Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear Babies R Us

Dear Babies R Us,

Perhaps you have forgotten (even though it's in your very name) that you are a BABY store. Yes, I love that you typically have exactly what I'm looking for and I can count on you for my products. However, the fact that you supply baby goodies also inherently means that there will be a lot of extra returns. While baby showers are a lot of fun and a great help to the new mama, let's be honest folks---sometimes we get things we may not want, need, or even LIKE. What one person thinks is this adorable outfit for baby, mama may not appreciate so much. So what is needed? A RETURN! What about the mama who buys Newborn clothes and the baby pops out a full-grown toddler (ok, slight exaggeration---but I come from a fam of big babies, with the exception of my own) and can't fit into that size. What is needed then? A RETURN! An exchange of sizes, if you will.  What about the person who got two of something AS GIFTS? What is needed? A RETURN!

Oh Babies R Us,  do you not realize that a store complete with all things baby is bound to need a good return policy?? Let's be honest, some people don't give gift receipts, sometimes we have NO proof of purchase (especially in the case of gifts--AS PEOPLE LIKE TO GET BABIES), sometimes we need different sizes of the SAME EXACT THING, sometimes these items aren't from our baby registry WHEN OUR BABY IS OVER 10 MONTHS OLD!!!

Is your means of having a return policy to not allow returns AT ALL? I've gone through this three times now with you, Babies R Us. In fact, people who have heard the stories don't believe they're true because your policy is that ridiculous. Let's rewind  to before my Bug was born when I received some items from your store at a baby shower--things I didn't want/need/like. They still had their tags, but didn't happen to come with a gift receipt. You would not return these for me because of no proof of purchase and because I didn't have the item(s) on my registry. You're going to punish ME for not putting items that I did not want, need, or like on my registry?? Really?? You're going to force me to try to trick the system by later adding these items to my registry online only so I could take them back?? Is something wrong with adding yet one more ridiculous thing to do on an 8 month pregnant person's list?? How about the fact that I couldn't find one of the newborn clothing items online to add to my registry (the size wasn't available), so I just had to keep it?? Thanks Babies R Us.

Come with me to a good 6 months or so when I went into your fine establishment to exchange a small sleep sack for a medium one of the same kind. I did register for a sleep sack, but got one in a different color. I was fine with this, but it doesn't seem that you were, Babies R Us, because you gave me the hardest time about exchanging something when I didn't have a proof of purchase. Yes, it was still in all its packaging and had never been touched, but that wasn't good enough for you. After 20 million managers later and much wasted time, you begrudgingly allowed me to get a bigger size for my growing daughter. Oh, how kind!

Finally, the straw that broke the camels back occurred yesterday. I had asked for 12 month warm, winter PJs for Bug since her stuff was too small on her. Well, for Christmas, I got exactly what I asked for from several people----cute, snuggly 12 month PJs. The problem, Babies R Us, is that the Carters 12 month clothing is evidentally too big for her and I didn't realize this. Yes, she may be able to fit into them in a few months when the weather is cold still, but will she be able to make use of all the ones I got?? Probably not. It'll be spring in GA--the weather could be warm or cold. Would she have pjs to wear now?? Nope! After telling my mom of my pridicament, she couldn't believe that you wouldn't take a couple of them back for a smaller size. I wanted the EXACT SAME PRODUCT. So I threw out my former opinions of you and your return policy and attempted to turn a new leaf in light of the new year approaching. Oh Babies R Us, you disappointed me yet AGAIN. The customer service girl was not going to do any of it for me.

Did I have a proof of purchase??

You mean these tags on the pjs aren't proof enough?? What about the fact that I walked right in to the customer service desk so you knew I didn't swipe these pjs from the racks?? What about the fact that they were a gift and were exactly what I asked for so the people didn't think to add a gift receipt??

Were these items on my registry??

Lady, my baby is over 10 months old. I haven't put anything on my registry in over a year! NO, I am not going to register for all her gifts from now until she grows out of your lack-of-a-decent-return-policy store.

Finally, she gets a manager to be oh so kind as to allow me to switch sizes to the exact same item. I'm thrilled to have finally gotten through! Wouldn't you know it, they don't have any more in her size and I'm out the door with the same pjs I went in with. UGH!!!

Babies R Us, I think I'd have better luck taking back YOUR merchandise to Walmart where at least they know how to treat a customer with their return policy. Way to get us mamas and soon-to-be mamas back on the returning process. You're really fighting the bad guys!

Sincerely,

Annoyed First Time Mommy

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Overwhelming Love

***We interupt the norm of the silly posts to bring you something more real. Like I said before, I tell it like it is, and I tell you what's on my heart. If this topic makes some of you uncomfortable, then I'm sorry....but nothing has been more real to me this morning. I pray that He speaks to you as much as He's spoken to me this morning.***

God's really been speaking to me lately about His love for me/you/us. Prior to having Bug, I always knew God loved me--He's shown it to me in countless ways, BUT never was it so real to me until after looking in the eyes of the most precious gift I've ever received--my daughter.

They say being a mother changes you, and I would agree that it does. But the thing I've noticed the most is how real God has become to me during these times---how I feel like I understand Him better and have become more than grateful for His presence in my life.

I love the times before Bug's naps...when she's tired, resting her head on my chest or shoulder, and I'm rocking her to sleep. Each and every minute feels like the most precious thing, and I am overwhelmed with love and emotion for her. I would take a bullet for her. I'd walk to the ends of the earth for her. My love for her feels ferocious---and yet, it is not as unconditional as I would like it to be because I'm human. Then it hits me....how much greater than MY overwhelming sense of love for my baby girl is God's PERFECT and truly UNCONDITIONAL love for me? How much more precious is this little girl that I'm holding TO HIM? I think I would take a bullet for her, well God already did when He sent the son He loved so much to die for those who hated him--nails ripping through His flesh as He hung on the cross.

I know the love I have for my daughter, so how much more is the love God has for His children? What's amazing to me is that God's love is unconditional. It's easy for me to love my Bug--her smile lights up my world, the joy in her eyes fills my heart, when she's in pain, I ache for her. She's a good baby...she's my greatest earthly gift. She's unbelievably easy to love. As far as I'm concerned, how could anyone NOT love her?? I'm sure I may feel different when she's older and rolls her eyes at me, throws a temper tantrum, disobeys---because, I'm human. I'm confident that there will be times when love will be a decision, where the warm-and-fussies will be a little harder to hold on to. Hello teenage years? :-)

Yet, God loves the unlovable even MORE than I love my daughter, even in her perfect moments?? Huh? He loves ALL of His children this much---no matter what we do---good or bad. Lately, I haven't been so consistent with my time with the Lord. It's been hard to find the time with all that's going on in my life. Translation: I haven't MADE the time because I haven't set Him as my top priority. No excuses---I make time for what I want to make time for.

Well, this morning during my time with Him, He spoke to me about His great love for me. Even though He's been put on the backburner and I've made other things more important in my daily routine, He's there. Even though I talk more than I listen, He's there. Even though there are times when I literally ignore Him and choose not to spend time with Him, He's waiting. Can we say we'd do the same if someone (even our very own children) treated us like that?? Would I still look at my Bug like she's the best thing in my world when she's pushing me away and treating me like dirt (as I'm sure there will be plenty of times when she will)??

Praise the Lord for his unfailing, unconditional, and unhuman-like love. I'm grateful that although He has probably been one of my last priorities lately, He loves me just the same. He looks at me with tears in His eyes because the love He has for me, for you, for us is overwhelming. We didn't earn that love--there's nothing we could do to earn it. We aren't/won't be worthy of it....but we can claim it. It can be ours. We can know His love, and He can change our world.

Thank you, Father, for your love. Thank you for sending your beloved Son to us by humble means, even knowing He'd be coming to die. Thank you for giving me my Bug, so aspects of who you are could become more clear (and yet, more unfathomable) to me through motherhood.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The trip of a lifetime.....

So we're back in GA from our Christmas "vacation" visiting our family in NY. Better yet, I lived to tell about it. My last post painted a pretty vivid picture of what I was imagining our drive up to be....but let me tell you, it was all that and WORSE!

We started off well...

Bug and I were smooshed in the back and the car was brimming with gifts and junk (the pink bag is for a friend having a baby girl)....



As expected, at every gas station stop, the dogs became frantic---whining and doing this...



But eventually, we drugged them they made themselves comfortable and looked more like this (at least WHILE driving)...



