Thursday, December 27, 2007

In Orlando

We finally got to see our new place in Orlando! It's exceeded our expectations so we are pleasantly surprised and happy with our online choice :). I'll have to take pictures when we settle in a little more and get a new digital camera.

We have been busy these past few weeks trying to settle in and see family so we could celebrate the holiday cheer. Needless to say, I haven't been near a computer long enough to actually post something decent. But don't worry! Things here are good and everything should be calmer by the new year. :)

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy Early New Year!! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We finally made it!

Goodness-- after, uhhh, 4 (or was it 5?) days in the car, I was soo happy to finally see I-275 and familiar Tampa street signs.

The road trip was overall a positive experience. My brother, Joe, the puppies (Skooter is doing well by the way), the turtles, and I left Tuesday after the movers, the car guy, and the pest control guy came and did their things. We went to the dealership and then tried to have one last meal at the Curry House. Too bad they were closed for that "in between" lunch and dinner period. We ended up at the yummy Dumpling Inn instead. Next stop, Tucson, AZ.

We literally were a mile away from the AZ border when CA decided to give us a going away gift-- a speeding ticket! CA wanted to take our money one last time before we said good-bye as their residents. Damn the Po-Po. We didn't get to Tucson until almost midnight. We checked in the at the La Quinta. They served hot waffles for breakfast :).

The next morning, we woke up as early as one could, hit the road again and made the 12 hour drive to San Antonio. Similar situation, we didn't get there until midnight. Texas is one helluva large state. The La Quinta in San Antonio had waffles too-- but they were shaped like the state of Texas.

So what are we on now, day 3? Yes, so on day 3, we drove only 4 hours to Houston because we have friends there. We decided to spend the rest of the day eating (I love you Tres Leches) and had a wonderful time. We caught up with Jerry, Indu, and Jay.

Day 4 we drove to New Orleans. Stayed at the Sheraton Hotel off of Canal Street. It was walking distance to Bourbon Street and Cafe du Monde. We had jambalaya dinners and beignets and coffee for dessert. My pregnant belly was starting to get really really heavy by the end of New Orleans-- back aches, leg cramps, oiy.

Day 5 was our last day on the road. As soon as we entered the panhandle of FL, we were greeted with heavy rains and bad driving conditions. We drove all the way into Gainesville so I could eat my club sandwich from McAllistor's deli. We finally made it into Tampa last night around 9:30pm.

Ahhh, home sweet home.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Skooter goes into surgery today.



We went to the vet yesterday and he looked over Skooter's paw. He said that there was "healthy bleeding" and some tissue left. They cut off most of his paw pad on his back right paw so we won't know how well his foot will heal until it heals. The vet techs gave him a fresh bandage and taped a heart on it!

I have to drop off Skooter sometime this morning, they're going to gas him and close up his teeny tiny paw. Wish us luck!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The toughest guy I know.

Awful. Yesterday was awful. It was supposed to be a fun day (read: not packing) running errands around town. We (Joe, Skooter, Benson and I) were getting evacuated out of the house because the pest control guy was coming to spray the house for fleas. Joe and I had decided that our agenda would include Berta's in Old Town for lunch, Hillcrest to trade in some clothes at the Buffalo Exchange, Mission Valley, Dog Park, and then Costco. We chose these places because they were all dog-friendly and the dogs deserved one last fun day driving around dog-friendly San Diego.

Anyways, the day started off kinda rocky. The flea guy arrived to our house and says, "Oh, I forgot to ask if you're pregnant." Apparently, if they sprayed for fleas, Joe and I had to leave the house for 24 hours and not the 4 hours that was initially suggested when I called to schedule the appointment. We had to reschedule for next week.

By this point, I was still itching to get out of the house and we had made up a fun agenda that we decided that we would take the dogs with us anyways and run our errands. Berta's was yummy. Joe got a new pair of jeans at the Buffalo Exchange. Next stop, Mission Valley.

