Thursday, April 26, 2007

Photos from the front

On Sunday we made a trip to Grandma's house so Noah could spend some time with his cousins (second or once removed?) Evan and Aelan. And afterwards we went out to dinner with Pa Joe. It was a gorgeously beautiful family-rific day.

We took advantage of the gorgeous spring day on Tuesday and headed to the zoo. Along with the rest of the free world. Noah got SO excited when he saw the zoo train that he nearly ran in front of it. He pleaded to ride. Wendy and I scraped together the $6 it took to put the kids on the ride and just before it started Noah panicked and said he didn't want it to go. I promptly took him off and offered Wendy his place. Noah's been reliving that drama for days now and I have promised numerous times that he and I will ride together next time.

Last night we went to South Philly to meet Jen & Mark's new puppy Hugo. He's a very sweet and sassy French Bulldog. Hugo was a bit too puppy rambunctious for Noah to really enjoy him - what with all the licking, chewing and frolicking. But he talked about him alot today, while I just kept wishing we were still having pizza with Jen & Mark and Marra's. YUM.

The size of things

This is for you evil folks who keep emailing me asking for a belly shot. Yes - I still have three months yet. And YES - there is just ONE in there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Let them eat cake?

If you haven't yet read it, please check out this article "You are what you grow."

"The article is about the Farm Bill, and the choices we make as a nation to subsidize the least-nutritious commodity agricultural products, at the expense of the healthy stuff. He describes the consequences that these choices have on our health, as well as our environment, immigration policy, our schools, and more."

And once you've read it, and feel adequately overwhelmed and outraged - please follow the call to action put forth in the comments section of this post. It only takes a second to send an email to congress. Thanks again to Allison for bringing it, and so much more to my attention.

Oxfam has provided the following nutshell synopsis of the Farm Bill issue, but please read the article for more enlightening detail:

"This year, Congress will debate a new Farm Bill, which for five years will set policies that could either help small farmers at home and abroad-or keep them struggling.

The current Farm Bill represents a broken promise to America's farmers and rural communities, and it falls short of meeting its obligations to families that depend on food stamps and conservation programs that protect rivers and streams. To make things worse, the current Farm Bill actually hurts poor farmers in developing countries.

Please contact your members of Congress today using the letter below (available HERE) and ask them to create a Farm Bill that reduces misguided subsidies and shifts those resources to support the programs that really need the money.

Members of Congress listen to their constituents. Your voice could make all the difference! Use it now to tell Congress to put your tax money to work for farmers, families, and our future."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hairy saucy dizzy eggys?

I mentioned on Patrice's blog that because I blog so infrequently I will occasionally keep a list of keywords near the computer so that when I get around to it I can remember what stories I wanted to tell. Of course this means my posts are now insanely long, seemingly random and probably a pain in the ass to read. So I've decided to use some keywords within the posts to break up the random tidbitiness and confusion. Hope it helps. Someone.

A few of you caught me. Despite mentioning in a prior post that I left my hair long at my most recent shearing, you noticed the short hair in the circus photo. Well after that hair-lamenting post and viewing a horrible photo taken of me at Easter- I had a mini-meltdown and went into the nearest cheap chop shop to get an emergency haircut. The length was just feeling stringy and sad – and it was decidedly not complimenting my round face shape. I couldn’t really spend a lot of cash on another cut with my preferred stylist – so I went to Jane Doe at the Cuttery and said “Cut off everything below this layer.” Well, actually I tried to explain in more detail a more complicated cut but she obviously wasn’t following – so it became “Forget that – just bob it.” The result isn’t the hippest haircut in the world. I’m sure if I went to my stylist she would have done a lot more tapering and razoring – but it feels a million times better than it did. And that’s good enough.

Last Saturday we went to a unique gathering at our friend Holly’s place – it was a pasta sauce tasting. Holly and her neighbor are endeavoring to start a business marketing pasta sauce – and so they had a research tasting to determine which sauces were the best. We tasted and scored 12 sauces and also indicated our top three. I was really impressed with how amazingly good the sauce was – and I picked the spicy sauce, the goat cheese & mushroom sauce, and the bacon lovers sauce as my favorites. I’ll be sure to let you know when you can buy them at your local grocery store or Target. And the party itself was tons of fun too – we got to hang with a few friends while the kids played happily. Good stuff.

