Bring on the pink!

I don’t know if you noticed, but just below this post is a sonogram image of my niece, Baby Girl K. Isn’t she pretty?? I decided against posting a picture of her ‘cheeseburger’ – as the doctor called it – nor did I post the picture of her from head to tush. I didn’t want to embarrass the poor thing by showing the interweb her little fetus ass.

She’s a healthy baby girl! Happiness abounds! Bank accounts be drained!

Watching Allan’s reaction to all of this has been interesting. He says that growing up an only child, he never really considered being an uncle. He had no siblings from whom to get nieces and nephews. And BAM, within a month of our wedding we found out about the baby. So, in a 30-day-stretch the boy got parents-in-law, two brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law. And now a niece. I think he’s a little overwhelmed by his insta-family and is taking his time, letting all of these relationships soak in.

I think it was also a little odd for him when I first moved in, and then when we got Murphy. Allan’s not from an overly affectionate family. They’re not touchy, feely, huggy, kissy people. And in that regard, they’re the opposite of my family. So, here I come, showering him with constant hugs, kisses and cuddles. And then when we got Murphy, OHMYGOD, kisses overload! So Allan went from an empty house where he was by himself a lot, to a full house loaded with affection… all aimed at HIM. And now this growing family. It’s pretty special.

But I’m happy for him. He enjoys all the love, he enjoys all the family, and I think he’ll enjoy being an uncle. And what I think is really cool is that this little girl will never know life without him as her uncle. He’s there from the very beginning. For me, I knew some of my aunts and uncles as single, individual people, so I always remember a time when those they married (and then divorced) weren’t in our family. She won’t have that experience. I like that the six of us – my brothers and our spouses – were all in place when babies started coming along.

Moving on…

Let’s talk about my hair, shall we?

Two weeks ago I went to a fancy salon to have it cut. It was a gift certificate from Allan for Christmas and I was looking forward to using it. I sat in the little chair, uncoiled my long, brown hair and asked for it to be cut to my shoulders. I asked for minimal layers – said I hated choppy hair – and asked that my hair be left long enough to pull back. I’m sure you can see where this is headed… Shorter than shoulder-length. Layers galore. No ponytails. I cried, Allan laughed and it was a mess. For 13 days, I woke up, looked at myself in the mirror, and hated what I saw. I think I looked like Carol Brady back in her heyday. Finally, on Wednesday, I called the salon and explained how I felt. They asked me to come in later that day to see if they could fix my hair. I reluctantly agreed. I knew I’d have to go shorter, which isn’t really what I wanted, but anything had to have been better than the Carol. I emerged with a chin-length bob and heavy bangs… and I love it. Now it looks like Katie Holmes’s hair. This isn’t what I had planned for my hair, but I’m really happy with it. Oh, and I dyed it red. From long and brown to short and red in two short weeks!

It’s NHL All-Star Weekend here in Raleigh and let me tell you, this town is excited! There are all kinds of fun things going on from fan fest to concerts, and tonight Allan and I are heading downtown with some other fine folks to check everything out. Luckily it’s in the upper 50’s today, so while it’ll still be cold, it won’t be awful. I’ll still whine and complain, no doubt, but everyone else should be just fine! And then I’ll spend the rest of the weekend locked inside of the RBC Center. Should be fun, though. It’s a totally change-of-pace and, most likely, a once in a lifetime experience. I was thinking about maybe trying to sneak my camera in. We shall see…

Oh, oh, oh! And THE STEELERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!! More details to come, but I’ll just say Super Sunday – the day of the conference championships, the day the Steelers earned their eighth trip to the Super Bowl – was, indeed, super.

So, we meet again.

Yes, I’m back on my big machine. And yes, I’m downloading more songs – Night Moves by Bob Seger to be exact. I’m also updating my new iPod. I know, I know. Steve Jobs is my master.

The thing is, I had one of the original iPod nanos from way back in the day. It was a birthday gift and I received it about two weeks after the product was released. It’s been truckin along this whole time, providing me with music in places as vast and varied as my cubicle, the gym and the dentist’s chair. But it’s old and has very little energy left. Its battery life is less than an hour, which just isn’t cutting it. So, it’s time for it to retire. Good-bye, alliePod. Hello, alliePod II. Seriously. That’s what I named them.

On Saturday I worked at the arena and was given cash tips, which is rare. But when it happens, I tell myself that it’s basically ‘free money’ and I can do with it what I’d like. So I bought my honey and I a fancy dinner, then headed over to the Apple store and picked up my little graphite nano. Allan asked if I was excited about it and I thought, no, I’m not really excited. Buying it felt like more of a necessity than a choice. I’m so damned used to having an iPod that I no longer know how to function without it. What am I going to do on on the treadmill? Listen to the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the machine? And how am I supposed to cope with all the awful sounds at the dentist without music to soothe me? I CAN’T! See what I mean? It wasn’t a fun, exciting purchase. It was something I had to do.

