Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why a midwife?


I often get asked the question, "Why are we using a midwife?" The question is a great one because so many people have a mis-perception of what midwives do.

Recently a great article was published by Jennifer Block, (author of "Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care") entitled Midwives Deliver. It goes beyond answering why I am using a midwife and answers the more broad question of why should ANYONE use a midwife. It also discusses why midwives are better for our nation as a whole with regards to healthcare costs.

* I highly recommend "Pushed" to anyone who is even thinking of having a child someday. It gives you an amazingly scary perspective on modern maternity care. As Jason says, I tend to rage against the machine - but considering we're talking about your body and your baby you better know your rights!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

another view of baby...

I know you were all excited to see the baby's ultrasound, but in case you wanted to see what the baby looks like from the outside, here is me at 19 1/2 weeks...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ultrasound!



It might be easier to see the baby like this:


Imagine it's standing, looking slightly to the left, waving it's right hand! (the large black circle on the baby to the right of the screen is the stomach)

Although I am technically 19 weeks + 4 days, the baby is measuring at 20 weeks+ 2 days.

Words can't quite describe the pure excitement we felt today. We laughed and cried tears of joy as we took the first glimpse of Baby Meslin. What an amazing experience this was. I can't believe what technology can do! The technician could measure the length of baby's bones, size of the skull and size of its body; she could tell me that the kidneys and bladder were working; she could see all four chambers of the heart; she could even tell us that the baby weighed approximately 12 oz. - healthy and growing at a perfect pace.

To see it open its mouth or move its hands, was surreal - we didn't want to leave that office. If everything goes according to plan, we won't see the baby again until it officially arrives*!! For now I am looking forward to feeling more movements and watching my belly grow :)

*For those of you who don't know, Jason and I are planning to have a lo-tech pregnancy and birth. Our first step was choosing a midwife as opposed to a OBGYN, we've also chosen to have only one ultrasound, and no first trimester testing. We have done our research and know what is available to us, but we're opting out of things that we feel aren't necessary.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Randomness



During our Christmas shopping session we stopped at Panera Bread for lunch around the corner from our townhouse. Lo and behold, we had a celebrity siting: Andrew Shue. You may remember him for his role on Melrose Place or for being the brother of Elizabeth Shue (who replaced the original role of Jennifer in Back to the Future III, which I watched on cable Saturday morning). More recently (2007) they both starred in the film Gracie - a sweet feminist chick-flick about a female soccer player (loosely based on their own lives). Either way, he is a celebrity and he drank his fresh-squeezed lemonade about 2 feet from me.

One of the perks of living on the east coast.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Holiday is Upon Us


We caught the matinee of the American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker today. They are a professional ballet company but they also run the Princeton Ballet School where I take classes.

The performance was wonderful and the costumes were AMAZING. The only thing that could have made it better was a live orchestra, but otherwise it was simply spectacular. The opening scene brought me to tears....I mean, I am a little emotional right now, but really, it was just that beautiful.

It reminded me of my younger days in dance. I remember seeing these beautiful ballerinas so poised yet flexible, strong yet delicate - they are the embodiment of femininity - real life princesses - disciplined and gorgeous. (Disclaimer: The feminist in me is well aware of the strict gender roles at play in ballet and the idea that it creates unrealistic expectations for little girls. This knowledge does not change my appreciation for ballet as an art)

We left the theatre and ventured across the Delaware into New Hope for an early dinner at Marsha Brown: Refined Creole Kitchen & Lounge. The service was fabulous and the food was even better. We tried the following: Crab Cheesecake appetizer, Seafood Gumbo, Crab & Lobster Bisque, Jambalaya, and Atlantic Salmon - all of which we recommend.

For those of you who do not live in the Greater Philadelphia area (ie: friends and family) please know that if you come to visit, this restaurant will be on our list of attractions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A True Vacation


photo courtesy of Sean McClelland

What is the definition of vacation? "leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure" - being home with my family for Thanksgiving was all of that and more. I got to see so many people I love and spend real quality time with them.

We celebrated Chase's 1st birthday with Dana's family and friends - I sometimes forget how long we've known each other and how well I know her family. They're kind-of like an extended family to me so it only made sense to spend part of my holiday with them too.

