Rocky Horror memories

This past week, Glee did a special Halloween episode where the plot revolved around the Glee Club doing a production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and it got me thinking about my encounters with the cult classic musical.

I was in early high school the first time I saw it... on TV.

http://reporter.piercelaw.edu/rocky%20horror.jpgI had heard about the film being a cult classic but also controversial so of course I was curious. I remember VH1 premiered it on TV for the 25th anniversary and played it multiple times over a weekend so I caught the movie in pieces. The songs were catchy, even though the story was a bit strange and I didn't quite understand the ending the first time I caught it. I really loved the Time Warp number though and Columbia was my favorite character. To this day though, the scene/number near the end when they're all dressed like Dr. Frankenfurter kinda bores me... not sure why, but that's the part of the movie I always seem to tune out of!

I hadn't seen the movie again until I was in college.

A friend had found out that the Hollywood Boulevard movie theater about 20 minutes from my boyfriend at the time's hometown (which was about an hour away from campus) was doing a midnight showing of Rocky Horror so we decided to double date it and go. I had heard about the midnight shows and was excited, as it seemed people get really into.

We got there at about 1030pm but they weren't seating yet so we went to get some fast food and came back. The troop that was shadowboxing the show and providing the props were running late and so the midnight show didn't actually get seated in the theater until about 1am.

Now Hollywood Boulevard is one of those theaters where you can dine/snack and drink in chairs around tables in the theater so it's a bit of a different movie going experience from the norm. Me and my boyfriend at the time were of legal drinking age and my friend's boyfriend was driving, so we decided to get a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea to drink with our popcorn. It was about 115am when they finally gave us our pitcher and popcorn, and they quickly announced that due to the state liquor laws, they were going to have to collect our drinks - finished or not - at 130am.

That's right, we had 15 minutes for the 2 of us to drink an entire pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea before it went to waste. Somehow I ended drinking the majority of it, cuz hey - you can't let that go to waste!

I was feeling good by the time they started the film, and was really getting into throwing the toast and whatever else was in our prop bags that they had us throw and use throughout the movie, but come about halfway through (I forget if there was a brief intermission or not), I had to go to the bathroom and my friend has to escort me as the pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea had gotten into my system and I was stumbling around drunk the whole way to the bathroom and back!

I had a really fun time though and enjoyed myself at the midnight showing of Rocky Horror - it's definitely something I recommend everyone experience at least once (although maybe without the pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea). And if you haven't seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show - go do it! While it is a cult classic musical, it's one you'll either love or hate but you won't know until you see it.

A quick plug for hubby

Speaking of hubby in my last post...

I've mentioned before that I woke up one day to him *gasp* blogging.

I had suggested it to him awhile back, as I know he enjoys writing and thought it might be a good outlet for him and maybe even help him establish a little bit of a following, as he's got several Sci-Fi novels he's been working on over the years (one he sent to several publishers awhile back, but they didn't pick it up so he's been working on tweaking it and adding to it).

His first blog, CivFiction, is basically his take on his encounters in the new Civilization 5 game and possibly make a fiction out of it. I've seen sit while he plays the game with a notebook nearby, writing down timelines and historic people/events he encounters while playing. It seems like an interesting idea.

Also, the other day I learned that he had started a 2nd blog - Musings of a Workaholic. This seems to be a more "personal" blog (sort of like this one) than one with an actual topic to write about.

While I'm not sure how often he'll update them, feel free to check out both and follow him!

A Happy Birthday indeed

Yesturday was hubby's 27th birthday.

We didn't too much in the way of presents, as we considered the tickets to the Cowboys game we went to this past Monday to be his birthday present, as they cost quite a bit. He really seemed to enjoy it though, despite them losing - not only was it his first NFL game he ever went to, but it was his team in their home stadium, which he thought was just awesome as it's something he's wanted to see and do for years but never had the chance or opportunity and we made it happen this year!


http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs883.snc4/71682_828226959679_30800316_43606425_4886769_n.jpgI still wanted to do something special for him though so it wasn't like his actual birthday came and went unnoticed, so I snuck out the other day and bought cake mix and frosting/icing and while he was at work this afternoon I baked him a cake. It was yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting/icing and tasted pretty yummy.

Once hubby got home from work we relaxed for a bit and then eventually got cleaned up and ready to go out for a nice dinner at the steakhouse, since he decided he wanted steak for his birthday. Then we stopped at Walmart and he picked out ice cream to go with the cake I bake and we ate some of both while watching our Netflix movie which was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which neither of us have seen (it was alright, although pretty predictable).

I'd say it was a good day. It's funny though, as I noticed when it was my birthday a few months ago and hubby noticed last night - the older we get the less we are concerned with our birthdays or even realize right away that it is our birthday!

Yesturday was also my parent's 34th anniversary too! That's a loooong time! Seems they went out for a prime rib dinner and a movie to celebrate.


We sure got lucky!

Just an update on our car...

Hubby got a call from the insurance adjuster yesturday - $7300 worth of damage to the car!

We thought it was just the grill, hood, headlights and radiator that needed fixed, but turns out the manifold was cracked as well as something else on the inside (I forget what) and the racing stripe on the hood was custom done so they don't have a template for that and have to do it some other way.

Turns out, it was $1200 away from them just totaling it!

Which would suck, as it seems they're estimating the car being worth just under $10k, and we still owe about $8-9k on the loan (we paid around $13k for it) so after paying off that loan we'd have about $1-2k to put towards a new car and since we don't want a beater, we'd have to take out another loan to get a "newer" car and well, that would just drag the credit down and there would go any chance of us getting a home loan anytime in the next 6 months. Plus, we like that car and haven't even had it for 2 years (it replaced hubby's car that got totaled when some moron ran a red light at an intersection, crashing into us and messing up the entire wheel alignment/system).

So we got lucky!

It's going to take about 2 weeks to get it fixed, so we most likely won't have to drive the 5hrs back down to St. Louis to pick it up til around the 15th. I just hope the roads don't suck too bad with ice and snow, since I'll likely be the one driving down there. We also only have to pay our $500 deductible and full up the tank on the rental when we return it, so considering the amount of damage, only paying $500 to have it fixed ain't bad at all!

We also learned that our car insurance (Progressive) gives us a medical payment option, so I called the hospital yesturday to have them add our car insurance info to our billing info, that way, since me going to get checked out was related to the accident, hopefully Progressive will cover the majority of any charges there (ie: labwork) and then our regular health insurance will pick up the rest so we won't have to pay too much for that.


A recap of our trip to Dallas, Texas!

As I mentioned last week, I've been away on vacation.

Welcome to Texas!
We took a trip to Dallas, Texas to visit my college roommate who lives down there now and to catch a Cowboys game since hubby's a big fan and has always wanted to see a game in person and they only play the Bears in Chicago or the Packers in Green Bay every few years.

Do to unplanned circumstances (which you'll read about at the end of this post), there's no Flashback Friday for today - sorry! We got back almost a full day later than planned and I just don't have the energy to put one together for this week.

Anyways, for those of you that follow me on Twitter, you're probably aware of the majority of our adventures on vacation. For those that didn't, here's the rundown!

We left Thursday afternoon by 430pm as I had work til 3ish and needed to stop by the bank and drop my apartment keys off at my parents so someone could stop by daily and feed Tiger. I drove us for the first 4 or 5 hours to just outside St. Louis where we stopped for dinner. We were going to eat at Ponderosa as there hasn't been one in our area for years, but apparently "winter hours" where they close at 830pm instead of 9 or 10 start in October...? We ended up eating at Ruby Tuesday instead and hubby took over the driving.

