Wednesday, November 30, 2011

top 5: November 30th

Here are my top five six things about November 30th:

  1. It's my Papa's birthday. Today Oliver randomly sang Happy Birthday while we were playing after dinner.
  2. It's the last day of NaBloPoMo. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't relieved. It's definitely pushed my limits, and caused me to see blog posts in daily life. I think I've done pretty well though, at accomplishing my goal. I've grown a bit as a writer, meaning (to me) I'll take those seemingly insignificant moments and really analyze what they mean(to me), what they could mean (to me), and learn from them.
  3. This morning we woke up to the first snowfall of the season. Oliver was pretty darn cute about it, with the excitement in his voice saying, "Whatzat mama?" and "it's snow! ooooh wow!"
  4. (Tomorrow) it can officially be Christmastime around here. It's not just about "respecting the turkey" but also about trying to squeeze the last bit of fall fun I can out of the year. Plus, trying to put off the seasonal affective disorder (which I'm sure I have). It gets really cold in Cleveland.
  5. I did a bit of shopping online today, but didn't meet my goal of being done with Christmas shopping before December. I do still plan to do almost all of our gift-buying online this year, but I better get on the ball (so we I don't end up obsessively tracking shipments due to arrive on December 21st and freaking the fuck out because it would really suck to have no gifts to give and have to explain that I'm a loser and didn't order them in time so here's a printed-out-from-Amazon picture of what we bought you). Not that that's happened. (But almost.)
  6. Numbered list, run-on sentences, and overuse of parentheses to end National Blog Posting Month? WIN.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

most nights

Most nights I don't pick up the house even though I know I should, and that I'd feel better for having done it.

Most nights I don't do the dishes, even though I'd be better off in the morning not having to wash a coffee cup.

These are the few hours a day where we can be a couple, and lately we've needed it.

The holidays are going to be busy... we're already booked every weekend in December.

So the dishes can wait, and the toys can stay on the living room floor.

I'm going to snuggle with my husband and watch mindless TV for an hour.

Monday, November 28, 2011

a quick story

Tonight was supposed to be a regular night. I drove home from work and picked up my guys. The plan was to head out to Taco Bell for dinner and then go grocery shopping. The first part went well, Ollie had mostly potatoes for dinner, he called them french fries. I took him to the bathroom to change his diaper, while Nick went out to start the car. He got in on the passenger side, started the car, then decided to be chivalrous and pull the car around to the door of the restaurant. He got out, went around to the driver's side and

(I bet you can tell where this is going.)

the doors were locked. All of them. With the car running.

Ollie and I came out, him happily running through the rain, and Nick tells me we're locked out of the car.

To our credit, no one lost their shit. (Emotions have been running high 'round these parts, you know.) We stood there for a minute, me basically looking shocked, Nick saying "I don't know how this happened!" and Oliver still happily letting the rain fall on his face.

Luckily, Nick hadn't left his phone in the car, so we were able to call Uncle Bob down the street and he drove over to our house, went inside and got Nick's keys, and drove them out to Taco Bell to rescue us.

My sweet boy was so good the whole time, too. He played chase around the restaurant for a while, and then when more customers came in, he settled down and didn't disturb anyone. He was just excited that Uncle Bob was coming to see us at the restaurant.

This just goes to show you that family is not only who you're related to by blood, but also who you're related to by heart. We are lucky to have some really great people in our life.

My car was low on gas, so we went to the station to fill up. When I got back in the car, Oliver kept saying "go see Bob" and "go see Ellie" and "go see Bogey" (their dog). I thought that was a great idea, so instead of going to the grocery store and winding up with an overtired toddler by the end of the trip, off we went to visit.

He ended up awake past his bedtime anyway, what with the dog to play with and Aunt Ellie feeding him bananas, but hey... it was a good time and no one was cranky.

Thank God for family and friends who we call family!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

the long weekend

It's glorious, and a pain in the ass all at the same time. There's such a build up to holiday weekends. Slugging through that last workday, with the promise three or four whole days off? Anticipation is the best...

I always expect so much out of those extra days off. Our cleaning schedule is basically in place... it has been thrown off with all the party planning and the business of hosting Thanksgiving - the past month cleaning has come in spurts more like it used to, but hey - we're not living in squalor. I got a few loads of laundry done and the kitchen is clean (because we ate leftovers). This weekend we didn't have a ton of stuff to catch up on, just more sorting and clearing out... so I feel like there should be all kinds of extra time.