I visited all my old friends at Shelby Township and carved out a couple hours to spend at Ocean Breeze with my former-coworker, best-friend, and 2nd-mom, Sue B. It was great to catch up on local gossip and to be around people who know me, inside and out.

I got up early most mornings and drank coffee and chatted with mom; I got up waaaay early to re-learn how to make the fabulous stuffing my mother always makes for Thanksgiving dinner; I watched the Woodward Parade; I baked Christmas cookies with mom and Michelle all afternoon, searching for a recipe that came close to Grandma's (which we found); I got some chicken shawarma at Grape Leaves; My whole family sat down together to watch the Polar Express.

Now doesn't that just sound perfect? It was.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fun at the Flyers Game


Jason and I went to a Philly Flyers game last night. We had a blast for a couple of reasons: 1) the Wachovia Center is gorgeous (especially in comparison to Joe Louis Arena - sorry Joe) 2) We had seats 8 rows back from the flyer's bench 3) the Flyers won in sudden-death overtime - VERY EXCITING!

Back to my comment about Joe Louis.....can someone tell me why we can't get a new arena? Our winningest team in Detroit gets no respect? I'm not even a big hockey fan and I think they deserve it!

Sorry Lions, but I think it was a bunch of BS that your sorry-bottoms got a brand new stadium! My dad is the most die-hard fan and it is ONLY for his sake that I'm glad you have a nice place to play.

Teaching Our Children



On a more serious note, there was a downer in the evening at the game. It was a conversation I overheard between a man and his 9 or 10 year old son next to me. A Flyers player had a break-away and missed an opportunity to get a goal. The dialogue went as such:

Father: (angry) Why is that guy in the NHL?
Impressionable Son: Which guy?
Father: The Chinese guy!

a little later....

Father: There he is again!!
Impressionable Son: who?
Father: Pork-Fried Rice Guy

The guy obviously saw nothing wrong with this conversation because he didn't even try to lower his voice - not that it would have made it okay, but at least he would have been conscious that it inappropriate.

I could just see this little boy going to school and calling some Asian classmate "Pork Fried Rice" and not even really understanding what it means or why its so damaging. To this man, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai - they're probably all "Chinese" - the lack of respect for their heritage, the lack of understanding of their diversity, it all creates ignorance and breeds hate. This guy probably says that he is not a racist and tries to "teach" his kids that "black people are good too"....and he really believes that he's not racist.

Homophobia, sexism, racism, etc. are so embedded, so internalized, that we often only see them through the use of everyday language. Referring to an event as "so gay", calling another driver "dumb bitch", saying a woman has a "ghetto booty"....it may all seem funny, or harmless, but it all reinforces a long history of hate for someone because they are different than you.

This is why being "Politically Correct" should not be such a frowned upon term. Being PC simply means being conscious of the fact that certain language historically has been meant to marginalize others.

What we DO teaches our children MORE than when attempt to TEACH them. Good manners, good morals, equality and respect are all born out of modeling, not preaching those qualities to children.

I am mad at myself for not saying something... I don't know what I could have said that would have made a difference. Hopefully this blog is my way of speaking out, but unfortunately, that man will never read this.

NOTE: I wanted to look up info on the player the man was referring to in order to give him his proper respect. Arron Asham is not "Chinese" but rather is an Ojibway native Canadian from the province of Manitoba and is reportedly VERY proud of his ancestry.

Sorority

I never belonged to a sorority. I wasn't a traditional college student - I worked full-time, went to school at night, and lived at home with the parents and commuted to a local University. I don't necessarily dislike sororities, but I never pictured myself being the sorority-type.

This past week, I was telling Jason about conversations I've been having with women since I found out I was pregnant. All the mother's of the kids at school I work for suddenly have so much to say and share with me regarding pregnancy and kids...it's pleasant, but almost alarming. Jason told me it was as if I was rushing a sorority. I am in the pledge class ("pregnant"), my hazing ("labor & Delivery") will determine my being invited in, and then I will be a member ("mother").....My hubby has always been good with analogies, but this is by far, one of his best.

