Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm such a mean, mean mother

Can you believe I let her stay this way, crying, while I ran for the camera?

Today I was busy getting dinner ready in the kitchen. Kaylee was happily playing in the living room with the open dryer door. She's fascinated by it (and loves to take the clothes out and throw them on the floor). I heard her start to fuss, which quickly progressed into crying.

I went out to see what was going on, and this is what I found. Apparently, her legs slid under the open lid and she considered herself stuck. She was absolutely beside herself. Her head had to be no more than an inch of the floor, but she was hanging on for dear life and wouldn't let go, never letting her head touch the floor below.

This post is a part of Wordful Wednesday, sponsored by Angie at 7 Clown Circus.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Because we all need a healthy dose of sarcasm

I'm all about sarcasm.

Have you noticed some of my sidebar graphics? The ones about how I love housework so much?

They're from the lovely and talented Anne Taintor. Her products use vintage pictures to convey hilarious messages. These are some of my favorites.

Don't you just love them? You can buy all sorts of Taintor goodies here, including everything from file folders, emery boards, magnets, bags, and notepads.

This is just one of the places I venture off to online for a little humor when I need it.

So, go on now. Go get your laugh on.

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Now that the cat's out of the bag

Well, Kaylee and I just got back from a quick trip to California with my parents, and I couldn't even give you a head's up that I would be gone (because I just know you were all wondering where I was and why I wasn't posting - I honestly hope you're made it through the weekend okay without knowing what was going on in my life...) because we surprised my brother. He reads the blog, so I had to keep things on the down low.

As I've mentioned before, he plays college baseball and had a few games this weekend. He knew my parents were coming, but had no idea Kaylee and I would be there. The look on his face was priceless and it was so much fun to see him play.

It was a great trip - I got to experience the deliciousness of Noah's bagels, Panera bread, Duke's, and Barney's Beanery. Did you know they serve peanut butter, jelly, and marshmallow sandwiches rolled in Frosted Flakes? Honestly, their menu was so stinking
HUGE, with everything from pizza to chili, to breakfast, burgers, and everything in between that it overwhelmed me and sent me into a brain freeze of the non-ice cream variety. I got french toast (at 9 o'clock at night) and a side of strawberries. It was a decision I did not regret.

So, we're back - safe and sound, and I go to check my blog and realize that the video I was SO excited about for Summer's Blogversations did not work! I've changed the settings, so it should work. It's changed on the original post, but in case you're too lazy to go find it (kidding), I've also included it in this post. Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Here it is.

It's so good to be back home. Dennis and Kaylee are sound asleep in the rocker, so I'm gonna go catch up on some blogs.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Because blowing kisses makes it alright.

So, it's my first week doing Blogversations with Summer, and I'm so excited! Summer is hilarious, and I just love her Blogversations each week. Go check her OUT!

I've finally overcome my technical difficulties, so I'll be playing along this week.

I'm a big believer in baby steps, so this week you get to hear my voice, but you don't get to see me. Instead, you get to see Kaylee. Maybe next week I'll be brave enough to show you my face. If you're lucky. (Are you feelin' lucky... punk?)

You've read my posts where I whine and complain about my messy house and my struggle to keep it clean. Now...well, now maybe you can see part of the reason why.

This load of clean laundry was on the couch, and by the time I went to get the camera it was all on the floor. That's all the time it took. So, I put everything BACK on the couch, and she didn't hesitate to mess it all up again.

Don't you love how she deliberately ignores me, and then gives me a quick look like, "What? Sorry. Can't hear you."

The selective hearing begins so much earlier than I anticipated...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A little bit 'o this...a little bit 'o that.

I have been more absent from the blog lately because I've been bopping around town with Kaylee. So, let me just give you a quick little synopsis of what's been up.

I won't be posting tomorrow, but come back Saturday when I'll have my very first Blogversations with Summer video up!

Ok, so let's begin.

1. Remember how I asked you to wish us luck at Story Time at the library? You owe me an apology because you sure as heck didn't wish hard enough... It sucked. Hard core. The leader was great with the kids - they loved him. But I couldn't stand him. Sorry. I just couldn't. We bolted after about 20 minutes. I guess it was just his voice or something - I don't know. It seemed like he was on pot or something. He was way too calm and smiley and weird. But, I decided we'll check out the other local library for story time, and if that's a bust, we'll just stick to Good Night Moon and the like here in the comfort of home.

2. Kaylee loves me. She really does. And I think the playing more and cleaning less is really making a difference. And, to be honest, it's way more fun. I would take a picture of my house to show you how neglected it is, but you can just refer to my previous posts about my messy house and multiply the mess by 3. But, it's okay because it's been a great week. It really does seem to be a back and forth thing with her preferring Dennis one minute and me the next, but she's definitely going to me a lot more than she was before, and that makes me really, really happy.

3. I joined the gym again yesterday (we've been on again off again gym members depending on how our budget is, and depending on if I actually choose to get my butt to the gym). Well, my pants don't fit anymore, and I'm sick of feeling like crap about it, so I'm back in the game. Kaylee and I went to Mommy and Me today, and apparently my butt is not made entirely of fat because I don't think fat hurts. I've definitely strained some muscles, and it is hard to walk. So, yeah - I'm pretty pumped about it getting back in the swing of things. I'll be hittin' up the aerobics studio (I am a step aerobics fanatic - I LOVE it!), the elliptical, recumbent bike (because it makes me feel like I'm not working), and maybe even a spin class if I really want to torture myself. More on that to come, I'm sure.

