'This is the story of a girl..."

These past few days have been a whirlwind of business and emotion! I can hardly believe I gave been able to keep up with it all, and I somehow get the feeling that there's so much more ahead of me!

I finally started to pack my bag for the hospital! I have my pajamas and toiletries together, and, most importantly, a big bag of lollipops, since I hear that's the only thing you will be allowed to eat during labor! ;-) One more run tomorrow and I'll have picked up everything I need! I also started washing PJ's clothes, so they can be put away and wait for his arrival so he can fill them! And, by the way, Dreft detergent is the best smell in the world! I'd wash all of our clothes in it if it wasn't so frickin' expensive! Thankfully, his furniture is also just about put together, so the clothes will have a place to live when he's not wearing them!

With all of the fervent activity in our apartment- putting furniture together! Thinning out my closet to share with the Boy! Making room for new things! Making room for a new life!- I observed to Pete that it's like we never lived here before this week, when we are expecting PJ's arrival any day now! And, I imagine, after he is here, it will feel like there was never any life at all before he arrived!

Aside from all of that, yesterday it was made official that Mom-Mom's house isn't Mom-Mom's house anymore. It belongs to a new family who will (hopefully) bring new life to it- and perhaps even replace the pink carpeting Mom-Mom loved so much. ;-) It makes me sad to know that the legacy I have always known that house to hold is over, but it makes me happy to think that there is a new one beginning for a new family, and I wish them all of the things I gained from those walls and the people who passed through them.

It's really kind of funny, the timing of it all. A few days after I said goodbye to Mom-Mom, I found out that I was pregnant with PJ, and now, a few days after saying goodbye to Mom-Mom's home, I am awaiting PJ's arrival. It's no secret that our pregnancy was a bit of a surprise to Pete and I, but I also think it's no surprise that maybe, this boy and Mom-Mom know each other better then I thought, because they have crossed paths many times already.

"I can see your star shinin' down on me..."

Thank goodness I had such a lovely night last night- it was a good lead in for what turned out to be a hard day today.

The decision was made a while back to put my Mom-Mom's house in Philadelphia up for sale, and despite the housing market it sold pretty quickly, to a family with children, which is nice. My Mom-Mom, grandfather Benjamin, my father and my uncle moved into that house when it was brand new after living above their bar on South Street- I think my dad was about 8 or so, which means that for the entire life of the house, until now, it was inhabited by Wexlers! I'm ashamed to admit I'm a little fuzzy on exactly how old my dad is, but I know for SURE he's in his 60's.

That's alot of time and alot of Wexler in that house.

My grandmother was the last one- my grandfather passed in the very early 70's, my father married and moved out, and my Uncle Gary passed away not long after Pete and I got engaged in 2007. Mom-Mom was always a very independent woman, but I think she loved having my uncle there with her, and she was a person who always had an open house.

Of course, the bulk of my memories of that house involve spending Saturday nights sleeping at Mom-Mom's, watching Golden Girls in her big big bed, with Mom-Mom always on the far right, Marla in the middle, and me banished to as far to the left as possible because I kicked in my sleep so badly! The next morning, I would walk to the Burger King right behind her house and bring back breakfast for everyone!

I thought I outgrew wanting to stay overnight at Mom-Mom's, and after about the age of 12, did it less and less and eventually not at all anymore. I thought I was growing up and had things to do.

Ugh, teenagers are so stupid. But, oh, if you knew Mom-Mom, you'd agree that it wasn't such a dumb assumption to think she's be in that house forever.

Of course, that's not the way the story worked out, and in a few days, it will be a new family occupying that house in Philadelphia. To get ready for them, we were at Mom-Mom's house, cleaning the last of her things out of the garage. Her house itself had already been cleared out (long story) and most of the evidence of her life there, aside from the whispers from the walls, has been stripped. There were a few treasures in the garage- some pieces of furniture, some fabulous items of clothing that still hold her smell, some letters and other random bits of her story.

I walked my son through the house, feeling him kick inside me as I went from room to room. I thought about all that I received from that house in my lifetime, and all of the things he will miss in it's absence from his life.

I can only hope that, thanks to all of the things I gained from my life in that house, I will be able to give this boy an amazing life, with a new tradition just for him.

"'Cause no one can deny, this love I have inside..."

Tonight was one of the lovelier Saturday nights that we've had in a while!