Mission Valley, for those of you who haven't been there, is a mall. The shopping area is directly above the parking garage. In order to get to the mall area, you park underneath and ride up these (slightly inclined) moving sidewalks and viola! You're in the middle of the mall.

As we entered the mall, Skooter's back toe got caught on the moving sidewalk (I guess they're called inclinators). He was stuck. The inclinator was still moving and you could see the endless, black inclinator tiles as they passed underneath his trapped paw. Skooter didn't make a sound, no yelp, no cry, nothing. I was stunned. Joe dropped down really fast and pulled Skooter 's toe free from the inclinator tile. He put Skooter on the floor and Skooter still had his happy and enthusiastic "I'm ready to shop" breathing pant. We didn't realize that he was bleeding until he moved his paw. There was blood everywhere. Joe scooped up Skooter and ran him into the bathroom. We were trying to examine his paw but couldn't see the damage because there was blood everywhere. I called the vet while Joe washed out his paw in the men's bathroom. From what we could tell, Skooter's nail ripped out and one of his paw pads was sliced by the escalator. The next thing you know, we're in the car, hauling ass to the vet.

When we got to the vet, they had to sedate him because the pain was in full force now (mind you, he still wasn't crying but he definitely wasn't letting the vet touch his paw). They took x-rays and cleaned out the wound the best as they could. The x-rays showed that Skooter was missing a knuckle. The force of the moving inclinator pulled out his an entire knuckle on his back right paw. They have to suture his paw pad but couldn't yesterday because there was still microscopic dirt that they weren't able to get to because his paw pad was sliced so badly by the inclinator. So they sent us home with Skooter's foot as an open wound. We have to go back to the vet today so they can change Skooter's bandage and see how much salvageable tissue is left. They might be able to save his paw pad on the toe if they see enough healthy tissue today. If not, then his paw pad will never grow back-- it'll just be a really thin layer of skin. His toe nail is gone forever. He essentially declawed himself. His activity is strictly limited for the next 14 days.

So why is he the toughest guy I know? Well, first of all, he didn't make a peep. He didn't cry bloody murder when his paw got stuck... not one noise. He put on his tough guy face and was still like, "Mom and Dad want to go shopping and I won't stop them because my toe was just pulled off by the inclinator." Secondly, in the car ride to the vet, despite the fact that he was bleeding over everything (Joe's clothes were bloody and the dogs' car blanket was bloody), he would still give you kisses if you put your face down next to his. He's a tough guy with a soft heart! What a combo (and Ladies, some of you didn't think that they really existed). Lastly, in the car ride over, he still wanted to perch his head out so he could see out of the car. Apparently, who feels pain when there is a road trip involved?

The vet techs said that dogs try not to show any signs of pain because it shows the pack that they're weak. Skooter, you are not weak. You may look handsome and fuzzy and you may prance when running from room to room but-- You. Are. The. Toughest. Guy. I. Know.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Daily Coyote

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a pet coyote?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Goodwill Donations

On their website, they have a list of things that you can and can't donate. On the can't donate list: orthopedic limbs.

Baby Showers R fun!


Yesterday, after attending my last THREAD show as a San Diego resident (*le sigh*), Kacey and Amanda hosted a small baby shower for Baby Russo and I. We made pita pizzas (an excellent idea for any gathering), gabbed, ate cake and opened gifts!! It's crazy how much other people are anxiously anticipating Baby Russo's arrival into this world-- it's not just Joe and I.

Thank-you everyone for all of the gifts!! Baby Russo has got some rockin' new threads :).

Let's compare, shall we?

The top picture above was taken at 23 weeks (before Thanksgiving). The bottom picture was taken at 25 weeks. I feel like my stomach is going to explode soon but I know that it won't. It's just going to get bigger!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Garage Sale Day #2

Today, an old Italian couple wanted the dogs. They also noticed that we had an Italian last name. They said that they knew an old man who had our last name who had just moved to San Diego. Too bad we were moving, they said, because he was rich and didn't have any children.

