Thursday, May 26, 2011

Every Mother's Dream

Nate and I got engaged in June 2006.  I had been a flower girl as a five-year-old, and I was set on having one at my own wedding as a twenty-five-year-old.  I just had to find a little girl in the right age range to ask.  Thankfully for me, Nate's cousin had a daughter who was going to be three by our wedding.  I asked her mom if Emily would like to be in the wedding (since asking a two-year-old isn't very helpful), and was shocked by her response:

"It's every mother's dream to have her daughter be a flower girl! Yes!"

From the reaction I got, I would have thought she was the one getting married.  I didn't quite get her excitement at the time.  It's just a little girl in a little white dress, not that big a deal, right?  Then I had a daughter and Nate's sister got engaged.  I waited on pins and needles for my sister-in-law to ask me to have Laura as a flower girl.  And as I happily screamed my excited "YES!" I related the reaction of her cousin a few years earlier.  I didn't know it in June 2006, but I do now: it is every mother's dream to have her daughter be a flower girl.

My little flower girl will be walking down the aisle on Saturday.  I can't wait to see Laura in her pretty white dress, lovingly sewn by her grandma.  I can't wait to see her face as she toddles past all the happy guests in the church.  I can't wait to watch Nate and Laura dance together at the reception.

There is a picture of me and my mother outside the church to my cousin's wedding.  My mother is looking at the camera, her face radiant with happiness for the newly married couple.  I am looking at my basket of flowers, my curled hair falling softly around my face.  I was beaming and shy at receiving so much attention.  I hope I can get a similar picture of me with Laura on Saturday.  I can't wait to see my flower girl.

And a thank you to all my wonderful readers!  This is my 500th post in a little over two years!

Every Mother's Dream

Nate and I got engaged in June 2006.  I had been a flower girl as a five-year-old, and I was set on having one at my own wedding as a twenty-five-year-old.  I just had to find a little girl in the right age range to ask.  Thankfully for me, Nate's cousin had a daughter who was going to be three by our wedding.  I asked her mom if Emily would like to be in the wedding (since asking a two-year-old isn't very helpful), and was shocked by her response:

"It's every mother's dream to have her daughter be a flower girl! Yes!"

From the reaction I got, I would have thought she was the one getting married.  I didn't quite get her excitement at the time.  It's just a little girl in a little white dress, not that big a deal, right?  Then I had a daughter and Nate's sister got engaged.  I waited on pins and needles for my sister-in-law to ask me to have Laura as a flower girl.  And as I happily screamed my excited "YES!" I related the reaction of her cousin a few years earlier.  I didn't know it in June 2006, but I do now: it is every mother's dream to have her daughter be a flower girl.

My little flower girl will be walking down the aisle on Saturday.  I can't wait to see Laura in her pretty white dress, lovingly sewn by her grandma.  I can't wait to see her face as she toddles past all the happy guests in the church.  I can't wait to watch Nate and Laura dance together at the reception.

There is a picture of me and my mother outside the church to my cousin's wedding.  My mother is looking at the camera, her face radiant with happiness for the newly married couple.  I am looking at my basket of flowers, my curled hair falling softly around my face.  I was beaming and shy at receiving so much attention.  I hope I can get a similar picture of me with Laura on Saturday.  I can't wait to see my flower girl.

And a thank you to all my wonderful readers!  This is my 500th post in a little over two years!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VlogTalk: Outtakes

Because OMG guys, I was re-watching some of the attempts I made at a vlog yesterday and they are that bad.  This is the best... of the worst.  Also, do I really sound like that?  Does my face really contort off to the side like that when I talk?
video

VlogTalk: Outtakes

Because OMG guys, I was re-watching some of the attempts I made at a vlog yesterday and they are that bad.  This is the best... of the worst.  Also, do I really sound like that?  Does my face really contort off to the side like that when I talk?

VlogTalk: Outtakes

Because OMG guys, I was re-watching some of the attempts I made at a vlog yesterday and they are that bad.  This is the best... of the worst.  Also, do I really sound like that?  Does my face really contort off to the side like that when I talk?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

VlogTalk: Tea for Two



Photobucket


My friends, this little vlog took me forever.  I did one on the porch, but it was forced and not me.  I moved inside, but then the lighting was weird.  I moved into better lighting, but then my face looked all weird.  And then Laura pinched me.  And then.  And then.  Seriously, this took 10 takes on my little iPhone.  Enjoy!
video

VlogTalk: Tea for Two



Photobucket


My friends, this little vlog took me forever.  I did one on the porch, but it was forced and not me.  I moved inside, but then the lighting was weird.  I moved into better lighting, but then my face looked all weird.  And then Laura pinched me.  And then.  And then.  Seriously, this took 10 takes on my little iPhone.  Enjoy!

VlogTalk: Tea for Two



Photobucket


My friends, this little vlog took me forever.  I did one on the porch, but it was forced and not me.  I moved inside, but then the lighting was weird.  I moved into better lighting, but then my face looked all weird.  And then Laura pinched me.  And then.  And then.  Seriously, this took 10 takes on my little iPhone.  Enjoy!

A little experiment

Laura has tons of toys.  More than she could possibly ever play with.  So most of them are completely ignored on a daily basis.  I bet a lot of you moms out there are nodding your heads in agreements.  Too many toys from too many loving relatives, and not nearly enough time in the day to play with them all.

I bet all you non-moms are shaking your heads in disgust.  Why would a parent cave to the pressures of a capitalist society and buy all those damn toys?  The answer: we didn't.  Thank you to the aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends for that one!

Not to sound ungrateful.  The presents bestowed upon my daughter are lovingly selected and thoughtfully presented.  We appreciate the sentiment behind each gift, and I am fairly good at remembering who gave us each toy.

The fact remains that our house is littered with toys that Laura isn't even interested in.  So last night, Nate and I went through them all.  We matched up all the loose pieces (none missing!), and decided which we would keep upstairs, and which we would hide in the basement.  We kept the toys Laura plays with the most, and hid everything else.  I don't think Laura will even notice that her (once much loved) activity table is missing.  She just doesn't play with it anymore. 

The puzzles, books, purses, and kitchen accessories made the cut.  Isn't it funny how the favorite toys are the least complicated?

A little experiment

Laura has tons of toys.  More than she could possibly ever play with.  So most of them are completely ignored on a daily basis.  I bet a lot of you moms out there are nodding your heads in agreements.  Too many toys from too many loving relatives, and not nearly enough time in the day to play with them all.

I bet all you non-moms are shaking your heads in disgust.  Why would a parent cave to the pressures of a capitalist society and buy all those damn toys?  The answer: we didn't.  Thank you to the aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends for that one!

Not to sound ungrateful.  The presents bestowed upon my daughter are lovingly selected and thoughtfully presented.  We appreciate the sentiment behind each gift, and I am fairly good at remembering who gave us each toy.