But you know what I did with my "extra" time?

Saturday afternoon - the weather was sunny and in the mid-60s
The whole family went to the park (Even Roxie!)

We played on the slides, the jungle gym, and the swings.

So we may not have gotten an extra weekend's worth of things done around the house, but it was a great weekend... totally worth it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

my son, today

This morning, my son woke up and started calling for me saying, "Mommy where aaaaaaare youuuuuuu?"

How could I not wake up with a smile on my face, hearing that? I love weekends.

I sleepily shuffled into his room to find him stark naked. Shocked, I asked him, "Ollie! Why are you naked?!"

His answer was to smile at me, hold out his pants, and then say, "Hi Mommy! Pants! No diaper!"

I eventually found his diaper had been stuffed down behind his crib. Thankfully, it was only wet, and pretty heavy. I can see how that would be annoying.

(He's inching closer to potty-training, I think.  Along with this morning's antics, he's also occasionally been asking to be changed and sneaking off to do his business "alone" either behind the couch or at the end of the hallway or something. He will mention going potty [he's seen the kids at daycare going off to use the potty], and we have a little potty thing that plays a song that we got as a hand me down that he likes to go sit on and play with.)

Anyway, we had bacon, half an orange, and some blueberries for breakfast. We then watched Shrek and and ate a few goldfish crackers. When Daddy and Uncle Joel woke up, we all played Mr. Potato Head for a while.  We had Thanksgiving sandwiches for lunch, and right now my sweet boy is napping, clutching on to the Woody doll he got for his birthday.

We'll see what happens when he wakes up.

Friday, November 25, 2011

stuff... and clearing it out.

I got a brand new laptop. I paid for said laptop with "found money" - a.k.a. selling off some gold and silver jewelry. Nick has a nice laptop, and we both have cell phones. I carry around a 3rd gen iPod touch, but I don't really use it much.

My father in law has been preparing to move out of my mother in law's old house. This is heartbreaking, of course, because it's the house Nick grew up in and it will soon be empty. But that's a post for another day.

Among all the other emotions this brings up, I've been thinking a lot about "stuff". All the stuff that was in that house, years of clothes, knick-knacks, furniture, dishes, everything... it's all coming out of that house. Some of it is going to Gar's new house, and some of it is coming to our house. There is a giant pile of stuff in the middle of our garage that has to be sorted, donated, and packed away. I am the most sentimental sap you'll ever meet, so it's hard for me to look at the stacks of boxes and not see memories attached to everything. My first instinct is to keep anything that might have once been special. But there is absolutely no more storage left in this house, and really, what good would it do anyone to box things up and store them?

I'm at the point where I'm thinking that always upgrading and expanding our own lifetime's collection of stuff - whether it's the latest electronics or a few new winter-weather tops or mountains of toys - it gets to be more of a burden than a blessing. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm blessed to have family and friends that came out to celebrate Oliver's 2nd birthday and bring him presents. We will all soon be blessed with toys and clothes and things as presents for Christmas. My point here is that managing all of this stuff is a big job.

Our computer room/guest bedroom holds a desktop computer that we only use when we need to use the scanner. (The printer's been out of ink for a while now, but really, who prints things anymore?) The closets and dresser are jammed full of paperwork and stuff that hasn't see the light of day in a while. Even though the room is presentable enough for guests, it's still stressful thinking about all that stuff and how I'm going to have to go through it and sort and organize and hopefully sell and recycle and trash.

To my credit, I have already started on that dreaded process, it felt good to come up with two garbage bags full of stuff we didn't need to be storing anymore... broken toys hit the trash and things like the boxes from my new computer and a couple old cell phone boxes hit the recycle bin.

But really, how much stuff does one person, one family, really need? Sentiment aside, because I can't (and don't care to) change that particular trait of mine, purging and donating and paying it forward feels great. Instead of trying to find new ways to organize and store our stuff, why don't we take more time to really decide what to keep? We spend a good amount of time researching when we're after a new gadget, camera, whatever, etc... so why not spend some time looking around to decide what to get rid of first? It's a rule I've tried to live by, at least when it comes to clothes... one in, one out!

Except... I could probably use some new socks. Oh, and those sweet blue pumps I saw on Amazon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Oliver, Two Years Old

And his silly Daddy.

I love these goofballs.

With all my heart.

