Saturday, November 29, 2008

Baby Update - Week 28

I am fast approaching my 3rd trimester and I can't believe it! I think maybe the bump's gotten a little bit bigger but the biggest recent change to me is how I can feel little baby parts sticking out through my tummy! I can't tell what they are, but I think there was a little elbow or knee poking out by my belly button a couple of days ago. I kind of rubbed on it and the baby pulled it back in real quick. My stomach dropped and I thought was Oh my gosh! Did I break the baby?? Irrational hormonal panic instinct still firmly in place. I'm going to ask the doctor if she can tell how the baby is situated inside me so maybe I can decipher hand from foot from head from tushie. 

I've felt really good lately, though after a couple of months of happily stuffing myself silly after the morning sickness ended, I am running out of digestive tract real estate and can't eat as much. That doesn't mean I don't eat as much - it just means I pretty much feel too full after every meal. Hopefully my brain and stomach will sync up soon. I've also had some upper back pain, probably from my scoliosis. It really only got to me on the airplane flying to Arkansas and back for the holiday. I have one plane trip left before my due date, to Dallas at Christmas, and we are flying direct so I think I can swing it. And once I get there, I know my Mom will be taking very good care of me - isn't being taken care of by your mom the best??

I have an appointment with my OB on Monday morning where I am going to do my gestational diabetes test. Other then that it should be pretty routine. I start going every 2 weeks after that, which makes me realize how close we are to actually having this baby! Brad and I are going to take the Baby Basics class this week at the hospital and take a tour next weekend. I'm a little nervous - I think it's been more then a decade since I've changed a diaper. Brad just gave me a blank look when I asked when the last time he had changed a diaper was. We're also still trying to line up different babysitter options and get on waiting lists and such. Next to-do is to meet with some pediatricians and select one. 

I think that's it for updates. I wish I could provide an update on the nursery, but I can't (hint, hint Brad). The Ikea dresser is in a million parts on the floor, which I state in a completely factual manner and not in a nagging, I sure do wish it was put together already kind of way. =) I guess I can be pretty direct about it though after finding out this morning, as I was getting close to making a final call on crib bedding, that Brad would really prefer something with elephants. I'm not sure why, he just seems drawn to elephants, giraffes and monkeys. It IS a zoo around here! har har har....

Baby Center must have left the interns in charge this week as the only solid food visualization I got for the baby was that it weighs the same as a head of cauliflower. So helpful. I did pick one up at Kroger earlier and give it some thought. I hate eating cauliflower though so I put it back down afterwards. I thought this pic was way cuter then a whole head of cauliflower - sheep! I love food art. 

This one was cute too, but no baby significance here - 


Thanksgiving Trip!

We just got back late last night from Little Rock and Stuttgart, where we celebrated Thanksgiving with Brad's mom's side of the family. We had a great time and there are pictures, but of course I slacked off and wasn't the person who took the pictures. I have GOT to get better at that, or there will be 5 pictures of the baby to represent his entire first year of life. Anyways, to explain the picture, duck hunting is huge in Stuttgart and during the week of Thanksgiving there are all sorts of duck-related events and lots of people are in town to hunt. A lot of people in Brad's family spend the week hunting on their land. I've always thought Zoe would have been a natural duck retriever if we'd trained her - she's very driven to retrieve and loves to chase birds. . Ringo would be beyond useless in that capacity. Poodles were originally bred in Germany to retrieve ducks and some people in the U.S. use them for that now. So the picture is an homage to my little coulda-been duck retriever, Zoe. Sorry your parents are slackers and you've missed your true calling.

Back to the trip - when we got in town late Monday night, we stayed with our very good friends Brent and Melissa, who we went to Italy with last April. They just bought an adorable new house in the Heights section of Little Rock and are busy painting and decorating. It's an older house and it has lots of character - I just loved it! They took us to dinner Tuesday night at this fun restaurant ZaZa that had pizzas cooked in a big wood fire oven, salads and gelato. We then hit a wine bar in the River Market called Crush, where oddly there was this large painting of the coastal town we stayed in in Italy. Ironic! Uncle Brent and Aunt Melissa gave the baby a very cute frog book that is part stuffed animal, part story, a very sweet blue teddy bear and cute little blue footed sleeper - adorable!

We spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday visiting with family and there were almost 25 people at Brad's grandmother's house for Thanksgiving dinner! I was excited because I got to meet Nicole, newly engaged to cousin Ben as of last weekend! Lots of fun wedding talk and in addition to wine, she loves reading Perez Hilton, so she's my kind of girl. There was also so much yummy food! Turkey, ham, casseroles, homemade rolls and about 10 desserts. There was a huge pan of hot cinnamon rolls just out of the oven and that proved to be one of the most appealing desserts! I think it was meant for breakfast, but when face to face with a warm cinnamon roll a logical person only does one thing. We topped off the visit Friday afternoon watching the Arkansas game with Uncle Greg, Aunt Janet, cousin Meredith and the cutest little goldendoodle that ever was - Winnie! Fun times and the Hogs won too!

We got back very late last night and I don't think either of us has recovered yet. There was a mixup with the dog walker and she showed up bright and early to walk the dogs - I think we gave each other a heart attack! The dogs were beside themselves with excitement and after she left - running around like 'our friend! our friend came to visit us again - did you see that??' The rest of the day we did things around the house and I made this pork cassoulet recipe I found on Epicurious.com. It was good but a little greasy - pork spare ribs are pretty fatty. We have a fire and some football tonight. Tomorrow I hope to get the rest of the Christmas decorating done after sleeping in! 

All in all, it's been a good holiday with lots to be thankful for - an awesome husband, wonderful family and friends, beautiful healthy baby on the way and poodles who do their best to make up for how bad they are! Happy Thanksgiving!

Airport Observations

Brad and I just got home from our week in Little Rock and Stuttgart, which I'll write about in a bit. We were blessed this Thanksgiving holiday with 4 on time flights and a reasonably quick parking shuttle bus. With the way the airlines have been operating, 4 on time flights is probably Thanksgiving-dinner-table-prayer-worthy.

We had layovers in both directions in Charlotte, where I pretty much people watched the whole time. Don't you love people watching? My people watching falls into a few categories - wondering where people are going, what they are like and why on earth they are wearing that. A quality time killer when the book gets stale. I also made it all the way through Twilight and started another cheesy book I'm too ashamed to admit in public that I'm reading. Yeah, exactly - a cheesy book even more shameful then Twilight. I am not ashamed to say, however, that I am ready to fall in love with a hot vampire now.  Anyone with me???

I had some experiences and observations during the trip down and back, the first of which was enough to make me really question the person who said half the fun is in getting there. So here they are, in order of perceived threat level:
  • Attack of the Crazy Singing Man: The first was in the seat behind me between Charlotte and Little Rock, who smelled drunk (my nose is so on top of things these days!) and thinks he is some white BB King protege just singin' the blues so the whole plane could hear. Papa was a Rollin' Stone over and over and over and over. I really felt bad for his seatmate and I think everyone around him wished we were all closer to the screaming baby in row 3 who was the only passenger with a hope of drowning him out. Second crazy singing man was in the Little Rock airport with his guitar, stopping for impromptu shows. Lucky me, he sees the baby belly and yells out asking when I'm due. I say February and he says Awesome! That's when I got married! Um, huhhhh????
  • Attack of the winning football team: We as a nation are quite fortunate no terrorists attempted to evade security at the Little Rock National Airport at the same time we were going through. That was the moment Arkansas scored in the 4th quarter and pulled ahead of LSU by 1 point. TSA security was all abuzz and really couldn't be bothered to hassle me over whether lip gloss is a liquid. 
  • Attack of the leggings: As a public service announcement, I need to make sure all the ladies out there realize that leggings are not an alternate species of The Pant. They are not meant to be a substitute for The Pant, so please do not tuck your shirt in and leave everything else to jiggle unchecked as you walk to your terminal. You really need to be a special kind of celebrity anorexic to pull off wearing them with anything less coverage oriented then a tunic. So let's do the hindquarters a favor and provide a little draping, mmmmkay????
  • Attack of the Cinnamon Roll: During the layovers in both directions we picked up dinner. What I really wanted both times was a Cinnabon! Brad did not want me to have that. Something along the lines of 'that's not a healthy dinner for the baby'. HELLO?!?!? Who do you think is placing the order?!?!? Non-pregnant Kara hasn't touched a Cinnabon in years, ever since they released the nutritional information. Bebe loves him some cinnamon sugar and icing - who are we to question that?
  • Attack of the summer clothing: I suppose this is another public service announcement. It is almost December. Thanksgiving is over, the holidays are upon us and if you live anywhere experiencing daily high temps under 70, let me explain what this means for your wardrobe: it is time put away the flip flops (I know, collective groan), Crocs (ugh - permanently), shorts of any kind, and white cotton pants (especially capris and even if they are embroidered in a Lilly-esque pattern, they are wrong now). I saw a ton of people wearing these, especially the flip flops and not all of them could have been coming home from a beach vacation. Heck I ran into someone from last year's dodgeball team coming home from Orlando and she looked season appropriate! So it is possible.  
Well two snarky public service announcements and some pining over 800 calorie cinnamon rolls are probably all I can contribute tonight before going to bed. I will write about the trip tomorrow! 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lazy Sunday

