Thursday, June 30, 2011

YOU pick!

So I've reached the point in this pregnancy where I'm thinking about the nursery. I tend to put a great deal of thought into these rooms, considering all of the time I'll be spending there, taking care of our new baby boy.

With that said, I've begun shopping for bedding! The walls are a pale yellow and the molding is bright white.  Of the two below, which do YOU like best?
Madras Plaid Bedding
Jungle Friends Bedding

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Then and Now

Me at 21 weeks with Ava:
And this is me at 21 weeks with Baby Boy Gilbert:

As you can see, the belly (ass) has grown much quicker this time around. I'm told this is common. What is uncommon is my need to eat as much as I do. What's that?! It's OK because I'm eating for 2? Then how come I'm eating for 4?? Not good. Oh well. Just more working out to do once this baby is out.

Since I don't want to be "Debby Downer" with today's posts, here are a few pics of sweet thang:
Look at that little ladybug. 
If that damn crib would hold me, I would have crawled in there.
I liked it so I put a ring on it.

Enough with the Control Freaks!

Ava is napping and I find myself sitting here, watching "A Baby Story" on TLC. I dont' know why I do this to myself. Every time I watch it, I get so angry at these women & their doofus husbands that I want to throw my TV across the room.

First of all, what the hell are you trying to prove with attempting to endure natural childbirth?! I for one, think you are certifiably crazy. I can without a doubt say this because I practically had it... and I vow to NEVER go through that again. For me, Ava was coming so quickly that the 1st epidural did not work-- and by the time the second one was administered I was starting to push, which means I felt the entire laboring process (which I am told is the worst part) and I still have nightmares about it. I was that lady, screaming every swear word in the book, loud enough that the entire floor could hear me.

Just take the drugs. What are you trying to prove? There's no shame in it. NONE. If you want to try going natural, fine. But don't feel bad for following the other 90% of women out there and going for the "good stuff" in the end. As far as I am concerned, I will be camping out at the hospital from week 39, just so I can get my drugs as soon as labor starts.

And for the husbands on these shows that make ignorant statements like, "Well, we decided to go with the epidural. It is disappointing that we have come this far and to resort to the drugs but we feel it's necessary." Alright. Back the hell up, Mister. Have YOU ever squeezed a watermelon out from "down there"?  No. So stop acting all disappointed about the fact that your poor wife and her separated pelvis would like an ounce or two of pain relief.

And for the other husbands that insist on "exclusive breastfeeding", let me ask you something: Have you ever had a child (who's jaws have the strength of a pit bull) latching onto one of the most sensitive parts of YOUR body? What's that?! No??? OK. Then STFU. Thanks.

Vent over. See? I told you I shouldn't watch this stupid show. These people get me SO fired up.

Luckily I have a husband that is my cheerleader. No judging, rather he plays a major support system in the decisions I make about MY body. Besides, he knows better than to question my decisions when I'm under an immense amount of pain.

Enough said. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

In case you missed it: 2nd try at the 2nd tri

A month ago a few friends of mine and I decided to post on one another's blogs about our journeys through pregnancy. I never posted my own piece on my own blog (forgot due to baby brain), so I'm doing so now.

"Second Try at the Second Tri"
Bagel with cream cheese.
Pasta Salad.
Medium Pizza.
Orange Chicken.
Chicken Lo Mein.
Moose Tracks Ice Cream.

That’s what I ate today. Yep. Just another food filled day in the increasingly tight shoes of a pregnant-gal. And sadly, this is a somewhat light day in the food department.

That’s right. I just hit my 17th week of pregnancy today-- which means Baby Boy Gilbert is now the size of an onion -- a mere onion -- which hardly explains why I am already sporting a beer belly that now hangs over my elastic pants. Blasphemy.

During my first pregnancy (with Ava) I LOVED being pregnant. I floated around, all happy, full of energy, glistening with that “pregnancy glow” that everyone talks about. It was wonderful. I didn’t show until 20 weeks and I managed to gain just 26 lbs throughout the entire pregnancy. To top it all off, I had absolutely zero issues with morning sickness, fatigue, etc.

