Thursday, January 31, 2013

TT Word.

Remember back in the day when people were on MySpace?

I was one of those people. On your profile page there was an area where you could blog. Straight on your profile you could write post. I wrote one a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I loved it. It was like literal graffiti etched into the interwebs. I wrote about my hatred of Ants, that one got a lot of comments. I wrote about things I did, less comments. I wrote about racism and friendship, a lot of comments. I loved writing so much that I created a profile for my cat and wrote from what I imagined was her perspective. She told about the hi jinx she got in, her observations about her people and about a pesky stray that her people decided to bring into her home. She was not pleased. She had lots of pet friends and they read her posts.

Then everyone I knew decided that they were too cool for MySpace and jumped ship. They all got Facebooks and started pressuring the hubby and I to get one too. We resisted. Facebook was lame and super boring. All the cool shit it had was already on MySpace, minus all the ass and bots. Guess where all the ass and bots are now? Any way why am I talking about a relic? Because this weeks Theme Thursday topic is BLOGGING, and my first taste of it came from MySpace.

With MySpace dead, I had no where to write and no one to write to.

Then I got pregnant. I spent a lot of time on the Internet researching things like vaginas tearing and women shitting themselves while in labor. I also spent a lot of time reading things from babycenter, including a blog. I found other bloggers by following that one. It was great because I don't know a lot of moms with young children. As a matter of fact IRL I only know one young family. They are great, but we don't spend that much time together and I really need mommy friends. I can't do the chat rooms the moms are so mean. I don't judge (ok sometimes when I deem someone to be a total asshat, I judge that person) how any one raises their kids and I expect the same courtesy. So when I found a couple of Funny/Mommy bloggers I was so excited. I started commenting and eventually when Jenn from SomethingClever2.O asked if any bloggers where up for a weekly writing challenge, I knew I was going to start writing again.

Blogging for me has not only been a chance to write (something I passionately love to do) but it has been a chance to make some amazing mommy/bloggy friends. It's not a group of stepford wives that all mommy alike, It's a community of women and men, writers and moms who think for themselves, are raising their families how they think best, in away that works for them. Who will laugh with you. Cry with you. Encourage you and maybe share a cocktail recipe with you.

This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration to join in or read others take on today's topic just click the TT button :) enjoy

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Playground Tour

In the past I've talked about my feelings about and experiences with playgrounds. Now that Animal is older I need to get over it and start spending more time at playgrounds giving him the opportunity to develop his motor skills and his social skills.

So over the holidays I had sometime off, and took Animal on a little playground tour. In search of a playground that we could enjoy together.
This thing turns mom!
     First we tried a park that is walking distance from my mom's, I had noticed that it has a toddler area. I was excited to see him play in an area that was more his size and that maybe I could give him a little more freedom at. 

Pluses, toddler playground. Negatives, really small. It was a little crowded with 2 other kids, a dad, their dog and their wagon. They really nice and friendly and Animal had fun riding around a wagon with a 10 month old being pulled by a kindergartner. My heart was melting at the cuteness. Like I said it was already crowded so when a family of five joined in the action, we had to bounce.

This is too high mom
Next we tried a playground that is adjacent to my favorite library  branch. Unfortunately Animal still enjoys chewing on books as much as much as he enjoys listening to them, so no story time/play time combo. The playground was fun but not toddler spaces and the baby swings were really high off the ground. 

Pluses, next to my favorite library. Walking distance from my moms. Close to a park. Close to an awesome Egyptian museum and a Starbucks.

Negatives, it's really not for small children. 

8 adults (not exagerating) showed up with two giant three year olds. We left.

We crossed the street and tried a park next. This is a beautiful park. It was walking distance from our home growing up, and it's walking distance from my parents house now. It is however not a children's park. It has a large, lush rose garden for which it is named. No further explaining necessary. 

It also has this serene fountain in the middle of the roses. Animal loves to stand and watch it. I secretly and anxiously await the day when we can start throwing coins and making wishes together just like I did as a child.

On the other side of the park is a large grassy area. When Animal is older I'll bring him here to throw a frisbee, play tag, have a picnic and people watch.

The next day we went to our neighborhood playground. Pluses, close to my house.
 Lots of kids. Negatives, No toddler area.                                                         

I wanna see...
I think I can. I think I can.

It was really cold over the holiday and there were lots of rainy days so we decided to try one of those kiddie playgrounds at one of the malls. 

