Amid all this talk about hurricanes, the Hurricanes, and other miscellaneous topics of interest, there’s one truly momentous news story — of a rather more personal nature — that I’ve been sitting on for some time. I hinted at it in a P.S. back in April, and at least one of you guessed it, but I’ve been waiting to announce it until I had more complete information, and until I was 100% certain that I had permission of the parties involved to reveal all of said information. Now, both of those criteria have been met, so I can finally tell you all…
Shannon’s having a baby!!!
I give Shannon a congratulatory hug after learning the big news.
Shannon, one of Becky’s bridesmaids and SHA girls and one of our dearest friends, and her boyfriend P.J. are expecting! (P.J. is a really great guy. He’s the one with glasses standing directly behind me in this picture, which was taken a few minutes after Shannon told us the news.) The soon-to-be Mom and Dad both very excited.
Shannon is nearly five months pregnant now. They already know the sex of their baby — it’s a boy! — and I just found out today that they’ve picked a name, the name that the SHA girls were lobbying heavily for: Logan! (No word on whether the sonogram indicated the presence of any adamantium. :)
Here’s a pair of photos that we took while maternity shopping with Shannon back in late April — when she wasn’t yet four months pregnant. With the pillow and without the pillow:
I forget Shannon’s exact due date, but it’s sometime in late September, which should make for a very busy few weeks in SHA girl world, considering Marissa and Keith are getting married on October 7!
Anyway… so now you know. Hooray for Logan! :)
Since we’re on the road (and Toby, Sasha and Butter are home alone, having a grand old time tearing up our furniture, no doubt), this week’s edition of Friday catblogging stars not our cats, but Shannon’s cats.
Here’s a picture taken last night of Froggy, a.k.a. The Cat Formerly Known As Ugmo:
She’s a full-grown cat now, albeit a very skittish one. Because she spent her early kittenhood dealing with Shannon’s ex-boyfriend’s foot-stomping antics, Froggy (that’s her official name, though I still privately think of her as “Ugmo”) has a crippling fear of feet, especially those with shoes on them. Even if you approach her barefoot, she still tends to run away. She’s a classic ‘fraidy cat. Alas.
Anyway, that’s Froggy, and here’s Froggy’s mom, Tabby, also yesterday:
Well, we’re off. For me, tomorrow morning is simply the first day of a fun cross-country adventure (well, a fun road-trip adventure, anyway; I’m not sure Buffalo to Phoenix technically qualifies as cross country, since neither is actually anywhere near the coast). And believe me, I can’t wait.
For Becky, it’s that too (and she can’t wait either), but it’s also something much more dramatic: she’s moving from Buffalo to Phoenix, leaving her childhood home behind her. So in a way, tomorrow is the first day of her new life.
Tonight we went to Starbucks for one last coffee date with Becky’s friends, the “SHA girls” (who are now going to have their own blog, by the way; they’re taking over Becky’s blog and turning it into a group endeavour). Well, I say “one last” coffee date, but that’s not really true — Becky has the most fantastic, tight-knit group of friends in the world, and I’m quite certain this won’t be the “last” anything; they’ll stay in touch and stay close, I have no doubt of it.
But anyway, it was goodbye for now, and fittingly, we took a bunch of cute pictures. As usual, click for a larger version of each photo:
Unfortunately, Shannon won’t be able to come with us on the road trip, as she (and we) had been hoping. She just had surgery on her foot two days ago, and she’s staying home on doctor’s orders — which she is actually obeying at her parents’ behest. :) But said parents are going to fly her out to Phoenix as soon as she gets her cast off and is allowed by the doctor to go.
Speaking of which, here are a couple pics of Shannon in her cast this evening. Note how, in the second picture, she’s resting it on Hugh Manatee:
Now, about that road trip. I’ll be blogging from the road, of course, but don’t expect constant updates — I want to actually enjoy myself and take in the sights and experiences, which would be a bit difficult if I spent the entire trip staring at my cell phone and carpal-tunneling my thumb into oblivion. I’ll keep y’all updated to the greatest extent reasonably possible, however.
I’ve created a new category for posts related to the road trip; it’s called My Life: Road Trip July ‘03. But don’t rely on the category page to stay updated on our movements, since I can’t immediately categorize Moblog (cell-phone) posts. The categories will probably remain a bit jumbled until after the trip is over, so just check the homepage for the very latest.
