Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

HAND-iwork

Pinterest has been my b*tch this holiday season.  Seriously, I have completed so many pinned projects!  I have added ornaments to my garlands.  I have helped fashion a popcorn turkey.  I have embroidered no less than seven framed handprints.  That's right.  Seven baby handprints embroidered in cotton and framed in silver.

I first showed you the handprint back in November, when I completed the first one.  And I had so much fun making it, I made six more (four of which are actually my niece's hand)!



 And since I hadn't done enough with handprints, I also pinned & did the following:

Handprint Reindeer:  Aren't they the cutest tree ornaments and gift tags??  Hubby agrees!  Which is why I made 18 of them!  My hands are covered in hot glue.  (and oops, I totally forgot to add hooves to the gift tag reindeer!)



Handprint Wreath: I led some coworkers during a holiday craft hour to make this one!  It's hanging most adorably on the door to our office area.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Salt dough ornaments:  I invited four toddler friends and their moms to my house on Saturday to make these.  Because I'm insane.  Five toddlers from 19 months to 2 years?  It was a BLAST!  This dough was also really easy to work with.



And a handprint Christmas tree on salt dough:  I loved the original pin of the handprint on paper.  And I loved working with the salt dough.  So why not put them together to make one, fantastic craft?!  If you're interested, I had Laura dip her hand in fingerpaint, then press the painted hand into the uncooked salt dough.  The baking process did not alter the color in any way.  A spray can of shiny finish from Michael's added the lovely sheen. 

 

The best part of actually doing a pinned project, for me, is taking the original inspiration and making it my own.  Absolutely nothing I have created looks exactly like the picture I pinned.  And I love that!  I love taking little snippets of ideas and making it me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The U/S Explains A Lot

You may have read in my previous post, that we had our BIG ultrasound this morning!  YAY!  Beyond the wonderfulness of hearing "It's a boy" from the tech, the blurred black and white images explained a lot about the discomfort I've been feeling:

Boy, oh boy!

Get ready!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Internet is Forever

Excuse me while I step onto my soapbox for a moment.

Have you seen any of those ads on TV promoting safe internet use for kids?  Like this one:



Think before you post.  It's really good advice.  The internet is forever.  Pictures are forever.  It's a scary world we're living in.  I'm not one to shy away. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's a Wonderful Link-up

I love reading about everyone's favorite Christmas movie classics!  I agree with a lot of you on your top picks.  But I've noticed a few great movies going without mention (and some without quite enough mention for my taste)!  Here's a look at my top Christmas movies of all time.

Mickey's Christmas Carol




I watched this so much as a 2 1/2 year old, I actually said "Bah Humbug!" to Santa as I smiled and sat on his knee.  It's not Christmas until I watch Goofy fall down the stairs as Jacob Marley in Ebeneezer Scrooge's house.  I spent my childhood watching this on VHS taped from TV, complete with ancient Tide and Tropicana commercials.  It was a whole new experience watching it on the DVD I received for Christmas last year (with three extra bonus features!)

The Christmas Toy




Remember this Jim Henson classic?  I think it was on the same VHS taped from TV as my copy of Mickey's Christmas Carol.  I loved watching the toys come to life after the children left the room.  This fun family film is streaming on Netflix this holiday season! 

Miracle on 34th Street




I love these movies.  Both the original version with Natatlie Wood, and the newer version with Mara Wilson.  I can't pick which version I prefer.  Both are so perfectly magical!

I love how Santa proves he is real through the power of the United States Post Office and letters to Santa.  Santa is real!  I believe!

 Home Alone




The husband would be most displeased if I left this great classic off my list.  We were just talking about it the other night!  Holidays aside, Home Alone is a great movie!  The writing is fantastic.  The kid is cute.  The gags are hilarious.  It's the perfect family movie.  I remember seeing this one in theaters when it originally came out.  My family does not go to the movies with any great frequency - this was a big deal!  I will drop everything to watch this when it's on - commercials and all.

And because I have to...  Simply have to... For family reasons... So I'm not ostracized entirely... And left without presents on Christmas morning (er, Boxing Day for my side of the family)...

It's a Wonderful Life




Honestly?  I can't stand this movie.  It takes decades to watch, and for heavens sake George Bailey, you have a pretty darn great life!  You get to come home to Donna freaking Reed and that adorable little girl Zuzu every single night!  Wake up and smell your happiness!  Ugh.

But, I add it to this list in honor of my younger siblings.  T&T absolutely adore this movie.  My brother wouldn't officially "date" his wonderful girlfriend until she had seen this movie (in April, good thing he has it on DVD), and approved of it as a wonderful movie.  That girlfriend is a saint.

So as much as I grumble about watching this bore-fest every year... it wouldn't really be Christmas Eve without a plate full of Chinese take-out and a dose of Jimmy Stewart.  It's no Mickey's Christmas Carol, but it is Christmas. 
Holiday Movie Mania Linkup

Merry Christmas to all, and to all happy movie watching!  Thanks to It's Blogworthy and My Crazy Busy Life for this wonderful link-up!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Unwelcome Tenants

Bang! Bang!

Keep it down in there! I'm trying to sleep!

I feel like the cranky old neighbor in a duplex, yelling at the kids next door to turn down the music.  But, I settle back into bed, pull the covers up under my chin, clutch the soft feather pillow against my cheek.  I wait for the noise to start again...

Nibble! Scratch! Crinkle! Rustle!

Insert a string of expletives. 

I've been swearing a lot lately. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Conversations

All of a sudden, our house has been filled with intelligible chatter.  Not just a word here, another word there.  Not just two words strung together in the semblance of a sentance.  Real, actual sentances with humor and inflection. 

I am loving it!  My best moments of every day are the conversations I have with Laura.  She is smart, witty and observant, and I fall asleep chuckling over her words. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bumps in the Night

It's a cool, clear December night.  Nate and I are at a dinner party, chatting with friends and eating sweet, delicious ham like it was going out of style.  Suddenly,

Bump!

I pause, fork hovering above another tender morsel of pink ham.  Did anyone else notice that?  Guess it was just me.  I lift the forkful of ham to my mouth.  I savor the flavor.

Bump! Bump!

Ok, that was definitely something.  I'm not crazy.  That was a bump in the night. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How Much?

I thought I was d.o.n.e. shopping for Laura for Christmas.  She's not-quite-two, has no concept of Christmas or presents, and is still mildly afraid of Santa.  I didn't think we needed to hurl too much in her direction, in the way of presents.

Add to that Laura's four aunts and five uncles.
Add to that Laura's second birthday one month after Christmas.
Add to that our small, cramped house, that currently has most of her toys hidden (and unmissed) in the basement.

Monday, December 12, 2011

56w 3d

Fifty-six weeks and three days.

That's how long I have made it threw pregnancy without puking.

Santa!

We won Christmas this weekend.  We did it all, and it was all wonderful.  My mom was in town, and boy did we take advantage of all the holiday events going on! 

We visited Symphony of Lights at Merriweather Post Pavilion!  We visited Miracle on 34th Street in Hamden!  We baked!  We partied!  We saw the train garden!  But best of all...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinned it... and did it!



I saw this pin ages ago, and thought what a great way to spruce up my garlands!  Because the garlands I have used the past 6 Christmases in our dining room windows?Need some sprucing.

So I found a huge packag

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Friday!

Received by email this afternoon:
The final totals are in for the Toys for Tots campaign held over the past two days at Union Station.  The collection drive netted over 2,100 toys and $37,500 in monetary donations.  On behalf of the Marine Corps, we thank you for your generosity!