Pluses, climate controlled. For children 3 feet 6 inches or smaller. Lots of kids his age. Equipment that are age appropriate. Mommy can shop! Negatives, not our doors. Not walking distance. It is really crowded. Lots of kids who are clearly over 3 and a half feet, who are jumping off the equipment. 90% of the parents (I'm being generous here) are spacing out or on their phones! I feel like a freak because I'm watching my son and playing with him. I can shop which means I'm likely to buy stuff I don't need, and spend money I don't have.

Finally one day I decided to try a park that I can walk or run to. It's 2.5 miles in from the entry point of a trail by our apartment. It's the trail I run. Have any of you ever run with a jogging stroller? WTF? It is so hard! I guess on the bright side I'll burn more calories. I alternated walking and running because the trail is hilly and while that is lots of fun running with a friend while you chat. Not so much while pushing a toddler and a plethora of snacks and drinks. I believe we have found the winner folks! 

Mom, Look I can go up too!

First it's got almost all pluses, I can get a workout in to and from the park. There is a toddler park and a big kid park. The slide is awesome. The parents are friendly (mostly) even the first time we went and I looked like a weirdo (I didn't realize my hair was tore up) and they were still nice and let their children play with Animal. Other pluses are another two miles up is a lake next to a dog park and a gaggle of geese. Two miles up from that is a large county park with a big lake, paddle boats two cool playgrounds and lots of running space.

Negatives. The hubby hates when I go on the trail alone. Animal doesn't count as being accompanied. I get it, there are homeless people living along the stream down from the trail itself. It's a little secluded (but during the day it's full of runners, walkers, dog walkers, cyclist and families).

I think we found a winner. Also side note the city I live in is ridiculously expensive to live in. People all over the country pay less for a nice house than what we pay for a mediocre apartment, but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. The playgrounds we visited don't make a dent into the available public parks in this city. And thought no where is safe these days, this is still one of the safest (big) cities in the country.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Love Nuts

This T is available at Zazzle
my shirt was way better though...

I used to love shopping at second hand and vintage shops. I loved shopping at these stores because I would find the most random t shirts.

I loved worker/uniform shirts the most. My favorites were the ones with name tags sown on and the ones from strange and obscure shops. One day I found one that said: I Love Nuts, with a picture of some nuts and bolts, from a local nuts and bolts company. I thought this shirt was the funniest thing. What a clever, fun play on words, and it was my favorite color, baby blue! It probably cost me two bucks, I was 18 and I wore this t shirt everywhere.

Even work. I had landed a great job at the first preschool I had ever been to where I would enroll my own children. If I had any. The kids couldn't read it and the only thing that could make it inappropriate was the play on words. I wore this shirt a few times a month, as soon as I laundered it, I would wear it again.

My first year went great, my boss asked me to get my administration units so that I would be qualified to work as an assistant director. I loved what I was doing and it seemed that I had, as far as I could tell, a bright future at this school.

One afternoon when I got home from work my cousin was over eating lunch with my mom. When she saw me she said,"Did you just come from work?"

"Yes", I answered.

"Did you wear that shirt to work?", she asked very McJudgy like.

"What? Yeah. I don't change my clothes before I come home", I answered annoyed.

"That's not very professional. I can't believe your allowed to wear that. Your boss is seriously OK with it?", she asked in disbelief.

"Uh, yeah I'm seriously allowed  to wear it. I guess she doesn't care, she's never said anything to the contrary. And I wear this A LOT," I said agitated with this line of questioning.

She dropped it.

A few more months went by and we had staff reviews. My review was great. We were rated in various areas on a 1-5 scale, 1 was bad, 5 was excellent. I got mostly 5s and a few 4s. I was pretty happy. At the end there was a comments section with some praises and some things I could improve upon.

Guess what the improvements were? Number one, use a prep time to dust, tidy my cabinets, supplies and wipe down table and chair legs. (I've never been one for dusting or organization) Number 2, stop wearing my nuts and bolts shirt! It wasn't professional.

I couldn't believe it! (What a silly naive kid I was, but I was 18, maybe 19 years old, can you blame me) My cousin was right. The weird thing wasn't that my boss didn't appreciate the cheeky t shirt, but that I had been working at this place for over 18 months! I had worn that shirt dozens of times, and I didn't know that my boss didn't think it was appropriate for work.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TT How I Could Have Paid For Animal's College Education

I don't talk very much about breastfeeding.

