Friday, February 26, 2010

Did We Ever Have a Chance?

I seriously can't believe Wheel of Fortune is still on television, or that I am watching it in my pajamas on a Friday night (read: my amazing throwback "THE Zack Attack 1992 World Tour" tee, courtesy of Vanessa). Dudes, who are these nerds? I think it is my new mission in life to become a contestant. Honestly, they have to be paying these people to come on at this point, no?

(All of this reminds me that I totally read Vanna White's autobiography when I was ten. My mother is a sucker for good ole celeb memoirs, and I guess she is not so discerning. I vaguely remember Vanna waxing poetic about crocheting, and lo.)

(What the fuck is this entry about?)

J is in Atlanta for the weekend, and I am luxuriating at home. So far this evening I have ordered a vegeterian burrito from here, and watched a spectacular episode of 90210, in which Brenda Walsh runs into "Reek" from Paris and has to pretend to be Brenda DuBois with the most horrific French accent in the history of the universe, then she dumps Dylan and then he goes and sticks his tongue down Kelly's throat. Also, Rosie O'Donnell makes a horrifying cameo to discuss Donna and David's sex life. Also, Zuckerman gets hit by a car and is confined to a wheelchair, which is hilarious because she was like 67 at the time of filming. Well-played, writers. The (awesome) end. I also took a long bath and finally read the compelling Vanity Fair piece on John Hughes, which only made me feel guilty, because apparently Hughes didn't stop writing until he quite literally dropped dead, and I can only manage two posts a week, let alone some best-selling chick lit. Boo.

(Oh my lands. Allen just totally geeked out after solving the puzzle and winning a trip to St. Lucia. He may explode with happiness. Where do they film this show?)

Tomorrow I take mah precious baby sisters to Manhattan for our annual theatre trip/ trek through the snowy goodness. We're seeing West Side Story. Lord, did I ever tell you how I almost was cast as Maria in our high school production? Well, in my mind I was. But really, I was about 5 inches taller than Tony. And decidedly Swedish-looking. And also, not the best singer. So they made me Graziella but she was just a lame Jet girlfriend. Come on. Those chicks couldn't compare to the Shark girls, who got to flit around singing awesome songs about America! What a giant slap in the face, Buddy.

(Oh shit: Allen just shouted "R!" when it was totally Joanne's turn, and Sajak was all, "I am going to ignore what you just said; it's Joanne's turn." DRAMA.)

And so I shall end this entry about nothing and bid you adieu. I have two episodes of The Tudors to watch - squee! - which means I shall fall into a Henry Cavill-induced reverie for the next several hours.

I am out like Zack Morris when he got too big for his britches and Bob Mackie started designing his costumes and then that bitch Mindy turned him into a male Madonna and he quit and had to run to the hospital to see Slater.

Night, y'all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Everything I attempt to write today is complete and utter crap. I tried to rant about my rampant dislike for Gayle King, but then I got all stabby and decided to table that one for another day.

So how about some photos, kids?

"God, you are obsessed with your belly!" "Shut up, J. Just one more." 25 weeks, y'all!

Catching the Superbowl at Jimmy's Dive Bar. Hat courtesy of Jimmy.

This dress has saved my life. Thanks, P!

Feeling very good that this shot is far, far away.

This picture is mocking us all right now.

Enjoying beer and sparkling cider on the beach at sunset. These are the days.

Pensive J. No doubt concerned with massive snowfall back in PA.

Monday, February 22, 2010

27 Weeks, Sans Photos, But Including Smug Judgment of Others Parenting Skills. Enjoy.

27 Weeks? For realz?

I am tweaking, my friends, into a whole new era. One less of the Warren G variety, and more of the third trimester kind.

One more week until we are 2/3 there! Hi, Ninj? You weigh a lot, fatty. And also: I adore you.

So let's talk growth scan for a minute. Ah, hell, we're all friends here. I gained another 10 pounds at my last check up, which occurred at 24 weeks and 5 days. I... I don't know. I am not swollen. My legs are a bit thicker, I suppose, but really, most of the weight is in mah belly. The doctors are deeply suspect of me, and yes, I do have a hearty appetite. But I exercise, and I practice yoga, and I try to eat mostly healthy foods (today's Massachusetts Sonic Run not withstanding.) (Oh, I am in Mass this week. I honestly didn't travel to New England just for a Sonic burger. But would any of you be surprised if I did?)

