Monday, December 29, 2008
I learned a few things that I want to remember for next year:
- Don’t make so many cookies – one batch of gingerbread is enough. No one eats the fudge or thumbprints anyway.
- Make sure there’s enough flour in the gingerbread (it was flat and undercooked and I didn't know why – Mom said "use more flour").
- Scrambled eggs, cranberry scones, ham and fruit salad is a perfect, fairly easy Christmas morning breakfast.
- Take a day off to decorate (I did that and wouldn’t have been able to decorate otherwise).
- Take the entire week before Christmas off (I didn't do this and about drove myself – or rather, drove my spouse – crazy trying to get everything done).
- Leaving for a trip at nap time works great – Lauren slept almost the whole way there and half the way back.
- Buy Lauren fewer presents. She would’ve been just as happy with 2 or 3 presents to open, instead of the 15 or 20 I had for her (including stocking stuffers) – she just wanted to play with whatever she opened, she didn’t want to put it aside and open something else.
- Spend more money on my brothers – Marc gave Bret a $50 gift card, gave me a sweatshirt with a tag that said $49.99 (don’t know if it was on sale or not, but probably not) and gave Lauren I can’t remember what but I’m sure he spent at least $20 or $30. I gave him a blanket I got on sale for $15 and a $25 gift card. Oops.
All in all, a very nice few days.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
We tried 3 different weekends to go to my mom’s in November but never could because one or all of us was sick. I'm looking forward to spending a few days at Christmas with my extended family, especially my nephews. I talked to Caleb on the phone the other day (he's 2-1/2) and he said, "Aunt Kiss, I go pee-pee on the potty!" He also confessed, “I bite Katie” but I know that kid and I’m sure she deserved it.
Christmastime with a 2-year-old has been really fun . Lauren says "BYE!" to the Christmas tree every night on her way up to bed, and loves to drive around looking at lights. She is not, however, a big fan of Santa, and completely freaked out when we talked about him coming in our house to bring her presents while we're all sleeping (she saw him at the YMCA after swimming one day and ran), so we're kind of downplaying that for now.
I have just a couple of little gifts to buy yet, all my baking to do, a bit of wrapping, some cleaning and then tons of laundry and packing for when we head out of town. I know they say the smart thing to do is to eliminate those holiday chores you don’t really like to do, in order to enjoy the season more and keep your sanity, but there’s nothing I really don’t like to do. I like sending Christmas cards (finished that last weekend, see photo above), I like buying presents (but not the actual shopping, so I am the queen of Internet purchases, plus one big trip to Kohl’s). I like baking, although maybe not as much as I used to because it’s hard for me to find a big chunk of time, so I reduced the number things I make and stick to my signature giant ginger cookies and fudge. I haven’t actually started baking yet, despite my great plans to whip up the dough a couple of weeks ago and freeze it, but I’ll do that this weekend. I love to wrap presents, something I guess I got from my mom. She always does such a nice job with that. She buys beautiful high-end paper and bows (at 75% off the day after Christmas, which we always do together with my sister-in-law and between the three of us pretty much clean out the local Hallmark store) and puts thought into what wrapping paper she uses for who. Anyway, I’ve been wrapping four or five presents in the mornings before work and still have a few to go.
It would be nice to have more time to do these things, but I don’t feel that I’m stressing out about stuff. But I must be, because my hurry, hurry attitude caused a big fight at home last weekend. I know I can get everything done, but it requires me to keep moving, on to the next thing, fast, fast, fast. Maybe that’s the attitude I’m supposed to get rid of during the holidays. But it’s no different than how I operate during the rest of the year, so I can’t possibly turn it off when there are even more things to do. It is the way of the working mom.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I got it cut and colored last night and it probably wasn't the best idea to make a big change during PMS week. The color is good -- I usually get highlights all spring/summer, so by fall, I'm looking pretty washed out and am tired of keeping up with the roots, so I go back to brown. This time I went a couple of shades darker than my natural color and I like it a lot.
The cut, however? Well, it's cute, it's just not all that cute on me. I didn't think the long, blond hair was doing anything for me, but at least it was covering up more of my face. I look like a pumpkin wearing a short, brown wig (if pumpkins were not orange so much as pinky-Caucasian colored, and had not only wide faces but also double chins).
