30 November 2012

Trial and Error

One year ago today was my official due date. I was 40 weeks pregnant, exhausted and the biggest scatter brain ever.

Today two out of three of those traits have hung around.

I guess exhaustion and absent mindedness go hand in hand, but I swear my IQ has dropped 20 points since expecting.

Don’t call Social Services on me, but once I was boiling bottle nipples on the stove-top (to sterilize, not eat) and accidentally left the burner on for over 30 minutes, unattended while I ran an errand with the babe.

 When I came home the flame was out but the gas still on and the nipples melted onto the pot they were in. (Seriously, don’t judge me. I felt horrible.)

Thankfully things like that don't happen daily.

 I am often running around the house trying to get things together before heading out the door somewhere though. I am so unorganized and having so many items I need to tote along with me just to head to the grocery store does not help me out.

Then once I'm at the store checking out, Natalie starts crying for me to hold her. I pick her up, put things on the conveyor belt, drop things, accidentally bump Natalie's head on the magazine stand while picking things up, try soothing her and then feel like punching the lady behind me in the face for rolling her eyes and moving to the line next to us.

I honestly don't know how moms with multiple kids manage everything. I feel like goddamn Superwoman when I can get my act together enough to not set things on fire, let alone actually get things I need to do done.

I guess it just means I’m too preoccupied with Natalie to really pay much attention to anything else (or that my brain isn’t big enough to handle even the most simple tasks, I don’t fucking know) but most days I just feel like a hot mess.

I'm a happy, loving hot mess that wouldn't trade motherhood for anything in the world but it would be nice to have my act just slightly more together.

I'm working on it though, one mistake at a time.

What's been your biggest "doh!" moment?

26 November 2012

Cyber Monday Giveaway

 Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is right around the corner and everyone is searching for a good deal.

I decided I would host a giveaway for you all to have a chance at something free! So I'm giving one reader Tigi's Catwalk Session Series Dry Shampoo.

I love dry shampoo. It helps absorb extra oil in your hair so you look less homeless.

 I personally have to wash my hair every single day or I look like a greaseball. Seriously, I'll come into work one day without washing it and people will ask me when I'm going to bathe next.

Spray some of this in your hair though and no one will know your dirty little secret!

This giveaway is opened to current followers only, registered with GFC or not, doesn't matter as long as you're a reader!

To enter:

"Like" us on Facebook and comment below letting me know you'd like to win!

I'll update this post later this evening to announce the winner. If you're a non registered reader then please leave an email address to contact you if you win.

Happy Monday, and good luck!

The winner is Marjorie, from The Blog of MJ! Congrats Marjorie, I will be shipping your goods to you as soon as possible.

23 November 2012

First Thanksgiving

We drove up to Skyline Drive in Front Royal, VA yesterday for some quality family time, just the three of us.

It was so nice. The weather was beautiful and the scenery is gorgeous. 

We spent the day hanging out at an overlook/rest area.

When we first got there there were a lot of people but as the afternoon went on we became the only one's and I loved the isolation and quite.

Matt and I threw a frisbee around. Natalie thought that was entertaining but for the most part she just wanted to stand at a bench and pick up sticks. She loved it.

Then we drove back to our hometown and ate dinner with my family, which always makes for an interesting time.

I couldn't be more thankful for my daughter and husband, but I don't need a holiday to tell you that. I appreciate all that I have 365 days a year. 

"This guy is hilarious."
"Oaakay, Mom, you can stop taking my picture now."
"Seriously. Stop taking my damn picture."

Matt pointing out a bird in the tree.
Sleepy head

21 November 2012

Reading and Writing

When I was a child I dreamed of one day becoming a writer. I wanted to live in New York City and write novels.

Then I found out I have absolutely zero creativity when it comes to making up stories and my life hasn't been even remotely interesting enough to publish an autobiography or memoir.

So I never pursued my dream. The desire has sort of burned itself out but that doesn't mean I don't still have a respect and passion in my heart for the art of writing.

