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celebrating ol’ ornery

April 4, 2014

Today is my beloved yet ornery Grandpa’s birthday. The man is 94 and sometimes worries about losing his youth. I don’t think he has a lot to worry about; he’s ornery enough that old age is staying far away from him. Every time I talk to him, Gramps tells me about all of the batches of wine he has in process, as well as his workout regimen. Once in a while he’ll mention a few black hairs that he’s found among the lush silver hair that tops his head. “I must be regaining my youth; my hair’s turning back to its original color!” he says with a chuckle.

I love that man, even though he gives me a tough time.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!






Aside: This was a special occasion, so Grandpa was on his best behavior.

Usually he scowls at me something fierce.

And then I have to scowl back.

the muffin chronicles: prologue – week 29

March 26, 2014

2014-03-20 21.32.41-1 (1)This kiddo is a mover and a shaker! And getting quite strong too. While Karl and I were on our official honeymoon last week, we turned my belly into a map of the United States so I could tell him where the Muffin Action was happening. I started by dividing it into quadrants (northeast; southeast, etc.) and ended up needing more specific names of regions. Our child has visited every part of the US, via our belly map. Currently, Muffin is partial to Montana (near my right ribs) and Florida (in my left hip) – at the same time, mind you. Both the East Coast and the West Coast are visited frequently, with the baby sometimes venturing into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Middle America gets a few visits now and again, as does Texas, but this child is seriously loving on Montana and Florida, much more than I would prefer (my rib could use a rest from the extra pressure).

Another thing that took place frequently on our honeymoon was something Karl calls “Muffin Dialogues”. Since we were together constantly, Karl was able to have more conversations with the baby. Said conversations were/are incredibly sweet, endearing and often amusing. Hearing them made me laugh or cry or both. He kept the baby up-to-date on everything we did throughout our honeymoon and promised Muffin we would go back when he/she is older to see all the interesting things Dad was talking about. Karl is such a great dad!

Pregnancy is full of beautifully strange things happening to my body, but one of the more amusing things that has occurred to me since becoming pregnant has been laughing attacks. I’ve always laughed readily and easily. I still laugh readily, but there is no longer such a thing in my life as a good, easy laugh. Nope – it’s full blown hysterical “I-can’t-catch-my-breath-My-chest-hurts-OMG-I’m-going-to-wet-myself” laughter or barely anything at all. I feel like the “I Love To Laugh” guy from Mary Poppins! The smallest, most ridiculous thing can set off a laughing attack. Like the time Karl and I were laying in bed saying night prayers and he prayed for “all the people we usually pray for” but I heard “all the people we don’t like to pray for”. I’m not sure why I found that so funny, but I laughed hysterically for a good 10 minutes! I always worry that I’m going wet myself, and the thought of that makes me laugh even harder! It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s only a matter of time considering how many times a day I run to the bathroom. Karl tries to distract me from whatever is making me laugh because it really does hurt my chest to laugh that hard, but his attempts usually result in more laughter.

We are both getting more and more excited to meet our little bundle of energy. We keep telling the baby that we can’t wait to meet him/her, but that we are willing to wait because Muffin has a while yet to finish “cooking”.

Two trimesters down, one to go! Exciting times ahead!

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adventures of c&k: “official” honeymoon time!

March 14, 2014

That’s right, folks! Karl and I leave tomorrow on our “official” honeymoon, which will also double as a babymoon. It couldn’t come at a better time. The past couple of weeks have been especially exhausting for both of us, and we are looking forward to some quality downtime and reminiscing over the past seven months of bliss…


the muffin chronicles: prologue – week 27

March 14, 2014

The baby is 27 weeks + 2 days and is already a bit spoiled. Last night, Muffin was treated to a personal violin concert. Granted, the concert was given by Karl, but still! This week, the baby has decided that 2AM is the perfect time to practice gymnastics and/or ballet, making it very difficult for me to get any sleep after 2AM. Karl had a long talk with Muffin yesterday about how 2AM is not acceptable for that type of stuff, so he made a deal with the baby: He would play the violin at 9PM for Muffin’s gymnastics/ballet practice so Muffin could let Mama get some sleep at 2AM. Well, the baby wasn’t as active as we hoped during the concert, with the most activity happening during the couple of Frank Sinatra songs Karl played, but I think it worked because I was able to sleep until 3AM. Hurray for Karl’s concert!!