We were making really good time and so he decided to stop a bit past Tulsa at a rest stop and join me in sleeping. We were up around 7am and ended up getting into Dallas at about 10am. It was 1030am when we reached the hotel and since check in technically wasn't until 3pm and I knew my college roomie probably wasn't awake yet I went in to see if it would be possible for us to do an early check in. Luckily, they had a room ready and let us check in, where we got comfortable and napped into the afternoon and then got cleaned up for the evening.

Baby Jay's first Cowboys apparel
My college roomie is currently waitressing at a small Italian restaurant and we were planning on eating there for dinner, but she told us to wait til about 9pm since they were a bit crowded, so we trekked out to get some fast food for a light meal since we hadn't really eaten anything yet and then set out to find a Walmart to purchase some cheaply priced Cowboys gear, since our Walmarts only sell Bears/Packers stuff. The first Walmart we went to was really small and seemed a bit ghetto and didn't really have the selection we were looking for. It has also rained a bit and all these black birds were sitting in the parking lot trees all creepy like - I seriously felt like we were reenacting the last scene of Hitchcock's "The Birds"! We found a Super Walmart though We found several finds - a nice Cowboys hoodie for me, a 2-set of Cowboys onesies for Jay, and a Cowboys hoodie for Jay - it's a 4T but we figured he'll grow into it and be able to wear it for awhile. After we dropped our purchases off at the hotel and watched the end of The Hangover, we headed over to the restaurant where college roomie works and got dinner - it was pretty good!

The Texas Rangers won the ALCS while we were finishing up eating so we hurried back to the hotel to beat the rush of traffic while waiting for college roomie to get home from work.

We went over to her place and watched Troll 2 with Rifftrax with her and her boyfriend. OMG, it's seriously THE WORST movie ever and watching it with Rifftrax only makes it that much more awesomely bad! lol... seriously, if you're looking for a terribad movie to watch and laugh at, be sure to check out Troll 2!

Love and War in Texas
Saturday, we met up with her and her boyfriend for lunch, where they took us to a stereotypical Texas restaurant called Love and War in Texas. It was pretty good fixin's although hubby's potatoes were the spiciest potatoes we've ever had! I only had one and deemed it too spicy... hubby had several spoonfuls before heartburn kicked in! lol... Since it was raining and we had time to kill, we stopped at Barnes and Noble since college roomie had to pick up a few things there before she went to work.

That night we met up again and went to a The Flying Saucer pub, where if you join their frequent drinker club and drink 200 of their brews (they have over 300 different ones) you get your name on a plate that they hang up on the wall and you get an additional plate for each 200 you drink after. It was an interesting place and there was a cover band playing too which wasn't half bad.

Sunday we all met up again and went to Whataburger for lunch since Chick-Fil-A was closed for the day. It was an interesting burger joint that I guess is only in Texas. After that we went to the Galleria which is a big mall and the entire first floor is filled with all yuppie stores like Gucci, Coach, Luis Vutton, etc. There were more normal stores on the 2nd and 3rd floor though - including the Dallas Cowboy's Pro Shop which hubby had to go in. We did a bit of shopping in there before we headed out since the mall was closing. We also stopped in the American Girl store too.

The Cowboys Pro Shop in the Dallas Galleria mall
 That night we went out to dinner at another pub where college roomie introduced us to one of her former co-workers from her previous job, as a group of them usually meet for dinner and drinks at this pub on Sundays. The Vikings/Packers game was on - there were some Vikings fans there cheering on Favre - being from Illinois, we don't like Favre as he was a longtime Packer so for amusement we started cheering against them, lol... there was also a poetry group meeting at the table next to ours - we were a bit confused though as they were clapping when someone finished their poem instead of snapping like you would expect!

Monday was the day of The Big Game.

We got up at a decent time and grabbed some Jimmy John's for lunch, which omg - BEST JIMMY JOHN'S SANDWICHES EVER! Not sure why, but Jimmy John's there tasted A MILLION times better than Jimmy John's back home.

Cowboys Stadium
Since parking at Cowboys Stadium is $70 on gamedays (because Jerry Jones can), we used a parking site online to get a good deal where we reserved a spot about half a mile away from the stadium for $22 from 330pm-midnight. We looked into taking a shuttle, but the one from Humperdinks was $10/person and left 2 hours before the game and gave us no time afterwards to take our time, plus we'd still have to find a place to park the car.

The stadium was huge! They didn't start letting people go in until about 2 hours before game time, but we got to see some of the players pull up to the stadium - hubby got a pretty good pic of Miles Austin getting out of his car!

Miles Austin getting out of his SUV

Panoramic view of the one of the main concourses at Cowboys Stadium

The view from our seats
We went in and walked around the main concourse a little bit and we bought a few things in the Pro Shop there before heading to our seats. So we knew we were in the nosebleed section, but with the world's largest HD TV it didn't matter and we had a view of the entire field too... only our seats were SO HIGH UP! It didn't help the stairs up were narrow and since we were in row 20 we had to walk up about 40 steps... and then the rows the seats were in were pretty narrow too! Hubby's afraid of heights so once he got in his seat he wasn't getting up at all! I was a little uncomfortable with the height until the crowd started filling in in the rows in front of us.

Me wearing my AWESOME homemade maternity tee
I also wore my homemade custom Cowboys maternity tee, which I made with iron-on letters and patches and fabric paint, which says "Future Cowboys Fan" with an arrow pointing to my baby bump. I got quite a bit of compliments and comments and congrats from fans and staff at the stadium that night!

For those that watched, you know how the game went... started off great, then went downhill after the Giants took our QB out by breaking his left collarbone and we got stuck with our back-up QB who hadn't played in nearly 2 years! We lost by only 6 points, which was kind of a bummer, but hubby was still thrilled at actually getting to see an NFL game in person, let alone his team at their snazzy, expensive new stadium!

Traffic sucked getting back to the hotel and we were beat with a busy day on Tuesday.

Mary Kay headquarters
We woke up and went over to Mary Kay headquarters where we got to do a self-guided tour of the museum. It was pretty neat seeing some of her outfits, a picture of the original storefront there in Dallas, and different product packaging throughout the years and for different companies. Even hubby admitted it was interesting.

Next, we drove back over to Cowboys Stadium as we tickets for the VIP Stadium Tour. That was pretty cool as we had a tour guide who explained some fun facts to us and we got to go in owner Jerry Jones' private suite where he watches the games from - the guide said that was something new that they had only started doing recently. We saw some of the other suites and some of the behind the scenes areas that you'd have to be a VIP to get normal access to. Then we got to go down on the actual field and get our picture taken on the center of the 50 yard line and we got to check out both the players and cheerleaders locker rooms. It was pretty neat!

Us sitting in Jerry Jones' private suite where he watches all the home games from
In the Cowboys locker room - the lockers of Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Miles Austin
Getting our photo taken on the Cowboys Star logo on the center of the 50 yard line

The skyline of Downtown Dallas
On our way back, we decided to stop in downtown Dallas just so we could say we were there. We went to the historic West End Marketplace shops, only to learn it had been closed down. Then we walked over to the Dallas World Aquarium... only that was closed too. We had put enough money in the meter to give us an hour and a half to kill down there but only used about 30 minutes of it! Downtown Dallas is all mainly businesses - it's like mini-Chicago, building-wise, but none of the fun stuff to do! A bit disappointing. Also, I didn't realize it was rush hour when we were leaving Downtown Dallas - that was a mistake! It took us awhile to get out, oops!

Wednesday we met up with college roomie for lunch before we left town and went to the infamous Chick-Fil-A - people have told us about this chicken joint for awhile now, but there isn't one near us so we heard we had to try it while we were down there. It was actually pretty good!

