Joe's First Outfit

My co-workers Nick and Val surprised me with a little gift when I came in after the ultrasound – Joe’s first outfit! (They had a “Betty” outfit tucked away too, just in case!)

How cute is this:

When I laid it out just now to take the photo, Patrick asked what “Flat Joey” was doing. Hee.

On Saturday, I’m cashing in the gift certificate he got me for a prenatal massage.  He’s even picking me up so that I don’t have to worry about driving once I’m all relaxed.

Then on Sunday, I’m going to start cleaning out the guest room to officially make it a nursery. There’s so much to do! I want to get started right away so that we’re not totally overwhelmed when the manic nesting phase kicks in ….

It's A Boy!

This morning’s ultrasound revealed what we’ve been dying to know — Champ is very much a boy, and a healthy one at that!

(Grrr … scary Skeletor face!)

As soon as the tech pointed out a little tushy and some legs, Patrick looked and said, “So it’s a boy?” I was sure the tech was going to say, “No, that’s his foot” or something. But after a few seconds of waiting for me to get with the program, she said, “Daddy’s right — it’s a boy!”

So, now that that’s settled, we’re pretty sure we’ve got the name squared away: Joseph VanderClute Tremblay. (I’m already calling him Joe!)

Joseph is the middle name of Patrick’s dad (and all his dad’s brothers) and VanderClute is of course my maiden name. I like the idea of being able to pass that on. (My dad said, “Are you sure you want to saddle a kid with a middle name like that?” Hello, you saddled me with a last name like that! At least Joe will only have to write it out if he wants to.)

Now, the shopping begins!

Baby Classes!

We are all signed up for our “Confident Childbirth” classes at Bon Secours, starting on Feb. 15. I’m so excited to tour the hospital, watch the video, do the breathing exercises … all of it. Patrick will try to make me laugh during the parts where we’re supposed to pay attention, but I won’t be distracted!

I’ve also scheduled my first prenatal yoga class for Jan. 15. There will be eight classes in all — one per week. I hope it will help me relax and ease my already-aching back. I also hope I’m not the only new girl in that first class; if everyone is doing handstands and splits while I’m struggling to stand on one foot, I will not be happy.

(Pffttt … I can do that.)

In the meantime, this Tuesday is our big day to find out if Champ is a boy or girl. If it’s a girl, we’ve got a pretty good idea what her name will be. If it’s a boy, we have some ideas but still have some thinking to do. I’m just looking forward to calling the little one by name instead of always saying “he or she” or even “it.”

I wonder if Patrick will still call the baby Champ as he/she grows up?

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!

Post-Christmas Post

We are back safe and sound from NY, where I saw my first white Christmas in who knows how long. We had a nice time with Patrick’s folks, racked up some great gifts, ate our weight in candy and just relaxed for a few days.

We also saw I Am Legend, which was scary as all get-out and incredibly sad at one point. That’s all the details you’re getting out of me — go see it!

I’m happy to report that I am finally starting to feel Champ move! What a weird, amazing feeling. It usually happens at bedtime — just when I’m nodding off, this little tumbly sensation pops up in my belly. Tonight I took a long bath and that inspired some acrobatics, too! I can’t wait until Patrick can feel all that movement going on. It makes Champ more of a current presence to me instead of just someone I’ll meet eventually.

This weekend we’ll go to my parents’ house to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my mom’s mom and stepdad, known to us as Mumsey and Grandy.

After that, New Year’s!

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!

Patrick's First Christmas Newsletter Wins Rave Reviews

Earlier this year, Patrick volunteered to do our Christmas newsletter so that I could continue to sleep and snack my way through pregnancy. He’s gotten such rave reviews that I’m afraid he will be stuck doing the newsletter forever!

For example, look at the hilarious “news release” my friend Margo Jarvis sent this morning:


For Immediate Release
December 12, 2007

Jarvis Ratings In
Tremblay Christmas Letter Wins Most Creative Award

Fayetteville, NC — The Jarvis Foundation is proud to announce this year’s Most Creative Christmas Letter winner — The Tremblays of Virginia! After reviewing copious amounts of Christmas newsletters from family and friends, a panel of judges voted hands-down that the The Tremblays newsletter scored the highest on the Jarvis Rating Scale.

The newsletter received perfect scores on:

  • Aesthetic Cohesion
  • Content
  • Overall Creativity

“We’re thrilled to receive this caliber of newsletter that is both informative and entertaining,” said Margo Jarvis, VP of Creative Services at the Foundation. “The Tremblays have yet again shown their expertise in informing their audience in a way that makes them want to soak in every word.”

While no cash or trophy awards accompany this selection, the Tremblays should feel free to use the terms “Winner of the Jarvis Foundation’s Most Creative Christmas Letter Award” in next year’s missive.


If you have no idea what we’re talking about here, we probably don’t have your address. So send it!

In the meantime, here’s a PDF of the newsletter. Enjoy!

Mark your calendar!

On January 8 at 9:15 a.m., we’ll have an ultrasound to find out if this baby is a boy or a girl. Place your bets now!

Patrick and I spent our Saturday in Carytown, doing our Christmas shopping. We picked up a little something for Dixon at World of Mirth — that is such a fun store to look around in! We also made a stop at For the Love of Chocolate, which is jam-packed with every kind of chocolate you can imagine. A pregnant woman’s dream!

I’m proud to say that after a couple more visits from the UPS man, we will officially be done with our Christmas shopping.

Yesterday we went on the Petersburg home tour, where we got to see how some of the oldest houses in the city have been restored to their former glory. One really cool one was the Folly Castle Inn, built in 1763 by Peter Jones (the grandson of the “Peter” in Petersburg).

One of the best parts of the tour was the High Street Lofts, a new development rising from the ashes of the Seward Trunk Company. It was established in 1878, and was once the nation’s largest manufacturer of steamer trunks.

Here’s what the old, unfinished part of the factory looks like:

And here’s the part they’re re-doing into swanky apartments:

There’s so much history in that city! Petersburg is probably most famous for its Civil War history, which is unfortunate — there’s so much more that went on there. Although it has been through some tough years in the past several decades, it certainly seems to be on its way back.


I always seem to post on weekends. Maybe because that’s the only time anything fun happens?

Friday was a sad day for Patrick. His childhood hero, Evel Knievel, died at age 69. He has resisted the urge to name our child Evel Knievel (thanks, Mary!) but I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

That night, I met him at his office for a little shindig and then we ventured out to witness the holiday illumination of Richmond. (“Didn’t Grant already light up Richmond once?” he asked. He loves history jokes.)

We walked up to the governor’s mansion, where there was a line around the block to go in and see, I don’t know, how they decorated their tree or something. From there we went to the capitol steps and watched the skyline light up.

(This is someone else’s photo from a completely different vantage point. But you get the idea.) 

Yesterday, Patrick got up early and went to take the GRE. He’s thinking about starting a master’s program at VCU next fall. (We’ll have a baby then — isn’t that weird?!) Then we went to get some garland and decorated the porch.

When it got dark, we drove around to look at tacky Christmas lights. There weren’t many, but the ones we found were legendary. Behold:

Today I had brunch with a friend in Carytown and Patrick went to see No Country for Old Men. I repotted some plants and worked on an article, and he is currently slaving away on our Christmas newsletter (which I have to say is shaping up to be the most entertaining yet!)

Christmas shopping gets into full swing this week — feel free to drop hints in the comments!

Since 2008