The fact remains that our house is littered with toys that Laura isn't even interested in.  So last night, Nate and I went through them all.  We matched up all the loose pieces (none missing!), and decided which we would keep upstairs, and which we would hide in the basement.  We kept the toys Laura plays with the most, and hid everything else.  I don't think Laura will even notice that her (once much loved) activity table is missing.  She just doesn't play with it anymore. 

The puzzles, books, purses, and kitchen accessories made the cut.  Isn't it funny how the favorite toys are the least complicated?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Husbands always under-estimate pain

A few months ago, I was sitting on the floor of the family room while Laura played and Nate watched TV.  All of a sudden, Nate launched himself across the room in order to suprise Laura while she played.  Nate landed on my outstretched leg, making my lower leg feel as though it had cracked.  Laura cracked up at Mommy howling in pain, and Nate told me I was over-reacting.  "I didn't touch you, what are you wailing about?"  Um, you landed ON MY ANKLE was all I told him.  And then I hobbled around for show, and promptly forgot about it.

For the last few weeks, I have been kicking ass on the treadmill three mornings a week.  I am logging miles (3 of them!) each time I get on the machine, and I'm feeling good.  Mostly.  My lower-leg portion of my ankle has been a problem, but one that felt fine for the most part.  It hadn't been a problem while I was running, only aching for a few moments later on.

Last week, I was helping Nate move some of our enormously heavy lawn furniture so he could mow (this is why God invented patios).  I hefted a chair up, moved it 5 feet, and was just about to set it down when the twirly pedestal part swung around and smacked me in the shin.  I dropped the chair and started howling in pain.  Laura cracked up and Nate told me I was over-reacting.

Since that time, my leg has ached and throbbed almost constantly.  Except when I running.  I logged some really solid workouts this past week.  My body is really starting to look great.  Which is perfect, because I am a bridesmaid in a wedding this weekend.  Perfect, except that I won't be running in 3-inch heels with my floor-length dress during the wedding.  Nate finally got the picture last night when he grabbed the foot on my hurt leg to give it a little rub.  A sweet gesture, but one that started me howling in pain again.  "Is your leg still hurting?  Looks like a high-ankle sprain." 

So this week?  I'm taking some time off the treadmill, and will opt for some upper-body workouts instead.  I'm wearing my sneakers to work everyday.  I'm popping Advil like a druggy.  I'm trying to keep my hurt ankle elevated.  I will look hot in those heels.  And next week, I can finish my recovery.

Husbands always under-estimate pain

A few months ago, I was sitting on the floor of the family room while Laura played and Nate watched TV.  All of a sudden, Nate launched himself across the room in order to suprise Laura while she played.  Nate landed on my outstretched leg, making my lower leg feel as though it had cracked.  Laura cracked up at Mommy howling in pain, and Nate told me I was over-reacting.  "I didn't touch you, what are you wailing about?"  Um, you landed ON MY ANKLE was all I told him.  And then I hobbled around for show, and promptly forgot about it.

For the last few weeks, I have been kicking ass on the treadmill three mornings a week.  I am logging miles (3 of them!) each time I get on the machine, and I'm feeling good.  Mostly.  My lower-leg portion of my ankle has been a problem, but one that felt fine for the most part.  It hadn't been a problem while I was running, only aching for a few moments later on.

Last week, I was helping Nate move some of our enormously heavy lawn furniture so he could mow (this is why God invented patios).  I hefted a chair up, moved it 5 feet, and was just about to set it down when the twirly pedestal part swung around and smacked me in the shin.  I dropped the chair and started howling in pain.  Laura cracked up and Nate told me I was over-reacting.

Since that time, my leg has ached and throbbed almost constantly.  Except when I running.  I logged some really solid workouts this past week.  My body is really starting to look great.  Which is perfect, because I am a bridesmaid in a wedding this weekend.  Perfect, except that I won't be running in 3-inch heels with my floor-length dress during the wedding.  Nate finally got the picture last night when he grabbed the foot on my hurt leg to give it a little rub.  A sweet gesture, but one that started me howling in pain again.  "Is your leg still hurting?  Looks like a high-ankle sprain." 

So this week?  I'm taking some time off the treadmill, and will opt for some upper-body workouts instead.  I'm wearing my sneakers to work everyday.  I'm popping Advil like a druggy.  I'm trying to keep my hurt ankle elevated.  I will look hot in those heels.  And next week, I can finish my recovery.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And here I am, talking about basil!

Can you believe it?  I'm worried about a stupid basil plant when THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO END?!  Where are my priorities!!

Source: Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images
You know what?  If the world is about to end, I'd rather not know about it.  Like, if the End is a surprise party maybe there will be cupcakes or something.  And if there aren't any cupcakes, I'd rather not waste time fretting about it.  Indeed, I'd rather spend that time finding and eating cupcakes.  Which is ironic, because I really shouldn't be eating cupcakes at all, because I'm trying to lose weight and all.

Nate, Laura and I are planning to attend our friend's 1st birthday party on Saturday.  The party is at her mom and dad's (duh) and is a pool party.  So I'll be squeezing into the new bathing suit I bought myself last night at Marshalls.  Which means I really, really shouldn't have cupcakes that might be lying around.  Or that coffee cake from Starbucks this morning.  Or the venti latte (that was at least a skinny!). 

On the other hand, if the world ends mid-party on Saturday, no one will care how lumpy I look in that bathing suit.  So in other words: bring on the cupcakes!

And here I am, talking about basil!

Can you believe it?  I'm worried about a stupid basil plant when THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO END?!  Where are my priorities!!

Source: Roberto Schmidt/Getty Images
You know what?  If the world is about to end, I'd rather not know about it.  Like, if the End is a surprise party maybe there will be cupcakes or something.  And if there aren't any cupcakes, I'd rather not waste time fretting about it.  Indeed, I'd rather spend that time finding and eating cupcakes.  Which is ironic, because I really shouldn't be eating cupcakes at all, because I'm trying to lose weight and all.

Nate, Laura and I are planning to attend our friend's 1st birthday party on Saturday.  The party is at her mom and dad's (duh) and is a pool party.  So I'll be squeezing into the new bathing suit I bought myself last night at Marshalls.  Which means I really, really shouldn't have cupcakes that might be lying around.  Or that coffee cake from Starbucks this morning.  Or the venti latte (that was at least a skinny!). 

On the other hand, if the world ends mid-party on Saturday, no one will care how lumpy I look in that bathing suit.  So in other words: bring on the cupcakes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Quest for Fresh Basil

There is nothing more summery than the smell and taste of fresh basil.  Mmm... it smells so good...  But I have a confession: I suck at keeping basil plants alive.  It shouldn't be that hard.  Basil is a glorified weed that thrives in hot conditions!  And yet, I can't seem to manage it.
Oh, Basil!  How I love thee!
In previous years, I have tried to plant basil in pots on the porch.  They are outside, getting fresh air, and a nice balance of sun and shade.  But they don't tend to get a lot of water.  Being on a covered porch and all.  And seeing as I can't seem to remember to water them.  After a few weeks, my poor little plants are dried up corpses.