4. If you haven't entered my giveaways, you need to get right on that. Check out the dates on the right sidebar - it's late and I'm choosing not to go back and look at the deadlines. But seriously - go enter them.

5. I went to Old Navy to get Kaylee a hat with a chin strap today because she just pulls her other hats off. Well, be still my heart if it wasn't the last day of the $5 baby sale. Would you believe that the cute, hip baby clothes on the first rack (that are NEVER on sale until next season) were all 5 bucks?!? All the baby stuff was 5 bucks. It was nuts! I got her a cute dress, 2 pairs of shoes, the hat, light pink pants that are capris that roll up into shorts, and a swimsuit (
which is too big and will need to go back) After we put Kaylee in her jammies for the night I put the hat on her so she could get used to it. She tried yankin' it off at first, but I bet she cruised around in that thing for a good hour. What a sight - pink and white polka dotted footie pajamas and a bright multi-colored flower sun hat.

6. I DVR'd In the Motherhood on ABC tonight. LOVED the web versions with Jenny McCarthy and Lea Remini (totally butchered the spelling of her name, but I'm too tired to Google it right now). Laughed my BUTT off, in fact, and now they've made a TV series of it. Can't wait to watch it. The previews looked great.

7. That reminds me - I now have THREE weeks of Grey's and Private Practice to catch up on, and I only have 2 days off of work next week - maybe we'll stay home a little more next week...I still don't know what's wrong with Izzy (don't you DARE spoil it for me, either!).

8. American Idol. We all knew Danny would be safe another week. Thank goodness. My heart has now resumed it's regular beating pattern. But, I think it's about time for Megan to go. She's getting to be a bit much.

So, this actually turned out to be a LOTTA bit 'o this and a little bit 'o that, but I have a hard time keeping things short and sweet.

Happy Friday to you all, and be sure to come back for Blogversations on Saturday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why should I child proof when my baby will do it for me?


Not a fan of the SECOND set of cabinet locks I've bought. These stupid locks are so much of a pain that they can usually be found either on the floor or the counter because I, a grown adult, am incapable giving birth but I cannot, for the life of me, open this STUPID frickin' cabinet lock without uttering at least one bad word.

Cabinet locks are supposed to be CHILD proof not MOTHER proof. What is my problem?!

Anyway, at this stage in Kaylee's life child proofing is so essential because no matter how well you think you've put all the non-baby stuff up, she manages to get her Cheerio sogged hands on everything she shouldn't.

She is at the point when she knows she's up to know good. For instance, if she gets a hold of something she shouldn't have and we give her The Look, she'll quickly smile and hand us whatever it is as if it is a gift given to us straight from her sweet little heart.

Sneaky kid.

So, I'm getting her diaper bag all ready for today's much-needed mother/daughter bonding day, and I look down to see this. And no - she has not removed the lock. She's trying to put in on.

Apparently I'm lacking in my child proofing yet again. I can tell this is a battle I won't be winning any day soon. But, I guess Kaylee will be taking it from here, so what do I have to worry about?

Oh happy day

Well, the week may have started off rather crappy, but I've gotta tell you that today was one of the most fun days I've had with Kaylee in a long time.

Last night I took care of bills and did some laundry, so all I had to do today was get myself ready and head on out the door with Kaylee (and her entourage of necessities) in tow.

Our plan was to go to the play center at the mall. I think I should have written a post in itself about overcoming that fear. Up to this point, I've kept her away from there for a few reasons.

1. I was afraid of her getting mauled by the bigger kids.

2. Who knows how often they actually clean that stuff. Gives me the heeby jeebies.

3. Let's say some kid crapped his pants, put his hands down his drawers while he's in the fake log tunnel and then starts playing on the rubber bridge and cracked out mushrooms with his crap-covered hands. Then my child, who puts everything in her mouth, eats his poop.

Now do you see why I didn't ever take her before today???

Well, I overcame the poop fear. We went to the playground inside the mall, and Kaylee had the time of her life. She seemed a little tentative at first and gave me these looks as if to ask me if it was really okay that she was playing on such fun stuff. So, I got down there with her for a few minutes and acted like an utter fool, just so she would know I approved.

Then she took off faster than a herd of turtles and didn't slow down, except to allow her pint-sized admirers to gaze upon her cuteness (see below).

I just sat back and watched her and reveled in every minute of it.

She is such a little social butterfly. The older kids would go running by her and she'd go from sitting back to a kneeling up and yelling, "Tsa! Tsa!" as they went past.

Later, more girls showed up, ranging from about age 3 to age 5. They adored Kaylee, and the feeling was quite mutual. She'd pat their heads, play with their hair, poke their faces, and they just sat there and grinned. They'd come back and give little reports to me...

"Your baby is right there." "Your baby is a girl." "Your baby touched my hair." "Your baby likes me."

Classic moment of the day was when she lunged at a cute little 5-year-old, put her arms around her and gave her a hug. Melted my heart right there on the spot.

So, that alone sounds like a great day, right?

Well, that isn't even the half of it. Before all above mentioned fun, we slept in a little bit, got ready for our day, played around the house, and managed to make it through Wal-Mart without needing therapy by the time we hit the exit.

Then we ate lunch at a quaint little sandwich shop by the mall. Kaylee was much more interested in shredding my napkin and putting the pieces on the floor than eating a sandwich and soup. But oh well.

