Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Hope Karma Runs Up Behind You and Bites You on the Ass!!!!

The long weekend in Columbus was fun but tiring. By Monday evening, I was really happy to be home again.

Today, I had to drive 100+ miles to take the formerly-stinky-big-headed foster dog for a vet visit in Indiana. Since he still belongs to the rescue group, their vet is 50+ miles from our home in Chicago (Note to self: next time, rescue animals closer to home!) and he needed his leg checked out. AND, to make matters worse, this weekend, we realized he has worms! I'm not sure how that's possible since he gets all the monthly medications to keep worms at bay, but nevertheless, there they were. YUCK!

I am so easily grossed out in my pregnant condition. Just thinking about the worms this morning made me vomit numerous times. Getting passed by a garbage truck made me vomit a week or so ago. Oh, what a delight random, instantaneous vomiting is. . .

Anyway, back to the stinky dog. . .so, after waiting for TWO hours after my appointment time to finally see the vet, I was told Bear needed an ex-ray and--how lame is this????--they had to keep him overnight to do it. Which means two sad and annoying things: 1) Poor Bear got taken away to a vet crate for the remainder of the day/night and probably thinks he has been once again abandoned (just thinking about that made me start crying while I loaded up on cheap-er Indiana gasoline); and 2) I have to drive 100 miles AGAIN tomorrow to get him back. UGGHHH!

The vet thinks that he may have arthritis in his left rear hip, which is also the leg that was broken a few years back when he was apparently hit by a car. That poor dog isn't even five years old and he's kind of a mess. His previous owners really have a lot to answer for. While poor Bear limps around our house, I hope karma runs up behind them and bites them on the ass. Seriously I do.

And while I'm on a rant. . .Hello, Indiana. No offense to your lovely residents and proud heritage, but I am sick of being in your state. Four hours today. Off there again tomorrow. And don't get me started about the detours and road closures that had me driving your back roads for the better part of a day last Friday while just innocently trying to get to Ohio. If I never see Valparaiso or Kokomo again, it will be too soon.

Okay. I'm done now. . .

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Things Are Looking Up

We're headed off to visit the Craze Clan in Ohio this weekend for our nephew's second birthday bash. It should be a lot of fun since, thankfully, I really like my in-laws a lot. And, we're finally going to meet my older brother-in-law's new girlfriend. Since I've never met a single girlfriend of his in the eight years I've known him, it's quite an auspicious occasion!

Oh. . .and did I mention my in-laws have a pool. I'm excited about the pool!

This will be the first time we take the formerly-stinky-but-still-big-headed foster dog, Bear, on a long car trip. I'm hoping that he and the Bug share the back seat nicely. We even got Bear his own seat belt the other day and I'm just hoping that he behaves when we get to our destination (no growling at his doggy cousin).

On the baby front, my feet swelling has gone away and I had my first physical therapy treatment yesterday for my sciatica. It was a bit painful, but my hip seems much improved today--so I'm glad about that.

I picked up a practically new Graco Pack n Play with a bassinet and changing table on craigslist for $79 (it was on my baby registry for $149)--a super deal. Craze put it together the other night and it really looks brand new. I'm so excited.

We still have work to do to get things together--especially getting my messy office sorted out so it can be transformed into Craze Jr.'s room. That has yet to be tackled. I'll need to get on it soon as my baby shower is in late September and I'd like to have it all done before then. Guess we need to get in gear!

Tonight, we're headed up to Evanston to see an outdoor showing of Soylent Green, Craze's fave film. Thankfully, the weather is so nice and has cooled off a lot from our last week of 90-degree temps, so it should be quite an enjoyable summer evening.

Still no work coming in but, oddly, I'm quite optimistic about the whole money situation at the moment. I really think it will all work out just fine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swollen and Side-lined

I'm a little down in the dumps today.

Yesterday, my feet started swelling up and ended up looking a little bit like they should be an appendage of the elephant man. So, when I realized this in the afternoon, I pretty much spent the rest of the day on the couch with my feet up.