Other years, I have bought the little plastic boxes of "fresh" basil that is sold next to the pre-tossed salads in the produce section.  However, this basil is never fresh enough, and it never lasts more than a few days before getting wilty and gross.  Plus, doesn't it seem odd to pay that much for a weed?

For the last few weeks, I have walked past the little potted basil plants in the produce section that seem to promise indoor-friendly, fresh herbs.  I have been tempted.  I have picked up and put back down the little tubs with their plastic sleeve protecting the tender leaves.  I have wanted, decided better, then regretted.  So I finally bought one two weeks ago.

I was so proud!  I followed the directions on the sleeve to a T.  I kept the lower portion of the sleeve on the tub.  I watered from the bottom.  I snipped leaves to eat as well as to promote growth.  My little plant was thriving.  And then I took it off the window last night to clean under the dish it was sitting in.

That's when I noticed the furry, blue mold covering the surface of the dirt.  Another basil plant added to my list of failures.  I took out the scissors, snipped the stalks of the plant in one swoop, and hung it upside-down to dry; I dumped the molding soil and remaining vestiges of my failure into a pot on the porch.  It seems that the quest for fresh basil continues.  It shouldn't be this hard.

The Quest for Fresh Basil

There is nothing more summery than the smell and taste of fresh basil.  Mmm... it smells so good...  But I have a confession: I suck at keeping basil plants alive.  It shouldn't be that hard.  Basil is a glorified weed that thrives in hot conditions!  And yet, I can't seem to manage it.
Oh, Basil!  How I love thee!
In previous years, I have tried to plant basil in pots on the porch.  They are outside, getting fresh air, and a nice balance of sun and shade.  But they don't tend to get a lot of water.  Being on a covered porch and all.  And seeing as I can't seem to remember to water them.  After a few weeks, my poor little plants are dried up corpses.

Other years, I have bought the little plastic boxes of "fresh" basil that is sold next to the pre-tossed salads in the produce section.  However, this basil is never fresh enough, and it never lasts more than a few days before getting wilty and gross.  Plus, doesn't it seem odd to pay that much for a weed?

For the last few weeks, I have walked past the little potted basil plants in the produce section that seem to promise indoor-friendly, fresh herbs.  I have been tempted.  I have picked up and put back down the little tubs with their plastic sleeve protecting the tender leaves.  I have wanted, decided better, then regretted.  So I finally bought one two weeks ago.

I was so proud!  I followed the directions on the sleeve to a T.  I kept the lower portion of the sleeve on the tub.  I watered from the bottom.  I snipped leaves to eat as well as to promote growth.  My little plant was thriving.  And then I took it off the window last night to clean under the dish it was sitting in.

That's when I noticed the furry, blue mold covering the surface of the dirt.  Another basil plant added to my list of failures.  I took out the scissors, snipped the stalks of the plant in one swoop, and hung it upside-down to dry; I dumped the molding soil and remaining vestiges of my failure into a pot on the porch.  It seems that the quest for fresh basil continues.  It shouldn't be this hard.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Best Part, Again

A few blogs around the interwebs are participating in VlogTalk today.  At first, I thought to myself, "pish, no way I'm posting a vlog."  This reaction was, in part, because I am one of the few people remaining on this planet who do not have access to a webcam.  But also, I don't like how my voice sounds when it has been recorded.  I sound like an eight-year-old.

But then I remembered that I have a little footage of Laura from our ride home the other day.  Without further ado, Laura presents a vlog on the most exciting aspects of her day:
video
Ok, so this might not be what the lovely VlogTalk people had in mind.  But it's all I've got!  I'm not a vlogger, but gosh darnit my kid is cute!


”Photobucket”

The Best Part, Again

A few blogs around the interwebs are participating in VlogTalk today.  At first, I thought to myself, "pish, no way I'm posting a vlog."  This reaction was, in part, because I am one of the few people remaining on this planet who do not have access to a webcam.  But also, I don't like how my voice sounds when it has been recorded.  I sound like an eight-year-old.

But then I remembered that I have a little footage of Laura from our ride home the other day.  Without further ado, Laura presents a vlog on the most exciting aspects of her day:
Ok, so this might not be what the lovely VlogTalk people had in mind.  But it's all I've got!  I'm not a vlogger, but gosh darnit my kid is cute!


”Photobucket”

The Best Part, Again

A few blogs around the interwebs are participating in VlogTalk today.  At first, I thought to myself, "pish, no way I'm posting a vlog."  This reaction was, in part, because I am one of the few people remaining on this planet who do not have access to a webcam.  But also, I don't like how my voice sounds when it has been recorded.  I sound like an eight-year-old.

But then I remembered that I have a little footage of Laura from our ride home the other day.  Without further ado, Laura presents a vlog on the most exciting aspects of her day:
Ok, so this might not be what the lovely VlogTalk people had in mind.  But it's all I've got!  I'm not a vlogger, but gosh darnit my kid is cute!


”Photobucket”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Post-Lent Crash

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how Lent changed my life before.  I became a super mom for forty days and nights; cleaning my house, playing with my daughter and cooking dinner every night.  I said "I can't imagine going back to the way things were before."

That was a few weeks ago. 

I spent the entire past week throwing together random ingredients and calling it "dinner."  I sat on my ass most of the weekend, watching TV and whining to myself (since no one would listen) about all the housework that needs to be done.  I had moments where Laura was driving me nuts - the phrase I sought to abolish from my vocabulary over Lent.  So clearly, things went back to the way they were before.

Which is ridiculous.  There is no reason I can't come up with a weekly grocery list and meal plan.  There is no reason I should have sugar ants trekking across my kitchen.  There is no reason for me to become so continually frustrated with a toddler.  So today, Monday, I'm going back into Lent mode.

Post-Lent Crash

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how Lent changed my life before.  I became a super mom for forty days and nights; cleaning my house, playing with my daughter and cooking dinner every night.  I said "I can't imagine going back to the way things were before."

That was a few weeks ago. 

I spent the entire past week throwing together random ingredients and calling it "dinner."  I sat on my ass most of the weekend, watching TV and whining to myself (since no one would listen) about all the housework that needs to be done.  I had moments where Laura was driving me nuts - the phrase I sought to abolish from my vocabulary over Lent.  So clearly, things went back to the way they were before.

Which is ridiculous.  There is no reason I can't come up with a weekly grocery list and meal plan.  There is no reason I should have sugar ants trekking across my kitchen.  There is no reason for me to become so continually frustrated with a toddler.  So today, Monday, I'm going back into Lent mode.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Porch Settin'

I grew up in New England, where porches are not all that common.  Porch settin' was a foreign concept to me when I moved to the MidAtlantic eleven years ago.  (Holy crap, I've been down here eleven years?!)
I'm not sure how I survived without porch settin' all those years of my youth.  What else does one do on a stiffling muggy day, than set on the porch with a sweet tea (also foreign to me) and a good book?  Thankfully, my daughter will not be so deprived.  We have started her early, and already Laura understands the pleasure that is settin' on the porch.

