Thursday, May 27, 2010

Get Fit!

Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month?  No?  Well, it is and its time to get fit!  And while May is winding down, its not over yet, so in an effort to promote physical fitness and sports, I wanted to bring some fitness info to the blogosphere!  Lucky for me, my amazing sister-in-law Ana Lisa is a yoga instructor and was recently interviewed for CNN's Morning Express show with Robin Meade.  So I thought it would be fun to interview her and bring some of her yoga knowledge to you! 

(pics from Jai Shanti Yoga in Atlanta - one studio Ana teaches at)

TSAN: So yo, how'd you get into this whole yoga thing?

ANA: I grew up in Los Angeles CA where Yoga was abundant and taking classes from some of the most famous Yoga teachers like Sean Corn and Shiva Rea and I didn’t even know I was in the Yoga mecca at the time. After getting a BA in Child Development in California (CSUN), and a BS in Recreation Therapy (VCU), I became certified in 2004 as a Yoga instructor in Integral Yoga. I immersed myself in the Yoga lifestyle (not just the postures of yoga but LIVING the Yoga) and lived at the Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham VA, also called, believe it or not, Yogaville!!!! After my experience there, I worked in GA at a Psychiatric Hospital as a Recreation Therapist and started a Yoga healing program for all the variety of patients including those with Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress, addictions, eating disorders, Alzheimer’s, those in wheel chairs and those with blindness, all the way from children to elderly. …the list goes on. And let me tell you if you are going to learn about Yoga and how it can help EVERYONE, this is definitely a total experience of that!!

Together the patients and I discovered through the movements and the breath, how to decrease stress, slow down the mind chatter, the worry, increase endorphins and a sense of purpose in life, we explored the possibilities of acceptance, self confidence, and learned how to adjust and modify postures so that all could participate and still feel successful in their practice of Yoga. For example one time a little boy, he must have been only about 8 years old, was having panic attacks that was taking over his life and as part of his therapy he was to participate in Yoga just once a week. During one of his attacks he grabbed the wall and it looked like he wanted to jump out of his own skin and all he could say was take it away and help me. So we focused specifically on the breath and we learned 2 specific Yoga breaths that helped him refocus his attention and take control of his own healing. After a few sessions he was able to calm himself down and even slow his heart rate without any help. I also developed a very successful Yoga program for the staff (Nurses, Drs, Psychologists, Social workers etc.) at the hospital so they could not only see what their patients were doing, but to keep healthy and fit themselves.

I now have taken additional immersion Yoga courses in Vinyasa Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and a teacher training in Hot Core power Yoga and expanded my teaching to instruct more out in Yoga studios across Atlanta and I am teaching 2 elective Yoga classes at Emory University for the undergrad Business department.

So I am a firm believer that Yoga is and can be for anyone that wants to try it!!! My goal is to tear down the perceptual barriers, the inner thinking of anyone reading this that may say that they can’t do yoga for whatever reason.

TSAN: What exactly is yoga?
ANA:  Yoga literally means to Yoke or to Unite….and it may be the only “exercise” that integrates the mind body and spirit. And right now surprisingly even in the change in our economy, people are seeking out to live a life more consciously, with more meaning, and with greater empowerment to achieve a sustainable sense of health!

TSAN: But there are different types of yoga, right?  What are some of them and the benefits?

All Yoga styles increase flexibility,

Hatha Yoga is a general term, which doesn’t actually clarify the specific style of yoga for the class. This just means you are going to be practicing the postures or the physical part of Yoga rather than the other aspects of Yoga such as the yoga of intellect (Jyana), the Yoga of Devotion (Bhakti) for example. But generally there is an assumption that this class is for beginners. The best thing to do is ask your instructor what style he/she teaches to get a feel for what this class is like.

Vinyasa actually means breath synchronized with movement. So in my Vinyasa classes for example, we move to the rhythm of the breath. When we breathe in we move into one posture and when we breathe out we move into the next. So there is a constant flow and movements to make you feel like you are dancing. It is a very graceful practice that asks you to lead your body by watching the breath. It consists of sun salutations and circular movements. Depending on the teacher Vinyasa can be vigorous and fast paced or slow and relaxing and the postures can change from class to class.

