Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Laura turned one on Saturday, and we celebrated in style!
The happy birthday girl!

Mom, the cake was tasty, but I'm ready to go play!

The kitchen decorations

The party food
As I drove Laura to school this morning, I turned around and looked at her sitting in her big girl car seat.  She had the remnants of a bottle in hand, as her feet dangled just the littlest bit in her brown Mary-Janes.  She was wearing a big girl outfit, a purple jumper with leggings.  She just looked like a big girl.  Ok, she's only one and still a baby, but in that moment I could really see her as a the chatty girly girl she is becoming.  It's hard to believe one whole year has already passed.  Laura is two days into her second year.  She is walking like a pro.  Laura is a toddler.

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Laura turned one on Saturday, and we celebrated in style!
The happy birthday girl!

Mom, the cake was tasty, but I'm ready to go play!

The kitchen decorations

The party food
As I drove Laura to school this morning, I turned around and looked at her sitting in her big girl car seat.  She had the remnants of a bottle in hand, as her feet dangled just the littlest bit in her brown Mary-Janes.  She was wearing a big girl outfit, a purple jumper with leggings.  She just looked like a big girl.  Ok, she's only one and still a baby, but in that moment I could really see her as a the chatty girly girl she is becoming.  It's hard to believe one whole year has already passed.  Laura is two days into her second year.  She is walking like a pro.  Laura is a toddler.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Blizzard(s) of 2010

It seems appropriate that the Red Dress Club would give the writing prompt, "This weeks prompt is to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath" as this weeks Red Writing Hood Challenge, seeing as my snow baby Laura will be one year old tomorrow.  It has been one whole year since Laura ushered in a new ice age.

It snowed the day after Laura was born.  Nothing big, but enough to ground some planes at BWI airport.  My father flew down to meet Laura that day.  He could only spend a few hours with her before catching his flight home.  It snowed the whole time he sat in our hospital room, holding that tiny bundle of newborn.  He caught the last flight out of BWI before the airport closed that day.
February 3rd: Laura is 5 days old
It snowed again a two days after Laura and I were sent home from the hospital.  Again, nothing big, but enough to feel like Laura was really a snow baby.

A few days later, my dad and sister flew down to meet Laura, while my brother drove from Maine.  "Make sure you pack snowboots!" my mother warned my down-east brother.  He arrived - in a Subaru station wagon, no less - with a light jacket and dress shoes.  He could have packed enough clothes to keep a small family warm for days, but he figured "I'm going to Maryland, and I'm from Maine.  How much snow could they really be getting?  I can manage."  FEET of snow later, my brother was embarrassed to borrow a coat and gloves from Nate to go help dig us out. 

Maryland was paralyzed by snow for most of the month of February last year - the first weeks we had Laura.  We were completely trapped in a two-mile radius of our house.  We could walk to the 7-11 for the neccessities (milk and ice cream, duh), but that was about it.  And who am I kidding?  I had just given birth to a 7lb 12oz baby.  I wasn't walking to 7-11 for anything!  I was trapped. 

Despite the snow, I would have been trapped.  I wasn't leaving the house for hardly anything.  Nor did I want to.  I had a beautiful baby to mother.  In fact, I welcomed the snow.  I loved having my husband, mother, father, sister and brother trapped with me.  If it hadn't been for that snowstorm, I would have spent my first weeks at home with Laura in a much lonlier fashion.

Sometimes being trapped ain't all that bad.  Happy birthday, Laura!

The Blizzard(s) of 2010

It seems appropriate that the Red Dress Club would give the writing prompt, "This weeks prompt is to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath" as this weeks Red Writing Hood Challenge, seeing as my snow baby Laura will be one year old tomorrow.  It has been one whole year since Laura ushered in a new ice age.

It snowed the day after Laura was born.  Nothing big, but enough to ground some planes at BWI airport.  My father flew down to meet Laura that day.  He could only spend a few hours with her before catching his flight home.  It snowed the whole time he sat in our hospital room, holding that tiny bundle of newborn.  He caught the last flight out of BWI before the airport closed that day.
February 3rd: Laura is 5 days old
It snowed again a two days after Laura and I were sent home from the hospital.  Again, nothing big, but enough to feel like Laura was really a snow baby.

A few days later, my dad and sister flew down to meet Laura, while my brother drove from Maine.  "Make sure you pack snowboots!" my mother warned my down-east brother.  He arrived - in a Subaru station wagon, no less - with a light jacket and dress shoes.  He could have packed enough clothes to keep a small family warm for days, but he figured "I'm going to Maryland, and I'm from Maine.  How much snow could they really be getting?  I can manage."  FEET of snow later, my brother was embarrassed to borrow a coat and gloves from Nate to go help dig us out. 

Maryland was paralyzed by snow for most of the month of February last year - the first weeks we had Laura.  We were completely trapped in a two-mile radius of our house.  We could walk to the 7-11 for the neccessities (milk and ice cream, duh), but that was about it.  And who am I kidding?  I had just given birth to a 7lb 12oz baby.  I wasn't walking to 7-11 for anything!  I was trapped. 

Despite the snow, I would have been trapped.  I wasn't leaving the house for hardly anything.  Nor did I want to.  I had a beautiful baby to mother.  In fact, I welcomed the snow.  I loved having my husband, mother, father, sister and brother trapped with me.  If it hadn't been for that snowstorm, I would have spent my first weeks at home with Laura in a much lonlier fashion.

Sometimes being trapped ain't all that bad.  Happy birthday, Laura!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Resolution: Sexy

At the beginning of 2011, all those days ago, I told you about my New Year's Resolution.  I wrote about resolutions as adjectives:

Sexy: I know my husband is attracted to me, and that's great. But I feel pretty frumpy right now. Nothing fits the way it should. I'm always sucking in. When I am not sucking in, I look like a pregnant whale. My legs? Are still eff-ing fantastic. But my stomach? Lumpy and weird. Do I look ok? Sure. But I want to look HOT. Which is why I'll be going to the gym this week. For reals.

I really have been working really hard on this resolution!  I started going to the gym.  I have been dutiful.  And it's starting to show.  My stomach is flatter and less wobbly.  My chest is a more realistic size.  I feel good (minus one arthritic knee).  I have been packing my lunch, which forces me to eat healthier while saving money as a bonus.  I am getting sexified.