And no luck with the Bob Seger thing. He’s not on iTunes. Luckily, he’s located in my husband’s ridiculously large music collection, so it’ll be added to alliePad after all… and fo free!

So far this is true of 2011: I’ve been a bad blogger.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t feel comfortable updating this at work, and trying to type anything long – or anything that has to be scrolled-through – on my iPad is an enormous effort and a huge pain in the ass. But because the iPad is small, convenient and always within 10 feet of us, my bulging beast of a desktop is rarely used anymore. Unless I’m messing with pictures.

So, there you have it, Internet. That’s my excuse.

And plus, nothing too exciting is going on in my life right now. I get up and go to work, then I either come home or go to my other work. I cuddle with my dog, I harass my husband (which is my favorite past-time – oh, that boy has so many sensitive spots to poke and prod!), I make dinner, then I curl up on the couch with my electric blanket and my boys. Then we all go to sleep. Exciting, no? Yeah, no. Not exciting at all. But it’s heaven to me.

In case you’re wondering what brought me to the computer today, it’s iTunes. I got a gift card for Christmas and I’m downloading some songs. Legally! Go me! I could honestly spend all my money on iTunes. I love having music accompany my every move. It makes even the most mundane things seem fun.

On today’s download list:
Michael Buble – Save the Last Dance for Me
It was the last dance at our wedding, and it was the only dance Allan and I actually danced to! Every time a slow song came on – and there weren’t many because my DJ rocked – someone else grabbed one of us. But for the last song, we finally found each other, and it was my favorite moment of the whole night.

Florence + the Machine – Dog Days are Over
Um, because it’s awesome. Listen to it then tell me it doesn’t move you even a little.

Heart – Alone
Yeah, yeah, cheesy 80′s power ballad. But damn, those girls can sing. And when I’m in the car singing along with them, I’ll pretend I sound just like them!

In other news, I’m in the market for a new iPod. Something simple and cheap that I can take to the gym. Cause, guys, I REALLY need to go to the gym.

I was looking at my calendar, and with the exception of our New Orleans trip, I don’t think I have an entire weekend off until April. No wonder I’m so tired all the time.

Allan and I are planning to take a trip to NOLA early next month, which means we’ll forego any anniversary gifts and Valentine’s gifts and instead focus on having a good old time in The Big Easy. Neither of us has ever been, and much to my husband’s dismay, it somehow became the first stop on our Hurry Up and See the US Before We Have a Baby Tour. Now, don’t get all excited – we’re not planning to have a baby anytime soon – but we realize that we’ll be limited by a whole bunch of things once we have kids, and there are a ton of places we still want to see. A large number of them are outside of the US, but we feel like we could either take one giant trip somewhere spectacular – Brazil, for example – or hit-up a lot of spots in the US of A. We’ve opted for a homeland tour and maybe we can go somewhere more exotic, too. Probably not, but maybe. If we win the lottery and quit our jobs, we can definitely do it! But those damn people in Washington and Idaho already won the $355 million jackpot and robbed us of our dreams.

But I digress.

I went to the dentist this week. I had three cavities sand blasted right off of my decaying teeth. It was unpleasant, but I survived. Although I had a tremendous amount of anxiety that left me wringing my hands and pacing the floor of my office, I took no anti-anxiety pills. It was just me and my Ovaries of Steel laying nearly upside down in that dental chair. Yeah, I cried. And yeah, I was ridiculous and over reactive. But I did it and I’m proud of myself. And the day before my dental appointment, I was back in the orthodontist’s chair because, for the second time in two weeks, I sneezed with such force and gusto, I busted a bracket off of my tooth. Same tooth and same bracket each time. Neither my orthodontist nor his staff had heard of such a thing, which makes me special and unique. Or at least special and unique in the world of Raleigh orthodontics. Not in any other sense.

So, I’ve decided that I really like working and having a paycheck and stuff, but it sucks that it starts so early in the morning. And that it lasts for so long. I’m in favor of a six-hour-a-day, four-day-a-week kind of society. Who’s with me?

So, Karma’s proving to be a bitch for one of my most favorite college head coaches former head coaches, BitchRod Rodriguez. You see, readers of my blog, he took my beloved Mountaineers of West Virginia University to the tippy top of college football’s elite. And then, after promising his undying love and commitment, saying he wanted his children to be educated there and saying he would retire there – IF WE WOULD HAVE HIM – he up and left for the University of Michigan. Now, I’m not stupid. I know Michigan’s a more prestigious position. But what about those promises? What about the devotion to WVU? Did it mean nothing to him? It was a very acrimonious parting. He was a bit of a douche. And then he struggled mightily at Michigan. So mightily, in fact, he got canned after three short, crappy seasons. Sayonara, BitchRod!