Power Yoga to my understanding is a very broad term of Yoga but tends to come from Ashtanga Yoga which is very precise and has a set series of vigorous postures where the student learns at their own pace. But this class is not for beginners. If you enjoy precision, order, and a focus on strengthening postures, this is for you. Most athletes gravitate to these classes.

Restorative Yoga which includes other names such as Yin, Restorative Flow, or even Svaroopa Yoga, include a gentle relaxing experience of Yoga with the use of props such as bolsters and blankets. Each student finds an easeful way to get into the postures. There is also a long Savasana, or restful stillness, at the end of each class.

Integral Yoga, which is where my roots are as a teacher, means to integrate mind body and spirit! The practice includes forward folds, backbends, sun salutations, inversions, inward reflection, meditation, and 15 minutes of Yoga Nidra, a specific type of deep relaxation that asks you to witness your body relax and it is worth 2 hours of deep sleep. Integral accommodates to beginners to advanced practitioners.

There are so many other types of Yoga…its really endless.  There are also Yoga classes that do not follow a specific tradition but tailor to the group such as Yoga for foodies, Yoga for the stiff guy, Yoga for the curvy girl, Nude Yoga, Laughter Yoga, there’s even yoga for dogs called Doga yes Doga!!!

TSAN: So you mentioned above that you teach Hot Yoga.  Is this the same as the Bikram thing thats all the rave?

ANA: Bikram Choudury who created the concept that yoga could be done in the heat founded Bikram Yoga. Which was a huge shift in the way we practice Yoga. This way, the muscles are more supple and flexible going in. He also developed a specific sequence of 26 postures that if you take a Bikram class it is the same wherever you go and not to be delineated from. Because of the high heat (103-110) and moisture in the room, these postures incorporate more balancing and stable asanas (postures) rather than flow postures where you would be moving from one posture to the next with the breath.

Hot Yoga has many different varieties and does not follow the series of Bikram postures. For example, the Hot Core power class that I teach is about 95 degrees and we practice a combination of balancing as well as sun salutations. There tends to be a flow of postures rather than stopping and starting. There is also more flexibility to change the sequence of the postures and make the class unique each time which helps me as a teacher to tailor the class for the students at any stage in their practice…whether its their first time or they have been doing Yoga their whole life.

TSAN: So are there physical benefits of hot yoga?

ANA: Yes, Yoga in the heat allows the muscles to relax which helps students to move more deeply in a pose, with a greater range of movement in the muscles, joints, and ligaments. But this is also why we practice not just stretching out the tight muscles but also strengthening the muscles at the same time to protect and support the body so as not to over stretch as well.

Another immediate benefit is that while in the heat, you must breath even if you don’t know the yoga breaths it encourages deep breathing which, with the movements invites for not only a deeper concentration in each posture but a great endorphin release.

The endorphin release has been said to be similar to running or after lifting weights, which are two very different exercises.

Hot Yoga helps to oxygenate the body, removing toxins in glands, organs, and tissues and improves your circulation as well as your immune system. making you look and feel younger and more energized.

Another added bonus is that the heat breaks down fatty acids speeding up your metabolism

TSAN: We've all heard that yoga is good for the soul, but does hot yoga have emotional benefits as well as physical, or is just a good workout?

ANA: The emotional benefits of the heat include a positive mood, a calm relaxed attitude, clarity in the mind, increased concentration and a greater sense of inner joy.

When people come out of my Hot Core Power Yoga class they say they feel refreshed, energized, high on life, that it’s addictive, and they even feel blissful!

TSAN: I want to feel blissed out! What type of yoga should I try if I'm new to this whole thing?

ANA:   So if you’re trying to find out if Yoga is for you, or which style to try, then think about the kind of experience you want to have rather than fitting yourself into a specific mold. Because, believe it or not, there is a Yoga class for EVERYBODY.

I want to thank Ana for all her info!  She really is an amazing teacher.  Ana is moving to California at the end of June, but before she goes you should check out one of her hot core power classes on Friday nights at Decatur Hot Yoga or her Sunday morning restorative class at DHY (although get there early because it sells out many weeks)!

