Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beauty Sleep and Little Brothers

Vinnie is a pretty unique dog. He's got the greatest personality and loves absolutely everyone. Yet, as any good dog should, he has a few quirks: Like he loves when Ib (or anyone, for that matter) blows in his ears. After about 30 seconds of this seemingly torture, he will dash around the house in circles at top speed. It's pretty comical.

He's also particular about his morning ritual. I partially blame Ib and myself for catering to the dog, but nevertheless, he must eat his breakfast on the carpet. The tile is far too cold for his delicate paws in the morning. And immediately after breakfast, he is tucked in on the couch while Ib and I head off to work. On weekends, though, he gets to sneak back into the warm bed, even if it's already been made.

He sleeps about 18 hours a day during the week. And, while he's a happy dog when we're home on the weekends, it doesn't detour him from getting his recommended beauty sleep.

Until his pesky brother (and Mommy) comes to wake him up, that is.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Get In My Belly!

For the morbidly curious, here are pictures of my 14 Week Belly...officially the end of the first trimester. Not the most flattering angle, husband...

Oh, and we just got done eating a huge Mexican dinner. That's mostly a chicken chimichanga you're looking at.

Say what you will, but I'm convinced this is 95% Chocolate Pop Tarts and only 5% Baby.

I guess I should be comforted by the fact that even though I'm down to one pair of pants that I can wear comfortably, the scale doesn't seem to be moving. Thankfully, my appetite for vegetables is coming back.

Ugh. Anyone got some ice cream?

Busy Bee

This morning started a whirlwind of activity at the Casa Contessa. I accidentally woke Ib up when I was cleaning out the Tupperware cupboard, which also houses my baking pans. Ooops! He went out to start cleaning up the yards, while I buzzed from room to room in between switching out loads of laundry. I also successfully fixed a leaky toilet after work on Friday (thanks to Ib and his knowing the difference between channel locks and vice grips...WHATEVER!)

Finally, the general housecleaning was out of the way and I was able to finish up painting in the baby's room. Hooray 2nd trimester energy!

Watching paint dry? Or not. Out to help Ib weed the front yard.

It was a warm one today. After weeding, I snuck back in to assemble the crib. I am so happy with it!

Not too shabby!

Assembly was easy, even for one person! Of course, Vinnie and Cooper were wandering in and out, supervising as usual.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! Although these crib bumper things mystify me...there's got to be a better way to attach those things! Suggestions for an amateur, please?
I am sooooo excited for September to get here!

Friday, March 20, 2009

To Kill A Mockingbird (Part II)

This morning I awoke to the incessant song of the mocking bird, again. It was 1:45 AM! Now I realize why Ib gets out of bed to take pot-shots at that bird, in the nude. The thing did not shut up...and I did not fall back asleep. We've come to realize that it is truly a ghetto it really sounds exactly like some one's car alarm going off. And going off. And going off.

When our alarms went off this morning, the bird was still singing away. I told Ib how early it woke me up. He got up and went outside to try and find it. The thing is getting smart...he quieted right down when he saw Ib come out after him. No sooner did Ib get ready to shave and the noise started up again! He went tearing out the door, giving that bird what-for: "First you wake me up, and NOW you wake my wife up!"

And there he was. Perched on top of the telephone pole...just within BB range. Ib swears he hit him a couple times...but he kept on chirping. He says they just don't make BB guns like they used to.

And then we realized there's not just one: there is a whole flock of mockingbirds mocking us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Things in the desert seem to be blooming a little earlier than last year. Of course, we didn't have nearly the number of freezing nights this winter. Nor did I bother to cover any of the plants this year. I wanted low-maintenance landscaping...they are just going to have to learn to deal with the cold!

This is the Bougainvillea by the front door. It's looking fantastic for so early in the season. The one out in the front yard was completely frozen (again) and I cut it off, almost to the ground, last weekend. It will probably take most of the summer to come back...and bloom right before the first frost. The two in the back yard were partially shielded by the house, so they faired pretty well. One of them is blooming also, but it doesn't look nearly as nice.

I can never remember the name of this little flowering bush. But I'm pretty suprised to see it blooming. Last year, not one flower opened. It seemed like daily watering would almost convince it to blossom, but it just wasn't quite enough. Amazingly, I have not turned on the drip once for any of the plants this year. Good news for our water bill, too!

The Santa Cruz Hibiscus is another that seemed to prefer daily watering yet, here it is, covered in purple blossoms.

So pretty!

This is the most blooms I've ever seen on the Aloe plant! Vickie paid $2 for this thing about 4 years ago, when it was only about 8" tall.

Obviously, it's outgrown a pot and is now planted right in the ground. It's about 2 1/2 feet tall (not including the blooms, which are over 5') and is easily 3' wide!