While I am excited to enter the Mommy Sorority, I am also sad that I am leaving behind my prior designation. My friends who are single and/or married w/out kids will of course remain my friends, but the environment I am moving into is inherently different. Much like how a sorority/fraternity separates you from other classmates and prior friends, so does parenthood.

I don't know that its the same for men...in fact, I'm fairly certain that its not. I am determined to not let motherhood consume me to the point where I am ONLY a mother. I need my friends and family to remind me of the Rebecca I was before the baby came: wife, daughter, sister, friend, feminist, sassy-pants, etc. So if you talk to me and all I can converse about it little peanut's spit-up, the color of peanut's poop, and how exhausted I am, please stop me and say, "can we talk about something else". I will try to remember not to take it personally, but rather appreciate your attempt to remind me that being a mother is more than baby's bodily fluids - it's about being the woman you always were and bringing baby along for the ride!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful


We went today to meet another one of the midwives at Princeton Midwifery Care and just check-up on me. According to their scales I've gained 3 lbs (according to my calculations I've gained 5 lbs....so I'll go with theirs). We heard a nice, strong heartbeat and confirmed our appointment for our ultrasound the week before Christmas - once again - we are NOT finding out the sex of the baby.

Needless to say, Jason and I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: our health, our families, our future child, our careers, and our successful new life here in NJ. We are travelling back to Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday - leaving here next Tuesday and returning the following Sunday. We are trying to keep the trip low-key and spending as much time relaxing with my family as possible. Having said that, I am excited to see all my friends at Shelby Township and having a crazy-long lunch with Sue Bianchi, celebrate Chase's 1st birthday and attend my 10-year high school reunion!

I want to be able to hug my mom, dad, sister and brother and have them put their hands on my growing belly for the first time! We talk all the time, but I miss their hugs and kisses now more than ever.

Truthfully, I am most looking forward to eating my mom's stuffing. My mom's cooking has always represented her love and devotion to her family. Her stuffing is the quintessential old-fashioned, unique and delicious product that no one could ever reproduce. Unfortunately, I received a warning NOT to eat stuffing that is baked inside the turkey due to the fact that the internal temperature of bird may not get high enough to kill all the harmful bacteria which can be dangerous for preggo women....umm....seriously, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will stop me from eating my mother's stuffing. DO YOU HEAR ME?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

15 weeks

Here are some photos of me a 15 weeks
wearing a beautiful top that my mama bought me (thanks!)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Italian food ....in Mexico?

Jason and I spent a little less than a week in Mexico to celebrate our friend's wedding and take a much needed vacation. We enjoyed the sun and sand as well as the company of some great friends in Playa Del Carmen and in Cozumel. Mize and Deidre's ceremony on the beach was beautiful as was Wyndham resort that we stayed at.

The only disappointment of the trip was the lack of authentic Mexican food. The resort was all-inclusive and had 2 restaurants open for dinner both of which had nice food....Mosaique was Asian Fusion and Roberto's was Italian...um....really? I didn't travel by car, plane, taxi, and ferry for 10 hours to get to an Italian restaurant - I live in Jersey for God's sake.




Proud Moment in American History


The blogosphere is humming with election coverage and post-election results. I was in Mexico and upon my return last night I tried to read as much as possible. It was sad to not be able to share in the election night excitement but the true excitement is yet to come. I am thrilled for the future of my family and my (unborn) child.

I can't wait to tell the story of this monumental election cycle. I distinctly remember the first time I heard Barack Obama's name. It was long before his bid for the Presidency and Jason was reading a Time magazine article about the rising star Senator from Illinois. My Republican husband said "I would vote for this man for President." At the same time we were taking notice, millions of others were too.

Seasons Change

Just wanted to post come bright and beautiful fall colors from near our home. I took these a few weeks back - enjoy!



Sunday, November 2, 2008

ahhhh.....maternity jeans


Week 12 has commenced and I am feeling better than ever. My energy is officially back and my eating is too! I eat every couple of hours so I must take snacks and water with me everywhere I go.

