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Edited to add: Murray updated the title of this post while I was away from the computer. So, I’m going to leave it as is. Apparently he wanted it this way. I’m not sure what he was trying to say, but there you go.

The problem with sitting around attached to a newborn all day and night is the amount of time I spend online and shopping. OK, since Toby Joe might eventually read this, I haven’t been that bad. Mostly I just “browser shop”. But yesterday I stumbled on something I just had to buy. It’s not something we needed. We have plenty of bowls. But at that very moment, they were just too awesome for me to pass up. So I totally bought a set of these.

I have a bunch of Etsy reviews that I’m in the process of writing. I’m finally getting my life back in order in which to do so. It helps that Elliot is an easy baby! Or maybe I’m an easier mom? I’m not sure. But this has been a much smoother transition for our entire family. We’re all sleeping. I’m bathing. I’ve even eaten with two hands! Things are going well. Even breastfeeding is going well. (HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL! I KNOW!)

Anyway, there will be a lot more reviews in the next couple of weeks. No, I’m not getting paid to write said reviews. I just want to share the love because some of these items are just too awesome.

More on that soon.

40 Weeks! NO BABY. But We Do Have a Crib!

I had my 40-week appointment on Monday. My stubborn cervix hasn’t budged.

“You’re a tight 2 centimeters.”

“That’s a polite way of saying I’m still 1.5 centimeters, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“Great. So, what can I do?:

So she “stripped the membrane” which is really just code for OMFG OUCH! She did this twice because the first time I instinctually backed away from her. You see, I didn’t want to kick her in the head. I really like my doctor and I was about to kick her in the head. So I backed away like a fat slug exposed to salt.

Y’all, that exam hurts. I know it’s not as painful as childbirth, but it hurts. Anyway, she went in for a second time because I asked her to. And I planted my hands at the end of the table near my ankles so I couldn’t move. The exam can, and often does, put a woman into labor. And while I did have contractions that night every hour from 1 AM until about 7:30 AM (among other stuff I won’t mention but other ladies probably know about), I didn’t go into labor. The contractions stopped first thing in the morning.

I’m still very pregnant and nothing is changing. Although, my hips ache more and more every day and my pelvis becomes more and more bruised. This kid is comfy, just like his brother was.

The good news is, my blood pressure is holding steady. That’s what forced me to be induced the first time around, a sudden spike in blood pressure. That’s not been the case this time. The baby is fine. I am fine, relatively speaking. So, I just wait. And I think I’m fine with that. I vowed to NOT be induced this time around and I’d like to stick to that plan. I want to go into labor this time. I want to let my body do its thing to some degree and then I’ll ask for the drugs and the epidural. :]

Culinary Leave

I am officially on leave from culinary school. This was a VERY difficult decision for me. But I realized that while I can still physically go, I am not getting what I should be getting out of it anymore. Couple the exhaustion with the shrinking brain and I felt like I was doing myself (as well as my teammates) a disservice when it comes to retaining any of the information. (Yeah, y’all. A pregnant woman’s brain actually shrinks during the 3rd trimester. And it doesn’t get back to normal for many months postpartum.)

So, I’m on leave for three months.

And my brain is smaller.

Huh? Whut?

The Crib!

We got a bassinet! Finally. It’s kind of a cross between a crib and a bassinet actually. But first I need to state that this post is NOT sponsored. I am not getting paid to write this. I genuinely think this crib is awesome. And I paid for it in lollipop sales.

Now that the caveat is out of the way, check this out. It’s called Alma Urban Crib. It even folds up for storage. It’s perfect for small apartments, and we have a small apartment. Check out how it folds up. Awesome, right?

This crib is the greatest thing ever.  It ran us more than we wanted to pay, but it will definitely fit our lifestyle the best. We have a very small master bedroom and I want to keep Cujo next to me for the first few months. I’m going to try and breastfeed again, so I figured the closer to me the better. Also: I don’t want him to wake up Em. We figured keeping him with us would be best.

Here it is all set up.

I set it up yesterday hoping that maybe the easy workout would send me into labor. No such luck. Not even a contraction.

Here’s how it fits within our room.

We’re really happy with it. We’re hoping our son is too, you know, whenever he decides to join us.