Women have such strong opinions on the subject and feelings are often entangled in those opinions. You can never "win". There's nothing you can say that someone wont take offense too. Even though it's a personal choice, and every family is different, some women still feel the need to tell you how your choice sucks.

Also because some women really wanted to breastfeed, tried to breastfeed, and tried again and it just didn't work. Or they hit some stumbling block and had no one to turn to get the advice and encouragement that they needed, they gave up, maybe feel defeated and cheated out of a loving experience they hoped to share with their little bundle of joy. They don't want to hear about another woman's success. It's maybe catty, but maybe I can understand that.

For those reasons I don't share my experience nursing my son with just anyone unless asked. I don't hide it, but I also don't just joyfully share my happiness or my pride, in myself and in my body.

I thought for this week's Theme Thursday I would openly share a few thoughts on, and only about my personal experience with breastfeeding.

I, being a tree hugging hippie at heart, knew that if I ever had children I would breastfeed them. The images I had seen my whole life, led me to believe that it was the most beautiful, peaceful, natural thing in the world. I hadn't yet been hit with all the "Breast is Best" campaign material, but I had (and still have) a belief that God has provided everything we need. That my body was not just made to grow life, but to sustain it.

Early in my pregnancy the women around me started telling me that breastfeeding was not "easy" and that most likely it wouldn't work out. That I didn't have to feel bad about not being able to do it. They weren't telling me to be mean or to be discouraging. They just wanted me to be prepared for what they felt was certain failure and the hurt that they had experienced when their visions hadn't come to pass as they had dreamed while expecting their first.

Another factor was that formula is expensive. When I was looking at what our budget would be once the baby was born, it was daunting. I didn't know how we could do it. To add my son to my insurance plan was nearly 600 dollars a month. I wish that none of these things were a concern for me and my growing family but the reality is that they very much are, and sticking with my goal, to do what I happened to believe was better for my son would alleviate some of the financial strains.

I was fortunate enough to have started frequenting The Red Tent, and while there I learned about a baby fair that was centered around natural birthing. I had also already decided to try to birth my son minus the epidural and was hoping to meet a doula there. I not only found the doula that we hired, but I found The Nursing Mothers Counsel an organization that gave a breastfeeding class and hooked you up with a  counselor to help you with any questions or problems for the duration of your breastfeeding journey. FOR FREE!

I felt armed and ready. When Animal was born he took to breastfeeding like a fish to water and the first week or so, I honestly felt the way I imagined I would feel. Except that it was happening a lot more often than I had expected even though I was told to expect 8-12 feedings a day. I had to feed him every 3 hrs which meant I was sleeping maybe 2 hrs at a time, I hadn't didn't want to believed it would be like that. It was a long and beautiful week.

Then it got so painful, I was so tired and one of my nipples cracked! It was like my nipples were on fire. They burned so bad there was no relief. Not what I had imagined. I whined, came close to tears, it was the worst. I didn't know what to do. I didn't think I could go on. I remembered my counselor and gave her a call. It was hard to make that call, I was embarrassed I didn't know if it was "normal". The counselor told me what I could do to get me through and assured me that nothing was wrong. This kind of thing happened. She promised me it would get better. Her tips worked and at 8 weeks we were over the horrible hump.

I had to pump A LOT for my always hungry baby. I felt like a cow being milked. It was a little embarrassing having to take my pump with me if I was going to be out when I needed to pump, but I was really committed. It wasn't easy, just like I'd been warned, but I felt all of these things were worth it.

Another unexpected thing, was the comments people make. Once you become a parent everybody and their momma feels like they have to share their opinion. Their opinion is likely to include what your doing wrong. If I had a dollar for every time someone made a negative comment about my breastfeeding , or how we were being crazy I probably wouldn't have to worry about Animal's college education. Among the most surprising annoying things was a childless friend telling my husband that there was no evidence that breastfeeding was beneficial to my son. A doctor telling me that it was not OK for me to not feed my son at least baby cereal once he turned 4 months (we were waiting until 6 months to introduce solids), and finally my mom insisting my aunt was right when she told me that I couldn't let my back get cold or my milk would "dry up".

It doesn't matter. All of those things people said, all of the problems, all of the inconveniences, don't matter one bit. It was the best choice for me and my family. My husband and I have loved this journey. It has been an amazing bonding experience for my son and I. It eases my guilt just a little that I had to go back to work so soon. I will always and forever cherish every memory that was made. I don't regret any of it.