We had no plans on Sunday – so we asked Noah what was on his agenda. He asked that we go to Franklin Mills Mall and ride the rides. In the past this meant walking him around to the different rides so he could pretend to drive them – but not spending a dime since he doesn’t really want them to move. However this time he said he wanted them to go. Mark and I were nearly giddy with excitement when we took our boy to the mall with pockets full of quarters. Needless to say thirty seconds after we put quarters in the first ride Noah said “I’m DONE” and no matter how we tried we couldn’t get him to let us put quarters in anything. At least he’s a cheap date.

After Noah and Victor’s last art class on Monday we took them to the YMCA to get them memberships and sign them up for swim lessons. Afterwards we got changed and took a dip in the pool. The water was a bit cool and at first I assumed Noah was asking to get out because of the temperature, until I realized he was a little afraid of the water. It took a couple of minutes to pacify his fears and get him to splash around a bit until he got totally into it and didn’t want to leave. He reacted the same way at the beginning of the pool season last year and by the end he was a regular water baby. I plan to take him once a week for fun and next Saturday he’ll start the swim class. Mark will probably take him to those. It will be a good bonding experience for them both – and also I won’t have to whale around in the pool twice a week.

On Monday night Noah stayed home to play with Mark while I had a solo-Mom date with the grocery store. Maybe I’m a slow shopper, or maybe it’s that I buy so much food – but it normally takes me about an hour to shop from start to finish – not including driving, unloading or unpacking time. I was three quarters through my shopping trip when the lights went out in the Super Fresh. I was flabbergasted. We all were. At first I continued to look for crackers in the dark – there was some light coming in the front windows of the store – assuming that they would snap on in a moment. But soon it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. I called Mark to tell him of the odd development. A woman next to me snickered when I said to him “Everyone’s just standing around with full carts looking really pissed off.” Eventually a store manager came around and told people they had to ask everyone to leave the store. Still people lingered, not wanting to abandon their carts. Surely the lights would be on momentarily. One woman who had been shopping with her THREE kids looked like she was going to cry. “I’ve had to deal with four temper tantrums here and now THIS!” I finally gave up and filed out with everyone else and was amazed to realize that it wasn’t a local power outage – the other shops in the shopping center were still operating. By the time I got home downhearted and empty handed Noah was already reenacting the power outage. It was such a stunning story that as soon as Mark got off the phone with me and told Noah the lights went out in the Super Fresh Noah asked to go get his shopping cart so he could act it out. It’s been a whole week and except for a trip to Trader Joe’s to stock up on some favorites and necessities I haven’t been on a full scale shopping trip. And several times a day I think “Where are the razors/apple juice/crackers I just bought?” before realizing that I never did get around to purchasing the damn stuff. That some sad Super Fresh employee had to empty my cart and put it back on the shelf.

I was certain that in the days following Easter we would be doing nine egg hunts a day. And I was stunned when there wasn’t a mere mention of an egg hunt for a whole week. Imagine my surprise then when the egg hunting craze reared its ugly head later with no warning and Mark and I have been forced to hide and hunt eggs endlessly.

A couple of weeks ago I did a lot of babysitting of Noah’s pals – three of them on different occasions within one week. One night Noah started saying something about me dropping him. At first I thought he was telling me a story about a time I dropped him, but I didn’t remember dropping him so it wasn’t making sense. Then he said something to the effect of “No. Like Kate drop Ella. And Wendy drop Victor.” And I realized he was talking about how their Mamas dropped them off at our house to play. And then I understood he was ASKING me to take him someplace and drop him off – to leave him at a friend’s house. I was amazed – and a mixed bag of emotions. But mostly I was proud that not only was my little boy ready to have a bit of time away from his Mama – but also able to articulate it. This week I dropped Noah at Wendy’s house while I went downtown to get labs done for my glucose test and more iron screening. When I was leaving he turned to me from their table and said “I’ll miss you Mama” and then went back to nonchalantly eating his breakfast. I was gone a little less than two hours and Wendy said he was happy and sweet – but that he started get a bit quiet right before I got back. I think that both Noah and I felt really proud though – and it made me realize just how grown up he is becoming. Oh, and also how lucky I am to have access to a wonderful circle of local mothers who not only can I trust to watch Noah in a pinch, but also that Noah WANTS to spend time with.

