Thursday, November 27, 2008


This year I am thankful for my family, far and near, for good food and abundance and especially for this new life growing inside me.

Note, this is unfortunately not MY actual pregnancy test. The cross on MY test is already unreadable. This is someone else's pregnancy test, courtesy of Google Images. However, it's the same brand (good old Walmart generic.) Mine looked like this, except the cross had a bold horizontal and faint vertical (and then the horizontal completely faded- go figure!) Next time I'm getting First Response even though they're more expensive. They seem more definitive. Isn't this an absurdly long caption?

I believe that at one point I had several catchy ideas in mind for this post, but of course when it comes to the point of writing they've all escaped me. What should I tell you? My due date is August 1st, I'm completely thrilled to be pregnant again, and I think this time it's a boy. There's nothing the slightest bit physical signaling that last point- just a purely inexplicable intuitive feeling. A sense of urgency that we really need to come up with a boy name this time. We've discussed a couple of possibilities, but Nate wants to keep a lid on it until further along (like maybe when we [hopefully] find out the baby's gender at 20 weeks.) However, you are invited to help our discussion in coming up with a pre-gendered nickname for our little embryo-baby; at the moment his nickname is Truman. There is no reason his nickname is Truman; it just is. It has nothing to do with the president. But if you have a brilliant alternative suggestion, I'm quite open to hearing it!!

We are here at my parents' house in Maryland until Sunday, and Madelaine is enjoying lots of attention, particularly from a lick-happy canine that inhabits the basement. Can you remind me later that I owe you all the following posts?

*Maddy's First Birthday post (before she turns two, hopefully)
*A post about Nate as a dad (this one's been simmering on the back burner over a year now)
*A few key points about things I've learned about life from motherhood
*The post I've been leading up to recently- the haircut, outfits, and shoe posts were all related- I need to write a long post with some philosophizing on the topic of Appearance
*A related post (part 2?) about materialism, gratitude, and living in a world of need
*A really long impossibly difficult post about all the places I've lived

Yeah, that's definitely enough material to keep me busy writing until 2009, and then some. But for now, this Mama of 2 is getting tired and ready for a few leftovers and reading and then bed. Hope you've had a beautiful holiday with people you love,

PS Overheard in the middle of the night last night:
Neb: "I'm hungry... your son wants more roast beef."
Nate: "He's supposed to be sucking on your uterus."

And tonight: Neb: "Hey honey, can you take your daughter downstairs for me? After all... [suddenly beaming with brilliance], I am carrying our OTHER child."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Haircut!!!!

Let's ignore my the redness around my eyebrows (she offered me a free wax job, okay? My eyebrows, in their natural state, are so bad that beauticians practically want to pay ME for a chance to fix them), the small cut above my eye (thanks, Madelaine! she slammed me in the head with a book this morning), and my large recovering zit. Do you like my hair?? It's a Real, Honest-to-Goodness Grown-up Woman Hairstyle!! Jackie, "my new Hairstylist" (oooh!), even wrote down on a prescription pad what I will need to maintain this look- a hairdryer, a "vent brush," (what's that?), a wide comb, and some mousse and spritz. I love it!! Thanks, mom and dad, this was a great BD gift!!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Because you all deserve a random blog post! You know you do!!

So, my husband has this thing about Cutting Straight Lines in Baked Goods. He used to freak out if I cut a round cake in such a way that the Center Point was not really in the geographic center. So last night, I made some chocolate chip cookie bars (half recipe) in a round cake pan... and when they were done, I carved out [a few...] small wedge-shaped pieces for myself, without any particular pattern or plan. [I prefer to have Several "Small" Pieces of dessert as opposed to one big one. This is a kinder, gentler, less embarrassing way of saying Several Servings of Dessert instead of One.] So this morning, when I got up and approached the cookie bars again at breakfast time*, I was greeted by THIS:

*What? Don't you eat last night's dessert for breakfast? Come on...

Oddly enough, I didn't realize that this was meant to be the silhouette of two duck heads until my dear spouse informed me later- I analysed it from a purely mathematical perspective and noted the impressive interior extraction. Very unusual, huh?

And while we're at it, I might as well tackle a little topic I've been thinking about posting for awhile...

