Friday, July 31, 2009

Move over, Edward. There's a new book in town.

It's almost time. Although I zipped through the first 500 pages of the Breaking Dawn, the last book in the Twilight series, in a mere 2 days, I've been trying to make the second half of the book last a little bit longer.

Do you ever get into a book, and when you reach the midway point, you're like - "Oh, no! It's almost over! I don't want it to end - I love this story! No, no!"

Thanks to my parents, who instilled a love a reading in me from the time I was just a wee little tot, I'm still a huge fan of a good book. I just love to read. It's one of the things I do to deal with stress and escape. I love how books have a way of just taking you to another place - putting you in someone else's story, making your imagination work overtime, and helping you forget about your own worries for a time. Plus, reading before bed makes my eyelids heavy and distracts me from things that might be bothering me from my day, so reading helps me sleep better.

I don't waste my time on crappy books. I'm too busy, and life is too short to waste time on crappy books. If I'm not hooked by the first 3 or 4 pages, you can forget it.

Now, I'm sure there are many of you out there like me - you heard all the hullabaloo about Twilight and you thought, "Ughhhh. If I hear another WORD about that stupid book I'm going to hurl. Teenage vampires. Drama, drama, drama. It's written for young adults - thanks, but no thanks."

As strong as I was to avoid peer pressure in my teen years, I'm crumbling the older I get. I tend to trust other moms about things they like, things they don't like, all that stuff, and I jump on a bandwagon here or there. Cloth diapers, homemade baby food, the E.A.S.Y. method for getting your child to sleep better, all that sort of stuff. But, at this point in my life, I think it's a good thing. If something is tried and true or someone has been there, done that, and I tend to agree with them on a few other things, why not give some of the things they like a try instead of spinning my wheels?

So, when one of my favorite bloggers, Tiffany, dubbed the Twilight series as "crackliture," it sounded like I had no other choice but to give it a try.

And I'm so glad I did. I've been hooked since book one, and I'm seriously bummed about this being the last book. It's taking me back to a couple years ago when I read the Harry Potter series and got all sad when it was over. I'm pathetic, I know.

I've got a mere 89 pages left. I may just finish the sucker tonight. But, then again, if I decide I'm not ready for it to be over, I'll drag it out another night or two.

Now, in anticipation of this difficult time in my life, I did something to counteract the feelings of sadness that loom at the end of my beloved book.

I visited a local bookstore that I'd never set foot in before, and much like the regret I felt for not reading Twilight sooner, I am kicking myself for not stopping in to this little hole-in-the-wall gem of a place before today.

Any book lover would walk into this store and want to stay all day. Imagine wall-to-wall books are just crammed into this tiny little store. An old guy named George with a handwritten sign above the register instructing customers to bug him about the special of the day. It's the smell of paper and glue, old books, new books...And all the records are kept on hand-written ledgers. It was just such a unique little treasure that I'm so excited exists in my own town!

So, we paid $17 today for for 6 books, and when we take them back, we'll get 60% of the cover price in store credit, which will work out to be about $30! So, it looks like I've finally found the perfect way to support my book habit.

Libraries are lovely, but I never take books back on time. So, the idea of borrowing books for free doesn't apply here - I always end up forking over at least $5 in late fees. Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And then there's the issue of borrowing books.

I've got to give my sister-in-law (the same one who saved my sanity on our recent vacation) major props for lending me the entire Twilight series at once. I couldn't tell you how long ago it was that she gave them to me.

So...since I found my new, quaint little piece of heaven on earth, there will be no more library fines, no more friends and family waiting for me to return their books for 86 years. I can take my sweet time, and then when I'm done, I'll return my books and get new ones for free.

Are you wondering what's on my readings list next???

Well, I've decided to have one fiction book and one non-fiction book on active duty on my night stand. The non-fiction book? The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Dennis and I loved The Happiest Baby on the Block, and we got to watch part of the DVD based on that book during our childbirth class. I'll be darned if our jaws weren't on the floor. This guy knows his stuff, and his techniques really helped us to calm Kaylee in the early days of her life. So, I figure I'll give this book a try, too. Heck, if it might be able to help us deal with some of the most frustrating things about having a toddler, bring it on. So, that one is already on the nightstand.

Now...for my fiction pick? Hmmm...

Well, I'm debating between two.

First up on the list - The Time Traveler's Wife.

