Donna Villa Sold

As of March 28, 2014, the Donna Villa is no longer mine. Sold it to a couple who plans on renting it for two years and then giving it to the man’s mother to live out her years.

It was almost exactly 10 years ago that I bought it. I was so proud. I did it totally on my own without anyone’s help. Except the hallway floor. My father thought the parquet floor was so atrocious he told me that he would buy me nice linoleum tile. And he did.

Walking through the house the last time, I remembered walking through it the first time. I loved it. Yes, it was garishly painted and filled with stacks of newspapers and crates of soda but I saw through it. I knew it was my house. I called my father to come and check it out. He looked it over and said it looked like a cottage. He liked it too.

At settlement, the seller told me it was a happy house. It was a happy house and a happy home. My initial plan was to live there for 5 years. I figured that by age 34, I’d have definitely met my husband and would be ready to move out to start a family. That didn’t happen. I was off by 5 years.

I look back and I have to admit, I don’t immediately remember the happy times. I remember turning off the ringer on the phone because of Rob’s insistence and missing all the phone calls through the night from my sister trying to get me to the house to deal with my dad who eventually died the next morning. I remember lying in the fetal position in the bathroom after another breakup, crying. I remember all the nights I watched La Femme Nikita, drinking Three Buck Chuck, feeling hopeless.

And in 1 year, my life changed. I met Eddie. I moved into Eddie’s place. We got married. We had Jimmy.

Then in January I decided to check the real estate listings to see if there was a better home for us. And I found it. We went to the Open House the next day and fell in love with it.

Oddly enough, it looks a lot like the Donna Villa. Just bigger.

The Donna Villa was still on the market after 6 months. We couldn’t put in an offer on the new house. I decided to fire my real estate agent and hire someone who could get it done. I called Lynne and before I could say, “You’re fired!” she said, “I have a cash buyer! You’ll have an offer in the morning!”

Talk about perfect timing.

Next Friday is settlement on the new house. I can’t wait. Can’t wait to make it our home. I look forward to giving Jimmy a good, happy place to live.

Even though I moved out of the Donna Villa months ago, signing the paperwork, finalizing the sale, felt like the end of a chapter in my life. I am happy.

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

Presley And DateNot sure if it’s possible to top year 2013. In one year, I met my soul mate, got married, and gave birth to a baby boy. I also published the second edition of my book and watched my business grow and expand.

Believe me, it’s not all ice cream and sunshine. I am still struggling to sell my condo and Eddie and I are living in less than ideal conditions… but we are happy and I know that soon enough we will find someone who wants my place and from that equity we will buy a beautiful home for us to live.

Looking ahead to 2014, there are things I want to work on and improve.

Here are my resolutions for 2014.

2014 New Year’s Resolutions

1. Stop investing so much time into Facebook. Instead, read more books.

I have quite a library of books on Kindle that I haven’t read. Instead of reading books, I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, wasting time. No more! I want to read books and actually have a intellectual return on my time investment.

2. Get this new house livable OR find a new house to buy

Ed was in the process of buying this house during the first few weeks of us dating. The house was a perfect size for him and his daughters. But that was okay… we were just dating and I had my own place to live. But then I became pregnant and suddenly it’s not just him and his daughters but now me and Jimmy too. It’s cramped and the appliances are old. In some ways I love the Midcentury Modernness of the house. I queue up Frank Sinatra on the stereo and not only am I listening to the 50’s and 60’s but I’m living in it too. In other ways, I just want a kitchen and bathroom that works and a closet of my own.

And so my resolution is to SELL MY CONDO AND THEN either find a way to make this house comfortable but if that is not possible, we need to find a new house that is comfortable. That means I need to hire an architect and see what it would take to renovate this place while keeping my eye on the real estate listings.

3. In terms of work, I want to spend as much time with Jimmy as possible.

I want to do more writing, videos, and speaking engagements and less day to day management of the business and less low paying consulting work. I also want more positive publicity… like appearing on the Today Show or CBS News Sunday Morning. Lastly, I want to keep growing this business. I want to add value, educate, and inspire!

4. Get back to my old size.

Pregnancy wasn’t too kind to my body. I need to lose 30 pounds. I want to get back to my old size and shape so I can wear my old clothes and feel good about myself.

And so that’s it. As long as I keep these goals front and center, it should be pretty easy to accomplish them… right?

Google Search His Story

bBYMy Google Search history tells a story….