For the most part, yesterday’s daylong moving party — hauling Shannon’s stuff from her ex-boyfriend Willy’s place to her parents’ house — was pretty uneventful. But it got exciting right at the end of the night.
Becky hauled three full loads of stuff in her parents’ large van. The third vanload included a bunch of bedding on the roof rack: a comforter on the bottom, a heavy metal headboard on top of that, and a large box-spring mattress on top of that. It was all tied down by Shannon’s friend Bob with some orange rope — literally the only rope we could scare up at Willy’s house — that Bob thought would be enough to hold it.
So Becky and I drove off with the mattress in tow above us. Not three minutes after pulling out of the driveway, though, we heard some funny noises coming from the direction of our roof, and I looked out my window to see the mattress severely listing toward the right-hand side. I told Becky to pull over. Vikki and Kristy, who had been a ways behind us, soon caught up and pulled over when they saw us. Working together, we re-centered the mattress.
Vikki and Kristy suggested that Becky slow down a bit. They said they’d follow right behind us, and promised to honk their horn if anything went wrong.
Maybe 60 seconds had passed when Becky and I noticed Vikki’s headlights flashing behind us. (Apparently she was honking, too, but we couldn’t hear it over the country music we had playing on the radio.) I looked out the window again, and this time saw the mattress not listing to one side, but sticking almost straight up in the air, looking like it was about ready to take off.
We pulled over again, as did Vikki and Kristy. They were both laughing hysterically. (Apparently, the full view of this mattress at an almost 90-degree angle from the roof was quite an amusing sight.) For my part, I had visions of the mattress coming loose and flying backwards onto Vikki’s car, blocking her view while at the same time freeing the rope on our roof and thus releasing the heavy metal headboard to come crashing off the van and onto the ground, possibly breaking our windshield, or perhaps hers, on its way down. But I kept that nightmare scenario to myself and let everyone enjoy the hilarity of the scene, provided of course that we also do our best to actually fix it.
Which we did. Our next attempt was to use some netting from the trunk to further secure the mattress to the front portion of the roof. That helped somewhat, and when we started up again, Becky slowed down a bit more, which helped too. But we still had to contend with the mattress sticking up at roughly a 45-degree angle. It seemed stable enough, though, so we kept going.
As we drove along with our uplifted mattress, I called Shannon’s cell phone with my cell phone and told her about the mattress situation. (Shannon and Bob were still a ways back along the road in Bob’s van.) Apparently Shannon told Bob, and apparently Bob had the same nightmare scenario in his head that I did, because he sped up, and before you know it, he was just behind Vikki and Kristy, trying to keep an eye on us.
He arrived just in time to see a tractor-trailer truck pass us, creating a huge wind tunnel that again sent the mattress flying almost straight up. Bob flashed his brights at Vikki, who flashed her brights at us. We pulled over. So did Vikki. So did Bob.
As it happened, the spot along the side of road where we stopped was right next to a large cow pasture, so it smelled rather unpleasant. But that didn’t stop the girls from continuing to revel in the hilarity of the situation.
Finally, though, we had a man with a plan: Bob. Although he didn’t have any rope in his van, he did have a 100-foot-long outdoor electrical extension cord, and as desperate times now called for desperate measures, that cord was going to become a rope.
With Shannon’s help (the other girls mostly stood around and joked, and I mostly took pictures), Bob strung the cord around and around and around the roof rack, until the mattress was thoroughly secure. “That thing ain’t goin’ nowhere,” he said a couple of times.
He was right. From that point on, we made it home safe and sound, without so much as a significant budge by the mattress.
But yeah. It was quite an adventure.
Click here for a complete gallery of photos of the Great Mattress Adventure!!!
We are all done moving Shannon’s stuff, despite a drama involving a mattress nearly falling off the top of Becky’s van — look for pictures of that soon. But anyway, Shannon is officially moved back in, for now, with her parents. Yay!
We are helping Shannon move today. Already moved a van load and a car load of boxes, now going back for more.
Becky’s parents, who hadn’t previously been, um, introduced to Becky’s tattoo (though they knew she was planning to get one eventually), apparently just discovered the pictures on the website. :)
Here’s an explanation of what the “Tan Fire” — which the tattoos are a variation of — means.
Oh, and I’ve created a separate blog category for the 17 entries (and counting) that I’ve posted about Becky and Shannon’s tattoos.
Becky makes a face as her tattoo is shaded. Remember the slogan of this place: “Hell yeah it hurts!” Heh.