Back to my belly. My swollen, bulbous, belly. It's terribly sexy. (Stay away stretch marks. Stay away.)

ENORMOUS babies run in my family. I was 9 pounds, 10 ounces. My bro was 9 pounds, 2 ounces. My dad and uncles? One of those guys was ELEVEN pounds at birth, the tiniest on the smaller side of ten pounds. It is the superior Viking genes, you know. We're huge babies, and then we usually chill out. We grow tall, but not obese, praise God.

I had thought that Ninj might defy this legacy; but lo, at my last prenatal, the belly was measuring 27 weeks. So now I'll have another ultrasound (squee!) in a few weeks, to determine how big the baby looks. It's not an exact science; they can be off by a pound in either direction, or just plan WAY OFF. A girl in my yoga class knows a girl who was told she was having an eleven-pounder. Her baby was 8 pounds. She was angry. The end.

I am not sure that any of this really means much? I'll still try to labor as naturally as possible (I make no promises, however, with Ninj the super-fetus). I am focusing on my yoga practice, and imagining that my body (sorry pelvis!) is capable of this feat of strength.

And if it's not? Then I suppose I have a c-section. The whole point is to have a healthy baby, and it looks like Ninj is SUPER healthy. That's why s/he has a theme song that I sing to him/her daily:

Ninjy! Ninjy! The Amazing SUPER FETUS!

Then s/he punches me to quiet down, s/he is practicing her krav maga, jesuschristmom!

Man, I love my kid.

But you know what I don't love? Parents who bring their ten-year old child to see Shutter Island on opening night. I don't love when they sit directly behind me and J. I don't like when the kid hears more eff words than you can shake a stick at - this from the lady that curses with great relish and abandon. I... I don't want to spoil the film for you, but I was completely uncomfortable knowing there was a small child seated near me seeing that mess. There is blood. And murder. It takes place in an ASYLUM FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE. Oh! And here are some shots of dead kids at Dachau, for good measure. There was just so much violence. And rats! So many rats that I couldn't look at the screen for a full two minutes, because I didn't want to have nightmares.

"My god," I said to J as the credits rolled. "I was traumatized by "Thriller" as a child!"

"I was traumatized by Gremlins," he said.

Good luck sleeping this year, sweet boy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mr. Patterson Spanks MS.

Hey, guys!

I have been super busy this week. Like, I get it, no one cares how busy I am. We're all busy. Shut up, pretty (yet rotund) blogger. But seriously: me = busy. So there you go.

I wanted to take a moment this afternoon to honor mah friend "Mr. Patterson," who is actually a gorgeous woman whom I met many moons ago, in high school. (She also appreciates her moniker immensely, I assure you.) She is a loyal reader of this here blog and one of the finest people I know.

She also has MS. Which, if you ask me? Is bullshit.

I don't talk to Mr. P as often as I would like (she is busy too, you know), but I have had the opportunity to learn a little about what she is grappling with through our drunken happy hours (those were the days!) and email correspondence. And I will tell you: this chick is dealing, and dealing well.

Recently, I learned via Facebook that another friend from elementary school and high school has MS. J also has a friend from his high school afflicted.

Seriously? Fuck off, MS.

The annual MS Walk in our area is upon us (well, this May), and Ninja-willing I will be able to walk with Mr. P (who, quite disappointingly, did not name her team "Mr. Patterson's Peaches," or something like that. If I had my own team, I'd probably go ahead and call it "Fuck off, MS," because we all know I really, really love the eff-word.)


Now, I'd like to do all I can to help eradicate this disease for all who suffer, especially the lovely Mr. P. So I am starting my fundraising effort today. If you know me in real life, you will get hit up via email shortly. If we are just blogging besties, and you would like to donate, please feel free to contact me via email and I will let you know how to donate directly to Mr. P's team and fundraising efforts. Or, you could be a doll and go here, and donate something. Whatever you can. Any donation is much appreciated, and funds vital research to help us understand and hopefully eradicate this disease for all the Mr. Ps of the world.

Tell them HV sent you. (And in the memo of your check, won't you kindly write: "Fuck off, MS?" Just at least tell me you did.)

And here's to Mr. Patterson, who is strong, powerful, and shall overcome.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Back from the beach. I only cried a little, I swear.