It is almost 2pm and I am still in my jammies. Oh happy day! We are leaving tomorrow night after work for Little Rock for Thanksgiving and I spent all last week in New York for work, so I feel justified in being lazy for an entire weekend. We did run some errands - got my MacBook fixed and made some returns. Last night we ordered pizza, made s'mores and watched football with our neighbors. Baby O came to see the poodles, but she is sick, so not really up to having Zoe steal every single wheat thin she tries to eat.  We've gotten a little lax in our training with Zoe and you can really tell. She wasn't listening to either one of us. We've got to get back on the wagon.

Today we are just packing, doing laundry and watching football. I think I'm going to walk the poodles here in a little while and then run to the store and drug store. It is COLD here in Richmond! Brad had his last soccer game of the season at 9am and it was 23 degrees when he left the house. Brrrrr. I'm making some Fiesta Red Snapper tonight, which I've made before and it's delicious and very easy. 

I'm trying to convince Brad we need a fire to go with our dinner, but I don't think he wants to mess with it. We started to install a gas line so we could have a gas fireplace and use it more often, but haven't turned it on or gotten the logs or anything. There's just something about wood burning that seems like more of a hassle with cleaning up the ashes and making sure it's out before we go to bed. But it really does make the place feel so homey. Next weekend I'm going to decorate the house for Christmas and if it's cold again, I will just HAVE to have a fire! Christmas music, the tree, wreaths, decorating the mantle and hanging stockings. We're not even having Christmas here this year, but having the house decorated makes me feel so happy. 

It must be foodie week at Baby Center because the baby is now the length of an English hothouse cucumber. Yes, it must be That Specific Cucumber or the comparison won't work. Please do not call this child a pickling cucumber or a gerkin or anything - it just won't do his growth justice.
I have another doctor's appointment right after Thanksgiving, where I do the glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes. I have to drink this nasty orange stuff that is chilling in my fridge and then they take blood when I get there. After that appointment I start going to the doctor every 2 weeks. I'm excited about that! Means we are getting close! It's also a little scary because the nursery is not at all ready and USA Baby (grrrrrrrr) called to tell us the crib won't be here until January.  So like all other major events in my life, I will plan for months ad nauseam only to have a rush of things to do at the last stressful minute. Hey I guess that makes me consistent!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Registry Musings

True to a couple of posts ago, I did end up registering this week. For reasons I won't go into, Kristen and I weren't able to go on Tuesday and so I did a bunch of my registering online with my trusty Baby Bargains book while in my PJ's. So I haven't actually set foot in BabysrUs yet. I consider it registry telecommuting! 

I have to say, I would be lost without the Baby Bargains book. I don't know why I believe everything they say, but it is like my woobie; a security blanket in a sea of scary baby items. Much of what I picked was based on that book. Except for the little beanie hat that has 'Rock Star' on it - that was purely self-indulgent. 