Oh, well. It'll grow back. It always does. I've done these dramatic hair changes at least once a year since high school. Funny how it never used to scare me like it does now. I think I almost went for the cut this time to prove to myself that I could still do it. Like riding a roller coaster as an adult when you really don't want to. I told my stylist I'm terrified of becoming one of those women on "What Not To Wear" who keeps the same hairstyle for 10 years. I don't want to get set in my ways. I think that ages a person faster than just about anything.
And speaking of aging a person, while I was getting my cut and enjoying a song playing in the salon (can't remember what it was right now), my stylist (who I adore, by the way; very nice girl) said, "Uh, I'm so tired of this awful 80s music." Them's fightin' words, so I said, "Watch it sister!" To which she said, "Oh, I'm a child of the 80s -- I was BORN in the 80s." Ugh. Just keep cuttin', Barbie.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Operation Paci Removal went off perfectly. Friday evening Lauren willingly put all her mimis, one by one, into an envelope to "send to the babies who need them." Then she opened her "big girl present" and really liked it (yea! I picked the right thing!) and has been sleeping with it ever since. She went to sleep fine that night (and for her weekend naps) and she didn't wake up crying for the pacis. She never once whined about not having them, and when she asks about them, she answers her own question. The conversation goes like this:
Lauren: Mimis? Babies!
Me: That's right -- that was so nice of you to give your mimis to the babies who needed them.
Lauren: Mm hm!
She's pretty proud of herself and I think that's great. I guess she wasn't as addicted as I thought. Or else I was able to tap into her compassionate nature and she was happy to do something nice for babies. Don't know, but, whatever it was, I'm still shocked.
She also shocked me Sunday because we visited a new church and she willingly went to the nursery without crying. I guess overall I need to have higher expectations of her from now on!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
There are lots of ways to do this -- some people say to cut the end of the pacifier off and then the kid will give it up on her own because it won't feel the same. Some people say to pretend like they're lost, but like Bret said last night, I feel like I owe her honesty even at this stage. Or at least, our version of honesty. Because we've decided to go the give-your-pacis-to-the-babies-who-need-them route. We'll see how this goes, but I think how it'll work is we'll have a box or an envelope that we'll help Lauren put all the pacis in and tell her we're going to send them to the babies because she's a big girl now. And because she's a big girl, she can take her new toy to bed instead of her pacis (a $22 stuffed cat I bought in the hospital gift shop -- I'm not even sure if she'll like it but I didn't know what to get). She's not old enough to tell me a toy that she wants the paci fairy to bring her the next morning in exchange for forking over the pacis, so I really can't do that. And I refuse to put hot sauce on them, as someone suggested (honestly, she probably wouldn't mind all that much -- the kid loves salsa).
I am fully anticipating a sleepless weekend for everyone at my house. Although we managed to wean her off full-time paci use fairly easily, Lauren is a serious nighttime user, and having her give up her plastic and silicone fix is going to be rough. She not only keeps one in her mouth all night long, she also keeps one clenched in her little chubby fist like an NRA member clutching his sidearm.
I will let you know how it goes.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I watched the first hour of the debate and decided I'd had enough. I told Bret, "I'm going to bed now because every time Palin speaks, I'm losing IQ points."
I was floored Friday morning when I heard on the news and read in the paper how "good" she did -- uh, were we all watching the same debate? She was merely vomiting the material that had been crammed down her throat in preparation for the "debate!" Sheesh!
Okay, never mind. Just read Alice's post.
Friday, September 26, 2008
So, here we are, 11 years later. How do you sum up 11 years? Bret and I have:
- Lived in 4 houses (2 rented, 2 owned)
- Driven 8 cars (7 owned, 1 leased; 4 used, 4 new; 1 totaled)
- Visited the four “corners” of the continental U.S. (Seattle, San Diego, Bar Harbor, Key West)
- Attended the funerals of two grandparents, the weddings of several friends and siblings, and WAY too many graduations
- Raised a crazy German shepherd for nearly 11 years and cried buckets of tears when he was gone
- Fought and won a 6-year battle to become parents
It seems like a lifetime. It seems like a week.Ellen Goodman says this about marriage: "We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness."