I have been looking at "thin" pictures this morning, something you should never do when you are nearly seven months pregnant and the size of a planet. I mean, who was the slim girl above?

DUDES. We are obviously, REALLY stretching the bounds of perfectly nice fabric.

Moving on. (Oh, but not before I vow to be that thin chick again! Victory will be mine!)

Turks and Caicos was sublime. It truly was one long, luxurious rest. We laid around all day. We swam a bit. (Until I got taken out by a benign-looking wave, crashed on to my back, tankini flipped inside out. Yep, we thought we'd killed Ninja. After that, we mostly laid.)

More pics to follow. For now, it's back to the grind. Oh, I am totally giving up all processed sugar for Lent. I know, I technically am not a practicing Catholic. But something needs to be done, y'all. Let's try it in the name of JC.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


We made it!

It took a LO-O-OT of crafty planning, but we ended up flying to Boston at 2:15 on Friday, spending the night at the Boston airport Hilton, and then flying direct from Boston to Providenciales.

The Royal West Indies is a low-key, lovely resort, which is actually made up of privately-owned condos. We can purchase ours for the bargain price of $375K; naturally, I am working on J now.

The Ninj is enjoying vacation thus far, despite some spectacularly frightening turbulence on the trip here in which mama had 30 heart attacks. It's astounding to me how active this child is. I wonder where he/she finds time to sleep in the midst of all of the punches and wiggles and somersaults and Zohan-esque drop-kicks.

Speaking of Ninj... I had a routine prenatal on Friday before we dashed to the airport. And, um, there are things happening. Like, gigantic baby alerts. And "growth" scans. And thyroid checks. And oh, your baby may just fulfill its Viking legacy and be 10 pounds and we just want to be prepared for a possible C-section. Boo. But we shan't think about that this week, Internet. We shall revisit that when we return to real life.

For now, I shall try to post a few times this week, but I have a very full schedule of laying around. And eating. And reading. And more laying.

And mercy, I am sorry for you readers in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast. But, you know, not that sorry, as you can imagine.

All my love,

HV and her amazingly ginormous super-fetus, Ninja.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Panic. Mode.

I really was very cool and calm about the treacherous weekend weather forecast until about 10 minutes ago.

KYW ran a news piece about how "frightening" and "terrible" this kind of storm is, and how it will wreak havoc on any weekend travel plans.

Screw you, soul-sucking AM news station.

J and I have been planning a February trip for months. MONTHS. We started planning before we were prego, but back then Turks and Caicos was actually Shanghai. We've got some awesome friends kicking it in China; and we figured we would start trying to conceive, but that probably wouldn't happen quickly, right? And even if it did, I would still be fine to travel to the Far East, right?


So our China trip went the way of my half-marathon, sometime in early December. Although my doctor was cool with it, I just didn't think the fifteen-hour flight and jet lag sans alcohol would do my body any good. And I want to experience Shanghai. We swear we'll book the trip when Ninj is 9 months or so. Just...keep quiet and let me revel in the naivete that is first-time parenthood, k?

So we hemmed and hawed about where we could go. In lieu of China, I insisted we go to Amsterdam. Because, you know, that's probably a place you want to visit when you are six months pregnant, JesusChristHomeValley. I suggested Madrid? Barcelona? Ultimately we decided that the weather would be too cold in Western Europe. I still ache when I think we might not make it back to that continent for a few years. (I know, I have such problems.)

We settled on Turks and Caicos, maybe because it is British. It seemed quaint and quiet and peaceful.

And now it's all gone straight to HELL.

We're depressed. We're frantically trying to come up with creative solutions. J's coworker just received word that her Sunday flight TO Philadelphia FROM Jamaica is canceled. All Southwest flights on Saturday from Philly are canceled.


The best solution I can see? Take the train to Boston tomorrow night; hop on the direct Boston to Turks and Caicos flight. This would cost us an additional $300, and because we are coordinating a preemptive strike, travel insurance wouldn't cover it.

I thought the worst case scenario would be our flight gets canceled Saturday AM; we take the Sunday flight. But we've called US Air and there are only a few seats left on the Sunday flights to T&C. I can imagine that the displaced masses will be clamoring for those seats.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Do we reschedule the whole thing? Try again in March?

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hold me, Internet. Mama just wants to relax on a beach. This is why we must away to a climate where snow does not EXIST.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The 30th Rager That Rivaled Pauly Shore's.