Some observations:
  • The entire Fisher Price rain forest collection is highly rated throughout the Baby Bargains book. So why does it have to be so obnoxiously, brightly, cringe-inducingly colored? I have read reviews online by so many parents who tried to buy an aesthetically pleasing swing, high chair, etc. - and all their child wants is the equivalent item in the Fisher Price rain forest line.
  • Brad and I are losers who find a hip stroller completely awesome. It was really the only item I could get him into. I wish I could say we are above all that and totally practical parents with a firm grip on reality, but we are not. Which means our kid will want the Fisher Price rain forest stroller. 
  • Mobiles seem all sweet and innocent until you realize what song you're going to be listening to over and over and over and over and over again. Upon that realization, the cuteness factor becomes secondary to music that won't make you go crazy. 
  • Hands down, the best product name: the My Breast Friend nursing pillow. I've been saying it non-stop because it's so hilarious. Try it in a sentence! Few items screamed out at me as a must-have like that one did. 
  • Right after I caught on that the only reason a particular item cost so much was because it was labeled 'baby', I would find the 'organic' version of the product, which was twice as much. It's the next evolution of guilting soon-to-be parents into 'buying the best for their child'. How can you not go organic?? All those chemicals! Bad Parent! Bad!
Speaking of bad, I did end up finding a completely ridiculous baby offering - not sure if this will end up being the winner of that designation in the end, but it will definitely be in the top 5. The WhyCry Baby Crying Analyzer priced at $99 at Target. It boasts the ability to help new parents distinguish between the 5 types of crying - hungry, bored, tired, stressed and annoyed (seriously? annoyed? like 'i can tell mom and dad just cheaped out on the new diapers and this is SO not working for me' kind of annoyed?).  I don't know who these people think they are, but it is a horribly mean thing to take advantage of sleep deprived, desperate people who want only to make their offspring happy - and charge them a hundred bucks in the process. I hope whoever created it enjoys hell. If Dante was right, they will be on nursery duty.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spooner Tails - November 16

Wow what a week. We'll just leave it at that. We are having a very low key weekend after several busy ones and it's been really nice. I have to Monday morning for a full week in New York for work, so the down time has been awesome. We've cooked dinners in, watched tv, done some stuff around the house and worked out. I've had some insomnia lately, which stinks, but I hear it is mother nature's way (in all her heartlessness) of preparing a soon-to-be mommy to be up during the night. I've had trouble sleeping long before getting pregnant - any time I'm anxious about anything, I'm up. Frankly when I'm up and it's dark and there's not much to read on the internet, I find myself thinking how nice it will be to have the company. A partner in insomnia! 

We started looking at daycare options this week, which is probably way overdue. Brad visited one place, Skipwith Academy, on Friday and we're going to go ahead and get on the waiting list there. This week we're checking out Westminster Canterbury and a few in-home sitters. One thing that is interesting about both day care facilities is that they are adjacent to assisted living centers and have programs where the children interact with the elderly residents. Apparently Halloween at Skipwith is quite a production! Anyways, I think that's neat. I'm still trying to decide which option - day care or in-home - I feel more comfortable with. I'm sure I'm going to be such a hormonal mess at that point that no option is going to feel very good. 

As for the baby size update - I think Baby Center is just messing with me now, trying to see if the pregnancy stupids have set in (they have, but I do have above average reading retention skills). This week, my 26th, they are back to comparing the baby to a rutabaga. Now the baby weighs the same as a rutabaga - not to be confused with being as big as one. I had to google rutabaga just to remember what one looked like the first time around and I have absolutely no clue what one weighs. Sadly I only know what I weigh and that not a fun number! 

I read another newsletter earlier in the week (I'm cheating on Baby Center) and it said my uterus is the size of a soccer ball. Now that's some fun trivia! After I read that, I leaned over and told my project manager in the middle of a very serious meeting. She looked impressed. And it had to be the soccer ball thing, because there really wasn't much impressive going on in the meeting. Brad's been playing soccer on a league every Sunday, so as I type this, he is kicking around an object as big as my uterus. While his child continues to kick my bladder. =)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bump Watch 2008 - Week 25

Is it me or did I get a lot bigger? I feel bigger. I've also noticed that people are proportionally nicer to me and more accomodating as I get bigger and it's been non-stop nice lately. Which is awesome - I love nice!

Brad took this picture at Art & Sue's this past weekend when we were there for their annual holiday party. I had just finished rolling out about 100 sausage balls and adding extra frosting to the cupcakes (we all gain weight together), so probably not the best time to take a picture. Should have waited until I was all gussied up for the party, with clean hair and everything. Oh well, if I don't pace myself with pictures in my One Nice Maternity Dress (compliments of Karen), my blog is going to look like that is all I wore during my pregnancy. I already have it up in the post when we went out for our anniversary. 

Tomorrow I brave BabysRUs (is that how you spell it? it looks wrong how I did it. Does that make me a bad parent?) with my friend Kristen to register. That store intimidates me - it is always crowded and is just wall to wall, floor to ceiling baby crap. Plastic-y, headache-inducing, brightly colored baby crap. All necessary, of course, for one reason or another. And shopped for by parents who look so tired it scares me. Brad is getting out of this phase of registry - it is my gift to him! He already has to put together the Ikea dresser and the crib after all. 