Not this time around, pal! At 12 weeks, you could already see the beginning of the Buddha. Also, I’ve not only experienced nausea, but I’ve been sick -- violently sick (I will leave it at that and spare you the graphic details). And my complexion?! Let’s just say that I could be a “Before” picture for a Proactiv advertisement. Hell, even my dreams have become super wacky!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yep, it’s completely different this time around. Perhaps it’s because I’m having a BOY! That’s right! The ultrasound confirmed the gender at just 12 weeks -- and let me tell you, my husband felt an overwhelming sense of pride about the size of our son’s genitalia, already appearing on ultrasound at such an early age. Boys -- Ay ay ay! He says that “obviously it’s hereditary”. Um. ok...?

The new addition to our family, brings not only excitement, but also concern. Ava has reached the age of 21 months, which means she is in the thick of her terrible twos; I have concerns for her reaction to this change: Will she act out? Will she react with jealous behavior and lash out at the baby? Will she digress so I will baby her, too?

At times, she can be a walking advertisement for birth control: She won’t sit still for dinner anymore. She refuses to sit in the cart while shopping. She rarely listens to directions. I seriously feel like almost everything has become a battle. She is still darling as can be, don’t get me wrong -- she is just deciding what she does and does not want to do now -- which creates it’s own set of headaches -- and requires a ton of patience -- something I’m working on -- reeeeeeally working on.

I ask her if she is excited to be a big sister and we get both answers. I don’t think she will fully realize the magnitude of this change until it is here. For one, she’ll be losing her playroom because its will soon become the new nursery. And as for another change, there will be another child to share her Mommy & Daddy -- something that will definitely shock her. “What do you mean I have to wait?!”

And she’s not the only one who will experience a major adjustment with the addition to our family. I, for one, am scared stiff. I’m scared of changing the dynamic of our family; just when we get into a good groove, something changes. I’m also scared of getting the dreadful postpartum depression again. I’m scared that with two kids, I will most definitely be losing my identity. How do people keep it together? I fear I will turn into a recluse, afraid to leave the house for fear of not knowing how. 

I sometimes think about that show with the Duggar family. That lady has been had like 70 kids. Bitches be crazy. She has been pregnant for nearly two decades. Can you imagine being sober for that long?! I would open a vein. I have enough trouble going the first 20 weeks without having a glass of wine! 

Now that I’m over the hump of the morning sickness and fatigue, I look forward to enjoying the fun part of the pregnancy, which comes with the second trimester: planning the nursery, dreaming of what our baby will look like, and having an occasional glass of wine (keep your opinions where they belong -- to yourself!). 

Having said that, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the expansion of our family. I’m sure there are struggles and celebrations to come, with this addition, and we welcome them with open arms. I am lucky to say that I have been blessed with all I ever wanted and that I could not ask for more. I hope this little bugger is ready for the ride of his life!

As my sister said during her wedding toast to me and my husband, “As a family grows in number, it grows in strength”. Here’s to having an even stronger bond within our family, and even more love under the roof of our home.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A little bit of this...

Awhile ago, I shared a recipe with you called Ryan's Bolognese Sauce from the Pioneer Woman (a site I've been OBSESSED with for the last year). If you've made the sauce, you know how good it is. You also know how much you have for leftovers, especially if you're a family of 2 1/2 like we are. Last time I made it, I couldn't bear to throw the rest of it away so I thought I would put it to good use. Now here comes the interesting part: I used the sauce as a substitute for the meat sauce in Pioneer Woman's Best Lasagna Ever recipe.

We ate this with our eyes closed... and we were literally moaning!!!!! Yes... a bit graphic of a description, but it was THAT damn good. Just like she promises, it was by far the BEST lasagna I've ever had in my life, hands down. Talk about turning a batch of leftovers into a meal for champions. 

Do it. Thank me later. 