*Quirky Things About My Husband!!*

1) He does not drink beverages during meals, unless we're at a restaurant.
2) He does not use a knife to cut his meat. He soldiers on bravely with just a fork, no matter what! I have no idea how he accomplishes this (although in rare instances I think perhaps touching the meat with his fingers may be necessary... Shh, don't tell Emily Post.)
3) Though he stoutly denies the charge of "picky eater," he will not eat: peanut butter; spaghetti (other shapes of pasta are not his favorite, either, but he will eat them as long as they're not overcooked and not served too often...); eggs (unless prepared as an omelette with so much sausage/ other ingredients that the Egg Flavor is basically obliterated); toast; fresh fruit (he doesn't dislike it- just doesn't eat it on a regular basis); "damp bread" (ie, any sandwich with ingredients that moisten the bread inappropriately; can also happen in casseroles with some kind of breading layer, dishes that are generally too "soft" or "mushy" or "soggy"). He also protests ground beef dishes in any form, though we eat them, because, you know, ground beef is Cheap. He does not butter his dinner rolls.
4) To make up for these basic foods he won't touch, Nate has a tendency to chew on, chew up, and at times Swallow non-edible objects including but not limited to: toothpicks; chalk; paper (once he ate an entire church bulletin?); twisty ties; plastic straws and coffee stirrers; lollipop sticks; finger and toenail clippings; and a few other things that he mentioned when I asked him "Remind me, what else do you eat...?" but I won't include them here because they're kind of... disturbing.
5) He doesn't play board games.
6) He wears his glasses in the shower.
7) He hates to talk on the phone to anyone outside his immediate family.
8) He picks up random things on the street- bottle caps, broken watches, electronic parts, corks, and various Unidentified Objects- and likes to Save them in places where I can't find them. [He also likes to hide his "Special Nate Things" on the top of the tall bookshelf, where I can't really see them...]
9) He reports feeling Stressed in a very clean environment, and Relaxed and Happy in a den of clutter. [This would be fine except that I tend to feel Stressed in a cluttered environment, and Happy when things are neat and tidy...?]
10) He hates the sound of the vacuum, the toaster, and the electric mixer, and will go to hide in another room until they're over.
11) He only brushes his teeth... uh... "a few times a week" might be an exaggeration. A few times a month? "Whenever he feels like it" he says. However, he has had fewer cavities in his life than me, so I can't exactly complain... Also? his toothbrush flashes (it's for kids) for 90 seconds or something, to help him know how long to brush.
12) He plays with silly putty at work.
13) He will not permit me to be in the bathroom when he is using it. Ever. There has never been an exception to this in our 7+ years of marriage.
14) He is colorblind.
15) He has size 12EEEEE or 13EEEE shoes. These are very hard to find in stores. For this reason, he basically wears sneakers all the time, mostly New Balance.
16) He had meningitis and pneumonia as a kid- but never chicken pox.
17) He doesn't wear sweaters or sweatshirts because he tends to be Very Hot most of the time (and I think he's Very Hott...) ;-)
18) He does not own a suit. I've never seen him in a suit (although he rented a tux for our wedding, and got a black tux for choir (VERY HOTT!!)) He wore shorts to his doctoral defense.
19) He always wants to pop my pimples. And I don't let him, because it HURTS!! But that doesn't stop him from asking about 10,000 times per zit (which are thankfully fairly rare for me by now...)

There's more, but I might as well end on a prime number and get this published.
Love to all!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And another one from my husband...

Neb: "Hmmm... according to this chart, I'm in about the 68th percentile for weight... and the 25th for height. That means I'm fat."*

Nate: "No, that means you're squat."

*I was just kidding. I wasn't actually bothered by this. I like chocolate more than I like small numbers on a scale, you know?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Neb's Birthday and Holiday Wishlist!! (Now updated!)

Greetings, Nebiverse fans!!

Okay, I have been debating about whether or not to post this for a few days now... because really, isn't it sort of horribly tacky to suggest things you'd like for your BD or Christmas?!? Because that presumes that people will actually, you know, be buying you presents. And despite the fact that various people actually DO buy me presents every year, it isn't polite to presume, is it?! But sometimes people say "I don't know what to get you!" and I want to be Helpful...? But on the other hand, what if people have already decided something they want to get me for my BD or Christmas this year (my BD is just a few days away... and not everyone thinks about birthdays at the last second like me, right?!?) And then they'll read this and think, Oh! She won't like what I got her! She wants Other Stuff! And I would feel horrible if someone thought that! SO, if you have already decided on something you want to give me this year, please! Carry on! I'M SURE I'LL LOVE IT! And if you weren't planning on getting me anything, that's *totally fine*!! I have Plenty of Stuff! I don't really need any more!

Okay, now that all the embarrassing self-deprecating stuff is out of the way, let's get down to business, shall we? Here are my suggestions...

*Neb's Wish List*

1) A couple of volumes from The Expositor's Bible Commentary series- I would like to try this series out before committing to all 12 volumes. On my Amazon Wish List I listed a couple of specific volumes, but I'd be happy with any of them (probably prefer New Testament...) Please save some money and buy these used!! Try ebay,, amazon...

2) Some money to get a better haircut. I hate my hair right now! I'd like to go to a slightly nicer salon than I usually frequent to see if they can give me a more flattering style. Then if I get something I REALLY like, I can take pictures to show my haircut ladies in the future... GOT IT! Thanks, mom and dad.