What a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Laura Captured

I'm sure you've seen these pictures floating around the blogosphere.  These Little Waves and Mama Wants This have started a wonderful link: capturing memories of our children through photography and words.  How could I not participate?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Toys For Tots

I look forward to this day every year.  I get a quick email in my inbox a week ahead of time.  A quick note to let me know to get ready.  I look forward to this email, and make grand plans.  This year, I am going to go all out!  Most years, I forget my original plans in the hustle and bustle of everyday.  A quick cash donation, whatever I have in my wallet.  A trip to the ATM and a bagel to make change.  Even if I forget my original plans, I am still pleased to help. 

I look forward to this day every year:  the day the Marines will be at Union Station, collecting toys for children in need. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nearly 16 Weeks

I was far better about keeping a "journal" of my pregnancy the last go 'round.  I think that makes sense.  Back then, I only had a job, husband, house and masters degree classes to worry about.  Plus, it was my first pregnancy with all the excitement that goes along with the first... anything. 

This go 'round, I have my job, husband, house and nearly two-year-old to worry about.  And a nearly two-year-old takes up a whole lot more worry than a few silly classes.  A whole lot more.  But it's awesome, because she's also far more amusing than my classes ever were.  And she sings and cah-yers way better. 

So at nearly 16 weeks, how am I feeling?  Compared to last time, really rough.  No, I still have not thrown up.  I am morbidly afraid of throwing up.  So that just means that at 16 weeks, well into the second trimester, I am still pretty queasy a lot of the time.  And I still have a TON of really aggravating food aversions.  I'm actually not sure what I eat on a weekly basis.  I think it involves a lot of melty cheese.  Sigh.

At nearly 16 weeks, my back is already really sore.  I am quite positive the nearly two-year-old has something to do with this.  I've been trying to let her walk on her own more, to save on the lifting.  But I actually really love carrying her places.  It's faster, for one (and I am not the most patient of people), but it also gives us some really great whisper gossip time.  So the back is a real pain... in the back.  I have already started adding pillows to the bed, and this helps.  But still - ouchy!

At nearly 16 weeks, I am on my fourth round of antibiotics.  Because I have tested positive for Group B, twice.  A yeast infection, twice.  Bacterial vaginosis, twice.  That last one?  Don't google it.  Trust me.  Just believe that it is incredibly uncomfortable.  And awful.  And really awful to have twice.  Really, REALLY glad that one seems to have cleared up.  So are all the crazy antibiotics to blame for my continued queasiness? 

At nearly 16 weeks, I go back and forth on an hourly basis between "OMG I'm so excited to see Laura as a big sister!" and "OMG I am so not ready to have two children!"  But mostly, I tend toward the former.  I really am so excited to share a baby brother or sister with Laura.  She swaddles her dolls and animals every night.  She rocks and sings them to sleep.  She feeds them her sippy cups.  She's so very, very attentive.

At nearly 16 weeks, I am ready to find out what "flavor" I'm carrying.  Two more weeks to wait!  Is it a boy?  Would that explain all the horribleness of this pregnancy compared to the cake walk Laura was?  Is it another girl, and I'm just reacting completely differently?  Laura tells me it's a boy.  But at nearly two-years-old, I'm not sure I trust her knowledge of the sexes to know one way or the other.

At nearly 16 weeks, I am rocking the maternity clothes.  Exclusively.  I am reusing a bunch from last go 'round, and have also purchased some new stuff.  It's just comfier.  I think I might actually be smaller than the last time (for now), but I definitely have a noticeable baby belly no matter what I wear.  I have been really committed to going to the gym in the past few weeks, with 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and a weight/stretch regimen put together by my favorite trainer at the gym.  I really credit this (and the no eating) for the superb weight control.  I also credit this with finding some relief for the back pain.  Lesson: when in doubt, go work out!

So it's been rougher.  And completely different.  And only slightly similar.  I'm still waiting to feel better.  Nate is still waiting, too.  Because pregnancy isn't just rough on the wife!  I know it'll get better, and harder, and better again.  I also know I can't wait to meet the little person at the other end.  Two more weeks... 24 more weeks...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday Confession... on a Monday

In the craziness of decorating my house for the holidays this weekend, I didn't have a chance to post on Sunday Confessions.  Which I really wanted to this week. 

I have something to confess.  I am going to whisper it.  Because it's a little silly.  Since I spent so much money on it.

(I miss Blogger.  I want to go back.)

Am I missing something about the wonders of WordPress?  Have I not clicked on the correct button to take me to the wonderland of blogging?  Because right now, I feel like I've actually lost readers.  I feel like I actually can't control how my posts look online.  I feel like I actually have no control over my content or design.

I thought I was ready for WordPress.  I thought I was completely frustrated with Blogger, and ready for something... more.  Something that everyone tells me would give me more control.  I must not have received the owner's manual, because I have no clue what I'm doing here.

Someone, please help!  Or let me know how to go back to Blogger!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Survey

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Both!  At the same time!  I love making hot chocolate (Swiss Miss, of course), and adding a little egg nog to top it off.  Try it – it’s delicious! 

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Santa presents are unwrapped.  That man does not have enough time to wrap and label presents for every child!  He's a visual guy, and all about the delivery!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Both on the tree, colored on the house.  I grew up with white on the house, but colored fits our family (and style of home) so  much better!

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  Nope.  I don't need excuses to kiss my hubby!

5. When do you put your decorations up?  Growing up, it was the day after Thanksgiving, and not a moment too soon.  But since my family is usually on the road for Thanksgiving, we wait till the minute we are home and able.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish?  Breakfast Casserole on Christmas morning is up there!  I never enjoyed the goose my father cooked for dinner, but everything else was always delicious.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?  So many!  We always had the happiest Christmases.  I think one of my most poignant memories was visiting my great-grandmother for the last time, Christmas afternoon 1995.  I played Christmas carols on her gorgeous Steinway baby grand piano while she laid in the hospital bed across the room.  She had trouble speaking at that point, but I knew she loved hearing her beloved piano one last time.  She died the next day, at age 98.  Not my favorite memory, but certainly one I keep close to my heart.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?  What truth?  That he definitely exists?  Because he does.  Santa is very real.  He is in the hearts of every one of us, inspiring us to give.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?  I wish!  But we do always have Chinese on Christmas Eve, so I get to open a fortune cookie?

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?  Our tree is a loving hodge podge of ornaments.  We have glass, sterling silver, wood, handmade in preschool... it's fantastic!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?  Love it!  Till it turns slushy and brown.  But I never dread it!

12. Can you ice skate?  I wish I could.  I could probably make it around the rink once or twice, but it wouldn't be pretty!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  Sophia Tutu, my rocking horse, at age 2 was pretty fantastic.  I also loved (finally) getting a Samantha doll after years of begging.  Getting contacts for Christmas in 9th grade was amazing too!  Opening the white box Nate handed to me and seeing diamond earrings... I swoon.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?  Being with loved one - family and friends.  Sharing the happiness of the season.  Dressing up with smiles and laughter for holiday parties.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?  Christmas cookies!  I always looked forward to rolling them out with my dad, pressing the cookie cutters into the dough, sneaking bites of the dough, smelling the cookies bake...

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Baking cookies!  No, wait!  Making gingerbread houses!  No, wait!  Chinese food on Christmas Eve!  No, wait!  Watching Christmas movies with my family!

17. What tops your tree?   A cheesy star for now.  Someday, I'll find something I like better, but it works in the meantime.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?  Receiving.  Partly because I am a little greedy, but also because I love to see what the giver thought I would enjoy the most.  I love giving too, but not as much as receiving!

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yum for two bites, and then I get sticky and bored.

20. Favorite Christmas show?  Mickey's A Christmas Carol!  I have watched it so many times, from age2 on up.  I got it on DVD last year!  I also love Miracle on 34th Street - both versions.

21. Saddest Christmas Song?  I don't understand the point of sad Christmas songs.  Like, what's the point of “Christmas Shoes” where the kid buys the shoes for his mom and she dies.  How is that’s Christmas-y?  It does nothing for me!  Give me traditional Church Christmas carols any day! 