Oh, and if any of my NY friends are reading this and need a crib in about 6 months, let me know. We will gladly gift it to you.

The Mom Dates.

Remember the mom dates I wrote about? I wrote a post about how my therapist suggested I find an in-person support network? Things are going smashingly well there. I have quadrupled my mom friends. I am so stoked about this. I have worked my ass off to put my insecurities aside and just be more open to things and people. And it’s paid off. I’m really looking forward to these new relationships. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of myself. I’m really grateful for these new women in my life.

The Weight Gain.

Y’all, I really could use my body back. I won’t lie. It’s getting really hard to get around. And I will never, ever let myself get this heavy ever again. It’s misery. As soon as I am physically able, I’m going for a jog. I’ve been dreaming about running for months now. I miss it so much. I miss being able to sleep on my stomach. And I miss being able to see my vagina.

I guess that’s it for now. If you want up-to-the-minute updates on laboring and whatnot, I highly suggest following me on Twitter. This is where we’ll likely be posting once things get going. Here’s TobyJoe’s Twitter account as well.

I love Twitter.

“The Due Date” and Cough Drop Sizes

I rolled out two new confectionary concepts over on Etsy. The first one features a new flavor called The Due Date. It combines wintergreen and (a few) fennel seeds.

I also added cough drop-sized candies to my store. This all began when a customer contacted me after finishing off one of my Asian Orange lollipops. She said it cleared her sinuses and that I should consider selling the spicy ones in cough drop sizes. So, I am! We’ll see how it goes. Now, you can order any of my active flavors in a smaller size.

Le beaujolais est arrive!

Over the last several months, many people have requested I make wine-flavored lollipops. I never thought it’d be possible, to be honest. But over the weekend I was at a boutique shop here in Brooklyn and noticed handmade candy canes for sale. While the candy canes are all made with corn syrup, they are also made with wine (or made to taste like wine). Inspired, I gave it a shot.

My first wine-flavored lollipop is seasonal. It’s called The Beaujolais. And, yes. I used actual beaujolais to make them.

There are more to come and I’ll surely be posting them here as I add them to my store. I wanted to see how this one went over before rolling out all the rest. This is new territory for me! I’ve done teas and am quite pleased with the outcome, but wine? Totally new territory for me. But it’s been quite awesome. Stop by!

Lastly, I’m always taking flavor suggestions. If you’ve ever desired a certain lollipop flavor, please let me know. I am happy to give just about anything a try. And the weirder, the better!

Featured Seller On Etsy!

My friends! I am so happy to report that I’m the featured seller on Etsy! I know, right? AWESOME!

These Internet breakthroughs don’t happen to me very often, so when Adam contacted months ago asking if I’d be interested in the opportunity, I nearly peed my pants. I am just so freaking pleased to have been asked to do this! I don’t even care if anybody actually buys anything! ;]

So, please pop by and check out it!

Blah Blah Vampire Emergency Blah

Sometime last year, I was hanging out with my friend Gerry and I brought up the topic of vampires. I was being cynical (and bitchy) making fun of the strange, new teenage craze for all things vampire. I lumped together every vampire show, movie, and book out there. They were all the same to me, which is to say awful. Vampire shows and movies were for today’s lame teenagers.

We had the goth kids growing up. And goth kids, while demented and sad, worshipped people like Morrissey (not a vampire, but possibly bitten by one at some point), Robert Smith, and Nick Cave. (Actually, Nick Cave may actually be a vampire.) Goth kids listened to bands like Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, and The Sisters of Mercy.

But vampires? They’re not even real! The whole craze seemed silly to me, pathetic even.

I never hold back when I’m with Gerry. I often go on and on about the dumbest shit and he forgives me for it, I think. And if you add a few beers to our conversation, I will ramble on passionately until I have to pee. Anyway, that night I said something thought-provoking like, “This teenage vampire craze is stupid. And what the hell is Twilight? Have you seen it? Why are teenage virgins getting wet just by watching it?” (Something written by a teenage girl on Twitter and then re-tweeted a number of times.)

“Vampire shows suck too. How many are there now? And why do we need more?”

Gerry looked at me and with a touch of pity in his eyes and said, “Wait, True Blood? True Blood is awesome. Have you ever actually seen it?”

