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Hi everybody! How have you been?

These past few weekends, Gilly and I have been taking classes on childbirth, newborn care, and breastfeeding. These are all very important classes to take. If you miss one, you won’t know how to deliver your baby, you won’t know what all those blankets you just received are for, and your baby will never know the importance of squirrels.

Placenta, baby, and pelvis, minus stovepipe.

I may have my facts a little bit jumbled. Bear with me, they’ve been throwing a lot of information at us.

Did you know that…a baby makes its journey through a 90-degree elbow stovepipe? At least, that’s what the display model seemed to indicate.

Did you know that…swaddling a newborn is easy? First, you need a swaddling blanket and a newborn. Second, you need to fill out a job application at your local Qdoba, Chipotle, or favorite Mexican restaurant of choice. Step three, ask to be placed on the burrito line. Step four, go home, substitute the tortilla and fillings for your swaddle blanket and baby, and you’re all set! NOTE: Do not follow step five, which might involve you accidentally eating your spicy little baby burrito.

Did you know that…girls are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice? You just need to go easy on the “honey boo boo.”

Did you know that…a father plays an important role in breastfeeding? According to our lactation consultant, a man’s job is to be the FUN one. And, evidently, “fun” constitutes one very important skill: We must be expert squirrel spotters. (I believe, if I got this straight, I am also *required* to say, “Lookit! A squirrel!” if my baby is to have her full measure of fun.)

Men find breastfeeding more comfortable in side-lying position

Did you know that…our lives will never be the same again?

Finally, we learned our most invaluable lesson of all: We’re ready to be parents.

Now, c’mon, baby, let’s get this show on the road. I’ve got some squirrels to show you.

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Dear Psychic Due Date Predictors:

It is me! The woman who looks like she is ready to give birth at any moment. I have an apology for you.

When you, Post Office Guy, announced to all the patrons of our local post office that I looked like I was ready to be a mom soon, I had 4 more months to go. Honestly, at that point in time, I wasn’t mad at you. I had assumed that you were friendly, bored, and bonkers. More importantly, I was so excited that I looked pregnant to strangers and not just fat! But then your fellow due date prediction pals started their assault…

Lady at Target: Yes, we were due the same month and you barely had a bump, but that did not mean I was ready to rush off to Labor and Delivery just yet. OK, so you didn’t actually say anything mean to me, or suggest I rush to the hospital, but you didn’t have to. Your tiny adorable bump did all the talking for you. 

Neighborhood Porch Guy: In your defense, I was having really bad Braxton Hicks contractions outside of your house during my walk. Thank you for offering to drive me home, to avoid a birth in front of your house, but I still had three months to go! Sheesh! And for the record, I finished my walk. Although my docs recommend that I cut back on the distance. 

Cooking Class Man: Dude, what is up? I’m here to wrap food in paper hearts. Your comment about how it must be “any day now” was not appreciated. I don’t care if your wife had five daughters, making you some sort of psychic pregnancy professional. And your “It is the stripes on your dress” excuse did not help… Stripes don’t add *months* to a pregnancy! Apparently, I am still mad at you!

All ready for doc appointment. I took a picture because I can’t trust the mirror.

So yeah, I got a bit self-conscious thanks to you people. And as Yoda says, “Self-consciousness leads to self-loathing, self-loathing leads to defensive anger aimed towards strangers (and tiny unassuming bumps) who can’t seem to resist foot-in-the-mouth opportunities.” So I got angry with you all. (And Yoda, a fan of anger, is not.) You probably didn’t even notice my rage. To your faces, I sheepishly apologized for being so large as to make you choke on your own toe-jam. Then, in the comfort of my safe-zone (Patrick), I unleashed furious rants directed towards each of you. My rants also make Patrick laugh, so everyone wins!

Then I went to my doc appointment last week. Weight was on target, my BP was nice and low, and baby’s heartbeat sounded like a rave beat on E. Remember raves? Me neither. All was going well until the doc measured my belly not once, but twice. Huh? Turns out I’m measuring 4 weeks ahead. In fact, according to the metric system, my belly resembles a boulder more than a bump.