And finally I have a tale of consumer woe for you. It’s a long story, but I’ll TRY to abridge it a bit. Last year Mark did our taxes with Turbotax and we got a nice sized refund (sadly not so this year.) Mark mentioned they had a deal with Expedia where you could allot $250 of your refund to buy a $300 Expedia gift card. Mark and I scanned the fine print and since there didn’t appear to be any weird limitations listed and because it seemed like a good way to force us to put money aside to go on some sort of vacation we decided to do it. But in the year that followed I tried several times to try to use it for possible vacation scenarios and the Expedia rates and locations were still too high and inconvenient so we never used it. But we decided we wanted to use it on a trip at the beginning of this May – a little trip someplace close for just the three of us while there was just three of us. We had no real destination in mind except we didn’t really want to drive more than three hours. So Mark started working up sample vacation destinations and itineraries on Expedia. I had mentioned Pennsylvania Dutch Country because I knew that Noah would enjoy the farms and trains in the area and it would be a great way just to get out of the concrete jungle. But Mark was eying the Chesapeake Bay area since we’d never been – and with his trip planning he won me over. However when he tried to book it online he wasn’t able to apply our gift card. In a series of three different phone calls with Expedia – totaling approximately four hours – we were informed that we had to choose an “Expedia Special Rate” hotel – of which there were none available to book in Chesapeake Bay. We also found out that we had to spend the entire $300 gift card on our hotel stay, not including fees. And since we didn’t want to spend any additional money for our lodging it took FOREVER to find a hotel that cost exactly the right amount of money without going over or under. In the end we finally booked a hotel in Lancaster for three nights, though we originally only wanted to travel for two. But we were so relieved to finally book the damn thing. All that vacation planning caused us to need a damn vacation. Luckily we leave a week from next Saturday and now we can look forward to it. And FYI Expedia sucks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greatest Show on Earth

Our circus night was a roaring success. Noah LOVED it and will be acting things out for weeks to come. And to ensure some authenticity we purchased the souvenir DVD - which we are currently watching for the second time this morning. The best part of the show was the one hour pre-show that started an hour before showtime. We got to go down on the floor and see some of the acts close-up, including the gentleman to the left to whom Noah referred to as "that flippin' clown."

Friday, April 13, 2007

From the mouths

- Noah has offered his own wisdom to the baby naming debate. Since we've been trying to decide between Ray, Konrad and Cyrus he's suggested Rayus and Konray. Oh, and Ice Cream.
- On Thursday it seemed impossible to get Noah out of the house for playgroup. He kept playing with everything in the vicinity as if it were his favorite toy ever and they should never be parted. I said "I'm going to go see our friends at playgroup. I would really like it if you would come with me." To which he replied "I want to stay trapped in the house."
- The other night I ran out for an errand just before bedtime. When I came back Mark and Noah were playing upstairs. I started asking questions to discover if our bedtime ritual had begun. "Daddy, did you get Noah's water?" "No." "Did you get Noah's pajamas?" "Not yet." "Okay, I'll go get both." At which point Noah turned to Mark with a very serious look on his face and said "We didn't do anything."
- I don't make Noah sandwiches. He prefers to make his own. I cut up pieces of bread, cheese and meat and he assembles them. Today while he was constructing ham and cheese sandwiches he asked if I was eating ham. I told him "No. I'm having tuna fish. Would you like some?" Noah paused and said "No thank you. I'm not a big fan of tuna fish sandwiches."
- Whether it's nature or nurture I can't say, but it sure is odd to see your kid adopt some of your quirks. As Mark said this evening "He's my kid when he's shy and won't talk to anyone but then wants to put on shows. He's your kid when he eats cheese, won't let you zip anything all the way up to the neck and doesn't like his food touching."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Higgeldy Piggeldy

Despite the decided lack of Spring-like weather and fertile natural rebirth that I consider Easter to be a celebration of, our Easter was rather delightful. Noah enjoyed hunting for eggs four times, and received a landslide of art supplies, toys and candy. We saw a bevy of family at two lovely gluttonous meals – and everyone seemed happy and to be having a fine time. I was very impressed by the fact that not only did my Dad hide eggs for Noah in 38 degree weather – he also had dyed them himself. And I was overjoyed watching Noah scampering around Grandma’s house with his cousins – those by blood, and those soon to be by marriage. It was really a nice day. Some folks dread the family functions, and I admit at times I have been in that camp. But with Noah I have a newfound appreciation for our family circle and how much love we get.

