LDB Week 38: Oh, wow, there's a person coming out of me soon.

I just realized I haven't updated about our dear LDB since week 33! So much has happened in the past 5 weeks!

At week 34, we had 2 baby showers--one with my family, one with my friends. The family shower was at my Grandma's house:

The next day, my friend Leslie gave me a shower at my house, complete with a henna artist who painted my big ol' belly! :)

Both showers were lots of fun, although I have to admit I was exhausted and probably not the most exciting guest of honor. :)

Since then, we have been working diligently to get everything ready for LDB's arrival. Primarily, we had a lot of work to do on the nursery! We've finally got it painted, furniture in, clothes hung in the closet, and I'm working on organizing all of the many, many tiny things that come with babies. So we're not done 100%, but we are at least at a place where if he comes, we're generally ready for him. I'm also fooling myself into thinking that if there's still stuff to do after he gets here, I have 12 weeks of maternity leave to get it done. Am I hilarious or what? :)

Yesterday a friend at work reminded me that both of her children were born before she ever got as far along in pregnancy as I am now. I don't know if it was her saying that, or if something just clicked, but all of the sudden I just felt like he really might come at any minute. Technically, as I write this, I am 2.5 weeks from my due date, and I don't really think he's coming today or tomorrow, but the fact is that he COULD! And ain't that somethin'.

And for those tracking the belly progress, here's me at 36 weeks, so about a week and a half ago. And that is the nursery I'm standing in. I'll take more pics of that once it's done to my liking. :)

Guess I'm becoming a Kroger customer.

Our fabulous family-owned supermarket chain in the Richmond area, Ukrop's, was purchased by Giant/Martin's last year. Everyone knew change was a'comin', but I wasn't really sure what to expect. My experience with Giant has mainly been in PA, and I have never really been impressed. Word on the street was that the Ukrop's stores were turning into Martin's, not Giants, but still, same company.

So last week, the change happened. My Ukrop's closed down for a week and a day and reopened this past Monday as a Martin's. Or, excuse me, MARTIN'S. Because it's in all caps everywhere. Which is annoying to start with. (Only LOST can get away with that in my world.)

Today I ventured into Martin's for the first time. Immediate impression: TACKY. Big plastic signs everywhere? Excusable, I suppose, since they need to announce the changeover. Workers wearing lime green shirts, and lime green accents on the shopping carts? Too bright, need sunglasses! That bright green faux grass being used as dividers between the meat? What is this, the 80's? And the price tags stuck to the shelves. Jeez louise, I guess those suckers were on serious sale from their print company, because you almost couldn't see the damn food past them!

And then there's the lighting. And people, I'm gonna be honest. I'm kind of--no, I'm DEFINITELY--weird about lighting in stores. If it's the wrong color, I don't like to shop there. Stores that meet my approval are Walgreen's (not CVS or Rite Aid) and Target (not Wal-Mart or K-Mart), and Ukrop's, Harris Teeter and Kroger (not Food Lion and, now, not Martin's). I don't know what it is exactly... it's yellow-y flourescent lights I don't like in particular (although Wal-Mart doesn't usually have that problem... Wal-Mart is just Wal-Mart). Not that I never go to places of whose lighting I disapprove, I just strongly prefer other places. And my new Martin's has that damn offensive yellow-y flourescent lighting.

Oh, and the kicker, as I was checking out, fully aware that this store was not going to be my weekly go-to grocery spot, I hear the kid working the register next to mine say "I think I need a beer." WHAT?! You can't say that when you work at a store that used to not even SELL alcohol and used to have signs that told everybody to go to church on Sunday! Blasphemy!

All of this means that my Kroger Plus Card is going to be getting a lot more mileage from now on. Unless I need a cake or cupcakes, because, thank GOD, Martin's is still selling Ukrop's baked goods. If they weren't, I'd totally be in mourning.

Farewell, dear Ukrop's, you will be missed.


The end of an era.

Bryan performs his last bit of maintenance before letting the TurboTalon go.

When I met my husband, he had this car that he loved. A 1993 Eagle Talon tsi. I don't know what the tsi stands for, but it has something to do with it being a turbo. He had put thousands of dollars into souping it up, and liked to take it to the race track to drag race it on occasion. Every online identity he had (email addresses, instant messenger names) had something to do with a TurboTalon. Not long after we met, he rebuilt the transmission for the first time. Then he did it again a couple years later, I forget why. It was super fast when it actually worked, and he was definitely like a little kid when he was driving it. As a matter of fact, the only time I ever saw the man sing along with the radio was in that car.

A couple of years ago, after another transmission rebuild, we took it out for a spin and he laid into it a little too hard in first gear while making a turn, and the engine started knocking. Somehow, he never got around to fixing it, and for several years now, it has been sitting in our garage, waiting for some attention.

Well, tonight, the TurboTalon has gone on to a new life. Bryan finally admitted to himself that with the baby coming and with the amount of time that has passed since he actually did anything to it and lack of space we have to keep it around, it was time to let her go. Luckily he found a guy (one of eight who responded to his Craigslist ad within the first 24 hours) who has an extra Talon engine hanging around and who wants to give the TurboTalon a new life. I think that's a little better than if it had been someone who just wanted to tear it apart for the parts. At least now he knows she'll be hitting the drag strip again someday.

Bye bye, TurboTalon!

I know he was sad to see her go, but he's pretty happy to actually be able to open his toolbox in the garage now. Of course, it took less than 5 minutes for him to fill the empty space of the garage with the 3 motorcycles and dirt bike that are still housed there. :)