Usually, a Saturday night, unless it's the rare occasion that I have plans, involves me at home relaxing alone while Pete works a late night at his job. But tonight it was filled with friends, family, food and fun as we finally got around to celebrating Pete's graduation from nursing school and earning his state licence!

The kids (all ten of them!) ran around and had a great time together, and the grown ups had a wonderful time socializing! And it was great to see Pete, who is so often cast in the supporting role, be the center of attention and the reason we were all gathered there!

I know that his frustration at not having found a job yet is mounting, but despite all of that, he worked very, very hard to get through school and to pass his boards, and I know without a doubt there is something for him and that it will come his way soon.

In the meantime, I just know how lucky I am to have him!

"Here's a little song I wrote..."

Just a quickie tonight- had my 37 week (!) checkup today! PJ is head down, and my blood pressure is down too! It was very slightly elevated at last visit, so that made me very happy! I am negative for Group B strep, everything is measuring the way it should, and about two weeks from now, we'll have a baby boy on the outside of my body! Yee ha!

And hopefully, he will have a completed nursery, too! :-P

Also, I would like to thank VH1 for all of the awesome countdowns they have had this week- Top 100 1 Hit Wonders of the 80's, Top 100 Songs of the 90's, Top 40 Hotties of the 90's...I have enjoyed them all!!!

And that's the end.

"What you gon' do with all that breast, all that breast inside that shirt?"

So what are you going to do with those lumps? ;-)

I only ask because of the recent news stories concerning the new recommendations on breast cancer screenings- recommendations that reduce the number of preventative screenings suggested for women in the younger bracket of diagnosis, from age 40-60.

The US Preventative Services Task Force (who according to CNN.com does not have any oncologists on it's panel) is suggesting that mammography causes "risks" such as anxiety over the need for further testing, discomfort of performing the test itself (ie, breast compression), and the idea that the results if a mammogram are inexact, and further testing could conclude that there is no breast cancer. There is also the suggestion that there are not "enough" lives saved by mammography in women ages 40-60.

The Task Force is also coming down on breast self-exams, stating that these exams, recommended monthly by cancer experts, do no good.

You may ask "Why does Brie give a crap about all of this? Why isn't she just whining about her last trimester, as usual?"

My family has a significant history with breast cancer. My maternal grandmother, Minerva, died of breast cancer in her 40's,leaving my own mother motherless at the age of 8, only to watch all of her aunts succumb to the disease as she grew into an adult, the last being my Aunt Evelyn when I was a sophomore in high school. The daughters of all of those beautiful women have fought breast cancer (with the exception of- by the grace of God- my own mother). My amazing Mom-Mom, my father's mother, fought and beat breast cancer in her 70's.

And despite the fact that my mother has been and remains free of breast cancer, despite the odds against her, she doesn't just sit back and rely on her luck. She has been amazingly proactive in the fight against breast cancer, taking part in a number of groundbreaking studies and medical trials.

I have seen first-hand that being proactive can be a lifesaver in the case of breast cancer. Will detecting cancer very early be a 100% guarantee that a patient will be cured, or not have a very aggressive form of cancer? Of course not. Nothing is 100% when it comes to medicine, and anyone who thinks so is fooling themselves. But, that said, I have spent half a lifetime surrounded by amazing women who have been willing to fight cancer toe-to-toe by being proactive, educated, and aggressive in their vigilance over the disease.

(Also of note, this article discussing the incidence of breast cancer is teens and tweens. Young women are developing breasts at an earlier age compared to decades before, and as long as the tissue is there, there is a risk of cancer, although much less so then in a fully grown adult, of course.)

Obviously, this new research is not going to be the be-all and end-all of breast cancer prevention and treatment. It will require women to be more communicative with their physicians in determining the need for mammograms and other preventive measures such as genetic testing. Making sure the lines of communication between a women and her physician can only be a good thing. You are only one person, and it is just as much up to you as it is up to your doctor to determine the best course of medical care for you.

Read some of these articles. What is your opinion?

"Your love is better then ice cream..."

Sigh...I am having a teenage girl moment as I totally ogle Taylor Lautner- otherwise known as Jacob from Twilight- on Jay Leno! Which has a few problems- it makes me feel like I am supporting both pedephilia and bestiality, as he is both- what? 18 years old and plays a werewolf! But really? He's just lovely (wicked smile!).

Moving on...