Tomorrow night, Hubby and I are going to his company's annual kick-off event to celebrate their achievements in 2010, and inspire the masses in 2011.  Last year, I was exactly one week away from delivering our daughter.  I shoved myself into the one dress that fit, and hauled my pregnant butt to the open bar.  Where I enjoyed a glass of soda.  All of the other women flitted past in sexy dresses and high heels, as I struggled to stay upright in my Tory Burch flats.

So this year, I decided to go all out.  I found the sexiest dress I could and bought it.



 I look HOT in this dress.  I can't wait for Hubby to see me in it tomorrow night.  I am going to look awesome!  And the best part of this dress?  It was a full 78% off the original price.  I love a bargain!

Resolution: Sexy

At the beginning of 2011, all those days ago, I told you about my New Year's Resolution.  I wrote about resolutions as adjectives:

Sexy: I know my husband is attracted to me, and that's great. But I feel pretty frumpy right now. Nothing fits the way it should. I'm always sucking in. When I am not sucking in, I look like a pregnant whale. My legs? Are still eff-ing fantastic. But my stomach? Lumpy and weird. Do I look ok? Sure. But I want to look HOT. Which is why I'll be going to the gym this week. For reals.

I really have been working really hard on this resolution!  I started going to the gym.  I have been dutiful.  And it's starting to show.  My stomach is flatter and less wobbly.  My chest is a more realistic size.  I feel good (minus one arthritic knee).  I have been packing my lunch, which forces me to eat healthier while saving money as a bonus.  I am getting sexified.

Tomorrow night, Hubby and I are going to his company's annual kick-off event to celebrate their achievements in 2010, and inspire the masses in 2011.  Last year, I was exactly one week away from delivering our daughter.  I shoved myself into the one dress that fit, and hauled my pregnant butt to the open bar.  Where I enjoyed a glass of soda.  All of the other women flitted past in sexy dresses and high heels, as I struggled to stay upright in my Tory Burch flats.

So this year, I decided to go all out.  I found the sexiest dress I could and bought it.



 I look HOT in this dress.  I can't wait for Hubby to see me in it tomorrow night.  I am going to look awesome!  And the best part of this dress?  It was a full 78% off the original price.  I love a bargain!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why I'm kicking the gym's butt

Friends, I have just begun Week Four of going to the gym.  I went three days a week the first two weeks, two days last week, and am planning on three days this week.  I only missed one day last week because of the snow.  So that's pretty awesome!  I can't say that I actually enjoy going to the gym.  And I still haven't gotten used to getting up so early to do so much.  I'm certainly not getting that endorphine rush quite yet!  But I'm going.  That's the important part.

Just going in the first place was a huge step for me.  It took me a long time to convince myself of a realistic plan for getting in some exercise.  Continuing to go the second, third and now fourth weeks is another big step.  I have a tendency to start out strong with something, only to falter quickly.  This is why I never finish projects; I set too high of goals for myself.  Except this time, I was realistic.  I originally planned on just two days a week.  By the end of day two in my first week, I knew I'd be going a third day.  This schedule is working for me, and I have no excuses (except snow) to stay away from the gym.

Well, maybe I do have one excuse: my knee is killing me.  Throbbing, intense pain.  I have never had the greatest knees - they are the kind that make weird popping noises everytime I bend down.  They've been doing that since I was nine, so it never really bothered me.  But now that I'm trying to lose a few pounds, the treadmill is just killing me.

In the past, I would have used this as my excuse to quit going to the gym.  My knee hurts, I don't want it to get worse, so I'll just stop going.  This time, though.  This time is different.  Instead of quitting altogether, I am adjusting my workout.  I'm using the (boring) elliptical instead of jogging on the treadmill.  I'm focusing on leg exercises and stretching to strengthen the muscles around my knee.  I know I can work through this.  If I can never get on the treadmill again, that will suck, but at least I am at the gym.

I am kicking the gym's butt.  And my perky butt is the visual proof!

Why I'm kicking the gym's butt

Friends, I have just begun Week Four of going to the gym.  I went three days a week the first two weeks, two days last week, and am planning on three days this week.  I only missed one day last week because of the snow.  So that's pretty awesome!  I can't say that I actually enjoy going to the gym.  And I still haven't gotten used to getting up so early to do so much.  I'm certainly not getting that endorphine rush quite yet!  But I'm going.  That's the important part.

Just going in the first place was a huge step for me.  It took me a long time to convince myself of a realistic plan for getting in some exercise.  Continuing to go the second, third and now fourth weeks is another big step.  I have a tendency to start out strong with something, only to falter quickly.  This is why I never finish projects; I set too high of goals for myself.  Except this time, I was realistic.  I originally planned on just two days a week.  By the end of day two in my first week, I knew I'd be going a third day.  This schedule is working for me, and I have no excuses (except snow) to stay away from the gym.

Well, maybe I do have one excuse: my knee is killing me.  Throbbing, intense pain.  I have never had the greatest knees - they are the kind that make weird popping noises everytime I bend down.  They've been doing that since I was nine, so it never really bothered me.  But now that I'm trying to lose a few pounds, the treadmill is just killing me.

In the past, I would have used this as my excuse to quit going to the gym.  My knee hurts, I don't want it to get worse, so I'll just stop going.  This time, though.  This time is different.  Instead of quitting altogether, I am adjusting my workout.  I'm using the (boring) elliptical instead of jogging on the treadmill.  I'm focusing on leg exercises and stretching to strengthen the muscles around my knee.  I know I can work through this.  If I can never get on the treadmill again, that will suck, but at least I am at the gym.

I am kicking the gym's butt.  And my perky butt is the visual proof!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Animal House

Hope you have as much fun this weekend as Laura does!
video
See you Monday!

Animal House

Hope you have as much fun this weekend as Laura does!
See you Monday!

Animal House

Hope you have as much fun this weekend as Laura does!
See you Monday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Groceries

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Ok!  Let's get you plugged into the cart!  Ew, someone left their shopping list in that one.  We'll find a different one.  As if eighty-gazillion people have NOT touched this shopping-list-free cart.  Here we go!  Zoom!  Into the store!  Ok, so what do we need?  That's right!  Bananas!  Ooh, and some pears.  Mommy loves pears.  Those D'Anjou pears are looking particularly lovely right now.  No, you can't have Mommy's shopping list.  We don't eat paper.  Here.  You know what?  We can skip the produce aisle and come back to it.  Let's go straight to the deli for a snack.  Look!  Ham!  You love ham!  Oh, come on.  Please don't spit out the ham.  Do you want a graham cracker instead?  Ok.  That's better.