So my apologies to you due-date predicting, toe-jam sucking strangers. Sorry for angrily talking about you behind your back. I said cutting things like “What does he know? Has he ever seen a pregnant person before? Should I go into hiding (back to self-consciousness)?  They are all mean-butts!” (The baby can not only hear, but can distinguish our voices now, so I don’t want to be known as the pirate-tongued, mean, lady-one just yet.) 

You were all right; I do look big. Just stop telling me about it? OK? Thanks! There, now that we made up, you can touch my belly. It is good luck!

PS. I can’t get my shoes on!

“No, Patrick, don’t help me, take a picture.” No seriously, that is what I said to him.

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Patrick, our friend E., and I took a cooking class this week. We learned to cook “en papillote.” It is a surprisingly fast and easy classic French cooking technique that mixes arts & crafts, origami, and crazy delicious results. As Ina would say, “What could be better than that?” Cooking en papillote with your faves, that’s what!

In class we cooked (1) Mediterranean shrimp (raw), (2) frozen dumplings (Pork gyoza dumplings from Trader Joe’s), and (3) classic dill salmon.

Step One-A: Cut your parchment paper into a heart.

Love!

Step One-B: Practice folding without food. Fold paper heart in half (over food) — start at the cleavage of the heart and fold along the edges and twist the tail of the heart (not a metaphor).

Look, ma, I did it!

Step Two: Put your heart to the side (not a metaphor) and chop and mix ingredients!

Can even do frozen dumps and chopped veggies! We also added just a bit of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds to the mixture.

Step Three: Wrap it up! Place mixed food along one side of heart. And fold it down.

Patrick makes a packet en papillote!

Step Four: Put it in the oven at 425 degrees! (General rule: For protein over an inch thick, 10 minutes will do it. For protein under an inch thick, 8 minutes will get the job done. For real! Frozen dumplings take a little longer to steam — 10-11 minutes).

They should puff up in the oven. But if they don’t, the food inside still tastes just as good. That puffy one is our friend’s. Ooh la la!

Step Five: Cut open top with scissors. Admire the magic and the fragrance! Now that’s fast food!

Snip! Snip!

Mediterranean shrimp!

Dumplings and veggies!

Salmon with dill and shallots (and a 1/2 tbsp of butter and splash of white wine)

Step Six: Eat your heart out! Bon appetite!

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I hadn’t even realized we’d reached the peeing on a stick phase of the month. As Gilly mentioned in her recent post, she just wanted to make sure it’d be safe to have mimosas on Christmas morning. Neither one of us really expected the test to come back positive. So imagine my surprise when Gilly suddenly announced, late in the evening as we were getting ready for bed, “I think we’re pregnant.”

Yup! I've contracted new dad face.

It took time to realize what I was feeling was sheer joy and excitement, because my initial reaction was one of pure shock. Could it be? How could it be? Could it really be? It couldn’t possibly be. But there it was. The little pink lines. They couldn’t lie. Could they lie? Well, actually, I guess they do lie. But then when Gilly took the test again…and again…and again, for four days in a row – well, the little pink lines don’t lie that much.

We were going to be parents. We couldn’t contain our joy. But while we didn’t have to contain our joy, we couldn’t yet share our joy. The urge to tell everyone the second you realize you’re pregnant – especially after months now of being, as Angie Z. so eloquently put it, “two endangered snow monkeys with a thousand buggy-eyed freaks awaiting the appearance of your first offspring born in captivity” – is hard to suppress. I mean, this is BIG news. Who can keep something like that a secret for a day, let alone for weeks?

And that, dear readers, is when the first trimester intervened and knocked us both senseless. I mean, we’ve read What to Expect When You’re Expecting but nothing – not a midnight screening of The Exorcist, not a public restroom reading of The Hot Zone, not even eating one last wafer thin mint in a re-enactment of Monty Python’s Meaning of Life – could have prepared us for…Gilly’s first trimester.

Gilly sums up her first trimester experience in her last post, so I won’t regurgitate the horrors she endured. Let me just say this. There. Is. No. Celery. In. Our. House.

But there are two glowing people. After all, maternal bloom isn’t just for ladies…

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Send her your fan mail! She likes it!