When we started the long drive, it was rainy and nasty out. The GPS sent us on some crazy backroads to Timbuktu and I got carsick. We left right when it was time for Bug to head to slumberland for the night, and I thought the road would lull her to sleep......NOPE. She stayed awake and was in rare form for over 2 hours. I had a serious dilemna---she falls asleep faster with me up front because she can't see me, BUT she was a fuss bucket and I didn't want my boobies too far away from her in case I could attempt to put her in a milk coma. Well, I went back and forth with these thoughts...literally and figuratively. We pulled over, I got out and moved the cooler to the back so I could sit with the WET and DIRTY dogs on top of me---AWESOME. After driving a VERY short while, I realized it had been some time since I fed her and maybe I needed to get in the back. So Hubby pulled over and the cooler and I swapped positions again (but not without whiney, frantic dogs). While in the back, I attempted to feed her---anything to keep her quiet--and spent a good amount of time leaning forward over my knees so she wouldn't see me sitting next to her. Did I mention my back was already aching because I had thrown it out carrying ridiculously heavy suitcases down the stairs....AWESOME!

Once Bug finally fell asleep, I could sit up straight and attempt to sleep in my cold, wet, and dirty clothes (thanks, pups)---all was well with the world. Until it got really snowy. Thank God we went  75 (a different way than normal) or we would've been stuck in NC and VA on interstate 77 like my brother and his girlfriend were for 7+ hours---YIKES. Well, these native Western New Yorkers have lost their comfort with driving in the snow, especially tracks. So a little before 1 AM, we decided to pull over to the nearest Econolodge (we needed a motel to sneak the dogs in).

Bug woke up during the transition into the motel, so I figured I'd feed her and put her in the king bed with Hubby and I (no room for our Pack n' Play in the car). Well, the nursing to sleep didn't quite work out like I thought. Instead, she thought we were at Disney Land and it was playtime. She was crawling all over the huge bed, pulling herself up on the backboard, falling down, pulling herself up on the hubby (who at this point had given both of us his backside so he could attempt to sleep), falling down---causing a scene. What did I do? I whipped out the boobies time after time, I squatted, I patted, I sang, I hummed, I danced, I did EVERYTHING I had in my arsenal to get her to sleep. And it worked like 4 times...until I put her down. UGH! This girl was NOT sleeping. We (and by "we", I mean Hubby and I since we were the only ones who didn't get sleep) were overtired...the eyes were burning.

WE. NEEDED. TO. SLEEP.

SHE DISAGREED!

So when it was 3:30am (yep, we were there for over 2 1/2 hours and $67 of this shinanigan), we decided to put Bug in her carseat and hit the road while dragging our exhausted feet the whole way. When in the carseat on the little dresser in the room, she seemed quiet and ready to go to bed. Just before we headed out the door (we literally had our shoes on and everything packed and ready to go), we entertained the idea that MAYBE she'd sleep in her carseat and we could sleep there for a few hours after all. As I was moving Bug in her carseat to the floor, I saw that she was not the only bug in the room---ROACHES!

Awesome.....we're out of here.

On the road again.....

Hubby drives until 7AM and I took over the remainder of the drive (with a little added help from Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte--as big as it comes). I know caffeine isn't good for the breastmilk, but I figured a hyped-up baby is better than a falling-asleep-at-the-wheel mama. We finally made it to NY around 1:30pm.

Just when I thought our drive couldn't have been any worse, my brother and his girlfriend who left Orlando the day we did (12/18) around 4PM got to NY (a drive he's made in 17 hours) at 10:30pm the following night. He'd been "driving" for 29 hours and was seriously high on Red Bulls when he got home. The highways where they were (the route we normally take) were shut down and the only sleep they got was 2 hours on closed interstate 77. Strangely enough, I thanked God for OUR trip. :-)

Guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Away we go......

So today is the day (hopefully) that we head back home to NY. Both my husband and I are from western NY, so we take the long drive there every Christmas. This year it will be very interesting because it's the first time Bug has taken a road trip since she was 6 weeks old--and it's going to be a LONG one. We plan on leaving tonight after my husband gets done with work so she'll be sleeping for most of it. We'll drive til we can't drive no mo' (typically in VA) and then stay somewhere for the night (sneak the dogs in..shhh) until we start all over again in the morning. We always choose to drive up for Christmas because we have the 2 dogs (with no one to watch them and we won't board them), our junk, and all the Christmas presents. Hubby tells me to pack light, but 1. I'm a girl, 2. It's winter and FREEZING cold in NY (did I mention it's supposed to be in the 20s???) so everything that I pack is huge and takes up tons of space (pardon me, but it's a little harder to "pack light" with parkas and sweaters than with tank tops), and 3. I'M A GIRL!! Hello---hair products and shoes?? hehe! Ok, I'm not that bad, but I thought I'd play up the girlie card, especially when I don't feel so girlie anymore with this whole not showering occasionally thing. :-) ANYWHO.....The car is usually packed enough, but now we're adding a carseat, the heavy-duty Chicco stroller, maybe a pack n' play, and a Bug!! How we're going to fit everything is beyond me!

This trip should be interesting, to say the least. Darling Dearest has been sick for the past couple days.....I mean SICK. The other night, he spent the entire time after work throwing up everything and anything that entered his body. He didn't have a temperature though, so he was hoping that it was a weird lunch or something random. The following day, he actually stayed home from work--HUGE deal since it was probably only the 2nd time he's done this in 6 1/2 years of working for this company. He didn't eat anything that day. I was practically force-feeding him crackers. Yesterday, he felt well enough to go to work, but came home for lunch for a fancy meal of TOAST. YUM!! He didn't eat dinner (toast again) and he was feeling sick last night and this morning. Now, he doesn't know whether he's still sick or if he's just sick and weak from not eating. Either way....NOT a good thing before we head out on a 14 hour trip (in normal weather). I told him I planned on driving so he could rest, but he thinks that'll make him feel worse--like the road will be a distraction. We'll see.

So we've got the pukey husband. On top of that, we've got 2 dogs---including 1 EXTREMELY anxious one. We're driving at night so Bug can sleep most of the time. Well, I just recalled how anytime and EVERYTIME we stop anywhere or even slow down enough that Rome (the extremely anxious one) thinks we're stopping...he freaks the heck out. He's whining, getting antzy, racing for the door. If Hubby is getting gas....he sits at the door, scratching the window and continues to whine like the biggest baby you've ever seen---AND he can see him!! It's not like Hubby disappeared. He's right in front of him! Ugh. Love him to death, but he's SOOO annoying (Rome, not hubby). Not to mention that last time we made this trip with the both of them when I was about 8 months pregnant, they both wanted to be on my lap the entire time. Not fun for several reasons---can't move, stretch out, or get comfortable--but the biggest being that I was covered in dog hair. COVERED! I kept throwing them in the back seat, but somehow they found their way back on my lap--yep. TWO dogs!



Yeah, I know....SO cute. Well cute isn't so comfy on the long haul from GA to NY. And cute doesn't make annoying any less annoying. And cute makes an otherwise decent car ride EXHAUSTING!

Cut to this year. Without the ability to predict the future, I think I'll come pretty darn close. Bug will be an angel and fall asleep relatively quickly. She'll be sleeping peacefully UNTIL the boys start getting whiney to come up on my lap or we stop for gas, food, a chance for Hubby to puke...you name it. Bug is rudely awaken from her slumber and begins to scream. We have dogs whining and scratching at the door, Bug screaming, and Darling Dearest puking his brains out (complete with broken blood vessels all around his eyes--he gets this EVERY time he throws up without fail). As a result, I will be twisted around in crazy positions attempting to stick a boob in Bug's mouth to get her calm, all while reaching to smack the annoying dogs down from the door with one hand and offering Darling Dearest a wipe or a cracker with the other hand. All of this in a packed car where no one can move or even dare to breathe. How's that for a fun car trip??

To top all of that off, soon we will be home and will be walking the line of pleasing everyone. We'll be home a week and have two families to visit, plus all of my extended family, and some of our friends. It's always so hard because Hubby only has his parents in NY to see while I have both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (some of whom only come up once a year and didn't last year), etc. His family wants equal time, but it's such a stresser for both Hubby and I to see everyone and give them their time with me having SO much more family to see---especially now with the Bug involved. Prior years,  Hubby and I would separate some nights so he could be with his fam and I could be with mine. It was GRAND that way. I don't know how that's going to roll this year with a Bug who has to be attached to me, as the source of her food and grandparents who will fight to the finish to see her.

Did I mention that she's getting her first tooth?? Yeah, I saw it yesterday. She's been really fussy this week, especially during mealtimes. We get in full-out food fights when I'm sticking mushed food in her mouth. Well, now I know why. So I'm going to have a sick hubby, one fussy/teething baby, and two dogs to wisk between two houses EVERY. OTHER. NIGHT!!! Don't get me wrong, I'm totally looking forward to going home and seeing everyone (I actually love being there), but there's parts I'm also DREADING. Here's to hoping for no additional stress and drama than what's innately in the plans.