I hadn't even heard of this one until all the recent publicity about the movie. I've heard people talking about the movie, talking about the book, and raving about how incredible the book was. So, when I somehow managed to see this one in the midst of the poorly alphabetized plethora of books today, I decided I needed to pick it up. I'm a big fan of reading books before seeing the movie based on the book. Initially, I thought about reading this one first because the movie is out, but shoot - if I don't read the book before it leaves theaters, I'll just get it on DVD, so that's not really an issue.

The other one I'm considering starting next is - We're Just Like You, Only Prettier.

I don't think it qualifies as fiction, but whatever. It seems funny and like it won't make my brain hurt to try and follow it, so I'm tossing it in there with fiction.

In my efforts to become a well-rounded reader, I find that one of my favorite types of books are fictional books written about the South. I love the vernacular, the humor, the characters, everything. And a part of me wishes I could spend a significant amount of time there, just to take in the culture. The title of this one intrigued me. Apparently, its' a collection of essays about Southern life. This quote is on the cover: "I laughed so hard reading this book, I began snorting in an unbecoming fashion." - Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy.

Plus, how can you pass up a book by an author whose other published works include such titles as Bless Your Heart, Tramp and Other Southern Endearments and Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: A Slightly Tarnished Southern Belle's Words of Wisdom. I'm going to have to get my hands on those books, too, I have a feeling.

So, fellow book lovers, you may now feel free to roam about the cabin and give me your two cents about which book you would recommend I read next.

And the winner is...

Molly from Stilettos and Diapers!

She won a free copy of the ebook The Healthy Moms Guide to Potty Training.

Molly is SUPER sweet and has a great blog - please go check her out and congratulate her. Thanks to everyone who entered. :)

Yeah, so...I'm an idiot. I emailed Molly yesterday and told her she won, and today I'm looking at the blog, and I realize I never hit PUBLISH to announce it for everyone. Derrrrrr...

Chalkin' it up to good old Mommy Brain.

Congrats, Molly. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Road Trippin' - Toddler Style

This past Friday we got back from nearly a week's vacation, and I learned a thing or two while we were on our little adventure. I bring these lessons to you in the form of one of my favorite things - a list.

1. When a 15-month-old child hears an important adult in her life utter something to the effect of...Vacation. Relaxation. Out of state. Oh, I don't know...8 hour car ride, it immediately triggers a physiological response that sets the next group of four yet-to-emerge teeth into a frenzied race to the top of the gums to see who can emerge first.

This aforementioned physiological response will set said 15-month-old into a wild fit of screaming, crying with actual tears, whining, lots of "eh, eh, eh, eh, EH's" and will drive mother of said infant virtually insane while traveling to the much-anticipated vacation destination.

2. A regimen of both Tylenol and Motrin is not always as effective, cool, and fun as it sounds. For your teething child, of course. Now that I think about it, a Tylenol and Motrin regimen for myself probably would have been a genius idea. Darn hindsight...

3. All mothers of small infants need to RUN, not walk, to their doctor's office prior to departure when setting out on a road trip and demand a prescription for Xanax. Seriously.

2. Sister-in-laws are the bomb shizzle fo nizzle lifesavers of the universe.

3. Once a sister-in-law offers to sit in the seat next to the cranky, drugged up child that was previously occupied by a mama whose head was about to do this...

... and offers to let the mama sit in the very front seat instead, one's quality of life immediately improves by 104%. Amazing.

4. Never, I repeat NEVER, leave your child's "we only use them during sleep times" pacifiers in the trunk "because we only use them during sleep times."

5. You will break more rules on vacation than you ever thought possible. Rules to be broken include, but are not limited to: the no pacifiers during awake times rule, the you can scream all you want but you must eat all your meals in your high chair and not in someone's lap rule, the no you cannot have more milk - you've already had 3 sippy cups of milk, you will eat some food and you will eat it NOW rule, and the you only get to watch Barney once a day rule.

6. Parents whose teething children who are instantly calmed by Barney and Veggie Tales will have the following songs stuck in their heads approximately 3 hours after arriving at the destination: "Down on Grandpa's Farm," "The Annoying Yellow Blanket song" by Stupid Baby Bop, "Flying in an Airplane," and let's not forget the classic..."Oh, Where is My Hairbrush." If you did not already have every single ever lovin' lyric to each of these songs engrained in your memory before you left on your trip, don't worry. They'll all be there by the time you get back home. Every. Single. Annoying. WORD.

