to enter my silly giveaway - guess you'll have to enter to find out....).  And if I get 10 more people, I'll throw in a second book as a free gift to you - another book on my list!  So come one people, enter!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm Having Issues (as if you didn't already know this)

Specifically, my issue today has to do with breathing - it's a difficult task.  And there is one reason, and one reason only - I'm living in Georgia and its springtime.  So that means one thing...POLLEN, and lots of it.  According to the allergy specialists, anything over 120 is considered "extremely high".  Yesterday the pollen count was over 1600 and today it is 2,967!  Now if 121 is considered extremely high, what the hell is close to 3,000?  Toxic?

The strange thing is that I'm usually not too effected by allergies.  But apparently you can get them for the first time as an adult.  So rational thinking leads me to conclude that I'm officially an adult.  An adult with pollen allergies.  Lovely.

And while we're on the topic of issues, I have another one.  We're going to a wedding this weekend and I don't know what to wear.  The high for Saturday is 60 degrees - but the wedding is in the afternoon and the reception is in the evening.  So what's a girl to wear?  A sundress would seem appropriate for the day, but is it still appropriate for the evening?  An LBD seems too formal for an afternoon wedding, but perfect for the evening.  Is it best to wear one thing to the ceremony and change into another outfit for the reception?  That seems like a bit of overkill.  Thoughts?

And my last issue (at least the last one I'll burden you with) is the number of shoe casualties in our house.  I've now had to bury my favorite pair of red heels, my blue suede shoes and now Mr. Cob's one pair of flip flops.  Wrigley does not seem to understand that shoes are not "chew toys".  Any ideas on how to stop the bloodshed?  I realize we could always remember to put our shoes off the floor, but this isn't realistic.  It's the pup that needs to change, not her humans.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Blog Give Away!!!

It's time for the Swans' very first Blog free giveaway! 

As those of you who've been following along for the past few months know, I've undertaken a 30 Books Challenge.  The entire list can be found here.  I still have a long way to go and really need to step it up a notch in the book reading, but I'm hoping a week at the beach next month will help - there's nothing better than sitting on the beach, listening to the waves and reading an amazing book.

Well my dear old friend, Marissa over at A Spoonful of Sugar, has been following the challenge and so thoughtfully sent me a copy of one of the books on my list, as its one of her favorites.    What book, you ask?  The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. 

The Alchemist "is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams."  (thanks to google books for the summary).

My brother gave me this book as a graduation gift from college and I've read it a handful of times, and plan on reading it again for "the Challenge."  It is truly an inspiring book.  Along with the book, Marissa sent me a note saying that if I'd already read the book, to pass this copy along to someone else so they can share in its beauty.  So that is exactly what I'm doing. 

Here are the rules - Leave a comment letting me know what your all-time favorite book is (and why, if you're feeling jazzy).  I'll take comments until next Sunday (April 11th) at midnight.  Then I'll select a winner at random and mail you the book.  It really is a book you'll enjoy reading and hopefully pass along to someone else when you're done.