Then, the little Italian lady pulled our her wallet to show me some pictures that were taken of her before she left Rome some forty years ago. There was a picture of her with a dashing young man. She said in her cute Italian accent, "This was my boyfriend before I got married." I said, "Your husband must love knowing that you have a picture of your ex in your wallet." She said, "Shh... He doesn't know that I have it."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Garage Sale Day #1

As soon as the garage sale signs went up this morning, our garage was flooded with people. We had people from all walks of life going through our junk for hours on end. One couple bought almost every large ticket item we had (small dining table with 4 chairs, exercise bench, weights, this weird glider thing we had, you get the picture). Anyways, I told the wife that we also had a patio table for sale in the backyard and asked her if she wanted to see it. As I walked her through the house, she started to play with Benson and Skooter. She smiled and said to me, "I asked your husband if your dogs were for sale too. He said, 'No.'"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Packing while pregnant

Usually when I pack my clothes, it's a big debacle. Should I pack this? Might I wear that? Would I wear this to that? It turns into a constant back-and-forth in my head. I end up packing a quarter of my clothes, donating another quarter to Goodwill, and leaving half of my closet still full because I've fully convinced myself that I "might" wear those pieces before the big move.

I discovered yesterday, however, that packing clothes while in the latter half of your 2nd trimester is glorious! Because I can't fit my clothes anymore, I just packed everything! I didn't have many things to donate because last spring, I had already gone through my clothes and donated about 7-8 garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill. The clothes that now remain in my closet are my maternity clothes that I don't have that much of! No fuss, no muss!

I'm leaving all the heavy lifting and shuffling around of boxes to Joe. He's been a trooper.

The packing is coming along nicely. We've cleaned out the garage and now are working on the "junk/computer" room of the house. We're still working on finding an actual place to move into but have my brother and Greg working on contacting some rentals for us. Joe's mom and his brother will go house-hunting for us on Friday and hopefully we'll know where we will live in just a few short days. You gotta love family.

Anyways, I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! I plan on gorging myself with all sorts of food so stay tuned for more pictures :). Gobble gobble!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Too honest

Apparently I was too honest with the eBay auction that they removed my post yesterday. All well... I can always try to find another venue to sell it OR, just suck it up and keep it. Either rate.

Oh yea, I went to my doctor's appointment yesterday and "weighed" in. I gained 8 lbs in 1 month!! OH NO! According to my pregnancy book, I'm only supposed to gain a pound a week. oops.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

eBay woes

Inspired by Annemarie, I decided that I should slowly start selling off my expansive purse collection on eBay. For my first item, I decided to put up a USED Louis Vuitton handbag up for sale. I bought the purse online about 2 years ago. The lady I bought it from said that it was real. I wasn't holding my breath on it being the real thing because I got it for less than market value. I set the bidding to $49.99 and watched the bidding go up as the days went by. I didn't think that I would make more than $60. Yesterday, I checked my item and saw that the buyers had bidded my purse up to $455.00. Holy moly.

Yesterday, I decided to take the post down because as Joe said, "Someone obviously believes that it's real." Also, my pictures didn't pick up on the blemishes that I talked about in my description as well as I hoped it would. So thanks to advice from Amanda and Kacey, I tinkered around with my camera functions and found a setting that took better pictures of the purse. I relisted the purse today and added more detail in my description.

If it still goes for $455 by the end, I won't take the auction off. I will happily accept the money and be done with it. If it goes for $25, I will feel a-okay too because I just want to sell it already.

Karma's a bitch. I don't want to piss off karma right before we move and before our my baby is born :).

I really feel that my stomach grew an astronomical amount this past week.

Orlando, here we come!