7. Early bedtimes (for kids and parents) are essential.

8. Day 2 will be much better. And so will every day after that.

9. Going nearly an entire week without cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, loading (or not loading) the dishwasher, and running errands is something I think I might take up on a more regular basis. That was awesome.

10. Getting away from the phone, the bills, the computer, WORK, and even my little house and my town was phenomenal. We're talking hiking, gorgeous gardens with tiny little waterfalls and tons of pretty flowers, canoeing, eating delicious foods, finishing two books, seeing new places, walking nearly everywhere I went, and just being able to RELAX was more than worth the craptastic start of our journey.

I'm already daydreaming about next summer's getaway...

(This post is a part of Mama Kat's Thursday Writer's Workshop. Although the prompt I chose was to recap a day in your life, I decided to cheat a teensy bit and recap a week. I know - I'm a rebel.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Return of the Jedi

Is that the name of the movie? It's quite possible that I totally screwed that one up, but oh well. And, I'm not sure if I want to be compared to a Jedi, although I think the Jedis are good? I don't know...

Anyway, I'll be back in action tomorrow. We got back from vacation the end of last week, and the following morning I had to report to work (on a Saturday - my favorite thing ever!). So, no time to recuperate from vacation. I had Sunday off, and I've worked the last 3 days consecutively, and I'm only exaggerating a fraction of a percentage when I say each day was horrendous.

I've come home past my shift the last two nights which rarely happens. I've been exhausted and if I attempted to post on my blog it probably would have been something like...

Shnarfignut. Mean woman. Old lady hallucinated. Mean woman yelled at me. Old lady threw chair. Need go home. Work insane. No one wants to take care of crazy old lady. I think I'll take up drinking tonight. Mean woman hung up on me. CHOCOLATE. Brashinuffizatchu. Wha?????

See? See why I don't blog somedays? Because some days I have negative brain power left. That's worse than zero brain power. It's embarrassing and ridiculous, and I just don't go there. So, tomorrow...

Tomorrow I'll be back.

Hopefully with a little vacation recap, and of course to announce the winner of the Potty Training ebook giveaway.

I know you were just dying to know if I dropped of the face of the planet. So, I popped in to tell you that no. No, I did not drop off the face of the planet.

I am here. Healthy and well, and feisty as ever, so watch out!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Because emotional eating rocks my face off.

An oldie, but a goody, brought to you circa March 13, 2009.


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, July 23, 2009

Help a mother out.

So, since I'm leaving on Sunday, I will not be here to get the prompts for Mama Kat's Thursday Writer's Workshop that I do my best to participate in every week. She gives us loyal readers a few prompts, and then we take it from there, writing our little hearts out.

Well, in honor of Writer's Workshop, and my inability to play along this week, I'm going to ask for your help.

I've been asking Dennis to do a guest post for quite a while now. He's a great writer, and he's really stinkin' funny, but he can't seem to think of anything he wants to write about. It's a nasty case of writer's block, so put your thinking caps on and see if you can't help us out.

Leave me a comment telling me any ideas you have for guest posts that Dennis can write. To get you started, here are a few things about Dennis to get your noggin thinking of some ideas. He loves reptiles of all kinds, he's totally hot, he teaches 3rd grade, he takes karate, and he shares my love of white chocolate. He despises peanut butter and won't let me sit within 5 feet of him if I've consumed any. He loves to read, loves Will Ferrel movies, and still watches Beavis and Butthead.

Now, be gone - go think, and then come back with some ideas for Dennis. Gracias.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bustin' out the mommy superpowers

Ok, it's time for another awesome guest post. This time, it's coming from Jenners over at Life With a Little One and More. Jenners is an amazing writer, and she will just keep you in stitches with her humor. She's also an avid reader and has a book blog as well. When you're done reading this post, please go check her blogs: Life With a Little One and More and Find Your Next Book Here.