22. What is your favorite Christmas song?  I love the traditional carols.  "I Saw Three Ships" or "The Holly and the Ivy" or "I Heard the Bells" or "Past Three o'Clock" or "Ding Dong Merrily on High" or... well, the list goes on!!

What are your Christmas Favorites? Link a post with your answers below!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Away in a Manger

So um.  I'm not very religious or anything.  I was born and raised Catholic, married Catholic, had Laura baptized Catholic, and we even go to church two or three times a year.  But I'm not so much up on all the info on teaching my child about the church and our beliefs (which are fairly loose 0n my part).  This hadn't been an issue until I decided Laura needed to know about Christmas.

Christmas is lights! and trees! and presents! and reindeer! and cheesy movies! and ornaments! and SANTA! and Ho!Ho!Ho!  and egg nog! and candy canes! and crafts! and parties! and a little baby born two thousand years ago??

Those things are easy to explain.  Santa is a big man who watches you all year and then asks you to sit on his lap for a good laugh.  Not creepy in the least (and for the record, I freaking LOVE Santa.  I'm a huge believer).  Egg nog and candy canes are tasty.  Lights are oooh so pretty.

But the harder part to explain (for me at least): Baby Jesus.  Laura is in the parroting phase of toddlerhood.  She heard someone curse "Jesus!" in the store the other, and immediately repeated the word, testing the letters and syllables on her tongue.  So I started telling her about Baby Jesus who was born in a manger with the angels and the wise men and the shepherds.  She likes babies, so she was all about that.  But trying to explain why we celebrate the birth of one particular baby, born two thousand years ago?  Not as easy.

So now I have a 22 month old wandering around babbling to herself, and randomly talking about Baby Jesus Ho!Ho!Ho!  I should probably break out the crèche brush up on my bible stories, and buy a board book or two about Baby Jesus so I can get this story straight.

How have you taught your children about Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Inn, manger, lowing cattle, shepherds, star, angels and wise men?  Is 22 months too young to understand?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

22 months going on 16

Laura sits on the toilet lid while I finish my hair. She rummages through my make-up bag till she finds the compact I use for foundation.

Hee-ya, Mommy! she pipes up.  I take the compact from her and find the round pad in its hidden compartment.  I swipe the powder across my cheeks, nose, chin, forehead.

Waura's turn! calls the voice next to me.  I gently dab the pad twice on each cheery cheek.  Laura rummages some more.  Out comes my favorite brown eyeliner. 

Waura's eyes, Mommy!  I hold the pencil near Laura's face as she squeezes her eyes impossibly shut.  Two quick swishing sound effects later, Mommy's turn! pipes up from the voice beside me.  Before I can finish lining my own eyes (for real), a small hand holds out the mascara.

Ok, Laura! Your turn! I quickly swoop the wand in front of Laura's wide-open, beautiful blue eyes. Her lashes are so long without mascara. It's funny to think someday she'll insist on wearing it for real.  I quickly finish my eyes and put the powder, eyeliner and mascara back in my make-up bag.

And so it begins, I hear from a bemused fatherly voice in the bathroom doorframe.  I look up to find Nate has watched this whole morning ritual unfold.  Indeed. So it begins.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

24 days

Yesterday was a big day.  I got the referral to call the radiology lab to schedule the Anatomy Scan.  The BIG one.  The ultrasound where we can find out just a little bit more about the tiny passenger I carry.

Boy or girl?  I honestly have no idea one way or the other.  And unlike last time, I don't care. 

A second little girl would be so sweet.  A built-in best friend (and nemesis) for Laura.  The sort of sister relationship I always wanted, and only recently found with my 10-years-younger sister.

A boy would round out our family.  One of each.  A younger brother to pester (and secretly protect) the older sister.  A rough and tumbler to counter the girly girl.  My mommy's boy to counter Nate's daddy's girl.

December 22nd.  We'll know.  December 22nd.  It's like my own Advent calendar.  Twenty-four days from now, at 8:30 in the morning.  The anticipation is wonderful.  Just like seeing the Christmas tree on Christmas morning (a mere twenty-seven days from now).  Let the countdown begin!

Monday, November 28, 2011

And We Ate

What a great Thanksgiving.  I finally got to meet my niece, lovingly nicknamed "Bit" by Laura.  Bit is absolutely adorable in all her fussy two-month-old ways.  I didn't want to stop holding her, she's just so little and baby!  If I weren't already pregnant, I probably would have caught a bad case of baby fever.



Laura got to play with aunts, uncles and trains.  Lots of trains.  My brother hauled out half of our childhood stash of Brio's, and covered the living room floor with an elaborate track set-up.  Laura loved it.



Laura also loved the paper bag turkey filled with popcorn.  Pinterest comes through again.  After gorging on popcorn, Laura slept through Thanksgiving dinner.  Which was a blessing, since she's not her best self at the dinner table.  The rest of us devoured a 14 pound turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (my favorite!), butternut squash lasagna (couldn't bring myself to try that), green bean casserole a la French's, stuffing, corn pudding, and rutabaga, with pumpkin pie, apple pie and homemade ice cream for dessert.  It was a delicious spread.  I'm so glad I didn't have to prepare a single morsel of it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for.  My family.  My health.  My fantastic job.  Good friends who welcome us into their home at 3am the day before Thanksgiving to break up our drive.  Five days off from work.  Bountiful food on the table.  Laura.  Laura's sense of humor.  Nate.  Nate's extreme patience through all my tears.  Random phone calls the Tuesday before Thanksgiving from a very distant cousin who works one block away.  Tylenol.  Craft hour with great coworkers.  I am thankful.



I am mostly thankful for the wonderful food I will share with my family on Thursday.  All of it seasonal and delicious.  All of it prepared by anyone but me.

I hope everyone shares a wonderfully thankful day with loved ones on Thursday.  Enjoy your delicious food as you reflect on all the things we should be thankful for every day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Runner

I spent much of my childhood ignoring my little brother.  I have many fond memories, but for the most part he was just in the background of the house.  I adored my older brother and was overjoyed, at the age nine, to finally have the baby sister I had wanted for all those years.  I guess I just didn’t have much time for T-bird.  Ironically, I didn’t really start to pay attention to him till I was out of the house. 

I remember coming home for summer break after my sophomore year.  T-bird, who had never been much of an athlete, was having a great season on the track team as a freshman in high school.  My father took great delight in watching T-bird’s races whenever he could.  And since I had nothing better to do on my summer break, I tagged along to the DCL Championship.  I watched my quiet, un-athletic little brother kick some serious track butt.  I screamed his name as he rounded the corners of the track and my father noted his splits.  I was hooked.

For the past ten years, I have been to as many track and cross country meets as I could make.  I went to every DCL Championship for the four years T-bird was in high school.  I followed him, standing alongside my father, at States. 

I stood in the driving rain as T-bird ran his first college cross country meet.  My phone got so wet, reporting times to my father back home, it shorted out and never worked quite right again.  I drove to small colleges throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania to watch my brother – often with my father in the passenger seat. 

I watched in agony as T-bird lost his last college cross country meet, one shoe lost on the course, coming in second place.  A second place finish that was lost to the other runner, not won.  I hugged him at the finish, sweaty and streaked with mud, feeling his silent tears at the loss. 

Yesterday, I watched one last race.  After so many years of training for so many races, T-bird announced earlier this year that the Philadelphia Marathon would be his last race.  I had to be there.  I held up a poster, Laura on my shoulders, as T-bird approached the first mile.  I screamed and cheered at the six mile mark.  I marked the splits received by text messages at 10K, halfway mark, 30K.  I waited at the finish, waited, got nervous, and finally saw him.  I saw my little brother, my brother with the quiet strength, cross the finish line in his last race.



In the next few weeks, T-bird will complete his Master’s Degree and start a new career in New York City.  I am so proud of my little brother.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pinterest: I did it!