And. Brace yourselves. I exercised a skill that I learned way back in kindergarten. I made new friends. Aren't you proud? I met two really fun moms and we're hoping to have a play date in the near future.

It was a really fun and satisfying day.

I wish I'd taken this approach (of playing during the day and doing house crap after Dennis gets home) a long time ago, but it's better late than never, right?

Today we conquered the mall playground. Tomorrow - it's story time at the library, and my baby takes after her mama and doesn't know when to be quiet, so that should be fun.

Wish us luck.

Oh, and thank you so much for all your sweet comments and words of encouragement after my earlier post. You readers are just the bomb shizzle - did you know that? You are. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

What am I? Chopped liver?

So, my little sweetie has taken the term "Daddy's Girl" up several notches these days...

She's always shown a slight preference for Dennis, and I never had a problem with that. I want them to have a really strong bond. I want for her to always look to her daddy for guidance. To see him as her protector and provider and to know how much he loves her.

He's an absolutely amazing father. The minute he held Kaylee in his arms for the first time it was like he was a different man. It came so naturally. When I freak out, he remains calm. He sticks to his guns. He does what he says he'll do. He sets boundaries with her. He's just an amazing father.

And right now - she likes him better. A lot better, if I'm being totally honest with you. And boy, oh, boy does it ever hurt me to the core.

Before, when she was littler, it was always kind of cute and funny, but the more her personality is starting to come through (and boy does this kid have a dynamic personality - let me tell you...), the more blatant she is in her "not-so-much" attitude toward me.

Last night we read her a bed time story. I held her in my lap. Dennis read the book. Lights out. Music on. Bottle out. And...she's screaming at me, lunging toward her dad, and quiets the instant she's in his arms. So much for a peaceful little rock with me and my baby while she drifts off to La La Land.

This morning Dennis was holding her and she was smiling at me. That's good, right? Well, as he gets ready to go outside to load the car with all her baby paraphernalia for the sitter's, I said, "Oh, I'll hold her while you do that!" thinking I could get in a few minutes with my babe before I had to go to work for the day, too.

Holy fit from HELL! She screamed the moment I began to hold her. She's bawling her little eyes out - tears just rolling down her little face, and she starts banging her head into my chest in all of her little baby anguish.

I'm betting you can guess exactly what she did the minute Dennis came back in and I handed her over.

Instant calm. Instant quiet. Insert a Kaylee smile here.

So, she's happy, she content, and I go to give her a kiss before they leave. Do you know what she did? She moved her whole head back - away from me - and actually turned her cheek so that I could not give her a kiss.

I admit it. I called her a brat. I retreated to my room and the cry fest that began last night after the bed time showdown commenced yet again.

You know the phrase all moms have in their bag of tricks? "After all I've DONE for you?!?! After I carried you for 9 months and gave BIRTH to you and NURSED you and..." Yep. That went through my head. I think it was always ingrained in my head, and not until this moment did it truly emerge.

Dennis and I talked a lot about this last night because never had I struggled with this issue so much. Our consensus is that she is showing a preference for him because she sees him as the more "fun" one. When he gets home, they get to play. He's definitely better at that than me.

Don't get me wrong - I love playing with Kaylee. It's just that I've constantly got this scrolling to-do list in my head. "Balance the check book, make the mortgage payment, start dinner, get Kaylee's food ready for the babysitter's tomorrow, pick out my outfit for tomorrow, throw in a load of laundry..." NEVER. ENDING.

When I'm home with her, it's so hard to ignore all those other things because - well, you've read my posts about how stressed out I get when my house goes to crap. I feel this overwhelming responsibility to keep this house up and running AND spend quality time with my baby.

I told Dennis I feel bad because it seems like I MADE her this way by not playing with her enough. Mommy Guilt? You bet your booty I've got THAT going on right now.

In what appears to be a gift from up above sent at precisely the right time - I've got the next 6 days off of work. Dennis suggested going out and doing things with Kaylee and not worrying about the house stuff. If I'm not at home, I won't be distracted by everything that needs attention.

So, tomorrow, we're heading to the play center at the mall, and we'll do some window shopping. Thursday we're going to story time with our Mommy and Me group, followed by a picnic at the park. Maybe we'll even throw in a play date at some point. Maybe I'll take up drinking. Who knows.

What I do know is this - this week it's all about me and Kaylee. We're going to play. We're going to have fun. And we (ME) are not going to get our undies in a bunch if the house looks like crap.

She's growing up WAY too fast for my liking, and even if she screams and cries and kicks her legs in the process, we're going to have one helluva fun week together.

Whether she likes it or not.

So there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Really? No, not really.

In regard to a recent post, just so we're clear - and especially for newbies who haven't been with me long and aren't used to my occasional sarcasm, allow me to give you the full scoop.

As funny as I think I am, I honestly don't let Kaylee play in traffic or chew on jalapenos to ease her teething pain.

In my opinion, she should be at least 11.5 months old before being allowed to partake of such risky behaviors, so she's just gonna have to hold out for a few more weeks. It is what it is, people. It is what it is.

I know - I'm a mean mother who deprives her child. Whatever.

Oh, and yes, the sock in her mouth looked clean. It probably was. She does, in fact, romp around the house with dirty socks hanging out of her mouth at times, but that picture (taken a couple months ago), is the only picture I have of her with a sock hanging out of her mouth.

Now for some random thoughts...