Today I just want to say that I'm so thankful for the happiness and health of these two dudes right here, and they joy they bring me just by being "mine".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

random crap from today

  • I got to leave work an hour early today. There's nothing quite like starting your 4-day weekend an hour early. I stopped for wine.
  • Nick is working Friday, so he only sort-of has a long weekend. He's making butt-loads of money that day though, so I'm thankful his job gave him the option of going in to work, but I'm sorry he has to get up stupid early on Friday.
  • At work today I put together a marketing piece soliciting Black Friday sales. The shame.
  • Operation: Reorganize Bedtime is starting right now. Nick is putting Ollie to bed tonight. The hope is that switching things up will break this habit he's gotten into of not wanting to be put down awake.
  • Tomorrow morning, I'm baking up some semi-famous cream cheese cookies. I got the recipe from my Mother in Law. This makes me happy and sad at the same time. I'm glad she gave me the recipe. I'm sad she won't be with us to eat them.
  • Before bed tonight, we played with Mr. Potato Head. I remember cracking up laughing as a little kid, singing the song from the commercial but changing the words, "Mr. Potato Head, and his bucket of FARTS, buckets of fun... for everyone!
  • Last night I went to my grandma's brother's funeral. Cancer sucks. Also: it's weird being in a room full of people, looking around and seeing the family resemblance, looking at photos on a slideshow and seeing your parents and grandparents looking SO YOUNG, and yet not really recognizing anyone. I'm grateful to have such a large, loving family, but it really is so odd to have a second cousin (my dad's cousin) who looks more like me than any of my first cousins.
  • I got an email from my aunt today. She was replying to my last blog post, and she said some very nice things about my writing. Thank you, Auntie M. (Auntie Em! Auntie Em!)
  • Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. (That large family I mentioned above is from Tennessee, so shut up, I'm legit.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

doing this in spite of myself

I need to re-think the way I tackle life.

I consistently and actively avoid “signing up” for anything that sounds like a time commitment because I’m afraid I won’t be able to give it my all. And then something else in my life won’t get the attention it deserves, or at least the time and attention that it currently gets. Basically, my family gets my all, every day.

And I’ll be damned if my family suffers because of something I “got myself into”, including things that might be fun, or interesting, or even Good For Me.

Which, yes, I realize is just ridiculous.

I feel guilty wanting to go to somewhere by myself. But last night I had a work-related event thing that lasted just a couple hours, and I HAD to go. And I was totally fucking awkward the whole time. I made a beeline for the people I knew, my coworkers. I then followed them to the bar, to the table, to the food stations, and back to the table. It took concentrated effort for me to get up and go back to the bar when I had finished my drink.

I didn't have Nick there, my armor, my backup... and no little Ollie to entertain me. I was expected to chat and be social with other adults. And I forgot how.

As much as I LOVE my boys and my life, I am so unwavering in my routine that I feel like I'm running out of things to even think about.

I want to write about interesting things. I enjoy this little blog with my opinions on random things, and stories about my loves. Making (long-distance) friends with people because of it has been awesome, and a little surprising. But mostly awesome.

Thing is, I'm not restricted or stifled or tied down. Nick is encouraging me to go to BlogHer in 2012 and meet these people face to face, and listen to other women and moms talk about writing interesting things. I hope that it energizes me. Because I have this tendency to hold myself back, and I don't know why.

So while I am perfectly content, I've been thinking. And coming up short. It's gonna be a long winter.

Monday, November 21, 2011

if it ain't broke, and I don't fix it, what happens?

As it turns out, I'm the kind of mom who will rock my boy to sleep - at two years old - if that's what works for us.

Books, and maybe some doctors, and most of the internets, say that he should have learned to fall asleep on his own by like 9 months old, but I don't so much care what they say. Maybe it's the "attachment parent" in me, or maybe it's that I'm lazy and don't really want to battle "sleep training", but I like to think that as a mom, his mom, I know what's good for us.

Oliver sleeps 10 hours a night, every night. He has nights where I'd rock him and he wouldn't fall asleep in his usual 20 minutes, and rarely those nights have stretched out into full-on two-and-a-half hour rocking shhh-ing marathons. But since he was about 8 months old, he's slept thru the night.

(Even those times though, there wasn't really a lot of kicking, screaming, bargaining, etc., mostly just calm confusion. Like, we'd look at each other and I'm thinking "why aren't you asleep yet, kid?" and he's looking at me like, "I don't even know, mom.") Eh, there's nights when I just can't fall asleep, so maybe there's just a lot on his little toddler mind? He's worried about that baby bird Elmo found?