Porch Settin'

I grew up in New England, where porches are not all that common.  Porch settin' was a foreign concept to me when I moved to the MidAtlantic eleven years ago.  (Holy crap, I've been down here eleven years?!)
I'm not sure how I survived without porch settin' all those years of my youth.  What else does one do on a stiffling muggy day, than set on the porch with a sweet tea (also foreign to me) and a good book?  Thankfully, my daughter will not be so deprived.  We have started her early, and already Laura understands the pleasure that is settin' on the porch.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Mother's Week!

Friends, I never had a chance to tell you how awesome my 2nd Mother's Day was.  It was awesome.  It started last Saturday, and has continued through this whole week.

Saturday: I spent the day with Laura and some friends in DC, while Nate had to work.  When I got home (after a really fun day), there was a BRAND NEW iPhone 4 waiting for me!  In a hot pink case!  I will admit, I had been pretty bratty in wanting a new iPhone so much.  And I just couldn't settle for the 3GS - if Nate could have a 4, I wanted a 4 too!  And now I have one.

Sunday: Nate wanted to make buy me breakfast.  But at Noon when we still hadn't moved in that direction, we decided to get some lunch.  McDonalds.  Because sometimes you just need a chocolate milkshake.  But it was such a nice day, we decided to walk.  It was such a lovely walk!  We took the long way home, and our walk turned out to take about an hour and a half.  It was perfect.

Monday through Wednesday: I got to play with and show off my new phone!  And Nate was just generally in a great mood.  And he, er, made me feel pretty sexy on several occasions.  We spent hours after work on the porch, just enjoying the fine weather and each other.

Thursday: I had a freaking fantastic workout.  I ran 3.1 miles (a 5k!) in exactly 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Then proceeded to have a kick-ass abs workout.  I felt strong and energetic all day.

Friday: Oh, Friday! As if Fridays aren't just awesome on their own. I got home Friday to a five-bottle wine tasting with Nate and my mother-in-law.  We drank pretty much all five bottles.  And rocked out to Little Richard singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider." And then, during #wineparty, Nate outdid himself.  He kept my wine glass full.  He brought me dishes of ice cream - that I didn't even request!  When my laptop freaked out, he brought me his.  After I signed off #wineparty, Nate and I stayed up talking about our hopes and dreams and plans and goals till 1am. 

Today is Saturday again.  I'm at work for a few hours to bank some extra vacation time.  Nate is home with Laura - they had big plans for the day.  I am at work for a few hours, contemplating the wonderful week I've just had.  This past week, I felt like I got my husband back from a dark place.  Nate was once again the fun, happy guy I married nearly four years ago.  This was a wonderful week.

Happy Mother's Week!

Friends, I never had a chance to tell you how awesome my 2nd Mother's Day was.  It was awesome.  It started last Saturday, and has continued through this whole week.

Saturday: I spent the day with Laura and some friends in DC, while Nate had to work.  When I got home (after a really fun day), there was a BRAND NEW iPhone 4 waiting for me!  In a hot pink case!  I will admit, I had been pretty bratty in wanting a new iPhone so much.  And I just couldn't settle for the 3GS - if Nate could have a 4, I wanted a 4 too!  And now I have one.

Sunday: Nate wanted to make buy me breakfast.  But at Noon when we still hadn't moved in that direction, we decided to get some lunch.  McDonalds.  Because sometimes you just need a chocolate milkshake.  But it was such a nice day, we decided to walk.  It was such a lovely walk!  We took the long way home, and our walk turned out to take about an hour and a half.  It was perfect.

Monday through Wednesday: I got to play with and show off my new phone!  And Nate was just generally in a great mood.  And he, er, made me feel pretty sexy on several occasions.  We spent hours after work on the porch, just enjoying the fine weather and each other.

Thursday: I had a freaking fantastic workout.  I ran 3.1 miles (a 5k!) in exactly 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Then proceeded to have a kick-ass abs workout.  I felt strong and energetic all day.

Friday: Oh, Friday! As if Fridays aren't just awesome on their own. I got home Friday to a five-bottle wine tasting with Nate and my mother-in-law.  We drank pretty much all five bottles.  And rocked out to Little Richard singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider." And then, during #wineparty, Nate outdid himself.  He kept my wine glass full.  He brought me dishes of ice cream - that I didn't even request!  When my laptop freaked out, he brought me his.  After I signed off #wineparty, Nate and I stayed up talking about our hopes and dreams and plans and goals till 1am. 

Today is Saturday again.  I'm at work for a few hours to bank some extra vacation time.  Nate is home with Laura - they had big plans for the day.  I am at work for a few hours, contemplating the wonderful week I've just had.  This past week, I felt like I got my husband back from a dark place.  Nate was once again the fun, happy guy I married nearly four years ago.  This was a wonderful week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Best Part

It's hard being a go-to-work mom (let's be honest: all moms are working moms).  I go to work, away from Laura, five days a week.  I love my job and adore my coworkers, but I spend a lot of time wondering how my baby is doing.  I'm busting to leave work every night so I can get home to see Laura.  I spend forty minutes on the train decompressing, followed by a speed-walk to my car.  I hurry as fast as I can to day care.  That's when I get to the best part of my day.

I walk down the cool hallway, passing whichever bigger kids are still at play.  I slip off my shoes and gather Laura's bag and papers from her cubby.  I slowly open the door to the nfant/toddler room and look around till I see the familiar poof of hair.  I call Laura's name and watch as her head swivels in my direction.  Her eyes open wide and she drops whatever toy she's playing with.  She runs toward me with her chubby arms wide open for a hug.  She clambers into my arms as the teachers gather her remaining belongings into her bag.

We get into the car and set off toward home.  Almost immediately, Laura starts babbling away.  Sometimes her babble is serious and earnest.  Other times, her babble is energetic and excited.  Laura is telling me about her day.  At quieter parts, I quickly turn my head to make eye contact as I ask a question about her day:
"Oh, really?  That sounds pretty exciting!"
"Oh gosh, Laura.  I just can't believe that.  I think you're making it up!"
"Did you get to play outside today?  I bet you loved that."
Laura answers each of my questions with corresponding babble.  We are discussing her day.

And it's the best conversation of my day.

The Best Part

It's hard being a go-to-work mom (let's be honest: all moms are working moms).  I go to work, away from Laura, five days a week.  I love my job and adore my coworkers, but I spend a lot of time wondering how my baby is doing.  I'm busting to leave work every night so I can get home to see Laura.  I spend forty minutes on the train decompressing, followed by a speed-walk to my car.  I hurry as fast as I can to day care.  That's when I get to the best part of my day.