Yesterday I wore maternity jeans for the first time! I had to work and I was going to be sitting the majority of the day and the thought of my regular jeans cutting into my stomach for 6 hours was more than I could bear. Let me tell you – I LOVE MATERNITY CLOTHES! They are soooo comfortable and I can let my belly hang out and not even care!

Suffrage: The right or privilege of voting.


The election is days away and many people have already voted – including me! I will be in Mexico for a friend’s wedding so Jason and I voted absentee. However there are many people out there who won’t vote early or at all...this notion continues to baffle me.

This week I watched one of my favorite movies: Iron Jawed Angels. A HBO film made just a few years ago, detailing the life and times of the women who gave the final push to win women’s suffrage through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. The struggle that began with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in 1848, but was not won until long after their death. However, the powerful story is one ALL women should hear. I truly believe, if you watch that movie, you will feel the power and determination that drove these feminists and feel a social, political, and cultural responsibility to vote in every election.

It has an all-star cast with great historic accuracy, beautiful costumes, and commendable acting. Men should also be interested in watching this part of our nations history that is often left out of history books.

This movie moved me - it enraged me – it made me cry. Above all, it made me proud to be an American woman and thankful to my foremothers for their undying passion for the pursuit of equality that has allowed me the opportunities I enjoy today.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"I'm a hungry, hungry, hippo"

So, as many of you know, my blog is rather random. I like to post what makes me happy and share information that I think others will find helpful, interesting or funny. Having said that, and having lost the vast majority of my nausea, I am once again posting about one of my favorite things....FOOD!


I have my favorite food network shows....don't we all? I love Barefoot Contessa, Everyday Italian, Iron Chef America, Good Eats, Ace of Cakes, and Paula Dean....okay, so I love MOST of the food network's offering. One of my less-than-favorite shows is 30-Minute meals. WHY? Well, Rachel Ray kinda annoys me. BUT, I do like some of her recipes and I found this one on the foodnetwork.com and made it for dinner last night. I thought I would share, 'cause its super-easy, but appears gourmet and fancy.

Also, I wouldn't change a thing about the recipe (which is rare for me) so NO substitutions.

Love Birds - Chicken in Pastry


Ingredients
4 pieces skinless chicken breast, boned (about 8 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 sprigs fresh finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 sheet puff pastry (11 by 17-inch), (recommended: Dufour)
8 slices Italian fontina cheese, slices should be 2 to 3-inches square and 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup fig preserves
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cut each piece of chicken in half across the breast giving you 8 equal portions. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pastry into 8 pieces. Place a piece of cheese on each pastry square and top with spoonfuls of fig preserves and the chicken pieces. Pinch and seal the dough up and over the meat and cheese, seal with egg wash, flip the pastry packets over and brush the tops with remaining egg wash. Bake 12 to15 minutes, until golden.

For entree portions, simply leave chicken breast whole and cut the pastry into quarters. Trim off excess dough and use it to decorate the pastry with small cut outs such as heart shapes.

For the recipe click here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

maternity humor

I've seen a variety of funny maternity t-shirts - many are tacky and in poor taste, but some are downright hilarious. I can't decide which one is funniest...shall we take a vote?

1. "Watermelon Smuggler"
2. "And how does hearing your awful labor story help me, exactly?"
3. "Say hello to my lil' friend"
4. "Do my shoes match?"
5. "Pregasauras Rex"
6. "I'm making a human. What have you done today?"
7. "If you didn't put this baby in here, don't even think about touching my stomach"

These shirts are available here and here.

Hormones?

I am now at 11 weeks and have been fortunate that my pregnancy hormones have not reared their ugly head...until today.

I was shopping at Barnes and Noble and found the cutest Christmas Cards. I decided to take a photo with my phone and send it to my mom and sister to share in the humor, but while taking the photo all I could think was: if I were in Michigan right now, Michelle and Mom would be with me shopping and I wouldn't be here shopping alone. I burst into tears right in the middle of my 1/2 caf, iced, non-fat, vanilla carmel latte from Starbucks....it took several minutes to get myself under control.