And just to add some spice to this post, here are some pics from our fun-filled weekend:
Swimming with Dad at the Clarendon Hills Pool

Giggling at Daddy trying to brush her teeth!

Friday, June 24, 2011

And... exhale.

Ahhhh. That is the sound of me finally relaxing after a long week. I sent Ava to the store (not alone silly) with her Daddy, to get some wine. Yes, I said wine. You see, after the 20 week mark of pregnancy, I give myself (and my pregnancy) a little slack (well, I did with Ava... and I'm following suit with this one, too)- which means, I have a glass (or two) of wine on the weekend. Why not? It's my treat to myself for surviving another week of being pregnant, while chasing an uber-busy toddler. I like to call it wine-ding down. Get it?! Hardy har har. And not to worry, I'm not pouring myself the usual-goldfish-bowl-sized glass, like I do when I'm non-pregnant. I stick to the appropriate serving size considering I'm growing a human in my belly. Speaking of belly-- I ordered Papa Johns tonight for the first time in what had to be 10 years. I have to say, I could drink that garlic butter sauce. It's so good. The pizza wasn't bad either.

It turns out our sketchy ass neighbors (two houses down) finally moved out. Half the neighborhood was outside today, rejoicing their departure. There was a lot of traffic going in and out of that house for the last 6 months--not to mention 2 pit bulls (that were NEVER trained)--and I never had a good feeling about what was going on behind closed doors. Boy was I right?! Turns out, the house is in ruins... basement is flooded from the storm (due to them not paying their electric bill), the garage was full of garbage, the house was a mess, etc. Needless to say, we were all VERY glad to see them go.

"Buh bye twee" - Ava
Also, we had a few guys stop by last night to ask if we wanted a quote to remove all of the damaged trees from the property. $650 later, we are now without broken branches/ trees and our house looks non-disheveled, which is always nice.

There are still people in town that are without power, which is awful! I would have taken a mini-vacay to see family if that were me.

The weather is supposed to be cooperative this weekend, which means we are hitting the pool! We have some additional cleanup work to do in the yard, as well as tearing down what is left of that crappy-ass gazebo (we were NOT meant to have that damn thing!), but all in all it should be a great weekend. I am looking forward to some R&R, that's for sure!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sorry for the delay

If you read my most recent article on Patch, then you know about the awful storms we had on Tuesday... and that we were without power, water, etc for a few days. I thought I would share the details here: "No Power. No Water. What's a Girl to Do?"

If you are like most of the folks around town, you lost power last night. If you're like an extra special few, you may have had some trees down in the street, blocking the roadway.
If you're like us, you not only lost power and had trees down on the street, blocking you in at home, you also lost multiple centuries-old trees to the high winds, that missed your house by inches—not to mention, missing the bedroom that we were using as our safe haven, by mere feet. 

When the storms were approaching, like most we were watching TV, checking, making sure we were out of harm's way. Then, all of a sudden the sirens blared and we knew it was time to take cover. Before we knew it, we were frantically gathering candles and whisking Ava from a sound sleep to hustle into a downstairs bedroom. 
With candles lit and my computer lighting the now-powerless house, we were bunkered down, dogs and all, having a little slumber party. Despite the circumstances, we were having fun; Ava was enjoying the sudden awakening—she was placed on a large bed, surrounded by mom, dad and her two four-legged brothers. We gave her a flashlight and the room suddenly transformed into a scene from "Xanadu": lights flickering, flashlights swirling, a toddler jumping in the bed and screaming with delight! We heard a few loud crashes but nothing that alarmed us too badly.

Twenty minutes later, we walked out to survey the damage. Yowzers. Trees (HUGE trees) were split in half, laying throughout the yard, across our house, in the streets. I couldn't believe the damage that had been done in such a short period of time. 
Neighbors from the entire block were out, flashlights in hand, walking up and down the street, assessing the damage. It was a bonding experience to say the least. (Perhaps because some of us weren't "dressed for daylight.") 
One neighbor lost a mailbox, to which she cleverly and optimistically replied, "Well I guess I can't pay my bills now," which made us all chuckle. I chimed in with a "Does anyone else have a hankering to order a pizza?! I am starving!!" Believe it or not, pizza did sound incredibly appealing, considering the stress we all had just been through.
The reports say that this could last for several days. What?! This is nuts!

