November 2005

2005-11-30 17:25:57

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So my friend Alex asked me to stop by his building today because he said he had a present for me. Curious. I like presents, so I stopped by. When he was in Toronto this past weekend, he found some sort of Japanese confection called "Fran" and bought a box for me. It's a little odd - the box is almost completely in Japanese, but it says "Fran" all over it.

I just looked it up online and I found some links to the product as well as a commercial. Based on the commercial, it would seem this product makes you appear younger for some short amount of time. Interesting...Suddenly, I feel like Homer in the Mr. Sparkle episode. There's your answer, fishbulb.

I'm not sure if I should eat them or treasure them forever. I think I'll eat them and just save the box.

-Fran

Big shakeups, lotta moves

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A lot has happened this past week. We went home for Thanksgiving, went to a wedding, and more! In the interest of being concise (ha, right), here are some of the events in list form.

Wednesday night – headed to the McCarthy homestead. Traffic and weather behaved, fortunately, and we got in around 7:30 PM. We picked up Taryn and Todd, and went to Clark’s Ale House for beverages, beef on a weck, and trivia. There, we met up with Allegra. We got there late and missed the first two rounds of trivia (there are four rounds, plus a bonus round). Even though we got a late start, we still managed to beat and/or tie with at least a couple teams.

Thursday – we got up and headed over to my aunt and uncle’s land for the annual McCarthy Turkey Bowl. It was snowy and cold, which is perfect for such an event. We had lots of food, including my mom’s famous chicken wing pizza, my dad’s famous wings, and my uncle’s first attempt at a fried turkey. It was my first time eating fried turkey and damn it was good. We headed back home to warm up and then went to my Aunt Marianne’s for dinner. I ate so much I seriously almost cried. Overeating is bad enough, but it’s way worse when you’re pregnant. It was so good though.

Friday – we got up bright and early for breakfast at our friend’s Jordan and Chris’. We hung out with their son Joey for a bit, and then Jordan, Pat, and I went to Babies R Us to register. Jordan was nice enough to tell us what we really need versus what the folks at Babies R Us say we need. After that, we went over to Phil and Becky’s to laze around and wait for Kensey to come into town. Phil made a lovely dinner, and then we headed back to Skaneateles to go to Taryn and Todd’s housewarming party. We hung out with some more of my high school friends and their significant others. We looked through Kristen and Trent’s wedding photos, spent some time on the baby names portion of the Social Security website (which is way more fun than it sounds), and Taryn busted out some amazing relics from junior high and high school – notes, stories, etc.

Friday, Taryn and Todd also gave us the best baby gift we've received to date: ladybug rain boots. They're Kidorable brand. Kidorable indeed. If anyone wants to try and one-up this gift, you'll have to try mighty hard.

Saturday – Kensey, Pat and I headed to our friend Rachel’s wedding (in Syracuse). It was amazing. I mean, it was great to see Rachel and TJ so happy, and Rachel was quite possibly the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen, but just the shear size of the wedding was amazing. There were over 400 people! The reception had to be held at the OnCenter because it was the only place that would hold all of us. Rachel and TJ did a great job of spending time with everyone, especially considering how many people were there. That is especially amazing to me since we only had around 165 people and I still felt like I neglected people.

Sunday, we headed home and did some stuff around the house. Now, we’re just getting back to normal and we’re thankful we don’t need to go anywhere for a few weeks!

-Fran

A little sumpin' sumpin'

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A full report to follow, but here's a fun picture from the annual McCarthy Turkey Bowl. Bellies pictured left to right: Phil, Ryan (my cousin), and Fran. It's hard to tell here, but Ryan definitely won the biggest belly contest, but something tells me that within a few more weeks I'll have him beat!

I hope everyone had a very nice Thanksgiving!

-Fran

2005-11-23 08:35:30

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Our pseudo Thanksgiving went very well this past weekend. As soon as I got home Friday, I started baking. Friday night I made pumpkin bread, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie. By the time I was done, I had carpel tunnel from lifting and cleaning all of those mixing bowls and I crashed on the couch by 9:30.

Saturday, Pat and I got up bright and early to start the preparation. Pat was on cleaning duty and I started working on the turkey and other various items. By the time I was “mentally” prepared to get the turkey ready to cook it, it was still feeling slightly frozen. A little stressed about that, Pat put in a call to Ma Reed. She said just to take it out of the bag and get water running through it. By the time we got it all cleaned out, she said, it should be ready to go. Thank goodness for moms. She was totally right, and we had that turkey ret to go in no time. Pat took the “fun bags” – aka, the gizzards, neck, etc. and started cooking those….so he could EAT THEM. (He’s gross.) I thanked the turkey for giving its life for our dinner and then put it in the oven.