Random stranger: Hi there sweetie!  You're so cute!  How old is she? 

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Not quite one!  Say thank you, Laura.  Thank you!

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Ok, now where were we?  That's right.  We have to go back to the produce aisle now that you have your little snack.  We need something green.  Ooh!  Asparagus!  And you know what?  I'll just get the rest frozen.  That way it won't go bad if I forget about it.  Oh, but you do like sweet potatoes, so let's find a few good ones.  No, Laura.  Please don't grab the lemons.  C'mon.  We gotta keep moving!  Vroom! Vroom!  Let's head over to dairy!  We need milk, eggs, pie crust, cheese, and some more baby yogurt.  Which flavor of Yo Baby smells the least offensive?  We'll go with banana.  Yuck.  But I guess I'm glad you like it, right? 

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Uh oh... Oh come on, Laura.  Please don't lose it now!  We still have a few aisles to go, and we still need to get through check-out!  Oh lord.  Okay, we'll speed shop.  Have another cracker.

This was written from the Red Writing Hood prompt, "Dialogue," over at The Red Dress Club.  If you have been to the grocery store with a baby, you can completely understand the one-sided dialogue that occurs!

Groceries

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Ok!  Let's get you plugged into the cart!  Ew, someone left their shopping list in that one.  We'll find a different one.  As if eighty-gazillion people have NOT touched this shopping-list-free cart.  Here we go!  Zoom!  Into the store!  Ok, so what do we need?  That's right!  Bananas!  Ooh, and some pears.  Mommy loves pears.  Those D'Anjou pears are looking particularly lovely right now.  No, you can't have Mommy's shopping list.  We don't eat paper.  Here.  You know what?  We can skip the produce aisle and come back to it.  Let's go straight to the deli for a snack.  Look!  Ham!  You love ham!  Oh, come on.  Please don't spit out the ham.  Do you want a graham cracker instead?  Ok.  That's better.

Random stranger: Hi there sweetie!  You're so cute!  How old is she? 

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Not quite one!  Say thank you, Laura.  Thank you!

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Ok, now where were we?  That's right.  We have to go back to the produce aisle now that you have your little snack.  We need something green.  Ooh!  Asparagus!  And you know what?  I'll just get the rest frozen.  That way it won't go bad if I forget about it.  Oh, but you do like sweet potatoes, so let's find a few good ones.  No, Laura.  Please don't grab the lemons.  C'mon.  We gotta keep moving!  Vroom! Vroom!  Let's head over to dairy!  We need milk, eggs, pie crust, cheese, and some more baby yogurt.  Which flavor of Yo Baby smells the least offensive?  We'll go with banana.  Yuck.  But I guess I'm glad you like it, right? 

Mrs. MidAtlantic: Uh oh... Oh come on, Laura.  Please don't lose it now!  We still have a few aisles to go, and we still need to get through check-out!  Oh lord.  Okay, we'll speed shop.  Have another cracker.

This was written from the Red Writing Hood prompt, "Dialogue," over at The Red Dress Club.  If you have been to the grocery store with a baby, you can completely understand the one-sided dialogue that occurs!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For the Win!

Last night, I plopped Laura down in the center of the family room after we got home from work and school.  The gate was open, so I strolled over and closed it.  Laura saw me heading toward the door, and immediately started "racing" me to it.  She wanted no part of the family room trap that I was creating.

I know, I'm a mean mommy.  I trap my baby in a room filled with toys.  That I expect her to play with.  No fun at all, right?  I mean, who would want to be in a room filled with toys when there are cupboards filled with breakable and dangerous things just beyond the baby gate?

So Laura threw herself at the gate and starting wailing.  Another tantrum.  I felt pretty confident that I could divert her attention from the outlets, however, and sat down next to her "office."  I caught her eye, lifted my finger and pressed the magic button - the one on the phone.  The office chirped an old-fashioned telephone ring, and then broke out in song:

Hello!
The phone is ringing,
So we say Hello!

It's not a long song, but it's catchy!  And usually this song inspires Laura to press more buttons on her office, launching into more freakishly cheerful tunes.  Last night?  The telephone song (which I hear in my head everytime my phone rings) only made Laura scream louder.

I moved over to another of Laura's favorite toys: her kitchen.  I pressed the button on the oven, and DING! The turkey was perfectly cooked, and the kitchen played a cooking show sort of melody.  Laura screamed louder and started shaking the baby gate.

Next stop: the tea set. 
Fisher Price Say Please Tea Set
I love this tea set.  It is adorable and cheery and cute.  And I like tea, ok?  So after the office and kitchen both failed to stop the tantrum, I picked up the teapot and poured myself a spot of tea.  The minute Laura heard the teapot start singing, she let go of the gate, stopped crying, and toddled over to join me.  We enjoyed a very pleasant evening.

Tea really does cure all that ails.

For the Win!

Last night, I plopped Laura down in the center of the family room after we got home from work and school.  The gate was open, so I strolled over and closed it.  Laura saw me heading toward the door, and immediately started "racing" me to it.  She wanted no part of the family room trap that I was creating.

I know, I'm a mean mommy.  I trap my baby in a room filled with toys.  That I expect her to play with.  No fun at all, right?  I mean, who would want to be in a room filled with toys when there are cupboards filled with breakable and dangerous things just beyond the baby gate?

So Laura threw herself at the gate and starting wailing.  Another tantrum.  I felt pretty confident that I could divert her attention from the outlets, however, and sat down next to her "office."  I caught her eye, lifted my finger and pressed the magic button - the one on the phone.  The office chirped an old-fashioned telephone ring, and then broke out in song:

Hello!
The phone is ringing,
So we say Hello!

It's not a long song, but it's catchy!  And usually this song inspires Laura to press more buttons on her office, launching into more freakishly cheerful tunes.  Last night?  The telephone song (which I hear in my head everytime my phone rings) only made Laura scream louder.

I moved over to another of Laura's favorite toys: her kitchen.  I pressed the button on the oven, and DING! The turkey was perfectly cooked, and the kitchen played a cooking show sort of melody.  Laura screamed louder and started shaking the baby gate.