I want this love to be passed onto my children. I want my kids to enjoy story time and to read as a hobby instead of just watching television or playing video games. I want them to enjoy writing and to use their imaginations.

When I was contacted Andrew Fersch, an author and teacher, to see if I'd like a copy of his book The Rough Draft of My Life Story, I was delighted. Not only because I like free shit but because I'm always interested in finding a good book.

Before I even opened the book up I already  liked it. I love the title and the illustration on the cover  made me think of growing old with my husband.  (Drawings are by Phil Ashworth.)

The book is filled with poetry about various things from disliking vegetables (who can't relate to that?), to cleaning your room, to silly stories about animals to deeper things like being yourself and counting your blessings. (It's a children's book, in case I didn't mention that.)

What I think I like best about everything though is how generous Andrew is. He's in the process of giving away 1,500 copies of his book and has done so already to charities, schools, libraries, children's hospitals, schools and nobodies such as myself.

He truly cares about education and youth and though he's taken a year off from teaching to hike the Appalachian Trail, start his own school and write a book behind the reason of it and write a second installment of short poems, he still runs an after school writing program in New Hampshire, volunteers with public schools and is earning a PhD in Curriculum Study and Statistics (whatever the hell that is).

Friggin' overachiever.

Anyway, here is one of my favorite poems from the book, one that I think we can all relate to and one that's appropriate in honor of Thanksgiving.

All That I Need:

I'm not tall enough (I'm six inches too short)
I have a boring house (I'd rather live in a fort)
I've got three friends (I'd rather have four)
My toy collection would be perfect (if I had just one more)
That double in baseball (was not a home run)
That roller coaster was decent (but the line wasn't fun)
My clothes don't have holes (but they certainly aren't new)
My legs and arms aren't weak (but I'm weaker than you)
I'd go play in the sun (but there's a bit of a breeze)
And I'd go lay on the beach (but the sun makes me sneeze)
But then I looked 'round, and I had a strange thought
And realized just how many good things I've got
If I didn't use my time to complain and to whine
Maybe everything in life would be just fine
Enough dissatisfaction, enough of my greed
I realized, in my life, I've got more than I need!

-Andrew Fersch, The Rough Draft of My Life Story

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Note: This not a sponsored post and Andrew didn't even ask me to write about his book, I did so because I wanted to share his work and inspire others to read and write more.

20 November 2012

We're on Facebook

Alright, I feel kinda like a douche for creating a "fan" page for my blog, and I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to post on there but whatever, everyone else is doing it.

So if you would, please "like" me and I'll love you for it. Also let me know if you have a page for your blog that I have yet to like and I'll add you to the "likes" section on my FB page.

Click here to show sum love.

Completely unrelated photo, just felt the need to add it in. 

18 November 2012

Sunday Snapshot

Had to buy her a new hat since she took off her bear one and threw it somewhere outside while we were taking an evening stroll. 

It was lost in an parallel universe and never seen again.

Or something like that. 

As you can see, she's just as thrilled about wearing this one. 

What is it about kids and not wanting to keep anything on their noggins? 

15 November 2012

Nanny Nightmares

I'll be the first to confess that I am always incredibly suspicious, possibly paranoid about nannies and those working in fields involving children. I wonder what goes on when no other adults are around. I wonder if parents would approve of how their kids are being treated. I wonder if the nannies are being neglectful or abusive.

I like to believe that people who work with children are kindhearted, warm, loving souls who have a genuine interest in the well being of youngsters. Reality proves to me that that isn't always so.

In the neighborhood I live in there are a ton of nannies taking care of small children.

When Natalie and I go to the park there is always a large group of nannies gathered around talking to one another while the little one's play. I'm not sure what country most of the nannies are from but they all speak the same language to each other.

I've seen two 15 month old twin sisters a few times at the playground and Natalie finally interacted with them a couple days ago. I talked to their nanny a little and though there was a bit of a language barrier between us she seemed nice enough...nice to me at least.

