Seven Quick Takes

1. Over Christmas I finished Meg’s first year baby book! I’m so excited. I honestly thought she’d never have one. I ordered little flip books for my grandparents for Christmas and Snapfish sent me a thank you coupon for 25% off everything and free shipping, so I figured it was now or never. Their coupons never apply to extra pages, but this one did, and that was definitely going to be the bulk of my order. I worked night and day on that thing for a week and finished it hours before the coupon expired. We ordered books for us, my mom, and my mother-in-law so the coupon ended up saving us $80. Nothing like saving money as motivation! By the end, though, I swore this was IT. I was only making small books from now on and the next kid will not be getting a baby book. (I’ll probably change my mind)

2. There is an Olive Garden about a mile from my house. I know how some people (and probably some of you) feel about chain restaurants, but I love that place. Their Chicken Gnocchi soup rocks my world (probably because the broth seems to be made entirely of cream, butter, and salt, but whatever). The problem is we can NEVER get into the place. It is ridiculously crowded at all times of the day. We tried to go there the Thursday after Christmas for the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch at 11:30 and there were ZERO parking spots, a bunch of cars circling the lot looking for a spot, and people waiting for tables outside in the Iowa winter. I know a lot of people took that week off, but the real problem is the senior citizens who must LIVE THERE or something. We even tried going for dinner at 4:30 one day a few months ago and there was an hour wait. At 4:30!! (We did wait and I guess 5:30 is a more reasonable time to eat dinner than 4:30 but the whole point was to not wait with an impatient and energetic toddler).

So, I am unbelievably excited a new Olive Garden opened on Monday in another suburb of Des Moines. Perhaps people will go to the new place and open up enough space for me to actually eat at the one by my house without waiting two hours for a table. I hope. The problem is, the senior citizens are much more likely to live in my suburb than the other one and probably don’t want to drive to the new place. But a girl can dream.

3. I really like empire-waisted clothes. I always have, but since I’ve never had a flat stomach I look pregnant when I wear that style. Wearing them and actually liking the fact they make me look pregnant was one of my favorite parts of being pregnant last time. I’ve been pulling out my maternity clothes and washing them and it made me happy to see all the tops.

4. I LOVE Michael Buble’s song “Haven’t Met You Yet.” So much so that it annoys my husband. Every time it comes on the radio at work, it’s almost embarrassing because I can’t stop myself from moving. It’s all I can do to stay sitting instead of jumping up to dance.

5. The other day we were watching Jeopardy and one of the answers was O.J. Simpson. I vividly remember watching the white bronco car chase when I was little. We were staying at my Grandma and Grandpa’s and my bed was the fold out couch, which is in the room with the only TV, so I got to stay up past my bedtime to watch the car chase with all the adults. Isn’t it kind of sad that one of my only memories from when I was that young (I think I was 9 or 10) is O.J. Simpson? (I remember the rest of the night, too. We played crazy eights with Dr. Doolittle cards. How random is that?)

6. Everyone complains about people touching their pregnant belly. I agree it sounds super annoying. But I sort of don’t get what all the whining is about because it never happened to me when pregnant with Meg. Not once. Even my FAMILY didn’t do it. My mom asked, once, to touch when I said the baby was kicking and that was the only time she touched my belly. I believe my sister asked, too, when she saw mom feeling. No one else (except for my husband) ever touched my stomach. Do I walk around with a ‘touch me and you die’ look or something?? Is it a Midwest politeness thing to not reach out and touch strangers? Or is it that it doesn’t actually happen that much, but when it does it’s so annoying people have to complain?

7. We’re going to the inaugural ball tonight and I am so excited I get to wear a maternity dress. Instead of spending days trying on dresses and searching for the outfit that minimizes my fat belly, I get to wear a maternity dress and emphasize the belly. I feel like I’m getting away with something because my stomach is essentially the same size now as it was when I got pregnant, but I don’t have to try to hide it anymore!