Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween from the scariest ghost around:

Friday, October 28, 2011

How Much Do I Love My Husband?

That is the question.

Yes, I know I am forever going on and on about how much I adore my husband, how awesome he is, how lucky I am to have him, blah blah blah. But tomorrow, I may have to put my money where my mouth is.

Tomorrow morning Eric, along with friends Jeff and Dave, will be running the NYC Urbanathlon. Now, this is a terrible-sounding race taking place in Queens (strike one). It is a 10-mile run (strike two) that involves a variety of different obstacles (strike three...I'm out). The guys will be running it as a relay, with Eric on the last leg. Leg 3 will consist of a 3.3 mile run, plus the following obstacles:

  • Traffic cones with poles and pallet walls combo (climbing over cones and pallets)
  • Stair climb at Arthur Ashe Stadium
  • Stair climb at Citi Field
  • Taxis and buses (to climb over) to a chain link crawl (under, obviously) to the wall finish (over)

Some of the obstacles Jeff and Dave will encounter will include climbing over police barricades, a tire field, crawling under cargo nets, crawling under Jeeps, getting over Marine hurdles, parallel bars and monkey bars (no touching the ground!).

This all sounds terrible, right? Certainly not something I would want to participate in, but hey, I'm a loving wife so of course I happily volunteered to go watch and take pictures.

But then, it gets worse. When I woke up this morning and checked the weather for tomorrow, this is what I saw:

Suffice it to say, Saturday's forecast does not please me. At the beginning of this week, they were predicting a high in the low 50s and sun. Chilly, sure, but I can handle that. However, I am NOT OKAY with rain, snow and wind and a high of 43, which means that at the crack of dawn when we get out to Queens (see above, re: strike one), it will be approximately not nearly enough degrees. And I can't even touch on the whole "snow" thing or I may start weeping right here at my desk.

So. Back to the question at hand. How much do I love my husband, and/or how binding was my offer to go watch and take pictures? Sure, he's the one who will have to be crawling under and over things in this weather, and that sounds brutal, but do I really have to sit in the rain, snow and cold to spectate? I took wedding vows, sure, but I am no postman - there was nothing in those vows about "neither snow nor rain nor whatever" keeping me from my duties. This is a pickle.

Of course, Dave's fiancee will be there come snow or rain or what have you (can you tell they're not married yet? Ha!), so it will probably look pretty bad if I back out. So, I will bundle up in layers and rain boots and umbrellas and hats and the whole nine yards, and cheer for Eric and friends. Let's go, guys! You can do it! Woohoo!

But please, as you are all sleeping in, all snug and warm in your cozy beds at dawn tomorrow, at least feel a little sorry for me, will you?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

John Williams & the NY Philharmonic

Last night Eric and I had another nice "date night." What is with us and the outings on weeknights these days? We're party animals!

This event was actually one that we have been looking forward to a for a very long time: John Williams was conducting the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center in a concert entitled "A Night at the Movies." You all know John Williams, right? Even if you're not a music person, I guarantee you that you are familiar with the work of John Williams. He's known for composing a few little film scores for movies such as Star Wars, Jaws, the Indiana Jones movies, Schindler's List and Harry Potter. He has won a mere 21 Grammy awards, four Golden Globes and three Emmys. He has been nominated for 59 Academy Awards (holding the record for most Oscar nominations for a living person), and won five. I'd say he's kind of a big deal.

Needless to say, John Williams conducting the NY Philharmonic in a night of movie music sounded amazing, and Eric and I snapped up tickets as soon as they went on sale. Last night was the big show, and we met up after work to head over to Lincoln Center together. And you know my feelings on Lincoln Center - that's right, love. Any night at Lincoln Center is a good night.

Eric before the show

Inside Avery Fisher Hall

The program included some pieces from "classic Hollywood," including "Hooray for Hollywood," the March from The Adventures of Robin Hood, "Scene d'Amour" from Vertigo and the Love Theme and March from Spartacus. During the Spartacus piece, I am 99% certain I felt the baby kick me! I think we have a future musician on the way here, folks!