While this may sound like a blessed respite, I actually found it pretty boring. There is only so much "Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood" and "Flipping Out" that a girl can watch without losing her mind just a little. I kept thinking of things I could be doing, only to be reminded that they all required some other pose than sitting prostrate with my feet elevated. In those moments, I really wished I'd bought some yarn so I could at least knit a nice little baby blanket and be somewhat useful and productive in these passive pregnancy moments (uh. . .hours).

Craze went out and got us burgers and fries and served it to me on a tray. That in itself was a little bizarre as I am just totally not used to being served anything edible in my own home. My husband has many good qualities and skills, but cooking anything is not one of them.

Sitting around for so long also led me to start worrying about things I have little control over, money being my biggest worry. Still no work in the past couple of weeks. I've had several unexpected inquiries about my consulting services, but no moolah-making opportunities yet.

Mama Maggie needs to make some money, people. Yeah. That and cease with the swelling--I'm only four months for goodness sake!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby Bargains Galore!

The past week, I've scored some truly great baby bargains through a combo of yard/garage sales, craigslist and online bargain shopping. Hurray for smart shopping!

We got a nice Babi Italia light maple crib through craigslist for $150 (they normally run upwards of $300 or $400). I got a cool, mod, space-rocket-themed crib set from for only $31--way better than the cute organic cotton one I coveted at $400. It arrived in the mail yesterday and it looks just awesome!

We also got a TON of little baby boy clothes for just a few dollars at various neighborhood yard sales over the weekend--some look like they've never even been used. Plus, we got a Graco stoller for $15 that's pretty new and some people at a late-in-the-day yard sale actually made us take their Eddie Bauer stroller and an infant car seat FOR FREE. We still have to check them out to make sure they meet safety requirements, but you can't beat free!

And probably my favorite items are a cool, '70s turquoise vinyl swivel chair and a cute orange vinyl ottoman. They go great together and will be perfect instead of an ugly, space-sucking glider for the baby's room. All it took to get them was $4 plus a thorough cleaning.

Yesterday, I found a JJ Cole Bundle Me for my December babe on craigslist for $10 (the one I wanted at Babies R Us was $50!). It's brown, faux suede and looks exactly like my husband's vintage '70s "McCloud" coat that he always wears. I'm so excited that my husband's coat and my baby carrier bundle me will match.

I think I might be losing my mind!

We were thinking of painting the baby's room bright yellow or turquoise. But now that I've been looking at paint swatches, I think cheery yellow is the way to go.

Aside for the color, saving money always makes me cheerful!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Total Dinner Bummer!

Just returned from a most underwhelming tapas dinner at a new place we were trying out, Cafe Marbella.

In my experience, it's pretty hard to go wrong with tapas. I was clearly mistaken. The food was ok but nothing special, the service wasn't so swift (we had to ask for bread and water more than once) and the place is so LOUD, it was actually a little assaulting.

I'm always disappointed, because our dinner outings are less frequent nowadays in this frugal new world, when we don't have a good experience when we go out.

Total dinner bummer!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Love a Good Deal!

For some reason, the elf (eyes lips face) make-up brand is having a crazy online sale. Pretty much everything on their website is $1. Yes, that's a buck an item! I ordered some stuff a couple of weeks ago that finally arrived yesterday. After reviewing my bargains, I stood in the kitchen dumbfounded and was all like "Hey dummy, why didn't you order more???"

So, today, I did.

I just ordered a boatload of cosmetics since mine are ancient and probably should have been tossed out ages ago. I also used an online coupon code (CAROLINA) and got 50% off the the first $15. That means that even with shipping, I got like 20 make-up items (lip gloss, blush, tinted make-up, nail polish, eye liner, even a pair of tweezers!) for $17. $17!!!!

Check it out yourself at Lordy, I love a good bargain!!!!

I Need Some Crib Notes

I am contemplating buying nursery furniture on Craigslist. So, here's the dilemma. . .Today I fold this great deal, $175 for a used Jenny Lind oak crib, changing table, chest of drawers and matching hamper (and crib mattress, but I'd get a new one anyway). The crib looks in good condition, but the seller says it's six years old.