Search #2 - Childcare

The adventures in soon-to-be parenting continue.  Mr. Cob and I are in the midst of trying to find daycare for our little bun.  Yes, I know, I'm not due until November - another 23 weeks, and then I get 12 weeks of maternity leave, so we won't actually need childcare for another 35 weeks (I can add, yay math), i.e. the end of January/beginning of February (assuming the little one arrives "on time").  But since I've been public about my "condition", multiple people have told me to immediately begin our childcare search. 

Mr. Cob and I are both attorneys, and both put ourselves through law school, which means we have student loans (luckily UGA law is extremely reasonable and our loans aren't nearly as much as many other law school grads, but its still substantial debt, although good debt).  And we both have great jobs, that we like, so one of us quitting our job to stay at home with Baby S isn't really an option - we would have to sell our house and downsize, move to the suburbs, and completely change our standard of living.  I'm not saying this isn't an option forever - once Baby S gets here, I may totally change my mind and decide that continuing to work is not what I want to do, in which case we will reevaulate and go from there.  But for now, I feel very strongly about continuing my career (as does Mr. Cob) and I believe we can raise a well-adjusted, loved child and both be attorneys.  (This is my hope, anyway - stop smirking at me.)

So with that decision to both continue working, we need to find some childcare for Baby S.  The obvious two options are daycare/school or a nanny.  From what I've heard, nannies are more expensive than daycare, so for now we are focusing our search on daycares - although, from the looks of it, decent daycares start at around $1000/month, so its not cheap.  Ideally, I'd really love to find another couple of working moms who live close by and do a nanny-share, but until I can manifest that perfect scenerio, we're getting our name on waitlists at as many daycares as possible and hoping for the best.

Today we are going to tour the Canterbury School in Morningside.  It has been providing childcare to Atlanta residents since 1954, so it has to be doing something right.  Their mission is:

Canterbury School is dedicated to providing a superior quality early childhood education to our young children. Canterbury’s emphasis is on providing small class sizes, intellectual stimulation coordinated with child’s play, child-centered activities based on experimentation with materials of the child’s own choosing, and a nurturing environment that promotes self confidence, respect for self and others, and life-long learning.

We are already on their waitlist, so hopefully we like it.  We shall see.

Other schools we'll be looking at are The Phoneix School in Oakhurst, the Frazier Center (which is inclusive childcare for children with disabilities and children without disabilities, which we've heard is a great school - also, given that Mr. Cob grew up in a school system of inclusion, we thought this would be a great option) and Primrose Academy - and any other suggestions anyone may have.  So bring on the suggestions!  Or let me know if you know of a nanny wanting to take on a new baby in February!

So here's to another search - hopefully it goes better than our church search...which we kind of abandoned for a bit...oops.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have the cutest nephew on the face of the earth.  It was confirmed after spending a week at the beach with him this past week.  Every morning I would wake up, open the bedroom door, Wrigley and I would walk out, and Stuart would be holding his blankie, sucking his finger, smile at me and the dog and sort of sing "Hi Wrigley."  I've missed hearing this the past two mornings.  And I think Wrigs (as Stu started calling her) misses Stuart.  Stu was always throwing her the ball or her bone, or just laying on top of Wrigley as she tried to rest.  I think Wrigley loved the attention.  And I think Brent and Ana may have to get a dog once they're settled in Cali.

I also realized how silly this sweet kid is.  He loves to eat oatmeal and whenever he stays with grandma Sip-Sip they eat oatmeal every morning.  With raisins.  And Stu will tell you to put raisins in it if they aren't there.  Well we got out to the beach and Stu looked around at the sand and kept saying "Oatmeal" - we all kind of laughed and told him no, it's sand.  But as the week went on, every time we'd go to the beach he'd point to the sand and repeatedly say oatmeal, which just made everyone laugh outloud.  We finally realized he was being funny because everytime he said it, and we'd laugh and he'd sit there with this huge smile on his face. 