I have a bunch of pedestrian mis-matched stuff to mention, so please bear with me while I get some of this out there. First off I have to talk about something that has been causing me great agony – my hair. I got it cut a couple of weeks ago and though at first I didn’t mind it much, over time I’ve grown to hate it. And you know how when you get your haircut and noone comments on it you can tell it looks BAD – because if it looked good at all people would compliment you on it. There are a few problems. First off – I now have bangs. My problem with this is that bangs don’t work for me. By the end of the day they are oily and not lying correctly and I want nothing more than to get them out of my face. The second problem is that the cut is probably too long for my face shape, which is totally my fault because I’ve been hanging on to length as a novelty. The third issue is color – my hair has been it’s natural mousy brown for about two years now and I’m very sick of it. Because I never stopped nursing and I did a bunch of hair color/cancer research for a freelance client – I swore off dying my hair. And as I get older it gets more dark and mucky looking. I hate it. But I’m pregnant and afraid to do anything about it. Plus – it’s so pricey to get color and it’s a never-ending cycle of dying roots and whatnot. And speaking of pregnancy, color and hate – I’ll also mention that I’ve been meaning to whiten my teeth for three years now. I told myself I would do it as a reward for quitting smoking three years ago (YAY Me!) but because of the nursing and the chemicals I’ve kept putting it off. And after ten years of smoking they REALLY need it. REALLY. So yeah – I’m getting bigger by the minute, have bad skin, bad hair and yellow teeth. I’m a real winner.

On a more positive note – I’m very excited we made it on the list to join the Greensgrow CSA this year. With all the commentary (and blogs) I’ve read on the importance of eating more naturally and more locally – I think this is going to be a great step for us. Not only does the CSA provide fruit and greens – they also include milk, eggs, meat, fresh flowers, bread and the occasional local beer! It should be fun and challenging to figure out what we can make with everything we receive each week. I’ll keep you posted on any fun recipe discoveries.

I have a bunch of other stuff on the local front. A couple of weeks ago, thanks to all Mark’s efforts to help green our neighborhood, we got a street tree planted in front of our house. Right now Mr. Tree looks like a large twig, but hopefully he’ll soon be far more picturesque. Mark is doing a fine job thus far giving him 15 gallons of water every Saturday – and I think that is a huge accomplishment because every plant I’ve ever had died due to lack of water. This is of course why I am not scooping up a garden plot in our community garden at the end of the street. Mark said “Don’t you want to teach Noah how to garden?” My reply was “As soon as someone shows me, I’ll be happy to do so. Plus – I’ve never gardened before and I’m not going to start the summer I’m 8 months pregnant!” However we did help clean the garden this past Saturday, so hopefully just helping the other gardeners out will be a good lesson. Anything else community related? Oh – we’re supporting Matt Ruben for Philadelphia City Council at Large. He did an incredibly job as the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association president – and I know he’d be a great advocate for change on the City Council. So if you're voting in the Philadelphia primaries I highly recommend him.

Do I sound like some sort of developing urban hippie? We’ve just tried to become more aware and involved since Noah was born – and honestly Mark does the bulk of the legwork on most stuff. But I try to be moderate in most things – striving to be thoughtful but not extremist. But then again maybe it’s ridiculous to give your kid very watered down organic apple juice and then feed him Twizzlers. Who knows? I guess we’re all just trying our best.

Hmmm. What else? Noah’s art class ends next week. We’ll be sad to see it go. He really loved it. For his next class I’m planning to enroll him in swimming lessons at the YMCA. That should get him water ready for our beach trip at the end of June. And I'm in a tizzy over considering whether to enroll him in some sort of limited preschool program in the Fall or just hold off - but that's a whole other post.