This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration to read others ideas on this weeks theme (or add your own) just click the TT button.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sad Puppy Dog Eyes And Divorce

When I was in third grade we had this writing assignment, to write about an inanimate object and tell how we were like it.

This is what I imagined as a child only gloomier
now you can buy it on Etsy

I wrote about a velvet painting of a puppy dog with the saddest eyes. This painting I wrote hung inside of a little Italian restaurant that my family frequented. That this resturant was where we celebrated birthdays, special occasions and had Sunday dinners. It was my favorite place. I wrote that because I loved it so much, my parents decided to take me there to break the news. The awful news. The news that they were getting divorced.

The inanimate object that I was like was that painting. That puppy. I was like him because I knew the same sadness and loneliness that the puppy knew. When I saw those sad puppy dog eyes, I knew that painting and I were cut from the same cloth. Painted by the same artist.

I don't remember if I wrote more or if that's where my story ended. It probably ended there. After all I was only in third grade. I didn't give this story another thought. It got a gold star. My stories always got a gold star.

A couple of months later we had parent teacher conferences. My teacher was very surprised that they (my parents) came together (she was likely just expecting a mom). She showed them my paper and told them she was worried about me, but that I was a strong resilient girl. My school work hadn't suffered.

My parents needed her to explain what she was saying a few times. Possibly because English was their newly acquired second language. Eventually they understood what she was saying.

My parents laughed. They explained to her that I had a vivid imagination and that I loved to tell stories. Interesting stories, whether real or imagined. They were not divorced, not getting divorced and we NEVER went out for Italian food. Chinese yes, Italian never.

My parents were amused, the teacher was not.

She felt duped I guess, and suggested to my parents that I might need to see a therapist. My parents disagreed, and had a nice chuckle about my creative writing.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Harthill Farms Cabernet an Amateur Review

Recently on a trip to Whole Foods, I noticed that there is a plethora of cheap selections in an assortment of varietals and labels. 

Why didn't I notice this a month ago? As some of you know I joined weight watchers and even though nothing is off limits (the exact reason I love WW) a glass of wine as I like it served, to the tippy top is A LOT of points. So I will no longer (well till I drop a considerable amount of weight) be reviewing cheap wine. For the next couple of months it's going to be all cocktails and light beer. You didn't think I was gonna say sobriety did you? 

Here is my last wine review until I'm five pounds from lifetime. 

This 4.99 Cabernet was flavorful. I could taste the sweet berries and it's rich earthiness. Now it is not going be mistaken for a pricey bottle, but if paired with a medium cooked new york strip steak it could pass in my humble opinion for a decent bottle of wine.

I will definitely buy and drink this again, but not without buying a steak to go with it.

P.S. If you have any good suggestions for light beers I should try, Please send them my way.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

TT I Was This Girl...

This week we have a juicy topic. I've been looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one and punching it out.

"The Breakfast Club." Which character were you in high school?

If I was totally honest, I would say I'm a little bit of all these characters, least like the athlete in high school, except for peer pressure. I was sometimes a sucker. I smoked weed, I was a teachers pet and if I even put the slightest effort into a class I aced it. I was overweight, but popular enough that people didn't make fun of me. I had friends and boyfriends. But most definitely the character I was most like was

I wanted so badly do be different, and I did A LOT to not be like everyone else. Dressed different (like from second hand stores, vintage shops, hot topic, head shops and flea markets) I listened to alternative music, retro music, and read comic books. I put stickers on my face and watched power rangers. I was a hipster before hipsters existed.

I had a pretty awesome (read boring) home life. I was really lucky. We didn't have a lot of money but we lived in a cool house in a nice neighborhood. My parents were happily married, we were healthy, aside from teen angst I would say I was blessed.

So I was always looking for drama. I started smoking (cigarettes) so I could get addicted and have to quit. It would be SO hard. I would have something to talk about with my friends that had REAL shit happening. Yeah seems pretty much like Ally Sheedy's character, right?

I ate a lot of Mexican candy at school. Have you ever seen Mexican "candy"? Some is sweet sure, but a lot of it is sour and chili powder concoctions. Think Ally pouring out pixie dust into her captain crunch sandwich.

I liked to say weird random things. Provocative things. I liked to stir the pot. 