Joe and I are moving back east to Florida!! Yey! Joe got the contract today. Joe's new company wants him to start work by January 7th which means that we have to move soon, soon, soon!! We'll probably be in San Diego for another month, at most. We most likely are going to hire movers to move out the big stuff and Joe and I will drive the minivan, with doggies in tow, across the country back home. We hope to be in Florida in time for Christmas Eve. We'll be living in Orlando and probably finding a house or apartment that will let us lease on a temporary basis. We hope to buy a house soon :).

It's still slowly sinking in... the reality of it all. I will miss San Diego terribly but am looking forward to the next chapter in life!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I have baby brain.

I find that I can't retain information anymore. I wonder why that is? Less blood flowing into my brain?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

21st week of pregnancy

Joe and I really wanted a minivan before we got pregnant. We always talked about how convenient and comfortable a minivan would be after driving around the maroon Toyota Sienna Deck had purchased for his mom a few years ago. BUT, since I got pregnant and the reality of buying a new car was in the horizon, I found myself reluctant. I didn't think that we were "old" enough for a minivan yet. I figured that a minivan would immediately age us by 10 years and we could kiss any "street cred" we had good-bye. I mean, c'mon, minivans are family cars... FAMILY CARS. Joe and I are married but when the word family comes to my mind, I think tired mothers and responsibility. I wasn't ready for that yet!

That was, not until recently. The reality of my pregnancy becomes more and more apparent to me and the whole world with every passing day. I'm showing now. I have a belly and it's round and firm. I actually got my first unsolicited, "Are you pregnant?" comment from a Forever 21 sales girl on Friday. She said that I "glowed." Bless her little young soul...

So who am I kidding? Family is staring at me in the face. My belly can no longer be ignored (especially when she kicks, punches, and jabs). I look at the belly and it appears to be speaking to me. It says, "Look lady, you're going to have me soon enough. You know the minivan is what I want. Suck it up. You have to be practical and responsible now. Do what is best for your family."

So yesterday, Joe and I decided to go car shopping. Our intent was to test drive the car and scope out the bells and whistles before we committed to buying anything. We ended driving home in a champagne colored Toyota Sienna.

The Russo's are a minivan family.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our baby is a ___.

We're having a little girl! YEY! We couldn't be happier. Well, Joe and I would have been happy either way. So here's the baby tally:

Pregnant with boys (4): April, Carmelina, Brittan, and Mandy (but she's not pregnant anymore because she just had her little boy a few weeks ago).

Pregnant with girls (2): Charina and me!

Pregnant with unknown gender (1): Debbie

I shared the news with my mom as soon as we left the doctor's office. She was so giddy. Finally, after all the stuff that she'd been through these past 5-6 years, I'm glad that Joe and I could do something to make her squeal.

Squealing moms are adorable.

Friday, October 26, 2007

News should be coming soon!

Tomorrow, I'll be 20 weeks pregnant--that's halfway through the pregnancy! The baby has been moving and kicking a lot and seems to respond to the book that Joe and I bought the other day. We should be finding out the gender on Monday!! AH! I'm so excited :) :) :).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Witch Creek Fire, Harris Fire, Rice Fire, oh so many more...

Don't worry! Joe and I are safe! We were close to the fire but not close enough to get evacuated.

Florence and Phong live up in 4S and came to our house as soon as they heard there was a fire and that it was in their neighborhood. They just bought and moved into their house a few months ago! They stayed at our house for a day and a night before leaving for LA yesterday. Joe and I have been making phone calls to check up on friends, making sure that they all have a place to stay. A friend of mine from the restaurant, who lives just a mile away from us, was evacuated from her apartment on Monday night. Joe's old house (KC, Kelsea, and Amanda still live there) was also evacuated. Everyone that I know that was evacuated hasn't had a major catastrophe yet. But, with that said, people are now just being allowed to slowly trickle back into the areas that burnt earlier this week.