Is this unsafe? Am I a terrible mother for even considering buying a used, six-year-old crib? I am totally torn. But I hate the idea of plonking down a few hundred bucks just for a crib that my child will only sleep in for a couple of years. But on the other hand, his safety is the very most important thing.

What to do???

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Not Hip Enough

Yesterday Craze and I drove to the suburbs to catch some fireworks in the evening. We thought it would be less crazy and crowded than the downtown festivities. But when we got there, it was manic. Cars everywhere. No parking.

We ended up parking quite far away and it got me a little worried. You see one of my crazy pregnancy complications of the past week or so is that my right hip has just decided that it doesn't like working very well. And when it does, it can be really painful. Like that pain surprise that takes your breath away and stops you in your tracks.

So, we get out of the Vue and start making our way to the firework festivities. I'd only gone less than a block, when the pain starts kicking in. Before long I'm hobbling along at a snail's pace just like Hank Hill's dad on King of the Hill. You know, the old cartoon war veteran who had both of his shins shot off in some foreign conflict. Yeah. That one.

We finally get to a good viewing spot and the fireworks were, indeed, great. Colorful and fun. But then it was time to hobble back.

I'm not sure how long it took, but eventually we got back to the car. Craze was very patient, giving me his arm for support and sharing my geriatric pace all along the way.

But lordy--I hate feeling like I'm an 80 years old and in desperate need of a hip replacement. I really wish I could just take a bunch of ibuprofen but that is verboten. Instead, I keep taking the limited amount of Tylenol I'm allowed to digest in a day, but it's not really doing me much good.

I have a doc appointment later this week and I'm really hoping they have some good ideas on how to get my hip back to normal. I'm so frustrated!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Indepedence Day!

Craze unexpectedly has the day off today (as well as tomorrow as expected). Whoo-hoo!!! Happy Independence Day, indeed.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm a Married, Pregnant "Goddess"

Tea was yum and fun. Quite an enjoyable 90 minutes really.

Today was mostly about grocery shopping before the hoards hit the stores for all their July 4th festivities. We, the Sumners, unfortunately aren't having any festivities and haven't been invited to any either. Total bummer. I guess we'll just have to settle for the neighborhood fireworks that start early and go on well into the night. Literally, we sit on our back porch and watch them for hours as every one in the city of Chicago seems to be letting off their illegal firework caches--often right in the alley behind our house.

My pregnancy woes of the moment are two-fold: 1) I'm totally itchy. All over. Often. It's really annoying. And 2) My right hip is really painful. I feel like a geriatric in need of a hip replacement. Hey, I know I'm old. But I'm not that old.

Still no work from all my career pot stirring and meetings of late. So, I guess I'll just keep repeating the mantra I heard on TV the other day, "The Universe is conspiring in my favor." "The Universe is conspiring in my favor." That and hope for the best.

Oh, did I mention I have a new admirer? Leroy, the black deli counter guy at the Jewel, caught my eye late last week and then proceeded to stalk me to the check-out lane and then even out to the parking lot. He told me I was a goddess. I thanked him and then told him that I was a married, pregnant goddess. Today, I'd been in Jewel literally 30-seconds and was innocently looking at nectarines when there he was again, chatting me up.

Leroy, dude. I am married. And pregnant. And while I find your attentions somewhat flattering, I also find them somewhat creepy. I didn't give you my number or show you anything other than basic common courtesy. So, can I just get that half pound of roast beef and be on my way? Thank you.

I can see I'm gonna have to take Craze on my next shopping trip. Sorry, Leroy.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tea for Two (or really Three, I Guess)

I'm headed downtown this afternoon to meet up with a work colleague for tea at the Four Seasons to celebrate her recent promotion.

I just love high tea. Could there be a more civilized occasion? Scones with clotted cream and jam and teeny-weeny sandwiches--yum!

I'm also planning to divulge to my work colleague about my impending bundle of boy. So far, I've kept things mum (excuse the pun), but I'm hoping this person can send some work my way before our delivery date arrives. Anyway, in the next few weeks, it will be hard to hide my emerging bump. I'm sure most people just think I'm fatter than ever. Hah! For once, people, you are wrong. Not just plus size, but plus size and preggers. That'll be tea (decaf!) for three, please. . .