I'm hoping to play along for Summer's Blogversations tomorrow. We shall see...I have to work (always a ridiculously fun activity for a Saturday...) and haven't done a video yet. If I don't happen to get in on it, though - go check it out and play along if you want to.

I've joined Twitter. I joined out of pure curiosity, and at first - the concept of Twitter seemed a little ridiculous to me. But, it's actually pretty fun. Several blogging buddies are onTwitter as are several celebrities. I'm currently following The Ellen Show, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Taylor Swift. Couldn't bring myself to follow Martha Stewart or P Diddy (although, oddly enough, Martha Stewart follows Diddy). So, if you tweet on twitter, tweet your way on over and follow me on twitter. I need more twitter buddies, and you know you want to read my tweets.

Well, I'm signing off for the night so I can go read me some Twilight and catch some zzzz's.

Nighty, night! ;)

And my fears gave way to hope

I absolutely loved being pregnant with Kaylee.

I don't know a time when I've ever had a more optimistic and hopeful outlook on life.

I'll be honest with you, though. I didn't start out so optimistic. I didn't want to get my hopes up in case anything happened. In fact, at my first appointment to confirm the pregnancy with my doctor, I was so paranoid that I practically begged her to do an ultrasound to show me that I was, in fact, having a baby. I was just so worried something wasn't right. She just smiled patiently, went down the hall to get the portable ultrasound machine, and waltzed back into the room.

And then we saw this.

My tiny little jelly bean-sized bambino. Proof that she was there. That she existed. That my at-home pregnancy test wasn't playing a cruel joke on me. She was real, and she was growing, and I was finally going to be a mama.

This little picture meant the world to me, and for days and days, I'd just stare at it each night before I drifted off to sleep. Before I was able to hold this picture in my hands, I had these totally unfounded fears that something was wrong, and this picture just gave me so much hope.

A few (long) weeks later, we had another ultrasound and heard Miss Kaylee's heart just thump-thump-thumpin' away. More of my fears were eased as we soared past the riskiest part of the pregnancy.

A few weeks later, I had a little scare, and I remember calling in sick to work because I had to go in for another ultrasound to find out if my wee babe was alright. I had never been so terrified in my life. I remember crying, praying to God that my baby was okay, trying to keep my composure, and trying to remain optimistic.

I was scared to look at the ultrasound screen, and then we saw this.

In case you can't make that out, that's my girl. Doing a headstand. We couldn't help but laugh, and again, our fears and worries were chased away. Do you think God was trying to tell me to lighten up?

At this point, I finally realized I needed to quit focusing on fears and all the what if's. I had a healthy, thriving, future gymnast/ninja (I said gymnast. Dennis said ninja.) bopping around in my ever-growing belly, and I reached a point where I could finally accept that God was in total control, and all I could do was to sit back and trust that he would care for my baby. And I love control, so that was not an easy task for me.

It's too easy to get caught up in negative thinking, because - let's face it - there's plenty of things in life that suck and that can go wrong.

But, I want to teach Kaylee to love life, to live it fully, and to be optimistic as heck. She'll learn from me. She already mimics everything I do from coughing to laughing, to pretending to snore, to clapping and clicking her tongue. Why should I believe that's going to change any time soon?

Here's to teaching my daughter the beauty of an optimistic spirit...

Tiffany at The R Family Diaries is having a link up filled with optimistic posts. Head on over and vote for mine! Be sure to check out other posts while you're there too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Because there's nothing wrong with playing in traffic

There were certain things I thought I'd never let Kaylee do. But, in the past year, I've loosened up a bit, and I've realized that flexibility and a laid-back attitude are definitely the way to go.

Now I let her do all sorts of things.

I let her shred toilet paper all over the house because it keeps her occupied and allows me to do very important things like pay the bills, clean the kitchen, and watch Grey's Anatomy.

I let her have tastes of sweet stuff like chocolate cake and sugary desserts.

I let her go out in public with food in her hair.

I let her lick rocks. Gross, I know. Whatever...I took it away after a couple minutes, okay?

I let her crawl around the house with dirty socks hanging out of her mouth.

I let her watch TV.

I let her play in traffic.

I let her put a pacifier back in her mouth after it's fallen on the floor (without washing it off - the horror!!!).

I let her chomp on jalapenos when her gums hurt from teething.

I let her go to bed without a bath some nights.

Because - ya know, some things just aren't worth getting all worked up over...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This picture has quickly become a new classic. I can practically hear her giggles just by looking at it. I am one lucky mama. Now, excuse me while I go cover that sweet little face with slobbery kisses...

*This post is a part of Wordful Wednesdays over at Angie's 7 Clown Circus.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Only YOU can prevent heart disease

So, we've already established that I love Cheerios. But, now I love them even more.

This week I want to draw attention to a little something that Cheerios is doing to help the cause of women's heart health.

You've probably heard the statistics about how coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Did you know high cholesterol is one of the major factors in coronary heart disease? This can be prevented, people! High cholesterol can be controlled with diet and medication, but if you don't get screened, how can you prevent it?

This is where Cheerios comes in. Their campaign - Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts - is working hard to get the word out there about this important cause. You'll find specially marked boxes of Cheerios that have codes inside. When you go to www.cheerioshelpinghearts.com and enter your code, Cheerios will donate $1, up to $200,000 to raise awareness about women's coronary heart disease and to fund cholesterol screenings for women in need.

