Monthly Archives: July 2010

Nursery Designs: Opinions Needed

Right now we’re trying to figure out what we want the nursery to look like.  Honestly, we really don’t know what we want.  I don’t want to just paint the walls a plain color but I want something with a little pizzazz.  John just doesn’t want something too busy.

Here is one picture that we like:

We both like this, though not necessarily in these colors.  I don’t think it would be too hard to do, because it is just straight lines that need to be taped off.  I think it would look fun behind the crib, but not necessarily the whole wall, maybe just above a chair rail.  Who knew that argyle would be cool on modern nursery walls?

Here’s the other picture that we both like:

I don’t particularly like the shades of colors that are being used, but I think that the polka dots are really neat.  This would be really super easy to do on the walls with paint, even though the website I found it on used stickers (I’m not afraid of playing with paint.  If something goes wrong, you just paint over it!).  We have some shelves that are currently white that will go on the walls and I want to put the baby’s name up in wooden letters covered with fabric.  I think I would make both of those in stripes, in similar colors to the polka dots, to contrast with the dots.  But, how many walls to put the polka dots on?

There is only one really good sized blank wall.  That’s where the crib is going.  Two walls have windows on them (which are being replaced with low-e windows within the next month, we’re having the estimate done early next week) and the final wall has a nice sized closet and the door.

So, what do you guys think?  We could use some opinions as I’d like to start painting within the next week or so (I want to have the nursery done (other than furniture) before I start teaching again in September).  Please leave comments here or on FB, as we really would like to know what you think.

PS.  Yes, we do know what we’re having, but we’re not telling anyone other than family until we have the official anatomy scan at beginning of August, just in case there was a mix-up.

PPS.  I can officially apply for my K-12 Bio license in NJ.  I got an A in my class 🙂



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At the Movies

Yesterday evening we went to the movies.  I’m pretty sure that it was the first movie I’ve been to see at the theater in over a year.  Yep, not kidding, a year!  The last movie I can remember seeing at the theater was the Hangover (which, I have to admit is now one of my favorite movies.  I’m really an adolescent boy).  I remember wanting to see Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, and Alice in Wonderland, but not actually getting to the theater.  Fortunately, I’ve now seen all three on DVD and I’m extraordinarily happy that I didn’t waste my money.

We usually go to a theater by our home called the Ritz which isn’t too expensive, despite it’s name.  We’d go on a Saturday night, grab a soda and popcorn and still only pay about $25.  Not too bad for a night movie.  But, because we wanted to see the movie last night in 3D, we had to go a local AMC theater.  For the movie, $28.  For the popcorn, soda, and peanut M&Ms (because the baby wanted chocolate), another $18.  $46!!  For one movie!!  That’s more than we pay to go to the Walnut Street Theater!

So, what did we see?  We saw Despicable Me.  It was AWESOME!  I laughed so hard in parts that I was crying.  I honestly can’t wait to see it again.  Definitely going to have to grab it for our collection when it comes out on DVD.  The minions were hysterical.  “OOOhhhhhh, stuffed crust!”  I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who wants a good laugh.  One let down, I downloaded the Best Buy Minion Translator onto my BBerry, since they were really hyping it on TV.  Needless to say, it didn’t work with my particular model.  “Oh, Poop.”

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What We Did For the 4th of July

John and I are big Phillies fans.  We have Sunday series tickets, so every time the Phillies are home on a weekend, you can find us at Citizen’s Bank Park.

CBP on Father's Day, 2010

View from our seats at CBP

We are very lucky.  Because I am originally from Pittsburgh, and almost all of my family still lives there, we can travel across the state pretty easily.  Because the Phils and Pirates are both in the NL, we are assured that the Phils will play in Pittsburgh at least once each season.  This year, it happened to occur over the weekend of July 4th, so we ended up spending the holiday with my family.

We opted for tickets to the Saturday night game, which was sold out.  Yes, a sellout in Pgh.  Doesn’t happen all too often.  But, we were able to get great seats on StubHub for a great price (much less than we would have paid for equivalent seats in Philly).  Let’s see if you can guess what made this game a sell out.  I’ll give you a hint.  Look at all of the red in the following picture, taken before the game.

PNC Park, Pre-game, 7/3/2010

Yep, that’s right.  Phillies fans sold out the game in Pgh.  Actually, they sold out all 4 games of the series.  When you get this many fans for a team, it virtually becomes a home game.  It was so awesome to hear all of the Phillies fans cheering during the game.  There were some prickly Pirate fans in the bunch though.  The man behind us, as we were cheering after the first score of the game, yelled that we should all go back to where we came from.  Three things about this 1) Technically I was raised less than 7 miles away, so this is where I came from; 2) If all the Phillies fans would leave, we’d be taking all of our money, that was going to the Pirates, with us; and 3) There are more of us than there are of you, so watch out.

After the game (which we won), there was an amazing Fireworks display

I need to learn to take better Fireworks pictures!

Although they were great, it made me think of something.  The Pirates are terrible.  They are beyond horrible.  It’s been this way for quite a while.  When I was growing up, they were a great team, usually in contention for the division title, often in the playoffs (although this was when the Braves were winning everything, Boo!).  They had a great franchise with an amazing franchise history.

When you go to the Pirates games, it’s much like going to a minor league baseball park.  There are “free t-shirts every Thursday”, games for the kids, game-shows between the innings, very long fireworks displays, etc., etc.  All of these designed to bring fans and “visitors” to the stadium.  All of which cost a lot of money.  I have a better way to bring fans to the stadium.  Spend the money you are using to woo fans on creating a great, contending baseball team.  You don’t need gimicks if you have great baseball.  A good team will bring the fans as sure as the Pied Piper can lure children.  It’s much like Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”  In this case, it is a good baseball team and they are the fans.