We left Dallas around 1pm and hubby let me take over driving at 2 once we were out of the heavy traffic from the area (he doesn't like my driving, lol...) I drove us out of Texas, through Oklahoma and into Missouri where we stopped in Springfield for dinner around 9pm. Hubby took over driving and around 11:30pm was when our fun vacation came to a screeching halt, much like our car.

I had noticed a rest stop about 30 minutes prior but I didn't need to go that bad and hubby said we'd be in St. Louis by midnight and we'd just stop for gas then so I figured I'd hold it. I was looking down at my phone, playing a game on it when I heard hubby start yelling all panicky and he slammed on the breaks. I looked up and saw a big deer in the way right as we hit it and of course I screamed too. The deer went flying it seemed. Hubby quickly asked if I was okay, which I said I think so and after looking to see if the deer was in the way, hubby quickly pulled the car over onto the shoulder of the highway, as there wasn't any traffic near us but we knew some would be coming by soon.

We paused for a moment to collect ourselves and noticed the hood was dented up and bent and that the headlights seemed a bit wonky. We didn't see the deer at all. We called our insurance up which hubby gave them a report and then I called roadside assistance who said they were going to be at least 30-40 minutes since they were in another county and said that since our insurance didn't say we needed a report from them, if we could drive the car to go ahead and do so otherwise we could wait for them to tow us if needed.

Stupid buck!!!
We thought the car was drivable, however we really didn't want to get out on the dark highway (it wasn't very well lit) to survey the full damage since there were semi's and other traffic driving by. The nearest exit was just up ahead so we figured we'd get to a gas station or rest stop there, check it out and if it was drivable wait til morning since the headlights seemed jacked up a bit. Well... there was a Mobil mechanic at the gas station who took a quick look at it and we noticed coolant fluid leaking out - the radiator had been punctured and would need replaced. Hubby called the insurance company again to let them know the situation and to see if we could get a tow - the claims adjuster wasn't in until 830am so we had til then to wait.

Hubby called first thing in the morning - I was still a bit shook up and stressed and worried about the whole ordeal and it was making me nauseous that I couldn't eat so I just sipped on some juice. Progressive put us in touch with Enterprise who picked us up at about 10am so we could get a rental to drive home and they were sending out a tow truck to get our car and take it to a Progressive approved repair shop. We were about 20 miles west of St. Louis and about 4-5 hours from home - we were making good time when we hit the deer and were planning on being home by 4 or 5am... so much for that! What sucks is when the car is ready, we have to drive the 5 hours or so down there to drop off the rental and pick it up. At least we were able to get home though!

I also called my OB/GYN clinic once we got the car stuff figured out, as people online and family were all saying I should go get checked out. I honestly thought Jay and I were fine - hubby and I both had our seatbelts on and my lapbelt didn't really get tight when we hit the deer like the shoulderbelt did (as I was leaning slightly forward in my seat), there was no blood or leakage like my water broke or anything and Jay was moving around in there like he does (although more so because I was so shook up and stressed, giving him a bit of a late night adrenaline boost). My clinic recommended that for pregnant women in accidents to go to an ER and get checked out. Since I didn't have the urge or feel the need to rush to one, I waited til we got back home and went to our hospital there.

Since I'm 23 weeks, they sent me right up to Labor and Delivery where they set me up in a room "just in case" and took a urine sample and later a blood sample to run tests. They hooked me up to a contraction monitor too which you wear like a belt... the whole hospital process took nearly 5 hours... soooooo boring. And nothing was wrong - blood tests came back fine, urine showed a minor bladder infection that they gave me antibiotics for and I learned that I am blood type A+. Hubby and were both starving and tired by the time we got out of there.

And if that wasn't enough... Tiger was happy to see us when we got home, until we found the mess she left for us in the bedroom. Hubby went to climb in bed and thought he smelled cat urine - sure enough, she had peed on his pillow and that whole corner of the bed... and random spots on our comforter, so I get to do laundry tomorrow while he's at work! In the past we always shut the bedroom door when we go away on trips so she can't mess stuff in here, but this time, as we know she has several favorite sleeping spots in here, we decided to leave it open for her. Looks like that won't ever happen again! It's not even like her litter box was full - hubby scooped it out before we left! I think she was just pissed we left her or something.

Anyways, that's been our week - a fun vacation despite the last 24 hours. Hubby enjoyed his birthday present (going to the Cowboys game at Cowboys Stadium). Now to figure out what to do for his actual birthday tomorrow, as we had talked about going to Joe's Crab Shack in the suburbs, but he's really stressed about spending money right now with the car in the shop and our trip to the hospital... poor guy, he was really stressing.


Classic Must-Do Quests

 Since Cataclysm is right around the corner, here are several quest items I highly recommend you get in Azeroth before everything we once knew changes entirely.

First up, is this bad boy - The Argent Avenger


Yes, that's right - the original in-game Light Saber sword!

Achieving this item is quite simple - especially if you're already max level. While it's not much use as a weapon, it's still a pretty sweet novelty quest reward item to have!

This is a reward from a three part series:
1. The Archivist (http://www.wowhead.com/?quest=5251) [who can be found in Live Strat]
2. The Truth Comes Crashing Down (http://www.wowhead.com/?quest=5262) [which has you kill Balnazzar who is the end boss of Live Strat]*
3. Above and Beyond (http://www.wowhead.com/?quest=5263) [which has you kill Baron Rivendale at the end of Dead Strat]

* Note: part one does not directly lead to part two, you must turn in part one for the head to drop off Balnazzar, thus beginning part two.

Another classic quest chain which I highly recommend doing if you have the time (or if you're leveling an alt and want a way to kill time, get XP and novelty quest reward items), starts with this quest which has you search for a small shipwreck in southern Un'Goro

While it is a bit of a long and tedious quest chain, the novelty quest items you get at the end are worth it!

What are they?

Linken's Boomerang and his Sword of Mastery!


Yep, that's right! A homage to Zelda!

I gotta admit, back in the day, when paladins had ZERO ranged abilities - not even Hammer of Wrath was  (I was already level 60 by the time that got added in, thank you very much) - this boomerang trinket came in quite handy!

I recall being in Warsong Gulch once, wailing on an Undead Mage when they sheeped me and took off running on foot. I still had them targeted, despite them being too far out of range for me to catch up or do anything physical to them, but I had my boomerang equipped and used it as soon as the sheep broke. Their health was already low and my boomerang finished them off! I got the HK and killing blow for that one! It was a sweet, yet humorous moment for me, as I couldn't believe I just killed him with my boomerang trinket! Silly mage probably didn't realize what hit him at the time until he checked his combat log - I can just imagine the shock to see that it was a boomerang that finished him off! lol...


30 Days of Me: Day 23 - A YouTube video

A friend on Facebook posted this one last week and I thought it was pretty funny!

It's a regular ol' commercial for the Snuggie, but hilarious dubbed over with commentary stating the obvious!



The Beanie Baby Craze

In 1995-1996 I was in 6th grade. This was the year I remember the Beanie Baby craze really hitting hard!

http://www.beckersbakeryanddeli.com/images/Cakes/Beanie%20Babies.JPGI forget how it started, but I'd like to say I remember a friend of mine started getting them, as her parents had got into the craze and were buying them up like crazy and reselling them. She had a few. I wasn't too big on the basic teddy bear ones, but I did think some of the animal ones were pretty cute and I remember I started buying them too.

I only had a few to start with but ended up collecting a handful of them that filled up a shelf in my old bedroom closet at my parents house -I had many dogs, cats and an assortment of others. By now I think all the ones I have are retired.