I walk down the cool hallway, passing whichever bigger kids are still at play.  I slip off my shoes and gather Laura's bag and papers from her cubby.  I slowly open the door to the nfant/toddler room and look around till I see the familiar poof of hair.  I call Laura's name and watch as her head swivels in my direction.  Her eyes open wide and she drops whatever toy she's playing with.  She runs toward me with her chubby arms wide open for a hug.  She clambers into my arms as the teachers gather her remaining belongings into her bag.

We get into the car and set off toward home.  Almost immediately, Laura starts babbling away.  Sometimes her babble is serious and earnest.  Other times, her babble is energetic and excited.  Laura is telling me about her day.  At quieter parts, I quickly turn my head to make eye contact as I ask a question about her day:
"Oh, really?  That sounds pretty exciting!"
"Oh gosh, Laura.  I just can't believe that.  I think you're making it up!"
"Did you get to play outside today?  I bet you loved that."
Laura answers each of my questions with corresponding babble.  We are discussing her day.

And it's the best conversation of my day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Budding Interests

For whatever reason, I keep getting surprised by the fun aspects of motherhood, rather than the not-fun parts as one might assume.  Somehow I anticipated  getting frustrated, being tired, and wanting to die on the couch in a pile of Twinkies and Cheetos while watching mindless TV.  But the fun parts, like watching Laura's interests emerge, have been a total shock.  It never even occurred to me that I would literally watch my daughter turn into a kid.

Yesterday, Laura and I were playing on the porch after we got home from work and day care.  I was quietly reading my book when I looked up to see Laura covered in dirt from a planter (that incidentally has had nothing planted in it yet this year).  She was having a blast grabbing handfuls of dirt, then opening her little fist and watching as the dirt slipped to the ground.  Like so many things, it never occurred to me that Laura would be curious about the mundane features of the outdoors.  You are thinking right now, "Um, DUH!"  But for me, this was a totally foreign concept.

video

Isn't she cute, all covered in dirt?  And since the planters are just holding dirt right now, I think I'll use Laura's interest to plant a cheery little garden with her. 

Budding Interests

For whatever reason, I keep getting surprised by the fun aspects of motherhood, rather than the not-fun parts as one might assume.  Somehow I anticipated  getting frustrated, being tired, and wanting to die on the couch in a pile of Twinkies and Cheetos while watching mindless TV.  But the fun parts, like watching Laura's interests emerge, have been a total shock.  It never even occurred to me that I would literally watch my daughter turn into a kid.

Yesterday, Laura and I were playing on the porch after we got home from work and day care.  I was quietly reading my book when I looked up to see Laura covered in dirt from a planter (that incidentally has had nothing planted in it yet this year).  She was having a blast grabbing handfuls of dirt, then opening her little fist and watching as the dirt slipped to the ground.  Like so many things, it never occurred to me that Laura would be curious about the mundane features of the outdoors.  You are thinking right now, "Um, DUH!"  But for me, this was a totally foreign concept.


Isn't she cute, all covered in dirt?  And since the planters are just holding dirt right now, I think I'll use Laura's interest to plant a cheery little garden with her. 

Budding Interests

For whatever reason, I keep getting surprised by the fun aspects of motherhood, rather than the not-fun parts as one might assume.  Somehow I anticipated  getting frustrated, being tired, and wanting to die on the couch in a pile of Twinkies and Cheetos while watching mindless TV.  But the fun parts, like watching Laura's interests emerge, have been a total shock.  It never even occurred to me that I would literally watch my daughter turn into a kid.

Yesterday, Laura and I were playing on the porch after we got home from work and day care.  I was quietly reading my book when I looked up to see Laura covered in dirt from a planter (that incidentally has had nothing planted in it yet this year).  She was having a blast grabbing handfuls of dirt, then opening her little fist and watching as the dirt slipped to the ground.  Like so many things, it never occurred to me that Laura would be curious about the mundane features of the outdoors.  You are thinking right now, "Um, DUH!"  But for me, this was a totally foreign concept.


Isn't she cute, all covered in dirt?  And since the planters are just holding dirt right now, I think I'll use Laura's interest to plant a cheery little garden with her. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Monster

I remember the first time I met my monster.  I was sitting on the bed in my dorm room, my back against the cool, concrete wall.  My horrible roommate was blessedly absent.  I was trying to watch something on TV, but couldn't.

I couldn't see the TV through the spots darting in front of my eyes.
Acid was slowing climbing, burning in my chest.
The room was spinning.  No, I was spinning.  Spinning backwards, into blackness.

I was hungry.  On my desk, to the right, sat four celery sticks.  They stared at me, mocking me, daring me to eat them.  But I couldn't.  I took another sip of plain, hot water instead, willing my stomach to feel full.

I ran my hand through my hair, as I tried to stop the spinning.  When my hand came away, my hair came with it.  I was exhausted, but unable to sleep. 

I was hungry, but unable to eat.  I got up to go for another workout.  My second that day.  I pulled on my workout clothes, ignoring the bruises on my arms and legs, and started outside.  If I was running, I wouldn't be hungry.  If I was running, the spinning would stop.

I looked in the mirror at that moment and saw for the first time the strange, otherworldly look in my sunken eyes.  Those eyes, with their crazy determination, were not my own.  I was lost in myself.  I sat back down on my bed and called a friend.  I needed to eat.  I needed help to eat.

I never want to be in that dark place again in my life.  That was a true low point for me, the lowest I have ever been.  I never want to feel so dizzy and out of control.  I never want to ask for help to eat.  I am afraid of the monster I saw at the gym on Thursday.

But I'm even more afraid of giving up on myself, after I have come so far over the past five months.  I am just starting to get my body back from a monster almost as evil as the one who starved me - the monster who would have me give up my life to instead lay on a couch and eat myself into oblivion.  I mentioned last week that I walk a fine line.  I struggle to find balance between obsession and apathy.  I was terrified of what I saw at the gym on Thursday, but I went back to the gym on Friday.  And I'll go again tomorrow.  And I'll conquer that monster while I continue to create a healthy life for myself - and my daughter.  If I can keep the monster back, perhaps Laura will never have to meet it.

My Monster

I remember the first time I met my monster.  I was sitting on the bed in my dorm room, my back against the cool, concrete wall.  My horrible roommate was blessedly absent.  I was trying to watch something on TV, but couldn't.

I couldn't see the TV through the spots darting in front of my eyes.
Acid was slowing climbing, burning in my chest.
The room was spinning.  No, I was spinning.  Spinning backwards, into blackness.

I was hungry.  On my desk, to the right, sat four celery sticks.  They stared at me, mocking me, daring me to eat them.  But I couldn't.  I took another sip of plain, hot water instead, willing my stomach to feel full.

I ran my hand through my hair, as I tried to stop the spinning.  When my hand came away, my hair came with it.  I was exhausted, but unable to sleep. 