I decided to grab lunch so I headed to Panera. There was a elderly couple kinda-sorta standing in line so I said:

Me: Are you ready to order?
Cute Old Man: I am, but she's not (pointing to his wife). She has trouble making up her mind (winking at me)
Me: Okay. (burst into tears)

The sweet old man reminded me of my Zhidie (grandpa), complete with old-man trucker hat, windbreaker, and slightly hunched back. His wife reminded me of grandma too. I can't be totally certain why I was crying....possibly because they were too cute having lunch together on a Saturday? Or thinking about my grandparents who are no longer on earth with me and how exciting it would have been for them to see a great-grandchild? I was "this" close to asking if I could eat lunch with them in order to satisfy my need for some family time. Instead I cried into my Orchard Harvest Salad.

Then, on my way out, I was hit two more times with reminders of my distance from family. I saw a guy with a Michigan State hat and sweatshirt on and then I smelled a woman wearing my Aunt Cindy's perfume. I bolted from Panera before I started sobbing again.

Of course, Jason isn't home today (just my luck) so I couldn't lean on him, and OBVIOUSLY I can't drink, so I drown my sorrows in a little retail therapy, but even the fabulous red dress I found at Marshalls for $20 couldn't cheer me up.

I miss my family, no doubt, but most days I can text, e-mail, or call them and be reminded that we're not too far away. I new that when I became pregnant, the distance would seem much greater and it has, but at the same time, its brought us much closer.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

It's easy to have a relationship with your kids and grandkids when they live down the street or the next town over, but you really have to make an effort when they live states away. My point? My family has shown me how much they care by taking the time and energy to be a part of my life, my marriage and this pregnancy everyday and I know that care will only grow with each passing day. THAT (and not physical distance)is what makes me feel close to them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WE'RE PREGNANT!



Jason and I are happy to announce the anticipated arrival of our first child!

FAQs

Q: When are you due?
A: May 7th (I am currently in my 10th week)

Q: Do you know what you're having?
A: A baby. But we do not plan on finding out the sex of the baby...if that's what you meant.

Q: Do you have names picked out?
A: Yes, but nothing definite. Either way you won't know until after the baby arrives. Sorry!

Q: How are you feeling?
A: I was feeling quite a bit of nausea and exhaustion in the first few weeks, but it's beginning to subside.

Q: Do you have a OB/GYN or a Midwife?
A: We have found a wonderful Midwifery practice here in Princeton and the delivery will be at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Q: Have we had an ultrasound yet?
A: We listened to the heartbeat this past Thursday, but won't have an ultrasound until around 20 weeks (right before Christmas)

NOTE: The blog will not be devoted COMPLETELY to the baby, but it will include photos of my growing belly, the baby's room, etc. and it will continue to include my normal, everyday posts, some with a new perspective. wink!

visitors

We were very lucky to have Chase, Dana and Scott visit us this past weekend. We had a great time! It was nice to have friendly faces and warm hugs from family (cause they're really like family) in our new home.

We went into Philly for the day on Saturday and took our very own "National Treasure" tour (one of Dana's favorite movies). You couldn't beat the weather with a stick and without massive crowds and traffic, the day was perfect.

Here are just a few photos from the trip:




Thursday, October 9, 2008

Inspiration (Part I)

God has blessed me with so many gifts in my life. Every day I am grateful for my husband, family and friends because they are my inspiration. They inspire me to be a better person, to give much and ask for little, to smile, to laugh, to cry and to create.

There are two blog sites listed to the right that are written by two of my best friends. 30s in Progress (by Sean) and Canning Tomatoes (by Lacey). I am thrilled to have them as fellow bloggers after having them as friends for so long. Their creativity, talent, and energy motivate me. I am constantly amazed by what they write, speak and create through their work. I am also eternally grateful for their love and support. Our conversations often revolve around philosophy, humor and understanding. If you have the opportunity, read a post or two from their blogs and I'm sure you'll see the beauty in their writing that I love.

p.s. this is the first in a series of "thank you" posts honoring people who inspire me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I could have been a ballerina


After a serious hiatus from dance, I have returned to the past time I love so much. I began dancing at age 3 and practiced everything from pointe to clogging. Tap was always my (and my mother's) favorite but ballet was the integral foundation to all other classes.