Sunday, we met up with some of my FIFs for breakfast, then has a cookout with my family.  It was so much fun spending time with my brother and SIL and my sister and BIL.  I can’t remember the last time that we laughed that much.  I was crying, that’s how much I was laughing.  One of the best days I can remember having with two of my siblings.  Later that night, we headed over to my cousin’s house for fireworks in McKeesport.  I have to admit, they put on a great display.  I was impressed, McKeesport!

On Monday, we were heading back to Philly, but before we left we ate this

Top Layer of Our Wedding Cake at 1 year and 1 month

My parents’ had been storing our wedding cake in their freezer.  We pulled it out, thawed it, microwaved it a little, then the 4 of us (my parents and the two of us) ate it.  Yes, I know you’re supposed to do this on your 1 year anniversary, but we were in Vegas.  Close Enough.  At our wedding last year, we’d had slices from a different section of cake, which was banana with cream cheese frosting – AMAZINGLY YUMMY!  The top layer was different.  It was vanilla cake with strawberry filling.

How was it?  Well, as good as you could expect after a year.  The buttercream frosting was like cement.  But, it must have done a pretty good job of protecting the inside because the actual cake and filling weren’t too bad.  I was crossing my fingers that whole time that we wouldn’t get food poisoning and fortunately, we didn’t.

All in all, it was a lovely weekend, but, it sure was good to get home Monday night 🙂

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It’s a Sophie Post

Sophie is the younger of our two cats.  She’ll be 5 at the end of October, but I still think of her as the tiny little kitten that wouldn’t leave me at the shelter.  When we first adopted her, we thought Sophie was blind in one eye.  Turns out, she can see perfectly out of that eye (her left).  It’s just that she caught ocular herpes from her mother when she was born and a membrane formed over her eye for protection.  John calls her our little pirate, ARRGGHH.  Yes, she is most definitely spoiled (both of our cats are).

Watching for John to come home from work.

Who is that gorgeous cat reflected in the door?

Okay, Mom, that’s enough pictures already!

Hey, What’s Sophie doing at the door?

About 5 seconds after this picture, Toby pounced on Sophie and they had a wrestling matched which included large tufts of fur landing on the floor.

The princess on her throne, complete with a pillow on top of her.

I did not put the pillow on her.  The pillow was already stacked on the blanket and she crawled between the two.  I love that her tail is tucked up next to her nose.

Oh, Hi, Mom.  Yeah, I’m still sleepy here.  Maybe I’ll curl back up and go back to sleep.

(PS – The yarn is currently being made into a baby blanket.  I’ll have several pictures of recent yarn projects soon)


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Crib Confusion

We’re currently trying to figure out which crib we want to order.  For those of my friends out there without kids, did you know that it can take 3-4 months for the cribs to be delivered?  This was shocking news to us.  Thankfully, I read about this issue and we were able to get out there and go shopping.  We spent a whirlwind Saturday traipsing around Southeastern Pennsylvania to visit 3 stores with Toni (my MIL) and even another stop on Sunday to see one more brand that the other stores didn’t have.

I can assure you that after a while, EVERY CRIB STARTS TO LOOK THE SAME!  Honestly, there are only so many designs out there.  We started our Saturday out at Karl’s in Center City, went down to Norman’s in South Philly, and then over to Baby Supermart in Broomall.  By the end of the day, we were pretty sure that this was the crib we were going to go with.

It’s the Trieste line by Pali.  There was something fairly unique about the design that we liked.  It wasn’t overly traditional and had fairly clean lines without being too boring.  Toni hit the nail on the head though.  It reminded us of the wardrobe with moths in her drawers from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (my favorite Disney’s Princess Movie BTW – Belle is awesome!  It might have something to do with her being an avid reader).

Wardrobe from Beauty and the Beast

By the end of the day, we were confident that this was it.  The crib is convertible, which means it can be used as a toddler bed then as a full size bed, as long as you buy the convertible rails.  Additionally it was a great price.  With rails and delivery, a little over $700.

But, there was one more line that we wanted to see.  These three stores didn’t carry it, so we had to go to USABaby in Cherry Hill.  We really were interested in seeing the Romina Line of Furniture, not only because it is very eco-friendly, but also because it is completely made in Europe, instead of Asia, where most other lines are made.

When we went to USABaby, we fell head over heels in love with this crib, the Antonio.It is extraordinarily well made and we were very impressed.  The crib is stained with a beeswax stain, so no VOCs or fumes.  It also is a convertible.  One BIG difference between it and the Pali though was the price.  Think DOUBLE.

So, here’s our dilemma.  Do we buy:

The Pali:

1) Affordable

2) Reviews say crib is good but customer service leaves a lot to be desired if there are issues

3) Dovetailed drawers, but MDF bottoms in drawers

4) Crib rails are thin

5) Will it last for 18 years or will we end up having to buy another bed later down the road?


The Romina:

1) Eco-friendly and non-Asian (nothing against Asia, but sometimes I think we, as the US, are overly dependent upon their cheap labor – which often shows in their work)

2) Very well made of completely solid wood from Germany

3) Complete assurance that it will last the 18 years that (hopefully) the baby will be using it

4) Expensive.

We have until the end of July/beginning of August to order the crib.  We’re pretty sure we know which way we are leaning as well.  We just have to see how things play out.

Some food for thought:  Why am I having such an issue devoting this much money to a crib/bed that will be used for 18 (or even more) years when I had no problem paying a similar amount for a wedding gown that was worn for one day?

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