Jan 4, 2014

Searched for phillips breast pump assembly video

Jan 3, 2014

Searched for sleep sack
Searched for sids
Searched for newborn crib blanket
Searched for ambient music
Searched for newborn lullabies

Jan 2, 2014

Searched for breastfeeding and period
Searched for can i have a period 3 weeks after giving birth

Jan 1, 2014

Searched for newborn is cross eyed normal
Searched for sleep deprivation side effects

Dec 30 2013

Searched for menu for breastfeeding mom non gassy baby
Searched for breastfeeding while reclined

Dec 29, 2013

Searched for healthy sleep habits happy child
Searched for on becoming baby wise
Searched for when do newborns get easier
Searched for delran pediatrics
Searched for newborn vomiting
Searched for baby spit up
Searched for getting baby to sleep

Dec 28, 2013

Searched for baby pimples

Dec 23, 2013

Searched for fisher price pack and play recall information
Searched for how to insert fisher price pack and play rainforest mobile batteries
Searched for tummy time
Searched for keeping newborns occupied

Dec 22, 2013

Searched for Walmart Glider
Searched for Babies R Us
Searched for poang chair breastfeeding
Searched for breastfeeding chair

Dec 20, 2013

Searched for Baby in bed

Dec 19, 2013

Searched for how quickly does my breast milk replenish
Searched for how can i make more breast milk fast
Searched for breast pump

Dec 16, 2013

Searched for baby eye color change
Searched for cherry hill mall santa
Searched for lochia how long does it last

Dec 15, 2013

Searched for addressing an envelope to a couple
Searched for addressing cards to a family
Searched for baby shower thank you wording

Dec 14, 2013

Searched for shutterfly mobile app
Searched for crib mattress warmer

Dec 12, 2013

Searched for getting a good latch

Dec 10, 2013

Searched for bellefit
Searched for post pregnancy hip compression

Dec 9, 2013

Searched for avent bottles
Searched for best way to supplement breastfeeding
Searched for when will my milk come in
Searched for Target return policy
Searched for monitor everywhere remote camera not found
Searched for baby makes squeaky noises while sleeping

Dec 8, 2013

Searched for how to have a happy baby
Searched for what do babies need?
Searched for newborn sight
Searched for breastfeeding positions boppy
Searched for protocol on giving birth and social media

Dec 7, 2013

Searched for how to swaddle a baby
Searched for breastfeeding sore nipples

Dec 6, 2013

Searched for whooping cough vaccine

Dec 5, 2013

Searched for women’s specialists phone number
Searched for mucus plug in toilet
Searched for induce labor naturally

New Year’s Resolutions 2013 Revisited

Every year, I post my New Year’s Resolutions and then 12 months later, I review my progress.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

Here we go! How did I do?

1. Meet men and date

Failure & Success

This resolution was a failure only in that I did not meet men.. plural. On January 8th, I called a man from eHarmony. He had a lovely deep voice and I remember thinking he sounded normal and well adjusted. On January 11th, we met for drinks and potentially dinner at Uno’s. I got there first and sat in the glass enclosed entrance area waiting for him. Within a few minutes a tall, handsome man walked in and I thought, “What a good looking man, I wish he was Ed… but this man is clearly married… just wait… his wife and two kids will walk in behind him.” He made eye contact with me and smiled and I quickly looked away, embarrassed that he caught me checking him out. Then the oddest thing happened. He approached me and said, “Donna? I’m Ed.” We walked in together and spent the next 4 hours talking nonstop. We even ordered dinner. Fast Forward… April 1st we learned I was pregnant. Sometime in June, Ed officially proposed with a ring. October 12th we got married. December 6th I gave birth to our son Jimmy.

And so I didn’t meet men and date… but instead I met my soul mate, got married, had a baby and created the family I always wanted.

2. Exercise and eat healthy

Failure.

I didn’t exercise anymore than usual— and although I ate a bit healthier because I was pregnant most of the year, I also ate an awful lot of ice cream… it was this strange craving I had throughout my pregnancy. Anyone who knows me personally should at this point say… “But Donna, you ALWAYS have that craving!” True but normally I can resist it, pregnancy, on the other hand, rendered me unable to resist.

3. Travel

Failure.

I didn’t travel. We went to Cape May on our honeymoon. I don’t consider a two hour car ride travel. We also headed to Wildwood a couple times. Again, I wouldn’t consider that travel.

4. Make House Comfortable

Success and Failure.

Okay, so this is interesting. I hired painters and had them paint over the boring white with Benjamin Moore’s Smokey Taupe. I threw away old clothes and items that kept me clinging to the past. I took down pictures that depicted single women and replaced them with a painting of a happy couple. I really went to town. And in some ways I think the work I did helped me change my outlook which allowed me to connect with Ed.