I, for one, am grateful for all the forgiveness that has been shown to me. Thank you, dear husband, for these 11 years.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The house is fine; we just lost a few shingles (I was actually hoping the whole roof would blow off; I'd really like a new roof with shake-style, dark brown shingles, as opposed to the orange -- yes, orange -- shingles that are on there now). The power was out from around 3 p.m. Sunday until exactly 12:39 a.m. last night. I know this because I was sleeping on the couch to avoid waking everyone up with my coughing (bronchitis confirmed; got some meds; should be better soon) and the power kicks on and the answering machine starts talking very loudly: "TO SET THE TIME AND DATE, PRESS MENU," which just about made me fall off the couch.
Anyway, we survived just fine, despite losing nearly everything from our fridge and freezer, not being able to find ice anywhere to keep the few things we saved cold for very long, and not being able to find an open gas station that didn't have a line of 100 cars waiting. The weather cooled off considerably from Sunday's 91 degrees, and so reading in bed by candlelight while listening to the crickets through the open windows was actually kind of nice. I realized how less stressed out I was without the TV on all evening, even though I think I'm "relaxing" when I watch it.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I just want to know what the policy/procedure is, what have they done so far and what are they doing to prevent it from happening again. And if it does happen again, what happens to the biter? Does he get thrown out of school? I know they can’t possibly kick every kid who bites out of school – at this age, you’d have to kick out half the class. They all do it eventually. Who knows? My kid could easily be the biter next time instead of the bitee. So maybe that’s why I’m not as upset about it as others might be. I see it as one of those things that happens – a lot – and certainly won’t be the last bad thing that happens to her at school or somewhere else when we’re not around. On the other hand, she must’ve been terrified when it happened, and I wasn’t there to make her feel better. And that is upsetting.
In a larger sense, though, I think this is about my parenting philosophy in general. And it’s at least partially a gender thing – if she were a boy, I’d probably be more freaked out (“oh, my poor little man!”). As her mom, I see it as my responsibility to teach her to be a strong woman. The world is a bad, scary, unpredictable place and she might as well learn sooner rather than later that a) shit’s going to happen, and, b) how to deal with it. I am not about coddling and sheltering. Protecting, yes, that’s my job as a parent, and why I want some answers about this biting thing. After all, I’m not going to keep sending her someplace where she’s going to get ambushed by the Marvs of the world. But in a larger sense, I think I do her a bigger disservice by sheltering her (in this case, pulling her out of school after one such incident). I want her to strike out on her own someday as a confident, capable person, not be living in my house when she’s 30 (actually, I might need her to help me to the bathroom by then, so maybe I do want her living at home when she’s 30). Regardless, I know this is another one of those things that I will look back on when she’s a teenager and laugh about how it was no big deal. It’s all about perspective, no?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
- The bug guy is coming over on Saturday to put those little bait thingies around the house. We'll see how long it takes to work. If it works.
- Had a fantastic weekend with my brother, sister in law and nephews, despite Lauren being sick (two and a half months in daycare, third illness, in case you're counting).
- Speaking of Lauren, she is now, in my mind, officially two. To wit: she threw a 25-minute tantrum this morning because I dared to change her diaper. Oh, adolescence, you can't come soon enough.
- My latest escape is this blog (http://www.jennsylvania.com/jennsylvania/) and her first book.
- My Buckeyes continue to dominate northeastern Ohio. O-H-I-O!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
I had the day off yesterday to get 4 doc appointments over with, all routine checkups (everything’s fine and I remain The World’s Healthiest Fat Woman – I mean, seriously, no one at my weight and age should have such perfect blood pressure, cholesterol, EKG, etc.). Anyway, in between appointments I ran to Ikea to continue the Great Family Room Makeover of 2008. So far this has included:
Having the slab jacked (yes, that’s really what it’s called; Google it if you don’t believe me)
Painting the walls “Golden Straw,” a fantastic warm color that looks like the outside of a butternut squash. This took me a day and a half, not including the hours and hours of patching work that Bret did – which looks perfect now with the paint on it (which is to say, you can’t see the patches at all…just nice, smooth walls).
Removing the hideous vertical blinds.
Removing the hideous brown wood spindles that “separated” the kitchen from the family room (can you tell my house was built in the 70s?).
Re-texturing the ceiling after the spindles were removed.