Next stop: the tea set. 
Fisher Price Say Please Tea Set
I love this tea set.  It is adorable and cheery and cute.  And I like tea, ok?  So after the office and kitchen both failed to stop the tantrum, I picked up the teapot and poured myself a spot of tea.  The minute Laura heard the teapot start singing, she let go of the gate, stopped crying, and toddled over to join me.  We enjoyed a very pleasant evening.

Tea really does cure all that ails.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Three seconds to total meltdown

3...

I spent all day at home with Laura, content to stay inside after the ice storm that hit the East Coast.  It reminded me of the first few weeks Laura was with us.  It was cold outside, but we were cozy inside.  Except yesterday was a bit different from last year.  For one thing, Laura was walking, toddling and crawling all over the living room.  For another, she wanted whatever I had in my hand.  Which meant I couldn't enjoy a hot cup of tea or cocoa during Regis and Kelly. 

2...

Another difference from last year is that Laura has decided she only needs one nap.  And that nap is in the afternoon.  Which means that she was fairly cranky most of the morning.  It also means I never got to take a shower.  So now I am without a hot drink and unshowered - I took a shower everyday last year.  While Laura napped.  Which was frequently.
1...

Last year, when Laura was cranky, I could just lay her down.  She'd drift off to sleep and wake up as happy as a newborn can be.  Yesterday when Laura was cranky, she'd throw herself down on the floor, kick her legs, flail her arms, and scream.

MELTDOWN!

Laura isn't even a year old yet.  She has a minimal vocabulary, at best.  I have no idea what she wants on a good day.  During a tantrum?  Not a clue.  And are one year olds even supposed to throw tantrums?  Kicking and flailing tantrums?  I had no idea this would start so soon.  What am I supposed to do?  Help!

PS - did I tell you she's walking?  She's walking!

Three seconds to total meltdown

3...

I spent all day at home with Laura, content to stay inside after the ice storm that hit the East Coast.  It reminded me of the first few weeks Laura was with us.  It was cold outside, but we were cozy inside.  Except yesterday was a bit different from last year.  For one thing, Laura was walking, toddling and crawling all over the living room.  For another, she wanted whatever I had in my hand.  Which meant I couldn't enjoy a hot cup of tea or cocoa during Regis and Kelly. 

2...

Another difference from last year is that Laura has decided she only needs one nap.  And that nap is in the afternoon.  Which means that she was fairly cranky most of the morning.  It also means I never got to take a shower.  So now I am without a hot drink and unshowered - I took a shower everyday last year.  While Laura napped.  Which was frequently.
1...

Last year, when Laura was cranky, I could just lay her down.  She'd drift off to sleep and wake up as happy as a newborn can be.  Yesterday when Laura was cranky, she'd throw herself down on the floor, kick her legs, flail her arms, and scream.

MELTDOWN!

Laura isn't even a year old yet.  She has a minimal vocabulary, at best.  I have no idea what she wants on a good day.  During a tantrum?  Not a clue.  And are one year olds even supposed to throw tantrums?  Kicking and flailing tantrums?  I had no idea this would start so soon.  What am I supposed to do?  Help!

PS - did I tell you she's walking?  She's walking!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I was going to post today, but am home without a computer! Enjoy the ice out there!
I was going to post today, but am home without a computer! Enjoy the ice out there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making Time

For the longest time, I have made excuses for myself.  Excuses as to why I can't eat healthier.  Excuses as to why my clothes don't fit correctly.  Excuses as to why I haven't lost the baby weight.  Excuses as to why I can't work out.

Before Thanksgiving, my coworker talked me into joining the gym in our building at work.  She promised to make me go during lunch or the one evening a week I can stay late at work.  She said that going together would make it easier, and that we'd keep each other on track to a healthier lifestyle.  I was convinced, and wrote a check for a six month membership.  And then never went.

I belonged to a gym for most of November and all of December without ever once setting foot inside.  So, like thousands of other Americans, I decided I would start going to the gym on January 3rd.  Well, 4th.

But unlike just saying I would start doing something, I actually sat down with Nate to make a plan.  I was honest with myself and realized that I would never trade my precious lunch for a treadmill, which only left one evening a week to work out.  And I was honest that I wouldn't want to stay late on a Thursday to work out.  That left mornings.  Before work.

I am not a morning person.

No really, I am not a morning person.  It is physically difficult for me to wake up and get out of bed.  Every morning is a struggle.  So it was a big step for me to even think of adding a workout to my morning routine.  But I talked it over with Nate and we came up with a plan.  I roll out of bed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, slap some sweatpants on and drag my sorry butt to the train.  After a nap on the train, I meet my friend in the lobby at work and head to the gym.  We work out for forty minutes or so, and then jump in the shower.  On Tuesdays, Nate takes Laura to school.  On Thursdays and Fridays, Laura stays home with my MIL.

It's only been two weeks (five workouts), but I am actually looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow morning.  I'm not looking forward to getting out of bed, but I can't imagine any morning where I don't dread getting out of bed.  (Have I mentioned that I love bed?)  I'm going to the gym tomorrow.  And I'll keep going next week.  I'm making time for myself, and I'm out of excuses.

Updated: Laura cried all last night.  From midnight on.  Nothing hurt, she didn't need a diaper, she shouldn't have been hungry.  I think she was just bored.  Which meant mommy and daddy didn't get much sleep.  So I was very tempted to skip the gym this morning and sleep in instead.  BUT!  I was a good girl, got my butt out of bed and hit the gym.  Even better?  I had a great workout.

Making Time

For the longest time, I have made excuses for myself.  Excuses as to why I can't eat healthier.  Excuses as to why my clothes don't fit correctly.  Excuses as to why I haven't lost the baby weight.  Excuses as to why I can't work out.

Before Thanksgiving, my coworker talked me into joining the gym in our building at work.  She promised to make me go during lunch or the one evening a week I can stay late at work.  She said that going together would make it easier, and that we'd keep each other on track to a healthier lifestyle.  I was convinced, and wrote a check for a six month membership.  And then never went.

I belonged to a gym for most of November and all of December without ever once setting foot inside.  So, like thousands of other Americans, I decided I would start going to the gym on January 3rd.  Well, 4th.

But unlike just saying I would start doing something, I actually sat down with Nate to make a plan.  I was honest with myself and realized that I would never trade my precious lunch for a treadmill, which only left one evening a week to work out.  And I was honest that I wouldn't want to stay late on a Thursday to work out.  That left mornings.  Before work.

I am not a morning person.