So now I'm going to end this post because I have a MILLION things to do. Let's be honest--I totally didn't have the time to sit in bed and write this post. In no alternate universe should this have been on my list of things to do, much less one of the first things I did. BUT, I figured you all needed to know what the next week will look like for me. I may or may not be able to update my blog while home. We'll see how hairy it gets. Either way, I'll make sure to take lots of pictures and am bound to have some stories.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear what fun and crazy plans you have for Christmas. I know, it's politically correct to say "holidays", but it's Christmas for me. It's all about the birth of Christ, so I'm hoping to keep that in the forefront of my mind, even amidst the chaos this time of year brings.

If I don't get a chance to say it beforehand (if I'm separated from my blog), Merry Christmas to all of you. I hope you have a wonderful and restful time with those you love!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

So I thought I'd put up some updated pictures of the Bug from the past month.















Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weight loss---YAY????

***This post is NOT intended for any male readers. I'm pretty 100% sure I don't have any since this blog isn't really their cup of tea, but I'm still giving any males that may have unknowingly wandered here the explicit instructions to leave immediately or do not read this post. As always, it's TMI and completely inappropriate for anyone who believes a lady should be a lady.***


So according to my digital scale, I am down 12 lbs from what I was pre-pregnancy. Yipee!!!! Right???  I should be pumped. I started thinking....I surely don't look 12 lbs smaller. Yes, my jeans are somewhat loose--but not 12 lbs worth. I got rid of my baby weight months ago and I'm grateful for that---BUT I am utterly dumbfounded when my scale is telling me such ridiculousness, especially when I haven't even so much as THOUGHT about working out since the beginning of July when I gave up my P90X 2/3rds the way through for a little morning sleep (ok, sheer laziness).

I started pondering this strange event, and that's when it hit me. I could've lost 12 lbs, but boy was it NOT from what I wanted. I think it boils down the fact that my body has lost any muscle tone it once had. In fact, if you find my muscle tone lying around anywhere, would you please tell it to come back to me?? My butt is MIA (missing in action, mom). For the record, this is NOT a good thing. Prior to this whole mom thing, that little hiney was relatively in shape and lately it seems to be sliding down my leg a bit. It's getting smaller by the moment--and NO one is happy about it. Just for a little anatomy lesson, the booty is intended to be perky and a whole separate entity from the leg--NEVER should the two ooze into one.

The biggest hit of all occurred to my lady friends. I think this is the area I'm having the hardest time adjusting to. I've always been rather full-figured up there. But the thing is---they seemed fake, they were so dense and perky--there, I said it. They were pretty great to me. I could go out without a bra (not like I made a habit of that and YES I wore layers so no one could tell---I'm not that girl), and they wouldn't hit the floor. I could buy wicked cheap walmart bras because they kind of supported themselves. Who needs $40 of support--not me! In all honesty, they were the kind people pay for--except that I didn't.

The question is---where are they and what has become of them (oops, I guess that would be questionS)??? They've lost all sense of firmness or perkiness. They seem to have gone south for the winter, but this winter is the kind in Antarctica--NEVER ENDING! I guess the good thing is that it's no longer extremely difficult for me to do a breast exam (the rare times I remember) because there's not much going on in there.  I know this sounds weird, shallow, and horrible, but it's somewhat hard to deal with when a part of your body that you've grown so familiar with is different. I'd feel this way if it was anything--it just happens to be my boobs. I'd also be thrilled if some parts were different than what I'm used to--but that's for another post. In the same way, it would be weird for ME if all of the sudden my little sister lost hers (which let me tell you, make mine look small---sorry sis). While they're not who she is or who I am, they are what we're used to. My ladies may not seem different to anyone else but me, but they are--and I find myself somewhat self conscious about this change. I'm still fitting in my same bras, which is great because who has the money to have to go buy a whole new set of booby-lifters? Have I mentioned I'm not working??

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my current bodily changes for the world. The reason God gave me the twins (no, I don't normally call them that and YES, I realize I sound like a gross frat boy) was to be able to nourish my baby. Even in their deflated state, they work miracles (rather, GOD does through them) and are the reason my girlie is growing, healthy, and happy. So yes....I'll take the change with that in mind.

But would I love to lose 12 lbs by a different means??? You betcha bottom dollar! So after I stuff myself with copious amounts of unhealthy food over Christmas and New Year's, I'm going to make it my mission to hopefully keep the weight loss, but begin mission Bring Booty Back. And in the meantime, I guess I'll get comfortable with the fact that I may need to invest in some better bras---no more $5 Walmart specials for me.

Surely, I'm not the only one dealing with these bodily changes?? Please tell me some of you feel my pain! And for those of my friends who are reading this and are pregnant, let this be a foreshadowing of what is to come. hehe!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Acknowledgements, Awards, and Whatnot

I would like to thank Mommy B Knows Best and Big Teeth & Clouds for my second award. Super excited about this honor. You all should go check out these ladies' blogs. You'll be glad I sent ya. Mommy B has just completely redone her blog--had to start up from scratch because some creepo messed up her blogger account. So please stop by her new site.


Since it is better to give than to receive (and since these are the rules of accepting awards in bloggerland), I would love to pass this award on to some blogs I LOVE to follow. I'm super into all the DIY, crafty, money saving, make-me-laugh blogs. So to acknowledge some of my favorites, I'm passing this award to: Our Suburban CottageCoupon Clippin MommyA Soft Place to Land, Confessions of a Control Freak, and  Puget Sound Prudence

I've also received my 3rd award from Southern Sass. Thanks so much, girlie! You all should go check her out.

In order to accept this award, I need to come up with 10 honest things about myself....will you still promise to follow me after reading some of these??




1. I hold my pee for a ridiculous (and unhealthy) amount of time for no other reason than just not feeling like going at the moment. SHEER LAZINESS!! Yep, this is the first one on my list because I'm doing it AS I WRITE and the bathroom is maybe 10 ft. away.

2. Since I'm planning on writing a blog about these later on (as embarrassing and inappropriate as it may be), Bug has left me with the gift that keeps on giving---hemmoroids! I read about them in every pregnancy book and have heard the hard truth from several of my friends after giving birth. I thought since I didn't get them during pregnancy that I had lucked out...........Guess I had another thing coming. I didn't realize you could have hemmoroids unless they were external and visible. For someone that actually does have a brain, I tend to pull a Jessica Simpson every now and again and am so dumb I surprise myself. Yep, hemmoroids can also be internal and are painful as heck!

3. I always, ALWAYS brush my teeth beyond the 2 minute requirement (I know that for sure now since getting the Sonicare toothbrush--best one EVER. You NEED to buy it). I also always wash my hands while mentally singing happy birthday TWICE and rubbing like crazy to get that friction going. For someone who's not exactly a clean-freak---I'm kind of OCD about this. :-)

4. I must, must, MUST always drink with a straw at restaurants and even with to-go cups (I feel ya Southern Sass).  I don't know what or why that is. I mean, I'll gladly eat off their plates and use their utensils...for whatever reason, I can't put my mouth on their cups.

5. Part of me enjoys the fact that I know have a built-in excuse not to do something because of my Bug. At the same time, sometimes I hate it (case in point: probably be chillin with Darling Dearest alone on New Years cuz friends will wanna be out doing something more fun).

6. I'm not completely disgusted with myself if I don't shower for a day or two. Part of me hates the hassle of showering and having to dry my formerly ridiculously thick hair (I say formerly because I just got my hair majorly layered and am not too pumped about my lack of volume at the moment--another post for another time).

7. I love doing and saying things that make people completely uncomfortable---especially my fam. There's nothing I love more than embarrassing people by embarrassing myself in public. Sometimes I like to have a jam session in the store with Darling Dearest hiding in the corner. I can't wait until Bug is older and I can do the same to her. :-)

8. I'm obsessed with google. I google EVERYTHING. I think I would be lost without it.

9. I'm equally obsessed with HGTV thanks to Cleopatra. I have yet to find a show I don't love. I'm particularly Obsessed with Get It Sold, Design on a Dime, Design to Sell, and Divine Design. I think just maybe I'll become as talented as them through osmosis.

10. I don't know where I'd be without my family. Truth: Sometimes I actually think of horrible things happening and having to live without one of them (most often my husband) and I get overwhelmed with sadness. I have the most amazing husband and baby girl. I've also been blessed to have pretty much the greatest family and extended family. I never realized how awesome I had it with these relationships until I've seen others with broken relationships. Truly blessed by God.

I'm passing this fun award on to a few people who's blogs are awesomely honest and keep me entertained.
Mama Still Wears Gucci, The Obnoxious SAHM, The Edwards Edition (my hilarious girlie IRL), and Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic New Mother. Hope you stop by these blogs and show them some love.

***If there are spelling or grammar errors in this post, I just don't care. I am going to fight the urge to re-read this because Bug is up and quite frankly, I'm over this post. :-) ***

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Worst 40 minutes EVER

They say in the case of emergency, a person can lift a car with all the adrenaline flowing through his/her body. Well, I'm here to say.....not this girl!!!