I would say the only thing that set me apart from her character was that I wasn't a social outcast. I loved  high school. It was good times, irresponsibility and childhood friends. I even remember worrying that those would be the best years of my life. Thankfully they weren't.

Also I didn't end up with the Emilio Estavez's  preppy jock ass. Although the hubby did play football...
Instead I ended up with this guy 

 And I think that's a more fitting ending.

This post is part of a multi blogger collaboration. To read what characters other bloggers felt they were most like or even better to link your own answer, click the TT button.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lying Liars

Okay ladies, can we get real for a moment?

It's very unlikely that your child (or my child for that matter) is gifted.

I know, I know it's a bitter pill to swallow. It's the way humanity works, a bell curve, with few on either end of the intelligence scale and most falling somewhere in the middle. And that's okay. A lot of incredible people were not geniuses.

"Mediocre people do incredible things all the time"- OK GO

What's my point? Why am I trying to burst your bubble?

Because I'm fucking sick and tired of listening to moms who think their little angel is SO smart. "My 3 year old can read".  Fuck you, your kid is in my class remember? They don't even recognize their own name 50% of the time!

"My Joey's so smart, he should be let into kindergarten early." Are you on CRACK? He cries like a little bitch if some one says they have the same yogurt at home because he doesn't UNDERSTAND the other kid isn't saying the yogurt your kid is eating is their's.

"My kid speaks Spanish." OMG I'm going to punch you in the throat if you think your child speaks Spanish because they can count to 5 and say vamonos! I would never say I speak french because I can say 3 pharses, and neither would you. So stop saying your kid can.

The worst part of these lies that these moms AND dads tell is that it makes so many other parents feel like complete piles of dog shit. Obviously they (we) are lousy parents because our kids aren't already getting their early admittance letters from Harvard.

I'm just here to tell you what my years as an early childhood educator have taught me, that at least this one thing is true, the number of parents who KNOW their child is gifted is very, very high, while the number of children that are actually ahead of their peers is far far smaller. Almost all of these parents are full of shit. So don't feel like an asshole, you and your kid are doing just fine.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Close Call

This one time in high school. I snuck out of my house in the middle of the night to meet my boyfriend. We'd had a fight and he showed up to talk it out. I was so stupid in love that any time this guy called I came running. After we'd had a heart to heart and made up, he went home and I went to go back to bed.

When I got to my front door and turned the handle I realized the door had been locked. There was no way for me to get in. There were no windows that I could pry open, I couldn't try the back door because  our dog would make so much noise it would surely give me away.

I sat on my front porch going over all my options. At first everything I thought of ended with me busted and grounded. I may have cried out there in the cold wee hours of the morning. I cry when I get frustrated and am unable to think my way out of a problem.

Then it hit me. I would wait till 5 am or so, and go for a little walk. Then I would head home around 540 or so and pretend that I'd gone out for an early morning stroll and then been locked out. Sure that could work. I went out for morning walks sometimes, nothing weird there.

obviously this was not my front door, but this picture seemed appropriate as I felt like this
As I sat there ironing out details to my story, I needed to be believable. I heard something? Not sure actually what it was. Possibly I just remembered, that sometimes my little brother slept on our living room couch under the window I was sitting outside of. So I tapped gently on the window. The noise woke him up, but all he could see was a dark shadowy figure I realized when I saw his eyes widen in fear. I thought quickly and waved my hand wildly under our porch light so that the motion censors would go off turning the light on.

My plan worked the light turned on and I saw my brothers face go from frightened to puzzled and annoyed. He carefully opened the front door to me. Mumbling something about my being stupid lucky and that I probably shouldn't do that again. I mumbled something about not telling on me as I crept  upstairs and headed to bed.

It was a close call. I never did it again. Thanks little brother, I love you for more than not being a snitch.

for more funny stories go to Not Just Another Mayhem Monday

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What I Miss...

Running on a regular basis provides a lot of things for me. Right now as I learn to juggle motherhood and an active lifestyle I am not yet getting in the consistency I need to both achieve my short term goals: loosing weight and getting up the mileage and stamina needed to run the Half in October. As well as my long term goals: being healthy and running a Full Marathon in about a year.

I don't lack motivation or desire. The weather (over night freezing temps) mean a unsafe track, there are patches of black ice at 5 am, and a injured and traveling running partner means some mornings I don't have someone to meet. The older I get the less I'm willing to run alone (for safety reasons). As the weather improves in the next few weeks I will get the consistency I need and my body and mind will reap all the glorious benefits of consistency.