I was hungry, but unable to eat.  I got up to go for another workout.  My second that day.  I pulled on my workout clothes, ignoring the bruises on my arms and legs, and started outside.  If I was running, I wouldn't be hungry.  If I was running, the spinning would stop.

I looked in the mirror at that moment and saw for the first time the strange, otherworldly look in my sunken eyes.  Those eyes, with their crazy determination, were not my own.  I was lost in myself.  I sat back down on my bed and called a friend.  I needed to eat.  I needed help to eat.

I never want to be in that dark place again in my life.  That was a true low point for me, the lowest I have ever been.  I never want to feel so dizzy and out of control.  I never want to ask for help to eat.  I am afraid of the monster I saw at the gym on Thursday.

But I'm even more afraid of giving up on myself, after I have come so far over the past five months.  I am just starting to get my body back from a monster almost as evil as the one who starved me - the monster who would have me give up my life to instead lay on a couch and eat myself into oblivion.  I mentioned last week that I walk a fine line.  I struggle to find balance between obsession and apathy.  I was terrified of what I saw at the gym on Thursday, but I went back to the gym on Friday.  And I'll go again tomorrow.  And I'll conquer that monster while I continue to create a healthy life for myself - and my daughter.  If I can keep the monster back, perhaps Laura will never have to meet it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Subconcious Hates Me

Lately, I've been forgetting to take my medicines - Zoloft and THE PILL - before bed.  It shouldn't be so easy to forget them.  They are right there in the medicine cabinet, next to my contacts, staring at me as I plunge myself into blindness in a nightly ritual.  It should be pretty simple.  Take out my contacts, put the case in the cabinet, and grab the prescriptions from the shelf.  But it's not.  I keep forgetting.

There are some obvious downsides to this forgetfulness.  For one thing, I'm (close but) not quite ready to start on Bebe le Deuxieme.  Did you hear that, Subconscious?  I'm not quite ready yet.  Give me a few more months, and then we'll talk.
Side note: I even called to schedule my annual girly parts check-up, and they couldn't fit me in until late August.  Ain't nothing happening in the uterus till after that appointment!

The other downside is the Zoloft.  Have any of you ever been on Zoloft and missed a dose?  Oh my god, it is awful.  The first time I felt the "jolting electric zaps" described as one of the more common withdrawal symptoms, I thought I was going to faint and die a slow, seizured death.  They started off a bit twitchy with one or two that the morning.  I attributed the bizarre tingly, woozy, breathless, jolty sensation to too much caffeine.  As they became more frequent as lunch approached, I decided it was low blood sugar because I was so hungry.  When they were a constant source of anxiety and paranoia after lunch, I figured I actually hadn't had enough caffeine (which is silly, because any caffeine is more than enough for me!). It dawned on me that I hadn't taken my medicines the night before halfway through the Coke I grabbed from the vending machine.

That day, three weeks ago, I was a bit skeptical that I could be experiencing withdrawal symptoms mere hours after missing one dose.  But then it happened again two weeks ago.  And again last week.  And yet again yesterday.  (Seriously, you'd think I could be a grown-up and just freaking remember!)

Yesterday was the worst it has been.  I could barely get up from my desk without a jolt making me feel like I was about to fall over.  With each jolt, I became more short of breath.  Like I needed to feel short of breath while fighting back my personal monster and trying not to go ape-shit on my dad's family.  I looked up the symptoms of Zolft withdrawal again and read that, yes, withdrawal can begin within a few hours of a missed dose.  Wow.

I have been wondering a lot lately about my use of Zoloft.  Do I really need it anymore?  When should I start to taper before trying for Bebe le Deuxieme?  Based on the nauseating twitchiness that for some reason I swear I can cure by eating chocolate, I think I'll need a long taper.  I'd really like to start that taper now.  I'm not sure I like being on Zoloft.  Which brings me back to the side note above:  my doctor can't fit me in until late August.  Ain't nothing happening in the uterus till after that appointment!
Until then, let's just hope I can remember to take my damn prescriptions!

My Subconcious Hates Me

Lately, I've been forgetting to take my medicines - Zoloft and THE PILL - before bed.  It shouldn't be so easy to forget them.  They are right there in the medicine cabinet, next to my contacts, staring at me as I plunge myself into blindness in a nightly ritual.  It should be pretty simple.  Take out my contacts, put the case in the cabinet, and grab the prescriptions from the shelf.  But it's not.  I keep forgetting.

There are some obvious downsides to this forgetfulness.  For one thing, I'm (close but) not quite ready to start on Bebe le Deuxieme.  Did you hear that, Subconscious?  I'm not quite ready yet.  Give me a few more months, and then we'll talk.
Side note: I even called to schedule my annual girly parts check-up, and they couldn't fit me in until late August.  Ain't nothing happening in the uterus till after that appointment!

The other downside is the Zoloft.  Have any of you ever been on Zoloft and missed a dose?  Oh my god, it is awful.  The first time I felt the "jolting electric zaps" described as one of the more common withdrawal symptoms, I thought I was going to faint and die a slow, seizured death.  They started off a bit twitchy with one or two that the morning.  I attributed the bizarre tingly, woozy, breathless, jolty sensation to too much caffeine.  As they became more frequent as lunch approached, I decided it was low blood sugar because I was so hungry.  When they were a constant source of anxiety and paranoia after lunch, I figured I actually hadn't had enough caffeine (which is silly, because any caffeine is more than enough for me!). It dawned on me that I hadn't taken my medicines the night before halfway through the Coke I grabbed from the vending machine.

That day, three weeks ago, I was a bit skeptical that I could be experiencing withdrawal symptoms mere hours after missing one dose.  But then it happened again two weeks ago.  And again last week.  And yet again yesterday.  (Seriously, you'd think I could be a grown-up and just freaking remember!)

Yesterday was the worst it has been.  I could barely get up from my desk without a jolt making me feel like I was about to fall over.  With each jolt, I became more short of breath.  Like I needed to feel short of breath while fighting back my personal monster and trying not to go ape-shit on my dad's family.  I looked up the symptoms of Zolft withdrawal again and read that, yes, withdrawal can begin within a few hours of a missed dose.  Wow.

I have been wondering a lot lately about my use of Zoloft.  Do I really need it anymore?  When should I start to taper before trying for Bebe le Deuxieme?  Based on the nauseating twitchiness that for some reason I swear I can cure by eating chocolate, I think I'll need a long taper.  I'd really like to start that taper now.  I'm not sure I like being on Zoloft.  Which brings me back to the side note above:  my doctor can't fit me in until late August.  Ain't nothing happening in the uterus till after that appointment!
Until then, let's just hope I can remember to take my damn prescriptions!