We had our monthly check-up on Monday, and the doctor said everything looks great. I’ve been having some issues with my blood sugar dropping suddenly after my mile trek to work, causing light-headedness and dizziness, but with the doc’s help, I think we’ve worked out a solution. Basically, he told me to slow down and to eat something sugary when I was close to work. The eating something sugary part isn’t so difficult. While I still wouldn’t call it a craving, I can’t seem to get enough fresh fruits these days. I’ve been on a pear kick this week, and that worked quite well for a little something sugary. The most difficult thing to implement has been slowing down. I usually walk at a decent NYC pace, which isn’t quite running but is a solid power walk. It is painful to walk slower. I’m usually on the phone with Karl as I walk to work, and the poor guy has to put up with hearing me say every few minutes “Oh dammit! I started speeding up again!”. I don’t know if slowing down is harder physically or mentally, but either way, it is not easy! Overall, the doctor’s advice has helped. As did Muffin’s concert last night. I don’t think I will get used to walking slower, but I could definitely get used to nightly concerts! I guess Muffin isn’t the only one who is being spoiled by Karl.


Week 27

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the muffin chronicles: prologue – week 25

February 28, 2014

The weeks have been flying by, and we are getting more and more excited to meet our little one! Muffin is growing at a good rate, which is fantastic but has already created some discomfort for my little body. Ballet has been helping with the continued stretching and strengthening of my muscles. This week, I also remembered I have a super-duper muscle-saving remedy: kinesio tape!!! Normally one would go to a physical therapist for taping, but I’ve been using the stuff for a while and am very familiar with how it works. I did some research and found documents and video on taping for pregnancy, applied the research and viola! significant relief! Karl is skeptical that it’s just a gimmick, but K-Tape has worked for me in the past and it worked again! Now I have to teach Karl how to use the stuff so he can tape up my lower back. I have a feeling I am going to be covered in tape by the time June rolls around!

The baby has been moving around like crazy. I introduced Karl to one of my favorite dance movies the other day, Strictly Ballroom, and Muffin went nuts during the final dance scene (I assume trying to dance along). I had never felt that kid move so much. “I think we have a dancer on our hands!” I told Karl. He agreed, but when I told the story to the baby’s Tio Padre (aka. Uncle Fr. Charles), he said Muffin was more likely begging us to turn the movie off and end the torture (insert eye roll here). Karl and I are pretty sure our child was trying to paso doble in-utero.

Although Muffin’s movement has been more significant, it hasn’t been enough to keep me awake at night. Granted, I haven’t been sleeping well, but I don’t believe the restlessness is due to the baby’s nightly gymnastics. At least not yet… I don’t know what exactly wakes me up at night, whether it’s the bizarre pregnancy dreams or the effort it takes to change positions or the need to go to the bathroom… Whatever it is, I know that the sleep I once cherished (incredibly sound sleep, never waking up for anything) is a thing of the past. Sigh… I’m sure the day will come when I won’t even remember what that kind of sleep was like, and perhaps I won’t miss it as much…

I don’t have photos of Muffin’s growth from this week, but here are photos from the past two weeks.

Week 23: Valentine’s Day

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Week 24: Feb. 21

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help a sister help a brother out!

February 25, 2014

I love my brother Fr. Charles and am willing to do whatever I can to help the guy out. So when I heard he was helping raise money for the Newman Center at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI where he is assigned, I wanted to offer my financial assistance. It’s for a good cause: the money goes toward a mission trip, retreats, and continued campus ministry. I am asking you to consider donating as well, because well… there is added incentive: Fr. Charles promised to shave his beard if $3000 can be raised by Saturday. I don’t mind a well-trimmed beard on my usually handsome brother (see Exhibit A), but the current state of his facial hair is too much (see Exhibit B). Donate here (click on Quick Give)

Exhibit A = Acceptable


Exhibit B = Yikes!


Please help a sister help a brother out! Donate to the Newman Center at Ferris State, thus helping my brother and the Catholic students there, and please do so before Saturday, March 1st, thus helping me because that craziness on the Padre’s face needs to go.

Related post by Rosario: Raise to Shave!

complaining about complainers

February 6, 2014

Try as I might not to complain, I gripped to my sister on the phone today about how annoyed I get when people constantly complain about the weather. “I just wish they’d get over it,” I told her. “Don’t they realize there are plenty of other people who have it worse? Some people are never happy no matter what the weather is! Two of my co-workers were complaining about the cold and snow this morning and one of them said ‘Well, in a few months we’ll be complaining about the heat and humidity.’ You won’t hear me complain  about the cold and snow,” I informed Rosario, “because in a few months – Praise you, Jesus! – we’ll have heat and humidity!” 

Aside: I admit that this winter has been extra wintery on the East Coast, and they aren’t used to it the way this ol’ Michigander is. But we don’t have it as bad as other places, like… Michigan! It has been a very interesting winter for me as I’ve never had to deal with the snow and cold while being pregnant, but I’m still not complaining because 1. I know plenty of pregnant women in Michigan who are dealing with more snow and colder temperatures and 2. I enjoy a challenge, even if said challenge is exhausting!



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