And did you know that if you live on the well, when you lose power your water service fails, too?! Yup. Which means no showers or working toilets for the Gilberts. This is going to be fun!!
I am starting to get a pretty good understanding of how the pioneers must have felt. No TV to entertain Ava. No power to cook, do laundry or vacuum (shucks!). Groceries (purchased yesterday, ironically) are all spoiling rotten in our refrigerator. 

It sort of makes me wish we had already purchased that minivan. Heck, we could be spending the entire day in there—watching movies, sitting in air conditioning, charging our cell phones, eating from drive-thru's nonstop, camping out in there during the night. It could have been a mini-staycation!
It seems like all that we can do now is wait—wait for electricity, wait for the tree-removal businesses to start picking up their phones and coming out to help, and wait for all of this to just blow over (no pun intended).
Given the aforementioned hiccups and misfortunes, I must say how thankful I am that we are all okay. I have yet to hear of any close friends having any major issues. We are far luckier than folks in Joplin and Japan. I am definitely going to look on the bright side of the situation and make the best of it. So we lost a few gorgeous, gigantic, picturesque trees. It's nothing that can't be replaced (so long as we're prepared to wait 60 years or so). 
With that said, FREE firewood at our house! Make sure to bring your own chainsaw!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm a big proponent of "have a bad experience? Tell 10 people!"... only this time I'm doing it tenfold.


with a capital F and a capital U!

We bought a rug on their "no interest" plan in October, which meant we had no interest for 6 months. As expected, Home Depot sent us a bill in November and December, to which I made a payment of $100 both times (far over the minimum payment due).

Then, for some reason, the Home Depot statement/ bill stopped coming, and truthfully, I eventually forgot about them (I'm busy alright... that's why I don't sign up for ebills... I like the bills to come in the mail so I remember to pay them immediately.)

Then, all of a sudden, I started receiving calls from Home Depot's Credit Card Collection Services.

Kristi: I haven't received a bill. Why are you calling me, telling me I owe you $725?
Home Depot (India): Ma'am, we huv noot receive payment seence December. We need payment now.
Kristi: Well why haven't I received a bill? I can't recall the last time I saw something from you...?
Home Depot (India): Ma'am, please confirm I have right address: ______________
Kristi: No, I don't live there. I have never lived there. You have been sending the bills to the wrong address, and are now billing me an additional $220 over my current balance, (due to late fees and interest charges), on account of YOUR error?
Home Depot (India): ::crickets... looking thru manual for answer to my question::

Before I hung up the phone with "Jennifer" I agreed to make the minimum payment to get the account out of collection and was told I should call the next week to dispute the late fees/ interest charges.

I thought to myself: No problem, I'll get this all sorted out. They'll take care of me considering this is obviously THEIR error.

Well, guess what?! "Jennifer" charged my debit card for the ENTIRE amount of $725 (the balance + $220 in late fees/ interest charges), instead of the minimum payment of $65 (that I had requested to pay).

Oh, you just dinged me for $690 extra? Thanks so much, Jennifer! Money grows on trees in our yard, so it's no problem, at all. Really. In fact, I wipe Ava's ass with $100 bills. I totally appreciate it. Really.

Home Depot (India): Thank you for calling Home Depot. How may I assist you?
Kristi: I want to speak with a supervisor. NOW!

Long story short, the IDIOT "Supervisor" gets on the phone and says he can only credit me the interest fees, which means I'm still getting screwed for $140, on account of THEIR billing error (by sending it to the wrong address for the last 5 months).

So, I asked to speak to HIS supervisor, who, after 10 minutes, tells me that he isn't authorized to give me anymore credits, and that I would need to speak to HIS supervisor (FML!!!!!!).