Part of the reason for our blog silence lately has been due to a few intrusive emails that we have received. They are completely unrelated to our blog and us. These emails were sparse at first, but are picking up speed. And we decided that we may just end our blog altogether. These emails are strange and well, fan mail (not for us)…

So, as a former college instructor, I thought that instead of shutting down my blog and twitter account as I had first thought to do, I’d make a learning experience out of this…or what Patrick calls fanning the fire… So here we go!!

How To Write A Proper Fan Letter

1. This is pretty crucial so I want to open with this. Send fan mail to the person you are a fan of. Not us.

2. Writing “I’m not crazy” once makes the reader question the statement. Writing it more than 4 times makes you sound, well, crazy.

3. This is related to point number one. Don’t email random bloggers with your fan mail. It weirds them out! Nope. Exactly the same as point one.

4. Keep it short. Especially if you are writing to a non-famous person who doesn’t have an assistant to read mail. We normals only get through about three sentences of email not meant for us.

5. Send fan mail to people worthy of being a fan of: your favorite florist, the creator of bacon, celebs in sunnies, scientists working on a cure for cancer. This blog is not going to experience a sudden shift of content. It is about me, my husband, and our random thoughts that occur to us during our everyday average lives. That’s it. Nothing glitzy. Nothing fan-mail appropriate. We are not worthy.

That’s it for now. But if we shut this little bit of silly down that’s why…

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I’m here too! And I hope you will pardon me my absence but I’ve been seeing someone else… Call it love, infatuation, mental illness… I call it time well spent!

Yes, after a long talk, Patrick and I think it is best that I just come out and announce it…

I HAVE A NEW LOVE! An obsession even! But I swear it’s the real thing this time! Patrick and Lulu have taken 2nd and 3rd seat to my new and greatest love yet. The first chair of my heart is now occupied by Bones. Bones has humble origins as a give-away at a casino. At first I thought, “Neat, a dog toy.” But upon further inspection (a Google search) I learned that Bones was designed to provide neck, lumbar, and leg support! Great for recuperating after our high-seas adventure!

Bones got your back.

Bones isn't a pain-in-the-neck. Lean on Bones!

But Bones is way more spectacular than body support!! Bones is my new best friend, my confidant, my everything!!

Even Lulu seeks comfort from Bones!

I love you Bones! And Patrick and Lulu, you are pretty alright as well.

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Many loyal readers and devoted fan (“Hi Mom!”) have been wondering: What happened to “It Happens Every Day”?

Many of you, no doubt, are concerned that the Steelers’ ignominious exit from the NFL playoffs must have sent Patrick into a deep, dark winter funk. Others, fearing we had contracted Seasonal Affect Disorder, have assumed that we were simply too S.A.D. to post. Some scoundrels have even suggested that, in the throes of an unseasonably, unreasonably mild winter, we had decided to chuck it all and head north for the winter.

None of these could be further from the truth. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

We booked a “Titanic reenactment” winter cruise! Unfortunately, our trip on the Costa Concordia was not all it was cracked up to be. (Captain’s motto: “First one to the lifeboat is a rotten egg!”)

Italy's notorious "Coast Guard" winter cruise line

Compensatory damage money in hand, we headed off on to Africa for a “Pirates of the Indian Ocean” winter cruise! Unfortunately, Captain Jack Sparrow was nowhere to be found, and Somali pirate hospitality was not all it was cracked up to be. (On the plus side, we got autographs from Navy Seal Team 6!)

Our overseas adventures having become a little too adventurous for our tastes, we returned home and headed to sunny Florida for an authentic “Republican Primary Campaign Trail Fantasy Camp.” We had a blast there, capping off our week by joining Mitt and Newt in a rousing game of “Anti-immigration reform candidates pander to the Hispanic vote.” (We’re pulling for Newt, our thrice-married family values candidate, as he promised us a trip to the moon if he were elected. Mitt, on the other hand, promised only that he would downsize us at a large personal gain – for himself.)

We’re now safely back home in the upper middle northern eastern part of the United States, where that winter air is still downright very-nearly-almost-but-not-quite chilly (bring a jacket!) and where we only have to suffer through one more week of insufferable Patriots gloating.

Welcome back, I say.

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