I remember being enrolled in Suzette's ballet class and the severe discipline she would instill in us. To say she "yelled" would be an understatement...she struck fear into my heart and made me question my ability to dance on a weekly basis. I wasn't great, nor was I competitive like some of my friends - I was just happy dancing. After a while I didn't feel like there was a place for me at the studio, I got a little older and I decided to stop. I do regret it sometimes, but I'll never forget what I learned while dancing, nor will I ever regret all the years I danced.

American Repertory Ballet has a ballet school in Princeton (lucky me) and great adult evening classes. I'm in the beginner class on Wednesday nights and I AM LOVING IT! I wish I could take classes 3 nights a week but it would break my budget.

My instructor, Douglas Martin, is amazingly talented and funny. Gone are my days of fearing my instructor and anxiously praying for the minutes move faster. Now, I am dissapointed when I look at the clock and only 15 minutes are left of my 75 minute class.

Watching a beautiful ballet can actually bring me to tears and I love the way I feel while I'm dancing - like yoga or sewing, it provides me with a sense of zen. The rest of the world falls away and its just me and the music.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why I Love NPR

There are so many reasons why I love NPR. I could go on for days, but I may bore whomever is reading this so I will keep it to a minimum. Precisely, I adore the game show "Wait, Wait.....Don't Tell Me!".

For those of you who love the Daily Show and other political satire, this is the show for you. I love the banter of celebrity guests using the week's media headlines as funny questions and even better, the prize isn't money, but rather you get Carl Kasell (whose voice is one of the most recognizable to us avid listeners) to record your voicemail message! How fun is that?

You can download each week to your iPod, if you can't catch it live on Saturday afternoon. Either way, it is more than worth the 1 hour of your time. There is something nostalgic about listening to a radio program....not that I actually have my own past memory of what its like to sit around a radio and listen to the stories of mystery and drama with your family in the living room. However, I can appreciate the lack of visual distraction we encounter with television shows and focus more strongly on the auditory proc

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lazy Sunday


We grabbed breakfast this morning...um....afternoon, at Mom's Restaurant in Ringoes. My friend/co-worker Sarah works there, so we stopped in to say hello and eat yummy omelette's, roasted potatoes and rye toast in this little cafe.

We cruised by Terhune Orchards afterwards to grab an Apple Walnut pie and some preserves. It reminds me of the cider mills in Michigan, only not nearly as fun. The smells weren't the same, no fresh hot doughnuts....I appreciate the organic veggies, but I really would have liked some hot cinnamon-sugar Yates Cider Mill doughnuts. It's just a few minutes from my parents home and each fall I look forward to the traffic back-up along Avon Road and Dequindre and the mass amounts of people filing in to savor the limited time each year they're open to the public.

Yet another thing to miss about Michigan.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Birthday!



My 28th birthday was this past Friday. In spite of being away from home, my family, friends and coworkers found ways to make it special. I received tons of well-wishes via e-mail, text, phone, facebook, myspace, etc., a homemade cake from my co-worker Cindy, huge boxes of gifts from my parents and sister filled with clothes, cookbooks, baking equipment; great clothes from my sister-in-law and my friend Rachel, a Edible Arrangement from Dana, Scott and Chase, and last but not least, Jason gave me a beautiful sapphire ring (my birthstone) to match the necklace and earrings he bought me a few years ago.

Thank you everyone who thought of me on my birthday and thank you for all of the perfect presents! I had an amazing birthday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

enough with the fluff

I can't hold back any longer. I've stayed away from my political commentary for a while, in lieu of fun stuff like cooking, weddings and fashion, but alas, I hear the call of feminists in need.

I have hours of commentary about Sarah Palin that I have held back, but after last night's speech, I am fired up!!

I am not going to bash on her for having a 17 yr old daughter who is preggers. However, I am going to bash on the fact that the GOP is saying it is a political statement about Palin being pro-life. No 17 yr. old should be made into a national spectacle to prove a political point.