Never in my life have I believed in preventative medicine MORE than when I started working at a hospital.

I see men and women come in there in their forties with serious heart problems, cancer, all sorts of stuff that could have been prevented, if only they had received preventative medical care.

Ladies, you already get the girls and the hoo ha checked by a doc every year - it doesn't take much more time or effort to add a cholesterol screening to that tiny list. You, and your heart, are worth it.

And remember to go to the website when you finish your boxes of Cheerios (or, after your kids dump the entire contents of the box on the floor...) to enter the code and help spread the word about this cause.

So, three of you are going to be receiving beautiful freshwater pearl bracelets, courtesy of My Blog Spark and Cheerios. Each bracelet has a heart charm to represent women's heart health. I received mine in the mail, and it's gorgeous!

I love pretty things, and I love me some BLING, so I know there are some of you out there who want one, too.

So, here's how you can win! Be sure to follow the directions, ok? They're simple. Really.

In order to win, you MUST:
  • Leave a comment telling me what YOU do to take care of your heart OR tell me about a woman you know who suffers from heart disease
If you want EXTRA entries:
  • Follow my blog. I love followers - you are my favorite. And occasionally, I do giveaways that are ONLY for my followers, so it's best that you just go ahead and jump on that bandwagon 5 minutes ago, okay?
  • Blog about my giveaway - the more of us spreading awareness, the better.
  • Follow me on Twitter. Click here to do that, and leave me your Twitter name in the comment so I know you're not pullin' my leg.
Leave me a separate comment for each entry so you get all the chances you deserve, okay?

Contest ends on Sunday, March 22nd at midnight - I'll announce the winner on Monday, the 23rd.

Now, mosey along. Go eat your morning bowl of Cheerios and dream about the beautimous pearl bracelet that COULD be yours...

*This post is a part of Tuesday's Tribute, hosted by Jay at Halftime Lessons and Deb at Dirty Socks and Pizza.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coming soon to a blog near you

Well, hello my loyal readers.

We need to have a little sit down, okay? I've got a couple things I need to talk to you about.

First of all, you need to know that in the next couple weeks, you're going to have the chance to win some more stuff by visiting my little corner of the Blogosphere.

It all started with the Tide to Go Mini pen. Someone from Tide contacted me and sent a bunch of Tide to Go Minis for me and my readers. I think I was just boppin' around with excitement for days over it.

Well, it's happening again, and at the moment, there are 2 sweet giveaways in store for you. One involves a little bling, and the other one involves some stuff to help you go green and make your house a bit safer.

BUT! You need to know this about me - oh, readers that I love so much. :)

If I review a product or give it away on my blog, it's because I love it. Just because someone emails me and asks me to give away something from their company, that doesn't mean I'll do it.

I just want you to know that the only stuff you'll be gettin' from my giveaways is stuff that I really, truly love and that I think YOU will love, too.

Summer over at Le Musings of Moi has done a handful of reviews. She's reviewed some sweet mascara and some kick ass shampoo - both of which I have tried and loved. She's also reviewed products like hand sanitizing spray that doesn't contain alcohol and a water filtration pitcher that seems to leave it's competition in the dust. Because Summer is a fashion diva, hilarious, honest, and obviously very excited about the stuff she writes about (and because we agree on so much in the parenting department), I trust what she has to say about the stuff she reviews.

I hope you will find the same thing when you read my reviews. If I'm going to take the time to write about a product and tell you why it rocks my face off, then you better believe I think you could benefit from it as well. If it sucks, I'll either tell you so, or it won't get any face time on my blog.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Because emotional eating rocks my face off

But it makes my butt grow.

Oh well. I don't even care.

Have I ever told you how much I love food? Well, I do. I frickin' love it, man.

Today you have the privilege of reading about my current Top 5 foods to stuff my face with when I need to partake of some good old fashioned emotional eating.

1. Thin Mints. In case you didn't know this, Thin Mints are little pieces of heaven. They're sent Fed Ex to the Girl Scouts - overnighted, actually - straight from the angels. I'm not even lying. Thin Mints are a seasonal item on my emotional eating menu, so how about we move along to some of the regulars, eh?

2. PIZZA. Nothin' like a good ol' slice of greasy, cheesy pizza, with pepperoni, course. Mmm, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese on top, to soak up that extra grease and make me feel a little better about consuming a triangle shaped clogged artery. I think it's probably one of my favorite food items EVER.

3. Mashed potatoes with butter and brown gravy. These have always been toward the top of my list, and they were also one of my cravings during pregnancy. I work at a hospital, so it's safe for you to assume that I bring my lunch whenever I can because, well - hospital food? Ew. BUT, if there's one thing our hospital does a damn good job of, it's making mashed potatoes with brown gravy. When I was pregnant, I ate my lunch and then decided the baby was still hungry, so I went and ordered some mashed potatoes with brown gravy. The server must have seen the ravenous look in my eyes because he gave me an entire plate full of them, but didn't charge me extra. Smart move. I came back to the table with my co-workers and enjoyed my potatoes as they sat and watched me mow through them like a cow in a clover field. Jaws were on the floor, people.

4. Chocolate. Particularly Ghirardelli caramel chocolate squares, but any chocolate will do really. Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Hugs, chocolate friggin' CAKE, Dove bite-sized chocolates, Kit Kats, Twix bars. Chocolate makes anything better. It really does. In fact, I'm wondering if I should maybe talk to a drug company about making a chocolate pill and marketing it as an anti-depressant. I think it would work. But that's just my opinion, and what do I know...