So when my blogging buddy Sera asked me to write a guest post for her most excellent blog, I immediately said "Yes!" Then I immediately said, "But what should I write about?" Sera came up with the most excellent prompt: Superpowers that were activated the moment you became a mom. So here you go -- the amazing superpowers that came to me when I became a mom. How many do you have?
  • The ability to deal with disgusting bodily fluids without throwing up. My entire life, I've been a sympathy gagger. If you throw up, I'll throw up. If I smell throw up, I'll throw up. If I see someone throw up, I'll throw up. I clearly remember a day inkindergarten . All of us kids were lined up in the hall and a kid threw up. The smell made me throw up. Then a bunch of other kids down the line threw up. It was like vomiting kiddominoes . But the moment I became a mom, I was able to deal with all kinds of disgusting things coming from my child without feeling even slightly nauseous -- even when my son vomited all over my face and shirt. However -- and this is important -- this superpower applies to your own children only. If I see someone else's child throw up, my stomach heaves and the nausea descends. And when my husband caught a stomach bug and was vomiting all over the place, I could not be within 10 feet of him without feeling sick.
  • The ability to see signs of genius based on what others might call "very little evidence." I don't know about your child, but my child is a genius. When he was just 2 days old, he was showing the reflexes of a 8-day old! Although thepediatrician persists in saying my son is undergoing "normal development," I know better. What other 4-year-old answers "razzmatazz " in response to the question "What is your favorite color?" (It is so a real color! Just check the 120-color crayon box.) Although he may seem like a normal 4-year-old boy to you, I am his mother and my superpowers allow me to see the genius within. You see a scribble; I see Picasso. You hear acacophonous banging, I hear the next Keith Moon (drummer for the Who). You hear a boring, repetitive story; I hear the next Faulkner. You see a kid throwing a tantrum; I see a future Oscar winner.
  • The ability to tell lies without even thinking about it. (Or, if you are morally opposed to lying, call this "the ability to provide plausible explanations at the drop of a hat to suit your own purposes.") I have never been a good liar, but once I became a mom, I found myself able to think up and perpetuate amazingly complex lies quickly and easily. Consider how I deal with the biggest lie of all -- Santa Claus. As my son has gotten older (and remember, I'm dealing with a genius here), he's thrown a bunch of questions at me about exactly how the whole Santa things works. "What if you don't have a fireplace? How does he fit everything into the sleigh? How does he watch me all the time and watch all the other kids?I don't understand why I have to donate some of my toys to Goodwill -- why doesn't Santa bring toys to all the poor children who don't have toys?" I've faced all of these questions and been able to come up with a brilliant lie each and every time. (Well, except for the poor children one. That is a doozy. Even my superpowers couldn't come up with a good answer for that one.) And I've become a master at telling little white lies: "We can't stop atMcDonald's ; the sign says they are closed for renovations." "Oh darn...the ice cream place just closed --they close at 3:00 p.m. in the summer." "That toy is only for children who eatbroccoli every night. It says so on the box." I sure hope this superpower adapts as my son learns to read and write.
  • The ability to fall asleep anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Some may call it "a normal reaction to sleep deprivation," but I call it a superpower. Ever since I became a mom, I've been able to sleep inuncomfortable situations without any advance notice -- even if I just woke up 45 minutes before. I could be at a very noisy party and if there is a lull in the conversation, I'll just drift right off -- even if I'm standing up and have a drink in my hand.
  • The ability to love and be more selfless than you ever thought possible. I've always been a fairly selfish person. I tend to like things arranged to best suit my needs. Like many others, I've always felt the world revolved around me. (Just ask my mother.) But when I became a mother, I found that I was gifted with a capacity for love that blew away any kind of love I had ever felt before. (Apologies to my husband ... I love you, sweetie, but it just isn't on the same level.) In addition, I was suddenly able to putsomeone's needs ahead of my own without being filled with seething resentment. If I was filled with hunger, I would still take care of my son's needs first. "Mommy's empty stomach be damned. Baby needs a diaper change!" This superpower amazed and surprised me -- and is perhaps the only one that allows me to handle this very difficult and challenging thing called motherhood.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Look

You're going to love this guest post from Summer at Le Musings of Moi. Summer is absolutely hilarious, and oh-so-honest about motherhood and the struggles of life. After you read this post, be sure to go check out her main blog, Le Musings of Moi, where she talks about everything from fashion, celebrities, motherhood, love, life, and everything in between. You'll also want to make sure you stop by The Haute Stuff, where Summer shares some of her favorite products with you in reviews and giveaways.


A little background.

I am a stay at home mom. I have a 3.5 year old and a 3 month old. I love them and I love that I get to be home with them. I also do my best to keep up the house, do everybody's laundry, shower, work out, write, work part time for HurryDate, blah blah blah.

The story of every housewife. Right?