One of the cutest events of the week happened one morning as my dad (or "Up" as Stuart calls him) was about to go for a run.  Dad asked Stu, completely joking, if he wanted to go jogging with Up.  Well Stu said yes and kept repeating "jog with Up, jog with Up."  And he was serious.  So Brent put on his little shoes and the three of them went for a jog around the block.  Stu running with my dad and brother was such a cute sight to see!  Three generations going for a run...

I love this sweet little monkey!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stain Be Gone

Big changes are afoot. While I sit here at work, someone else is working on my house! After 9 months, we finally decided it was time for the water mark on the dining room ceiling to go. We briefly considered leaving it – it did add “character” (though not so much “charm”) and was a lovely conversation starter. But let’s be honest, it’s overstayed its welcome.

And I’m doubly excited, because after they take down the dry wall, re-dry wall, tape, and mud (I think these are the steps, though I’m no ceiling repairman), they are painting the ceiling. But they have to paint the entire ceiling for it to look uniform. And our kitchen and dining room ceiling merge together, so both ceilings are getting painted. Why does this make me so excited? Because lets just say I have a strong dislike for blue tape when painting and I protested by not taping the ceiling when I painted the kitchen and dining room walls in March. So my lines are not exactly straight. I’m hoping that the ceiling paint job fixes my mistakes! If not, option B is to put up crown molding along the ceiling edge, which would be nice too – but time consuming and costly. So let’s hope plan A works out.

So once this week is over, we’ll have fixed the two biggest problems caused from the flood of ‘09 – the roof and the dining room ceiling. Oh, and Mr. Cob built a French drain in the front yard to divert water from collecting at the front of our house and seeping into the basement. The only thing left (in relation to the water damage), is to waterproof the basement – that shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Bye bye stain!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Say What?!?!

Has anyone ever told you that you "look tired" or asked if you were "feeling sick"?  While they're inquiring about your well-being, they are essentially telling you that you look bad.  People's words don't always come across the way they intend.

Well, people really don't know what to say to a pregnant woman.  I am certain it will get worse as I get farther along in this baby thing, but I'm trying to take it with a grain of salt and laugh along the way.

Today at work I was told by three different people that I was looking quite pregnant.  I blamed it on the blousy maternity dress.  But the fact of the matter is, I am pregnant and my pregnant belly is slowly transitioning from "bloated beer gut" to "slightly chubby" to "baby bump".  So these observations were true and didn't bother me in the least.

But at the end of the day, I recieved the comment of comments.  One of my coworkers stopped dead in her tracks as she was walking down the hall, turned around, and said (rather flabbergastedly), "my, you do have a pooch there."  There was something about the word "pooch" that just did not float with me.  I managed a chuckle and asked that we please not call it a pooch.  Pooch just sounds so gross. 

So please, if you see a pregnant lady, do not comment on her pooch - leave it for refering to a cute dog.

And while we're on the subject...

Looking a little triangular?

Friday, May 21, 2010


Wish you were here...

(My wine has been replaced with sparkling cider...)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Would You Like a Side of Pennies with that Burger?

While I can’t lay claim to morning sickness or really odd food cravings or aversions, I have had some strange and strong pregnancy side effects.

The most notable today is something called Dysgeusia (yes, I had to google that). It’s when you have a change in your sense of taste. And wouldn’t you know, I’m lucky enough to have this strong metallic taste in my mouth. Sort of like I’ve been chewing on nickels or screws (not that I would know what that tastes like…). And its just gross. It’s apparently due to the hormones and especially the estrogen. The trusty internet suggests eating acidic foods to counteract the metallic taste. Good thing I’m into orange juice these days. (Or I can try pickles if I wanted to be totally cliché).

The other most notable change from my non-preggo state, is vivid dreaming. I wake up each morning and tell Mr. Cob about spending my dreams with so and so. Last night my friend Erin from Boston and her son Jack came to visit. Last week, Todd’s friend Dan from college came to town. I’m also dreaming about people I haven’t seen or spoken to in years – guess they’re creeping from somewhere in my subconscious. And some of my dreams have gotten rather, um, erotic, which is highly out of character for my dreamland escapades. It’s very odd to wake up blushing in the morning…

I also have the, not so uncommon, pregnancy brain. I find myself walking upstairs to our bedroom and having no idea what I came up there to do. Or I’ll read a page or two in a contract and not be able to tell you anything it said. I’ve never considered myself a scatterbrained person, but now the term is fitting.