I'm excited to see that my Red Yuccas are going to bloom this year, as well. The stalks have just shot up over the past week or so. They will eventually have little flowers and will bloom most of the summer. The first year we had trouble with bugs enjoying an all-you-can-eat-buffet once the blossoms opened. A little dish soap and water got rid of them!

And the first flower on the Lime Tree means Ib will be enjoying some Margaritas by the waterfall in just a few months!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Meet Amar'e!

Saturday afternoon Ib and I packed up the puppies and drove to Phoenix to meet the newest member of the Contessa family: Our nephew, Amar'e Vernon.

Cooper's favorite part of any road trip. He knows the rule: At least 2 feet in the car at all times. (I've also got ahold of his harness & leash!)

Proud Uncle Ib!

Auntie Lisa, trying not to look like an amateur. And the puppies...getting a little taste of what's to come...sharing the Mommy!

He's such a quiet and content baby! He slept almost the whole time and never cried once. I pretty much kidnapped him all afternoon and just held and admired him. Then I tried my hand at feeding...thanks to a little advice on my technique from Shanika! I think I just might be able to do this!

In the meantime, big brother Jayden was making friends with the puppies. He found the way to Vinnie's heart.

Cooper was mezmerized by Jayden's light-up shoes (which sure look a lot like his beloved laser-pointer) and followed him around the house all afternoon. Then, when he put on his matching light-up was all over. The poor dog is going to need therapy, I think!

What a sweet big brother!

We ended our trip with a BBQ and warm bed at Hass & Amy's. Then Hass gave Ib a run for his money on the weight bench this morning. Thanks to everyone for a nice overnight getaway! And Congratulations to Farlan and Shanika on your beautiful new addition!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I made up my mind that this was the weekend I was going to paint the Baby's room. I've finally got some of my pep back and even managed to make it to the gym 3 days this week. I stopped and got a few paint samples and then the real work began:

I'd thought that I was decided on aqua, but there were so many great colors! I sat and stared for about 45 minutes. Ib said he wasn't crazy about aqua, in general, and suggested we paint a mural. He also suggested that I wait to find out if it's a boy or a girl before painting anything. I said it didn't matter because the room wasn't going to be pink, regardless. So, the correct husband-answer he gave was, "Do whatever makes you happy, my love."

I debated for awhile longer, but finally went with my first choice. It's vibrant, but not obnoxious, and I think it's going to be great with all the other brightly colored accents that will be in the room. This will be a very cheerful place!

Cooper had to stop by and supervise, as usual. He was just being nosey, since this room is usually off-limits.

I'm leaving the trim white. I really like this look. With the dark bamboo blinds, and the cherry crib, everything is going to come together really nicely! I managed to get 2 1/2 walls painted last night. Now I have to shuffle all the furniture to the other side of the room to finish. That will be another day, though. Today we're going to Phoenix to visit Hass & Amy, and Farlan, Shanika, Jayden & the newest (03.03.09) Contessa baby: Amar'e Vernon!


This year, Ib decided that he was going to build a computer. He spent quite a bit of time researching and figured out what components he wanted to install. Then he saved his pennies and bought it, piece by piece. The last part arrived this week.

He was so excited to get it home and hooked up.

Power on. "It's ALIVE!" This baby is top-of-the-line and should last for years. And when technology changes, he'll easily be able to upgrade and keep it running. All the insides light up blue...pretty nifty, huh? Next he says we'll build one for me so I'll be able to efficiently work from home. (Mine has to be green, though!)

He thought it would take 6 months to a year to save up and put it together, but he managed to pull it off in 3 months! I'm so proud of him.

Friday, March 6, 2009

To Kill (Or, At Least, Maim) A Mockingbird

About 4:45 this morning I awoke to a symphony of one. Thanks to the fetus, I had to go to the bathroom, and probably would have woken up anyway. I was just lying there listening to the array of calls coming from this bird. It was sort of like every single songbird, combined into one.

Never having heard a mockingbird before, it did cross my mind, but I was having much more fun concocting the story of an escaped pet parrot who had been out in the wild for so long that he eventually adopted all the other birds' calls. I really would have liked to have been sleeping, but I was pretty amazed by the impersonation skills of this feathered fellow.

After a half hour or so, Ib got out of bed and I heard the back door open. A few minutes later, I heard the "SNAP" of the BB Gun and the bird ceased his incessant concerto. I decided I probably wasn't going to get any more shut-eye, so I got up to get ready for work. I was met by Ib, coming back down the hall, naked as a jay-bird himself. I asked if he'd shot the bird, and he said it was too dark for him to see where it was, but he definitely aimed in it's general direction.

15 minutes later, the bird started again.

And if that mockingbird don't [quit] sing[ing],
Daddy's gonna buy him a bigger gun...