Before intermission, the orchestra performed a couple of John Williams' own pieces: excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and "Adventures on Earth" from E.T. Superb!

After intermission, they started off with a very fun medley entitled "Tribute to the Film Composer" which featured snippets from movies ranging from Jaws to The Pink Panther to Gone With the Wind, and included video clips. For the next several pieces, violinist Gil Shaham joined the orchestra, and he was fantastic. Together they played "Por Una Cabeza" (Tango from Scent of a Woman), three pieces from Schindler's List, and excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof. They also added in a piece that was not in the program and featured an Audrey Hepburn film montage - wasn't she just lovely? They then "closed the show" (pre-encore, obviously) with the Main Title from Star Wars, again with film clips playing at the same time. That got the crowd pretty psyched!

They then returned for three encore numbers! The first was one I recognized but could not place, followed by the theme from Indiana Jones (I played that in middle school band - memories!). Then they wrapped it all up with the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars. All in all, an excellent show!

It's this sort of thing that still gets me about this city. How cool is it to live here, and spend a random Tuesday night watching John Williams conduct the New York Philharmonic as they perform great hits from the movies? I mean, awesome. I love this city.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday Date Night

Last night Eric and I had a very nice little evening out on the town, which is rare for us on a weeknight. And frankly, after literally dozing off at my desk at work three times yesterday afternoon, I wasn't super excited to be going out that evening. But it was fun! And I stayed awake! Wow!

The reason for our outing was a performance by a high school friend of Eric's, Danielle DeCosmo, at The Bitter End in the Village. I know Danielle has been singing for some time (I remember her singing at their high school graduation), and apparently since college she has been doing musical therapy at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, singing for patients. How cool is that? Then, just within the past year, she decided she wanted to really sing - like, go out into the world and make it happen. So, she went to L.A. for a while and now is in New York doing a few different shows at different venues in the area. Isn't that cool? Way to go, Danielle!

Anyway, the show didn't start until 8:00, but Eric and I met up after work at 6:00. We took the subway down to W. 4th St. and grabbed a slice of yummy pizza at Joe's for dinner. We still had a lot of time to kill, so we basically just wandered around the Village. We stopped for a bit in Washington Square Park to admire the scenery.

(Note: All photos/video in this post were taken with my beloved new iPhone.)

Washington Square Park

We then decided we needed dessert, so we went off in search of cupcakes. We ended up at Molly's Cupcakes, which was the most charming little cupcake place ever. Apparently it was a winner on the season finale of Cupcake Wars or some such thing, but I don't watch that show, so I can't verify. However, the shop was super cute, with plenty of tables at which to sit and enjoy your sweets, a little bar with swings instead of stools (Swings! How fun is that?!), a nice little station to add sprinkles of all varieties to your cupcakes, etc. The cupcake flavors themselves were fabulous, but even if you didn't see something you liked in the case, they gave you the option to create your own cupcake by choosing the cake, filling, frosting and toppings. Seriously, it was like Coldstone Creamery but for cupcakes instead of ice cream. Genius!

Eric and I did select some pre-designed cupcakes: I had the Ron Bennington (chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache and crushed butterscotch topping) and Eric had the Chocolate Mousse (chocolate cake, chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate ganache). Oh man, were these cupcakes good. I mean, GOOD. Some of the best we've had in NYC, I dare say. I can't turn my back on my dear Crumbs yet, but Molly's was amazing.

After our delicious cupcakes, we did a little more roaming around then made our way to The Bitter End for showtime. We got to chat with Danielle before she sang, and found a seat and ordered drinks.

Eric enjoying a beer while we wait for the show to start (don't worry, I left the Crown out of my ginger ale this time around!)

Danielle performed for just under an hour, and we really enjoyed it! She sang mostly original songs with just a few covers thrown in, and she did a great job. Way to go, Danielle! We loved the show!