No really, I am not a morning person.  It is physically difficult for me to wake up and get out of bed.  Every morning is a struggle.  So it was a big step for me to even think of adding a workout to my morning routine.  But I talked it over with Nate and we came up with a plan.  I roll out of bed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, slap some sweatpants on and drag my sorry butt to the train.  After a nap on the train, I meet my friend in the lobby at work and head to the gym.  We work out for forty minutes or so, and then jump in the shower.  On Tuesdays, Nate takes Laura to school.  On Thursdays and Fridays, Laura stays home with my MIL.

It's only been two weeks (five workouts), but I am actually looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow morning.  I'm not looking forward to getting out of bed, but I can't imagine any morning where I don't dread getting out of bed.  (Have I mentioned that I love bed?)  I'm going to the gym tomorrow.  And I'll keep going next week.  I'm making time for myself, and I'm out of excuses.

Updated: Laura cried all last night.  From midnight on.  Nothing hurt, she didn't need a diaper, she shouldn't have been hungry.  I think she was just bored.  Which meant mommy and daddy didn't get much sleep.  So I was very tempted to skip the gym this morning and sleep in instead.  BUT!  I was a good girl, got my butt out of bed and hit the gym.  Even better?  I had a great workout.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Funerals

I hate funerals.  Granted, I think I have been to three in my life, and two of those were for Nate's family.  So I am not very experienced in the ways of the funeral.  But I hate them.  I hate thinking of death.  I am terrified to think of what's next.

Heaven?  Hell?  Reincarnation?  Nothing?? 

Nothing is the scariest of all.  Scarier than hell, to me, is the thought that there is nothing past this life.  If this is it, then what is the point?  What happens to the life force energy that flows within each of us?  Does it just *poof!* disappear into the atmosphere?  I'd like to think not.

I don't know that I believe in heaven, or that I'll be reunited with my great-grandmother or Nate's aunts and uncles.  I don't know that I'll see my childhood dog running toward me with his big ears flopping in the sun.  These things sound sort of nice, but it still doesn't tell me what happens to that energy.

I don't know that I believe in reincarnation, that this life is just one in a series of lives.  Sometimes, I think reincarnation sounds nice.  If I'm good, I'll be moved up in the chain; if I'm bad I'll move down.  My mom always told me that I must have been a cat in my previous life, because I purred as a baby (and I do love to nap).  And yet.  And yet.

I am not sure what I believe.  Maybe this is because belief is not knowledge.  It can't be proven through complicated math problems.  Belief requires faith.  Faith in something bigger.  While I was raised (nominally) Catholic, I have never really been faithful.  I've been baptized, received Holy Communion, been confirmed.  I was married in the church, and my daughter has been baptized.  But I'm really just going through the motions of religion.  That is, when I actually go to church.

Nate's great-uncle died last night.  We will be driving four hours in each direction for his funeral.  I pray there isn't a viewing.  I have only seen one dead person, and it was not something I would like to do again.  I'm sad for Nate's family that they have lost another person dear to them.  But Frankie was very old, and was a victim of WWII.  He came home from Europe, but he never really came home.  I hope that whatever happens next, Frankie is there.  I hope he is finally at peace, in a way he never could be on earth.  If he's a bird, I hope he has spread his wings and is soaring above us.  If he is an angel, I hope he is reunited with his beloved brothers, the five of them together again.

But I hate funerals.

Funerals

I hate funerals.  Granted, I think I have been to three in my life, and two of those were for Nate's family.  So I am not very experienced in the ways of the funeral.  But I hate them.  I hate thinking of death.  I am terrified to think of what's next.

Heaven?  Hell?  Reincarnation?  Nothing?? 

Nothing is the scariest of all.  Scarier than hell, to me, is the thought that there is nothing past this life.  If this is it, then what is the point?  What happens to the life force energy that flows within each of us?  Does it just *poof!* disappear into the atmosphere?  I'd like to think not.

I don't know that I believe in heaven, or that I'll be reunited with my great-grandmother or Nate's aunts and uncles.  I don't know that I'll see my childhood dog running toward me with his big ears flopping in the sun.  These things sound sort of nice, but it still doesn't tell me what happens to that energy.

I don't know that I believe in reincarnation, that this life is just one in a series of lives.  Sometimes, I think reincarnation sounds nice.  If I'm good, I'll be moved up in the chain; if I'm bad I'll move down.  My mom always told me that I must have been a cat in my previous life, because I purred as a baby (and I do love to nap).  And yet.  And yet.

I am not sure what I believe.  Maybe this is because belief is not knowledge.  It can't be proven through complicated math problems.  Belief requires faith.  Faith in something bigger.  While I was raised (nominally) Catholic, I have never really been faithful.  I've been baptized, received Holy Communion, been confirmed.  I was married in the church, and my daughter has been baptized.  But I'm really just going through the motions of religion.  That is, when I actually go to church.

Nate's great-uncle died last night.  We will be driving four hours in each direction for his funeral.  I pray there isn't a viewing.  I have only seen one dead person, and it was not something I would like to do again.  I'm sad for Nate's family that they have lost another person dear to them.  But Frankie was very old, and was a victim of WWII.  He came home from Europe, but he never really came home.  I hope that whatever happens next, Frankie is there.  I hope he is finally at peace, in a way he never could be on earth.  If he's a bird, I hope he has spread his wings and is soaring above us.  If he is an angel, I hope he is reunited with his beloved brothers, the five of them together again.

But I hate funerals.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gift Horse

Alright, fine, you know about babies.
But I'm getting really tired of hearing, "I don't want to step on your toes, but..."
Could you please stop?
Do it your way, or do it mine.
Either way, the baby is loved, right?
Forget it; I'm just cranky.
Grumpy and cranky and tired of people in my house.
How is it that my house has become a boarding house for your family?
I wouldn't mind if people asked if they could stay.
Just popping in for an overnight is starting to get to me.
Keeping the towels stocked in the bathroom has been a serious chore.
Let me be grumpy without talking about me behind my back.
My feelings are getting hurt.
Nerves are on edge.
One more passive suggestion might send me over the edge.
Please let me discover how to be a mom on my own.
Questioning my decisions makes me feel really incapable.
Ridiculous as it may seem, I'm starting to resent your suggestions.
So am I looking a gift horse in the mouth?
Truly, I know you mean well.
Usually you don't bother me.
Venting every now and then is healthy, right?
Which is why I blog; to vent.
X-rated comments and complaints about my mother-in-law/nanny go here.
Yes, this blog is preventative maintenance.
Zero explosions of emotions at home.

