Category Archives: Family

Joe Laughing

Joe enjoyed his first Christmas at my parents’ house in North Carolina. He tried some new foods (bananas rule!), heard some new stories, played with some new toys and got loved on a lot.

Here he is enjoying a laugh with his Dad:

You can’t tell from the video, but he really has been wearing his glasses every day and doesn’t seem to mind them too much. What a good boy!


I made my first Thanksgiving meal today, and I’m proud to say that it came out pretty tasty!

We had a citrus-rosemary turkey breast, plus a whole assortment of side dishes to go with it.

Ooh, and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie, which we started on yesterday. We were too full to touch that or the pumpkin pie after dinner.


Click on the photo to see what’s on the table.

Joe has discovered the joy of blowing raspberries and kept us all entertained with that between naps. He’s such a funny kid.

Tomorrow, we start on the leftovers!

More Stuff ….

I forgot to mention that last week at Weight Watchers I had them weigh Joe too. He was 13.2 pounds!

(And I’ve lost 17. Woo hoo!)

Also, my mother wrote an essay about living in Degirmendere, Turkey, when she and my dad were first married. It finally found a home in the Today’s Zaman newspaper. Read it!

Happy October!

I’ve been meaning to post all week but I’ve been working like crazy. I was tempted to turn down some assignments so I could spend more time in this beautiful weather with Joe. But if you’ve been watching the news, you know that now is not the time to turn down money!

We had a nice visit with Joe’s Grandma and Grandpa last weekend. Joe’s teething pain eventually settled down and we all went to the state fair. Joe spent the day studying his hand, so it really didn’t matter where we were to him, but the rest of us enjoyed the exhibits and the atmosphere.

Joe’s Grandpa got him a Radio Flyer Roadster, which you can tell Patrick really wishes came in adult size. Joe will be toodling up and down the sidewalk on this before we know it:

On Tuesday Joe and I met up with the other Baby Mamas (and their babies) for a stroll around Maymont. He slept through most of the walk but was wide awake for some play time in the grass afterwards.

His new favorite thing is what we call his “Command Post,” an exersaucer handed down from his cousins. His feet don’t quite touch the bottom yet, but he likes to be spun around and shown the different toys on it. One of the rattles makes him laugh so hard he can’t catch his breath!


After sleeping in this morning, we went to the Petersburg Farmers Market to browse the veggies and herbs. We came home with a parsley plant and a basil plant. We also zoomed up and down the cobblestone streets in the hopes of shaking Joe loose. It didn’t work, but I like to think he was in there going, “Wheee!”

A quick stop at the stationery store (to look at baby announcements, which are absurdly expensive) and then the Wawa (to pick up lunch, which is delightfully cheap) were about all the public appearance I could handle — everywhere I go now, people stare and say “OH MY GOD, WHEN ARE YOU DUE?!” So then I have to say “Last week,” and they start in with the well-meaning advice. What cracks me up is that at least three total strangers have said, “Oh, you have definitely dropped.” Uh, do I know you?

Anyway. Tonight for dinner we finally went to The Phoenician, this new Lebanese place I have been dying to try. Oh, it was so good! Our friend Lisa and her friend Dan joined us, and the four of us tore into a whole spread of baba ghanouj, tabouleh, hummus and about a dozen other yummy things. Dessert was namoura cake, which was like a honey-soaked, coconutty piece of cornbread. So good!

Tomorrow we’ll probably just kick around the house — I really need to clean again before the kid gets here, and Patrick is probably going to mow the lawn. Plus we have new herbs to plant!

On Monday, my sister and her kids are coming to visit, which will be a nice distraction for me. We can walk down to the playground and listen for the ice cream truck, or sit on the patio while Lola licks the children to death. Good times!

Weekend at Home

We are now one week away from Joe’s due date, but he’s showing no signs of coming any time soon. He’s very wiggly, despite running out of wiggle room, but seems quite content where he is.

I, on the other hand, have developed severe belly itch and a mysterious rash on my fingers. Also, my snoring has reached the point where Patrick now quietly excuses himself to sleep in the guest room. (I mean Joe’s room!)

Saturday morning we went to Ft. Lee for Armed Forces Day, where Patrick had signed up to run a 5K. (It turned out to be more like a 6.5K, which they realized when everyone was disappointed in their time. Whoops!)

That’s him in the red shorts.

After a few errands, Patrick went out car shopping so that he can finally get rid of the truck. (No luck yet, but he seems to be enjoying the research!) I puttered around in the garden, snipping some roses to bring in and re-potting a few houseplants.

I have done nothing but ignore all my roses for the past year, but they haven’t held a grudge — these are just four out of about a dozen blooms on one bush!

Then I made deviled eggs!