Meantime, Amy came by and started helping me with the other foodstuffs. We made the mashed potatoes, squash, and stuffing. Right after that, people started showing up. I took some peaks at the turkey and it was looking damn good. At four, when I was *told* by the fine people at allrecipes.com that my turkey would be done, I stuck in the thermometer and it was not at all close to done. Sonofa*****. At that point, I was very happy Pat went out and bought some last-minute appetizers for us to serve. About an hour and a half after the turkey was supposed to be done, it STILL WASN’T DONE. It was getting pretty close at least. About a half hour after that, I was about to order a pizza, and then it was finally ready. Pat had his first experience with carving a turkey, using just some instructions from the Internet and an electric knife. I stood over him very nervously watching, but it went just fine. We finally sat down to eat at about 7. (A mere 2 ½ hours after I thought we would.) We ate our faces off, and then ate some more. It seemed like everyone liked everything. The sides all kind of got cooked, then cooled down, and then heated back up again, so they probably weren’t at their best, but everything tasted delish to me. There were lots of clean plates around, so I’m thinking it must have been pretty good.

Normally, I would insert a photo of the feast, but I was so wrapped up in the moment, I forgot to take a picture.

As I was cleaning up and everyone was in the other room, Pat came in and said, “It was your first Thanksgiving and you mastered it.” It was such a nice thing to say.

Sunday morning, I woke up at an ungodly 6:30 AM and was unable to get back to sleep. I started reading a book called Baby Bargains that I received as a gift. I got totally obsessed with the book and learning about baby products. Now I’m crazy psycho pregnant lady and I will spout my newfound knowledge to anyone who will listen. Consider yourselves warned.

Other than that, I’m just happy it’s a short week. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and family, and just enjoying some much-needed time away from the office. Next week is going to be hell trying to make up for it, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Peace, Fran

It’s Friday. Weeee.

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A few weeks ago, I got a gift certificate from my employer for a free turkey from Wegmans. I have never made a turkey before, but I’ll be darned if I let that gift certificate go to waste. Pat and I decided to have a little last-minute Stanksgiving Feast for this weekend. I’m going to be making the turkey, of course, as well as a variety of recipes from different sides of my family. We’re sooo excited.

Wednesday night, we went to Wegmans to get the turkey and fixin’s, and they have a deal right now where if you spend $25, you get your turkey for only $0.29 a pound rather than $0.99 a pound. I’m no math-a-matician, but that means my company was buying me a $3.74 turkey for this past year’s hard work and service. This may seem a little ungrateful, because I do love free things, but that kind of ticked me off. Rather than get taken by The Man, I paid the $3.74 for my turkey with my own money and saved the gift certificate for a time when turkeys go back to $0.99 a pound. What this really means to me is that I get two delicious turkey dinners this year, in addition to the one I’m going to have at my Aunt Marianne’s on Thursday.

This seems like a good segway into maternity clothes. So far, I haven’t started wearing them yet. I have bought a couple pairs of normal-people pants that are just a couple sizes larger than my normal pants, and those have been just fine. I’ve also been buying shirts just a little bit larger than usual. I realize that I will eventually have to buy some maternity clothes though, so I’ve been keeping an eye on what’s out there. Let’s just say I’m not pleased. It’s not that I need to be super trendy mom-to-be, but I don’t want to look like a bag lady either. I tried on my first pairs of maternity pants yesterday and it was quite funny. I really wish I had a camera phone to show you all how ridiculous it was. Well, first of all, they were huge and I’m not ready for maternity pants yet. Second of all, they’re just plain awful looking. The best/worst pair I saw were these chocolate brown velour pants. I actually laughed out loud when I saw them. No one should be wearing chocolate brown velour pants. And if you’re big and pregnant (and no doubt feeling a tad less than feminine already), you really shouldn’t be wearing them. Even when I was in the 2nd grade and my teacher, Mrs. Fenner, would wear velour pants, I knew it was bad.

Don't wear this.

Don't wear this.

Okay, sorry for the rant. Wear velour pants all you want. Just preferably just not the kind that are way too tight and say something cheesy like “juicy” on the behind region. Well, if it said "juicy turkey," then maybe it would be okay. I've got turkey on the brain!

Do wear this.

Ummm, so I think that’s about it. This weekend we’ve got our little Thansgiving titled “Stanksgiving: all the food without the drama,” and then I don’t know what else. I’m just glad it’s Friday and there’s a 13 lb. turkey defrosting in my fridge.

-Fran

grrr

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Ever since I've been in a family way, I have a tendencey to fall asleep on the couch at night. One would think that Lost is exciting enough to keep me awake, but no. Frankly, the last few episodes were a bit on the slow side, but tonight's was actually very entertaining. I had heard the spoiler that Shannon was going to die, and I was pretty happy about that since she's been my least favorite character since day one. Lo and behold, I fell asleep at the very end of tonight's episode and missed her getting shot. That's just terrific!

Anyway, I picture it looking something like this.

-Fran

2005-11-09 12:44:49

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I'm bored and busy at the same time. How does that work?