Danielle on stage, with her boyfriend accompanying her

VIDEO: A little snippet of one of the covers

After the show, we said farewell to Danielle then made our way to the PATH train. On our way, we came across a chess store (two chess stores, actually - it must be the chess district!), and Eric was quite excited. He's kind of a dork, though, so this should not surprise you. I will admit that they did have a pretty awesome Civil War chess set, however. Abe Lincoln was looking pretty good there on his chess board.

A blurry picture of Eric being excited about a chess store

And then, it was just time to wait for the train and head home. We really had a great evening out, and although I was tired, it was nice to have a little date night with Eric. I realize nights like this will become a precious commodity here in the near future, so I want to spend the next five months or so taking full advantage of time with my awesome husband!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Yesterday I had my very first "oh man, was that the baby moving???" moment. I was sitting at my desk at work and I felt a little flutter or tickle-type feeling just an inch or so below my belly button. It was different enough from normal "stomach rumblings" that it caught my attention and made me wonder. I sat very, very still for a long time, hoping it would happen again, but no such luck. I figure one of two things has to be true: either 1) that feeling was just gas or something (oh, pregnancy, you are so glamorous) and in a few weeks when I'm definitely feeling movement I will laugh at my dumb previous self, or 2) it really was the baby, and in a few weeks when I'm definitely feeling movement I will say, "yup, that was it." I hope it's the latter!

I'm just very anxious to actually feel something. I feel like for the last few weeks I've been in this sort of weird limbo-type place, where it's easy to forget (or just not believe) that this is all actually happening. I mean, for the first trimester, I had constant nausea and unbearable fatigue that was a nonstop reminder that my body was growing another person. Now, my nausea is pretty much entirely gone and although I'm still tired, it's no longer that "I might actually die if I don't sleep RIGHT NOW" feeling. Of course, I am not complaining about these things, but for the most part I feel pretty normal (with the exception of still having the appetite of a college-aged boy - I want to eat EVERYTHING, all the time). I'm still a few weeks out from really feeling any definite movement I think, so the only thing that's really happening now is that my stomach is getting rounder - even my loosest non-maternity work pants are starting to feel a bit snug. But I still feel like, if you didn't know me and looked at me, you couldn't be sure if I have a baby belly or a beer belly. I guess I'm just anxious for some reminder other than my expanding gut that things are really happening in there.

But, I do have another regular appointment with my OB next Wednesday, so I'll get to hear the heartbeat again, which is always a good time. Then, two weeks from tomorrow is our anatomy scan - and I'm proud to say I have not yet died of anticipation, but it has been rough. (Hey, have you noticed that I added a poll to the right-hand side of the blog? Click to vote if you think Baby W. is a boy or a girl! Really, please vote. It's how I am keeping myself entertained during this super-long wait and not sneaking off for a top-secret elective ultrasound before our official gender reveal date.)

So, that's the baby update for this week. For you moms out there - do you remember when you first felt your little one move? How far along were you? What did it feel like?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where I've Been

It has been pretty quiet around here for the last week or so, hasn't it? Please excuse my absence, and let me fill you in on what has been happening (well, what little of it there is, anyway).

What has been primarily responsible for stealing my time and my energy is a head cold to end all head colds. Yes, I say that every time I get sick. I'm dramatic like that. But this time, my dramatics coupled with strict "what medicine can I take" restrictions thanks to Baby W. made things rather rough. I spent all last weekend in bed and stayed home from work on Monday and Tuesday to try to get my life back together. I'm feeling much better now, with the exception of a nagging cough that will probably stay with me until the end of time, but last weekend I would have sold my soul for some Nyquil. Alas, no Nyquil for the pregnant lady. Natural remedies are nice and all, but sometimes you just want the GOOD stuff, you know?

When I did finally get back to work last week, it was a fairly quiet week, which was good for my sickly self. I was supposed to see a Broadway show with work people on Thursday night, but I bailed on that because I didn't want to be out so late while I was still recovering. I'll catch a show next time!