Looking at the official Ty Beanie Babies site, it's fun scrolling down the list on the side and looking through all the retired ones - I see many of mine, and many of the hard to get ones that I remember hearing about back then.

I had Sly the Fox, Bernie the St. Bernard, Cubbie the Bear (Blackie was the original bear but was retired by this time), Doby the Doberman, Nanook the Huskie, Patti the Platypus, Pounce and Snip (both cats), Squealer the Pig, Tiny the Chihuahua, Ally the Alligator and Weenie the Dachshund among others. 2 that I still have with me here at our apartment are Smarter the Owl, which I got for my high school graduation (he has my high school graduation tassel attached to him and resides inside a mug with the names of the people in my graduating class on the outside of it) and Hope the Praying Bear. I also have 1 of the 2 bulls (Snort and Tabasco) that were big back then - I forget which was retired first, but I had the later one

http://www.ty.com/images/products/331_lg.gifI also have Speedy the Turtle, which is a special one to me, as I have a neat story as to how I got him. Back then, I listened to a lot to a nearby "we play anything" station that played everything from current top 40 songs to classic rock and metal with Dr. Demento on Sunday nights - probably one of the best radio stations (and it was run out of the town where I went to college) and I was thrilled when it was brought back for a few years while I was in college. Anyways, during the height of the Beanie Baby craze near the beginning of 7th grade, they had a week/weekend where they were giving away some of the harder to get Beanie Babies. I think you had to hear a particular song or soundbite played and then be a certain caller to win. I had been trying all week and eventually I finally got through and won! They only had 3 left to give away and gave me my option of which one I wanted and I picked Speedy. He arrived in a padded manila envelope about a week or 2 later with a letter from the radio station congratulating me again on winning. It was really neat and was a special moment for me.

I remember my friend had a handful of retired ones - like I said, her parents would buy multiple of one at a time and then once they became retired they'd sell the extras for some extra cash. Considering how crazy got over the things, it wasn't a bad way to turn a profit!

Looking at the Wiki, it's no surprise why people went nuts over these things - not only were they cute and collectible but each one had it's own name, birthdate and little poem/story on the tag. The whole "retiring" aspect of them after so much time only added to their collectible-ness. They were also reasonably priced - I remember the average price was something like $5.99-$7.99 so a kid could easily save their allowance and get one fairly often. They were also sold at smaller, specialty stores rather than big places like Walmart, Target, etc. - out here, the gift shop inside Cracker Barrel was the place to get to them. They usually got a shipment once a week or so and had at least 10 different Beanie Babies you could choose from. At the height of the craze I believe they started limiting how many you could purchase at time (I think it was 5 per person per day) just so buyers like my friend's parents didn't buy them all up the second a shipment came in. I remember though, someone's parent at school would leak when the new shipment came in and which ones the store was supposed to be getting in and we'd rush over to try and get at least one of the newer ones.

I noticed while over at my friend's, they've placed some of her old Beanie Babies throughout her son's room for decoration - that's actually not a bad idea and pretty cute, I might have to do that with Jay - put them somewhere where he can enjoy them too (although maybe when he's a little older so he doesn't rip off the tags, making them worthless, lol).

Did you get into the Beanie Baby craze? Which Beanies did you have or which ones were your most memorable?


Leaving... on a jet plane!

Okay, not really since we're driving, but...

I just wanted to give you, my readers and Blogland friends, a heads up that I will be MIA for a bit starting tomorrow afternoon as hubby and I are going on vacation!


Don't worry though - I have a few posts scheduled to go up while I'm gone, so it will sorta seem like I'm here while I'm not. But I just wanted to let you know, as I most likely won't be responding to comments and such while I'm away.

We aren't bringing a laptop or anything like that with us, but we do have our Moto Droids, so I will probably be posting on Twitter (and Facebook for those of you friends and family who know me in real life), so if you'd like to hear about some of our vacation adventures as they happen, be sure to follow me on Twitter (which you can easily do by clicking the button sitting on top of the right-hand column).

I'll be back before you know it though and I'm sure I'll have plenty to share!

He's a baby, not a fetus

I realized the other day, I *hate* the term fetus.

I know, I know, medically, that's the term for a baby that hasn't been born yet, but to me it just sounds so degrading to call a baby that. Yes, the baby hasn't been born yet, but you really want to tell me this kiddo inside me doesn't have a personality of his own?

The term fetus just comes off as degrading to me, like calling it a baby instead is giving it too much credit or something, or calling it a baby makes it seem more "real" and "human". Regardless though, even if you call it a fetus, it still is real and human, you just can't see or hold it in the flesh yet.

Since being pregnant, I've only come across "hearing" the term fetus once so far, and it was a few days ago when I mentioned online about how Jay wasn't being cooperative at the ultrasound in letting us get a 3D image of his face. A friend commented that when her pregnant sis (who's a few weeks behind me) went to find out the gender the week prior, "her fetus wasn't cooperating either".

Now I know she didn't mean anything hurtful or degrading by it, so I'm not upset at her or anything, but it got me thinking in general - I really don't like that term for a baby in utero. Carrying a kiddo myself, no, there's definitely a baby in there - there's definitely a little life, a little person moving around in there!

Perhaps I've gotten lucky - the OB/GYN clinic I go to is a Christian-based one and so not once have I heard or recall any of the doctors or staff refer to babies as fetuses - every ultrasound we've had since our first appointment, the tech has always said "there's baby! there's baby's little arm, and baby's little heart... baby's heartbeat is beating at this many bpm's..." etc.

Just thought that was interesting enough to share.

The Cataclysm is almost here!

Not sure how many of you gamers watch Sunday afternoon football on Fox, but if you don't then odds are you missed the live premiere of the first official trailer/commercial for Cataclysm which debuted during the Cowboys vs Giants game this past Sunday!

Hubby and I had fun sitting there, trying to identify all the zones in the commercial that get destroyed or at least affected - you can see the Rio de Janeiro goblin statue out front of Booty Bay, the Barrens, the zepplin area outside of Ogrimmar, Thousand Needles, Auberdine, the Loch in Loch Modan (which still makes me sad as I have fond memories of world PVP battles over the Loch!) and Stormwind (say bubbye to the park north of the Mage District where what little RP that's left on my server can be found!).

Below is the full, leaked cinematic intro to the expansion - the TV commercial is only 30 seconds long and cuts out most of the part with the dragon (call me stupid, but which dragon is this? Nef and Ony are dead and I can't remember which one this one is! lol...), focusing mostly on the destruction of the original zones.


30 Days of Me: Day 22 - A Website


Well this is pretty vague...

Here are typical sites I check throughout the day though.

Usually, before I even get out of bed I pick up my phone and check my email (Gmail) since I usually get spam/junkmail/coupons sent to me in the middle of the night. Quickly I delete all the ones I'm not interested in and then scroll through the ones that are worth reading. Since I hate trying to view email images on my phone (cuz they tend to be big) and I'm not one for replying to an email on my phone unless I have to, I usually make a mental note to check those on the computer later.

Then I check out Twitter via the Droid app - to be honest, I never really "got" Twitter until I had a smartphone and then it just sorta clicked for me, as I never really saw or got the point of it before then.

Sometimes I go into my Google Reader app and read through all your new blog posts quickly as I wake up, making a note to actually login on a computer and comment on some of them later.

Once I'm up, I get food and then sit down and eat while I tend to go back into my email and read/reply to those messages from earlier and then login to Facebook and check out my notifications, respond if needed, and scroll down my friendslist newsfeed, commenting and "liking" on things as I go. (I realize that was a super long sentence).