I have been trying and trying to find my little, soon-to-be-born, half-Jewish baby a decent outfit for Christmas! As most of you know, I'm Jewish, but Pete is Not. That said, I am blessed enough to be able to spend Christmas day with both Pete's family and my family, who are always included! A two-religion household can be complicated, but it makes the division of the holidays a snap! :-)

Anyway, I have been searching for the right outfit for the Boy, but everything I find is too ugly or too cutesy! I did find an Amy Coe outfit- black, with a skull wearing a Santa hat- but it was vetoed by my husband! So, the search continues!

Speaking of the holidays, they are just about upon us! Thanksgiving is in like, two weeks, then Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years! It's one of the best times of the year for me- I love all things festive! And to think, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and possibly during Hanukkah, our little one will arrive!

I think that's enough rambling out of me for today! It's off to bed for this chunk!!


"Do I wear you out? You must wonder why I'm relentless and all strung out..."

Well, we're getting there!!

PJ's room is slowly coming along! We spent alot of time prepping the walls, which were, in a word, crappy! They were painted this gross, deep red color, and there were a million holes in the wall. So it involved alot of spackling, sanding, priming, and most importantly, patience!! But, we got it done and now the first coat of color is up and it looks amazing! Painting should be done by tomorrow, and his furniture should be in by Thursday, which means I will finally be able to put all of this things away!!

Yippee!!! The mess is driving me nuts!

Of course, I feel like I should elaborate when I say "we". For one thing, my sister-in-law came over on Friday to help us get started with priming the walls, which we were inanely thankful for! And for another, since my blood pressure was slightly up at my last doctors visit, I would get to paint for a whole ten minutes before Pete made me get a drink of water or take a break (for the record, he also made me wear a face mask, which seemed to serve to make me breathe in my own breath- ew!)! I also had to miss a housewarming party for my sweet friend Mandy because it was deemed too far a drive.


I am starting to fully understand the cranky, last few weeks of pregnancy aura all of my girlfriends who have children adopted when they were at this stage! No wonder everyone thinks the birth of a child is a such a miracle- it marks the end of pregnancy! To be fair, my pregnancy has been pretty easy, and I have enjoyed all of the milestones and excitement and kicks and wiggles and squirms! I was even lucky enough to have pretty mild side effects! But now? Now I'm just a tired, fat girl with a pelvis that feels like it's coming unglued! Nice, eh?

Thank goodness this place is starting to come together and I have something to take the edge off of my crankiness! :-)

"Even if I knew my place, should I leave it there?"

Our apartment is in complete chaos!

There are baby things stacked and stashed everywhere! There are piles of books hidden in every nook and cranny! Displaced items float about with no rhyme or reason!

It's driving me a little bit crazy.

But...we primed and spackled the baby's room today, so there is a light at the end of this insanely messy tunnel! Tomorrow, we will put the color up, then the decals, then we can bring in the furniture (and put it together...damn Ikea!) and finally, there will be a place to put everything!

And PJ is not allowed to arrive until after this is all done, of course! ;-)

Which of course is only about 3 1/2 weeks away! ARG! And of course, pretty much everything but his arrival is going crazy! All we can do is stay hopeful, put things back and find them a place as we can, and await meeting our baby boy!

"Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on...la la la la life goes on..."

Today was pretty great, as it turns out. Weird, but great!

Waking up this morning without having to set my alarm was, of course, wonderful! I sat in bed and watched the Today Show and never really felt like someone who wasn't working anymore- it could have been just any Saturday.

Pete was awake shortly after and we got started on clearing all of the junk out of what will be PJ's room. Believe me, this was no small task. Can we talk about how many books I own? It's insane! I cleared out the bookshelves to move them away from the walls to paint, so now there are books stashed EVERYWHERE! On our dresser, nightstands, bedroom TV stand, living room cabinets, under the bed, in the bathroom...get the idea? I. Own. Alot. Of. Books!

I even bit the bullet and got a huge box of books together to donate to the local library. I am not one to part with books, but I quickly realized that my book habit and a baby together might take up too much room! Someday, when we have some extra funds, a Kindle might be in my future! Lots of books in alot less space!

There were alot of moments today when I would just look at Pete and say, "I'm not on vacation, I really just don't have a job..." and mention how weird it was. He let me rant on and off for a while and then said, "That's not what's bothering you- you're upset because someone else is taking care of your girls".

A few minutes later, the girls mom called to see if we could reschedule the dinner plans we had for tonight- both of the gals were sent home from school sick! My gals were sick...and someone else was taking care of them.

So, you know. I cried.