OH the baby! I’ve dreaded mentioning this because it’s such a minefield and though I want to hear opinions, I also don’t. But here it is. NAMES. We are still at a loss for a baby name for this boy. For the longest time Ray was at the top of our list – not Raymond, just Ray – and I still really like that. But I’m not feeling convinced. What do you think? Somehow completely independent of any connection to Billy Ray Cyrus (I SWEAR!) I also like Cyrus – Cy for short. I picked it up from Cy Tolliver on Deadwood – and I like that Cyrus means “the sun,” but anytime I mention it to people I don’t get a very positive response. Thoughts? Also on my list, though not necessarily Mark’s – are Quinn, Luke, Gabriel, Konrad, Lee, Reed, Dean, Alden, and Glenn. Though Mark has specifically said we should not pick another biblical name so as not to convince others we are Bible thumpers – and that he doesn’t like Glenn or Dean. I like Konrad, it’s a family name, but I don’t want my boy called Connie. Input? I can’t promise I will take your opinions as gospel, but I will consider them.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Doctor Bozo STAT

Typically I schedule my prenatal checkups very early in the morning so Mark can go into work a little late and stay home with Noah. I know he'd be an angel at the doc office, it's just easier not to have to take him. And it's one of the few times I get to wander around alone - which feels sort of weird and timewarpy since my doctor's office is in the same building that housed my former place of employment. Anywho - this week my appt. got rescheduled to a later time so I took Master Noah with me. He was very excited to come along and very well behaved. However he eyed me suspiciously when I took him into the bathroom with me and then I peed in a cup. I explained that the pee was another way the doctor used to check that both me and the baby were healthy - and that seemed to satisfy him a bit. After my checkup and a run around Washington Square I took Noah to the Gallery to have his photo taken with the Easter Bunny. We got there at 10:50 AM and the sign said the Bunny we would be in at 11 AM. So imagine my surprise, disbelief and frustration when it was 40 minutes until we got to sit with said Bunny - and we were the first photo taken! The kids running the booth came in late, got McDonalds, chatted and fielded many calls on their cells before one of them scurried off to get the damn costume on. (You see Santa has to be an older guy, who talks to the kids and is personable -but any schmoe can don a bunny suit and sit silently in a chair while kids sit on him.) Seething though I was on the inside I kept cool and explained to Noah that the bunny was late, maybe he had to go potty. At which point Noah asked me "Does he have to pee in a cup?"

And the results of said Doc visit were mixed. Things seem very good (good ultrasound, good quad screen, good growth rate, good heart beat) except for my iron. My levels are still weird - and the two blood tests they have already done are odd and inconclusive so I have to go and get another test series. Not sure what they are looking for, and not sure I want to know unless they find something bad. Also Noah was really pleased because the Doc let him help by allowing him to hold the fetal heartrate monitor. It was super cute. He also keeps informing me and others that pregnant women are very tired because it's hard work to grow a baby in your belly.

I've mentioned it a million times - I gained 75 pounds when pregnant with Noah. And though I started out 10 pounds heavier this time, I've only gained 18 pounds thus far and therefore hopefully I'll complete this pregnancy with less than a 40 pound total weight gain. So though I'm not a small pregnant woman (or a small woman EVER) I'm not HUGE. So imagine my surprise when I had this exchange last week: "Nicole, you're really looking alot bigger all of a sudden." "Yeah - I just sort of popped out suddenly. He's getting bigger and bigger." "When are you due?" "August first." "OHMIGOD! THAT LONG??? WOW." "Ummm... yup...." WHAT person in their right mind thinks that this is an appropriate response? WHY on God's green earth do people assume it's peachy keen to talk to a pregnant woman about how large she is? Seriously. These people must be stopped.

Other super exciting news: THE CIRCUS IS COMING TO TOWN! I was so thrilled when Mark informed me that I almost peed my pants. We immediately bought tickets for opening night in two weeks. I hope Noah loves it as much as I think he will.

I still get Baby Center emails about Noah's development. These things seem ridiculously rigged to make you think your child is a genius. The one I got yesterday said about my 29 month old child: "Conversations with your child are a wonderful opportunity to help build her verbal skills. For instance, if she says 'Car go,' you might say, 'Yes, that red car is going down the street very quickly.' She won't be able to imitate your bigger words or complex sentences just yet, but she's learning from your example." CAR GO! ARE YOU SERIOUS? My kid is saying things like "Where is my water? You usually put it on the dresser." I mean at this point there is little Noah doesn't understand, and if he doesn't grasp a word he asks for clarification. In fact I was saying that last sentence verbatim to Mark last night and Noah said "What is clarification?" Of course the email also said he should be able to put on two articles of clothing himself - and since I've not been prompting him to do that at all he hasn't a clue.