I just went through the scariest 40 minutes of my life. I was in the shower while Bug was spinning around in her jumper. We were going to head out for some Christmas shopping, when I heard the chime of my alarm system go off. Since I don't have the alarm automatically on during the day when I'm home, whenever someone opens or closes a door or window, it makes a chime sound. The dogs heard it too because they went downstairs expecting Darling Dearest to be home. After about a minute after the chime went off, I realized that my husband wouldn't be home---not at that time of day and not without calling me. He hadn't been on Instant Messenger all day, though....so I didn't know if something strange was up. So I hopped out of the shower with my pumpkin hair treatment dripping down my back and called my husband--TWICE. He didn't answer either time. So I called his work extension--no answer. Finally, I called his work for the support line to talk to ANYONE. When one of his co-workers answered and said that he was at his desk on a call, my heart stopped-----He WASN'T HOME. So who was??

His co-worker quickly got him on the phone to talk to me. Now let it be known that I sometimes do scare myself over nothing. I think I hear something I don't, but THIS TIME I had proof. The alarm system said "01 not ready" meaning that my front door or garage door was open,  and I really DID hear the chime. I closed my bedroom door quietly and locked it. Poor pups got locked out of the room. They were downstairs and I was not about to call their names to come upstairs and let someone else know Bug and I were home. I pushed the police emergency button and let the alarm go off. I thought it would scare Bug, but she kept hopping and spinning along in her jumper seat. It must've scared the dogs though because they came straight up to the room door. The problem was, I didn't know it was them. I heard something against the door, but it sounded higher--closer to my head than my feet. At this point, I'm still on the phone with Darling Dearest and I'm now freaking out that someone is by the door. He tells me it's probably the dogs....but I don't think so. I'm scared to death. He tells me to go in the closet, but I'm convinced I need to use my man-power to hold the door shut in case anyone tries to come in through my locked door.

This is when I decide to try to move my dresser in front of the door. It moves all of an inch and won't go further. My towel is falling off and I'm trying to keep it on in case someone does come in...I'm not about to be giving a peep show to my intruder. I give up on the dresser and continue having my heart attack. Hubby says that I may want to try to put on some clothes before the cops get there. That was the last thing I was thinking about, but I decided he was right. Finally, Darling Dearest tells me to call 911 (at this point, the security people already called a dispatcher). After calling the police, I stayed on the phone with them until the deputy arrived, checked the area, and was at the front door. When I finally went downstairs, I saw that the garage door coming inside was open. I told the deputy that, and she assumed that it had been blown open by the wind---a definite possibility because it had done so prior to us having an alarm system.

Before I could have her check the garage, a phone started ringing.....and it wasn't mine. It was coming from inside the house. It was one of those ugly automatic ringtones that are on your phone when you first buy it before you change it. Here comes heart attack number 360,754 of the past 35 minutes. I repeat to her over and over that it isn't my ringtone. Was someone in my house? Did they leave their phone behind?? When I moved toward the sound, I found....MY PHONE. What in the world?? Hubby was calling me back to check on me.

Now I look like a complete idiot. That's when I realize my phone said "emergency mode" which probably happens after you call 911 and must have its own ringtone in that mode (just FYI for anyone else who ever gets in that unfortunate situation).  The deputy checks my garage and sure enough---nothing suspicious is going on. At this point, I'm embarrassed and still shaking. I start crying, trembling, and apologizing. It was weird how the flood gates opened AFTER the police got there and I was safe. She was totally sweet and told me it happens all the time---better safe than sorry. TRUE, but I wish the "safe" feeling hadn't taken 40 minutes to occur. Now Darling Dearest thinks this is his way of getting a gun for the house. YIKES!

Needless to say, I'm still all shaken up. In fact, I have yet to hop in the shower again to wash out this pumpkin hair mask. Hopefully, I'll at least have gloriously moisturized hair to make up for all the extra gray hair I surely have sprouted in the last couple hours. Well, before my hair gets so greasy it starts sliding off my head, I should probably try AGAIN to finish up my shower.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, rats!!!

The other night, I headed out to the grill to start making dinner when I noticed......

POOP!

It was on the side of the grill where you'd set the plate, grilling utensils, etc. I had a sneaky suspicion that it was mouse poop, but I was REALLY in denial hoping it wasn't. I made a mental note to have Darling Dearest check out the scene. Last night, he went to look at the grill and see what he thought.

All of the sudden, the sliding door is slammed shut, the doggy door is rapidly closed, our dogs are called inside, and the hubby is looking like he just saw a ghost. He's got the heeby geebies. What in the world happened??

A RAT!! That's what happened!

Darling Dearest opened up the bottom portion of the grill expecting to find a little mouse, when he saw a big old rat. IN.OUR. GRILL. Yep, a rat's been hanging out where we cook our food. Did I mention that we grilled hot dogs out there the other night WHILE the rat was in there? As if hot dogs aren't nasty enough (while oh, so tasty) I don't know how he missed it, but Darling Dearest thought he'd just made a mess while cooking (mistaking the poop for a food mess?? I have no idea!). Our dogs have also been sniffing around the grill all week, but we didn't think much of it.

I've gotta say that even if it was a baby mouse...I'd still be creeped the heck out. But, a RAT!!! I couldn't concentrate. I was having a hard time finishing my dinner. IT was out there--in.our.grill. I was standing right next to it in my bare feet the other day when I went to cook the chicken. UGH! Even thinking of it now sends chills up my spine.

Darling Dearest and I sat inside to discuss the plan of attack. It was a war against the rat. Hubby got all geared up to dispose of the rat. His gloves her tucked into his sweatshirt and he was armed with a shovel and rake. Gardening tools to the rescue!! I couldn't stand the thought of anything that was going to go on, so I took Bug and the dogs upstairs for our bedtime routine.

SMASH, CRASH, SMASH!!

How many rats were there?? This full-on war was LOUD! Was he killing a whole rat army?? Turns out....nope! The rat was gone. He turned the whole yard around in search of our furry little friend. NOTHING! So we sent out the dogs....NOTHING! The rat had vanished!!

While I'm happy that we didn't have to kill a rat (by we, I mean Darling Dearest), the thought that it's out there---somewhere---freaks me out. I imagine it crawling in through our doggy door and into our house to feast on our food and sleep in our beds. UGH!!! There won't be sweet dreams for me for a while.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Parable of the Poop

What has become of me?? I've been blessed enough to stay home with Bug since she's been born. That means, 9 + months away from the classroom. The former teacher in me wants to find lessons everywhere, and today I reached a new low........

POOP!!

The monologue conversation with Bug this morning during our diaper changing went something like this:

Me: Wow, you're one stinky girl. Did you go poo-poo?? (why we ask questions when we know they're not going to answer is beyond my understanding)

Me: Yes, you did. That's one little poop, but boy do you smell (said while throwing up in my mouth--just a little).

Me: I guess today's lesson for you (Bug) is that even though you're small, you can really pack a big punch!!


So I guess my Parable of the Poop is the modern-day translation of the verse, "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young." First Timothy 4:12

Ahhh, the teachable moment! Teacher of the year right here!! Hehe!  :-P

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bug's First Temper Tantrum

My sweet angelic Bug has officially thrown her first temper tantrum. This girl loves to take my glasses off my face and shove them in her mouth. She does this millions of times a day (or at least tries to). Well, Darling Dearest and I were sitting in bed with her shortly after I nursed her and she decided she wanted my glasses. She wanted them BAD.

When she finally manhandled them off my face with her death grip and claws that could cut diamonds (why are they so sharp and painful when they're short??), she looked at those glasses with a sense of true accomplishment. Unfortunately for her, Darling Dearest was not about to let her unabashed joy and sense of success thwart him from making a quick recovery of my glasses (I don't think she's paying for them when she breaks them). So he gently took the glasses from her.

Well you would think he just stepped on her heart or killed her puppy dog. This girl SCREAMED!!!

S-C-R-E-A-M-E-D!

She didn't whine, cry, or fuss.....she full-out screamed! It was a ticked-off battle cry against all that was wrong with the world. It was the kind of cry I'd only heard when she fell off the ottoman or hit her head on the side of the door (both stories I have been instructed by DD not to blog about because someone--ahem--was supposed to be supervising. This post doesn't count since I'm not technically blogging about the actual happenings).   :-)  She screamed so hard that there was actually a point where no sound was coming out--she'd lost her breath. She was THAT mad!

Darling Dearest thought surely he'd accidentally pinched her or something on accident since she was reacting like a crazy person, but he couldn't understand how he'd managed to hurt her by taking the glasses from her. When I told him that she was just mad and throwing a tantrum, we tested out our theory. We allowed her to get the glasses again only to take them from her (I know...how could we be so cruel??). This girl SCREAMED again--so high-pitched that only dogs could hear her.  It was bad.