So then one night I put him down in his crib, and he wasn't asleep yet. And he went to sleep. Just like that. And I thought he just decided on his own that this was cool... easy peasy, whatever mom. This is pretty much how all of our "transitions" with Oliver have gone. Breast to bottle at daycare? No biggie. Bottle to sippy cup? OK cool, not picky. Food, walking, teething, even illnesses? Tough guy. Nothing I'd really call a battle.

Anyhow, I remained cautious, trying it again and again, and sometimes it would be fine, he'd go to sleep... and sometimes he was on his feet before I got out the door crying for me.

I don't do well with that, at all.

It's like, I know he can do it - go to sleep by himself - so those nights that he doesn't? Must be my fault. Did I not do enough to make it easy for him? Did I try to hard to ease into the transition from my arms to the crib? Did I let him stay up too late so he's over-tired? Is he not tired enough? Was his nap too late? Is he thirsty? Teething? Does he have to poop? Is he sick? Did he hear the dog bark?

What happened to my confidence?

I was totally fine letting him fall asleep on me. I was all: who cares? And now, something must be wrong. The routine is lacking. There's something I'm missing.

I guess I'll just keep on trying, calling for reinforcements from Daddy if needed. I get frustrated, mostly with myself, when bedtime doesn't go like I think it should. He almost always wakes up happy, but I still somehow feel like I'm failing him. This is supposedly a skill, and I'm not helping him master it.

I'm just tired of thinking about it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Confessions: laundry

I'm talking about laundry here? Really?

Until recently, as in the last month or so, I didn't use bleach on our whites. Bleach is scary you guys. It burns holes in stuff and can ruin a great sweater. Not that that's happened to me.

But the real confession is: I only use laundry detergent on like, every other load. Nick has asked me why we never buy laundry soap, and for some reason, I haven't told him this. (Hi, honey! Don't worry, the clothes are clean!!) Plus my friend just got a new HE washer & dryer and had to buy the special laundry soap so she gave me like half of a giant thing of it that she could no longer use.

So there's your money saving tip for the day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

things I haven't mentioned yet

Here's five things you might not know (and one you probably don't care to know):
  1. I love rye toast with lots of butter. Really, I love all breakfast foods, just not in the morning. Eggs in the am? No thanks.
  2. I don't like shampoo and/or conditioner that's too heavy... if I can still feel the slimy-ness in my hair after I've rinsed, I'll rinse again. It creeps me out.
  3. I don't wear make up. Like Ever. For a special occasion, I'll slap on some eyeshadow and mascara, but that's it. No foundation, concealer, lip gloss... nothing.
  4. Sometimes I pick my nose without thinking about it. At first I'm all: eww I'm gross. Then I'm all: man, I hope no one saw me do that.
  5. I'm afraid of deer. They're just so... jumpy. This is the time of year they get extra jumpy too. I'd rather deal with a spider or a slug or some other weird nasty thing than a deer.

Friday, November 18, 2011

to lovey, or not to lovey?

Yeah, it's not up to me. I was one of those parents who decided that it wouldn't be bad for my kid to have a lovey. Some random toy that will calm him, make him feel safe, be a familiar friend in a strange and/or new situation? Fine by me!

So we started out with me assuming everything Oliver became remotely attached to was destined to become "THE thing" and I'd start researching how to get my hands on backup copies... Patrick from SpongeBob beanie baby? Got two. Taggies blanket? Check. Ridonkulous sock monkey thing... uh oh, am I in trouble? I don't know where that came from!

My son is on the opposite side of the lovey argument, apparently. Any of an assortment of "nigh-night" blankets is fine. His only thing is that most nights he wants to pick out a new one from the drawer.

This post was inspired by commenting on my friend Heather's blog... click to see her son Jack's lovey, Dee-Da.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

all I ever needed to know

Recently my friend Jess posted about being inspired by another friend, and basically what I came here to say today is: BE NICE.

You don't know what's going on in someone's else's world. That guy that cut you off on the highway might be having a bad day, or the worst day he's ever had. He might be struggling with something that you can only imagine.

Related, trust me: everyone, even grown men, can be bullied or taken advantage of. Stand up for yourself and stand up for those you love if they're too tired to do it on their own. Have faith in people when they've lost faith in themselves.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oliver's Sesame Street birthday party!

I was really, really happy with how Oliver's birthday party came together this year!