Ah, the illustrious celebrities I share a birth date with: Sherman Helmsley; Joy Philbin; and my man Pauly Shore.

Yes, yes, we all wish we were Pauly Shore; or at least had his career trajectory. But I ask you: does Pauly Shore have parties as awesome as this? I think not.

Ain't no party like a Manayunk party cause a Manayunk party don't stop.

My husband brings the awesomeness, everyday.

Party people look to the prego to get things underway.

Hotness: Vanessa and Grace.

"The Melissa Mango Martini," virgin-style. I actually started a tab with these babies, and once I yelled to the barkeep: "Put it on mah virgin tab!" To which my mother-in-law replied, eyeing my swollen belly: "Oh honey, I am not buying it!" Snap!

We're due a week apart. Shut up.

With the ladies who raised me to be such a party animal: Gina and mom.

The adorable Tina Marie, cousin extraordinaire and honorary Vanessa.

And then we apparently stopped taking pictures, as we do. I swear to Lionel, we are the worst photogs. We bring our camera along everywhere and then neglect to take it out. We are trying to remedy this for Ninja by buying a fancy SLR in the upcoming months. Cripes.

But happy birthday to me! It was a lovely evening filled with all the people I love in this world (minus a few who got sidetracked by the snow). Hey! Did you know that it snowed on my birthday party night, and on my Lost party night, and there's fixin' to be a Nor'easter on the morning we're set to fly to Turks and Caicos?
Such is life, my friends. Such is life.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"We're Gonna Have To Bring Him Too."

Time to nerd out, Losties!

Tis the night we have been waiting nine long months for, and I, for one, AM THRILLED. Beyond thrilled. Really beyond spectacularly overstimulated and excited. Bring it, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff!

Tonight is our annual (and final) Lost Party at the crib. Grace has decided that there is no way she can top last year's contribution, so she is just bringing some hummus. Dudes, she's probably right:

We've had so much going on (Ninj, 30, did I mention Turks and Caicos on Saturday?) that I am a little late in putting this shindig together. Today's "To-Do" List:
  1. Download DriveShaft's greatest hits.
  2. Sharpen black eyeliner pencil for J, as methinks tonight mah friend is going as the gorgeous Richard Alpert.
  3. Outfit Ninja belly in proper Season 1 Claire attire.
  4. Find a sassy black friend to play Rose. (Preferably with a big butt, and even bigger heart.)
  5. Design elaborate contraption to concoct the smoke monster. (Perhaps just burn the toasting pita?)
  6. Borrow a polar bear.
  7. Hide the numbers all over the living room, pretend to have no knowledge when I discover them. ("That's weird, J, why am I getting a call from 4 8 15 16 23 42?")
  8. Recreate hatch door under living room carpet. (What the...?)
  9. Buy bear treats for h'ors doeuvres.
  10. Crap! Do you think they can rush deliver an OFFICIAL Dharma jumpsuit?

Time to get cracking!

Monday, February 01, 2010

30. Eff.

So I thought I was handling my 30th rather gracefully. But as we all know, you can't have just a little grace.

I woke up this morning at 5:20, J's alarm blaring, and plodded to the bathroom.

Then I got back in bed, pulled the covers over my head, and cried.

Because I am 30. Thirty! I just... Thirty. Fuck, that sounds old, y'all. And it's not like I sobbed. I just shed a few tears for my youth. I'm all adult now. And that's interesting. And frightening. And exciting. And mundane. Ya dig?

Then I took a deep breath, and promptly got over it. Thirty year-old adults have little time to be self-indulgent and introspective! Nay, we must toil. We must work at our jobs. And prepare for babies. And get six-month pregnant driver's license photos. And shop at Whole Foods and feel guilty about not buying local (I am coming, CSA!). And get bikini waxes. And Swiffer, yo. When you get older, you must Swiffer, almost daily.

As most of you know, Mr. HomeValley - J - is amazing, and threw me a fantabulous birthday party on Saturday night at Mango Moon in Manayunk. I have photos! And yes, I will post them. Because I am thirty. And fucking responsible.

Oh! And I shall provide you a resolution update. And also add some things I will not be doing this decade. Like, listening to assvice. From now on, HomeValley knows best, bitches.

See? 30 is fun. It's liberating and I have no stretch marks and very few wrinkles and a Ninja super-fetus and amazing friends and family and a Kindle.

Suck it, 20s.