From there I either go into Google Reader and comment on posts from earlier. Or I go to the VH1 VIP site and see if there's any new comments in the discussions on there. Or I go into the TCOYF site (Taking Charge of Your Fertility) and see if there's any new interesting posts or discussions in the pregnancy forums.

And from there I get kinda bored with the interwebz. Sometimes I'll come over here and work on a blog post or work on a post for either of my other blogs (see the top of the right hand column).

Another site I love is Wikipedia. Yes, I know it's not always 100% accurate, but you can definitely learn a lot on there! I tend to look up movies, tv shows and celebs/actors/musicians the most. It's need to start with one person, show or movie and end up on something completely different 20 minutes later, as you start reading and then a mention of something else in the article catches your attention and draws you in so you click that and you keep going deeper off the bunny trail!

What sites do you visit on a regular basis?

22 Week Anatomical Survey Ultrasound

So today (Monday) we're 22 weeks, and 1 day!

This also means it was time for our monthly appointment!

http://www.arielandcurtis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/wk22_papaya.jpgToday we had the Anatomical Survey ultrasound, where the ultrasound tech does thorough scans and stuff of Jay's body to make sure everything is there and how it should be. His brain seemed to look good, his heart has all 4 chambers, his kidneys seemed fine, spine was good, and we from what we could tell he has both arms and legs and all his fingers and toes! We could also see where his eyes, nose and mouth are too.

His heartbeat was at 155bpm which is about where it was last time, and she said he weighed 1lb, 2 oz so far.

He decided to be a little stinker though when she went to take 3D picture of his face and wouldn't cooperate - he had been moving quite a bit this morning, which is strange for him as he usually doesn't move much in the morning, but I swear he senses when we're going to the doctor as every time so far he's been really active! However, previously our appointments have been at 10:30am or 11am and today's was at 11:30am. I think, from what we could see on the ultrasound, he was getting tired again by this point and curling up to sleep, as he had his hands up by his face - hiding from whatever, lol... the tech spent like 5 minutes or so poking and nudging him trying to get him to move so we could see his face, but he refused and instead kicked me every time she nudged/poked him with the wand like he was fighting back, lol...

Grandma (hubby's mom) was not too happy to hear about this, as she was really hoping we'd get a good 3D shot of his face, lol... she was joking about how she was going to have to have a talk with that boy, lol...

So here's the 3D shot we ended up with:

Personally, I think these things are a bit creepy... from left to right, there's the umbilical cord floating around and you can see a little hand and finger going into his mouth, then there's the nose and an eye (with the nose all smooshed against himself, I think he looks like Squidward from Spongebob, lol...) and apparently his legs are bent up over his head somehow - seems he's a bit of a contortionist in there!

It was cute though - at one point he had his hands clasped together and then he unfolded them for us. And another time it looked like he was waving at us! In addition to the kicking, I think he's been punching too, as she was looking at his legs on one side but I was feeling "kicks" up by his other half.

We think it's funny that he'll hide his face from us for the 3D picture, but he's got no problem showing off his package to everyone, as we had no problem getting a view of that! lol...

Our next appointment is in 4 weeks, then after that we go every 2 weeks (we have the Glucose Challenge test is in 6 weeks) up until the last month - then I go in weekly til he finally pops out.

In other news, I found out today for sure that my primary doctor is "retiring from the practice." I asked if that meant he was "retiring" retiring or just moving elsewhere and he explained that after 29 years in OB/GYN it's just his time to cycle out and that he plans on being a laborer, helping with deliveries at the local hospitals for a bit. He said he might still pop in at the clinic from time to time if they need help while someone's out on delivery duty. It was a bit sad though, as he's been my primary doctor there for over 2 years and worked with me throughout all my LEEP stuff I went through and all my follow-ups since. Fortunately there's 3 other doctor's on staff at my clinic, which they've been cycling us through with our pregnancy appointments as our delivering doctor is whoever happens to be on delivery duty that day, but still...

Today we also got hubby situated with getting tested and his prescription to clear up the bacterial infection that he most likely has since I have it.

Oh and I registered us for a few classes at our delivering hospital too - we were signing up for the childbirth class and breastfeeding class, but we learned that if we also signed up for the newborn care class, the cost of that one is free, so we figured we'd sign up for all 3. The childbirth class covers all the basic labor-related stuff you would expect. We signed up for the 3 night class in November, however the lady gave us a heads up that so far, we're the only ones signed up for it and if they don't have at least 3 signed up they tend to cancel it and we'd have to pick a different time. The breastfeeding class I figured I need to take as I'm pretty unfamiliar with it - my mom didn't breastfeed and neither did my aunt so I haven't really had a lot of exposure or whatever to it and no knowledge outside of what I've read and heard. That class is a 1 night class that I'm going to in November. The newborn care class they recommended we take about a month or so before our due date, so we're doing that one in January. Should be interesting and maybe even fun... I think!

Music Shuffle Monday 10.18.10

http://www.veryicon.com/icon/png/Media/iPod,%20Therefore%20I%20Am/iPod%20Mini%20Blue.png1. "Punk Rock Princess" by Something Corporate
This song I first heard my first year of college and was part of that "emo-rock" era spawned by Jimmy Eats World. The song was catchy though with the chorus though and I liked it and it kinda grew on me - "You could be my punk rock princess... I would be your garage band king. You could tell me how you just don't fit in and how you're gonna be something..."

2. "Tier" by Rammstein
Gotta admit, I love me some Rammstein... some good ol' German industrial metal! This song is similar to most of Rammstein's work - nothing out of the ordinary here.

3. "Waiting for Magic" by Ace of Base
One of my favorite groups in grade school, this was off their big debut album The Sign and was one of the first tracks on the 2nd side of the cassette, lol... definitely a dance track you can get into and it tells the story of Snow White waiting for Prince Charming to come and kiss her and wake her up.

4. "Safer Waters" by Chevelle
This one is off their latest album which I haven't heard too much of, but going off the tracks I have heard, it sounds similar to the rest of them.

5. "Fadeaway" by Celldweller
One of my favorite artists, (whom I've mentioned before on here) Celldweller (aka Klayton) blends electronics with rock for a really neat sound and his vocals are pretty awesome too. He recently performed at DragonCon like a month ago and I envy those that have seen him live, as I missed him when he performed in Chicago years ago while I was in college (and I even had a free ticket too, but had no clue who he was at the time - grrrrrrr!! Talk about kicking yourself years later!). While he's based out of Detroit, I really hope he makes his way to performing again in Chicago someday in the near future as I'd love to see him live!


Looking for a teenage sci-fi drama? Check out Kyle XY

Those of you that have been following for awhile and read my monthly goals know that for the past few months I've been working through a TV series called Kyle XY and if you follow me on Twitter, then you know I just finished the series the other night.

Since I've mentioned it a bit, I figured I'd give a review of it. (*note* there are some brief spoilers)

http://thetvbay.info/media/images/KyleXY.jpgFor those of unfamiliar with the show, it's a teenage sci-fi drama that aired on ABC Family for 3 seasons from 2006-2009 before it was abruptly canceled, leaving huge cliffhangers at the end of the 3rd season (the producers, writers, etc had planned on possibly making the 4th season the last, assuming they'd be renewed for at least a 4th season, but the plug was pulled early). From 2006-2008 it was the highest rated show ABC Family ever had until it lost its reign to The Secret Life of the American Teen.