5. French Fries. But, they can't be too thick and potato-ey. I'm talking In 'N Out style fries. Fresh, hot, salty, not soggy and slightly crispy, with not too much potato. Oh, I can just imagine the greasy goodness right now. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

And now - I must go to work, and on my way there I shall pray for a miracle. Let us bow our heads together and pray that mashed potatoes are on the menu.


*This post is a part of Friday High Five hosted by Angel's Adventures and Minor Mishaps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Because Cancer Sucks

Jay over at Halftime Lessons has been doing his darndest to get the word out about raising money and awareness for childhood cancer.

This year, as he did last year, he'll be shaving his head as part of an event sponsored by an organization called St. Baldrick's. Click here to learn more about St. Baldrick's.

And click below to visit Jay's blog and read more about why he feels so strongly about this cause. When you visit Halftime Lessons you'll also find out how you can win some great prizes by supporting him.


I've come a long way, baby

It's been a big year for me.

The biggest thing that's happened for me in the past year was welcoming sweet Kaylee into the world. She's going to be ONE next month - a concept I still can't wrap my head around.

I've learned a crap load of things about myself since becoming a mom. There's things I can do now that I could never do before, and believe it or not - a handful of these things actually have nothing to do with being a mom.

After Kaylee was born, I doubted myself so much, especially in those first few weeks. I had a really hard time making the adjustment from being just a wife to being a wife and a mother.

But, this past year, my confidence has grown a lot. I think it started when I realized that I can't be a "perfect" mother. I had to face it - Kaylee wouldn't always get a bath every day, a hot, home cooked meal was not always going to be on the table, I wouldn't get to shower every day, and there would not be one single day of my life since the day my baby was born that my entire house would be clean.

Go ahead and insert a big sigh right about here.

Finally realizing that I couldn't live up to my idea of the perfect mother/wife was directly related to a boost in my self-esteem (don't get me wrong - there are still plenty of days when my confidence goes down the crapper...) While I was becoming more confident in my role as a mother, my confidence starting growing in other areas of my life as well.

A year ago, there were so many things I just simply couldn't do.

I couldn't establish and stick to a strict budget without buying "little things" here and there that we may or may not have needed. Now I can.

I couldn't sit on the toilet and pee, while holding a child and talking on my cell phone - all at the same time. Now I can.

I couldn't imagine what it would actually look like to have my living room floor covered in ripped up tissue in a matter of seconds. Now I can.

I couldn't talk on the phone while wiping someone's ass. Now I can totally do that.

I couldn't spend less than about $100 on groceries in a week. Now I can.

I couldn't fit into my favorite pants. Now I can!

I couldn't imagine letting my child sit in front of the TV for 30 minutes (ok - 45 sometimes...) before she was even a year old, just so I could have some peace and quiet. Now I can.

I couldn't walk in to a patient's room at my job and ask them to talk to me about why they wanted to end their life. It was too scary for me, and I just couldn't do it. Now I can.

I couldn't understand why some moms yelled at their kids in the grocery store. Now I can.

I couldn't look at a tiny little turd and even think about just fishing it out of water bare handed - no way in heck, dude! But that changes when you run the risk of your kid eating that little turd. No way I could have done it a year ago. Now I can.

I've come a long way, baby.

I'm a proud, money-savin', butt-wipin', waist-shrinkin', domestically disabled, barehanded turd-wranglin' mom who loses my patience more than I wish I did, and who lets her baby watch TV.

But, I can hold my baby and talk on the cell phone while I pee, so that makes up for everything else, because there's probably a lot of people out there who couldn't do that even if they tried.

This has been another Thursday Writer's Workshop post - made possible by the lovely and talented Mama Kat from Mama's Losin' It.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is how I'll justify a cute new pair of shoes

2 boxes Lucky Charms
4 boxes Oatmeal Squares
4 boxes Raisin Bran
2 boxes Life
3 boxes Special K

All this for a whopping $13.84
Regular price $78.89

Saved $65.05

Yep, it's definitely time for a cute new pair of shoes...

*This post is a part of Wordful Wednesdays and another Wednesday feature at 5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stuff you need to know

First off, and perhaps most importantly, you need to know that our angelic neighbor girl (who happens to be a Girl Scout) showed up on our door step last night with her sparkling halo and a box of Thin Mints. Need I say more?

Next, tomorrow is the SITS Spring Fling. They're linking up to sponsors every hour on the hour who are doing giveaways. An entire day of giveaways - I'm so excited! There are some fantastic and beautiful prizes to be had. And guess what? I'll be one of the hourly sponsors. Here's what you can win!

I call it the Bodacious Body Care Gift Pack, and it's made up of products from Sensaria Natural Bodycare. If you win, you'll get a Cherry Almond Salt Scrub, Cherry Almond Body Butter, Chai Tea Body Butter, and a Green Tea Body Butter. It's worth over 90 bucks, so you'll definitely want to enter. Stop by tomorrow for more details.

And, as part of the Spring Fling, SITSAS from all over Blog Land are doing giveaways, so for all but one of you who wins my big prize, you can enter to win a Tide to Go Mini, and trust me - you definitely need it.

Ok, on to other stuff you need to know. There are some freakin' awesome giveaways going on out there right now.

One is Mama Kat's apron giveaway. I have YET to win an apron from her yet, and I've been trying since the first week in February, so maybe this week will be my week. Anyway, click here to go check it out.