New carpet is coming on Thursday – yea!!! What’s in there now is pretty gross and I’m happy to see it go. Anyway, I had a successful shopping trip at Ikea yesterday and bought two end tables in white, curtains and the cover to this ottoman, in black (I have to go back for the ottoman itself because I grabbed the wrong box on my way to the checkout and didn’t have time to go back – honestly, who can tell with all those brown, cardboard boxes). I think this will all go nicely with my green couch and pillows I bought last week (see previous post).
I have really enjoyed taking on this decorating project. First of all because I still feel, after nearly 4 years, that I’m living in someone else’s house. I've done so little redecorating because I was burned out on “fixing up” when we moved in from working so hard on our old house. I was also pretty depressed at that time (infertility, adoption process, blah, blah, blah) and just didn’t feel like doing anything. And then Lauren arrived and there was no time, and definitely no energy. Now that she’s older and easier to care for and we’re sleeping more than 4 hours a night, we are able to tackle some house things. Finally, my 6,000 hours of watching HGTV are going to pay off.
Friday, August 8, 2008
“When you learn to awaken your family's creativity, wonderful things will happen: you'll make meaningful connections with your children in large and small ways; your children will more often engage in their own creative discoveries; and your family will embrace new ways to relax, play, and grow together. With just the simple tools around you — your imagination, basic art supplies, household objects, and natural materials — you can transform your family life, and have so much more fun!”
Problem is, Amanda's idea of “relaxing, playing and growing together” includes things that make me equal parts envious and horrified. She doesn’t just knit (EVERYTHING), she makes her own knitting needles. She doesn’t just sew (all her kids’ clothes), she makes pants for her kids out of her husband’s old shirts. She makes “fairy houses” in the woods. She also crochets, gardens, cooks from scratch, turns her children’s drawings into embroidery projects, has a seasonal altar-like space where her kids put their finds from outside, makes all her own holiday gifts and created a “banging wall” in the backyard (discarded pots and pans strung between fallen trees for the kids to bang on). And she does all of this with her kids – two boys and a girl (and one on the way), ages 5, 3 and 1. AND she homeschools – or as she calls it, “unschools.”
Now. Far be it from me to come down on someone for having this idyllic life in Portland, Maine. I think it’s great that she’s so connected to the world around her and her kids. Her book doesn’t have a holier-than-thou attitude, as if we all should be living her life. But it got to me anyway and I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday after thinking about how I spend my time and how much of my days I actually enjoy (maybe 10%?). How the pace of my life is not what I want at all and how I’d prefer the more contemplative, meaningful existence she has.
I could never replicate even half of what she does, nor do I really want to – I don’t sew, I barely cook, I used to cross-stitch but that’s about the extent of my handicraft skills. I could, however, do a better job of spending time outside. I could do more meaningful activities with Lauren besides going to Target every weekend. I could turn the TV off and write. And if I can't make my own stuff, I could at least buy handmade, instead of mass-produced all the time (and I did that today at etsy.com, a site of all handmade goodies from housewares to clothes to jewelry, which I highly recommend). Check out these pillows I bought. And then go make yourself some fairy houses.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I can't say I feel terribly depressed about 40, it's just weird. Weird because, hello, last time I checked I was waiting the requisite three days to wash my hair after a perm, buying Outback Red sweaters with my babysitting money and putting my tape recorder next to the radio so I could record "Life in a Northern Town" the next time it came on.
Also, weird because I helped throw my mom's 40th birthday party, in between studying for finals my freshman year of college. I can't see Lauren taking charge of that for me, but honey, if you're reading this, mommy really likes her some dirty martinis, so stock up on the vodka and olives.
Also, when the fact that my next birthday is a "big" one came up at work, my boss's assistant politely said, "30?" Uh, no. Then she said she never would've guessed I was 39. I don't think she was shocked because I look so much younger than that, but because I act far too immature to be 39.
Oh, and I took Blobby's Virtual Age test...turns out I'm actually 44.2.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Countdown to the big Fourth of July weekend. I miss the days when that meant stewing in my grandparents' pool all day. This year it will mean stewing in my kichen whilst cleaning and cooking for the in-laws. Maybe we'll get the kiddie pool out for old time's sake.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Garage sales were a major part of my childhood. Not so much going to them, but working at my parents' huge sale every year. They were big auction-goers and would clean up, fix and sell whatever they didn't want to keep. I got to clean out my closet and my room every year and sell whatever I wanted -- and keep the money for myself (my mother's way of getting me to thin out the toys, etc.).