This blog was written for the Red Writing Hood prompt, "Alphabet:" Your assignment this week is to write a 26-sentence piece, fiction or non-fiction, with each sentence starting with the letters of the alphabet in order.  I started an entirely different piece on Tuesday, only to trash it moments ago as I hung up on my Mother-in-law (who is our nanny half the week) in frustration.  My alphabet is very real and very much a rant.  I love my MIL, I just get tired of seeing her week after week, ok?!

Gift Horse

Alright, fine, you know about babies.
But I'm getting really tired of hearing, "I don't want to step on your toes, but..."
Could you please stop?
Do it your way, or do it mine.
Either way, the baby is loved, right?
Forget it; I'm just cranky.
Grumpy and cranky and tired of people in my house.
How is it that my house has become a boarding house for your family?
I wouldn't mind if people asked if they could stay.
Just popping in for an overnight is starting to get to me.
Keeping the towels stocked in the bathroom has been a serious chore.
Let me be grumpy without talking about me behind my back.
My feelings are getting hurt.
Nerves are on edge.
One more passive suggestion might send me over the edge.
Please let me discover how to be a mom on my own.
Questioning my decisions makes me feel really incapable.
Ridiculous as it may seem, I'm starting to resent your suggestions.
So am I looking a gift horse in the mouth?
Truly, I know you mean well.
Usually you don't bother me.
Venting every now and then is healthy, right?
Which is why I blog; to vent.
X-rated comments and complaints about my life go here.
Yes, this blog is preventative maintenance.
Zero explosions of emotions at home.

This blog was written for the Red Writing Hood prompt, "Alphabet:" Your assignment this week is to write a 26-sentence piece, fiction or non-fiction, with each sentence starting with the letters of the alphabet in order.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tiny Prints! For You!

I adore stationery.  I write thank-you notes like it's my business.  I have a huge stash of stationery at the ready.  Thank you cards, blank cards, bridal shower cards (yep, those exist), cards of a somber nature, cards of a cheery nature, postcards, baby cards, plain cards, fancy cards.  I love them all.  Sometimes I actually hesitate to use my stationery because it's so pretty.  The more worthy the recipient, the nicer the card. 

So when I am shopping for cards of a specifically personalized nature, like invitations, I take my time and shop around.  Lately, I haven't had to search too long before finding a card or invitation I love and can afford.  Thank you, Tiny Prints!

I think I have mentioned my love of Tiny Prints before.  Like when I ordered our Christmas cards from Shutterfly, but really wanted to get them from Tiny Prints, but just couldn't find something Nate liked well enough (he likes goofier cards).  Or like the gorgeous cards I ordered for Laura's baptism, except, oh wait - I was still cagey back in July and didn't share those invitations (trust me, they were beautiful). Or like Like yesterday, when I suddenly realized that I was a few weeks behind in planning Laura's 1st birthday.
How sweet is this card?!

Imagine how pleased I was this morning when I received an email and phone call from my personal Tiny Prints designer with a suggestion on a better way to word the invitations I had ordered.  Bryan sent me two proofs to review: one proof of what I had originally ordered, and a second with his suggestions.  Of course I went with the revised proof, and was just so impressed with the personal service!  So I emailed Bryan back to let him know how much I appreciated the time he had put into my order and asked if I could share my appreciation with my loyal readers.

So for your next order of personalized stationery, please visit Tiny Prints and enter TPFRIEND when you checkout for 10% off your order!

Tiny Prints!

I adore stationery.  I write thank-you notes like it's my business.  I have a huge stash of stationery at the ready.  Thank you cards, blank cards, bridal shower cards (yep, those exist), cards of a somber nature, cards of a cheery nature, postcards, baby cards, plain cards, fancy cards.  I love them all.  Sometimes I actually hesitate to use my stationery because it's so pretty.  The more worthy the recipient, the nicer the card.

So when I am shopping for cards of a specifically personalized nature, like invitations, I take my time and shop around.  Lately, I haven't had to search too long before finding a card or invitation I love and can afford.  Thank you, Tiny Prints!

I think I have mentioned my love of Tiny Prints before.  Like when I ordered our Christmas cards from Shutterfly, but really wanted to get them from Tiny Prints, but just couldn't find something Nate liked well enough (he likes goofier cards).  Or like the gorgeous cards I ordered for Laura's baptism, except, oh wait - I was still cagey back in July and didn't share those invitations (trust me, they were beautiful). Or like Like yesterday, when I suddenly realized that I was a few weeks behind in planning Laura's 1st birthday.









How sweet is this card?!

Imagine how pleased I was this morning when I received an email and phone call from my personal Tiny Prints designer with a suggestion on a better way to word the invitations I had ordered.  Bryan sent me two proofs to review: one proof of what I had originally ordered, and a second with his suggestions.  Of course I went with the revised proof, and was just so impressed with the personal service!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Party Foul

Laura turns one in just under three weeks.  While I said all along that I wasn't going to have one of those huge first birthday parties, I did want to invite our immediate families and closest friends over to celebrate our year with Laura.

So today I counted up how many invitations I would have to send to individual households, and came up with 17.  Which means we're inviting something like 25 people to watch a baby get covered in cake.  I also realized that I needed to order some invitations, and fast!

I thank you, Tiny Prints, for offering such cute designs with such quick shipping.  But I do not thank you, Tiny Prints, for costing more than I originally intended for these invitations (and rush shipping, since I'm a little behind at this point)!  I am also realizing that whether I intended it or not, Laura's first birthday is going to be a larger affair than I realized.

I'm sure she'll be adorable mushing cake all over her face.  But I am adament on limiting the mess.  My mom and I are making cupcakes.  Laura will get one, normal size cupcake, and it will look just like the other 23 we bake.  We are celebrating one whole year of life here, not a one short day!

And please, no presents!

Party Foul

Laura turns one in just under three weeks.  While I said all along that I wasn't going to have one of those huge first birthday parties, I did want to invite our immediate families and closest friends over to celebrate our year with Laura.

So today I counted up how many invitations I would have to send to individual households, and came up with 17.  Which means we're inviting something like 25 people to watch a baby get covered in cake.  I also realized that I needed to order some invitations, and fast!