This weekend was a pretty nice weekend - cool, but sunny. Eric and I did some shopping, ran some errands, and saw a movie (Ides of March...I do love me some Ryan Gosling). Of course, just as the movie was starting, the fire alarm in the mall started going off and we had to evacuate. WHAT IS WITH ME AND FIRE ALARMS? And this is not the first time we have been fire-alarm-ed out of a movie, either. Back when we were living in Gainesville (oh college, how I miss you) we saw Old School in the theater and the fire alarm went off during the last 10 minutes of the movie, so I just never saw the end of the movie until it came out on DVD. At least this time we were back in the theater in about 15 minutes and got to watch our movie. But really...come on now, fire alarms. It's not really funny anymore.

The only really BIG NEWS from the past week and a half or so is that Eric and I finally joined the wonderful world of iPhone-owners! We got up and went to our local Sprint store at 7:00 a.m. on Friday (only an hour before they opened) and were able to snag an iPhone 4S for each of us. Let me tell you, I am in love. This phone rocks my socks. I'm a Mac girl, so it's not like I'm surprised, but I was so, so happy to bid farewell to my crappy Blackberry.

The best part about my new iPhone? Siri. Have you heard about this? Siri is the new voice-controlled "personal assistant" that lives in my phone, and Siri is awesome. She is very helpful. For example, I can just talk into my phone and tell Siri, "remind me to pay bills tomorrow." And then when tomorrow comes, a little reminder pops up. Or I can tell Siri, "call my sister," and Siri says, "Okay, calling Heather." SIRI KNOWS.

Plus, Siri is funny. That electronic voice has quite a little attitude and sense of humor on her. For example, Eric asked her what she wants to be when she grows up and she replied, "I try to be happy with where I am in life." I told her I love her, and she replied, "You are the wind beneath my wings, Meghan." You see?! Of course, there are tons of places online to find examples of things Siri has said to iPhone owners, including a blog entitled "S&*# That Siri Says." Take a look at some examples I took from that blog, although I have gotten my Siri to say some of these to me, too:

These two are a couple of the first ones I tried on my own iPhone (after being inspired by this blog), and found them to be awesome.

Two examples of why Siri is just my kind of girl. I haven't gotten her to say these exact things to me yet (she has a number of different responses to the "meaning of life" question), but I can tell she gets me.

This was probably my favorite. Seriously, my phone will do an Abbot and Costello routine with me. How fun is that?!

So, this is how we have been filling our time while I have not been blogging. We'll see if I can tear myself away from Siri fun long enough to come up with something else to write about this week! I'm not holding my breath, though.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Husband, the Movie Star!

Okay, this is awesome.

Guess what? Remember when I told you that Eric and I went to an open casting call for extras in the new Batman movie?


He got an email last week from the casting agency saying that he has been selected to be a "police officer" in The Dark Knight Rises! From my understanding, he will be a part of a big fight scene filmed at the Queensboro Bridge. Is that not the coolest thing ever?!

He goes for a costume fitting (!!!) in two weeks, and then he will have rehearsals for one or two days sometime between November 1st and November 3rd. He will actually film his scene November 5th-6th. (Plus, we will find out if Baby W. is a boy or a girl November 4th, so how awesome will that week be?!)

Not only is this just really cool, but it also pays! Not a lot, but seriously, Eric would do this for free. So if they want to give us a little money while he's at it, we won't turn it down!

Of course, my first thought was that maybe Eric will get to meet Christian Bale and bring him home to dinner so I better clean the house. Clearly, I am delusional. (Or am I? Maybe I am, but if he DID bring Christian Bale home to dinner, it would be pretty embarrassing to have a messy house. Better to err on the side of Christian Bale coming to dinner.)

Seriously, HOW COOL is this?! What a fun New York experience, to be an extra in a big film shoot like this! I'm so proud of Eric and think he'll make a fabulous (and super hot) Gotham police officer.

Congrats, Officer Eric!

The Dark Knight Rises - coming Summer 2012, starring Eric W.!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Toni!

Today is my mother-in-law's 63rd birthday, a birthday we are so happy to be celebrating. The end of this month will mark two years since Toni's stroke that left us all feeling defeated and hopeless, all but certain that there would be no more birthdays to celebrate.