The air quality in San Diego is poor. On Sunday, I smelt smoke in the air and thought that our neighbors were bbq-ing for football Sunday. When I went to close all the windows later that night, I noticed black ash had fallen into our house. I knew that a fire was near (Joe and I were here for the Cedar Fires four years ago. Basically, it was the same scene). Smoke had completely filled the air and ash was everywhere! It didn't smell like a bbq now, but more like we were standing right next to a campfire... Just imagine your entire neighborhood smelling that way...

The next morning, I went to sub for Joy's 4th grade class. The air was smokier than before and an orange-y color. Thirty minutes into school, the district decided to close all public schools so we scrambled to make phone calls home to have the kids picked up. It's pretty much been oddly chaotic and calm since that point. We've been plastered to the news, watching for any updates.

Phong, Florence, Joe, and I tried to pass time playing fun games like Bohnanza! and The Settlers of Cattan (if you like playing games, I HIGHLY recommend buying both of these games).

Joe and I spent Tuesday watching TV, waiting for news and updates. We tried to get our mind off of things and went to Barnes and Nobles (but it was closed), Babies'R'Us (we still haven't bought anything yet), Target (we bought our baby it's first book!) and had dinner over at Athena and John's house. It seems like weeks have gone by, but really... it's only Wednesday. School has been canceled the rest of the week. Joe's work is on a voluntary basis. Even though we're safe, I'm in a state of disbelief and shock. It's weird knowing that neighborhoods you often frequent are now burnt down.

So, to top off today's post, I decided to include this picture of this puppy in a hot dog bun. It always brings a smile to my face :).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My jeans don't fit anymore...

I know that I've been complaining about my pre-maternity jeans being tight and uncomfortable but I discovered this thing from a Pea in the Pod that's called a Tummy Sash. Essentially, it's a large bandeau that goes over your jeans to keep them up so you don't have to zip up. They were doing a great job up until last night. My jeans were so tight that I think I might have accidentally pissed the baby off. I guess I would be mad too if my personal arm and leg room were suddenly confined by ill-fitting jeans... I need to be more considerate of the womb... I should stop watching Season Two of Grey's Anatomy and go buy a pair of maternity jeans.

Oh yea, tomorrow Joe and I have another doctor's appointment. Wish us luck!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I was in a F-15E yesterday.

Huh? What? Planes? Yes, I know very little about planes but had a crash-course in plane-ing yesterday thanks to Phillip.

Joe, Phillip, and I all went to high school together and now, Phillip flies jet planes (the F-15E) for the Air Force. Holy crap. Anyways, he was at the Miramar Air Show over the weekend and invited us (via Jason, his twin brother-- who was my high school prom date) to get VIP treatment at the Air Show. We got access to all the planes (even the restricted ones that were taped off to lowly civilians!), meet pilots, eat free food, and sit in "special blocked off seating." It was super fun but my ears (and legs) hurt by the time we left. Here are some pictures... (I must admit, I'm getting better with this whole picture thing aren't I? ;)).

Joe actually got to climb into the backseat of Phillip's jet but couldn't touch anything because the controls were active. The ejector seat was working and one wrong button push from Joe and out of the plane he goes!
Phillip actually got to fly his plane all the way over from North Carolina. The empty missile Phillip has his hand on is where they store their luggage... golf clubs, clothes, and whatnot.
Phillip is a demo pilot who is PAID to perform stunts for Air Shows for the next two years. That means no overseas deployment during that time. Yey! Thanks again Phillip for a great time :).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kauai Pictures


It's taken me a while to finally upload our vacation pictures from Kauai. I think that I was inspired by Kevin and Jenn when I talked to them earlier this week. Kev mentioned that they were going through vacation pictures and actually printing them out. Not just uploading mind you, but PRINTING... They're actually making tangible pictures and I haven't even been bothered as to so much as upload Joe and I's vacation pictures on my computer. Anyways, when I woke up this morning, I decided, today is the day. Carpe diem, damn it.