And the other weird thing, at least I think its weird, is the strong need to touch my belly at random times during the day. I can’t feel Baby Swan moving – no flutters or anything yet. And my stomach doesn’t look pregnant (a few pounds on the chubs side, yes, but pregnant looking, not so much). So I can only imagine what people are thinking when they see me rub my belly. I imagine I look ridiculous. Oh well, that’s ok with me.

Anyone else have/had odd pregnancy side effects? Oh, and I apologize for the baby-centered topics of late ... I promised myself I wouldn't just blog about baby and I don't intend to, but its what's giving me good topics lately.  Once my life gets more exciting in another area, I'll be sure to blog about it :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby Swan Update

We went to the doctor for our monthly OB appointment today. Baby Swan is doing just fine – strong heartbeat according to the Doppler. And I am also doing well. Blood pressure is low and weight gain is normal according to the doctor. I’m at 15 weeks and have gained roughly 10 pounds. I asked Mr. Cob if I looked like I’d gained that much and he sweetly told me no, which I don’t think is too far from the truth (and if it is, he’s smart enough to know to lie). The most obvious change so far has been the thickening of my waist. It used to be much more hourglass shaped – not so much anymore. And the beer gut look is easily covered with flowy tops. And the bigger boobs are a nice touch, although I think they’ll be dwarfed by the growing belly at some point. But for now I’ll enjoy living out what I’ve always felt is my big chested destiny.

Our next appointment is June 7th when we find out the sex of the baby!  I’ve been told by more than one person not to get too set on finding out that day because the baby may not be cooperative. Although, with Mr. Cob as a father, I doubt we have a shy one on our hands…rather, we probably have one who is always ready to show off his jewels.  Again, I keep saying he because I have this feeling we're having a boy, but I could be wrong. Mr. Cob did have a dream last night that we had a boy, or actually that he had (as in birthed) a boy! If only men could birth the baby. Let’s just say I’m going to need these next 6 months to mentally prepare for the labor and delivery part of this whole thing. My tolerance for pain has been said to be on the low end.  So I think I’m going to sign us up for a HypnoBirthing classes to help prepare.

HypnoBirthing, for those not in the know, (1) “starts from the premise that childbirth is natural and was never intended to be unduly painful. Our culture has made it so. (2) HypnoBirthing uses breathing techniques designed to release tension, restore your energy and facilitate the baby’s descent. (3) With increasing evidence that babies in the womb have memory, HypnoBirthing strives to have the baby’s, as well as the mother’s, experience be gentle and calm to give your child the best possible start to life.” (From the HypnoBirthing pamphlet from Stress Management Resources in Atlanta – The next round of classes begin in June, so I plan on signing us up. My doctor said she thinks it’s a great idea and said her patients who practice HypnoBirthing really do have a much more calm and pleasant experience. And who doesn't want that?!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You Fail

As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Well, I’ve been failing lately. Failing in the food category. I’m a big believer in brown bag lunches and snacks and cooking at home whenever possible. However, I’ve found myself handing over my debit card to more food venders in the past month than the whole last year combined. And this needs to change.

For one thing, eating out is expensive. Five bucks for a chicken sandwich may not seem like much, but if you add in the $4 smoothie for breakfast, $2.50 bagel for a snack and multiply that by 5 days a week, you’re looking at roughly $50 a week on food. And that’s just food eaten during business hours! Never mind the dinners out. Or the weekends. Even if you ate every dinner at home and cooked each weekend meal, you’re still looking at $200 per month on work/daytime food.

But the other, bigger problem is that most of the food you purchase on the go is crap. Pure and simple crap. Some of it may be nutritious, but overall, it will never be as healthy as what you could whip together at home. I do my best to choose “healthy” options – almost always opting for the grilled chicken sandwich in lieu of the fried or 86-ing the sour cream from my burrito and foregoing the chips. But you still don’t know where this “food” comes from or where the fat is hiding. And probably the worst nutrition aspect is the sodium – its always incredibly high.