I thank you, Tiny Prints, for offering such cute designs with such quick shipping.  But I do not thank you, Tiny Prints, for costing more than I originally intended for these invitations (and rush shipping, since I'm a little behind at this point)!  I am also realizing that whether I intended it or not, Laura's first birthday is going to be a larger affair than I realized.

I'm sure she'll be adorable mushing cake all over her face.  But I am adament on limiting the mess.  My mom and I are making cupcakes.  Laura will get one, normal size cupcake, and it will look just like the other 23 we bake.  We are celebrating one whole year of life here, not a one short day!

And please, no presents!

Somebody Get Me a Cape!

Because I'm Super Mom!

It's the first week of the new year, so my adreniline is all pumping with goals and ideas and I CAN DO THIS enthusiasm, so please forgive me when I give the cape back next week.  But in the meantime, I am wearing my cape with pride!

Yesterday, I made a grocery list.  I went grocery shopping.  I stuck to the list.  I still spent a ton, but it's all stuff we can eat for dinner and lunch all week.  I got home and put away the groceries.  I made dinner.  I ate dinner.  I helped Laura eat dinner.  I put Laura to bed.  I made dinner for tonight.  I washed all the dishes.  I washed 10 baby bottles (those things can pile up if you're not careful).  I folded all the laundry.  I packed Laura's lunch for today.  I packed my lunch for today.  I picked out outfits for me and Laura to wear.  I packed my gym bag.  I went to bed at 10:30.

This morning, I got out of bed when my alarm went off.  I hauled myself downstairs.  I made scrambled eggs and tea.  I left the house by 6:20.  I caught the 6:30 train.  I got to work at 7:15.  I went to the gym.  I cleaned up and got dressed.  I went to work.  I have already dusted and vacuumed an entire, large object in the collection.

It's not even 10:30 in the morning.  The museum has only been open for 30 minutes.  I'm exhausted, but I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.  Let's see how long I can keep this up!

Somebody Get Me a Cape!

Because I'm Super Mom!

It's the first week of the new year, so my adreniline is all pumping with goals and ideas and I CAN DO THIS enthusiasm, so please forgive me when I give the cape back next week.  But in the meantime, I am wearing my cape with pride!

Yesterday, I made a grocery list.  I went grocery shopping.  I stuck to the list.  I still spent a ton, but it's all stuff we can eat for dinner and lunch all week.  I got home and put away the groceries.  I made dinner.  I ate dinner.  I helped Laura eat dinner.  I put Laura to bed.  I made dinner for tonight.  I washed all the dishes.  I washed 10 baby bottles (those things can pile up if you're not careful).  I folded all the laundry.  I packed Laura's lunch for today.  I packed my lunch for today.  I picked out outfits for me and Laura to wear.  I packed my gym bag.  I went to bed at 10:30.

This morning, I got out of bed when my alarm went off.  I hauled myself downstairs.  I made scrambled eggs and tea.  I left the house by 6:20.  I caught the 6:30 train.  I got to work at 7:15.  I went to the gym.  I cleaned up and got dressed.  I went to work.  I have already dusted and vacuumed an entire, large object in the collection.

It's not even 10:30 in the morning.  The museum has only been open for 30 minutes.  I'm exhausted, but I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.  Let's see how long I can keep this up!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Own Domain

During my blogging career, I have read a number of posts discussing "How to make your blog more awesomer!" and usually they aren't that helpful.  I mean, the writers of these posts have wonderful intentions, and I appreciate their enthusiasm, but their hints just aren't what I am looking for. 

I recently read a similar post on Scary Mommy.  I almost didn't read it, because I am a snob.  But I sucked it up and read it anyway.  I am so glad I did.  Scary Mommy didn't tell me to get a pretty background (done), or add pages and buttons (done, sorta).  It didn't tell me to Comment!  A lot!  (I try).  But it did give some fairly common sense advice.  Advice that I have largely ignored to date.  Like getting my own domain name.

Inspired by Scary Mommy, I have decided to step up my blogging in 2011.  I just bought my own domain name.  From now on, you can follow all the thrilling antics of the MidAtlantics at www.mrsmidatlantic.com!  I feel like such a big girl. 

My Own Domain

During my blogging career, I have read a number of posts discussing "How to make your blog more awesomer!" and usually they aren't that helpful.  I mean, the writers of these posts have wonderful intentions, and I appreciate their enthusiasm, but their hints just aren't what I am looking for. 

I recently read a similar post on Scary Mommy.  I almost didn't read it, because I am a snob.  But I sucked it up and read it anyway.  I am so glad I did.  Scary Mommy didn't tell me to get a pretty background (done), or add pages and buttons (done, sorta).  It didn't tell me to Comment!  A lot!  (I try).  But it did give some fairly common sense advice.  Advice that I have largely ignored to date.  Like getting my own domain name.

Inspired by Scary Mommy, I have decided to step up my blogging in 2011.  I just bought my own domain name.  From now on, you can follow all the thrilling antics of the MidAtlantics at www.mrsmidatlantic.com!  I feel like such a big girl. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's like MadLibs for Resolutions!

I was being a dutiful blogger today, reading all of your recent posts and catching up.  I love what all of you have to say in reflecting on 2010, Christmas, New Year's, and goals for 2011.  2011 is OUR YEAR, right?  RIGHT!  I have really loved all the posts, really.  But one post just really struck me as awesome. 

Kristy at Pampers and Pinot has decided to use adjectives to shape her 2011 New Year's resolutions rather than specific goals.  Think about it: adjectives are so loose and descriptive.  You can pick an adjective and go anywhere you want with it.  Who cares if you read 5 books, or bake 10 pies.  Does it make you feel good to read or bake?  Great!  Do it!  So Kristy, thank you for your idea.  Here are my adjectives:

Sexy:  I know my husband is attracted to me, and that's great.  But I feel pretty frumpy right now.  Nothing fits the way it should.  I'm always sucking in.  When I am not sucking in, I look like a pregnant whale.  My legs?  Are still eff-ing fantastic.  But my stomach?  Lumpy and weird.  Do I look ok?  Sure.  But I want to look HOT.  Which is why I'll be going to the gym this week.  For reals.

Confident:  I'm totally stealing this one from Kristy.  But lately I have been feeling like a terrible mother.  I even had an episode where I was that bitchy mom whose child is a perfect, adorable, precocious angel and your child is a boring, ugly lump of a thing.  My child could do no wrong, even though she was actually being a bully and terrorizing the other child (who, to be fair, is a month older than mine and a whole lot bigger - she could have totally defended herself).  When I realized what a bitch I had been, I felt terrible and started questioning my ability to parent.  I hate questioning myself.  So I'm going to just accept that I am the only mother I know how to be, Laura adores me, and that's just fine. 