We all love Pinterest.  I love pinning all the things.  As I've explained before, I don't have Pinterest linked to the name "Mrs. MidAtlantic," because I wanted something I could do as a real person, to share with people in my real life... like my mom.  So I'm on there, pinning away.  Pinning ideas for home decor I'll never do.  Pinning recipes that I might try, but maybe won't.  Pinning ideas for crafts while convincing myself I'm crafty (I'm not). 

I got really into pinning felt crafty things this fall.  I was asked to decorate a Christmas tree for a local museum back home, based on a children's book.  And while looking for felt crafty tree ornament ideas, I came across this:



So cute for a grandparent gift, right?  And totally do-able?  All I needed was one toddler hand, some cloth, some embroidery floss, and an embroidery hoop.  I needed every supply but the toddler hand for my tree anyway, and I have two toddler hands at the ready most evenings.  So I actually sat down and did a Pinterest craft!



And of course, now I can't actually pin my creation until Christmas is over.  Because my mom follows my pins.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Victory is Mine!

It's Friday!  I have three working days till Turkey.  I just got a fantastic haircut and color.  I made it to the gym all three designated mornings this week.  I managed to feed myself (carbs) without too much drama.  Laura is adorable.  My husband is the best. 

And the first trimester is over!!!  See you in h-e-double-hockey-sticks, first tri! 

I totally beat the first tri.  I mean, I wanted to die of nausea for part of it.  I battled a really embarassing and painful bacterial infection for much of it.  I may be suffering from scurvy or rickets, since I haven't eaten a fruit or vegetable in nearly two months.  I'm exhausted all the time, weepy, and about to wet my pants.  My boobs are bursting through my shirts like the bust on a Cowboys cheerleader.  I skipped the gym every week until this one.  I'm out of breath and already rocking maternity clothes.  And my bump?  Very noticeable and commented upon. 



But I made it!  Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mommy's Tummy

The way I see it, Laura isn't going to know what hits her when the new baby comes home in May.  She'll be two years and four months old, with the thought of sharing her mommy and daddy a completely foreign concept.  Should we try to get her used to the idea?  Probably... but I don't think it'll help much with the shock to her system.

Nate is very excited to talk to Laura about the new baby.  He brings it up with her all the time.  He remarks on her baby doll handling skills, and how great she'll be at carrying around the new baby.  (Um... I don't plan on having my two-year-old carrying around our newborn...)

Last night, Nate tells Laura, "There is a baby growing in Mommy's tummy!"  Laura marches over to me, throws up my shirt, and starts looking for the baby. 

So sweet my heart almost burst, Laura kissed my tummy all over.
Not so sweet, but hilarious beyond belief, Laura tried to peer into my belly button to find the baby.

Laura was a little disappointed with her findings, and went back to rocking her baby doll to sleep.  I have a feeling that Laura is going to be a great big sister.  No matter how big the shock.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FB Official

My stomach lurched.   My father-in-law posted on Facebook, announcing to the world at large the pregnancies of his DIL (me) and daughter.  I was not ready to have my pregnancy on Facebook.  I still had very close friends and family I needed to tell - and I did not want them finding out secondhand on Facebook of all places.

I was furious.  Thankfully, my FIL respectfully removed the post minutes after I asked him.  But lord almighty.  I just can't understand sharing someone else'e good news!  I know he's excited, but I'm only just 12 weeks.  My sister-in-law is so early, she hasn't even been to the doctor yet!  Leave that information off the interwebs!

Ok, I figured it was probably a kick in the pants for a mass email to those close friends and family.  I sent out a nice, private email with a picture of the happy big sister to be, which I planned post on FB under my own terms the next day.

This plan was great, with emails galore from loved ones, till 3pm.  A facebook post from a cousin congratulating me on the pregnancy.   But since nearly half a day had passed since the inital email, I decided to stop caring.  I posted the good news on Facebook.  It's official.  Facebook official.  I'm pregnant!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Best

I have this page-a-day calendar on my desk at work, "365 Tips for Parents."  It's not the most exciting page-a-day.  It's no Gary Larson.  But it gives me something to tear off and read each weekday.  A lot of the "tips" are common sense, and a lot are aimed at parents to older children.  But every now and then, I get something that really lifts my heart.



So to all the moms out there who have ever doubted themselves (hello, all of us!), you are the best.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In all honesty

Last week was a hard week for me.  I felt disgusting, thank you bacterial infection.  I couldn't eat, thank you little baby.  I was stressed with work, and stressed with the work that faced me at home.  Laura and I were sick.  Then the dog was sick.  I wasn't very nice.  I yelled at Nate and snapped at Laura and Ries.  I wasn't very pleasant to be around.

This week was equally difficult.  I still felt disgusting.  I was still afraid of trying to plan dinner for all of us.  But I wasn't nearly as mean.  I was incredibly tired and sad, but not mean.  I managed to get through each day and to complete each task.

The difference between last week and this?  Honesty. 

This week I was honest with myself and with Nate about my feelings.  I told both of us that I'm having a hard time.  I don't feel good.  My stomach always hurts... and if it's not hurting I'm hungry and can't feed myself.  This week I gave myself more leeway to make decisions.  Laura and I ate mac and cheese, Stouffers, pasta.  And while none of these were great dinners, they were all quickly and easily prepared with little thought.

Because honestly?  I need to make things easier for myself.  I'm having a hard time getting simple things done.  Difficult tasks just aren't worth it.  I know I'll be feeling better again soon.  I just need to be honest that right now really sucks.  Right now I'm really tired.  Right now I'm really weepy.  Now that I've admitted that to myself, I can move on.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prego Eats: Mac N Cheese

Feeding myself has been difficult.  Nothing ever sounds remotely tasty.  And the hungrier I am, the harder it is to choose something to eat.  The cafeteria at work is failing me lately; I don't even want their fresh-made grilled cheese.  And at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is plan dinner for a toddler. 

Laura has been fending for herself lately, which means she's eating a lot of cheese, yogurt and bananas.  To be honest, she's a toddler.  That's probably the extent of her menu, even if I were interested in food.  I wouldn't call her picky... but she definitely has a limited palette.

Last night, she and I were at the grocery store (goosey stoh!), which is one of my least favorite places on earth.  We were there and we needed to find something for dinner. 

We walked past the hot dogs: 
"Lar-lar, should we have hot dogs for dinner?"
"Yes! Mm hmm!"

We walked past the macaroni and cheese:
"Lar-lar, should we also have mac and cheese for dinner?"
"Yes!  Mm hmm!"

 

 

 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Little Old Lady

You have seen them out before.  They cram their nineteen purses and a cat or two into their cars.  They are wearing tacky costume jewelry and they may have forgotten to take out their curlers.  Little old ladies that you think are cute... until they turn on the engine and you realize they are actually going to drive on the road with other people.  Scary.

Equally scary?  Realizing that I'm only minutes a few years away from having my own little old lady terrorizing the highways:


With curlers, purses, cats and all.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's been a week

Has it ever.  I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I swear this has been a week. 

Our family has seen a large number of antibiotics this week.  I'm on two at the moment, for conflicting pregnancy-related crappy things, having just finished a round of a third type last week.  Laura is on amoxicillin for an ear infection + eye drops + butt cream.  The DOG woke up this morning with a flaming red ear, and now has her own Rx.

Nate is convinced his girls are falling apart.  CVS loves us.

It's been a week.  I'm really hoping that Laura's eyes stay goop-free through the weekend.  That Riesling's ear feels better fast.  That my... whatever the mother effing eff is going on clears up immediately.  I am uncomfortable, to say the least.  Happy camper, I am not.  It's been a week.  I'm ready for the weekend in a fresh start.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One last Halloween Post

She wore it!  Laura wore the Boots the Monkey costume!  We got it on her in record time, with no tantrums at all. 