And it seems like Noah has come down with a little something. What - I have no idea. He's running a bit of a temperature and he seems sluggish, but he has no other symptoms as of yet. Whatever it is I hope it's fast and relatively painless for all.

Hippity Hoppity

We made an impromptu visit to see the Easter Bunny after my Doc appt. on Tuesday. Noah was totally at ease about sitting on his lap. His observations were as follows "He was a very nice bunny," "The Easter Bunny does not talk," and "I didn't get any candy." Of course we then made a stop at CVS where I procured the lad a small chocolate bunny - because I'm soft like that.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Noah’s new obsession is the circus. We read a circus counting book at playgroup the week before last and ever since we’ve heard constant talk of clowns, fire eaters, tight rope walkers, and trapeze artists. And once again I’m lending fuel to the fire with the Youtube clips. I love having access to the internet to give him more knowledge on the things he shows interest in – but it means I’m also kicking myself when he asks to see them nine million times. I can’t sit in front of the computer without him saying “I want to see something.” Of course it isn’t just the online video clips that use to encourage whatever short-lived fascination he is harboring – we act things out, look for things on TV (when the hell is Cirque coming back on Bravo), and read any books we can get our hands on. Last night I ordered him an “All About the Circus” DVD. If it gets here in time it will go in his Easter basket along with a bunch of art supplies. Rather than loading up on a million chocolates and jelly beans, Noah’s getting stickers, paints, beads, paper and Play Doh. And just a little bit of candy to make it more interesting. We dyed some eggs today with Wendy and Victor but since Noah wanted to eat them all right away, we already have plans to dye more before the end of the week. And Easter plans? We’re once again having two dinners – at my Dad’s at noon and at my Mom’s place (with the in-laws) at 4pm. It should be a hectic but very fun day.

Oh – back to the little entertainer. We still have the occasional lion or dragon dance but the bulk of our time is spent dancing like clowns or balancing on things like tightrope walkers. The thing that kills me is that the boy is constantly putting on a show – and exclaiming “Audience clap!” If I ask him to say “Hello” to someone he doesn’t know well he’ll hang his head, yet he’ll walk up to complete strangers and say “I’m a clown” and start dancing.

What else is going on around here? I can’t think of too much. Spending lots of time out of doors, with Noah’s pals, with family. Ya know - the good stuff. The boy is growing – his 2T clothes are too small, yet the 3Ts are ginormous. He’s also been dropping a lot of naps lately. He seems to manage without for a day or two but on the third day he’s exhausted. He must have told me eight times this morning that he was sleepy and he went down this afternoon like a ton of bricks. But it seems a near certainty that naps will soon be a thing of the past, and I’m already mourning them.

I’ve been pricing and comparing bunk beds for Noah’s room. I figure with two boys they’re a good thing to have since I’ve heard lots of siblings actually prefer to sleep in the same room. Plus they’re good for sleepovers and whatnot. Not to mention that I wanted one desperately when I was a kid. I’m leaning towards getting him a model with a full mattress on the bottom and a single on the top. We have both size mattresses and we have to do something with the full mattress that was moved to “OUR ROOM” on the third floor when we move our queen mattress back up there from the “guest room” where we have been sleeping to be closer to Noah. And with the babies room as the former guest room we’d like to eventually put a futon for guests in the office. In fact I realized yesterday that we’ll have to get that sooner rather than later since Grandma will need a place to sleep when she comes to stay with Noah when the baby is being born. You following this? I barely am. I have the IQ of a flea – blame it on pregnancy stupidity. After telling Noah that a daffodil was a dandelion it took me ten minutes after realizing that wasn’t right to think of the word for daffodil. And this rambling post is a mess.

I’m looking forward to my OB checkup tomorrow – I like knowing everything seems copasetic. Gestation seems to be going pretty well. I feel much more energetic, which means I overdo it until I’m completely wiped out – but that’s just the price of doing business. The only thing that’s getting on my nerves is all this round ligament pain. I constantly feel like my left leg is going to just fall out of its hip socket.

I know – you want cute anecdotes. And I should have a million but I haven’t been good about taking notes lately. I’ll have some soon. I promise. That is if I can remember how to string words together.