“No.” I scoffed.

“It’s fucking great.” He said.

“Shut up!”

“I’m serious. Erin and I watch it every week.”

He was serious. And so I filed that bit of information away.

Gerry likes True Blood. Gerry likes vampires.

I’ve known Gerry since I was 18. And probably more so than anyone I’ve ever known, when it comes to music and movies, his opinion matters the most. I’ve discovered some of my favorite bands over the years thanks to Gerry. So for him to give True Blood a great big thumbs up, and couple it with the words “fucking great” I knew I had to give it a chance. At the very least, I had to stop bitching about something I knew absolutely nothing about.

So, fast-foward six or so months. Toby Joe and I sat down and started watching True Blood OnDemand. We flew through the first season in one week. Then we flew through season two as well and caught up just in time to watch the premier of season three. We were hooked.

I admit proudly now that I love True Blood. It’s become my second most favorite TV show. (Second only to Friday Night Lights, which is constantly ignored and I can’t figure out why that is. It’s so well-written, so well-acted, it’s just amazing. Why do so few Americans realize how great Friday Night Lights is? It never quite caught on and that bums me out. But that’s a post for another day.)

While True Blood can be a gory horrific mess sometimes, it’s also hysterical. The self-conscious writing that goes into each episode, the witty retorts, the fact that so many of the show’s characters are brilliantly written and acted, has Toby joe and I coming back for more every single week. I’m already mourning its final episode.

Take Sookie’s brother, the ever so simple Jason Stackhouse. It has got to be difficult to play stupid so well. And Ryan Kwanten does it so well. Yet it’s impossibly not to love the guy, because in spite of all that simple-mindedness he’s unbelievably heroic. Plus, occasionally he says something so seemingly stupid and simple, it borders on brilliant.

“I didn’t think I was smart enough to get depressed.”

“It’s like if a tree falls in the woods it’s still a tree, ain’t it?

Sam Merlott’s outlook on everyone and life in general—that we’re all basically at different levels of “fucked up”—is refreshing and you can’t help but breath a sign of relief whenever he’s around. (Although, I’m not sure what they’re doing with Sam’s character lately.)

Lafayette Reynolds, an ongoing favorite of mine, has us laughing out loud almost every single episode with his casual delivery of one-liners.

“Them fuckers is a whole new dimension of trash.”

Eric, one of the oldest vampires on the show, has a sidekick named Pam; she steals the scene every time she appears. She too is hilarious not to mention sexy. I love Pam.

Speaking of sexy, Eric. Oh sweet Jesus, Eric! He is quite possibly the most beautiful person alive. Eric is what vampire wet-dreams are made of. It’s no wonder they wrote in the bit about having sex dreams should any vampire consume your (human) blood. I’m sure Eric made that so. And I bet message boards all over the Internet are living proof of it.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to convince someone that a show about vampires, werewolves, fairies and shape-sifters is cool? It’s impossible! And if it hadn’t been for my history with Gerry, and the fact that I hold his opinion in high regard, I’d probably still be cynical about it.

But I’m hooked. And I’ll have to buy Gerry a beer for telling me to give something a chance. I really was missing out and if you haven’t seen it, you are too.

Lollipop Sale!

I just completed a huge special order of lollipops. To celebrate finishing ahead of schedule, I’m having a sale! Buy any batch of lollipops, get three pops free.

Stop by if you’re interested! Two of my favorites are: The First Trimester and Sweet Tea. Yum!

Also, I’m working on a few new flavors for fall. I can’t wait to share them! More on that soon.

The iPhone 4 and Its Camera

Sunday is our long day at pastry school. We go from  9 AM until 5 PM but we do get a 20-minute break. Whenever lunch rolls around I pull out my iPhone to check email, Twitter and the like. Well, this Sunday it wasn’t working. The little ATT icon showed up but the 3G icon did not. I figured the entire network was down.

I looked around the room and saw another woman was using an iPhone. I asked her if she had service. Her’s worked. I restarted. When it started up again, nothing worked. The ATT icon was gone as well as the 3G icon. It read “No Service”. I no longer had a working phone.