Laura really, really enjoyed Trick or Treating.  She got to hold a basket.  Even better, she got to put things into the basket.  And even better, the things she put in the basket were CANDY!!!  Laura loved walking up to our neighbors houses.  She said "Tick teet!" and some version of "Happy Halloween," which got a bit garbled and tongue twisterish. 



She had a great night.  And she made out like a bandit.  See those M&M's?  Those are for MOMMY.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hap Haweee!

You guessed it, that's how Laura was shouting Happy Halloween all morning!  I thought it would be a better blog post title that "Teat!" which is how she was shouting trick or treat all morning.  On second though, maybe I'd get more hits if it was titled "teat"...

Months ago, like in August, my mom sent me an iPhone picture of a poodle costume she grabbed for Laura at TJMaxx for $20.  Nate and I weren't overly enamored of the costume choice, but it was better than nothing.  We saved the costume for later.


Two weeks ago, Nate looked up during a Dora marathon and said, "You know, Laura really ought to be Boots for Halloween, she loves him so much."  I put on my supermom cape, googled "Boots Halloween Costume," and began swimming through the links to hideous adult costumes, heavy on the boots.   And then I found a Boots the Monkey costume template on Nick Jr. website.  I was impressed that Nick Jr. was openly encouraging moms to make a costume, rather than buy something from them.

So I googled "lavendar sweat suit" and bought one on eBay.  I bought fabric.  I printed templates.  I sewed.   I sewed some more.  The result: pure supermom awesomeness!


We had gorgeous weather yesterday.  The kind that made me want to do a Halloween costume photoshoot.  I grabbed the Boots costume and the toddler.  And lost an epic battle of wills in which Laura spent most of the day running around without a shirt.  She wanted no part of wearing the lovingly hand-stitched Boots costume.  She did consent to run around like a pink poodle for half an hour.

I'm not sure which she'll wind up wearng tonight, as we wander the streets begging for candy.  I do know she'll be cute, no matter what!

Are your kids dressing for Halloween?  Share your photos with Sellabitmum and Four Plus an Angel!
<div align="center"><a target="_blank" href="http://fourplusanangel.com/?p=2706"><img border="0" title="Four Plus an Angel" src="http://fourplusanangel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/halloween_night1.jpg"/></a></div>

And I'm also linking up with Nicole at By Word of Mouth Musings for her Halloween link-up!  In honor of Laura's current favorite stuffed animal, Catty, I am naming the bat "Batty."  She'd like that very much.
<center><a href="http://bywordofmouthmusings.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff519/jessdtorres/HalloweenBat.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a></center>

Friday, October 28, 2011

Boots

People. I made this.


Well, yeah, the kid. But also the awesome Boots the Monkey costume. I am so proud of myself right now. Proud of the costume, but also the cuteness wearing it!

This is For Real

Yesterday was a big day.  This whole "second baby" thing became pretty darn real.  Seriously.

For starters, we got to see #2 again.  Someone was very wiggly, making it difficult for the doctor to get a good measurement.  But someone is also growing right on track, measuring exactly 10 weeks.  Seeing the blob as a little wiggling, limb-flailing thing was pretty great.  Even if the ultrasound picture hardly shows a thing.  I had the 10 week blood draws and was sent on my way to muddle through the (hopefully) last few weeks of nausea before I start feeling like a human again.  I'll be back for my next weigh-in check-up the Monday following Turkey Day.  I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

I spent the rest of the day at work, trying not to puke.  But while working through the motion sickness that is sitting at my desk, I did make an appointment through Craig's List to check out a double stroller last night.  Which I bought.

I bought a freaking double stroller.  It doesn't get much more real than that.  I will have two babies under the age of three, vying for the preferred seating in the Sit & Stand Double stroller I just bought. 

Let's also note that this is the first time I have ever bought anything on Craig's List.  And having been through the jury selection process (not chosen, thank heavens) for the Craig's List Killer, I was more than a little nervous about meeting a stranger in a parking lot at dusk during a rain storm.  I am happy to say that Nate came through, met me there, and froze in the rain with me while we checked out Laura's sweet new ride.

We are going to have two children.  In less than a year, I'll be pushing my two children in a stroller.  This is for real.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I spoke my mind

I dropped Laura in the Infant/Toddler room Monday morning, for lack of knowing what else to do.  That's where she was when I picked her up.  I didn't have a chance to talk to the owner or director, so I left.  Quietly wondering what was going on.  Laura was still in the I/T room last night. 

"Is Laura actually moving to the 2's this week?  Because she only has one more daycare day left in the week."
"Honestly, I don't have a clue.  They haven't told us anything."

Fantastic.  The teachers don't even know which children to expect each morning.  This is really well organized.

"Excuse me, Owner?  Is Laura moving to the 2's this week or not.  I haven't received any information, and I am pretty upset.  If she's moving, fine, just tell me what to do and what to expect."
"...didn't I call you this weekend?"
"No.  You did not.  Please tell me what on earth is going on."
"We reconfigured the room on Friday with the State.  They've decided it's a big enough area to keep Laura and her BFF till January when they both turn two.  She won't be moving afterall."

Pause to reflect on implications.  I'm still livid.  As a parent, I should have been better prepared for the move to the 2's to begin with.  I should have been informed by the state, as well as by the daycare as to the fate of my child.  When she was no longer moving, I should have been informed of that as well.  I deserve to be informed. 

I told all of this to the owner.  I stuck up for myself and my daughter.  I feel pretty good about this.  Last week I called the doctor and got my daughter on meds, this week I am mother, hear me roar.  Next week, I think I'll solve the budget crisis.

(On the other hand?  The new I/T configuration is really fabulous.  I wish it had been set up like that the whole time.  At least #2 will be able to enjoy it!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daycare Woes... Again

Just as I was preparing to go back to work in April of 2010, I was horrified to hear that the State had rezoned the daycare I had lovingly picked out, and they could no longer take Laura.  I almost threw up.

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with the owner of Laura's daycare about something random when she brought up some "changes" the center was making to keep the State happy.  Basically, Laura was moving into the two-year-old class a little early, because the State decided that this (brand-new) center could only support 12 infants, not the original 18 they were zoned for.  I took the news in stride and moved on with my day.

I was all non-chalant and fine, until this morning.  This morning, I dropped Laura in the infant room.  Only, it wasn't the infant room I know and remember.  This place is completely reorganized.  It looks completely different.  There was a note in Laura's cubby telling "the parents," not me specifically, that some of the infants are moving into the two's room this week.

I am not prepared for this.  Mentally or physically.   The center has given so little information about this change.  I don't know what I'm supposed to pack for Laura's lunch.  I don't even know what sort of sheet to pack for the cot she'll be on for naps instead of her safe crib.

I was fine a few weeks ago about this move, because I figured the center would prepare us - children and adults - for the move.  I figured it was still a few months off.  I figured I'd know where to drop my child every morning.  I figured I could trust the people watching my daughter to keep me informed. 

So now what?  I just keep up a facade that I'm cool with all this?  I pretend that I'm not livid that they'll still charge the infant rate, even though my daughter won't have as many teachers or as much attention?  I keep my feelings of worry and insecurity to myself as I toss my daughter into a playroom of much larger children?  What am I supposed to do?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Logic

It's 6:30 in the morning.  Nate has just woken me from a deep, cozy, I-love-bed, alarm-ignoring slumber.  He's angling for something special.  His mistake was telling me the time.

His logic:  It's 6:30 in the morning, you're already late, let's enjoy a few minutes together.

My logic:  If I get up right now, I can still catch the train!!!

Guess whose logic won.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do You Write Thank-You's?

When I was little, like really little, my grandmother would get on my case about writing thank you notes.  I was five or six, so it's not like I could offer any notes of literary genius, but I was still forced to write them for every gift I received.  Particularly from that grandmother.  She told me that people who write thank you notes receive more presents.  She also told me that she used to send presents to one little girl, but stopped when she never received any thanks for her thoughtfulness.