Well, guess what?! HIS supervisor (a.k.a. Captain-Worthless-with-a-headset) calls me back to address my problem. Guess what SHE did? Nothing. The wastoid admitted that she couldn't even see my account on her screen because she wasn't authorized (that must be some kind of supervisor you are!). THEN WHAT THE ______ AM I DOING WASTING MY TIME, TELLING YOU EVERY _______ DETAIL IF YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE MY _______ ACCOUNT, TO GIVE ME A ________ CREDIT? 

Now, now... don't worry. I didn't use a single F bomb. I kept my cool. But inside, I am boiling. BOILING. My fists are tight, heart is pounding and my head feels hot (I wonder if this is how that guy felt before he punched Snookie?!)

Bottom line: I just got screwed out of at least $140 because HOME DEPOT BLOWS.

I will NEVER shop there again. EVER. I don't care if I have to drive an extra 5 miles to get to Menard's or Lowe's. Home Depot is dead to me.

Good riddance. I never liked orange anyway. It doesn't look good on ANYONE.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Alright folks. The time has come and I REALLY need your help. I've entered Ken & Ava into a local Father's Day Contest. The winner receives a photography package in the amount of $1200 from a local Chicago photographer. PLEASE vote for them!  Here's the link: BUMP CLUB CHICAGO PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

Thursday, June 9, 2011

PREGNANCY 101: How to Grow a Human (3rd Trimester)

Hi there! We are back at it this week! Meet Kristi, Stacia, and Tasha. We are all pregnant bloggers, friends from high school, and have due dates just trimesters apart. We are also moms to toddler girls, which means we aren’t exactly new to this whole song and dance. In this special pregnancy series, we would like to take you on a three trimester journey of our pregnancies written from each of our points of view at our current trimester.

 Are you curious about what goes on during the third trimester? Every pregnancy is different for every woman...and every woman can have different pregnancies herself. So today Stacia, who writes 
Dried on Milk, is going to give you a glimpse as to what’s in store. She even has a surprise up her sleeve!


YAY! The home stretch! Welcome to the third trimester that’s full of excitement, nesting, anxiety, fear, etc, etc. There are woman who love being pregnant, there are women who don’t and then there are ones who are just sort of in-between. I don’t love it. I don’t know why, I just don’t. But that doesn’t make me a horrible person or a bad mom. Physically being pregnant is a bitch on wheels. The end result is worth it.
photography by Megan Abelard Sanders
Realistically, I’m very lucky with normal pregnancy issues, yet I still find a way to complain like I’m the only woman in the world that experiences pregnancy carpal tunnel, swelling and heartbuuuurn. Many women welcome these changes; I did not. Yeah, did… surprise! He’s already here! Well I hoped he’d be beautiful, his 3-D ultrasound pics kinda made him look like elephant man. (Oh my god, I’m kidding. Of course he’s beautiful. Relax. Although newborns do kinda look like little old men…)

Questions like, am I going to give birth to the elephant man?
is not the only irrational question I had.

There is something strangely sentimental about the fact that this is the last time we plan on doing this whole baby thing. Plan, being the key word there. I look at my 3-year-old drama-queen-who-has-an-attitude-like-her-mama and wonder where the time went. She was born surprisingly early and I was so unprepared. I was such a rookie. I didn’t know a damn thing about being a mama. Hell, I still don’t but I fake it real good. Believe me when I say the best moms in the world fake it. We all just do the best we can and that’s what’s important. 

Labor tends to be what women kinda fear towards the end. It’s the unexpected that’s scary. The real thing isn’t horrific otherwise we wouldn’t keep doing this. I actually had a pretty easy labor with Ava. My contractions were manageable. It’s ok if you feel like kicking me in the taco for saying that, when possibly your labor felt like your body was tearing in two and you were only 2cms dilated. With Ava, my water breaking was the only way I knew I was in labor. Those flips and stretches turned out to be contractions… who knew? When I got to the hospital I was 4cms dilated and 80% effaced. I’m was in the same boat this time with my son and feeling the same way except no water breaking, so it was a very long waiting game.