My mother was a master at garage sale organization and execution. She handled publicity (our town's weekly paper and a dozen handmade signs stuck on street corners and stapled to telephone poles). Every item was cleaned, in good working order, priced fairly, organized and artfully displayed. In other words, she didn't sell crap. And everyone knew it. For three full days (none of this 9-noon stuff), we would have hoards of people at our house buying up everything in sight. I would like to think I learned a thing or two from her when it comes to her secondhand (or thirdhand) retail prowess.
So...in case you will be in the Cincinnati area on Saturday (Friday, too, but I won't be selling that day, so come by Saturday!), make your way to Red Mill Drive in West Chester (45069) between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (e-mail me if you want my street number). And...in case you want to make a contribution to my family room makeover fund, you could take home one (or many) of these fabulous items:
- 150+ items of baby girl clothing, sizes 0-24 months; several items still have the original tags and even more were washed but never worn; most are Carter's, Old Navy and Baby Gap; nothing torn or with stains (that stuff went to Goodwill!); most everything is $0.50-$1.00 and nothing is more than $3.00
- Exersaucer (retails for $60-120; selling mine for $15)
- Jumparoo ($20) -- looks brand new
- Leapfrog Musical Table ($15) -- looks brand new
- Tons of Stampin' Up! and scrapbooking stuff, including 32 stamp sets ($10-26), 38 stamp pads ($3 each), punches ($4-13), adhesives and demonstrator supplies. Everything is in excellent condition and many items are still in the original packaging -- never opened or used!
- Weber grill, $20
- Decorative housewares from IKEA, Target and who knows where (pillows, candle holders, tablecloths, mirror, lamp, etc.)
- Chain saw and lawn mower (I'm lumping these together because I'm not sure yet how much we'll charge; Bret has to make sure they work first)
- Black & Decker hand mixer ($5)
- Black & Decker Gizmo cordless can opener ($5)
- Whatever else I can find between now and Saturday
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I was a nervous wreck all morning, not because I was worried that she was in a bad place or not well cared for, but because I knew she was inconsolable all that time. I want her to have fun, not be miserable. I'll be the one taking her on Thursday so I'll get to experience her screaming in person.
I tried to prepare her for this by talking it up the last couple of days. I even bought a book about a little girl's first day at nursery school, which Lauren had me read three times last night, so I thought maybe she was catching on. I also bought her her first DVD -- "Elmo Goes to School" or something like that, but we didn't have time to watch it. Maybe we'll try that tonight.
The benefit to all of this is that I have had zero appetite all day (and if you know me well, you know that I could be bleeding out of my eyeballs and still eat). I have three quarters of my WW Points left for the day...usually by this time of day I've exhausted the vast majority of them and am trying to figure out what I can eat for dinner that's worth 2 points.
I keep trying to remind myself that the day will come when this seems extremely insignificant -- like when she's dating some jerk or... ugh, I don't even want to think what else. We will all survive.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Anyway, I now have a pile of paperwork to fill out and I need to talk Lauren's doctor into writing a note saying she has to have organic milk. I don't obsess about giving her an all-organic diet, but I am a freak about the organic dairy products. The connection between growth hormones given to cows to make them produce more milk and early-onset puberty in girls (not to mention the antibiotics issue) means that I'm not giving Lauren non-organic milk if I can help it. But I digress.
I'm so excited for Lauren to go to a wonderful school a couple of days a week where she'll learn so much and make new friends. (Maybe I'll make some, too. I could use more working-mom friends. People who "get it.") I know the transition will be tough for her, though. I already warned the assistant director that she's not going to be one of those kids who cries for 5 minutes and then stops when she gets wrapped up in an activity -- she's going to be the 2-hour sobber, I fear. Better now than in kindergarten, though, right?
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Riding off into the sunset:
Thursday, May 29, 2008
We've looked at three preschools and will visit one more next week. All have been fine and if I had to pick one, I'd go with the last one we visited, but I've got my hopes up for the one next week. It's one of those pricey places with a good reputation and an East Coast boarding school sounding name. I'm more afraid that it'll be too snooty for the likes of us, but we'll see.