No more presents?  Pass the notecards, please!  At the time I was purely motivated by the thought of presents.  What child isn't?  But through the rudimentary exercise of writing notes to my grandmother (and others), I began to learn the power of the thank you note.

A good thank you note goes a long way.  My sister-in-law writes a fantastic thank you.  I hear her grandmother (stricter than mine) would actually return notes that weren't up to her standards - with corrections marked in red pen.  My SIL would have to write the note over as many times as her grandmother mailed it back with corrections.  While my SIL and I don't always see eye to eye, I know I can always expect a lovely note from her.  Her notes warm my heart.

And then there are bad thank you's.  Like this one:

Ok, I know that weddings require the bride and groom to write a lot of thank you notes.  Hundreds of them.  But those hundreds of guests traveled to your wedding, spending hundreds of dollars on hotel rooms and wedding gifts to celebrate Y-O-U.  The least you can do is offer three minutes of your time to write a quick note.  I was able to write 268 thank you notes in the three weeks following my return from our honeymoon.

I was horrified when I opened this "thank you note" from Nate's first cousin.  His wedding was in mid-July.  We received this unsigned, machine-printed note in October.  The bride and groom couldn't take the time to even sign their names, much less specifically thank us for the expensive gift we gave them? 

Let's see if I send them any baby gifts when the time comes.  My grandmother was right: I'll stop sending gifts if I don't get a good thank you.  Do you send thank yous?  You should.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Can you find me?

Is my new, fancy Wordpress site showing up in your Google reader?  No?  Try clicking "stop following," then re-add me through Google Friends Connect from the new site!

Talking to Doctors

I'm not a total bumbling idiot most of the time.  I usually feel pretty confident that I know what I'm talking about.  I'm a smart, educated person.

Until I walk into a doctor's office.

It's like all knowledge, any motherly instinct, any hunches or theories turn to absolute mush.  The doctor looks over my kid, says she's fine (when I know she's not), and sends us on our way.  Meanwhile, there is green goop dripping from my daughter's eyes, which the doctor waves off with a flick of her hand.  It's fine, she says, just draining.

I knew I should have asked for drops.  Just fine, sure.  But also hideous to look at.  And next to impossible for Laura to keep her eyes open.  Toddlers should be able to blink and see things, right?

So why didn't I ask?  Why didn't I advocate for my daughter?  Why do I put so much faith into the flippant words of a busy doctor?  Why haven't I called the doctor this morning to push for a prescription?  I think it's time to pick up the phone.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Home Sick

This pot brought to you by the makers of Dora and Chloroseptic.

Laura's home sick today. Not with hand foot mouth disease, like I feared, but with a cold gone rogue. She has a really painful sore on her tongue. A combo of biting her tongue in a fall and a mean virus. So she's a slobbery, biting mess. Makes putting ambesol on the sore very dangerous for my fingers.

After the third bite and tear fest, I remembered Chloroseptic. It says three and up, but my fingers couldn't take any more bites. Oh, sweet spray of relief! We are much happier. Though still slobbery.

I have to admit, as awful as goopy, boogery, slobbery Laura is today, I really needed a day home. We had a great weekend, but it left me exhausted. I'm really struggling to find foods that both sound appealing and don't leave me feeling really sick. I don't remember my first tri with Laura being this hard. I really need to find some friendly foods, and fast.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photos!

I feel way too sick to actually write anything of substance today.  Stupid morning sickness.  Which, by the way, I don't remember being nearly this bad the last time around.  I was always queasy with Laura, but I never once had to make a dash for a trashcan or toilet.  I still haven't actually puked, but it's been real close this morning.  Too close.  So with all those gory details, here are some cute pictures.  Enjoy!


[gallery columns="1"]


 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Have a Fly Day

The kool jazz kat ringing me up at the cafeteria just wished me a "Fly Day."  At first, I thought I heard him say have a nice day or something normal, but no.  My ears were just confused.

Have a fly day.

That's freaking awesome!  The words of a sixty-year-old man in a chefs smock (hat jauntily tilted back) just used some really fly language.  To me, the prissy girl buying a bagel and a ginger ale.  Those words by themselves are enough to make this gray, rainy day pretty damn fly.

Things that are also fly?  I was viciously verbally attacked by a coworker yesterday in front of the entire staff, and I didn't get upset.  I mean, it's not cool that this bitch I work with was so totally uncalled for.  Not at all.  But it's really cool that I found a way to completely brush it off.

I've never liked Kate.  She's never liked me.  We sit in cubes next to each other, but it's ok because we don't often have to actually work together.  We can ignore each other just fine.  Yesterday, though a bit early, I announced in a rarely-held all staff meeting that I am pregnant.  My coworkers burst into applause - unexpected but totally welcome.  As the applause died down, Kate pipes up, "Is that why you've been so grumpy lately?"

I was stunned.  Grumpy?  I've been grumpy?  I wasn't even here last week!  I was about to feel all hurt and wounded for my happy news being so completely squashed by the evil hand of Kate.

And then I realized that then entire staff heard her callous and mean words.  She could not have looked like a bigger, meaner idiot.  I spent the rest of the day reveling in her sheer stupidity.  I call that a pretty fly day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Preggo Eats: Chicken Parm

I had this hankering for chicken parm last night.  I don't usually use the word "hankering," but that's seriously what this was.  I needed chicken parm.  Only... I could not bear the thought of touching, preparing, or cooking raw chicken.  That's a preggo brain for you.

But I went to the grocery store to get a few things, and to look for some non-raw-chicken way of making chicken parm for dinner.  I debated using a large number of frozen chicken tenders.  I debated ordering some chicken parm, already cooked, from a take-out place near the house.  I searched the Stouffers section high and low for a plastic dish of cooked chicken parm.

And then I walked past the deli section, where I saw a huge platter of cooked breaded chicken cutlets, just waiting for me.  For $3.49 a pop.  Here's the debate in my preggo brain:

"Wow, that's kinda expensive for chicken.  I think I'll pass."
"I WANT CHICKEN PARM!  I WANT CHICKEN PARM!"
"But for $3.49?  I could make that myself for half the cost."
"Raw chicken is ewwy gross!  I could make that, but I'd have to TOUCH raw chicken!"
"Oh wow, I am so right.  $3.49 is a freaking bargain!"

That's how I went home with four chicken cutlets, a jar of tomato sauce, a package of sliced provolone cheese, and a loaf of garlic bread.  The chicken parm? Was freaking delicious.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unfounded Fears

Nate is almost always right.  It's often annoying, but in this case very welcome.



Despite all my fears from last week, we had a wonderful first OB appointment this morning.  Baby Two is measuring 7 weeks, 4 days, with an estimated due date of May 24, 2012 - my grandmather's 84th birthday!  One baby, not twins, with a strong heartbeat.  All of my fears completely unfounded. 

So now let's move on to some other fears.  Like how to fit two children in our current house.  And possibly share a bedroom.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What if...

What if nothing shows on the ultrasound Monday morning.

What if there's no heartbeat.

What if we aren't pregnant.

Would we try again? Even though a pregnancy just getting started this fall wouldn't fit in our plans for the next two years?

But what if it's two babies? Twins, sharing my body? Two heartbeats?

When I went for my 8 week appointment with Laura, I just assumed I'd see one little blob, beating back at me on the screen. When my mom asked if the doctor was certain it was only one baby, I was shocked: I just assumed it would only be one.

This time, I have this nagging feeling about my 8 week appointment. Maybe there won't be a baby. Maybe there will be two! I am so excited for this appointment, for this chance to peek inside my womb. But I am nervous, too. Monday, please come fast.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Moved!