In the mean time, here is a short list of all the things I miss of not only running, but being months down the line of this journey.

Of course I miss being at a healthy weight and more easily maintaining my waistline. More than that I miss eating and drinking with little to no guilt. A large bowl of oatmeal with fruit and walnuts? A tasty Pb&j or fuck a stack of pancakes for breakfast? Yes, sir I just ran 5-8 miles I'd say those calories are well deserved. Plus I'm kind of a functioning alcoholic, that's a lot of empty calories I need to burn them somewhere. The trail is the perfect place. In fact aside from pregnancy and breastfeeding, training is the only time I willing choose sobriety. 

Pride. I worked so so hard to be able to call myself a runner. No joke. Years, and years of lacing up the running shoes and trying to just run a mile. One fucking mile. I thought I was gonna die, but I wanted to be a runner. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. And Fuck if my inability to breath was gonna stop me. 

Peace. Running is my church. Like literally my church. I spend that time talking to God. Reflecting on my life, my choices. Where am I going right? Where am I going wrong? What should I be doing differently. I spend my time praising the Lord for the world he's created, for my amazing body that can move, for my family. It brings me peace of mind and spirit. 

The thing I miss most though, is running on the track or trail and having the men step it up because they can't possibly be slower than some girl. It's not them picking up the pace that I miss. It's the moment that they can't keep the pace they set. It's the moment that I pass them and they're defeated. Or sometimes they can keep up there new pace for a mile or two, and then they stop and I run 2 or 3 more miles. Whether they are there to see or not. I know. I win.

I can't wait for this summer...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TT Man Best Friend or The Cats Meow

I always thought that you were either a dog person or a cat person, and I was a dog person.

Since childhood I loved dogs. I love their playfulness, loyalty, their ability to learn tricks, and their cute little faces. I never went through a stage of being afraid of dogs. I loved them all. I was never chased, bitten or growled at. I "knew" at the earliest age that dogs knew I was a good person, that they knew I would never hurt them and that I was not afraid of them, and so naturally they would never hurt me. 

As a dog person, I obviously hated cats. I thought they were such jerks. They didn't care if you came home. They wouldn't love you at the end of a shitty day. They scratch. They're bad luck if they're black and cross your path. Worst of all even though I paid them no mind and clearly hated them, they were always rubbing up against me and purring.

I couldn't wait to grow up and have my very own dog. A large breed that I could run with, that would protect me and would be my son's best friend, because IF I was ever a mom I just knew I would have a son. 

Then I grew up, and I have yet to live anywhere were dogs were allowed. 

My husband loves all animals. And he blew my mind with this idea. You can love both dogs and cats because they are BOTH awesome. I told him he was obviously mistaken. No one loves both, and I HATED cats. 

So one day after we'd been married 4 months he came home with a KITTEN. 

WTF? It was then I learned how wonderful cats can be. How amazing that they just go in a litter box. That they love you and basically no one else. That they are super independent. How they also love you at the end of a shitty day. That they too had cute faces, how had I never noticed?

We ended up with two cats and no dog. I love them so much. But I still want a dog.

This post is not for scratching, it is part of a multi blogger collaboration and dog gone it it's fun to check out AND fun to join in. To do either one of those click the TT button.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

I was thinking the other night as I watched Animal running around tripping over his own feet that the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. Even at this young age 14.5 months I can see how my little man is like his mommy. 

Here are the top 5 ways we are not so different...

5. He often has little to no balance. He seems to randomly loose his footing and he just falls over. Usually he just keeps going (like me) but occasionally he's a crybaby (like me). Also he's very lucky. Often he's just centimeters from a sharp corner, centimeters from a real injury. Just like me, he's a lucky that he's got a little angel watching out for him.

4. He talks A LOT.  No, he doesn't have new words. At least not in English, or Spanish, but he's talking in Animal, and he has a lot to say. He loves to talk. To me, daddy, his family, his pets, strangers and especially it seems, himself. I've always had the gift of gab, so I understand his need to chat. I love it! One day when he's stringing words together, I'll miss all his babbling.

3. He's emotional, kind of a drama queen actually. He's happy and smiling most of the time. Then he doesn't like something and he's mad, scowling, crying. Then he's happy again. When he's frustrated you know it, because he cries. I too have been known to let the water works go in moments of extreme frustrations.