-Fran

Where did the weekend go?

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Friday night, we went to a game night at our friends Greg and Kimmie's house. It was the first time we'd been over to their new house in Penfield. We were late getting there and everyone was taking bets that we went to their old house in Greece. In actuality, I was busy crafting my homemade mac and cheese for the potluck-style dinner. There were some current and ex coworkers from my workplace, and they're always a fun bunch. We ate lots of good food and played a long game of I Love the 80s. I complained that I don't like playing games and asked if I could just watch. They put me on one team as an alternate, and I ended up having tons of fun and rocking my bizarre amount of 80s knowledge. I didn't even like the 80s; I'm not sure how I know so much about it. Anyhoo, we had a blast, and I laughed so much it hurt.

Saturday night, we celebrated Rebecca's birthday by having dinner at Matthew's Grill on East Ave. It was Pat's and my first time there. The food was good, the service was atrocious, and the company was delightful. You take the good with the bad. Rebecca and her posse then did some bar-hopping, but Pat and I skipped out after dinner. The baby's not allowed to go to bars until she's at least five.

The ever effervescent Rebecca and her charming and handsome life partner, Bryan.

After dinner, we headed to Brette's for a 40s-tasting party. Brette got a variety of 40s and she was thoughtful enough to buy me one of those huge bottles of Perierre so I could share in the experience. Pat wore his 2002 Caps Tournament Magnum shirt for the occasion and I wore my white-trashiest shirt I could find. What else does one wear to a 40s tasting? Certainly not a pink Izod shirt, right? Right??

Sunday, P.Riddy and I did some shopping for a bedroom set and watched a tremendously bad movie called My First Mister. That movie just didn't "work." Just see Lost in Translation instead. I think they were kind of trying to do the same thing, but Lost in Translation just did it about a gajillion times better.

Now I'm about to go for a long walk with my baby daddy and my kid.

-Fran

Quick, hide your sons!

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Pat and Fran are having a daughter!!

We went to have an ultrasound done today, and the sonographer told us we're having a girl. The ultrasound was so cool. We were able to see many views of the entire baby. We were even able to see as much detail as little toes and the nose and ears, etc. We were both amazed at how much she was moving around in there. I said, "I'm not having a daughter; I'm having a party animal!" Seriously, it was like a three-ring circus in there. As of right now, I barely ever feel any movement, but I'm told within a couple weeks I'll be feeling much more distinct movements on a regular basis.

Pat and I are completely thrilled we're having a girl. Pat kept saying all along that it was a girl, and lots of other people kept telling me it was a girl, but I just had no idea. I feel like women are supposed to have a feeling about these things, but I was totally clueless.

Check out this picture of my new robust figure. Please don't make jokes at my expanse.

-Fran

2005-11-01 20:30:39

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We had a great weekend packed with fall festivities, great food, and presents for me. What could be better??

Friday night, we went to Chris and Amy’s for their Halloween party. My vote for best costume went to Joe. He was Magnum P.I. His costume not only looked authentic, but it also sounded authentic. In the trunk of his “Ferrari,” he had his iPod playing the Magnum P.I. theme song. That song has been stuck in my head since Friday and I don’t even mind. Other honorable costumes (in no particular order) were Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain (they’re retro now!), Sean from Sean of the Dead, Rainbow Bright, a garbage man complete with garbage, two members of Team Zissou, a Pat riding a flamingo, and of course my costume, a deviled egg. We also got to see some old friends there that we hadn’t seen in quite some time (also in no particular order): Jay and Lisa, Sean Decker, and Dave W.

Saturday, we drove out to Skaneateles to Taryn and Todd’s. We hadn’t been to their house since August, and their house had some very notable changes…most notably, the addition of their new pug puppy, Pixie (named after the band, not the mischievous sprite). We went to the best apple-picking establishment in the world, Beak & Skiff, where we picked apples, took some kung fu photos, had doughnuts and cider, and perused the store. We then went home, baked apple pies, ate dinner, and then went to a Halloween party at their neighbor’s.

Sunday, they made an excellent breakfast, and we took a long walk. That afternoon, we went to my parent’s for a late lunch. I got lots of fantastic gifts from my family and we ate a really, really tasty meal.

Oh, I also wanted to give a medical update. I had the acupuncture appointment on Friday and it was great. She spent a lot of time asking me questions and that sort of thing, and then she did the procedure, or whatever you want to call it. I felt an improvement in my knees immediately, but after about 10 minutes, I still hadn’t felt any improvement in my head. The acupuncturist checked in on me, and I told her that, and so she put one more needle in, and that got rid of my headache! I felt great for the rest of the appointment and the drive back to work, but as soon as I got to work, my head and knees both started hurting again (weird, right?). They continued to get better and were both fine by Saturday afternoon. I’ve felt like a million bucks since then! I go back for two more sessions, and then just when I need to. Thanks to all who gave suggestions and weighed in on advice.

-Fran