So I fully realize that I need to be bringing my food to work, but I’m having issues following through. For one thing (due to this whole knocked up thing), I can’t eat lunch meat unless it’s heated up, which is just icky, so sandwiches are out. PB&Js get old, very quickly, especially considering I eat an English muffin with peanut butter as part of my breakfast most mornings. Salads are good in theory, but they require a lot of planning and ingredients. And I’m trying to reduce the amount of processed foods I eat (yes, I realize this is ironic considering all the eating out…).

When I do get my sh*t together, I’ve been brining Kashi frozen meals for lunch and Greek yogurt with honey for a snack. I’m also big on bananas. But I’m curious what other people do for healthy brown bag lunches? Any tips would be much appreciated!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My muses

I figured it was time for a change in the blog.  An updated page if you will.  I feel like this is more fitting with my personality.  What do you think?

So Mr. Cob and Wrigley have been willing subjects for my new hobby as an amateur photographer.  I think I have a long way to go, but this camera really helps.  Here's my favorite picture from tonight.  Something about it just makes me smile.  My favorite "people" and their feet.  So sweet.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Speaking of feet, rumor has it that pregnancy can make your feet grow.  I understand how they might swell up and become bloated along with the rest of the body, but supposedly they actually grow LONGER!  For some people, like my friend Katie, who has a size 5.5 foot, this wouldn't be so much of a problem.  In fact, she'd probably be happy with this change since size 5.5 cute shoes aren't easy to come by, especially when you're a shoe lover like she is.  But for me, my feet don't need to grow.  Let's just say that when I was a swimmer it was noted that I had my own permanent set of flippers.  And for my 5'4 height, my size 9 feet are somewhat disproportionate.  So I really hope my feet don't grow along with Baby Swan.  The only upside would be the ability to guilt-free shop for a whole new shoe wardrobe.  And these would be first in my cart...

Or these...

And these beauties...

They're all quite practical for a pregnant woman or new mother, don't you think?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Double Dipping

This has been a WONDERFUL weekend!  Mainly because I turned 29 and celebrated Mother's Day all in one weekend.

Mr. Cob took me out to a romantic dinner at a French restaurant in Midtown - Amuse - on Friday.  Which we followed with dessert at a chocolate shoppe in Decatur.  And you may have noticed that the pictures on "TSAN" have been sparce lately...its because my camera has been broken.  Well Mr. Cob upgraded me big time!  He gave me a high-tech SLR digital camera!  It's AMAZING!  I need to read the instruction booklet so I know how to use all the camera's functions, and it'd probably be worth my while to take a photography class or two.  But until then, I'm just going to play with it and learn as I go.

Today we celebrated my birthday and mother's day with my family for brunch at my parent's house.  Here are a few of the best pictures - the quality is much better than my old camera!

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms, grandmas, moms-to-be, aunts and all women everywhere!  I hope you had as wonderful a weekend as I did!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just a Little Something my Husband Cobbled Together / Guest Post

Hello. People call me Mr. Cob. By “people” I mean my wife and you strangers casually observing my life through the electronic magic that is the interwebs. As avid readers you will recall that I promised to address some “gross mischaracterizations” of Mrs. Swan’s retelling our wonderful news concerning Baby S.

Let me begin by explaining how all this started. When and man and woman love each other very much, they get married, and then… well I forget how it actually works. Something about a stork, a twelve sided die and chocolate sauce then poof baby. But here is the thing, I was told, nay re-assured, that the process of creating a new life took the average couple 6-8 months, even longer if you are Sting.

So imagine my shock that Friday in February when, after a truly horrendous day, I came home to the sweet, synthetic smell of Funfetti. Yes, I love funfetti cake. What of it? It is pure sugar, has rainbow colored faux sprinkles inside the cake, and is peddled by an adorable little crack addict who appears to be related to the Stay Puft marshmallow man.

And yes. I was shocked. I thought Ryan baked me a cake because I had such a horrible week. That’s all that unusual. Instead, I found out that I was going to be a father, way ahead of schedule. It was a wonderful surprise to say the least and what better way to celebrate new life than with the finest food life has to offer – Funfetti.