Anyway, both my kids were sick last week which kept me quarantined to my house and unable to see adults, the sun, or a shopping mall. Ya, it was tough. Really tough. I mean, sniff, I barely made it through....

So, today I got dressed. I did my hair and I put on my favorite mascara. I even wore my new gray boots. And I left my man with both kids and took off.

My big outing? A one year old's birthday party. Once there I realized the opportunity I had before me. I was out of the house without kids! I had makeup and cute clothes on! And I was at a birthday party??? With kids??? It was Noah though, and he's worth it for sure. I mean, he's betrothed to my daughter, so it's more like a family function.

Anyway. After I left the party I called Jimmy to check in. I had only been gone
an hour.

Me: Hey babe, how are things?

Him: When are you coming home? Taylor isn't asleep yet and Chloe is crying.
I thought today was going to be a relaxing day and it's not turning out
that way. Grump, grump, grump....." (he went on, but I tuned out.
Thanks dad for that useful skill!)

Me: Okay then, be home later. Bye.

Somehow instead of driving home though, my car took me to Ross. And then an hour and a cute purse later, I unknowingly ended up at Marshalls as well. It was weird. I mean, I wanted to go home, but just couldn't fight the force. And time was just flying by.

Purses, shoes, and clothes, OH MY! Flash forward a few hours after putting Tay to bed.

Him: I feel like I'm about to flip out. I can't handle anymore of the whining! I
mean it's been all day, and then taking care of Chloe and the house. I mean, I am going to lose it. I really am.


Have I mentioned that he hates that look?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Exit, stage left.

We're heading out for a little R & R for the week, and actually - you'll probably be wishing I left more often because you're actually get a post for 6 days in a row. Please. Pick your jaws up off the floor. It's crazy - I know.

So, we'll kick off the week with a review and giveaway, followed by two fabulous guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers - Jenners and Summer. After that, I'll be asking for your assistance in getting Dennis to write a guest post in the future. Lastly, I'm digging through the archives to bring you one of my favorite posts - a blast from the past, if you will.

Have yourselves a lovely week. I'll be hiking, napping, reading, playing mini golf, canoeing, and doing whatever else I do or do not want to do. And there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

See you in a week, lovelies. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Simply a great day.

A friend of mine just blogged about how she and her little family had a great day, and that all too often, those days that go so well get lost in the shuffle and we forget about them.

Around here, most days are good days. We don't have a lot to complain about, but we all have our bad days. The laundry is piled a mile high, the stack of bills is getting higher, and you look in the cupboard to eat that last chocolate truffle only to find that it's GONE.

Well, yesterday was just simply a great day. Kaylee had gone to bed a bit early (hey, she asked. I didn't argue...) and slept all night (a regular part of our lives now, and if you wonder when we're having another baby, you can hold off on asking for a while - we are enjoying 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a little much to be thinking about baby #2 at the moment). She decided to get up about 6, which is usually a little too early for my liking, but I'd gone to bed about 9 the night before, so I was well-rested and ready to face the day.

Dennis was still snoozing away, so Kaylee and I went out to the kitchen where I fixed her some breakfast. These days, that usually means about 8 mini pancakes, maybe some peaches, and if those don't sound good, she'll chow down a waffle. I was about to pour myself a bowl of either Special K Blueberry or Frosted Shredded Mini Wheats when I realized how young the day was, and that it was too early to roast alive if we set foot outside.

So...I concocted what I like to call a Master Plan, if you will.

I thought to myself that if I were to march into our room and wake Dennis by telling him that we should go to JB's for the breakfast buffet, he would get something HE wanted (and, let's be honest - it sounded good to me, too). Once he agreed to that, I said, "Hey. It's still early. And, it's not hot outside yet, so we should go on a hike" (and therein lies the thing that I wanted).

He agreed!

So, we went to JB's and had a lovely breakfast. Kaylee behaved herself and charmed the waitresses, as usual. Then, we set off for our hike. And when I say hike, I pretty much mean walk. The trail is pretty even, for the most part. But, here and there I'd do a sprint followed by a walk, just to feel like I was really getting my heart rate up. Then, when Dennis was looking for a snake, Kaylee and I stopped (did I mention she took a nap during part of the walk, too?), so I did some lunges so I was still working out. No, there wasn't anyone who could see me. I made sure of that. I do have SOME dignity.

By the time we finished, we had been out for an hour and a half. It was 9:45 and it was hot as heck outside, so we hurried back into our little air conditioned car and headed for home.