I will stand up for her right to be a candidate. I do not believe she should be attacked based on her gender, but rather, only on her politics. The fact that she is a former beauty queen does not disqualify her from running for elected office. Having said that, Sarah Palin is a woman, but she is no more for women's rights than any other socially conservative republican - man or woman! Does everyone understand that? Her political beliefs mean more to me than her gender. Her experience and lack thereof can, in no way shape or form, be compared to Barack Obama, nor should they.
#1 She is running for VP, he for President.

#2 Her status as a local politician, mother of a son in the military, business owner and mother of 5 are all great things. They make her a real person and give her perspective that is part of her political game. I appreciate that she brings that to the table in a way that a man might not be able to, however, these things DO NOT make you qualified to be 2nd in command of our country.

I have worked for a "small town" mayor and I have worked with "community organizers" - the difference is best explained in this video:

Monday, August 25, 2008

oh no!

The tight-rolled jeans have struck Katie Holmes again!!!!

The worst part? InStyle.com labeled this "look of the day" on August 23rd ....um...okay....are you sure?

I am willing to accept crocs (reluctantly) and I even bought some knock-off Ugg boots, let's be honest, I am willing to try the crazy fashion trends before most people...but I WILL NOT ACCEPT TIGHT-ROLLING. ENOUGH!



Check out my previous post.

is your baby a rockstar?

If so, you need to check out this site and buy something for your little one.
This new a new item that is too cute:



Go to the site My Rockstar Baby to place an order.

p.s. I bought the "Active Doodie" onesie for our friends Eric and Kristi and they loved it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

pizza



When working as a girl scout leader I realized how much kids love pizza.Everytime I gave them a choice of a "special snack" - they chose pizza. I began to realize that it is a food that no one really hates. I mean, who doesn't like a slice of pizza once and a while? I am all for a good pizza delivery (I miss Jets and Hungry Howies here in Jersey), but I made pizza at home tonight and I thought I would share the recipe:

1 recipe pizza dough (or the Pillsbury refrigerator dough)
1/4 cup basil pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
1/2 small onion - sliced very thin
1 roasted red pepper - thinly sliced

Dough, pesto, onion, red pepper, mozzarella, Parmesan
Bake

easy enough, right? SOOOO yummy!

The Beautiful Bride

This is a sneak-peak of some wedding photos. The professional ones will follow soon.







Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dear Sweet Katie

So, my new haircut was inspired by Katie Holmes(in case it wasn't already obvious). She has had some cute hair styles in the past couple of years that she pulls-off beautifully with her fabulous fashion sense. However, recently someone told me that she chopped her hair into a pixie, so I went online to look, thinking I'd find a super cute cut that I could imitate in the future. But, THIS is what I found:



Um....although I can't see the haircut very well, it appears to be a disaster and what is going on with her outfit? I am praying that she spilled something on the lovely dress she was wearing and was forced to put on Tom's sweater and jeans....but I still can't figure out why she tight-rolled them. Poor Katie. What happened?

Friday, August 15, 2008

cake decorating gone wrong

I found a fellow blogger with an affection for disastrous cakes. Make sure to ready the blog for each cake, then be ready to pee your pants.

Cake Wrecks

Here is a preview from their site:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Anniversary


For our 3-year anniversary, Jason surprised me with a weekend away in Cape May, NJ. We stayed at the Inn of Cape May which was a lovely little Victorian hotel across the street from the ocean. The weather was perfect for sitting outside on the immense covered porch, quietly drinking wine after dinner. We sat on the beach all morning on Saturday and in the evening had dinner at The Ebbit Room at the Virginia Hotel ....the conclusion and the highlight of the meal was the dessert entitled "Steamed Sticky Toffee Pudding and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream"...not pudding, not cake, something wonderfully in between. I might have to write into Bon Appetit and request they get the recipe for me!

We finished the evening at Cabanas on the Beach, a bar with a band playing great 80s and 90s music for the late 20s, early 30-something crowd. There didn't appear to be a whole lot of night-life in this family-friendly town, but then again, all you really need is 1 good bar to frequent on vacation, and this was it.

All in all, we had a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend. The best part was that it felt as though we were in some tropical place...certainly NOT New Jersey. Lucky for us, it only a few hours drive to seek refuge from our busy lives. Next time, we'll have some friends and/or family to enjoy it with.