2. He's got his own agenda. His own plans and he's not about to let us stop him. No matter what it seems he's set his mind to do, or not do for that matter, what we say, what anyone says, it is not about to stop him. He ignores us. Climbs over us, crawls under us, pulls us, he does his best to accomplish his goals. It is something I too usually have, it has served me well, and I know that it will drive me crazy, but it will be good for Animal too.

1. He's a friendly, outgoing guy. He smiles at people and "talks" to them. He knows how to be charming. I'm glad he's friendly and not afraid of most people. Even though I am sometimes selfishly annoyed that he doesn't care when I leave his side, I'm glad that he doesn't have separation anxiety. I don't know if there is a correlation but I take it as a sign that he is confident in both himself and in the fact that we will come back. Any way I too am friendly, I think being able to relate to others is an important skill and I'm glad he took after me in this area.

Animal looks like his daddy, and I can see that he is A LOT like his father in other ways. So it's nice to see that he's also a little like me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Have This One Dream...

I have this one dream, where I know a fucking demon is after me.

Whatever IT is, it's pure evil and it's after me.

I can't get away no matter what I do. So I will myself to scream my husbands name, so that he will hear me and wake me up.

I know I'm dreaming, but whatever IT is, I know I have to get away from IT. It's really weird because I'll be having just some random dream, like I'm surrounded by cute little kittens that I'm petting, when I realize IT'S there. The EVIL, and I try sometimes just to wake myself up. And even when I think I manage and I'm in my bedroom looking around relieved to be awake, I'll notice something is amiss. Something not in it's place or that doesn't belong, like an ironing board (what's weird about that? an ironing board? I don't own one because I'm a lazy, wrinkled mess). I freak out! I try again to wake myself up, to get away from IT.

I will my voice to put together my husbands name, to push it through my sleeping lips. He can save me, if he just hears me call. I know HE will wake me up and save me from IT.

Sometimes I go months and months without one of these dreams. I don't think I had any while pregnant. Occasionally I'll have 3 of these nightmares in one hour. My hubby, an insomniac, I'm pretty sure contemplates if a jury would convict him if he killed me after these episodes, "Your honor she said she was petting kittens and knew IT was there, so she woke me up screaming just as I'd finally fallen asleep 3 hours before I had to get up for work! Kittens your honor, she was in a room full of kittens".

I don't know if these dreams will always haunt me. If it's really a demon that's after me. If it's my conscience telling me that I've done something wrong. That I've made some grave error. Transgressed in some way. I wonder sometimes if I went back to church, if I spent more time with God, if I didn't put our relationship on the back burner, then would I be rid of this?

There was a time in my life when I would sometimes have these dreams, but upon realizing that it was about to turn into a nightmare, I would shut my eyes within my dream and I would tell my dreaming self "This is just a dream, I don't want to have a nightmare. When I open my eyes, I'm going to be on a beach, drinking a tall cocktail. I'll look to my right and when I do the thing I was afraid of is going to be a tall dark stranger..." and when I opened my eyes, still in my dream, whatever I had wished to be there would be just as I told myself.

Why don't I just do THAT and rid myself of IT? I can't anymore. Whatever it was that made me feel I could control my dreams is gone.

It's been a week or two since my last nightmare, I never know how long till the next one...

I thought nightmares were for kids, or people who had been through some tragic event. Not people living a pretty blissfully uneventful boring life, I mean in comparison to people who are truly going through some shit, besides parenthood, which is never boring. Except when your kid's sleeping but you still can't go anywhere that's not for families full of people that understand the insanity that is now your life, but doesn't revolve around you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Absolute Tune an Amateur Review

What your looking at in this photo is Absolut's new concoction. A sparkling white wine infused with Vodka. 

If you drink alone it's bubbly with a definite vodka kick. I was intrigued, it came with a little cocktail recipe book and if I purchased after tasting I got the fun commemorative glass. I'm a sucker for those things. Also it was 5 bucks cheaper than the current price at BevMo so I thought I would buy and try for New Years. 

Well first I tried their Screwdriver Mimosa and it was No Bueno. BOO!  Next I tried a glass with  little chambrod (as pictured above). Chambrod with sparkling white wine is delicious, but this was not good, not good at all. Finally I had a glass with cranberry juice. Absolut Tune and cranberry juice, tasty. BUT, and it's a rather big but, not as good as a standard cranberry and vodka. Also the price I paid 29.99, and thought it was ten bucks more than what I thought it was worth. 