Friday, May 6, 2011

And then the dog got drunk

Yesterday was quite the day.  I mentioned my monster from the past.  What I didn't mention is that this feeling of darkness that creeps is truly a physical manifestation.  My facial expression changes.  My back gets the creepy-crawlies.  I feel anxious and paranoid.  When I look at myself in the mirror, it's like some strange person has taken over my body.  That's why I call this obsession my monster.  I become that monster. 

So yesterday already started off on pretty shaky ground.  And then my dad's family got involved.  We've been trying to plan another family reunion for literally years now.  Someone gets all gung-ho on the idea, throws around some possible weekends, and then nothing happens.  Just as my grandfather began his rapid decline, the reunion idea popped back up again, with a different urgency than before.  We all wanted to see Grandpa one more time.  Clearly, that didn't happen.  But now we're trying to also incorporate Grandpa's memorial service into the mix.  It's not going well.

Someone throws out a date.  I go through my calendar, and figure out how I can possibly make it that weekend (which usually involves driving through the night, staying a few hours, flying home - a mess).  And as soon as I come up with a plan to make sure I can be there, another relative says "Oh, I was planning to go shoe shopping that day, can't make it!" or something stupid like that.

One uncle has sent the same email eight times.  His point?  Not everyone is going to be able to make it, so we'll have to compromise.  No shit, Sherlock.  How about you contribute something useful to this debacle?  In the meantime, my poor father is so upset with what a disaster this reunion/memorial is turning out to be.  Nate and my brother's wife just keep rolling their eyes in disgust.  Our grandfather died - why wouldn't we drop our lives for a weekend, fly up to New England, and celebrate his life together?  Why are we talking about planning a memorial in October when he died in April?  This is ridiculous.

So my mother-in-law was not at all surprised when I texted her yesterday afternoon to please stop by the liquor store for some margarita mix.  She knew I could use a drink, and she was happy to have one (and a bitch-fest) with me.  She packed Laura into the stroller, walked to the liquor store for the necessary supplies, then walked home with the margarita mix swinging from the handle of the stroller.  As soon as she took Laura out of the stroller back at the house, the whole thing fell backwards.  The margarita mix shattered all over the sidewalk.  My precious tequila gone.  Back to the store they went for more mix. 

Back at the house once more, my mother-in-law carefully unloaded the liquor first, then Laura.  Then she let the dog out of the house to enjoy the sunny afternoon.  And that's when the dog got drunk from the tequila puddled on the sidewalk.

But as my mother-in-law confessed this story (with the drunk dog zooming all over the yard at hyper warp speeds), all I could do was laugh.  I had battled the monster of eating disorder that morning, battled the monster of family that afternoon, and my dog was drunk.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  So I poured myself a nice, cold margarita and started to laugh.

And then the dog got drunk

Yesterday was quite the day.  I mentioned my monster from the past.  What I didn't mention is that this feeling of darkness that creeps is truly a physical manifestation.  My facial expression changes.  My back gets the creepy-crawlies.  I feel anxious and paranoid.  When I look at myself in the mirror, it's like some strange person has taken over my body.  That's why I call this obsession my monster.  I become that monster. 

So yesterday already started off on pretty shaky ground.  And then my dad's family got involved.  We've been trying to plan another family reunion for literally years now.  Someone gets all gung-ho on the idea, throws around some possible weekends, and then nothing happens.  Just as my grandfather began his rapid decline, the reunion idea popped back up again, with a different urgency than before.  We all wanted to see Grandpa one more time.  Clearly, that didn't happen.  But now we're trying to also incorporate Grandpa's memorial service into the mix.  It's not going well.

Someone throws out a date.  I go through my calendar, and figure out how I can possibly make it that weekend (which usually involves driving through the night, staying a few hours, flying home - a mess).  And as soon as I come up with a plan to make sure I can be there, another relative says "Oh, I was planning to go shoe shopping that day, can't make it!" or something stupid like that.

One uncle has sent the same email eight times.  His point?  Not everyone is going to be able to make it, so we'll have to compromise.  No shit, Sherlock.  How about you contribute something useful to this debacle?  In the meantime, my poor father is so upset with what a disaster this reunion/memorial is turning out to be.  Nate and my brother's wife just keep rolling their eyes in disgust.  Our grandfather died - why wouldn't we drop our lives for a weekend, fly up to New England, and celebrate his life together?  Why are we talking about planning a memorial in October when he died in April?  This is ridiculous.

So my mother-in-law was not at all surprised when I texted her yesterday afternoon to please stop by the liquor store for some margarita mix.  She knew I could use a drink, and she was happy to have one (and a bitch-fest) with me.  She packed Laura into the stroller, walked to the liquor store for the necessary supplies, then walked home with the margarita mix swinging from the handle of the stroller.  As soon as she took Laura out of the stroller back at the house, the whole thing fell backwards.  The margarita mix shattered all over the sidewalk.  My precious tequila gone.  Back to the store they went for more mix. 

Back at the house once more, my mother-in-law carefully unloaded the liquor first, then Laura.  Then she let the dog out of the house to enjoy the sunny afternoon.  And that's when the dog got drunk from the tequila puddled on the sidewalk.

But as my mother-in-law confessed this story (with the drunk dog zooming all over the yard at hyper warp speeds), all I could do was laugh.  I had battled the monster of eating disorder that morning, battled the monster of family that afternoon, and my dog was drunk.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  So I poured myself a nice, cold margarita and started to laugh.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I walk a fine line

I had a fantastic workout this morning.  Everything clicked as my feet pounded the treadmill.  My posture was good.  My stomach was flat.  I felt strong and (for me) fast.  At one point, I caught the reflection of my profile in one of the gym mirrors.  In that profile, I saw a silhouette of a body I could have with just a little more work.  Yes, the flab I'm trying to get rid of was still present, but I could imagine a slimmer figure in that reflection.  I saw the body I could be, and thought of a quote from the sculptor Michalangelo:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Source

I upped the speed on my treadmill as I pictured myself as a sculptor, chiseling away the fat on my body to find the sexy, fit person inside.  I walked an extra five minutes following my run, making sure to engage my stomach muscles.  I stared at my reflection, viewing my posture from every angle the multitude of mirrors would allow.  I stretched on the treadmill, wiped it down, and then headed into the aerobics room (with more mirrors) for some more stretching and ab work.

I did exercises I have never done before this morning.  I twisted, and crunched, and stretched, and pressed.  I was a machine.  It was a great workout.  That's when I felt an old monster begin to creep into my life.  That obsessive, cruel monster.

I felt the dark hood creep over my eyes, forcing me to only see the negative of my body.  Forcing me to obsess over what and how much to eat for breakfast.  Forcing me to think that I should have spent more time (after an hour-long workout) at the gym, even though it was time to go to work.  I felt a monster creaping back into my life, a monster I haven't seen since college.  A monster I thought I had abolished from my life.

I felt really great this morning before this monster of potential made her evil appearance.  It was the best workout in months.  I don't want to go back to my obsessive behavior from years ago.  But I also don't want to quit as I have at other points in my life.  I deserve to have a healthy, fit body without becoming obsessed with it.  But it's a fine line I walk between apathy and obsession.