While I haven't seen many of the early Smallville episodes, I imagine Kyle XY to be similar, as he's a teen with extraordinary abilities he doesn't fully understand trying to be "normal" and fit in with his peers despite his destiny being so much more. It has the sci-fi and suspense aspect to the show as you try to figure out who's behind what and what's going to happen, but with a mix of teenage drama thrown in (but not over the top Soapy like many teenage dramas today). I gotta admit, I enjoyed the series, however I am disappointed in the way it was abruptly canceled, considering the huge cliffhangers that were in the last episode. There is a DVD feature you can find on YouTube called Kyle XY: Future Revealed, where the cast and crew talk briefly about what they had planned for the series, but still...

The series, which takes place around Seattle, starts out with a teenage boy waking up naked and roaming the forest. Wandering into the city and not one for speaking, he is picked up by police and taken to a juvenile detention center for holding until they can figure out what to do with him. He is also paired with a therapist named Nicole Trager who tries to work with him in order to figure out who he is and where he came from. Not knowing his name and him unable to speak, he is given the name Kyle.

http://images.buddytv.com/articles/Image/kylexy.jpgWhile observant, Kyle doesn't seem to know how to communicate at first, which gets him in a pickle when some bullies at the detention center start to pick on him (he starts to learn by imitation, so when he gets pushed, he pushes back, only he has abnormal strength). Believing the detention center may not be the best place for Kyle, Nicole pushes a motion to allow the state to let Kyle stay with her and her family which includes her husband Stephen, teenage daughter Lori and young teenage son Josh. At first the family is hesitant to have one of Nicole's patients living with them, especially when he seems a bit strange at first (he has no belly button and prefers to sleep in a bath tub), but they quickly take a liking to Kyle as he starts to fit in with the family and helps the kids out with their own teenage problems.

Much of the first season focuses on Kyle learning how to act "normal" and struggling with trying to remember anything before waking up in the woods - the only thing he can seem to remember is the face of a man whom they learn was found murdered in the woods around the time Kyle was found. It turns out, Kyle is super smart - like a super genius. Also poking around is a mysterious man named Tom Foss who seems to have quite an interest in Kyle.

In season 2, we learn right away Kyle's history - turns out, he's a pod person. A scientist group known as Zzyzx used DNA from a local genius named Adam Baylin and created Kyle as a genetics experiment, "growing" him in a gestational pod for 16 years as they believed that the longer a child stayed in the womb, the smarter their brain would develop - a theory they believed to explain why Einstein was so smart as he was in his mother's womb for a longer time period than most babies. As Kyle meets Adam Baylin, with the help of Tom Foss, he begins training and honing his abilities, as Adam teaches him that he can manipulate objects with his mind, how to use and control energy and be strong by knowing how to calculate the density, inertia, etc of things.

We are also introduced to Jessi who is basically a female version of Kyle who escaped from her pod in Zzyzx at the end of the 1st season and like Kyle was in the beginning, is lost, naked and confused in the woods. The main difference between her and Kyle though is that while Kyle was taken in by a loving family like the Tragers, Jessi was picked up people at MadaCorp who had ties to Zzyzx and end up using her to try to get to Kyle.

The last half of the 2nd season and throughout the 3rd, includes a group named Latnok who was ultimately behind Zzyzx and which Adam Baylin was once involved in but left as he didn't agree with the ethics behind what they were doing. Latnok sees Kyle as a success and want him to join them in their scientific studies and research (which at the end of the series, Kyle learns their master plan which he tries to shut down), however they view Jessi as damaged goods and want nothing to do with her, despite her willingness to be accepted by anyone.

While Kyle is the main focus of the series, Jessi becomes quite the major character as well as she and Kyle have that special bond since they are basically the same, however it goes to show the difference it makes when 2 people who are exactly alike are raised in completely different environments - the Tragers have been nothing but a loving, accepting family to Kyle whom he would do anything for and to protect, whereas Jessi had been lied to about her past, used and manipulated time and again and basically got thrown out like trash, left to feel like she's completely worthless and that no one will ever love or accept her, which leads to her destructive and competitive nature - when she's upset, she'll make your life hell and she'll do whatever it takes to beat whomever and become the best at something just to get the attention and approval she desperately seeks. She's overjoyed at the idea that her "mother" (the woman who's DNA she was created from) is alive and that she'll get to live with her, but when that is abruptly taken away from her, once again she's devasted and left feeling more alone and worthless than anything. Eventually the Tragers take her in as well, which causes some problems as she's had a few bad run-ins previously with daughter Lori and Kyle's eventual girlfriend (the girl next door Amanda) gets jealous as she knows Jessi has a crush on Kyle and doesn't trust her.

There's also a bit of teenage drama thrown in because hello - this is ABC Family.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/93/KyleXYTragerFamily.jpgDuring the first season (which takes place near the end of summer), Lori has made a pact with her slutty best friend Hilary to lose her virginity before school starts, and eventually she does, but learns that Hilary set her up with a guy Lori liked that she knew would "seal the deal". Feeling used, they have girl drama for a bit and Lori's parents eventually find out and they struggle with the fact that their teenage daughter is no longer a virgin. Lori also has boy drama throughout the series, as for much of the 1st 2 seasons she is on again, off again with Declan who also becomes Kyle's friend and confidant and then near the end of season 2, she gains an interest in a young college student who happens to be her dad's TA.

Younger brother Josh also grows up before us, as early in the series his main struggles are hiding porn from his parents and playing video games instead of doing homework. In the 2nd series he starts trying to talk to girls and get dates, eventually becoming involved with fellow gamer girl Andy, however Andy has a dark scary secret of her own which Josh struggles with for a good bit of the 2nd season. At the end of the series, we learn Andy and her family are moving across country.

http://images.tvrage.com/shows/11/10629.jpgAlso, there's sweet girl next door Amanda who is a piano prodigy in which her music is what draws Kyle's attention to her in the first place. For Kyle it was love at first sight, however when the series first starts, Amanda is dating a jock a named Charlie, however it is discovered that Charlie is constantly cheating on her. Eventually Amanda learns of this and they break up, and her and Kyle eventually start dating, which is cute at first, but once Jessi is in their lives, Amanda gets a bit annoying as she feels threatened by Jessi, as it's quite obvious Jessi is interested in Kyle and the 2 of them are pretty close with their bond (which Kyle refuses to tell Amanda the details of as her knowing to much about his past/"secret" could potentially put her in danger).

The cast is pretty decent with some familiar faces you may recognize:
  • Marguerite MacIntyre who plays Nicole Trager has had a reoccuring role on The Shield and is currently in the Vampire Diaries. 
  • You'll recognize Bruce Thomas (who plays Stephen Trager), as the UPS Man in the Legally Blonde movies. 
  • Tom Foss is played by Canadian actor Nicholas Lea who is best know as Alex Krycek from The X-Files. 
  • Amanda's initial boyfriend, Charlie, is played by Cory Monteith who is best known as Finn on Glee. 
  • Kirsten Prout, who plays Amanda, was mostly recently in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as a vampire named Lucy. 
  • Jaime Alexander, who plays Jessi, will be starring as Sif, Thor's Asgardian love interest, in the upcoming summer blockbuster. 
  • Magda Apanowicz, who plays Andy, is currently starring as Lacy in the hit SyFy Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica. 
  • J. Eddie Peck, who plays Adam Baylin, is a well known former Soap star. 
  • Ally Sheedy, best known for being part of the 80s "Brat Pack," has a minor role of playing Sarah - the woman who's DNA was used to create Jessi.
  • Hal Ozsan, who plays Latnok member Michael Cassidy in the later half of the series has been on Dawson's Creek, Californication and is currently on the CW's 90210 reboot.
  • Chelan Simmons, who plays Hilary, is regularly guest starring on various TV shows and has been featured in films such as Final Destination 3, Good Luck Chuck (playing main character Chuck's ex Carol) and recently in Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Well, that one's out...