As any good parents would, we weren't going to let her tantrum get the best of us and thus, begin us down a slippery slope of losing control. Nope. We teachers are trained in how to manage kids, even during the ugliest of tantrums and let me tell you, I never had behavior problems in my class. If you give in to what they want...they win. You lose. I've seen SuperNanny a time or two and I know this is not how to parent a child.

So we took my glasses back. She SCREAMED. We didn't give in by giving her back the glasses. Instead, she got the remote. Oops! :-P   I guess we'll save the good parenting skills for the next tantrum.

Will the World Come to an End Without my Boobs??

WARNING: If you are not comfortable with the topic of nursing or boobs, please STOP READING here! If you can handle the whole truth and nothing but the truth, no matter how ugly (or saggy) it is....continue.

I sit here writing this post in a sleepy daze and with a major tension headache. WHY, you ask. Well, Bug decided to get up not once, not twice,  but FOUR times last night. FOUR. TIMES. IN. ONE. NIGHT!

For the record, she's been sleeping through the night since she was 3 months, so this mama is not used to such a rude awakening to my pleasant slumber. I fed her and put her down a little after 8, only to hear her crying like crazy a little after midnight (not long after I'd gone to sleep myself). She was pretty frantic at this point, like she was scared or something. So I nursed her and put her back to sleep. A little after 2am, I hear her crying again. This time, it wasn't frantic, and I wasn't sympathetic--I was tired. TIRED. I asked Darling Dearest to go try to help her since he doesn't have boobs filled with milk that will get her thinking she's going to eat again. I knew she wasn't hungry. He got her quiet and in bed, when 10 minutes later---what should we hear?? She's crying again. We both laid there in a war of the wills--which one will fold first and go help the Bug. Someone needed to quiet that thing ASAP so I could sleep. This was when I told him, "Just so you know....I'm not going in there so she thinks she's eating." That's when Darling Dearest groggily hobbled over to her room AGAIN to put her down. All was well with the world--not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse when 10 minutes later--------CRYING. AGAIN.

Finally, I march myself and my milk-filled boobs over to her room. I knew this team was the only one that could get her back to sleep. I wasn't even going to reason with her or attempt to put her down with a good pep talk. I wanted this baby quiet and in slumber land so I could join the sleeping party. I picked her up, changed the full diaper (since she was about to be fed for the 3rd time in 6 hours) in the dark (until Darling Dearest came over with a cell phone), and put that baby to my boob. Since the diaper-changing woke her up more, she ate for a while, but eventually hit the sack.

Now, I've been meaning to write a post about how the world would stop turning without my boobs, but last night's events set this post in stone. The girls are tired (yes, I'm referring to my boobs for those of you who don't know that expression--MOM). They're so tired, they're sagging and drained (literally). They're sick of being bitten (or gummed to death would be more accurate since Bug is still toothless at 9 month---thank God) and raw. Why are they raw? Well, Bug has decided she likes to eat on the go. If we're lying down, she will turn herself in the crawling position WHILE NURSING and try to hit the road--with the girls in her mouth!!! OUCH! Another one of her fun positions to try in the morning or when I'm exhausted and want to lay down and nurse her is to sit up and nurse from the one on top--yep, so I lay down and she sits and nurses. This makes it extra easy for her to rip herself on and off whenever she sees or hears anything that she feels the need to look at. Needless to say, I'M RAW and the girls are tired!! For all the nursing gurus out there--yes, I know this is not the best for her latch and this is why I'm raw--but this bug has a free-style nursing method that I'm trying to break. Until I do---I'm raw!! What can I say? She's an active 9 month old who wants to move about and see the world---all while taking her "food" on the road.

All to say, that sometimes I just want someone else to be able to feed her. Yes, I've frozen some milk, but my frozen supply is running low and my current production is on an "as-needs" flow---we're not surplusing here. This means that my frozen milk is literally GOLD in my house and will only come about during a serious emergency. I know, I know....if I only pump more throughout the day, it'll tell my body to produce more so I can have more milk to freeze and keep up my supply. Have you been reading my posts?? For a stay-at-home, chasing-my-bug-around-while-trying-to-get-a-house-ready-to-sell mom...I don't have time for that shenanigan! If I do have a beautiful blissful moment, I'd like to use it to hop in the shower, not attach myself to a sucking machine like a cow (although I totally can't hate on the pump since it's one of the best things ever invented and it's why I have any frozen supply at all--I love you Medela Pump N Style).

I also know that I could supplement with formula, but we're not going to get into this argument because you're not going to win. I made a personal choice to have Bug exclusively breastfed (well, with the exception of mush some call "solid food") until she's at least a year....so that's the decision I made for her and I'm sticking by it. Although, I must admit that when that time comes when it's time to wean my little gal, my boobs, my independence, and my extra 10 lbs of fat will be thanking me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bitter nursing mom. I DO enjoy it and I like all that it does for her even more. I still love our time together (I know that sounds creepy for those of you who haven't nursed). It's super convenient. I never forget her food or have to take time mixing it up and washing bottles. It's there whenever I need it--like when I'm leaning over her carseat nursing her with my butt smashed against the side window for all traffic to see while Darling Dearest drives to our Thanksgiving dinner or to the mall. Yes, I'm 100% a fan of nursing and will continue to be with all of my future children. These boobs have been good to me, and mostly to Bug---but I do look forward to the day (or night) when I don't have to be the one to FEED her back to sleep during a growth spurt or nurse while on the way to a store so I can have time to go shopping, get my hair done, or go to a movie. I look forward to the day when I can have some wine at a Thanksgiving meal or have someone watch the Bug during a mealtime without having to use a bottle of thawed breastmilk GOLD. I anxiously await the days where I don't beat myself up for losing track of time and not eating or drinking enough water (have I mentioned how I never drank water until I was pregnant and now it's all I drink so my "cup" runneth over?? Have I mentioned that I'm horrible about drinking enough water??).

I'm not looking for solutions. I'm just looking to vent a little. Don't my raw, overused and underappreciated tatas deserve the luxury of being able to vent without being judged?? When will the world not come to an end without my "girls". This mama is tired!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

I have so much to be thankful for this year. I've got an amazing husband of 5 1/2 years, the best Bug I could ever ask for, two annoying, but cute pups, awesome family and friends, a roof over my head, and a delicious thanksgiving meal to enjoy later. God has truly blessed us, and I think it's important to take notice of ALL things--big and little-- that we're blessed with. Since having the Bug, I've been given a whole new perspective on life. I'm just so grateful for each moment with my family that things I used to care about have lost importance. God's been so good to us. 

I do hope that as the Thanksgiving season ends and we move on to Christmas shopping, that we keep our minds focused on all that we DO have. It's strange how quickly we forget. We go from being thankful to thinking about all the things we want for our Christmas list. Seems a bit ironic that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas. This year, let's all try to keep our focus on gratitude throughout the Christmas season.

A  friend of mine has had a horrible couple years. I mean, the kind that you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy. She should've died in a car wreck, had major recuperation afterwards, family issues, financial issues---you name it. Her world has been crumbling down around her. BUT, we know that God's spared her life for a reason and all things happen for a reason. Even though she could easily focus on all the things she's NOT thankful for (and that list could be extremely long) and even though she may look back on these years as the worst in her life, there ARE things she can be thankful for. I realize I can make this statement easily because I'm not in her shoes (or in those of others who are having a very difficult year). It's much easier to be thankful when you've had the greatest year of your life, but my prayer for those of you who are going through an extremely painful time in your life is that you would look for all the things you DO have to be grateful for, even if the list is small at the moment. While this change in perspective would be a very difficult task, I pray that in doing so you could experience some joy this holiday season.

On another (less serious) note.....this year, we'll be spending Thanksgiving with Cleopatra's extended family. My family was supposed to come down from NY and FL, but the swine flu hit them hard and my husband extended the official DISinvitation so the Bug wouldn't be around it. Cleopatra's parents were down from Michigan and everyone is getting together at her aunt and uncle's house. So while we won't be with our family--huge bummer for me--I'm grateful to have great friends who would extend the invite for some delicious food and fun times. I also don't have to get my house ready for guests, assist my mom in making dinner makea huge elaborate dinner, or do all the crazy Thanksgiving grocery shopping. I tend to leave that stuff for the last minute and ALWAYS forget something. You all know what the grocery store looks like last-minute around Thanksgiving. It's kind of what Walmart looks like on Christmas Eve (when my parents always go to do 75% of their Christmas shopping). So all I'm responsible for this year is apple crisp. I got this delicious recipe from my college bestie, but have yet to make it. We'll see. Looks easy enough, but who's to say I won't leave my mark on it and wreck its deliciousness. Cross your fingers for me because Thanksgiving meal is at my friend's Italian family who owns a restaurant (aka....great cooks). I'll take pics of my apple crisp and fill you in on either my accomplishment or embarrassment.

