Category Archives: Friends


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!

27 Weeks Down, 13 To Go …

To look at me, you’d think I was due any day now. I can’t imagine how much bigger I’m going to get!

[rockyou id=103850798]

Last week we hired a doula to attend the birth. Her name is Cynthia and she put us right at ease. (Her hobby is going to estate sales and junk shops, and then re-selling what she finds — so right away, we had lots to talk about!) She had her own six children naturally, and helped her daughters bring four of their kids into the world naturally, so she knows what she’s talking about.

But she’s not a stickler for the natural way. If you need pain relief, she’ll help make sure you get it. And if you need a C-section, she can come into the OR with you and tell you everything that’s happening. The key word there is need — if someone comes after me with a needle or a scalpel, I want to know that I did everything I could to avoid it.

When my sister gave birth three years ago, we thought that having a doula was one of those self-indulgent things only my sister would do. But when her very level-headed, no-frills husband said it was great to have one, we thought there might be something to it. In my reading, I found that having a doula at the birth dramatically decreases your chances of having a C-section, so that’s when we started the search. I think it will be nice for both of us “newbies” to have someone on hand who can reassure us that everything is normal.

The next order of business may be to switch practitioners, and possibly even hospitals. My doctor seems resistant to the natural childbirth idea, and if she doesn’t ease up soon then we’re thinking a midwife might be the better option. The only midwives our insurance will cover are at MCV, which is a perfectly good hospital but not as posh as the lovely St. Francis. (One cool thing about MCV: You can see it from I-95 as you pass the big clock tower in Richmond, so it could be an important landmark on family trips. “Look, Joe … that’s where you were born!”)

More on that as it unfolds!

The Van Halen concert we had tickets for was canceled on Friday night, so we stayed home instead. On Saturday, our friend Mike came into town. We went shopping and Mike picked up a sweet new outfit for Joe. On Sunday, Patrick did some chores around the house while Mike and I met Lisa for a lovely brunch at Lulu’s.

Oh, we got a lovely movie on NetFlix a few weeks ago: Once is about a Dublin street musician and a Czech girl he meets and begins to perform with. The music was so pretty and catchy. I think one of the songs won an Oscar last night?

Happy New Year!

We went to Fayetteville for a couple of days to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my mom’s mother and stepfather. Mumsey and Grandy came from Arkansas for the occasion and “Aint Naincy” (my mom’s sister) came up from Florida.

At dinner, Grandy (who is 94 and sharp as a tack) shared lots of stories with us about everything from World War II to the various animals he has bottle-fed to adulthood.

We also got lots of time with the niece and nephew, who make us all the more eager to meet this little person we’re waiting for. Seriously, how cute is this:

We came back to Virginia on New Years Eve, just in time for a visit from my friend Mike. The three of us stayed awake long enough to say “Happy New Year” and then promptly fell asleep. Lola was unnerved by the sound of fireworks outside and had a harder time settling down, poor thing. It just breaks your heart to see her shivering with fear.

So today we started another year. It’s going to be a big one for us — stay tuned!

The week before Christmas …

… seems like the longest week of the year. Unless you haven’t finished your shopping yet, and then it draaaags. But our shopping is done, so there’s nothing to do but wait. Hurry up, Santa!

We had a lovely visit from our friends Matthew and Alecia this weekend. They were on their way to Massachusetts, where she’ll be starting grad school next month. (While she’s busy with that, Matthew will be spending a year in Kuwait. Fun!)

Matthew was craving Ethiopian food and was considering a stop in D.C. on their way up — but when he mentioned it to us, we told him there was an Ethiopian place in Richmond we’d been dying to try anyway. So off we went to Nile. We’d never had Ethiopian food before, but we’ve heard lots of people rave about it (including Patrick’s sister!). It was really good, and fun to eat. We all waddled out of there full and happy.

Ooh, and I made a special dessert for their visit: Chocolate Guinness Cake. (Chocolate for the chicks and Guinness for the dudes. What’s not to love?) The finished product is supposed to look like the top of a pint of Guinness, and it really did! The cake part comes out really spongy but not too sweet, and the icing is cream-cheesy and delicious. I suspect we’ll be whipping up another one soon.

I wish we’d taken photos of their visit but it didn’t even occur to me until after they’d left. They’ll have to come back as soon as they’re able to. (Especially because Lola is now Matthew’s biggest fan!)

Last night we had a nice dinner at Patrick’s boss’s house. I ate entirely too much, but people seem to love that when you’re pregnant!

Patrick thinks that I laugh more now that I’m pregnant, but I think it’s because he’s been especially funny these past few months. One morning when I rolled out of bed, he waggled his fingers over my tummy and cooed, “Good moooorning, baby. How are yoooou?” Then he looked up at me and said (in a much lower register), “Hello, host.”

It’s fun being married to a comedian!