So how is this a failure?

My house is now for sale and I am living with Ed in New Jersey in a VERY UNCOMFORTABLE HOUSE. It’s too small and very old and outdated. The thing is, I am okay with the cramped conditions… I am with Ed and Jimmy and that makes me very happy.

5. Keep my business forging ahead

Success.

We did amazingly well.

And so…?

2013 was truly the best year I have ever experienced. The last two years were so difficult. 2011 my father died and the man I thought I loved left me. 2012 I worked hard and tried to recover but all I did was make stupid mistakes and struggle. But then came 2013. I met my soul mate, got married, became stepmother to two girls, and gave birth to James Richard. And not only am I happy but my mom and sister are over the moon! My mom is finally a grandmother, my sister an aunt.

Life is good.

And so what about 2014? Resolutions will be posted soon!

Welcome, James Richard! Hello World!

On December 6th, at 11:34 in the morning, after 15 hours of labor, I gave birth to a 10 pound baby boy we named James Richard after our late fathers.

After 38 years, I was almost certain I would remain alone and childless. I thank God eHarmony sent me that discount code. I thank God I used it. Imagine, a night of too much red wine, the Internet and a desire to get out of a funk led to this…

James Richard

Stick a fork in me, I’m done!

Baby Jimmy is due December 7th. If he decides not to come on or before the 7th, I’m scheduled to be induced on Tuesday, December 10th.

I am ready.

I can’t wait to have Jimmy out from inside me. I can’t wait to lose the belly and get back to my old size. And I am ready to become Jimmy’s caretaker. Yeah, I am scared sh*tless over the responsibility of it. The sheer amount of effort. The change in focus from myself to my son. But it’s time. I’ve spent 39 years concentrating on me. And it’s gotten rather boring. It’s time to change things up.

How I am going to do it, I have no idea. I thank God for my support system. My mom and sister and my husband and his daughters will all help out. Plus, if I am truly terrible at it, I can always hire a nanny to help out.

I really wish he’d come sooner rather than later. I am tired of this limbo land. Everything is on hold, waiting for Jimmy’s arrival. I can’t even say I am enjoying the last vestiges of my old life because this current life is not at all my old life. I am fat and swollen and constantly tired, constantly peeing, never drinking, rarely moving, horribly dependent and not free or able to do much at all.

Eddie wants to go to a Christmas Party this weekend and I just simply don’t want to be seen in this state. What do I wear? The only thing that fits is a bed-sheet toga and a pair of his sneakers. Not exactly my idea of how I want to be seen.

It was just the other day I had a realization: Jimmy is a rebel. When I first discovered I was pregnant, the doctors seemed to delight in telling me that I needed to be aware that with my age, there was high probability that there would be problems. After tons of testing, everything showed normal. It was two weeks ago, the doctors wanted to induce me because my blood pressure was a little high. After testing, they sent me home. Despite everyone’s predictions, Jimmy continues to do fine. Maybe that’s why I feel very calm. I am not even a little worried. I feel really confident and certain all will be fine.

36 Weeks In

Baby comingYesterday was 36 weeks. Baby Jimmie is to arrive December 7th. I think he’s coming sooner though… mainly because he’s a busy baby. He’s constantly on the move and I don’t think he likes being cooped up in the womb.

Someone recently asked what we were thinking about in terms of his college fund. I replied, “We’re not saving for his college. Instead we will be funding his first start up.”

As much as I can’t wait for baby Jimmie to arrive, I also have no idea what to expect. With him inside of me, my life continues in a familiar, normal manner. It’s the physical component of having a giant belly that tires me out and impedes my movement that’s different. Once he arrives, my body should pretty much return to normal but my life will drastically change.

My mom said that I shouldn’t worry about it– yes, I will be really tired and overwhelmed for about 3-4 months but babies grow and eventually they sleep through the night. And he will become my new normal. Just like life re-normalized after my dad died.

One of Eddie’s friends dropped by this weekend for a visit and he mentioned to me that he was the youngest of 11 kids. ELEVEN KIDS! Although I have had a pretty easy pregnancy, I can’t imagine going through this 11 times. Insane!

Countdown to the new normal…

26. 12
25. 13
24. 14
23. 15
22. 16
21. 17
20. 18
19. 19
18. 20
17. 21
16. 22
15. 23
14. 24
13. 25
12. 26
11. 27
10. 28
9. 29
8. 30
7. 1
6. 2
5. 3
4. 4
3. 5
2. 6
1. 7

Got my ash kicked

elvissleepingLog this one kiddies. Today was the first time pregnancy kicked my ass. Last night I was a panelist at some Social Media and nonprofit event. Eddie drove me to the event because as he said, “At 34 weeks, I am not comfortable having you going it alone.”