We hung out at home for a while and just enjoyed relaxing - no housework, no bills, no stress. Just fun.

Then, I decided to get out and get some groceries, and I planned a little stop at the Wildflower Bread Company to treat myself to lunch. So, I went to one store, picked up a few things, ran into a friend from work and chatted it up a while, and then made my way toward my lunch destination. I went in, ordered my regular salad (Turkey Waldorf, minus red onions, celerey, and jacama - what the heck is jacama, anyway?), and sat down in a corner booth with a book (current read: "I Love You, Beth Cooper"). My salad arrived, covered in dressing (I forgot to order it on the side) and sprinkled with hidden red onions throughout (cashier guy apparently didn't understand me correctly when I plainly asked for no. red. ONIONS.) But, nothing could ruin my day. Being the picky eater that I am, I am highly skilled in the removal of unwanted food items, and I was able to remove about 94.6 % of the nasty onions.

After I ate my lunch, I headed to my last stop and then went home. I promised my friend I'd be bringing her lasagna and brownies as she just had a baby 2 weeks ago. After we had Kaylee, one of the best things people did for us was to bring us home cooked meals for the first two weeks. It was so stinkin' awesome, and from that point on, I decided I'd do that for my friends who had babies.

Well, I should have learned my lesson after my friend Meg had her baby. The chicken, the potatoes, the other side stuff - it all turned out great. But the cookies? I burned the dang cookies. The best part. I was so mad. And, now, this being the second time I attempted to bring someone a meal after they had a baby, I have learned that this may not be the best idea in the future, and instead of cooking I will just bring my friends their favorite take out. Anyway...

I spent took longer than anticipated on my errands, and by the time I got home, I was running way behind. I assembled the lasagna (I seriously make an awesome lasagna), mixed up some brownies, and got some cheese bread ready. The only problem was, the different foods required different temperatures.

I figured, "Ah, what the heck?" So, I upped the temperature and decreased the time. What did I get? Perfectly cooked cheese bread, lasagna with rock hard noodles, and brownies that looked cooked from the surface, were crunchy on the outside, and completely gooey (I love a gooey brownie, but these were basically still batter) on the inside.

So, 15 minutes before I was scheduled to bring my friend and her family dinner, I called and asked her what her favorite kind of pizza was. And...they ate Papa Johns pizza for dinner, WITH the yummy cheese bread, I might add.

I also brought her a pack of diapers and a bag of Lindor truffles, so I think that made up for the fact that they had to eat dinner from a cardboard box instead of a homemade meal made by moi.

They didn't care one bit. I think they were probably just happy they didn't have to cook.

And me? I was just tickled pink to hold a brand new baby. She's about the same size Kaylee was at 2 weeks old, and I seriously cannot believe Kaylee was ever that small. It was awesome. She didn't make a peep and was just so darn cute.

And, of course, my little dinner disaster meant that WE got a pizza for dinner, too. So, we enjoyed our pizza and caught up on two of our favorite shows.

At the end of the day, it was nothing earth-shattering. Nothing life-changing. Just a whole lot of great little moments, all rolled up in to one day. And now that it's on the trusty old blog, I won't be forgetting about it any time soon.

Thanks, Ruth, for inspiring me to write about our great little day. I loved reading about yours. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Because a therapist won't split dessert with you.

From the time we are little girls bopping around in our pig tails and our pink sparkly jelly shoes, we realize the importance of finding good girl friends.

Girl friends who will appreciate the beauty of 25 cent fake purple gemstone ring from a machine. Girl friends who will have tea parties and play barbies and watch Cinderella with you 87 times. Girl friends who vow to stay up until 4 a.m. at the sleepover and watch scary movies your parents would never allow you to watch, all while gorging on Cheetos, Twizzlers, and Mountain Dew and painting your toenails all the colors of the rainbow.

Those stupid boys were always too busy eating dirt and sticking firecrackers up frog's butts anyway. Who needed them?

I've had many girl friends who have come and go as I've grown up. But, once you get a little bit older, you really understand the substance of a true friendship.

You realize that when you've been friends since you were 5, and over 20 years have gone by, you'll always be friends.

You realize that when you live 10 minutes away and haven't seen each other face-to-face in 3 months and you can still pick up right where you left off as if a day hasn't gone by, you'll always be friends.