I must say that the best part about finding out we were having a baby was the keeping it a secret. Many times I feel like everyone is in our business. I suppose that is the only negative, and a small negative at that of being so close with our family and friends. We have few secrets that ours, just belonging to the two of us. And so the next week and a half, before we told our parents and friends, was great. We would hang out with people and any time there was an opportunity to share the news, instead of blurting out “We’re having a baby!” we would smile or wink at each other. It was truly special and I will always remember those moments where it was just our little secret.

Having now been immersed in baby land, with our other pregnant friends, for some 9 or 10 weeks, I have learned one thing. Pregnant women are like Jeff Goldblum from The Fly. You know, the part where he is keeping a daily journal of the strange and fascinating changes his body is undergoing as he turns into a giant insect. Only difference is that in nine months, Mrs. Swan won’t have compound eyes – I hope.

Not that I blame them, I mean, it is pretty incredible and their bodies are going through an incredible metamorphosis. But still, it is like every time we get together, I hear about some new fluid or growth that will be coming.

It is in this context that I need to address a statement made by Mrs. Swan. I need to address all this nonsense about breast milk and my apparent shock and horror at her suggestion that I go buy a bag of oreos and drink some up like some perverted Louis Pasteur. (paraphrasing) Look, the reason why I think it is acceptable to drink cows milk but am grossed out by drinking human’s milk is the same reason I think it is acceptable to eat beef, but not eat humans. It is the same species. It is as close to cannibalism as we can get without the plane crash. That was the reason. This whole cave man nonsense is complete and udder fabrication.

Finally, I would like address some recent posts Mrs. Swan has made about herself. First off, you are glowing girl – to say otherwise is absolutely ridiculous. She looks great, the bump is cute . . . everything is just perfect. Second, this woman will be an incredible mom. True, there is no such thing as the perfect parent, but I believe World’s Greatest Mom is not out of the question. That t-shirt is tougher to come by than you would think – though neither I, nor Jerry Seinfeld, are entirely sure how official those rankings really are. (“Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum!”)

So last week we had the uber-ultrasound. The souped up version where we could see the baby’s brain, it was moving around, and most of all heard the heartbeat. Its heart was beating so fast. German discotech fast. If it is a boy, we should name him Dieter and get him a monkey fast. Get it? Good. Moving on.

Notice I have been saying it. Mrs. Swan is thinking that we are having a boy, she constantly says “him” and “he,” but I really don’t care. Truly. And yet, people keep asking me, in slightly different ways, but it is the same question: Do I want a boy or a girl?

When I consider this question I am reminded of the words of my favorite actor John Cusack in one of my favorite movies, Gross Pointe Blank. In this scene Martin Q. Blank, the hitman who returns to his hometown for his high school reunion, is out for a drink with his high school sweetheart, Debi, whom he abandoned – on prom night – to join the army, and who he has not seen or spoken to since.

Debi: So, is there a Mrs. Mysterio?
Martin Q. Blank: No, but I do have a very nice cat.
Debi: Not the same.
Martin Q. Blank: Well, you don’t know my cat, it’s very demanding.
Debi: It? You don’t know if it is a boy or a girl?
Martin Q. Blank: I respect its privacy.

Baby S, I respect your privacy – for now. I truly don’t care whether you are a boy or a girl. The die has been cast, so to speak, and I am just on the edge of seat waiting to find out. That being said we are going to find out what you are as soon as we can. As you will learn Baby S, Dad doesn’t handle surprises very well… just ask Mom.

Speaking of surprises did you know that I am tubby? That’s right. I lost nearly 20 pounds at the beginning of this year and most of it is back already. If you have been paying attention, you probably know that I love food that is awful for me. Funfetti, buffalo wings, deep fried, cheese covered twinkies, and, of course, Guinness. And guess what. Daddy books tell us that it is normal to have crazy cravings. They call it couvade – or sympathy hungers. I call it a convenient excuse for my inner fatass to take over. Guess what, I always want a doughnut, but before I heard about sympathy hungers, I said “You are better than that. You don’t need that.” But now, armed with all sorts of daddy books, I say “It’s normal. Make sure it has sprinkles…”

And I that note I bid adieu. Rest assured dear reader, I will be back in the not so distant future to offer more observations on life, choc full of references from Cusack movies, Seinfeld, and possibly Monty Python. Now where did I put that twinkie… oops. I was sitting on it. Again.