Anyway, I was remembering way back when during my reporter days when I helped with a story on child care violations. I had to spend the day in Columbus in a file room going through hundreds and hundreds of child care center inspection reports. It occurred to me today that maybe these are now online -- and I was right. If you have a child in an Ohio child care center, preschool or private licensed caregiver's home, or are looking for care, go to this link (http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/cdc/query.asp) to do a search by county, center name, city or ZIP code. I spent the better part of the afternoon reading all kinds of interesting (and some shocking) things. You can read about the area(s) a center is or was out of compliance and how it was corrected. I really think more parents should know that they have the right to this information, so please pass along the link.
Friday, May 16, 2008
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this job or the people. I don’t like my commute situation or the fact that I have to dress up, but that’s not it either. It’s just that…it’s work. I’ve sunk back down into a “time to make the doughnuts” mentality, dragging myself out of bed in the morning, doing what I need to do to get three people out the door, facing my slightly stinky office (what IS that?) and to-do list and piles of paper and list of e-mails.
I have felt this way at every job I’ve ever had…maybe not all the time, but it’s kind of my default setting. Sure, I can be productive and every once in a while even proactive, but when it comes down to it, it’s work. It’s not (usually) fun and I wouldn’t exactly call it fulfilling, even if I truly like most everything about my job. Some people love their jobs so much they say they’d do it even if they weren’t getting paid. Would I choose to do this job if I weren’t being paid? No. Any other job I’ve ever had? No. There are very few things I can think of I’d do for a living for free – read books or float in a pool are the two that come to mind (even better – read books WHILE floating in the pool). And since I haven’t seen that particular job on Monster, I’m guessing they shall remain hobbies (or fantasies). I used to buy books with titles like “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.” But I’m not sure I believe that anymore. Sometimes you just do what you can tolerate instead.
However, I’ve decided that for every downer thing I write about, I have to write about something positive. So here goes. Um…I’m getting my hair cut and highlighted tomorrow. That’s always a good thing. I’m feeling rather dark and shaggy so I desperately need the lift in the hair department. Bret graduated last week and I was so proud of him I teared up three times. I didn’t even cry at any of my own graduations. When it was fairly quiet in the arena where graduation was taking place, Lauren yelled out “DA-DAAAAA!” and people around us smiled. I got a kick-ass new laptop for Mother’s Day (that Lauren sure knows what Mommy likes!). And finally, I’ve decided to have an 80s party for my 40th birthday (nearly 7 months away). I’m already planning my wardrobe and the music. I wonder if Jake Ryan will show up with a birthday cake?
Monday, May 12, 2008
I’m now in week 3 of the new job and it’s going well. It’s a huge, complex place that will probably take me a year or more to even begin to figure out. But the people are nice (including my boss – yea!) so that helps a lot. I was very busy at first but it’s slowed down slightly so now I have time to be lonely. My posse from the old job is coming to visit me at lunch tomorrow, and then I’m joining them for a going-away party for a friend who also decided she’d had it with that place. So, that’ll be good, to have some friend time again, which I had grown so used to having all day, every day. There was always someone fun to talk to while taking a break, strolling to the kitchen or standing at the printer. I’m pretty much on my own here, except for meetings and appointments. It was a good move; it’s just going to take me a while to feel comfortable.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Four jobs I have had in my life:
2. balloon-seller at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Four movies I've watched more than once:
2. Animal House
3. Office Space
4. Austin Powers
(good lord, I am a guy)
Four places I've lived:
1. Grand Rapids, MI
2. Columbus, OH
3. Oak Park, IL
4. Delaware, OH
Four TV shows I watch:
1. The Office
2. What Not To Wear
3. The Biggest Loser
4. Jon & Kate Plus 8
Four places I have been:
1. Bar Harbor, ME
2. San Diego, CA
3. Portland, OR
4. Omaha, NE
Four favorite foods:
1. Cereal w/milk (preferably something with very little nutritional value, like Golden Grahams or full-fat granola WITHOUT raisins)
2. Chocolate milkshakes
3. Warm bread with butter
Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. The beach
2. In my bed napping
3. A spa
4. The movies
Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
1. More sleep
2. Enjoying more time with Bret since he'll soon be done with school
3. Lauren learning to talk
4. Hopefully, a more balanced, less stressful life (more on that later)
Four places I love to shop:
1. Online -- for anything
2. Crate & Barrel
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Sound Bites Nutrition is my friend Lisa's new biz venture. She's a dietitian, mom, and all-around hilarious gal originally from the Rust Belt like me. If you need some help with all things food-related, contact Lisa. I promise she won't make you feel bad for eating so much crap.