But, the tears were short-lived, although it was on my mind all day. We kept busy getting the room cleared out, and tomorrow we can start prepping the walls to be painted! Pete and I had a yummy dinner together (chili, rice, cornbread and salad, soooooooooo good!) and now I am blogging while Pete catches up with yesterday's episode of Heroes. There's a calm vibe here, even though our place looks like a hot friggin' mess as we begin this new transition.

Soon enough, the baby's room will be done, the furniture built, and all of his sweet baby things tucked away and ready for his arrival! Our own things will be back in their places, and once PJ actually arrives, we will all be in our rightful places.

Including me. :-)

"This is my now, this is my today..."


I can't believe it! Today was my last day with the gals!

It turned out to be a mellow one, since Ellie was taking her turn as the sick kid this week (Anna was home all of last week!). We spent the day relaxing and watching Cake Boss On Demand- Ellie was impressed with way she could possibly parlay her love of art into cool cakes!

I was completely floored when Anna's teachers all wished me well with tons of hugs and topped with gifts for PJ! I was beyond flattered, felt so blessed, and almost burst into tears right there, but held myself if check since it was only the start of the day! If I had started crying then, I would not have been able to stop for the rest of the day!

So, instead, I started crying about ten minutes into the drive home.

Well, come on! How could I not? There were parts of that job that drove me absolutely insane, the drivers in Cherry Hill being just the tip of the iceberg. But for better or for worse, for almost four years, those gals were my morning, noon, and night. And while I am so, so excited for this new transition in my life- one that will see my own son in my arms in just a few short weeks!- it makes saying goodbye hard!

But, it would seem that the theme of this year is transition. So, away we go.

"Must be the clouds in my eyes..."

Um, NO, I am not blogging because I feel ashamed of myself for having watched iCarly for the past hour!


Anyway, what a pleasant Sunday this was! Pete and I had our usual breakfast date with my parents at Ponzio's (Marla and Steve couldn't make it- she has been bogged down at work due to all of the cases of H1N1, so scary!), where I ate myself into my usual breakfast coma! Then, after a quick trip to Target (where Pete and I may have bought yet another outfit for the baby...), we came home to just relax and enjoy the gorgeous sunlight and warm breeze coming though the windows!

And nap. Ahhhh...

After our siesta, I got the idea to get all of PJ's clothing organized by size. I don't know where my fear came from that we might not have enough clothes, because We. Have. Tons. Of. Clothes! It's unreal! For at least his first 6-9 months, it's not likely that we will need any more then an item or two here and there!

It was a relaxing day and it's now unwinding into a quiet evening. Pete is at work and I have been trying to tackle a few minor projects like laundry, dishes, etc. Tomorrow is my last day of work, we're going to welcome a son in just a few short weeks, we are in the throes of the last of the warm, fall weather, and on a day like today, it's pretty hard to be pessimistic!

"She's convinced she could hold back a glacier..."

Looking at this gadget on my Google home page has been an every day occurrence ever since I became pregnant. Even before we were telling people, I watched the tiny spinning fetus count down its development from conception through gestation with excitement, a little fear, and loads of anticipation!

Today, when I looked at the gadget and saw the countdown at 30 days, there was just one thought that tenderly crossed my mind:

"Ho-lee fa-rEEEKIN' CRAP!"

Seriously. Holy freakin' crap! We are going to be parents in a month! A month! Which means we've had almost 36 weeks to make the changes we need to make-painting his room, ordering furniture, getting jobs... How did we get here without getting ANY of these things done??

Oh, yeah. My Jewish fear of jinxing my baby's well-being and the horrific economy.

So, maybe it's not all our fault. But, my Jewish sensibilities are quickly succumbing to my Type-A psychosis, and with a month left, the fear that we won't have everything we need for this boy- this boy I love soooooooooooooooooooooo much already!- is practically choking me on a daily basis!

I think that part of the problem is that on Monday, I'll be going through another big transition for me- my last day of work! It hasn't quite set in yet that I won't be seeing my gals on a daily basis, which is likely due to the fact that I have every intention of seeing them as often as possible! We went for our usual ritual of tea and haircuts yesterday (clearly the picture is pre-haircut!), and it's a ritual I would love to continue! Missing them isn't really a huge factor, it's more about the fact that Tuesday morning, I am going to wake up and I won't have a job. Well, a job that comes with a paycheck, anyway! And with Pete not having found a nursing job yet...that's when the panic sets in!

So for now, aside from being panicky, I remain hopeful, prayerful, contemplative, and a bit stressed. Add that into being large, and it's alot.

But this boy is all worth it!