Early Bird

I ate lunch today at 11:05am. And this was only because I had a mid-morning banana to hold me over that long. I really would have been quite content to eat at 10:30am, but all the restaurants downstairs were still serving breakfast and I’d already had my share of breakfast food today. So I held out until 11:00 when I went and got my chicken burrito bowl. At this rate I’ll need to eat again around 2pm– good thing I have a turkey burger in the fridge with my name on it – and then again around 4pm when I’ll snack on Greek yogurt. And then dinner at 5:30 or so.

So in honor of my hearty appetite and need to eat early, I thought I’d share some of Atlanta’s Early Bird restaurants specials. They’re not just for senior citizens. Pregnant women are welcome too.

• Goldfish (Perimeter Mall) - ½ Price Steaks & $5 Fresh Catch of the Day 4:30-6p.m.

• Strip (Atlantic Station, 245 18th street Atlanta, GA 30363) - ½ Price Sushi rolls upstairs Tuesday & Thursday 5-7:15 p.m.

• Eat at Thai 2 (225 E Ponce De Leon, #100 Decatur, GA 30030) - early bird specials from 5:30 to 7:00! three course meal for $10.

• Nakato Japenese Restaurant (1776 CHESHIRE BRIDGE ROAD, N.E., ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30324) – “Opening Specials” available Sunday through Thursday until 6:30PM (order must be taken by 6:30pm) - Sakura = Teriyaki Beef Julienne and Chicken ($11.25); Kiku = Shrimp and Teriyaki Chicken ($11.75); Fuji = Beef Julienne and Hibachi Shrimp ($12.75)

• Prime (Lenox Mall)- Every Night ½ Price Steaks from 5 – 6:15pm

• Highland Tap (1026 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306) - Sunday-Thursday 5PM-6:30 PM with HALF OFF Appetizers & recession-proof entree choices

• Scalini’s Italian Restaurant (warning: OTP - 2390 Cobb Pkwy SE, Smyrna, GA 30080) - offered Sunday through Thursday and is from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. - all pasta dishes are $9.95 (side note: this is also the restaurant that serves an eggplant parmesan that supposedly induces labor! We might be visiting Scalini’s in November…)

Anyone know of any other good "deals"???

Monday, May 3, 2010

Feel free to skip this

I just have to say that I cannot get over the fact that in six months time I'm going to be a mom. There is this little person growing inside of me and I'm going to be responsible for its well being. (Actually, I already am responsible for its well being, but you know what I mean...) It really is amazing.

Mr. Cob was reading me his Dad-to-be pregnancy book last night about the fourth month of pregnancy. Apparently this is the time that mood swings and emotions kick in to high gear. Oh joy. I am finding myself crying at the drop of a dime - any mothers day commercial has me nearly sobbing...especially the Hallmark one where the daughter just becomes a mom herself and sends her mom a card that says something like "from one mom to another." I'm starting to cry right now just thinking about it. Publix commercials also trigger the tears. And I was a mess during Army Wives last night. I should probably avoid the TV in general.

I did buy a whole new wardrobe this weekend - well, the bare bones of a maternity wardrobe. It was fun to buy a whole bunch of clothes at once. So far I’m handling the weight gain gracefully and finding myself in awe every time I step on the scale (which is not often, don’t worry, I’m not crazy). The numbers are just creeping up and it’s great. I know its for a good reason and is necessary. I do feel as though I just look like I have this beer gut right now, rather than a baby bump, so I’m actually looking forward to “popping” and looking obviously pregnant. My nails are growing like crazy and my hair is feeling more on the thick side.  I still don't quite have the "glow" you hear so many people talking about when refering to pregnant women.  Instead I'm struck with more breakouts than usual, which is frustrating since you can't really use any strong products to combat the problem.  Not sure it'd help since everythings due to my crazy hormones.  All in all, I'm enjoying pregnancy so far.  Aside from the no martini thing - I'm still not over that :)