How do I find balance without letting the monster take over?  I walk a very fine line.

I walk a fine line

I had a fantastic workout this morning.  Everything clicked as my feet pounded the treadmill.  My posture was good.  My stomach was flat.  I felt strong and (for me) fast.  At one point, I caught the reflection of my profile in one of the gym mirrors.  In that profile, I saw a silhouette of a body I could have with just a little more work.  Yes, the flab I'm trying to get rid of was still present, but I could imagine a slimmer figure in that reflection.  I saw the body I could be, and thought of a quote from the sculptor Michalangelo:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Source

I upped the speed on my treadmill as I pictured myself as a sculptor, chiseling away the fat on my body to find the sexy, fit person inside.  I walked an extra five minutes following my run, making sure to engage my stomach muscles.  I stared at my reflection, viewing my posture from every angle the multitude of mirrors would allow.  I stretched on the treadmill, wiped it down, and then headed into the aerobics room (with more mirrors) for some more stretching and ab work.

I did exercises I have never done before this morning.  I twisted, and crunched, and stretched, and pressed.  I was a machine.  It was a great workout.  That's when I felt an old monster begin to creep into my life.  That obsessive, cruel monster.

I felt the dark hood creep over my eyes, forcing me to only see the negative of my body.  Forcing me to obsess over what and how much to eat for breakfast.  Forcing me to think that I should have spent more time (after an hour-long workout) at the gym, even though it was time to go to work.  I felt a monster creaping back into my life, a monster I haven't seen since college.  A monster I thought I had abolished from my life.

I felt really great this morning before this monster of potential made her evil appearance.  It was the best workout in months.  I don't want to go back to my obsessive behavior from years ago.  But I also don't want to quit as I have at other points in my life.  I deserve to have a healthy, fit body without becoming obsessed with it.  But it's a fine line I walk between apathy and obsession.

How do I find balance without letting the monster take over?  I walk a very fine line.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Groupon, I think I love you.

A couple of months ago, Nate casually asked "do you use that groupon thing ever?"
Why no, Nate, I keep hearing good things, but I haven't signed up yet.

So I moseyed on over to the site and signed up.  And the first offer that popped up was $10 for a 20-page 8x8 photobook on Shutterfly.  Well, hello!  I was just in the market for a photobook.

No, seriously.  I make a yearbook for Nate every year.  It started with our honeymoon.  I mean, we couldn't frame all 1,200 pictures we took.  I'm dead serious.  We took two full cards worth of pictures.  1,200.  Tahiti is that gorgeous.  So I needed a way to remember our wonderful trip without wallpapering my house with pictures.  So I made a photobook on Kodak Gallery.  And then I made one for 2008.  Then again for 2009. 

2010 was a big year for us.  I mean, we met our daughter in the first month of that year!  We took thousands of pictures of our little darling, and all of them deserve a permanent place in our home (besides the external hard drive).  I had started one on Kodak Gallery, but it was over 50 pages and cost even more than that.

So when I logged into Groupon and saw the fabulous deal on a photobook, I whipped out my wallet.  And then promptly forgot about it.  I would remember from time to time that I really needed to get that yearbook done.  And then life would interupt me.  Until this week.

This week, I got the book done!  I narrowed my initial album of 230 pictures to 209, and squeezed it into 53 pages of memories.  Then I entered my Groupon promo code and braced myself for the cost.

$33.00

This was a $70 book that I got for $33!  I cannot believe the savings!  Groupon?  I love you.  Now, what should I purchase next?  (PS - the Shutterfly site is pretty awesome for creating books!  I can't wait to see how it turns out!)

Groupon, I think I love you.

A couple of months ago, Nate casually asked "do you use that groupon thing ever?"
Why no, Nate, I keep hearing good things, but I haven't signed up yet.

So I moseyed on over to the site and signed up.  And the first offer that popped up was $10 for a 20-page 8x8 photobook on Shutterfly.  Well, hello!  I was just in the market for a photobook.

No, seriously.  I make a yearbook for Nate every year.  It started with our honeymoon.  I mean, we couldn't frame all 1,200 pictures we took.  I'm dead serious.  We took two full cards worth of pictures.  1,200.  Tahiti is that gorgeous.  So I needed a way to remember our wonderful trip without wallpapering my house with pictures.  So I made a photobook on Kodak Gallery.  And then I made one for 2008.  Then again for 2009. 

2010 was a big year for us.  I mean, we met our daughter in the first month of that year!  We took thousands of pictures of our little darling, and all of them deserve a permanent place in our home (besides the external hard drive).  I had started one on Kodak Gallery, but it was over 50 pages and cost even more than that.

So when I logged into Groupon and saw the fabulous deal on a photobook, I whipped out my wallet.  And then promptly forgot about it.  I would remember from time to time that I really needed to get that yearbook done.  And then life would interupt me.  Until this week.

This week, I got the book done!  I narrowed my initial album of 230 pictures to 209, and squeezed it into 53 pages of memories.  Then I entered my Groupon promo code and braced myself for the cost.

$33.00

This was a $70 book that I got for $33!  I cannot believe the savings!  Groupon?  I love you.  Now, what should I purchase next?  (PS - the Shutterfly site is pretty awesome for creating books!  I can't wait to see how it turns out!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ham Meatloaf

Several years ago, my mom made ham meatloaf in an attempt to use up some leftover ham. It was vile. Not even my dad would eat it. Ham. Meatloaf. And this from a woman who, in my memory, had never made anything less than delicious. The ham meatloaf was my mother's one culinary disaster, and we've never let her live it down.

Tonight, I was faced with the final remnants of an Easter ham. We were sandwiched and quiched out. But what to do with the leftover? I actually thought my mom wasn't so crazy for attempting the ham meatloaf. But I wasn't ready to stoop to that low.

I broke out my trusty Fannie Farmer cookbook, and looked up "ham" in the index at the back. Low and behold, there is an entire section of the book devoted to ham leftovers. Including several recipes for "ham loaf." I quickly skipped over those recipes. But then I found one with some promise:

Ham and Noodle Casserole
This sounds a lot like tuna noodle casserole, but I wouldn't know because I don't eat tuna. But I had the ingredients on hand, including more than enough ham. Result? DELICIOUS. I will definitely be making this again. And so, in case any of you are faced with too much ham, please enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (I always add extra cheese!)
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound egg noodles, 1/4 inch wide, cooked
(I added some julienned uncooked spinach for something green)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350*F.
Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the onion over medium heat until soft (5 minutes or so).
In a small bowl, mix the eggs and sour cream, then add the onion, cheese and ham (and spinach).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the cooked noodles into the casserole, then add the sauce and toss gently.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a straw inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Fannie Farmer adds that this can be made with leftover pot roast, beef stew, or chicken.
Bon Appetit!