Here's the invitation:

I made these myself in Microsoft Publisher and had them printed up in 5x7

The logistics:

12:30pm - Oliver & Trent (my BFF's son visiting from out of town) go down for naptime.
Trent is sleeping peacefully and Oliver is fighting it. My mom stays behind to convince him it's time to sleep.
1:00 pm - get the car loaded up, head over to the hall with BFF Jen, start decorating. Brother shows up with a giant bag of ice and his helpful pants on. Mom drives over and we get shit done.
2:15 pm - Thanks to the help of my awesome crew, we are miraculously done decorating! Drive over to the dollar store for helium balloons, drive to pizza place and pay way too much money for pizza.
2:45 pm - back to the hall, husbands and babies arrive with the rest of the food, and it's time to get this party started.

I am so incredibly grateful for all the help I had putting this together - I couldn't have done it without my awesome family and friends and my amazing husband who is now famous for his delicious pretzel bread (with Hershey Kisses inside!!). 

Just before 3:00, when people started to arrive, I looked around and I couldn't have been happier.

Now on to the pictures!

a couple of my favorite details. lollipop tree and homemade cupcake toppers
balloon garland, strung with plain old needle and thread

bounce house, borrowed from a friend, indoors! which is why I love this hall.

an impromptu parade? don't mind if I do.

cupcakes & milk :)

elbow cake!!

Elmo loves you, Ollie, and so do we!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

happy birthday, Oliver.

My sweet boy,

You are two years old today.

Last weekend, we had a big Sesame Street birthday party that your mommy is pretty darn proud of. You have so many people that love you, baby. The party was of course slightly bittersweet, without your Grandma P. there, but we found joy and strength in you. We had lots of family and friends come out to celebrate with you, and you had so much fun playing and running and eating cupcakes.

That's what you do best, my love... you're always so you. I admire your determination and your free spirit, along with that sweetness and charm. You're so much like your Daddy already: you don't let the world pass you by. Every moment, you're seeing, exploring, listening, and learning. You're like me, too, in that you're compassionate.

I could go on for days, yet I'm at a loss for words to describe how much I love you. You are my whole heart.

Happy Birthday, Oliver.


Monday, November 14, 2011


I found a torn-out corner of a pamphlet someone gave me at the hospital, some time in 2009. I don't know if it was originally in the giant folder of crap we got with our paid admission to the pregnancy/labor/baby care class, or in the giant packet of crap we got with our paid admission to the maternity ward.
Either way, I distinctly remember tearing off this corner of the page, just after returning to work. I remember thinking, "if I can just keep this in mind, I'll be OK."
Many mothers returning to work hit a wall of exhaustion and frustration with their manic schedules, and they experience a sense of guilt from leaving their baby behind. These feelings are universal, and with the support of your partner and a sense of perspective, you will soon feel better and settle into a routine.
Let your partner take responsibility for the meals and household chores so that you can focus on working, nursing, and resting. Save the laundry, heavy cleaning and shopping for the weekends, when you can rest and then do these chores together.
Use your nursing time to relax and reconnect with your baby. Sit or lie in a quiet place, and enjoy the experience. Remember to keep a sense of perspective; this is a relatively short span in the length of your life and your child's. A meaningful relationship with your healthy baby will outweigh a rough couple of months.

(emphasis mine) 

It is so true. So, so true. I still think about how hard those first few months back at work really were. I was not a good employee. I was absolutely in survival mode. It was such a struggle, every day, leaving him at day care to go to work. I hated every moment away from him.

But, I treasure every memory I have of sitting quietly with my tiny baby. The fact that those moments were not only fleeting but few and far between, while we adjusted to our new life, made them all the more special to me. It was the best decision I ever made, even if I was lacking in other areas of my life, to stop and just be present with my boy.

That time went by so fast, and it was so worth it to let everything else go for a while.

Now? I'm so proud of Oliver, I could burst. He's so smart, and sweet, and beautiful. I made it through that toughest time, and came out on the other side with an amazing little boy who, I have no doubt, knows just how much his Mommy loves him.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ollie's top 5 movies

Ollie's Current Favorite Movies:
  1. Toy Story (& Toy Story 3) He doesn't really care for Toy Story 2. Anyway: I took picture of the sky outside my office not long ago, because it reminded me of Toy Story.
  2. Cars (& Cars 2)
  3. Rio - the birdy movie. 
  4. Madagascar & Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - these are interchangeable and can also at any time be referred to as "Alex the Lion Movie"
  5. Finding Nemo
Source: via Sara on Pinterest

Here are some things that can be regularly heard around my house:
  • How long is this going to TAKE?
  • Just take a look at this right here, loverboy.
  • Is it getting DARK OUT??
  • Good God, girl. You huge.
  • Birds versus monkeys!!!!
  • Noggin!
  • You ARE the bomb!
Actually, just rest assured that if you hear me or Nick say something and then giggle like 5 year olds, it's probably a quote from a movie intended for 5 year olds.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

finding inspiration

Last week I decided to "clean out" my Google Reader.