3) A small amout of money ($20 or $25 should be plenty) to try a bit of Mary Kay... because as I get close to 30, I am thinking about maybe possibly becoming A Person Who Wears Make-up... GOT IT! Thanks, mom-and-dad-in-law!

4) Crest Whitestrips. On my Wish List. Maybe that seems like a silly gift, but I would REALLY enjoy a whiter smile, and it's one of those perks that you (I?) don't usually treat yourself to (just like perfume or jewelry.) This is one time I'll actually let you off the hook- you DON'T have to buy this used. ;-) Shouldn't use this while pregnant...

5) A printer. I have been wanting a printer for our computer for a LONG time now... it would just be way convenient!! A CHEAP printer. Used is fine. I just want it to work! A scanner/ copier/ printer combo would be nice, but not essential. Color would be nice, but is not necessary. Here's an exmaple of what I'm looking for:

6) A new diaper bag... there's a specific one I want...
Vera Bradley Mod Floral Blue Cargo Sling:

Now listen carefully- this bag has a retail price of $90. IF YOU PAY FULL RETAIL PRICE, MY INNER TIGHTWAD MIGHT KILL YOU. I have seen this bag for as low as $47 on Ebay. Used is fine, as long as it's in decent condition. If you want to get this for me but can't find it at a good price (ie under $50), PLEASE just give me a little cash contribution and I'll save up for it, okay? The price will probably go down within the next year, anyway, and I can certainly wait.
Found it cheap on Ebay! Thanks for the money, mom and dad!

7) The last (big-ticket) item:

This is the baby carrier of my dreams... and yes, within a year Madelaine might be too heavy to carry, but we're hoping for future babies, you know!! Also if you ARE going to carry a heavy toddler, this is the way to do it. I would like the Beco Butterfly II (or 2, or 2.0, as it's sometimes called), and I really like the following patterns: Anaya, Carnival, Sara, Kayla, Nicole. Right now the cheapest you can find these is around $139- you'll see the original Butterfly model cheaper than that, but I would really like some of the newer design features from the 2.0. Again, I think the price will be going down in the next year- so I am NOT asking for anyone to buy me this- just saying if anyone wants to chip in a bit, I can save up for it and be on the lookout for it over the next year!

Okay, that's it!! Thanks for reading. I'll be asking all of YOU what's on your wishlist for this year pretty soon... or feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

Love, Neb

Monday, November 03, 2008


1) Small [nursing, co-sleeping] children, like dairy cows, Indianans, and domesticated pets, Do Not Recognize the significance of Daylight Savings Time. This means that the gap between the end of Must-See TV at night and my child's wake-up time has just narrowed by an hour. Not good! Not good at all!

2) I just turned on the TV (children's programming on PBS, but still!) to staunch the relentless requests to have story books read... over and over and over. Oh, the guilt! I can just see the pattern I'm establishing now... "What's that, honey? You want an encyclopedia set* for your birthday?? How about these nice video games instead..." Seriously, the child likes a book or two four hundred read to her, which is making me realize I need to be more selective at the library. My usual MO is to leaf through the selections in the board book bin, and grab a handful of the first things I find that don't feature Dora and construction vehicles. The new criterion is, what can we stand to read 100 times in a row without little bits of our brains leaking through our ears? There are children's books that feature narrative tension, creative dialogue, surprising/ humourous plot twists, fantastic word play, catchy rhymes, and rhythms that make the repeat reads a joy rather than a burden. Then there are children's books that sound like they were not written by people who actually know the English language.... or as if the text were hastily scribbled as an afterthought just seconds before releasing the book [=fantastic illustrations] to press. Please, children's book authors! Have a heart!!

*Yeah, I know, I know, there won't actually be print encyclopedias by the time she's old enough to read. Or paper books, for that matter. Humor my fantasy world, here...

3) Consider the following, and tell me What is Wrong with this marital exchange:

Neb [sentimentally]: "Can we talk about when I was in labor? I don't really remember it too well. Can you tell me about it...?" [I've asked him this many times before; last night it was prompted by news that some friends from Lehigh just had their baby.]
Nate: "I don't remember it either! I was bored! That's why I was over on the sofa..."
Neb: "You were BORED?!? At the birth of our CHILD?!? Next time I have a baby, I want you to be EMOTIONALLY SUPPORTIVE! I want you to be right by my side, encouraging me on! After all, I was supportive when you defended your dissertation [the day before!] I went shopping for food! I prepared all kinds of things for the reception! I lugged heavy containers up and down the stairs to get everything ready..."
Nate [with a wicked gleam]: "Well... you waddled up the stairs..."

4) And now, just a few [too many] pictures of my child:

These were all taken before church on Sunday. In nursery, she "made" her first craft!

They grow up SO FAST!!