Listen up, Rosie Pope... a double chin, greasy hair and face, THAT'S how you rock labor

I am going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the woman with the longest labor, evah. Finally, when I decided to head to the hospital I was ready! I actually had a bag packed but I still forgot my damn comb and didn’t realize it until I got out of the shower. My doctor got to see the prettiest mani/pedi she’s ever seen. Oh and my waxed eyebrows and freshly shaved legs. Yeah, bitches… that’s what you do when you are in labor for this long, clean that shit up.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to shave your legs in the third trimester? It can be done but you might want to have some band aids on hand. Now, it’s damn near impossible to take care of the under carriage, unless of course you have someone who can help you out, a really good angled mirror or a waxer.

The first trimester I was a smidge more nauseous than the first time around, ate like a cow, slept like Rip Van Winkle, pooped pebbles, and pretty much any kind of scent made my stomach churn (I wasn’t picky, any scent at all).

The second trimester, I can’t really remember to be honest due to the fact I was chasing a 3 year old. They say it’s the best one, you get your energy back. I guess I kinda did. I didn’t feel like barfing all the time so that was good. I was still tired but that was probably due to arguing with my 3 going on 16 year old. My waist expanded quicker than I thought it would but the weight was kept at a minimum. I guess what I remember most was the gazillion doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds and shots/suppositories. Just have your first baby early and you'll get all those too when you have baby number two. Oh god pregnancy is fun.

 the day before I popped, 35 weeks 4 days

I really had no idea how different things could be. I gained less weight than I did with Ava and I was a week further along but I felt so much BIGGER. A good 10lbs of it though is in my hands and feet alone. I have HULK hands. You should see these veins. Another 10lbs goes to my bodacious boobies.

Naturally, I had hoped I would make it much closer to the end this time and damn it, kids just have a way of crampin’ your style and they just go and do things their way. JEEZ THE NERVE! All kidding aside, this has been a wild ride and the third trimester, although shortened, was exactly what I expected.

I would like to introduce you to Ethan Zane (oh yeah, his initials are EZE, so naturally his nickname is Easy E, my little gangsta rapper) born at 35 weeks and 5 days, isn’t he handsome? Ya know, for an old man baby? I just want to eat him up. Num num num. My heart has expanded ten-fold, I am so in love.

 my beautiful/handsome baby boy


That completes our "How to Grow a Human" series! We hope you enjoyed the journey! 

Since we've received multiple requests to continue writing, 

we've decided that we'll also be doing a "How to Raise a Human" series. Stay tuned! 

P.S. All three of our blogs (Whine & CheezDried on Milk, and Daily Cup of T) have their own Facebook pages! So if you'd like to keep up with any of us, just hit "like" and we'll see you on your news feed!

Thanks everyone for reading and letting us share this time in our lives with you all!:)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Recipe for a 4-hour nap!

1. Load child (and favorite stuffed animal) into car and drive to first destination.

2. Take child to local Farmer's Market. 

3. Make sure child smells lots of flowers

4. Take child to friend's house. Have kids dress in princess dresses and play musical instruments with excessive force.

5. Have other child use your child's head as an object to bang the symbols on.

6. Take children to local pool for a quick dip

7. Treat children to non-alcoholic daiquiris. CHEERS!

8. Finish lunch date off with some chips & gas station quality cheese.

9. Sprinkle in a few giggles.

10. Drive like a bat outta hell to get home for nap time where child will then nap for 4 glorious hours.

Ahhh. Mission "Exhaust-Child-Into-Afternoon-Long-Coma" was officially a success!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How does that even happen?

Every morning I stare at it in amazement. How does it get that way? It is out. of. control.

I'm talking about my kid's hair. What little there is, manages to weave itself into this "nest" -- it is so bad, it would make combing out a dreadlock seem pleasant.

Don't believe me? See for yourself.

No. I did not put a bump-it in there. It's just like that when she wakes up. I wonder if they sell detangler by the barrel at Costco...?