But Toni is far too awesome for that sort of thing, and she proved everyone (doctors included) wrong. Through her own strength and the added support, prayers and love from so many friends and family, Toni woke up and continued on - and we are so thankful to have had her around for these last two years. She has made great improvements and has been able to be with us for so many great things, including holidays, Kelley's graduation, and soon, the birth of her first grandbaby. What a miracle! Toni rocks!

Hanging out with Toni and Kelley in Florida in January

Fun Toni faces last Christmas

Kelley's graduation

Goofing off with Eric

Love this lady!

Happy birthday, Toni! We love you very much!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

15 Weeks

I actually don't really have any other big, fun events to recap this week (hooray for some down time after a super busy summer!), so I thought I'd give another brief pregnancy update. If you don't like that sort of thing, hey, this post isn't for you. That's okay.

I hit the 15-week mark on Tuesday, which means I'm a couple of weeks into my second trimester. I had another check-up with my doctor last week, which went very well. I got to hear Baby's heartbeat again (still strong at 164 bpm, and probably the most beautiful sound ever in the whole wide world), and we got the results of our NT scan/blood work at 12 weeks - everything looks perfect! I have to go for more blood work this week to test for other various things. I have never been stuck with more needles than I have during the past 15 weeks...but I can't complain. I hate needles/shots/etc., sure, but it's all for a good cause!

I've been feeling a little better over the course of the past few weeks, primarily in the nausea department. I still feel nauseous in the mornings (and still hate my morning commutes), but the all day, every day gross feeling has subsided. Hooray! I still love me some carbs (PASTA!), but I'm starting to be able to entertain other dinner suggestions, too. So that's progress. When I first got pregnant I even had to take a break from Pinterest for a while because I never knew what random food concoction would pop up on my homepage and how sick it might make me feel, but that has gotten better. I still feel a little gross when I see some things but I can handle it. I just never know how I may respond to food...for example, just the other day I actually saw a commercial on TV for some new sandwich at Denny's that is a burger topped with macaroni and cheese and I actually rewound my TV so I could watch it again. So really, who knows what kind of food my body will find repulsive and what it will find appealing. Because wanting to watch a commercial for a burger topped with macaroni and cheese more than once is just sad. And probably gross. But that's just my life right now.

Denny's Mac 'n Cheese Big Daddy Patty melt, described here as: "A burger patty layered with slices of cheese, macaroni and cheese, another layer of cheese, some kind of tomato-based "frisco" sauce and two pieces of buttered-up potato bread. Still hungry? It comes with a side of fries."
Yup, this is the sandwich that I felt needed to be relived on my TV a second time. Shameful.

The one thing that has not gotten better is my fatigue. During the first trimester I kept hearing people say, "You'll feel a million times better in the second trimester! So much more energy! You may even feel better than you did before you were pregnant!" So far, I have not found this to be the case. Not even a little bit. I'm still every bit as tired now as I have been for the past 15 weeks. Some days are better than others, but I am still essentially a zombie.

Eric and I also have been a little stressed out for the past few weeks because there was talk of Hoboken Hospital closing down. That's where we plan to deliver, and of course being in New York City with a bajillion hospitals, we would have other options, but a new hospital would mean a doctor change and I like our doctors. Plus, Hoboken Hospital is so close to our apartment that it's almost funny, so we really didn't want to have to go further. Luckily, we finally heard yesterday that the sale of the hospital (necessary for it to stay open) has gone through, so the hospital will remain open! Hooray! No more doctor searching stress!

The other big news happening right now is that I scheduled our anatomy scan - the ultrasound that will tell us if Baby is a boy or a girl! November 4th will be the big day, but that's basically eons away, so I may die of anticipation long before then. Seriously, I CANNOT WAIT.

As for my looks, I'm still not super "bumpy" but I am definitely starting to feel a little rounder in the middle. Frankly, I'm excited to have a full-on baby bump, if for no other reason than to have people actually feel compelled to give up their seats on the train for me!