P.S. Check out my newest 'do. The bangs are back.

Monday, August 4, 2008

before the BIG day

To treat Michelle, me, Angelina and Mom took her out for the afternoon before the wedding. We went to The Creative Arts Studio in Royal Oak and worked together to create a beautiful mosaic lazy-susan for Michelle. This place was friendly and fun - they even let you bring your own food! They also do paint-your-own-pottery and beading and on Saturday nights they have adults-only time for bachelorettes and private parties.

We then went across the street to Goldfish Tea to do a tea tasting - this was a wonderful opportunity for people like me (who don't particularly like tea) to better understand tea, the process of making it, etc. much like a wine tasting....which I am familiar with (he he he).

I highly recommend both of these places and suggest you get some friends together and try them out!!

Tying the Knot

There are few sights so beautiful that you cry just by gazing upon them. A coastal sunset, a masterful painting, a newborn baby, and a bride on her wedding day.

Everytime I looked at my sister on her wedding day I was brought to tears. Words could not begin to describe her beauty. The day was perfect and she was so happy, it makes me smile just thinking about it.

I wish her and Tim all the happiness in the world!!!

Since everyone is always asking about the details, here you go:

The wedding and reception were at the Dearborn Inn
The wedding song was 'Home' by Michael Buble
The dress was a Justin Alexander Couture
The veil and flowers were Rebecca Originals (he he he)
The bridesmaid dresses were Maggy London
The honeymoon will be in Niagra Falls
The DJ was Sara G. from Platinum Mix Productions
The Photographer was Vivienne Thomas


(Photos to soon follow!!!)

cakes are my specialty

So, many of you know that I love things like cooking, sewing, crafting, etc. This in no way diminishes my status as a feminist. On the contrary, it only proves that feminism is truly about women having the freedom to make their own choices and not have a lifestyle forced upon them.

Having said that...growing up, my mother used to make and decorate amazing cakes for our family and for others (weddings, etc.). She always had the tools around the house (food dye, tips, pans) for me and my sister to use and play with. I have decorated many cakes, and while most were with great creativity, many were without proper technique. So, when I was asked at the last minute to take a Wilton cake decorating class at A.C. Moore (the NJ version of Michaels), I said 'what the heck'.

I didn't make it to all the classes, but I got the gist of things and managed to produce a couple of impressive cakes. I am thinking of taking the follow-up class to really hone my skills...maybe after I finish my thesis!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

She said "It was better than Pirates of Penzance"

I went to a comedy club last night and laughed so hard....well, my cheeks hurt, my mascara was running from crying, oh and yeah, I almost peed my pants.

The Gotham Comedy Club is in Chelsea, a district of NYC apparantly known for its rainbows. It is a really cute neighborhood and yet another area of NYC I was happy to explore. The club is also known for its "Live at Gotham" show on Comedy Central (side note: if you click on the link, look at the top of the page. It says "you are so not logged in"....I'm laughing so hard at this right now)

Anyway, the headliner was Ben Bailey (the guy that hosts Cash Cab on Discovery Channel). However, one of the openers was 10x funner. His name is Vic Henley and he cracked my shit up!


p.s. I hope someone knows the movie reference in the title of this post.

Trip of a lifetime

My oldest niece and nephew came to visit us last week. Caitlin and Jason Troy. For 4 full days, we toured the area, in search of fun and exciting things to tire an 11 and 9 year old. We were successful.

On the agenda:

Friday: Statue of Liberty & Times Square (Highlight: The M & M Store)(see photo below of GIANT M & M dispensers)
Saturday: Ocean City, NJ (Highlight: body surfing)
Sunday: Yankees Game (Highlight: everything but the traffic)
Monday: Hang out at home (Highlight: playing X-box with Uncle)

They were born in Seattle, WA, but have lived near Wichita most of their lives. Needless to say being so young, there is a lot of things they had not yet experienced: flying (and by themselves to boot!), swimming in the ocean, seeing a professional sports game, riding in a taxi, riding on a ferry, the list goes on! We had a blast and I think they did too. I hope they make all their friends jealous!

In about 7 years we'll have the other two munchkins (Eden and Rowan) up for their visit.