So the other day I mentioned this house that hubby and I had found online and were curious about since it was in in our estimated price range, in our neighborhood, and seemed to have a lot of what we want in a house.

Well, driving home today, I noticed as we approached the street it's on that there was a "open house" sign and as we passed the street, sure enough, cars were parked out front of the house. Since it was only a little after 3 and the open house went til 4 I suggested we go take a look. Hubby was in a hurry to get home and watch the game though so I hoped in my car and drove over. I also called my mom to let her know, since my dad's in town and he'd like to check out any house we're interested in it just in case he might catch something wrong with it that we might not know or think to look for and can give us their opinion on how much work we might need to do.

So I get over there and look around, taking photos on my Moto Droid as I go so I can show hubby when I get home, and to me it didn't look too bad - very dirty and needed a good thorough cleaning though as I spied multiple spiders and spiderwebs throughout and some of the cabinets in the kitchen would need to be fixed. The basement was full with framework up, but would need to be finished eventually before you would be able to do much with it. The upper deck I was a little hesitant to go up on, as I wasn't sure how sturdy or worn it was and didn't want to take a chance with. Overall though, I didn't think it was too bad but I get what the description meant by "needs 'some' TLC."

My parents stopped by it shortly after I had left - they said it was pretty much a gut job, as the hardwood floors throughout most of it needed to be sanded and shined, the bathrooms needed work as I guess my dad noticed some major problems in them, the linoleum in the kitchen needed to be redo and the floor of the 3 season room would need to be fixed too as it was uneven. They said if we wanted it, that's fine, but they wouldn't offer more than $55k for it due to the amount of work we'd have to put in, and they mentioned that odds are we wouldn't be able to have it ready to move in until after Jay was born and even then, having to fix up the rest as we go could be tough with a newborn.

So I guess, that one's pretty much out.

There's another my mom and I came across online last week too - the price was in the $50k's and it looked like people were still living there which means it can't be too bad, it has a 2 car garage, however it's not attached liked we were hoping to find... the rest of it seemed to have a lot to offer though, so we'll see - we got vacation next week and we plan on going back to the bank in the week after we get back, so hopefully we can get the ball rolling on this here and get things in motion before the holidays and winter hits!


The early days of teens with cell phones

Cell phones have come a long away in the past decade!

I got my first cell phone about 10 years ago. I had just turned 16 and gotten my license and my parents decided to add me onto their cell phone plan so I could have a cell phone of my own to use in the event of an emergency - they didn't want to take a chance on me, a cute young teenage girl, getting in accident or breaking down somewhere by myself with no way to call for help. Or if I was out at a school or church function and would be getting home late, I could call and let them know so they wouldn't be worrying about me. I was in high school - an upperclassman - and more and more kids in my school started getting basic cell phones around this age for basically the same reasons.

http://www.hotbuy4u.com/pics/NOKIA-5190-B.JPGThe first phone I got was a Nokia as we were with US Cellular back then, and it looked a lot the 5190 model.

I didn't do a whole lot on it - we had a set amount of minutes to share among me and my parents so for actual conversations with people I just used the house phone, using my cell phone for quite 1 or 2 minute phone calls. Texting was unheard of back then - I don't recall anyone texting back then, to be honest - and taking pictures with your phone was a rare feature to have.

It did come with the "snake game" - a digital phone game where using the keypad, you move the little snake (which was represented by a line) around the screen, "eating" the little dots that popped up, but avoiding running into the edges of the screen or parts of the "snake" itself as once you ate a dot, the snake would grow a new segment. I believe the more you ate, not only the bigger did you grow but the faster it went too (or maybe that was one of the modes you could play in). I really enjoyed that game and I believe I nearly drained my battery several times playing it in my free time! The LG flip phone I got in college didn't have this game and I was very disappointed.

It also came with a basic plain navy blue cover on the front and back that was kinda boring. Vendors caught on though and they made TONS of different, cheap covers for this type of phone so you could personalize it and make more "you." I found a black cover with a blue flame design on it (blue flames were kinda my thing in high school and early college) out at the mall and had to buy it.

For being my first phone, it was decent - it did what I needed it to do, which was to carry around with me in case of emergencies when I wasn't at home and make quick calls when needed.

Do you remember your first cell phone? How old were you when you got it?


30 Days of Me: Day 21 - A recipe

I'll do better and give ya 3!

First, are 2 good cookie recipes I've found.

"The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie" submitted to AllRecipes.com by Emily
I make these from time to time instead of always buying cookies from the store. An interesting thing about this recipe is that you use vegetable oil instead of butter, so they feel a bit soft and greasy, but they taste great!

Ingredients (makes approx. 24):
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (I usually leave this one out as I'm not big on almonds)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 175 degrees C). Stir together the flour, backing soda and salt; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the vegetable oil, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Blend in the dry ingredients, then fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss Cookies
My dad's mom used to always have these at her house at Christmastime and I fell in love with them. Eventually my mom started making them and I think I got this recipe from her (although it could have been online), as they're one of my favorite Christmas cookies. Hubby doesn't like peanut butter though, so I found a shortbread version that I make in addition to these, just for him.

Ingredients (makes approx. 48):
  • http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v1783/88/112/30800316/n30800316_37145574_5574.jpg1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup gran. sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 creamy peanut butter
  • Bag of Hershey Kisses

1. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt
2. In a separate bowl, mix shortening and peanut butter; add both sugars, beat til fluffly; add egg, milk and vanilla extract
3. Add flour in 1/2 cup incriments, beating after each addition
4. Batter will become stiff
5. Place batter on plate; divide into 4 equal sections and then divide those sections into another 4 equal sections. Make 3 balls from each section.
6. Place on cookie sheet (pending size of your sheet, you should be able to get 24/sheet)
7. Bake at 375 degree F for 8-10 until lightly brown
8. Once removed from oven, immediately press Hershey Kiss into center of cookie
9. With a spatula, place cookies on a cooling rack

Chicken Tetrazinni by Tim Brooks from the 100 Men Who Cook cookbook
This is a simple everyday dish you can make for dinner or for a group of people and save the leftovers to reheat later. My mom gave this recipe after having made it for me and hubby once, although I've made slight modifications to it, as I don't like mushrooms which it originally had included (which you can see in the photo below).

Ingredients (serves 10):
  • http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2367/2338817978_13ab17667b.jpg10 oz spaghetti noodles (you can also use medium noodles)
  • 6-8 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Boil chicken in salted water
2. Remove chicken and cook noodles in same water (break noodles in 3 before cooking).
3. Cube chicken and mix in with noodles, cream of chicken soup, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and pour into baking dish.
4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes

Not the test results we were expecting...

So you remember how 2 weeks ago I went to doctor for an emergency exam because of some strange discharge I was having? And how last week I updated that I got a call that my test results were fine?

Well... I didn't realize we were waiting to hear about 2 different test results - the urine test results or whatever and a culture test results.

Last week they called regarding the urine testing, which came back fine.

Today I got a call regarding the culture test results.

Turns out I have a bacterial infection called Mycoplasma, which the nurse I spoke with said is a very common urinary bacterial infection that most everyone gets and because it's so common it's rarely treated or even really considering to be much of anything.

However... because I'm pregnant, it needs to be treated because if it's left untreated it can cause early contractions and preterm labor - neither are things we want.

They put me on this z-pack type medication called Azithromycin, with is a category B drug, which means it's been safely tested on animals all with no results of birth defects or anything else that could be bad for pregnancy. Doing research of my own online, I also found that there's been a few studies done on pregnant women in various trimesters and aside from the one that decided to terminate the pregnancy early, all babies were carried to term and have had no defects or complications - the ones they followed up with a year later are all doing fine.