If I'm going to be doing a bunch of writing, (which I am! Lookit me go!) and try and fit this whole NaBloPoMo thing into my regular life, without taking away from my family or any of my obligations... well,  I decided I only want to read things that inspire me, not just distract me.

I had too many blogs where I would just hit "Mark Read", so I dumped a few. It's not you, it's me.

If I followed a blog just because they had giveaways? Eh, not really interested anymore. Gone.
If it was a follow-back from a blog hop, and since then I discovered that we don't have anything other than that in common? Bye bye.

On the other hand, a lot of times my list gets long because I will read something on my iPod and "Mark Unread" so I can come back and leave a comment later, but as it turns out, only a few get that special treatment.

These are the people who inspire me. I get genuinely excited to see they've put up a new post. These are the people I want to engage with, pick their brains, or just sit back, read, and be in awe of some of the awesome people that the internet has helped me become friends with.

And now I'm caught up... so, does anyone have any uplifting, inspiring people or sites to share with me? (Or, you know, some funny stuff to make me laugh?) Share your favorites with me!

Friday, November 11, 2011

photo cards are the coolest {Shutterfly}

When it comes to holiday cards, I rarely send them out. One year, we sent a Christmas card with a picture of our pup on it, and the year Oliver was born I actually handed them out ON Christmas. With picture of the kid. I really love giving (and receiving) cards and notes with photos included… probably because of my love of all things scrapbooking-related! They're just that much more personal and special, not just something you got a box of 50 of and signed your name to a bunch of times. 

I was kidding myself by thinking I’d get Christmas cards out this year... there's just been too much stress on my family (emotionally and financially) this year, and right now I'm so focused on Oliver's birthday party, that it's just not a priority. Sorry, family and friends. If I don't see you around the holidays? Maybe you'll get one of those animated e-cards.

So back to Shutterfly. If I did do Christmas cards, it would probably be one of these.

For the "Happy Holidays" set, politically correct and all. Modern snowflake :)
Merry Christmas, clean and simple. Love that it's folded and really features the photo!
Guess what? I’m also not very good at remembering to send out thank you cards. (Great "review" right? HAHA) I usually get them done, but hardly ever in the socially-acceptable amount of time. My friend Proper Paige would be appalled, really. But I do get them done, eventually, and this year Shutterfly is going to help!

I'm getting 25 free cards (in exchange for writing this post) and there are so many cute designs to choose from! I've decided to go with thank you notes, since they are so sweet (all opinions are my own, duh) I know I will want to send them out right away. (I was not compensated in any other way, so postage is still on me.) I'm still deciding if Oliver will be allowed to color his name on these before they go out, though. (Clicking any photo in this post will take you to Shutterfly's website.)

I'm torn between a few of the designs... trying to find the most Sesame Street Birthday friendly match. Plus, it has depends on which photo I decide to use. I'm probably one of the most indecisive people, ever. Why yes, I am a joy to live with.

I have a thing for orange.
This card rocks... a fun & different way to say thanks.
I love this idea: full black & white photo with colorful letters...

The party is this weekend (!!!) so I have a little bit of time, right? (Heather?) Ooh maybe I'll use a photo from the party! From what I can tell the shipping only takes about a week... yeah, no, you're right. I'm really that ridiculous.

Hey, what do you guys think? Feel free to shout out opinions, yous guys.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the one I knew

Remember that one night... remember all those times?

We were... inseparable.

You taught me so much.

We knew each other so well.

I saw empathy and selfishness.

You saw loyalty and dishonesty.

You were just what I needed when I didn't even know I was missing anything.

Were you just a crush? I do remember thinking how perfect we would be.

But of course it was better to keep things the way they were.

Of course. I saw that, once time gave me a little perspective.

Through good times and bad, we were a pair.

My heart aches sometimes, from thinking about where you should be.