Patrick went on a picture-hanging spree, getting the last few things put up on Joe’s wall, as well as this shadowbox his dad gave us a while back:

Those little figurines are Wades, which for years were distributed in boxes of Red Rose tea. Patrick’s dad gave us a whole collection of them. There’s everything from a horse to a lemur in there. (And a camel, of course!)

Today I accomplished very little, while Patrick:

  • fixed a leaky sink
  • installed the baby seat in my car
  • looked at some more used cars
  • mowed the lawn

I better hurry up and have this kid so I can feel like a contributing member of the household again!

Family Resemblance?

I’ve been hoping Joe would look just like his dad, but Patrick says he sees me in Joe’s profile. I happen to look a lot like my dad, so Patrick put this little image together for comparison. What do you think?

36 Weeks!

I’m nine months pregnant now — how weird is that?!

We had an appointment this morning, including an ultrasound to see how Joe is doing in there. He’s upside down (that’s a good thing), with his feet up by my ribs and his head bouncing around on my bladder. We didn’t get a photo of his fingers and toes, but we did get a look at them (not enough to count them all, but enough to see they are CUTE!)

Here’s his profile, labeled for those of you who (like me!) can’t always make heads or tails of these things:

He kind of looks like he’s smiling, doesn’t he?

They estimated his current weight at 6 pounds, 10 ounces. His heart was beating away at 140 BPM. He’s a healthy little monkey!

After the ultrasound, my doctor examined me and said that it doesn’t look like anything will happen soon. That’s actually a relief, since I have lots to finish up at work and home before I’m ready for this little dude. I don’t want him to be weeks late, but weeks early would have stressed me out for sure.

Once we were done there, Patrick and I went to Friendly’s and ate a gigantic lunch. We came home in the pouring rain, and soon Lola was shaking like a leaf. She gets a little nervous during thunderstorms, but for some reason rain alone was completely freaking her out. She couldn’t hold still!

It wasn’t long before we figured out what was scaring her: a tornado about a mile away! We never heard or saw it, but the emergency service sent us e-mails and voice mails to say that there was a tornado warning, and soon all the local TV stations were breathlessly reporting cars flipped over and stacked on top of one another at the local Target shopping center. Sirens were screaming by and every dog in the neighborhood was howling. Crazy!

Patrick’s folks were here for the weekend and got to see me in all my large, slow-moving glory. I did manage one lap around a flea market without passing out, but spent most of the weekend with my feet up. Pregnant women make terrible hostesses — thank goodness Patrick was here to pick up my slack.

Tonight we have an infant CPR class at St. Francis. I wonder if we’ll get creepy mannequins like these to work on?


This weekend my friend Alecia flew down from Boston and threw me a lovely baby shower in Fayetteville. The room was full of women I love and admire, some of whom I’ve known since I was a baby myself! (My mom pointed out the wide age range of the group, too — there were women there in their 20s, 30s, 40s … on up through their 80s!)

(From L-R: Anne, who was our neighbor and regular babysitter when we first moved to Fayetteville in the ’70s; me; my sister, Amy; and Laura, Anne’s daughter)

Aside from a huge haul of amazing gifts (Joe is pretty much set now!) we also had a yummy lunch and a delicious buttercream cake.

My only regret? In all the activity and picture-taking, I didn’t get ONE SINGLE SHOT of Alecia and me together. Alecia, please return immediately so we can fix this.

The rest of the photos are on our Flickr account!

Christmas in March!

I swear, every day this week there has been a package waiting for us on the porch. First came the Britax marathon baby seat from Patrick’s folks:

It’s nice and roomy, which is great because now you have to keep your kids in safety seats right up through, oh, 11th grade or so. We almost put Lola in it for a test drive — that’s how big it is!

Next came a crib mattress and bedding from my folks — we were eager to get these so that when we put Patrick puts the crib together, we can get the whole thing all dressed up and ready to go.

Today we got another package from Patrick’s parents. In it was a snuggly baby carrier and a mirror we can put in the car to keep an eye on Joe while he snoozes in his little throne.

Last night was our last Confident Childbirth class. We almost made it through without laughing, but at the end we did this exercise where you have to clutch ice in your hand (ow!) and breathe through the pain. I was leaning against Patrick and hee-hee-hooing when he chastised me for not looking at my focal point. It won’t be as funny during the real event!

We might sign up for infant CPR or one of the basic baby care classes next. If I can get a photo of Patrick changing some doll’s diaper, you will see it here!

I visited MCV today. The midwives were lovely, but I don’t think that’s the place for Joe to be born. So St. Francis it is. My doctor has gotten a lot less nervous about the natural plan, so I’m feeling better about that.

This weekend, we’re off to Ikea to find some baby furniture. Joe’s room is looking a little bit like a warehouse now, with boxes and boxes of stuff but nowhere to put it all when we unpack it. If we can come home with a little armoire and a dresser/changing table, we’ll be almost finished!