Toby’s iPhone died several weeks ago. So he’s been living without one since. And that’s been hard for us especially since we don’t have a landline and haven’t since November 2001. For weeks we’ve been using the DM service through Twitter to communicate. (Why not email, I’ve no idea. But it did keep our correspondence to the bare minimum and there’s something to be said for that sometimes. You get to the point when dealing with 140 characters!) So he needed a new phone. He went back and forth on what to get, whether or not he wanted to switch away from ATT altogether or sign another contract. (Toby hates contracts more so than most people.) But in the end, given his job an all, he decided to stick with Apple.

I didn’t really need a new phone. Mine works, albeit rather shoddily since Emory gave it a sponge bath. But it does work.

But here’s the skinny: I need a new camera for school. We were told on day one that we’d need a small, but decent digital camera to document our work. At the end of our time there, we’ll need a photographic resume of everything we bake. I don’t have a small digital camera. My camera is a massive Nikon D200. And since we already have so much to carry with us to and from class (knives, a bag of pastry supplies, towels, a scale) there’s no way I could include that in my repertoire. So, I would need a new camera at some point. And I told Toby this in passing one day. It was such a non-comment, I kind of forgot mentioning it all.

Well, Toby apparently had an idea and his idea traveled uptown and entered my head right as I restarted my iPhone for a second time: my husband was, right at that very moment, buying me an iPhone 4 as well.

(Thank you, lovely husband!)

You’ve probably read all about the controversy surrounding the iPhone 4. And I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Consumer Reports basically said DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE. And they have to; it does have a problem. And Steve Jobs was less than accommodating when it came to responding to the backlash. He went from suggesting the user not hold the phone that way, to offering up free bumpers to fix the problem. Consumer Reports suggested duct tape. Another user suggested buying an Ove Glove. All those perpetually drinking the Apple Kool-Aid responded to the naysayers and critics by holding their hands over their ears and repeating, “LA LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”  The whole mess was quite entertaining for those of us in the middle.

Straight up: I don’t use the phone part of the phone very much. If I were a heavy caller, I’d probably have taken my iPhone back. But I use it to browse the Internet, check email and Twitter, as well as text people. I’ve used the actual phone application maybe four times since Sunday and thus far I haven’t had any dropped calls. I know it will happen and probably at the most inopportune time, but for now I’m really pleased with my new phone.

A FEW THINGS TO NOTE:

The Screen

The screen is amazing. It’s just beautiful. Whenever the very first round of buyers got a hold of it and my Twitter stream lit up with tweets about the screen, I rolled my eyes. But you know something? They’re all right! It’s really wonderful. So much better than what I had been using.

The Speed and Ease

The applications run so much faster and smoother. I use the New York Times application every single night. I fall asleep reading. At least three times a week for over a year I have complained to Toby Joe about how buggy that application is. It takes forever to load, if it loads at all. It crashes. It crashes the phone itself. It spins and spins and often times you can’t scroll through the article. With any other application, I’d have trashed it on day one. But I like reading the NYT, so I put up with it.

That’s all in the past. It’s fixed. It runs supremely fast. Other applications run better as well. It’s just faster all across the board. No joke. And noticeable for even us laymen.

The Camera

But, guys, the camera. Holy shit! The camera. The camera is outstanding. It will definitely do the trick for class. And I’ve been inspired again! A phone has inspired me to take pictures again. I just want to snap everything I see, which is totally mihow.com circa 2002. For those who haven’t been around since the beginning, that’s how this blog began. I took pictures of my everyday life. I snapped hundreds a day—to an from work, during lunch—all over NYC and beyond. I loved doing that and often miss it. It was super easy to do because I had a Canon ELPH back then. I shot from the hip and most of the time my subjects didn’t even notice me.

Well, this phone has me doing that once again. I’ve taken dozens of shots in the past few days. I just can’t get enough of it. And with the added application Hipstamatic forget about it. I’m a photo-taking machine.

So, yeah. I’m really happy with this phone. No regrets at all. We’ll see how I feel with the first dropped call, but I super pleased with the phone’s camera ability. I haven’t even used the video yet!

That’ll be a post for next week.

For now, I’d love to share some more of the pictures I’ve taken in the last couple of days. I hope you enjoy!

I’m so enjoying this, my friends. And you know there’s going to be a whole lot more of this. It’s like I’ve met NYC and 2001 all over again.