There are so many things we could be sharing.

I just know we'd have been so proud of each other.

You changed my life.

I miss you, my friend.

  Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was inspired by my late friend Rob.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

songs from my wedding

This was "our song" for our "first dance." That's in quotes because we got married in Las Vegas, then had a reception back home one week later. These songs are from that reception.
We chose this one because of Hal Sparks on I Love the 80s on VH1. Yes, really.

Do you guys know how frustrating it is for me to keep coming across Mariah Carey's dumb version? Maybe I'm showing my age or something,

This video kinda freaked me out. I had no idea *that* is what this song was about. I couldn't listen to the whole thing, though. This was Nick's mother-son dance.

Ok this is a really stupid video for a really great song.
I could've put a version up that had clips from the movie Tarzan, but that's not really what I was going for. This was my father-daughter dance.
Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

hey, you have a dog hair on your face.


Oh, wait. It's attached to your chin.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yeah, that really happened. Sometimes, I don't mind this whole getting older thing. I enjoy being the age I am, knowing what I want, and feeling confident because I have the experience(s) to back up my informed decisions.

Other times, it's all bullshit and I wish I was a kid again. No worries about money, hell - no worries about much other than what I'm going to do after school.

One of the few things that has stayed the same, no matter what age I am? Worries about random and disturbing skin care issues.

Monday, November 7, 2011

the daddy on the bus

Nick has quite often taken issue with many commercials and some TV shows and how they portray men. You know the ones I'm talking about... the commercial for a vacuum cleaner where the lazy dude on the couch can barely be bothered to lift his feet as the woman gleefully pushes her new vacuum past him. Practically any ad for a cooking gadget or grocery store will show a wife shopping for and preparing dinner for her family in a healthier/faster/less clean-up required way.

Not that these things aren't the "norm" I guess, and not to say that many women aren't perfectly happy (or expected or at least not resentful) doing these things for their family. But the point is, it's not always the women doing the cooking and/or cleaning, and certainly in this day and age, the men in our lives don't plant their butts on the couch every night and weekend and not lift a finger to help around the house.

So the other day, after dinner, Oliver started randomly singing "The Wheels on the Bus" while we prompted him what line to say next.

The wheels on the bus go...? Wound and wound!
The doors on the bus go...? Open-ann shut!
The wipers on the bus go...? Swish-wish-wish!
The baby on the bus goes...? Wah Wah Wah!
The mommy on the bus goes...? Shh Shh Shh!

All through the town!

There doesn't seem to be any daddies on this bus*?

So we made up some words, totally in jest (and out of ear shot) about what the daddy on the bus might say.

The daddy on the bus goes [boobs and beer!]
[nachos and farts!] [porn and war!]
The daddy on the bus goes [work work work]
All through the town!

*I did find one website that referenced the parents on the bus going shh shh shh, and also the mommy on the bus saying I love you and the daddy saying I love you, too. But I thought our version was funnier.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

daylight saving

I hate Daylight Saving Time.

Correction: I hate Standard Time.

The "extra hour" of sleep? It's a myth. Especially when you have a little one. Most kids will go to bed at bedtime, sleep their usual number of hours, and then wake up. A lot of adults too (at least those of us that have been trained by our kids or jobs or whatever) will go to bed, sleep the pre-determined number of hours, and wake up. I strongly protest this part of my new mommy-lifestyle, but it's an unfortunate side effect. I try to sleep in on the few days Nick gets up with Oliver (he works some Saturdays and therefore rightfully gets those Sundays) but most often it's no use. I'm up anyway.

But back to Daylight Saving.

Why dick with the clocks?

I know the government tells us that it saves energy, and that's great, but for those of us that leave the house and then return home at about the same times every day... I don't get how it helps. It's dark in the morning and it's dark at night. We turn on the lights and the heat.

Basically, I enjoy clocks as they are right now, (except for maybe if we could add an hour, but that's wishful thinking) where the sun comes up on my way to work, and it gets dark around dinnertime. I understand that the days are always shorter in the winter months, but I still don't like the switch. Maybe it's living on the frigid "North Coast" of Ohio... getting up and going outside is bad enough when it's 10 degrees outside and you're driving through a snowstorm, does it have to be pitch black too? This article seems to say that Standard Time is healthier, something about messing with the internal clock, but I say boo to them. They must not live in the northeast United States, where we need our dang sunlight in the evening.