There are periods of time (like as I type this) when this baby is kicking when I think maybe he already wants out. It is wild, multi-limb movement for a half hour or so. While it is adorable and endearing now, I can't help but think oh crap, what is this going to feel like in 2 months??  At 4 in the morning? When he really gets going, I feel like singing Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting... Those cats were fast as lightening... Maybe I'll just sing here in a couple of months at 4am - that way Brad can enjoy it too! I have a lovely singing voice. 

Ok, I am clearly tired. I better get some rest so I can face the Mega Baby Marketing Machine tomorrow and not get obsessed with all things material and baby. I only had moderate luck 7 years ago staring down the Mega Wedding Marketing Machine, so I'm hoping to improve my record. I'm going to keep my eye out for the Most Ridiculous Baby-related Item when I'm there and I'll report back. It may become a list...

Oh and here's a gratuitous pic of my baby daddy. He's watching football and I'm figuring out why the flash won't work. Let's cross our fingers the baby gets those eyes - doncha think???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spooner Tails -November 9

Brad and I are being the ultimate lazy slobs today, which feels so wonderful! Recent recap of our fairly tame pre-baby lives:
  • We got back today from a quick trip to Williamsburg for Art and Sue's annual holiday party last night. This one was in honor of Brad's brother Bill and his wife Christina, who got married in May. The party was really fun, lots of good food, a little rowdiness and it didn't wind down until late, which is probably why we are so beat today.  And when I say rowdy, I mean the discussion that started with  jello wrestling and the like and trended downward. You know who you are.
  • In less exciting news, the mango jalapeno chutney I made turned out really well and was yummy with the pork tenderloin they served. I think I'm going to make a bunch more to give to people during the holidays. If you get some, act totally surprised and ask me what it is. 
  • Friday night we just went to dinner - Brad got back in town from New York and so we went on a little date. However, by the time we got home, he was so tired and he went to bed! We are Captain and Princess excitement, at your service. 
  • Holly's birthday is tomorrow! Happy Birthday Holly! She and her hubby have a little one coming next spring, so lots to celebrate this year! It just won't be the usual way we celebrate each other's birthdays will multiple bottles of wine, public renditions of a Chorus Line and mooning.  We'll save that for future years, when it will all be followed by Dangit, I've got to get home and pay the sitter! 
  • This week I have Tuesday off for Veteran's day and have all these productive plans - buying fabric for the nursery, ordering the rocker arm chair, registering for the baby and running errands. Hopefully Brad won't have to work late because I feel like cooking too. I'm just too sleepy and lazy to do it tonight. 
  • I use google images to post pictures of what size the baby is and this week's comparison is an ear of corn. The baby is almost a foot long in length and it said to picture an ear of corn. WHEN, I ask you, have you ever eaten corn on the cob that was a foot long?  I feel like I am becoming some sort of watchdog group for Babycenter.com, calling BS on their claims. At any rate, what I have discovered through my google search is that LOTS of people love posting pictures of their small children and dogs eating corn on the cob. I'm not sure why - it has never occurred to me to give my dogs corn on the cob, but I guess I will probably find it fascinating when my child tucks into some for the first time. I thought maybe I'd pick the cutest kid or the cutest dog and post it, but then even that became entirely too much effort.  So instead you get this picture, which is what Babycenter is tells me my kid looks like this week. A face only a mother could love!
It's now time for some more poodle-style napping (all 4 of us napping simultaneously with much gusto) and then maybe a shower and a walk. And yes, I realize the Sunday afternoon nap will be a thing of the past after the baby comes, so I will relish in this one. =)

One last thing - My cousin Mike left for a year long tour in Afghanistan this week. Please keep him, his wife and his 1 year old son in your thoughts and prayers. I know they all miss each other terribly and we are all concerned for Mike's safety. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Did someone drug my water yesterday?

I don't know what is going on with me, but I can not, in this historic election week, keep my eyes open. I had a meeting for Komen right after work yesterday and then rushed home to start watching election returns. 20 minutes later I'm asleep. Brad finally woke me up when he needed to start packing for his Long Island trip (I fell asleep on him) and I got up and tried to do some things around the house but then we started watching returns again. 15 minutes later I was asleep. I remember briefly waking up when Virginia was called for Obama and again during McCain's concession speech and thinking WAKE UP Kara, this is important! But no, fast asleep. Does my psyche actually find the returns tiresome? Is this what the media means when they use the term 'Election Fatigue'????