You realize that when you can talk about your struggles and your faults and your scariest thoughts and they look you in the eyes and say, "I know exactly what you mean," you'll always be friends.

At this time in my life, I've got lots of friends - guys, girls, people quite a bit older than me, some a bit younger than me. They all have something different to offer - Wisdom. Experience. Humor. Spontaneity. Brutal honesty - and they're all very important to me.

But...I can count on my hand the number of girl friends I have that I can go to with absolutely anything in the world without fear of judgment. And, even then - I'd have some left over fingers.

Recently, I've had the chance to have some quality girl time with two of my closest girl friends, on separate occasions. We set aside a special day, found a place for the kiddos to go, and enjoyed time together to catch up, to bitch, share new milestones our babies reached, talk about work, talk about our husbands, our stresses, our joys, and to just. be. REAL.

I don't know what I'd do without these girl friends.

We can talk about anything - things that would terrify other people if they knew. Our friendships have deepened with the shared experiences of motherhood, and we lean on each other like we cannot lean on anyone else.

I love these friends dearly, and I don't know where I'd be without them. Well, actually, I think I DO know where I'd be without them.

I'd be in several hours of therapy each week, but rare is the therapist who listens to you for free and splits dessert with you.

This post is a part of Tuesday's Tribute over at Angie's 7 Clown Circus.

Friday, July 10, 2009

T minus 32 minutes.

The only noise I can hear right now is the humming of my computer and the clicking of the keyboard.

I am alone in my house.

For 32 - wait, make that 31 - more minutes.

I had to work today and then had a wonderful dinner with a dear friend of mine. And now? Now I get to enjoy some quiet time all to myself.

I can BLOG.

I've been so busy with work, and what little time I've been home I've been trying to be with Dennis and Kaylee as much as possible. I always miss my blog when I don't write for a few days, so when I come back to it, it's always a good feeling.

So, since there's been a lack of regularity in my posts, today you get a bit of a hodge podge from the past week.

A small miracle has taken place this past week in which Kaylee has started asking for "night, night," sometimes as early as 6:40 p.m. We're no longer having struggles with bedtime, and she's sleeping a good 11 to 12 hours. It's heaven. Being tough and learning to let her cry a bit, followed by a couple of weeks of telling her firmly to LAY DOWN, it's TIME for BED over and over and over and over repeatedly ended up paying off in the long run.

And, now of course people are asking us more often, "So....??? You guys ready for another one yet?" To which I reply in rapid response, "Uh, we just started sleeping through the night at our house. No. No. No, we're not ready for another one."

So, remember how last week was a total bust? Totally cranky, totally mean, crying a lot. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

This week has been quite a turn around. Nothing crazy has happened, nothing earth shattering, nothing monumental. I've just felt like me.

I've been in a good mood, I can laugh at Dennis's jokes (often times aimed at me, in a playful way, of course), I can crack jokes (often times aimed at Dennis, in a playful way, of course), I don't want to cry all the time, and I just feel normal.

But, it's hard to trust it. I don't know if this means my old birth control stuff is out of my system so I'm doing better, or if what I had last week was true depression and I just happen to be going through a good spell at the moment.

Either way, we're enjoying this, and we're thankful for it. I'll still be talking to my doctor in the next week or two to see what she makes of it all, and we're keeping a close eye on things. I just hate the not knowing, ya know?

I've also been exercising regularly (can I get a what, WHAT for 5 days of working out this week?) and eating better. The exercise is the biggest change, and I think it's really helping my attitude, too. Some days I work out with Jillian (as in Jillian Michaels - the relentless boot camp fitness instructor from the Biggest Loser), and then, days later when she's hurt my feelings and butt is about to crumble to a million pieces, along with my triceps and thighs, I'll do an hour of yoga as the crazy earth lady soothingly speaks to me about how wonderful and at peace I am, even when I'm falling on my ass in an attempt to do the flying swan warrior, or whatever the heck pose it is.

So, tonight was a great end to a really nice week.

I got to leave work and go straight to meet my friend, vent, talk, laugh, share a brownie that we both, ultimately ended up being disappointed in, and leave feeling refreshed. Then, some rare quiet time to myself, and before too long, I get to see my little family.

Yep, good week. Let's cross our fingers for another one...

And, I also put up a review and giveaway on some sweet anti-bacterial eco-friendly cleaner from Ecostore USA for which I have ZERO. Nada. ZILCH. Zippo. entries. So, go enter it here, because, if you enter and no one else does, then guess what? You win. Sounds like a plan to me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Plays well with others.