Next, Summer at Le Musings of Moi is doing a sweet skin care giveaway, so go check that out here, too, alright?

Now...I've got approximately one hour and 53 minutes before Dennis and Kaylee get home. Things are about to get crazy around here - I'm going to see if I can get laundry AND dishes done. My brain hurts just thinking about accomplishing so much in one day...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Things are about to get ugly around here.

We only have two Thin Mint cookies left.

Dennis and I have very strict rules about the consumption of Girl Scout cookies. There is no other girl scout cookie I want besides Thin Mints. He loves those friggin' chocolate/caramel/coconut ones - I can't remember the name.

Anyway, I'm not so crazy about coconut on cookies, or anything for that matter.

So, when one if his students tried to sell him cookies, he bought himself a box of the coconut whatevers, and he got me a box of Thin Mints.

The rule is this: Dennis may NOT under ANY circumstances eat ANY of my Thin Mints.

My rationale? It's just not fair. I don't like his cookies, so I'm not going to eat any of them. Therefore, I want each and every one of my Thin Mints all for myself. Not too much to ask, right?

Well, he likes to mess with me and try to steal my cookies, so I had to come up with a plan. I discovered that if I put the box of cookies under the cushion of the papasan chair in our room, he would never find them. We rarely sit in the chair these days, so there was no risk of squishing the cookies.

Wouldn't ya know... a couple days ago I'm on the phone, and Kaylee starts fussing. We all happen to be in our room, so Dennis gets ready to pop a squat in the papasan chair and try to calm Kaylee down.

This results in me fanatically flailing my arms in an attempt to get him to NOT sit on the cushion and crush the cookies that were hidden. Thank heavens I saved the cookies, but I lost my hiding place, and I've been moving them to new hiding places at random times to try and throw him off my trail.

I think I've been successful in ensuring that every last cookie is consumed by ME and ONLY ME.

However, we now have a problem. There are only 2 left. And I want to eat them both. Right now. But then I won't have any more. Oh, what ever will I do...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Imparting my wisdom upon the infant

It's my job as a mother to pass along life's important lessons to my daughter.

As she grows, I'll teach her lessons like The Golden Rule, always look both ways before crossing the street, always say please and thank-you, and why it's probably not a good idea to do cartwheels while wearing a dress.

But, she's only 10 months old. She's a little young to be grasping such concepts, dontcha think?

So, for now, we'll start with something simpler, and perhaps even more important than the lessons learned above.

Today's important lesson: shopping, shoes, and days at the mall are a girl's best friend.

Kaylee was sick last week, so the days that I was home with her were not filled with fun, games, and domestic recreation. Instead of chasing her around the house on my hands and knees in hopes of hearing those high-pitched squeals and deep belly laughs, I was being told by my family members that I had green poop on the back of my forearm and on my pant leg - about a half an hour after said poop had claimed it's residency upon myself.

(And, for those of you who are not putting two and two together in regards to the words "Kaylee," "sick," and me having poop on myself, let me just clarify. It's was Kaylee's poop, not my own.)

Simply put, last week was not fun.

Hands down, today has been the highlight of my week so far. Monday and Tuesday I had to work. Barf-a-roni. But today? Today we were going to have fun.

Kaylee and I hung out here at home in the morning and I did such stimulating and fun activities as putting dinner in the crock pot (tonight's dinner - Easy and Delicious Chicken - click here for the recipe. Very yummy, but next time - no thyme...) and paying bills.

I let her loose in the office while I balanced the checkbook, and before I know it, I hear her little coos and giggles. She makes this certain giggly sound when she sees something in the distance that she knows is off limits, and then she just goes in for the kill.

I turn around and see her reaching for papers on the top of the garbage can. Garbage cans are off limits - so, that explained the whole up-to-no-good giggling she was doing. She crawled away long enough for me to get back to what I was doing on the computer, and then suddenly I hear laughter, the crinkling of paper, and the sound of her feet repeatedly hitting the floor due to sheer excitement on her part.

This is what I saw when I looked down from my chair.

I friggin' cracked UP!

So, not long after the human paper shredder crapped her pants for the 4th time that morning, we set off on our merry little way.

I was about to teach Kaylee all about the importance of a deep and undying love for shopping. I am convinced that it is never too early to start learning this lesson.

We stopped by the salon so my hairdresser could meet Kaylee (by the way, I got a new haircut on my way home from work last night - fab.u.LOUS - I feel like a new woman!), went to Barnes and Noble so she could play for a bit, and it just so happened that there was a SHOE STORE on the way to the car. Could life get any better? Surely I could not properly impart the wisdom of the day upon my child without taking her into a shoe store!

Let me just back up for a second and tell you that before Kaylee was even born, I was determined to make sure she would one day share my love of shoes. I could hardly wait for the day when I could buy her cute little Mary Janes and sparkly pink shoes, and - in fact - when Dennis and I left my OB appointment after the ultrasound where we found out we were having a girl, the first thing we bought for her was a pair of shoes.

Anyway, so - we hear the angels singing as we open the doors to Payless Shoes. Great store, but you need to know that the infant shoe options at Payless are scarce, and I am highly disappointed. But, I still managed to find a totally cute pair of fashionable black boots (on sale for six bucks, thank you very much...) that zip up the side. They are so versatile, and versatility is something every 10-month-old needs in a pair of shoes.