Watch for posts this winter where I bitch about seasonal affective disorder.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

emotional words













(but wait, because also:)









Friday, November 4, 2011

thirty two

Today is my birthday!

It's 9:00 am and I've gotten two phone calls, had three co-workers stop by my desk, got a card in the mail from my grandma yesterday (how do grandmas always do that?) and 4756 texts and facebook messages. :-D

I'm 32 years old today... and it's pretty much a so-what kind of birthday. Thirty-two? Eh. Except hey! It's my birthday so I do get to feel a little special! (Plus, so does my mom. Because damn, this day should be as much about her as me, no?)

So tonight we're going out for some good Mexican food and I'm gonna have me a couple margaritas.

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

mornings suck

For your consideration:
  • 6:20 - alarm goes off
  • 6:28 - snooze
  • 6:36 - get out of bed, go pee, choose clothes (I should start laying them out at night, huh.)
  • 6:45 - shower. get dressed. blow dry my bangs (no time to do the whole head), brush my teeth
  • 7:00 - my favorite part of the morning. I open the bathroom door and I hear: "hi, Mommy!" Change diaper, blow raspberries, change clothes
  • 7:15 - head to the kitchen. Get Ollie some milk, take the dog out, pour coffee, pile into the car.
  • 7:30 - drop Ollie off at daycare. Most days I set him down and he says "Mommy go to work? Bye Mommy!" I make him come back to the door and give me hugs and kisses, then he's on his way.
  • Drive to work.

So the other day, while driving to work, I started laughing at myself. Like, if people in passing cars saw me... they'd think I was nuts.

Alone, in my car, LOLing so much I nearly had tears in my eyes.

Why? There I am, hands at 10 and 2, eyes on the road, focused on traffic... listening to some radio show folks talking about some fashion something or another.

And I can't remember what color shirt I'm wearing.

I do everything from 6:30 am to about 8:00 am on complete and total auto-pilot. It took a while for me to map out that list, trying to remember the order that I do things!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

here's a crazy acronym for something fun that will hopefully get me to write more: NaBloPoMo.

So. I just said the other day that I'm not a writer.

But what I didn't say is that I like writing, and I wish I did more of it. Even though I've come to accept it, I don't like the fact that I let stress hold me back in this area of my life. I like blogging.

So I think the main purpose of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) is, well according to the badge at the very least, a way to improve your writing. From my understanding, the idea is that simply by getting you to write more often, you become better at letting the words out, and making them come out the way you want.

NaBloPoMo 2011

Basically, I'm using this to get myself at least thinking about writing more. Baby steps. If I have to think about writing something every day, maybe I can train myself to just sit down and let the words flow. Trial by fire, right?

Right now my blogging style is... half-assed in that I get an idea, and if I'm not doing anything else right at that particular moment, or in like the next five minutes, then I come blog about it.

Ok, no. I start a post. Then Save as Draft. Then some other time I come back and reword and edit and preview and then... wait a day or two. Then re-read one more time. Then schedule or publish. And that's if I don't have to go find the camera or get Nick to email me the picture I had in mind to go with the post.

So here I am, NaBloPoMo-ing along with some of the best (like her and her and her). My intent is to make blogging feel more like a natural, easy, enjoyable hobby, and less like the broken process it is now. This is going to be a challenge, and I'm excited!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boo at the (CLEMet) Zoo

(show me your teeth, Ollie!)
Mommy + Oliver = <3
I have to say... I was unimpressed. The radio ads touted "family friendly fun!" that's "hairy, not scary!" (get it, because it was at the zoo?) but the problem was that the animals were, for the most part, sleeping. So... not much hair.
There were a few activities, like a Monster Mash dance area thing where we probably would have been trampled and a "spooky" greenhouse with lights in the trees and some good pumpkin decorations. There were bunches of kids and whole families in costume, a lot of people for a Sunday night, I thought.

The only animals we could really see were the ones that had indoor viewing areas: the elephants, which Ollie did NOT LIKE (they were they were too big, I think?) and a koala. Outside we saw a couple camels, a few reindeer (cool, but not in a lighted habitat area, so tough to see) a seal (NO SEAL, DADDY!) and the bears.

The bears made it all worth it. We pointed, said "see the bears, buddy?" and held him while he looked... and then my Ollie held up his little hand like a claw and said "RARRR."

We hung out by the dang bears until it was time to leave. I can't wait to go back to the zoo during the DAY. As far as the Boo at the Zoo event, maybe we'll enjoy it more when he's a little older.