Madison Blvd Photography is a photo studio run by two delightful moms. They took our family pictures and Lauren's one-year photos back in December and managed to make us all look good (mostly Lauren). Check out the Galleries for shots of my gal in a pink tutu (a prop I really didn't want but they turned out to be my favorite pictures).
Lumpyhead is a site I stumbled across, read the whole thing one afternoon and laughed hysterically. It chronicles the adventures of a working mom, stay-at-home dad and their two (soon to be three) kids. I'm hooked.
Monday, March 3, 2008
What struck me, however, was the big, burly, white truck driver in the lane next to me who honked enthusiastically at the Obama supporters.
Then, a half mile or so down the road, Hillary supporters (all big, burly, white guys) were standing near the highway in front of a union hall, holding their "Hillary for President" signs. Another blue-collar white guy driving his work truck honked and waved at them.
Our country is by no means done with racism and sexism; I know we have a long way to go on both fronts. But seeing white, regular-Joe type guys enthusiastically supporting a bi-racial man and a white woman running for President literally put a smile on my face.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Big excitement of the weekend is that I'm spending my spa gift card Lauren was kind enough to buy me for Christmas. Yummy-smelling Aveda goodness, here I come!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Books: I have a habit of having more than one book going at a time. Currently, I’m reading:
- You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty
The latest in the “You” series by Oprah’s favorite doc and some other guy. Can’t seem to get through this, although it does contain some great information. Seems to be geared to someone at least 10 years older than me. Which is fine. Anything that makes me feel younger.
- The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
The gals at work started a book club and this is our first selection. I’ve read several of Bill Bryson’s other works and he always makes me laugh aloud. A Walk in the Woods is still my favorite from this Iowa-born writer who lives in England.
- What To Expect: The Toddler Years
You gotta read these if you have a kid, right? I’m already two months behind on this user manual…I hope there’s not something important that I’m supposed to be doing. (As a side note, the first book in this series is the classic What To Expect When You’re Expecting, which I did not need. There should be an adoption book called What To Expect When You’re Not Reproducing.)
- How To Look Good Naked
God love Carson Kressley. He was always my favorite Queer Eye guy, and who better to build up the self-esteem of the average woman than a man who has clearly embraced his different-ness.
- The Biggest Loser: Couples
I’m not quite as into the Couples show as much as I am the regular Biggest Loser shows, but I still tune in faithfully every Tuesday. Love to watch the transformations. While I eat cookies. And ice cream.
- P.S. I Love You
I’ve only seen two movies (in the theater or otherwise) since Lauren was born, so perhaps I am not the most discerning of movie-goers these days, but I loved this chick-flick. I know it didn’t get good reviews, but I don’t care. For two hours of laugh-cry-laugh-cry (throw in a little lust for Gerard Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan and their yummy Irish accents), it was worth the $9.25 and half a box of Kleenex.
*I was not paid to review any of this stuff, but I am by no means above accepting any free goodies the publishers/producers might want to throw my way.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
I have a new nephew! Colin Matthew was born January 3, weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces and 19 ½ inches long. He came quickly so there was no time for drugs (my sister-in-law is my hero). I can’t wait to visit him and big brother Caleb. My brother is well on his way to having his own soccer team.
The other exciting news is that my new dining room furniture is being delivered tomorrow. No, seriously, you have no idea how exciting this is. I was convinced I would die an old woman with that hand-me-down table and chairs (they actually have “1973” stamped underneath them). Our new set was the floor sample so I got a mission-style table, 6 chairs, buffet and hutch for what a buffet from Pottery Barn costs. A good deal to be sure.
See? I can be happy!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
My whole plan when I started WW this time around was to reach my goal weight by the time I turned 40. I even had a whole campaign dreamed up for the process: Hot By 40. I figured out how much weight I'd need to lose each week in order to reach my goal by then, and it was quite reasonable. But I fell off track a month or so ago and now it’s probably not do-able. Not for me, anyway. Forty is “only” 53 weeks away and I am doing this slowly.
I just dropped a blob of buffalo chicken dip leftover from New Year’s eve on my mousepad. That should give you some indication of how slowly it's going.