To the twins, not so much. She yelled at the girls for every little thing. "Go play with the ball!" "Share with your sister!" "Run faster!"

It wasn't a happy, playful yell either. She seemed annoyed and frustrated with everything they did and they did nothing wrong.

It made me uncomfortable and things were pretty awkward but I chalked her sternness up to cultural differences and shrugged it off.

Yesterday we saw the same trio at the park and played with them once more. Again the nanny was yelling at the girls and again I was in an awkward place. The vibe she gave off was just so negative and unwelcoming that I couldn't bear to be near her anymore. I was thankful when Natalie decided to walk around elsewhere on the playground.

The nanny of the twins joined the group of other nannies and placed the girls in their double stroller. I overheard the nanny say to one girl as she handed her a juice box, "If you spill it I'm going to smack you!"

I was dumbfounded. I didn't say or do anything but kept my distance and an eye on what was going on.

An acquaintance of mine showed up with her daughter and I struck up a conversation. I mentioned how mean the nannies seem to the kids. She agreed and told me about one who she witnessed yell at the boy she takes care of and even hit him.

These are women who are supposed to love and nurture children. Instead they're taking advantage and abusing power.

In a way it isn't my place to get involved. For all I know their parents could allow these women to hit their kids when they misbehave. Something tells me otherwise and I pray that I run into the twins parents (whoever they are) so I can discreetly bring to their attention what I observed.

The whole realization of how terrible and untrustworthy people truly are has left me sad, angry and afraid. Of course I don't believe all or even most nannies are bad people, it just sucks that even those we have faith in and count on are not as wholesome as they appear to be.

08 November 2012

Blink of an Eye

When Natalie was just a few days old I could barely look at her without crying. I was overwhelmed with happiness and sadness alike.

Happiness for the obvious reasons. Sadness possibly due to hormones but also because I knew exactly how quickly time was going to go by and I desperately wanted to delay her growing up.

I wrote a hand written note to her when she was eight days old.

I've never shared it on here before. Honestly I kinda forgot about it until a couple days ago when I was looking for a piece of paper to make a list of things I need for her first birthday party.


Dear Natalie Mae,                                                                                                                         

"This past week has flown by. I completely understand why moms say, "They grow so fast." As cliche as it is, it is so true. You have been an absolute dream. Daddy and I have spent every day awing over you. Every hiccup, sneeze, or burp gets a reaction from us. Daddy is particularly amused by your loud farts. You are such a sweet baby. You seem so patient and don't cry much at all, not even during diaper changes or sponge baths. I wish I could hit a pause button and enjoy this stage with you longer. I know every milestone you hit will make me more and more proud. We feel so lucky to have you and to be your parents. I often get emotional when looking at you. I just can't believe how beautiful you are. Daddy is kind of over protective of you already. He wants the absolute best for you (as do I) and treats you as if you as if you're made of glass. He loves holding you on his chest and patting your back. I love holding you in my arms and kissing your teeny little nose. We can't get enough quality time with you and I feel complete. Life has never been better. I've never felt happier and things have never been this perfect. Even if you aren't always so laid back and easy that won't change our love for you. I never want to want to forget this first week with you. Your smell, smile, the cute little sucking noise you make as soon as the bottle hits your lips, the way you desperately search for something to eat when I burp you between feedings. I love everything about you. I look forward to each day with you. Just grow a little slower please!"

And then I blinked my eyes and almost an entire years gone by.

07 November 2012

Baby it's Cold Outside

This morning Natalie and I went to the park and then walked to meet a friend of mine for coffee.

My friend and I are both poor, so instead of heading to a cafe we hit up 711 for a cup of their finest.

The weather is getting pretty chilly as winter is fast approaching. Temperatures are in the 40's and the wind makes it feel even colder.

I figure since I get cold being outside, Natalie might too, so I put some layers, a hat, jacket, wrapped a blanket around her legs and since I couldn't find her mittens I put socks on her hands.

A little much, I know. She's a baby and probably doesn't even know what being cold means.