We spent 9 (or was it 10 days) in Kauai in August. We had planned the trip back in April when Kev and Jenn were in town visiting, before I got pregnant. Joe and I bought a ton of travel books and decided that we were going to hike, kayak, catamaran, and do whatever outdoor activities they had in store for us. Oh wait? What was that? That's right. I was suffering from the first trimester blues (nausea, vomiting) that by the time we made it to Kauai, I didn't want to do much of anything except sleep. Every other day, Joe and I went to the beach with Jenn and Kev but mostly laid low... VERY, VERY low. We'd sleep in and wouldn't leave the condo until noon. We'd walk around the adjacent towns, pretend we were locals, and find some Hawaiian Shave Ice (SHAVE, not shaved, there is a difference). Then we'd come back, play games (Bohnanza!), and go to bed.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

There are a ton of chickens on the island. This was just one of many!

Stupid thrill seekers, stay away from the cliffs. You wanna see the cliffs?

The drop from the top of this waterfall was well over 120 feet.

Don't worry, it was a virgin pina coloda.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I lost my address book.

If you're checking this and you didn't get an email from me, it's because I don't have your current email address!! Will you please email me your current contact information-- full name, address, phone number?

My goal for this year to send out Christmas cards :).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I felt my baby move today!

...but, it might have been gas... I'll feel more confident about my diagnosis after I feel it move a few more times.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spur of the Moment

Oh yea! I decided to buy a ticket to visit my mom before she sells the Thai Market-- the store that has been the bane of my childhood. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked that my mom is selling the store. She shouldn't have to do all that manual labor anymore but, something about going home and not having the store will probably be strange... very, very strange.

So mark your calendars! October 2-9th.

A combined effort

Joe recently told me, "It's not called a uter-you or a uter-I, it's called a uterus for a reason."

My husband is 110% supportive of our pregnancy and of our unborn child.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Too many episodes of Law and Order

Joe's been away in Atlanta for the last week. I didn't realize how co-dependent my life had gotten until he left me alone to fend for myself. Thank god for the puppies and their need to be in the same room with me wherever I go.

I get the heebie-jeebies when I come back home from school at nights. I have to double check everything in the house-- make sure there are no boogymen under the beds, hiding in the closets, or crouching in the tub. I lock all of the doors and close all of the windows (this detail is particularly painful because our house doesn't have air conditioning and we depend on the fresh air at night to cool the house during the day). Maybe it's my hormones going crazy or maybe it's one of those pregnancy "mood" swings but... I really do miss my husband.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bigger news than before!

Okay, I admit, I have been baaaad at blogging. Like any addict or junkie would say, I am going to get better. I am going to take my lazy habit and kick it to the curb. Keep your fingers crossed and hope that I really mean it this time :).

Anyways, teaching 4th grade was awesome. I had some trouble children but nothing hair pulling. I would most definitely reteach 4th grade if given the opportunity again. Class ended July 20 and since then, I've been vegging. Why vegging you ask?

Oh yes! I found out the last week of school that I'm pregnant! I was (am) tired all of the time and got morning sickness about 6 weeks into my pregnancy. Today is the last day of my first trimester. For those you that are familiar with pregnancy, the first trimester is supposedly the most nauseating.

We have had two ultrasounds so far. The first one, our baby looked like a teeny tiny blob with a very strong heartbeat. The second ultrasound, which took place on Tuesday of this week, our baby had tripled in size and grew arms and legs! We actually got to see it move. I would describe it's movements to dancing. The baby blob looked very similar to Mr. Peanut of Planter's peanuts and it's extremities were stick-like, just like Mr. Peanut's arms and legs. I will call the baby "Peanut" until it is born. The moment I saw the baby move, it became real to me. Holy crap. Joe and I are going to have a baby.

Things are up in the air right now. I didn't pursue getting a new teaching job for this academic year because Joe and I would like to move back to the east coast. I would love to be back in Florida before Peanut is born (due March 14-15ish). We both are in the process of trying to find jobs in Orlando, Fl right now sooo-- keep your fingers crossed!