Here's the recipe if you need something delicious and easy.

Apple Crisp

4 cups of sliced apples (I mix 1/2 granny smith and 1/2 macintosh)
Mixture for apples: ¼ cup water, 1 tsp cinnamon, and ½ tsp salt
Mixture for "Crisp": 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup flour, 1/3 cup butter (don’t melt—keep room temp)

Put apples in 8x8 very lightly greased pan (I'm using a larger pan so I'll double the recipe). Add the apple mixture on top (water, cinnamon, & salt) of the apples. In another bowl, make the "crisp" mixture by pressing the room-temp. butter into the flour/sugar. This should be very crumbly. Add this mixture on the top of the apples. Place the apple crisp into the oven at 350* for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Eat until full of apple-cinnamony goodness!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Husband Can Beat Up Your Husband

Ok....so maybe not. He's a lover, not a fighter anyway, BUT I needed a clever title to brag about how great Darling Dearest is and what a HUGE help he was to me this weekend. Yes, I need to write this out so I can remember these lovey-dovey feelings when I'm mad at him for saying something stupid. hehe!

We got TONS, and I mean TONS, done this past weekend. Cleopatra came over Friday night. Chatting was our biggest accomplishment, but we did move some furniture about and beautify some areas. It didn't matter by that point anyway because I got a ton done throughout the day in between flashing my neighbor (story still to come).

Saturday, another friend came over to see Bug. We picked out a paint color for the guest room (a neutral shade for the buyers), went shopping for curtains (to NO avail), and hit up VS to use up a coupon on some bras. Gotta keep my milk makers supported---and boy, do they need support now. Let's not even talk about what happened to them after nursing! Ok, back on topic.....Again, not much being accomplished on the part of the house...but we tried, and she brought me beautiful sunflowers (yellow and red) for a belated birthday present. LOVE them!

On to why Darling Dearest is the greatest......

While my friend was over, the hubby picked up the paint we'd chosen and our lunch. Then, he proceeded to trim the room while we took Bug and went shopping for curtains. He finished up painting the guest room THAT night and we hung pictures on the wall. In my opinion, it looks GREAT (major upgrade) and is perfect for selling--simple, neutral, perfect! I've got a lot of HGTV research under my belt now, so I feel confident in making such bold statements, given the room we're working with.

We were up late Saturday night finishing up the room and some other projects, so I was EXHAUSTED Sunday morning. I mean, the kind of exhausted where you move about your business--nursing Bug, going to the bathroom, finding her toys to play with--all while refusing to open your eyes. Not to mention, Bug decided she'd wake up at 5 something (she usually sleeps til 7:30) and figured she'd stay awake and play. So up we got to do more work. Darling Dearest got right to work painting the hallway, while I slept on the floor in Bug's room vigilantly watched Bug play. So what if I had one of her tiny baby blankets over me while I laid face-first in the floor?? I've got eyes in the back of my head and through closed eyelids, right??? :-)

Bug was WAY off her schedule and I was dead tired, so we skipped church. Sorry, Pastor Andy Stanley---love you guys and love our church, but I don't think our 3-person crew was going to be able to function had we gone. At some point while Bug was sleeping, I had passed out sitting up in bed. It was during this time that Darling Dearest won my heart all over again. Just like in the fairy tales, the prince goes to save the damsel in distress (if you knew me, you'd probably laugh at even a sarcastic comparison of me to a damsel), but instead of riding on a white horse and slaying dragons, he was dumpster diving....and instead of saving the damsel, he fought to recover my missing thyroid medicine and a handle from one of our dressers.

Backing up a little.....I have hypothryroidism. I was diagnosed about 2 years ago. If you know anything about thyroid disease, you know you have to take a pill EVERY day. Especially because I'm still nursing and my hormones aren't regulated yet, that thyroid medicine is very important. Well, I just refilled my NOT covered prescription due to pre-existing conditions (insurance mess for a later post), and it was MIA. I was not about to go shell out the cashflow AGAIN. I didn't know for sure that it had been thrown out. But there's been so many people over to my house lately, that I thought it was a possibility. It doesn't stop there, folks! I also purposely threw away the handle from one of my dressers because I thought we were getting all new hardware on the top drawers. Come to find out--it was from the bottom drawer and we NEEDED that handle. So I told my husband that I needed to go dumpster diving--and really was intending to do so. Little did I know that during my slumber, Darling Dearest would go dumpster diving and uncover both the missing medicine AND the handle, on top of painting the guest room & the hallway, and picking up lunch. Did I mention he let me sleep when the Bug woke up?? So yeah....he's pretty much the greatest, and while he may or may not be able to beat up your husband....he sure rocked my exhausted, "way-over-the-whole-decluttering-thing" world!!! So he's superman! Ladies, he's a taken, baby-daddy....and I pack a mean punch. :-P

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rolled Canvas Print Giveaway

Hey guys!

If you haven't subscribed to Saving Cents with Sense, you NEED to. I get her email and FB updates on all the latest coupons and deals---and I'm doing well saving cashflow for the holidays. More on that later. Anyway, she's got a give-away for a 16 x 20 rolled canvas print. Go to her site and check it out for details. It ends tonight. I wish I would've been paying more attention to alert you all later since there's not much time left, but you all know how crazy it's been in my household lately. Either way, I'm getting my extra entries now!! Yay for me!!

PS. I got my mojo back and have a story involving my case of The Emperor's New Clothes in the process--pretty embarrassing post for later. Hope everyone's enjoying their weekend so far.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've lost my mojo!!

Last week I was on a roll--decluttering and cleaning like it was my business. Technically, since I'm staying home, it IS my business. I don't know if it's because I went all out, including my birthday, that I seem to have run out of steam....but it's gone. Maybe because there's not as much to do (but still a good amount), I don't feel the pressure. The fact that it's cold out and all I wanna do is be snuggly and lazy. I've always been a major procrastinator (with the exception of grad school), and I thrive on that last-minute work. Is my procrastinator self coming back?? I've gone from doing work to house hunting again. A reasonable person would do the work to get their house on the market BEFORE searching all hours for another house, BUT I can't seem to do things the normal and sane way. So instead, I found myself with 3/4 of a clean and uncluttered house, but plenty of houses I want to go see. To top it off, I've been staying up late searching the internet and doing my research on all things houses, so I'm ready to pass out during the day. Not. helping. at. all. In my defense, I haven't been completely lazy. I've had a few appointments this week, have done a couple trips to Goodwill, rented a storage unit and have brought a load over...and chased around a bug. BUT, I'm just not making the progress I need to be and I could be if I was more motivated.

Cleopatra offered to come help me out tomorrow night, so maybe that will be the kick in the butt I need to get things rolling tonight in preparation for her help. I'm hoping that since I'm throwing it out there, it'll guilt me or motivate me into movin' and groovin' like I was before because I need steam in a bad way!! If someone finds my cleaning mojo, please send it back to me ASAP!

Wordless Wednesday

So I don't quite understand these theme days since I'm a newbie blogger and all, but "Wordless Wednesdays" seem to be all the rage. When in Rome............

SO, here are some pictures of the cutest Bug there is (in my humble and unbiased opinion).








Pictures taken by one of my college besties---thanks, N! She is truly my heart outside of my body...Bug, that is. ;-)  

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Hate the Dentist!!

Have I mentioned how I hate dentists?? If not-- I HATE DENTISTS! Ok, I don't hate the dentists themselves. In fact, I have a pretty amazing dentist. The entire office and everyone in it is exceptional (and beautiful--I think they had some sort of mathematical formula for beauty and you could only be hired if you met cerain criteria). So I apologize to them in advance (and any one in the dental field who may be reading), but.....

I HATE DENTISTS!

If you haven't assumed yet, I had to go to the dentist yesterday. This was my second appointment at this place. The one prior to that was 4 months ago and it was about time since I hadn't gone since...hmm....EVER! Ok, slight exaggeration, but it had been a few years since I'd gone. I know, I know....I'm gross and I've made you puke a little in your mouth...AGAIN (but I guess that makes you the gross one, doesn't it?). In my very weak defense, it's more work for a teacher to take off work then to be there. I was the kind that never took a sick day, so the thought of taking time off for appointments just didn't happen with me. Still...I'm gross, but the first step is admitting you have a problem, right??

At the last appointment they said I had some gum problems (not anything you can label like gingivitis--but I was on a bad road if I didn't get it figured out), but no cavitities. Pretty amazing for not going to the dentist in close to 5 years--according to them. Sure didn' feel amazing. So they gave me some meds for my back gums (you know...the ones you can't reach well no matter how hard you try), gave me a pat on the butt, and told me to be on my way. And off I went....in a TON of pain, & they didn't even have to do any drilling. My gums were so swollen, it was a miracle that my mouth even closed. I hate the dentist!!