Seriously - they'll go with a pair of jeans, they'll go with a dress and some cute tights, heck - if she's half as cool as I was as a young child, she'll even wear them over her her footie pajamas.

Anyway, back to reality here. So, we finish at Payless, and we're off to the grocery store. Well, ROSS just happened to be on the way to the grocery store, and that's where I got my very first apron not long ago.

I figured there might just be another one there with my name on it (and I still had Christmas money to burn), so of course, we had to stop. And thank heavens we stopped! I found the cutest apron, and it was just 8 dollars - heck YES!!!

Check it OUT! So cute, right? It's got a frilly hem and a cute little pocket - I just love it. And, because this post is already overloaded with pictures, I did a two-for-one and put her new shoes in the picture, too, just because I know you want to see them.

It was such a great day. I really feel like Kaylee is starting to understand the fact the shopping is so utterly important. You may think she's too young to really understand, but as we approached the register at Payless, she would not let go of her new shoe. She was in love. She held that shoe close until I pried it out of her little hands. And then I gave myself a pat on the back for being such a freaking awesome mom. I may not have a clean house and my child may go in public with squash in her hair from time to time, but I know what's important, and teaching my baby girl to love shoes is VERY important.

Well done, Sera. WELL. DONE.

Mama Kat is also an apron fanatic, and she's giving away another apron this week - head on over and enter her giveaway, and while you're there, be sure to check out the other Writer's Workshop posts.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Childproofing - it's so overrated

We also encourage her to put metal objects in light sockets. Just in case you were wondering...

Go visit Angie for more Wordful Wednesday posts.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't be hatin'...

...Be appreciatin'.

Appreciatin' leftovers, that is.

Lately I've been using the crock pot a lot more, and I'm using recipes that end up giving us several servings. So, we get a yummy, home cooked dinner, plus about a week's worth of lunches for the two of us, or a couple more night's worth of dinner. Leftovers are also saving us money.

I'll choose meals with relatively cheap ingredients, and because they go so far, I spend less money on items like lunch meat and other junky lunch snacks we really don't need since we end up getting hearty, filling, healthy meals from our leftovers.

It's lovely. It really is.

Take tonight for example. I went to work and then had a few errands to run. I got home after 6, so we were all hungry and ready for dinner. I had it in my head that we could have breakfast burritos, but as soon as I asked Dennis to cook them while I cleaned up the house a bit, we realized we had a whopping two eggs left. So much for that idea.

Oooh! But we have pasta and spaghetti sauce - we'll have spaghetti! Yeah, except we always have beef in the sauce, and that would require thawing burger, cooking it, draining it, blah blah blah. Just too much work on this night.

THEN we opened up the freezer.

Lo and behold! It's a container of cheesy chicken from a couple weeks ago. It was delectable, and just enough for the two of us.

I remember when I was a kid and we'd have leftovers. I was such a whiny brat about it sometimes, I'm sure.

"Awww, but Moooo-ooooom, we just had meatballs. Waah, waah, waah."

"Macaroni again? I'm sick of that. I don't want that."

Man, if I could go back in time I'd slap my bratty little face!

Now that I juggle things like work, a family, and everything in between, just like my mom did, I have a whole new appreciation for leftovers.

They're hot, home cooked meals without the work. The work has already been done. And they can be thawed easily by husbands while wives huff and puff around the house about all the other things that need to be done.

Want the recipe for the Cheesy Chicken we had tonight? Click the picture to check it out.

I also get a lot of our crock pot recipes from The Crock Pot Lady. I highly recommend checking her out as well.

Be sure to go check out Deb and Jay for more Tuesday's Tributes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Drum roll, please.....

Yay! Time to announce the winners of my very first giveaway ever!

I had fabulous plans to record the drawing and let Kaylee pick names out of a box, and she would clap for the winners (as long as she was agreeable to performing on demand, which - lately, she's not so crazy about).

Anyway, blogger hates the format of my videos, and it takes forever and a day to upload a 9 second video. Plus, Kaylee and Dennis are both sleeping, and I'm not waking my baby just to do the giveaway. That would be ridiculous.

So, my lovely readers, I am choosing the names solo. I've got the names of all of you who entered in a cute little container, and I will be choosing our grand prize winner first. To refresh your memories, this is what the grand prize winner gets:

The Mini Survival Kit
*Tide to Go Mini pen
*Ghirardelli caramel chocolate squares
*Caramel Fiber One Bar
*Sensaria Natural Body Care mini body butter
*Betty Crocker caramel chocolate mini delights
*$5 Chevron gas card

Ok, now picture me holding the container over my head, mixing up the names with my hand, and drawing the grand prize winner....

Jessica from Our Little Miracle! Woo hoo! Are you so excited or what?

Hang tight because there is still hope for two more of you. You'll get the Tide to Go Mini pen.

Alrighty, Blue Violet and Bronson Boys - you get the Tide to Go Minis - yay!

Oh, how I wish you could all have had your own little claps of congratulations from Kaylee - next time, okay?

Thank you for playing along for my first giveaway - it was so much stinkin' fun! Stay tuned - I'll be giving away more fun stuff for the SITS Spring Fling in about a week or so, and there will be other giveaways to come in the weeks ahead.

Please go congratulate the winners, ya hear?

Winners - email me at laughingthroughthechaos@gmail.com and get your info to me so Mr. Postman can get your goodies to ya. Congrats! I hope you all enjoy your stuff.