Thrifty:  Because I have a shopping problem.  I love spending money.  I don't even care what I am spending money on.  I just get a thrill from swiping that little plastic square or punching in that magic string of numbers.  I need to curb my spending.  Life is expensive enough as it is without frivolous purchases.  On the other hand, I really and truly needed the Dooney & Bourke purse I bought at T.J. Maxx the other day.  Mine is green and I love it!

Boy, these adjective goals might be more difficult than I thought!

It's like MadLibs for Resolutions!

I was being a dutiful blogger today, reading all of your recent posts and catching up.  I love what all of you have to say in reflecting on 2010, Christmas, New Year's, and goals for 2011.  2011 is OUR YEAR, right?  RIGHT!  I have really loved all the posts, really.  But one post just really struck me as awesome. 

Kristy at Pampers and Pinot has decided to use adjectives to shape her 2011 New Year's resolutions rather than specific goals.  Think about it: adjectives are so loose and descriptive.  You can pick an adjective and go anywhere you want with it.  Who cares if you read 5 books, or bake 10 pies.  Does it make you feel good to read or bake?  Great!  Do it!  So Kristy, thank you for your idea.  Here are my adjectives:

Sexy:  I know my husband is attracted to me, and that's great.  But I feel pretty frumpy right now.  Nothing fits the way it should.  I'm always sucking in.  When I am not sucking in, I look like a pregnant whale.  My legs?  Are still eff-ing fantastic.  But my stomach?  Lumpy and weird.  Do I look ok?  Sure.  But I want to look HOT.  Which is why I'll be going to the gym this week.  For reals.

Confident:  I'm totally stealing this one from Kristy.  But lately I have been feeling like a terrible mother.  I even had an episode where I was that bitchy mom whose child is a perfect, adorable, precocious angel and your child is a boring, ugly lump of a thing.  My child could do no wrong, even though she was actually being a bully and terrorizing the other child (who, to be fair, is a month older than mine and a whole lot bigger - she could have totally defended herself).  When I realized what a bitch I had been, I felt terrible and started questioning my ability to parent.  I hate questioning myself.  So I'm going to just accept that I am the only mother I know how to be, Laura adores me, and that's just fine. 

Thrifty:  Because I have a shopping problem.  I love spending money.  I don't even care what I am spending money on.  I just get a thrill from swiping that little plastic square or punching in that magic string of numbers.  I need to curb my spending.  Life is expensive enough as it is without frivolous purchases.  On the other hand, I really and truly needed the Dooney & Bourke purse I bought at T.J. Maxx the other day.  Mine is green and I love it!

Boy, these adjective goals might be more difficult than I thought!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

KABOOM!

That is the sound of my head exploding as I look at my house.  The house that looks, well, like a bomb went off.  Nate, Laura Riesling and I returned home from our adventures yesterday.  We threw, literally threw, all our poorly-packed crap into the entry and then collapsed on the couch for naps.

Well, Nate and Riesling tried to nap while Laura refused to do anything but play noisily.  And I dozed while brownies baked in the oven.  Because I love to bake for fun... NOT!

We arrived home a little after 1pm.  We were picked up by friends to celebrate the new year with a few other friends at 5:30.  I hadn't showered yet.  I hadn't shaved in a week.  I hadn't worn contact lenses in nearly two weeks.  And I wasn't really in the mood for anything other than snuggling in my jammies under my new blankie.

On the other hand, we celebrated the close of 2010 with our best friends - babies in tow.  We all had babies - two boys and two girls - in 2010.  They already know each other and play together like best friends should.  We parents sat on the couch while we watched our children - the first of many - play so sweetly.  The babies were snuggled into their pack and plays so sweetly asleep by 8:30, and we spent most of the evening talking about how much fun we are having watching them grow.  Nate and I woke Laura to ring in 2011.  I can't remember a better new year celebration.

So as I look around my house, with clothes thrown all over, toys in dangerous piles on the floor, I am not even upset with the mess.  That mess reminds me of the wonderful holiday I spent with my family in NYC (by way of a drive through MD, DE, and NJ), Massachusetts (through CT), Vermont (through NH), and Pennsylvania (through MA, CT, and NY) before finally heading home again.  It was a lot of driving, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

That said, my personal maid can show up any time now to clean everything up for me.  Any time.  I'm tapping my foot waiting.  Where IS that maid?  I thought that was on my Christmas Wish List!  Alas...

KABOOM!

That is the sound of my head exploding as I look at my house.  The house that looks, well, like a bomb went off.  Nate, Laura Riesling and I returned home from our adventures yesterday.  We threw, literally threw, all our poorly-packed crap into the entry and then collapsed on the couch for naps.

Well, Nate and Riesling tried to nap while Laura refused to do anything but play noisily.  And I dozed while brownies baked in the oven.  Because I love to bake for fun... NOT!

We arrived home a little after 1pm.  We were picked up by friends to celebrate the new year with a few other friends at 5:30.  I hadn't showered yet.  I hadn't shaved in a week.  I hadn't worn contact lenses in nearly two weeks.  And I wasn't really in the mood for anything other than snuggling in my jammies under my new blankie.

On the other hand, we celebrated the close of 2010 with our best friends - babies in tow.  We all had babies - two boys and two girls - in 2010.  They already know each other and play together like best friends should.  We parents sat on the couch while we watched our children - the first of many - play so sweetly.  The babies were snuggled into their pack and plays so sweetly asleep by 8:30, and we spent most of the evening talking about how much fun we are having watching them grow.  Nate and I woke Laura to ring in 2011.  I can't remember a better new year celebration.

So as I look around my house, with clothes thrown all over, toys in dangerous piles on the floor, I am not even upset with the mess.  That mess reminds me of the wonderful holiday I spent with my family in NYC (by way of a drive through MD, DE, and NJ), Massachusetts (through CT), Vermont (through NH), and Pennsylvania (through MA, CT, and NY) before finally heading home again.  It was a lot of driving, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

That said, my personal maid can show up any time now to clean everything up for me.  Any time.  I'm tapping my foot waiting.  Where IS that maid?  I thought that was on my Christmas Wish List!  Alas...