If you are wondering where I have been, come find me at http://mrsmidatlantic.com/!  I made the switch.  I'm a WP girl now.  Everything is the same on your end, even if I'm still working out the differences on the back end.  Hope to see you soon!

Meet Me in St. Louis

Wondering where I've been, dear readers?  The hubby and I skipped town!  We left the baby with the grandparents and hopped the next flight to St. Louis!  

Wondering why St. Louis?  For a work conference, of course!  Not for me.  My line of work *has* conferences, but my employer can't afford to send anyone.  Nope, this conference was for Nate.  Which means it was corporate.  Which means it's a fun fest for the spouses!

I don't have any pictures yet, but we had a lot of fun.  A lot.  I got to see much of the city.  I made friends with a few other spouses in our office.  Nate got some great ideas to apply to his work.  It was a great week.

Except for the morning sickness.  We have complete nausea, all the time over here, people.  It isn't pretty.  And woe be the person that keeps me from being fed.  I become a cranky, whiney, neauseous mess.  Speaking of which... It's time for lunch.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lefty

My family is obsessed with Lefties.  With good reason: my mom is a lefty.  She loves being a lefty.  She was utterly disappointed that four out of four children were decidedly righties.  She was overjoyed when I married a lefty.

 

Nate is a lefty (duh, since he's the only person I've ever married).  He loves being a lefty.  He and my mom began to like each other when they found out they are both lefties.  I think there is some sort of lefty club with a secret lefty handshake.  I feel a little left out, pun intended!

 

My mom's secret hope in life is that at least one of her grandchildren be a lefty.  She says it's because she feels like she missed out on our childhoods by not being able to teach us to tie our shoes.  I'm still trying to figure out why she couldn't do that.  As it was, I taught myself at age four after watching Bert and Ernie tie their shoes.  I digress.

 

We have been watching Laura like a hawk since birth to see which hand she would favor.  Early on, it looked like things were tending left.  She threw us for a loop for a few months, by preferring to use her right.  But now, at 20 months old, she is clearly favoring the preferred hand:

Lefty

You see that crayon there?  In her left hand?  LEFTY!  Without fail, she ends up coloring with her left hand.  Yeah, her right hand gets a little "cah-yer" action sometimes, but she always winds up transering the crayon back to her preferred, left hand.

 

My family couldn't be more excited to have another lefty in the club.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Houseguests

There are some houseguests who are a dream.  You look forward to having these people in your home.  And for however long!  Stay for a month, please!  These houseguests are fun, cheerful, easy to talk to, easy to entertain, and are courteous.  Like, they make their bed in the morning, leave the bathroom neat, ask to help with dinner, pour you that extra glass of wine. 

These are not the houseguests I entertained this past weekend.  Not in the least.  This past weekend, I "entertained" against my better judgement my brother-in-law and his girlfriend.  After nearly ten years of knowing him, I'm still not sure I like my brother-in-law.  I have heartily disliked the girlfriend since the first minute I met her, almost a year ago.  My excitement at having them to our house overnight?  Yay.

But I sucked it up.  I would be the good wife and let these two eff-ups stay at our home overnight.  Nate and I packed Laura up and met up in the city to have dinner in Little Italy.  We even went with them to a bar to watch some college football.  Around 7:30, I called it a night and took Laura home.  Nate stayed to go to some coffee house for some live music.

I played with Laura, put her to bed, watched a sappy movie, tried to put myself to bed.  The problem for me was that I was expecting them home any minute.  The garage closed at midnight - I went to bed at 11:45 - we live 30 minutes from the garage.  I tossed, turned, and finally went back downstairs for more TV.  Their taxi rolled in at 3.  I could tell Nate was pissed - what other mood is there, after an evening with those two?

The girlfriend was a mess.  A trashy mess, which is no different than usual.  I just didn't want it in my home.  She trashed my bathroom, doing god knows what in there for hours.  She trashed the guestroom, tearing all the covers and all the sheets off the bed.  I guess she was hoping to wear a blanket toga-style?  Because she spent most of the night wandering my house naked.  I shoved pajamas in her face on multiple occasions to no avail.  At one point, she found a CD on our desk and broke it into a million little shards.  Maliciously.  No idea why.  She barged into my bedroom at least twice, asking where she was supposed to sleep.  I can't believe she didn't wake Laura up.  She pulled the door off my closet, I guess in an attempt to find some clothes.  She wound up stealing my favorite sweatshirt.  She walked out of my home wearing it, nary a word of request or thanks.  I hope I never see that sweatshirt again.  I'll burn it before I wear it again.

The next morning, Nate's first words were, "My brother is a douche."  I responded with, "That girlfriend is never welcome in our house again."  The feelings were mutual.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The same, but different

Hello, hello! 

I'm here, writing to you, from my NEW WordPress blog!  This is very exciting times, people.  And also?  A little daunting.  I am faced with a very different interface than with Blogger.  It's going to take some getting used to!  But change is good.

Why this sudden switch?  Comments.  I was sick of Blogger and IntenseDebate messing with my comments.  Half the time you couldn't see them.  Have the time I couldn't reply.  It got real old, real quick.  So let's raise our glasses and toast WordPress!  Happy new blog year!

As an aside, I have a bunch of great things I'll be blogging about in the next few days.  For now, I just want to make sure this new home shows up in your readers!  Fingers crossed!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Naptime!

I had been telling Laura it was time for a nap. She didn't believe me. Mommy is always right.
video

Naptime!

I had been telling Laura it was time for a nap. She didn't believe me. Mommy is always right.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We Need to Practice Our L's

Oh, the glory and wonder of the iPhone video capabilities, with that swivel option so you can see yourself on the screen!  I have Laura on my lap, trying to get her to record a message to her new cousin.  Which is something in itself, since Laura isn't exactly speaking in messages yet.  So I have Laura on my lap, asking her to repeat words like some sort of parrot, when she sees herself on the screen.  Shock!  Awe!  And instead of answering my stupid promptings, she breaks into song.  About herself.
video
Cute, right?  Because I am just about dying of laughter over here.  Or should I say "yaughter?"  We really need to start practicing those La la la sounds.  If you are wondering?  We did eventually record a very sweet message for Cousin Elizabeth.  On the sixth take.

We Need to Practice Our L's

Oh, the glory and wonder of the iPhone video capabilities, with that swivel option so you can see yourself on the screen!  I have Laura on my lap, trying to get her to record a message to her new cousin.  Which is something in itself, since Laura isn't exactly speaking in messages yet.  So I have Laura on my lap, asking her to repeat words like some sort of parrot, when she sees herself on the screen.  Shock!  Awe!  And instead of answering my stupid promptings, she breaks into song.  About herself.
Cute, right?  Because I am just about dying of laughter over here.  Or should I say "yaughter?"  We really need to start practicing those La la la sounds.  If you are wondering?  We did eventually record a very sweet message for Cousin Elizabeth.  On the sixth take.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Concentration

The Man is expecting me to concentrate on my work while I am at work today.  Nonsense.  How can The Man expect me to concentrate when my niece was just born!!!!!!!  I have far more important things to think about than work!

I'm an auntie!!!!!!!!

This is old hat for my brothers and sister, who have each been an aunt or an uncle for nearly 20 months now.  But somehow, I got left out of that club when Laura was born.  Being the mother and all.  But now!  I get to the join the club! 

My older brother's daughter was born this morning, just as I was reaching to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. They did not know if they were having a boy or a girl, and the baby was ten days past her due date.  The suspense has been killing me.

So if you are expecting any level of concentration from me today?  Forget it.  I am way to excited about being an auntie to pay attention to anything else!

Concentration

The Man is expecting me to concentrate on my work while I am at work today.  Nonsense.  How can The Man expect me to concentrate when my niece was just born!!!!!!!  I have far more important things to think about than work!

I'm an auntie!!!!!!!!

