Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bring On Summer!

Last year, we got to use our pool a few times before the weather started to get too cold. It was nice. But, let's be honest, our pool was cold. It's not heated and it has no cover. Combine that with the uncharacteristic cool summer temperatures we had last year, and it was what some might call frigid (and by some, I mean me). Eventually, we would like to put in solar heating for the pool. But, that costs money. And we don't have a lot of that right now, so it's a big eventually. We needed a temporary solution so that I actually spend more time IN the pool than getting up the nerve to get in:

Our huge solar blanket (see, it sounds warm already, doesn't it?) arrived yesterday. It's currently spread out over the pool soaking up and trapping the sun's rays. It just needs to be trimmed to size and it will be ready to go. I'm pretty excited because I think this is going to make our pool much more swimmable. And I have a feeling I will want to do a lot of swimming this summer. In fact, this weekend is supposed to be so nice that I'm hoping to start using the pool next week. I'm so ready for summer! Who wants to join me?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Today, we had our ultrasound. Got to see our little baby in all its glory. Bluebeard says hello, by the way.

Ultrasounds really are amazing. I mean, they checked out EVERYTHING. We saw the bladder, including bloodflow to the bladder. We saw the stomach and the fact that it looks like it's full of amniotic fluid as it should be. We saw the eye sockets and could tell that there are actually eyeballs in them. We saw the diaphragm. We saw the kidneys (actually, I couldn't really tell they were kidneys, but I have no problem taking the ultrasound tech's word for it). We saw both hands and arms and both legs and feet. Even got a shot of the baby's first footprint.

We saw lots of shots of the brain and could see all the parts that are supposed to be there. We saw all four chambers of the heart and the fact that it was beating as it should be. We saw the aortic arch. We saw the face with lips and nose. We saw the spine and ribs. I mean, it was crazy. The ultrasound tech sent us home with 17 pictures (I'm only posting four because most are pictures only a mother and father would care about)! It's really cool how much they can see. And, it was fascinating to me because I've learned about all of these things and seen them in anatomy books, but then I get to see them all in our growing baby. It was pretty cool. And, everything appears to be normal. And, after this little photo shoot, Bluebeard rolled over and went to sleep. Hooray for ultrasounds!

Oh, yeah. There was one more thing they could see. Baby's gender. Looks like we'll have to ditch the nickname, Bluebeard. It's not very lady-like.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I've done it. I've become a real, boring adult. How do I know this? Because one of my favorite things to get in the mail is the Costco coupon booklet.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

On Buying a New Car

With a baby on the way, Mr. Frisby and I have begun preparations for the expansion of our family. One of the first things on our list was getting a new car. We needed one in which we could tote little Bluebeard around without feeling like Inspector Gadget, pulling out all these tricks just to get the little tike into the back seat of our very un-family friendly two-door cars. Enter Ox.

We came home with this bad boy on Friday night. We have been looking, researching, and test driving different cars for weeks. We went out on Friday night with the intention of doing some more test drives and getting more information, not actually buying a new vehicle. However, after test driving several more cars, we went back to the Mazda dealer and after talking numbers and striking what we felt was a good deal, we bought the car. And I named it Ox. There are a number of things I'm excited about. It has leather seats, built-in bluetooth, seat warmers, and automatic climate control with separate rear passenger controls. It also has a good amount of power. Overall, we're pretty excited about our purchase. The downside was that poor Mr. Frisby had to say goodbye to his Mustang. Of course, I don't really see it as a downside. I mean, come on, he inherits Maggie MINI. That's a pretty decent trade, if you ask me.

Anyway, the whole car-buying process made me think back to my purchase of Maggie, my 2007 MINI Cooper S. These two purchasing experiences were like night and day. I bought Maggie brand new. I basically built her online and knew EXACTLY what I wanted. I went to the dealer and ordered my car. And I knew exactly what I would be paying because with MINIs, there's no negotiating. They don't need to. You pay MSRP plus any dealer mark-up (I went to East Bay MINI which doesn't have a mark-up). Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. The hardest part was waiting the nine or ten weeks for Maggie to arrive from England. I tracked her progress incessantly. See, on the MINI website, you can track your car and see where it is on the assembly line and in the delivery process. Then, I found out which shipping company would be handling her transport, which ship she would be on and then I tracked the progress of the ship. I could even watch her ship going through the Panama Canal via the Canal's webcams. And when Maggie arrived in America, I could see it on the website. And I knew Maggie had arrived at the dealership before they even called to tell me. I waited for her with much anticipation and excitement.

Now, take Ox. So far, Ox has been great. But, let's be honest. Who gets excited for trading in their dream car for a family wagon? We weren't really picky and didn't have any really specific criteria. There were just a few things we needed to have and we could get those in any of the models we had researched. We liked a number of the cars we looked at. This gave us good negotiating power. Because if you're not buying a MINI, get ready to negotiate. It was kind of a spontaneous purchase. Not an impulse buy, but we bought before we were planning to anyway. We saw a car we liked, in a color we liked, with the options we liked. So we negotiated. Hardcore. And it took a little while. And, in the end, we walked onto the lot not planning to buy a car and then left with one. No waiting. No tracking. No anticipation. But, exhausting.

Night and day.

I hope all of our preparations for little Bluebeard are not this crazy.