Anyway, my friend and I got to the store, grabbed our coffee and proceeded to check out. The woman working the register was fairly old and somewhat hard to understand with her foreign accent.

She said something about it being cold out and I agreed. Then she mentioned something about keeping Natalie's blanket on her. I told the woman she was bundled up well.

Perhaps curious as to what my idea of "bundled" meant, she then asked me to turn Natalie towards her so she could see her. I did.

After visually examining her, the lady goes on about the weather being cold and keeping her warm.

 I've never heard of such an insane logic but didn't question the woman. I just thanked her for the coffee and left.

 I was planning on stripping Natalie down to just her diaper on the walk home, you know, for fun but listened to this crazy woman's advice instead. Who am I to question the senile?

When I got home I decided to do a Google search to see if there's any data to backup this theory that babies should stay warm when it's cold outside, and it turns out they should! Holy shit, who woulda thought?

So thank you, lady in 711, for your very sound guidance. I would be lost without you and my baby might get sick had you not told me to keep her clothes on her.

What's the most annoying advice you've ever heard? 

04 November 2012

Eleven Months

I seriously have no idea how my baby girl is 11 months old today.

I SWEAR just yesterday I was big and pregnant and anxiously awaiting her to come into this world. 

Since taking her first steps she has walked a handful of times again. Last night she walked to me really fast and then fell into my arms. It was so sweet. 

Sleep wise she's still waking up a few times a night to eat. She's down to one nap a day and there's not a pattern to her sleep schedule.

She seems like she is learning and understanding so much around her. She does things everyday that impress the hell out of us. She seems like she understands a lot that we say and she is very observant. 

She is getting her third tooth on the top, left side! 

I still haven't begun planning her birthday party. I don't even know who to invite. 

Other than that, there's not a whole lot to talk about. (Unless I feel like going on and on about how emotional I am about the fact that she's going to be turning one in one freaking month, but I'll save that for another day.) 

Update as of 11/11/12:

She has gone from an unsure, crawling baby to a confident, walking toddler! Girly is all over the place walking and it started last night. We were at my brother in laws engagement party with all of Matt's family around and I placed her standing on the floor. She just started walking to me and we would all clap and cheer and she just thought that was the best. She would clap and laugh and then point at someone. We did this all night long and then again today. She's been doing great at it too. She always catches herself when she loses balance and then stands right back up and keeps at it. I am so, so, so, so proud! 

One thing I'm not too thrilled about is her sleep arrangements. I'm not too sure if it's due to the time change but she was doing just fine for awhile. Before daylight savings she really wasn't on too well of a schedule, she would go to bed whenever the hell she wanted but would usually sleep til eight o'clock in the morning, if not nine. For the first few nights of our new time schedule she did great. Surprisingly she didn't wake up any earlier than usual and even went to bed earlier. Then a few nights ago she woke up at four in the morning and decided she had enough sleep. She wanted to play. She finally fell back to sleep at seven, but it sucked so bad. The next day we kept her awake at bedtime a little longer than the night before and she woke up at six. That sucked too but was an improvement from the night before. The next night she didn't go to bed until eleven and woke up at eight. So much better than four or six. Tonight she went to bed at nine thirty, so it should be interesting to see how early she gets up in the am. 

01 November 2012

Baby Steps

Aside from yesterday being Natalie's first Halloween, it was the first day she walked completely unassisted!

Lately Natalie has been taking a few steps on her own here and there, but never as many as she did last night.

We were hanging out in our costumes at home with my sisters, nieces and nephew, waiting for my friend and her son to arrive.

My niece was holding a basketball and Natalie was holding onto a chair, just standing around. That's when she decided she was ready to let go of the chair and walk.

I tried capturing those very first steps on video, but just missed it. Luckily we got her to do it again, this time my sister held the ball and backed it away so she would move closer and closer.

She hasn't done it since, but we're taking baby steps to get there. I don't wanna rush her growing up or anything.

I am one proud mama.