This is old hat for my brothers and sister, who have each been an aunt or an uncle for nearly 20 months now.  But somehow, I got left out of that club when Laura was born.  Being the mother and all.  But now!  I get to the join the club! 

My older brother's daughter was born this morning, just as I was reaching to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. They did not know if they were having a boy or a girl, and the baby was ten days past her due date.  The suspense has been killing me.

So if you are expecting any level of concentration from me today?  Forget it.  I am way to excited about being an auntie to pay attention to anything else!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lawn Seats

I don't know why anyone bought actual seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert this weekend.  Seriously.  What was the point of seats, when every single child was running amok on the lawn?  My friend and I nodded in agreement: lawn seats are the way to go.  Children running everywhere, hurling fistfuls of goldfish crackers about the lawn, darting, jumping and dancing.  Lots of dancing.

video
I can't remember much about the actual music.  It didn't make my ears bleed.  But it also wasn't all that memorable.  I have a feeling that parents who have listened to the CDs on a loop would beg to differ.  I can tell you that Laurie was up on stage in a hot pink and gold tutu - IN HEELS - expending more energy in one song than I can expend in a week.  It was impressive. 

Laura and her friend had a fabulous time, even though the other mother and I were completely unprepared.  We were not told we needed to bring silly animal hats to participate with various songs!  I think Laura and A will survive, but still.  All in all, it was a fun event.  I'm glad we went!  Our two little friends held hands the whole car ride home.  Does it get any cuter?
Ahh! The cuteness!

Lawn Seats

I don't know why anyone bought actual seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert this weekend.  Seriously.  What was the point of seats, when every single child was running amok on the lawn?  My friend and I nodded in agreement: lawn seats are the way to go.  Children running everywhere, hurling fistfuls of goldfish crackers about the lawn, darting, jumping and dancing.  Lots of dancing.

I can't remember much about the actual music.  It didn't make my ears bleed.  But it also wasn't all that memorable.  I have a feeling that parents who have listened to the CDs on a loop would beg to differ.  I can tell you that Laurie was up on stage in a hot pink and gold tutu - IN HEELS - expending more energy in one song than I can expend in a week.  It was impressive. 

Laura and her friend had a fabulous time, even though the other mother and I were completely unprepared.  We were not told we needed to bring silly animal hats to participate with various songs!  I think Laura and A will survive, but still.  All in all, it was a fun event.  I'm glad we went!  Our two little friends held hands the whole car ride home.  Does it get any cuter?
Ahh! The cuteness!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Never Say Never

"Ugh. I would never spend money to make my ears bleed at a rock concert for kids. Never."

I just bought lawn seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert tomorrow. 

To be honest, I haven't actually listened to any of this music.  I am told that it's not ear-bleeding obnoxious.  I've been told that it's cheerful and cute.  So why am I taking Laura to see a band I'd never heard of?

Friendship.

Friendship is something I am always on the look out to obtain.  I want it like I want a cup of hot cocoa on a crisp morning.  Badly.  I'm not always good at reaching out to people to get this cozy thing called friendship.  Making friends is not my forte.  But oh, do I want friends!

Through the magical powers of being "friends" with Laura's day care teachers on Facebook, I have been able to connect with a few of the other mother's.  Enter L and her daughter A.  Laura and A are best good friends, in the way that only toddlers can be.  They adore each other without shyness or inhibition.  L is just as awesome.  So when L asked if Laura and I would like to join them at this concert, I jumped at the chance.

I may or may not enjoy the music tomorrow.  We'll see.  But I do know I will enjoy the concert.  I can't wait to sit with L, watching Laura and A bask in their friendship.

Never Say Never

"Ugh. I would never spend money to make my ears bleed at a rock concert for kids. Never."

I just bought lawn seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert tomorrow. 

To be honest, I haven't actually listened to any of this music.  I am told that it's not ear-bleeding obnoxious.  I've been told that it's cheerful and cute.  So why am I taking Laura to see a band I'd never heard of?

Friendship.

Friendship is something I am always on the look out to obtain.  I want it like I want a cup of hot cocoa on a crisp morning.  Badly.  I'm not always good at reaching out to people to get this cozy thing called friendship.  Making friends is not my forte.  But oh, do I want friends!

Through the magical powers of being "friends" with Laura's day care teachers on Facebook, I have been able to connect with a few of the other mother's.  Enter L and her daughter A.  Laura and A are best good friends, in the way that only toddlers can be.  They adore each other without shyness or inhibition.  L is just as awesome.  So when L asked if Laura and I would like to join them at this concert, I jumped at the chance.

I may or may not enjoy the music tomorrow.  We'll see.  But I do know I will enjoy the concert.  I can't wait to sit with L, watching Laura and A bask in their friendship.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm having one of those days where I just don't want to do any of my work.  I'm looking for anything and everything I can do to avoid my usual files.  It's so bad, I pulled out a project that I volunteered to work on two years ago: an update to the procedure manual.  That's right.  I'm procrastinating so badly, I pulled out a project I've procrastinated starting for two years.

I've spent all morning reorganizing, copying, pasting, rewriting... I've hardly made a dent.  Partly because this thing hasn't been updated in nearly fifteen years.  Which is really bad: we do hardly anything the same way anymore!  It's going to take some time to get this thing right... but at least it's not my usual files.  At least it's something different.  Right?

I would so much rather be home in my jammies right now.  Is it Friday yet?
I'm having one of those days where I just don't want to do any of my work.  I'm looking for anything and everything I can do to avoid my usual files.  It's so bad, I pulled out a project that I volunteered to work on two years ago: an update to the procedure manual.  That's right.  I'm procrastinating so badly, I pulled out a project I've procrastinated starting for two years.

I've spent all morning reorganizing, copying, pasting, rewriting... I've hardly made a dent.  Partly because this thing hasn't been updated in nearly fifteen years.  Which is really bad: we do hardly anything the same way anymore!  It's going to take some time to get this thing right... but at least it's not my usual files.  At least it's something different.  Right?

I would so much rather be home in my jammies right now.  Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feeling Positive

I'm no stranger to tummy aches.  I have had a nervous stomach since childhood.  Which is unfortuante, because I'm also terrified of puking. 
Aren't we cute?
So last week when I was feeling a little pukier than usual, I took a pregnancy test.  I debated it in my head for hours.  I wasn't sure I wanted to know either way, since I was going into a weekend with friends.  But I woke up Friday morning, feeling all shaky and OMG I have to know one way or the other or I will puke which is scary and yucky.  So I peed and I waited. 

I only got one line.  But that's ok, because now I know and I'll pack some tampons for my weekend with friends.  Did I feel a little pukey on Saturday and Sunday?  Yeah, but that's because I was in the car for a total of 8 hours and I get car sick sometimes (even when driving).  So I moved on with my life.

I was in the grocery store on Monday and walked past the "Feminine Hygiene" aisle.  Those words alone are enough to give me a tummy ache.  Could Giant make being a woman sound any pukier?  But I turned the cart down the aisle, stopped in front of the pregnancy tests, and grabbed a two-pack of the fancy digital kind before I even realized what I was doing.  I promptly buried the package under a loaf of bread and some bananas, because GOD I didn't want anyone to see me buying those!

Laura and I got home from the store, I unloaded the groceries, set the tests on the stairs to go to the bathroom, and then remembered I needed to pee.  In slow-motion I realized I was unwrapping the box and pulling out a stick.  Suddenly I was peeing on it.  The bile rose in my throat.  I washed my shaky hands, looked down at the stick, and totally did a double-take:
Isn't the word "NOT" supposed to appear?
I'm pregnant!
Cue puking!
OMG I'm pregnant!

Nate and I are thrilled, over the moon, and incredibly excited.  My first OB appointment is 10/10 - I hope to have more to tell you then.  Like a due date.

***For a few certain readers, NOT A WORD of this.  To anyone!  You know who you are :)