I have to take 6 doses of this medicine - 2 right away, and then 1 a day for the following 4 days, and then refrain from sex for a week, followed by another week of only using condoms. While it's a common bacterial infection and not an STD, it is transmitted like an STD, as you pass it back and forth via sex.

So... this means hubby has to get on the prescription too!

My OB/GYN office said he could see a regular doctor if he had one or just go to an immediate care clinic and explain to them what I have and that odds are he has it too, but because I'm pregnant he needs to get checked out and treated if he has it as well so we're not passing it back and forth.

He went to one of the local immediate care chain's clinics, explained it to them and... they told him they can't do that there - he has to go to a hospital for that.

Say what?!

My OB/GYN seemed pretty confident and sure that he could just go in there and get it done easily (he doesn't have a regular doctor). He wants me to call my doctor's office again tomorrow and see if they can't just write him a prescription for it, since odds are that I have it, he has it too, however I told him I doubt they'll do that - they don't have any of his medical information on file and aside from him coming to the pregnancy appointments with me and his name being the primary on our insurance they don't know him as they've never seen/checked him out before.

Fortunately, his parents are good friends with a doctor - we asked them and they said they would call and ask him tomorrow to see if he could help us out any too... hopefully we can get him on the prescription quickly without having to deal with the hassle that is the hospital (plus hubby said hospitals are expensive and I know they take forever too and with him working 2 jobs, there's not really time for him to waste sitting around for someone at the hospital to fit him in whenever).

I might just call one of the nearby immediate care clinics and talk to them over the phone about it, stating my OB/GYN said it could be done there, as who knows - maybe the person he talked to just didn't know or understand what he was talking about.

So keep us in your thoughts and prayers - that we're able to get this infection cleared up, that hubby can get on the medication for it without too much of a hassle, and that the medication and infection doesn't affect Jay at all. We have his anatomical survey ultrasound on Monday (where they count his fingers and toes, get a good look at his spine, heart and brain and just make sure he's developing everything correctly), so if it is affecting him, hopefully we'll be able to tell when we go in.

Poll: Help me decide on a Jersey!

So I've mentioned before, we're taking a trip to Dallas at the end of the month.

My college roomie lives down there now, so we'll be visiting with her and her boyfriend for a bit, and since hubby's birthday is at the end of October we also got tickets to go to a Dallas Cowboy's home game at their huge new stadium! Not sure what else we'll be doing down there during our stay, but neither of us have been to Texas before so I'm sure we'll have fun!

http://nfl.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pG01-2780089dt.jpgAnyways, while down there, since it's Cowboys territory, we're planning on purchasing some Cowboys gear down there since Walmart tends to carry the local team's gear for much cheaper than you can get at the NFL Shop online and we can buy stuff at the stadium too rather than have to pay shipping on it. We're planning on a getting a few items for Jay (I found this cute bib, bottle and binky set they sell), as well as a onesie and a bigger jersey that he can grow into. Hubby also wants to get a jersey for himself and I would like one as well.

But what jersey should I get?

Ideally, I would love to get a #17 Sam Hurd jersey, as he's awesome when they put him and I went to college with him too, so I'd like to support my fellow NIU Alum... but they don't mass produce his jersey yet as he's not a known enough player so the only way to get one right now would be to custom/personalize a jersey online which can cost $60-100!

So that one's out...

I've been thinking of getting either a #9 Tony Romo jersey (he's the quarterback and is from Wisconsin, having graduated from Eastern Illinois University), a #19 Miles Austin jersey (he's an awesome wide-receiver who just kinda broke out last season... and he briefly dated Kim Kardashian this past summer), or a #24 Marion "The Barbarian" Barber jersey (he's a really good running back).

I can't decide! I'm leaning more towards Romo, but I like the other 2 as well!

What do you guys think?



Celebs & Marriage - Is There No Commitment??

What is up in Hollywood this week??

First it's announced that Courtney Cox and David Arquette are separating after 11 years of marriage, and then we hear that Christina Aguilera and her husband of nearly 5 years announced their separation today as well!

http://fashionarchives.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/davidclothingline.jpgWatching HLN's Showbiz Tonight (as I sometimes do for Hollywood news and gossip), they were just talking about the Arquette split, playing clips of David Arquette on Howard Stern where he admitted that he's changed since they first met 16 years ago - he's not as charming as he was back then, he's gotten more mellow, etc and that their sex life isn't as active as it once was.

Hello! People change over the years - it's a fact! No one stays the same way they are the beginning of a relationship - that's why they refer to it as "the honeymoon period."

I keep having to explain this to my teenage sister, as she complains that the guys she dates all start out sweet, caring, overly romantic and they can't seem to get enough of each other and then suddenly, months down the road the guy decides he wants his space and doesn't want to spend every single day with her and isn't doing cute, sweet, romantic little things for her like he did earlier.

It's called nesting!

You get in a new relationship, things are fun and exciting - there's so much new to learn about the person (even if you've known them for years) and things feel so much different than they did in the previous relationship... but then the honeymoon period wears off and you start to nest. You don't need to to constantly impress or woo the person you're seeing anymore because you know they love you regardless (or at least by then they should) and you start to nest into a comfortable groove or routine - usually together and you grow from there.

I'm sure if you ask ANYONE who's been married for years - 5, 10, 20, 25... even 50! - and I'm pretty sure they'll tell you that they're not the same person they were all those years ago when they first started dating/courting or when they got married. I know I'm not the same person I was 2 years ago, or even 4 years ago when we first started dating - I've grown a little bit, hubby has too.

And the sex... not to get into details, but like one of the commentators on Showbiz tonight said, when you've been married for awhile AND you have kids, going a month without sex isn't uncommon! I'll admit, our sex life isn't quite as active as it once was and we've only been married 2 years. I have friends with multiple kids and I've heard that with work and taking care of the kids, especially when they're young, it's hard to make time for it and unless you think to make time for it, it often doesn't happen!

And regarding Christina and her husband, the reason behind their split?

Here's what US Magazine online reports:
“They were very much in love,” explains the insider. "But over the last six months, it ­became clear they were more like friends than husband and wife."

http://www.usmagazine.com/uploads/assets/articles/36300-christina-aguilera-splits-from-husband/1286893339_xtina-290.jpgUm... what?!

Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but isn't your spouse supposed to be your best friend in this world? The person you tell everything to, the person you trust with everything? The person you're closest with? Your faithful, loyal companion? I'd say your spouse is supposed to be your ultimate friend and companion!

So they're splitting because they seem to be more like best friends than husband and wife? I think that's a bit ridiculous! I'm curious to hear what their definition of husband and wife are...

Marriage is a lifetime commitment - for better or for worse. Unless something major happens in your marriage (ie: abuse, infidelity, etc) there is no excuse for throwing in the ball just because things aren't as sizzling, spicy, or romantic like they once were back in the day. Even in life, no one stays the same way forever!

So far, both couples have only separated, which means they're still legally together and there hasn't been talk (in the media at least) of divorce, so hopefully maybe these couples will be able to work out their issues and realize what marriage really is and that their alleged reasons for their separations are a bit stupid.

I really hope this isn't some publicity stunt though - Cox and Arquette are both co-starring in the upcoming Scream 4 which comes out this spring but is already getting some buzz; and Christina has a starring lead role in a major feature film (called Burlesque) due out in next month. Both couples have young kids - The Arquette's have a 6 year old daughter, while Christina and her husband have a 2 year old son. If this is some publicity stunt, shame on them for putting their kids through that for the sake of media coverage!