When we went to bed later I thought for sure I'd be up during the night since I usually stink at sleeping. But no, slept straight through until Brad had to get up for his flight at 4am and then back to sleep after he left until my alarm went off. Now I sit at work, ready to just lay my head down on this desk and sleep. I think the baby must be growing a bunch and it's just really all I have in me to stay awake. Even after a nice little soy latte from Starbucks. Oh well, I guess productivity just wasn't in the cards for me today. Happy Hump Day everone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

Hope you voted and don't forget - the freebies this year are ridiculous! Thank you corporate America!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Brooklyn!!

Mom and I had so much fun visiting Meredith this past weekend in Brooklyn! We took the picture above at lunch before we went to go see In the Heights, a show Mer picked out and got us tickets for. It was the most incredible show - I have spent all day today singing little songs from it. Coworkers again fighting each other to sit near me.

So breaking down the weekend - we got in Friday and met up with Mer and Lucas (who her friends collectively and affectionately refer to as Mucas - I love that) met us at the apartment we rented on Craig's list from our new best friend we've never met Susan. Well, Mer met her when she was checking out the apartment before we rented it but all we really know is from the apartment. Susan has a very bohemian, gypsy-type decorating taste, which comes in handy when you need a yoga room like she has but is not so convenient if you want to actually see yourself in all the dim mood lighting. Especially in the bathroom, which was so dark I'm only kinda partially sure I actually showered. We also enjoyed the nude pictures everywhere and excitement of not knowing what piece of decorative clutter we were going to knock over each time we turned around! Actually in all seriousness, you couldn't beat the apartment's location and it was pretty inexpensive, so was an ideal solution for a little weekend trip. I joke because I love...

Anyways, Mucas had this Italian place in mind for dinner called al di la trattoria and it was the most amazing Italian food I've had since I was actually in Italy. Just melt in your mouth fresh pasta and this wild mushroom appetizer - everything was so fresh and delicious. Then the waiter offered up black pepper gelato for dessert and just totally lost me. I'd like to think of myself as a pretty adventurous eater, but hearing that as a choice just made me want to chuck my spare fork at him. Lately, waiters better offer up something with chocolate or step away from the scary, dessert-craving pregnant woman. 

Saturday morning, my mom and I got up and headed over to see the fine folks at Connecticut Muffin (we went 3 times in 2 days), get some breakfast and meet up with my friend Jennie. Jennie and I met 9 years ago at a 3 week Deloitte training in Leesburg, Virginia and have stayed in touch ever since. She's always traveling the world and was running the marathon on Sunday, so it was neat to hear about all she has going on. Chick is going to camp overnight in Antarctica in December - can't wait to see those pictures!

The rest of the day we spent going to the show, shopping in Herald Square and getting some dinner with Mer back in Brooklyn. Sunday we of course had to hit Connecticut Muffin again and later went to brunch will all of Mer's friends. I'll have to go back some time when I can really take advantage of all-you-can-drink mimosas. After that we checked out the Pratt Institute where Meredith worked, which is a beautiful campus filled with outdoor sculptures. We walked around and looked but then had to head back to catch a cab to the airport. The lack of cabs had us in a state of sheer panic - I was really worried I would miss my flight. Mer was running around the circle trying to find us something when one finally popped up and my mom and I grabbed it. Unfortunately that meant only getting to wave goodbye to Mer instead of hug her, which was kind of anticlimactic! Virtual hugs Mer - thanks for a fun weekend!!! 

Some more pics - Mer and Lucas at Pratt with unplanned, but perfectly staged fall foliage behind them:


These are Mer's good friends who we got to meet at brunch on Sunday. I felt totally Sex and the City (less cheesy though) brunching on the weekend like that. I guess that would make me Miranda since I'm pregnant and we were in Brooklyn. =) I may have to bring back the brunch in Richmond - it's going to have a renaissance here, I can just feel it!

Well, nothing like a fun weekend to make the work-week doldrums even more ... doldrumy. We'll get to see Mer again in a couple months for Christmas in Dallas and hopefully she and Lucas can come visit after the baby gets here. It was an awesome weekend - hopefully we can do it again some time!