Before Kaylee got to the stage where she could actually interact with babies her age instead of just laying next to them, gurgling, spitting up, and farting, I wondered what her personality would be like when it came to being around kids who weren't a few years older.

She's done well with my good friend's nearly 4 and nearly 2- year- old boys, and she's done well at the mall play land so far - jabbering back and forth with the kids, chasing them through the tunnel at warp speed, patting them gently on the head, and once, hugging a little boy so hard it made him fall over.

But, put her in a one-on-one situation with a baby separated by just a couple months in age? Would she be a brat? Would she get mean and ornery? What would she do?

Well, she'd do what she did with the other kids. She'd play nice. She's such a good little BFF, isn't she? Already sharing accessories with her little friend. I'm so proud.

This post is a part of Wordful Wednesdays, hosted by Angie at 7 Clown Circus.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Getting back on track.

Man, it's been quite a week.

Kaylee started walking full speed ahead. Along with this walking, she's decided to declare herself Spiderbaby and has been attempting to climb walls...

... and anything and everything else. The ottoman, the dining room chairs, the stereo (yes, I said the stereo) It's like all these crazy neurons are just firing in her pretty little head all at one time.

Dennis and I are just plugging along and looking ahead to next Monday. If you recall last Monday I went to see my doctor and told her that I feel like the depression is coming back. She switched my birth control and wanted me to wait a month to see if the previous birth control was the culprit of the crankiness.

After last week, I practically had to hide the phone to keep from calling her to ask for anti-depressants. Irritability through the roof, crying, anxiety - the whole gamut. It was the worst week in a really, really long time in terms of symptoms, and I realized there's no way in heck I'm waiting a month to call her if this doesn't clear up.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic, but I think this is the real deal. I'm coming to accept the fact that it seems my brain chemistry is just whacked ever since I had Kaylee, and I'm finally ready to acknowledge that it's more than just the postpartum depression. It's more than likely a depression that will need to be treated for years to come, and that's okay. Because this right here is no way to live. If there's relief out there, you bet your booty I'm going to jump all over it.

Dennis and I talked, and I'm continuing to track all my symptoms for one more week. Last week I had 2 out of 7 days where I felt like myself and wasn't on the verge of creating World War III within the walls of my own home. I don't think the doctor - or me, for that matter - thought things would continue at this rate. Otherwise, I doubt she'd have asked me to wait a whole month to call her.

So, July 13 is the magic day. My 2 week trial period will be up, and me, along with my trusty symptom tracking notebook will be calling her and doing something to get back on track. It makes me feel better knowing that help is just around the corner. I just want to stick it out for the two weeks to say we tried, and so that we can completely rule out that it was the birth control.

Speaking of getting back on track, some other things are changing around here, too...

I've been so proud of the fact that I haven't weighed myself for such a long time. It's really helped me to not obsess over body image issues and to feel better about myself. But, at the time when I tossed the scale, I was taking good care of myself.

Lately? Not so much.

I don't think it's a coincidence that during this last month when I started to notice symptoms of depression creeping back in, I slowly backed away from the exercise - not exercising for a full month, and eating whatever I wanted - mostly sweets and carbs - total comfort food. My pants are all too tight. I have one pair of jeans that are comfortable. I feel uncomfortable and self-conscious in the majority of my clothes.

That's how I know it's time to make some changes. Well, that and the fact that I peeked at the scale when the nurse weighed me before my appointment last week. I'm just a few pounds away from my heaviest (non-pregnant) weight ever which is not a healthy weight for my height and body type.

So, I've reinstituted a temporary relationship with my scale again. I have a strict rule to only weigh in ONCE per week until I meet my goal weight. I'm not trying to get hung up on numbers, but since things have gotten out of hand, I'm giving myself a tangible goal to work toward. I've joined a fitness challenge with some friends, and I'm feeling motivated.

I also started working out again, and ordered some Jillian Michaels workout DVDs with a gift certificate I had. I bought and prepared some fresh produce for snacks, and I'm packing my lunches for work again. Because it really is about eating right and keeping this body of mine on the move.

So, I'm not beating myself up about anything. I'm just looking forward to improving myself - my body, my noggin, the whole thing.

It won't be long and things will turn around for the better.

I just needed to get back on track.