So there you have it. Not worth it, at least not for me. 

Do you have any suggestions? Any liquor or cocktail you've been meaning to try, but don't want to buy or take the time to make? Send your inquiry here. I'd be happy to try and I'll let you know if it's worth your time.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

TT Winter

Top 5 things I love about winter...

5. Crisp weather. Not really cold, but definitely not warm. So the sun is shinning and you can be perfectly comfortable in a light sweater or hoodie. It's perfect weather for a long run, a brisk hike or a reflective stroll. When I get up in the winter and the weather man is talking about snow storms on the East coast or Colorado, and I look out my window and the sun is shining and our high is going to be 65 degrees, I think how absolutely wonderful it is to live in California.

4. Warm pajamas. Or just pajamas in general. I like to wear them. In the summer when it's hot I can't use them. I can't sleep if I'm hot. So they just sit in my drawer. Waiting for winter. I have lots of jammies and winter means I can snuggle in my favorite PJ's.

3. The playoffs and Superbowl Sunday! I love lazy football Sundays in the fall, but it's nothing compared to excitement of the winter playoffs. And as fun as it is to start drinking at 10 am, it's even more fun to still have some of the day leftover to do other things. And then to get down to the Final game, the delicious food, copious amounts of liquor, and funny commercials is just a phenomenal way to say goodbye to season.

2.  Christmas break. I'm a teacher so I still get vacation time around Christmas, and you all know how much I love the Holidays, so you can imagine how thrilled I am to be away from the daily grind focusing my time on my family, relaxing and Animal!

1.  Long nights. I'm pretty much an early to bed early to rise kind of girl. Nothing makes you feel like a senior citizen as fast as going to bed when the sun is still shinning. In the Summer this happens (well used to happen before Animal) all the time. It's a little embarrassing to fall asleep when you can still hear kids playing outside in their backyards. Also, I like to sleep in a little and in the summer when the sun is up at 5:30, so am I. So I prefer winter mornings when the sun comes up a 7 and I don't have to feel like such a weirdo for being up and chipper.

This post is part of Theme Thursday, a multi blogger collaboration. If you would like to read other thoughts on winter, or post your own. Click the TT button :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sweet Goodbyes

Every. Weekday. Morning. I get up by 6 am. 

Earlier if I'm running. So that I have enough time to make breakfast for me and my family. Eat my breakfast, pump, wash pump stuff, pack Animal's breakfast, leave a pb&j for hubby and jump in the shower. 

I do this so that I can get Animal up at 7, change his diaper, nurse him and dress him. Then the hubby gets up he takes over for 30 minutes in which I have to get dressed, brush my teeth, maybe put on make up and flat iron my hair. Pack our lunches, Animals diaper bag, with a full days meals and snacks, pack my pump up  and load the car. 

At 8, 8:10 at the latest the hubby carries Animal and puts him in the car so that we(Animal and I) can get to grandma's house. We leave at that time so that by 8:15ish Animal can be sitting at grandma's kitchen table and I can feed him breakfast. I leave my mom's house between 8:35 and 8:40 so that I can be at work before 9 am when I clock in. 

I don't have to feed him breakfast, I could choose to let my mom handle it and just head to work early and have some time to myself or stop for a delicious cup of coffee. Or I could take my time in the morning and get some make up on my face to showcase the only part of me that's still presentable. 

But I don't. Because I miss my son. I want to spend time with him. I want to enjoy him. I don't want my mom's day to be longer and I want to give my son at least one meal a day. Sure I still nurse him twice a day but I can tell he's already weaning himself. Which is great because then I can have a glass or two of wine sooner, but terrible because soon we wont have that special us time.  

After I feed him I head out the door, but not before I grab his face and give him a lot of kisses he usually laughs and then starts to wave goodbye wildly. I love it, it's so cute and makes me happy to know that he knows our routine and he's happy. 

This particular morning after loading his soft face with at least a dozen kisses, he didn't wave goodbye. He didn't even look at me! I called his name at least a dozen times and practically begged for him to look at me. He picked up a book and took it to my mom so she could start reading to him. He refused to look at me, and because I spend every minute I can with him I had to go or be late.

I said good bye again to no avail and headed out the door. No sweet goodbye. Sometimes being a mom sucks. -