So yesterday I went AGAIN. This time, Bug had to go with me since finding a babysitter didn't work out in my favor. Turns out, things are looking better...but I'm not in the clear yet. So then she asks me THE questions...you know, the ones no one wants to answer (or at least ME). Brushing---check, 2 minutes--check, mouth wash---check, flossing daily--UNcheck! I do floss, but since I'm all about admitting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I have to say that it's probably more like every other day. I mean, after you spend 2 minutes brushing, a minute or so going to the bathroom while using mouthwash...I just don't feel like doing it EVERY darn day! Don't they know I barely have time to shower and some days...I DON'T between chasing around my daughter, trying to search for online jobs, imaginary homes, making my house into a model home, and having an affair with DELL????? I know it probably takes most people no time, but darnit if I can turn my hands into Gumby to get way back there well enough. I try...I just don't know how well I succeed. I also think that I'm not going it right. When that dental hygienist does it, I swear she's trying to pull that rope of metal floss right up between my teeth and through my head like those wire cheese-cutters. She's behind my head yanking & pulling with her knee on the chair and her back arched. Ok, ok...slight exaggeration, but that's how it felt. I guess I need to get more agressive with my flossing to "toughen my gums." Ugh...I HATE the dentist.

To top it off, I now have a TINY cavity and have to go back. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I barely get a real meal in during the day and end up snacking on chocolate grasshoppers, nutty bars, and whatever else I can find that's NOT good for me. Oh, and did I mention that I had to pay $300 plus this last time around because when we changed insurance (LONG and angering story that I'll have to save for another post), we thought we had some sort of dental coverage or discount plan. Turns out...NOPE! So if we don't add something, my TINY cavity (that they said was just barely "sticky") will cost an addition $175. Boo to that!! I hate the dentist.

After a fun filled afternoon, I couldn't get the experience out of my mind. Probably because for the rest of the day (and night) my mouth was going to explode into pieces at any moment!! My teeth ached, my gums were swollen, and my pockets were empty. Not to mention, I'm discussing my grossness with you all. They've taken my dignity people!! :-)

So please tell me I'm not the only one who hates the dentist, who seemingly is 4 years old and doesn't know how to floss aggressively, and who will need to be dragged kicking and screaming when it's time to go back!! If you happen to see a blonde lady with swollen gums whose head has been agressively flossed to shreds wearing jeans with empty pockets...you found me! Did I mention that I hate the dentist? Well, I do!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

And the worst blogger of the week goes to.....

ME!!!

So sorry guys....it's been a crazy week. So I discussed a "Tackle It Tuesday"...well, that theme has continued throughout the week. We've decided that we're going to put our house on the market after the holidays, which means we've got a LOT to do in just over a month (we're in NY over Christmas--so the last 2 weeks of December are shot). So yeah...that's what I've been doing. I've even been so obsessed that I decided to spend my birthday (Friday, the 13th---creepy, I know) taking on the war against the creatures under the bathroom sinks. PLEASE tell me some of your sinks look like mine!! I don't even know how they've managed to stay shut with the amount of crap under there. Seriously....is it even possible for me to have any more lotions, sprays, hair products??? Thanks to former students and Christmas presents...I've got Bath and Body Works under my sink (if only it could hold its weight around here and bring in some profit). Guess we know what all the ladies I know will be getting this Christmas (Mom, just because you're reading this doesn't mean you can't act surprised when you get a full set of lotion, spray, and body wash. Oh, you should also act oblivious to the fact that 1/4 of it is gone!!). So I've cleared out a good amount of my stash and my sinks are slightly more organize...but still full to the max. Oh well....I tried!!

Did I mention I'm currently typing this blog from the guest bedroom CLOSET?? I know, totally ghetto. But I just think we're taking a hint from IKEA and developing our own space saver. Yes, I realize this pimpin' set-up probably won't be able to stick around when we actually open our doors to buyers, but our guest room was functioning as a bedroom/office. Darling Dearest is not about to part with his man den completely (yes, the TV in here is going to have to head to storage too--spacious rooms, right??), so here the desk will stay tucked neatly away in our little clothesless closet. The sad thing is....it's kinda cute! You'd still consider a house with a desk in the closet, right?? Ok, we still have our laptop....but I've already staked my claim on DELL and I don't know how I feel about him two-timing me with my husband. Things get messy that way.

So yeah, this week has been spent in my PJs as I've been de-cluttering like a mad woman. I only wish Bug hadn't decided to start crawling before we embarked on this journey. It's quite the experience attempting to entertain her while keeping her out of trouble/danger (haven't been 100% successful--but that's for another post) AND getting stuff done around the house. Gone are the days where I could sit her in her exersaucer and do some dishes while she squawked and squeeled (if you knew Bug, you know she makes such high-pitched sounds that only dogs understand). Now she wants to be on the move exploring every facet of the house at ALL times. Needless to say, I'm relieved when it's time for her nap so I can really concentrate on my work. Full disclosure: showering is one task (and yes, it's definitely become a "task" lately) that I haven't fit it as often as I should. How gross am I???

If this picture isn't pathetic enough (and if you're still reading this post while ignoring the fact that you just puked up in your mouth while reading of my nasty self), I seem to have gotten a case of serious project ADD. Now I question whether this is something that just has gone undiagnosed, because I AM all over the place. And being a teacher, I've seen plenty of ADD....and I can totally identify with those little guys. Case in point: Tonight, I was talking to Cleopatra's cute little hubby about real estate when I glanced up at my mirror and in mid-sentence of talking to him, I said to Cleopatra, "Oh, I'm going to put a floating shelf under there," (yes, I DO need her input when it comes to the decor of my house given the fact that hers looks like a model home and mine needs to) then I continued talkingwith her hubby as if I had not totally interupted myself. How ADD am I??

Speaking of.........Where was I going with this? Back to my my original topic--my project ADD. I've been all over my house de-cluttering, but NOTHING is done. I start boxing up books in my room to put in storage when I remember that there are books in the guest room that I should add. So I go to the guest room, get those books, then start on something else in the guest room, which reminds me of something I need to do in the kitchen...then I start on something in there. Do you see where I'm going with this?? Do you feel my spastic insanity?? Do you understand why I have the worst case of project ADD there is?? I've been working my butt off for a week and what do I have to show for it?? A house that looks like a tornado ran through it---piles everywhere (to get boxed, to go to Goodwill, to get put away, etc), in every room!! UGH! It's making me stressed just typing this.

My kitchen pantry, cabinets, and cupboards are all done and organized...but my countertops have some random things on them in the "garbage" and "Goodwill" piles. Kitchen--UNCHECK!! My bedroom--my closet is done (oops, except for one pile of dress pants that I won't be wearing anytime soon--hello jobless--that couldn't fit in one of my packed bins and need to go in another for storage), my dressers (oops, no...they're 1/2 done too), my master bath sink (all the drawers except for my ridiculous make-up drawer---who can even organize that thin drawer in the middle anyway?? HELP PLEASE!).....oh, and I haven't even touched the cleaning aspect. Master bedroom---UNCHECK!! Guest bedroom still has a couple piles, and we've already discussed the desk in the closet---UNCHECK!! Bug's room only has a few things---UNCHECK!!. My garage---oh, I can't even talk about the mess that is, but I've made a dent in it. Why?? Because I have project ADD and am doing EVERYTHING, but finishing NOTHING. What's worse is that I still have all this de-cluttering & cleaning to do and today, I'm out shopping for finishing decor for staging (thanks to my new 24/7 obsession with HGTV--seriously, if you're not into it....it's what all the cool kids are doing. Jump off the bridge with us!!) and contemplating paint colors!! What in the world?? Somebody stop me!! I need some serious intervention! I'm a hot mess and someone needs to put me in my place.

I've decided that no matter how it gets done--project ADD or the one-room-at-a-time approach (like SHOULD be done), it WILL get done this week. All of my de-cluttering and spotless cleaning MUST get done this week. Why?? Because I said so! Didn't your mother ever tell you not to ask why? And hey, I may even add "shower" on my list of things to do (Bug and I have appts on Mon. and Wed---so that's 2 days out of 7, right??). And I leave you with that---the epitome of a hot mess!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Prayer Request

So this post is slightly off the norm...BUT, I'd love for you guys to pray for my parents. My mom has taught for free at private Christian school in NY for about 30 years and my dad does plumbing & heating. Well, my dad is currently not working due to some problems with his hands, joints, etc. (he may need surgery), which obviously influences their income. They own some apartment houses (the old-school kind...I'm talking about the kind they bought for nothing 20 or so years ago that require constant upkeep and work) which is a main source of their income. I just found out this morning, that one of their tennants caused a fire in their apartment building which did a lot of damage and left it unliveable until they get things fixed. SO currently, these 6 units are empty and the fear is that these people will find somewhere else to rent, which will leave the apartments empty for a while since people don't typically move during the holiday season. This has put them into a pretty scary place financially, especially with Christmas approaching.