Afterward we went to XIX Nineteen Restaurant atop the 19th floor of the Hyatt at The Bellevue. It was truly lovely. Last weekend we were in NYC (back for my quarterly appearance on SiriusXM business show) and we had lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Steakhouse. Nineteen was a thousand times better. But that’s not really pertinent to my story.

So anyway, we got back home and went to sleep. I woke up every hour on the hour to pee. You’d think I’d run out of fluids… but nope. Eddie wanted to get into work early and so I tried to rouse him when morning finally arrived to get him going but it was useless since I could barely get myself moving. Once he was out of the house, I fell back in bed and stayed there for a longer period of time than I can remember. I don’t sleep in. Well, not until today. I finally crawled out of bed and I am trying to get myself moving but it’s slow going. I suppose it’s okay to have a day like this as long as it’s not typical. Yet I feel guilty. Why do I think Marissa Mayer never had bad days during her pregnancy?

The later I get in my pregnancy the harder it is to sleep. I can’t even remember when I last slept through the night. I think the difficulty sleeping is my body’s way of preparing me for many sleepless nights when Jimmie arrives.

Otherwise everything else is going great. Last night, for the first time, I introduced Eddie as my husband. It felt pretty awesome. I am enjoying being married… although I never doubted otherwise. The only worry I had was that we both take it seriously and commit for the long haul. But those fears have been allayed. In fact, sitting at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant last weekend, a woman was seated at the table next to us. Toward the end of our meal she introduced herself as a divorce court judge from Chicago and that she enjoyed being in our company because she truly believed that we were a wonderful couple. She said she’s very good at spotting what works because everyday she sees what doesn’t. That made me feel really good.

Spinster begone!

elvis marriageSo I got married on Saturday. And just as I thought, I feel exactly the same as when I was single. Molecules inside me didn’t immediately realign and cause a huge cataclysmic shift in my essence where I suddenly began feeling married and smug. (Perhaps that comes later)

Truthfully, I had already committed to Eddie months before. I began feeling tethered, secure, and fulfilled long before we said, “I do.” I didn’t need a ceremony to make that mental shift. But I now realize that the marriage ceremony isn’t really the commitment– it’s just the celebration of the commitment in front of family and friends.

As we were going through the process of planning and organizing the wedding, I started to get the feeling that it was a silly exercise that was taking up too much time and energy. But now with it behind me, I can say that I am really happy we had a ceremony and reception. It was absolutely worth it and I enjoyed and loved every second of it.

The really nice part of the whole wedding extravaganza is realizing you aren’t alone. There are people who care. Looking out over all the attendees, I felt loved and cared about… it was nice.

We honeymooned in Cape May for four days. I spent most of the time just looking at Eddie and thinking to myself, “You are married– this is your husband!” Somehow it still seems almost surreal to me. I have a feeling everything is rather surreal when you are pregnant– I mean, I look down and watch my stomach move, shake, and quiver. I see the outline of a foot or hand push up and move right across my belly. How weird is that?

Intactivist Declared

IntactivistCheck out this excerpt from a post I wrote back in 2004:

The cause I would take as my platform if I was suddenly crowned Miss America or somehow found myself First Lady is ending the systematic genital mutilation of newborn males. If I ever marry and multiply, there is no way on this green earth I will let any doctor touch my son’s Zauberstuecke. Of course, I have no interest in having sons, I would much prefer daughters. Hopefully, in 30 years when I am ready for children, it will be possible to choose their sex.

Clearly this is something I’ve felt passionately about for YEARS. I am holding on strong that I won’t have to submit Jimmie to systematic genital mutilation.

We shall see.

I have submitted to so much over the last few months.

  • I never wanted a blood diamond– but I am wearing one on my finger now.
  • Never wanted to wear a white wedding gown– yet somehow my gown is white.
  • Never ever thought I’d get married with a huge baby bump, I mean, c’mon… how tacky! Yet, I am getting married 7 months pregnant.
  • Never thought I’d be living in NJ with their exorbitant property tax… and here I sit soon to change my residence and support the beast.
  • Never thought I’d live with a man unless I was married to him.. and yes, I know that the wedding is just 8 days away but still…
  • AND I am living in a house that isn’t mine… not being in control, that’s against my core principles.

The funny part is, I don’t mind any of it. Except the potential genital mutilation of my son’s Zauberstuecke.