Me on Tuesday, at 15 weeks

So that's the update on Baby W.! Now, let's start counting down the days until that ultrasound! What do you think? Any guesses on the sex of Baby W.? I have a hunch but I'm not telling...we'll see if I'm right!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Audition and "The Submission"

Okay, it wasn't actually an audition, per se, but "audition" rhymed better with "Submission" than "open casting call."

Long story short, we had a fun little Saturday this weekend!

We slept in a bit, then went into the city for an open casting call for extras in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises! They'll be filming the movie in NYC later this month into early November, and were looking for extras in particular for a fight scene to be filmed at the Queensboro Bridge. They were primarily looking for police/military/fighter types, which I am most certainly not, but I thought Eric should give it a shot (and would look super hot in a police uniform). And so long as I was tagging along anyway, I figured I may as well throw my name in for consideration, as well. Who knows, maybe they want a pregnant lady to wander by in the background while the Gotham police battle the bad guys?

It wasn't much of an event, really - just a long line that led into a big ballroom space where everyone was instructed to take a seat and fill out a form with all sorts of information like your hair/eye color, measurements, etc. Then they called us up by rows to collect our forms and take a photo of us. That was all there was, and then everyone was sent on their way with a "we'll call you if we're interested." How cool would it be to get a call?! I mean, neither of us has our hopes up here, we really just kind of wanted the experience of the casting call...but still, how fun would it be to get a call?!

After the casting call we made our way to Greenwich Village, where we stopped for lunch then headed over to the Lucille Lortel Theater to see a new off-Broadway play entitled The Submission, starring Jonathan Groff (of Spring Awakening and Glee fame - and we all know how I love me some Jesse St. James!), Eddie Kaye Thomas (who you might recognize from the American Pie movies), Will Rogers (When the Rain Stops Falling) and Rutina Wesley (True Blood).

Lucille Lortel Theater

The premise of the play is that struggling playwright Danny Larson (Jonathan Groff) has finally written a masterpiece that has been selected for production at the Humana Festival. The problem is, his work is a story of an African American boy and his mother, and he fears that such a tale will never see the light of day in the theater world if he, a gay white man, is revealed as the author. To "solve" this problem, he submitted his work under a pseudonym that sounds like the name of an African American woman. When his play is accepted for production, he hires an actress named Emilie (Rutina Wesley) to play the part of the fictional black female playwright. The plan then is that on opening night, she will get up to make a speech and reveal the true author of the play.

The story begins rather light-hearted and funny, but takes a turn to dramatic and intense as it goes on. As Danny and Emilie work together to get this play produced, both of their prejudices become strikingly apparent - Danny is far more racist than he even realizes, and Emilie calls him out on it, although all the while she makes consistent negative comments about Danny's sexuality. By the end, Danny is starting to realize just how deep his biases lie.

Eddie Kaye Thomas as "Pete" (Danny's boyfriend), Jonathan Groff as "Danny," Rutina Wesley as "Emilie" and Will Rogers as "Trevor" (Danny's friend)

Eric and I both really liked this play. We laughed, we felt uncomfortable, we were riveted. I thought the play gave a striking look at how each one of us, although we may not even realize it, probably hold some biases that need to be examined and addressed. Hate is hate, regardless of the motivation, and it is toxic to relationships. We thought the play was thought-provoking, well-acted and all around quite good.

After the show we stuck around at the stage door, where we saw three of the four actors exit (the only one we didn't see was Will Rogers), plus Kal Penn (from the Harold and Kumar movies) standing around. We got autographs from Jonathan Groff and Eddie Kay Thomas...

Kal Penn

Rutina Wesley

Eddie Kaye Thomas signing my Playbill (pardon my chins, good heavens)

My Playbill, autographed by Eddie Kaye Thomas and Jonathan Groff, I got to take a picture with Jonathan Groff!!! I absolutely adore him so I was thrilled.

Aaaaah, I was freaking out!

Both Eddie and Jonathan were very nice and really took their time with the crowd. Jonathan in particular was so friendly, so humble, so thankful, very soft-spoken and just all-around very nice. LOVE HIM.

Jonathan Groff taking a picture with another fan

Not a bad little Saturday afternoon, right?