My mom has a peace that God is going to provide for them. She said she was really upset yesterday morning when she started cleaning off her dresser and noticed a watch that neither she nor my dad had ever seen before. It had a cross at the top and on the second hand were footprints walking toward the cross. It reminded her of the poem, Footprints in the Sand--where during the times where we feel like we're alone and things are tough there is only one set of footprints because God is carrying us.  So we know God will provide a way, but I know they could really use some extra prayers that things will work out and that they can get the apartment building up and running again before they lose their tennants. Or just that God will give them peace and a comfort in knowing He's carrying them through this financially and emotionally draining time. It's a miracle that no one was hurt during the fire, so He's already provided in that. If you think about it this week, please lift them up in prayer. I'll update you as I know anything.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday

So in my blog surfing, I found someone who had Tackle It Tuesday as her theme for today(if this was you, let me know so I can give you credit). Anyway, her theme inspired me to do some tackling of my own. In keeping with imaginary house hunting, which I hope to turn into REAL house hunting....a decision has been made to get our house ready to put on the market. This means, a LOT of de-cluttering and hiding things in friend's basements organizing, not to mention cleaning, decorating, and staging. So today, I tackled one of the biggest projects of all---the master closet!

Cleopatra told me I needed to go through and get things into piles, so I decided upon "Goodwill--aka. Why the heck do I still own this? I think I bought this in middle school!", "Summer clothes that I've never EVER actually put away for summer and typically just take up space in my closet and dresser", "Maternity clothes that should've been put away at least 6 months ago but I keep them around because I'm convinced that I can get more bang for my buck if I keep wearing the tops", and finally "I'm no longer working so why do I need dress pants?? aka...I'll wear you later." The clothes that didn't fit into these 4 categories stayed in my closet.

So I left Bug to crawl around on the floor and get into trouble every 5 seconds in her curious exploration of this new world around her while I tore myself through my closet like a Kansas tornado (ok, my only knowledge of Kansas tornados comes from Twister--was that even Kansas?). I had clothes flying off their hangers and parachuting to their appropriate overflowing piles, all while watching Bug eat paper tags she managed to steal from the Walmart bag playing with Bug. Oh, don't hate or chastise me just yet....I was at least watching her chew on these tags. And YES, I did take them away, so don't call child protective services for tag-chewing negligence.

This is what my closet and bathroom looked like after the tornado whipped through.




Once my closet managed to puke up these separate piles, I folded and organized them. I even employed the "EXTREME folding" strategy (aka...nursing Bug on the floor of my walk-in closet while folding clothes). I don't mess around when trying to become Cleopatra. :-) It's all or nothing, baby!! Darling Dearest even brought home storage bins that he picked up on his lunch because there was no way in the world I was heading out in the torrential downpour with Bug. It hasn't stopped all day and is still pounding on my window as I write this. So off to Goodwill and friend's basements storage these bins will go!

Unfortunately, this "Tackle It" theme will have to go on every day until our house shines like the top of the Chrysler Building, as my dad and Mrs. Hannigan would say. I'm regretting that I didn't take any "before" pictures of the closet, but am proud that I even went through undies, bras, winter wear, shoes, belts...you name it! This may be the normal scene for some of you, but the packrat inside me is dying a slow and painful death in the war against clutter. Onto dreams of a clutterless, model home (the one I hope mine will transform into) before waking up to another day of tackling the chaos that is my house and chasing around the cutest Bug ever!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Imaginary House Hunting


Please tell me I'm not the only one imaginary house hunting right now! We have more than outgrown our house. Yes, we've got enough rooms for us and the bug currently, but we have zero storage and our stuff is starting to need a house of its own. We don't have a basement, and between all of the baby stuff we're no longer using and and entire classroom's worth of teaching stuff (materials, books, crates, supplies, rugs, shelves), our garage looks like it's thrown up a dump truck! Bug and I have to squeeze our way through mountains upon mountains of STUFF just to get her in the car. One time, I even knocked over a gas can that was against the wall of the garage far from where I was because Bug's carseat knocked into something, which tipped over something else...and so on until a gas can fell over and leaked all over the floor. What makes it worse is that I didn't even realize it until I came home from our errands and the stench (even though I'm typically one of those weirdos who love weird smells like gas...creepy, I know) was overwhelming. We were high off gas fumes for days, even after clean up.

Aside from our hideous mess of a garage, all of our closets are overflowing with CRAP too. It doesn't help that I'm a HUGE slight pack rat and don't want to get rid of my textbooks and binders from my graduate (and some undergraduate) courses...plus, my husband's stuff. We're a mess and are in need of more space  plus someone to throw away our stuff in the middle of the night so we don't put up a fight.  There is no way we can be in this house when we have another baby. We just don't have the room.

The problem is, you can't sell a house that looks like a tornado whipped by and threw all of the neighborhood's junk strategically in your garage and closets. "Hey, come buy this house...plenty of room for all of your needs. Great storage. Perfect for your family!! Make this mess your home!" For whatever reason, that argument doesn't seem to work.

So we've found ourselves looking for imaginary homes. Why are they imaginary?? Well, we have a house that's about as far away from selling/renting condition as possible (ok, this might be a slight exaggeration since I'm Queen of that. My mom totally has it worse, right ma? We just need to de-clutter). We haven't even considered putting it up for sale right now. Oh, and did I mention we don't have money to front two mortgages??? SO why are we torturing ourselves by looking at the imaginary houses in glass boxes?? I don't know, but darnit...there's so many good deals on houses right now. So do we take less for our house to get a house for less than it's worth? Do we do all the work to get our house on the market only to be lucky to break even? We're in a slight predicament, and don't know what would be the wisest decision...so we've got a lot of research and educating to do. But you know me...I'm a totally nerd, so I eat this stuff up! My husband thinks I should've been in business instead of teaching. But hey...we teachers are smart! :-)

Until then, I am living in my imaginary world where we move into a house complete with areas for storage, rooms for our family (and future family members), and even room for our extended family to visit us.  Darling Dearest is also on this fantasy ride with me...so who will snap me out of it?? What makes it worse is that my college friend, N (I'll have to think of a cute nickname that fits her later. Hmmm...another project!), has embarked on this imaginary house journey with us....and we're imaginary neighbors in this beautiful, older neighborhood with majestic trees and big yards (real place, but "imaginary" for us in that neither of us have houses on the market). Oh, and did I mention the imaginary house she found on realtor.com has a pool and is beautiful??? Unfortunately, she's staked her claim into this house, so Dean and I can't pursue it on our imaginary househunting journey. Hmmm, maybe we could have an imaginary bidding war against our college friends!

N asked me what I wanted for my b-day coming up on Friday and Darling Dearest told me to tell her that she didn't need to get me anything since she already found a house with a pool for a sickeningly cheap price for us (I mean...the kind of house that you'd totally deal with a sink hole just to have --or at least, I would..hehe). To which she replied, "and coincidentally there will be a fire set to that house immediately after you move in." YEP...full on fighting words in our imaginary war over imaginary houses. Are you getting sick of me saying IMAGINARY yet?? I'm sure sick of writing it. :-) 

What makes things worse is that realtor.com is not super up-to-date with their properties and several of the ones I loved (You know, the kind that make you pee your pants a little bit in the excitement of just thinking about them??) already were under contract. Crazy things start happening in my head at that point. I think....hmm, maybe we could put a hit on the buyers or develop some sort ridiculous scandel so the contract would fall through and we'd come trotting in on our white horse (yep, myself, Darling Dearest, Bug, and the two pups on a white horse...awesome mental picture, huh?) to save the day and sweep up the damsel in distress (in this case...our coveted imaginary house). But, instead of resorting to plan A (crazy plan detailed above), I glumly agree to plan B (moping at the loss of our imaginary home that we can't buy anyway).

Why am I so emotionally involved with some of these houses?? I mean, how can I have enough love in my heart to share between Darling Dearest, Bug, my pups, my new boyfriend (DELL), and now my new rotating crushes---imaginary houses?!? At least with the others, I know they're always there for me....but as with all crushes, they'll soon break your heart!! And so far, they've done it 3 times (Truth: Yes, we've even driven around to look at these imaginary houses and 3 of them are out of commission due to silly little detours like UNDER CONTRACT signs..boo!). How much more rejection can a girl take?? Why am I putting myself in this misery of this fantasy to begin with?? Maybe it's DELL's fault for seducing me into the world of realtor.com! Well, boo on DELL then too. Maybe he isn't always there for me like I said before.

Please tell me some of you have made the same stupid decision as I have. Why must we want what we can't have?? Oh, I will be accepting donations. You can write your checks to the "Helping First Time Mommy Turn an Imaginary Home into a Real Home" fund. OR, you can buy my house...complete with overflowing junk!! Either way, it's a steal! Any takers???