Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Turkey Days!?!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!  We certainly did!  We were able to visit with family members in three different states and enjoyed 3 big meals!  Good thing family meals are calorie free in my book!

This was the 2nd Thanksgiving without my Mom.  She was missed but I was glad that I got through the day remembering her but not grieving.  It was strange but I didn't get overly emotional until my ride home on Monday night after visiting my Dad.  It suddenly hit me that I had spent time with my Dad, my aunt (who's like a second mom to me), and my in laws... all the parent figures.  It's kind of a hard feeling to express.  It's a thought that caught me off guard and hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes life is just depressing.

On a positive note, Abby had a blast visiting everyone.  We even got a chance to take her to this awesome place, Edaville Railroad.  She got a chance to ride on a 'choo choo' and to meet Santa (which didn't go as well as I hoped).  She even ate her first lollipop, which was too stinkin' cute!  After the first taste, she paused and looked at me before letting out a great big 'MMMMM'.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

100th Post!

Wow.  I can't believe this is my 100th post.  It seems like something I should celebrate!  This little blog is really starting to grow and I have met some amazing people.  So many of you have had such kind words to say when I was down and made me feel not so alone when things get crazy.  Thank you!

I was thinking about what to write about for my 100th post and for a few days I couldn't think of anything that seemed special enough to dedicate this post to.  Until last night on my way home from the grocery store.  I was listening to the radio and the song "Highway 20 ride" by the Zac Brown Band was on.  I've heard this song a million times but for some reason, these lyrics really got me:

A day might come you'll realize
That if you see through my eyes
There was no other way to work it out
And a part of you might hate me
But son, please don’t mistake me
For a man that didn’t care at all

See, my Dad was that guy.  Except it was every other weekend that he would drive 2 hours from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to pick us up for a weekend.  He would get there Friday night or Saturday morning and drive us back on Sunday night.  That's 8 hours of driving just to get up for work Monday morning.

I know that if I go on too much, he'll be totally embarrassed so let me just say that he's gone above and beyond what is expected of any father.  He was there for all of us regardless of how we behaved or what we said.  He pushed me to go to school, was my rock throughout my mom's illness, and was still there whenever I made bad decisions.  Now that I'm a parent I dread the day that Abby puts me through what I put my parents through. 

If there was one thing that I could say my Dad has taught all of us, and continues to teach us over the years, it's food.  Without him none of us would be the food connoisseurs we are today.  Seriously, people are shocked the first time they have Sunday dinner with us.  Well, shocked first and then usually sick from over eating.  It takes a true connoisseur to know the proper way to navigate a Chinese Buffet.  Or how to order a White Castle cheeseburger... aka murder burgers.  Or that when eating at Rutt's Hut (a must if you're ever in Jersey!) always stand at the counter because the food just doesn't taste the same if you sit in the restaurant.  He's my go to guy for recipes, which I then make for family and pass off as my own.  He's also one hell of a baker!  These are priceless lessons from a one of kind Dad! 

Here we are on my wedding day.  Feel free to leave a comment about how much he looks like Al Pacino!  It'll really make his day!  

Sorry Dad if I embarrassed you but I thought for my 100th post I should honor someone who helped make me who I am today!  Thank you!
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Monday, November 15, 2010

"What Not to Wear"

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 14:  Stylists Clinton K...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Did you ever see that show, "What not to Wear?"  Or read the back page of Cosmo where they show pictures of fashion don'ts?  Well, there are days that I resemble the people they feature way too much.

Today, I actually went out to the grocery store in stretch pants.  Some may call them yoga pants but to me... STRETCH PANTS!  Pre-motherhood, I would have never been caught dead leaving the house like that.  I can see my picture now with that dreaded black bar over my eyes to protect my identity from my shameful decision.

Oh, I also had no makeup on and crazy hair.  Thankfully, it was clean hair.... just half curly, half straight, clean crazy hair.

Makes me wonder... where have I gone?  Yes, there are so many blessings that come with motherhood.  Yes, I am eternally grateful that my husband is able to pick up enough overtime so that I can stay home.

But, I think I'm in a rut.  With only one car, there are days that I don't leave the house.  Having nowhere to go, no time to be there, and no one to see is making it difficult for me to see the point in dealing with the hassle of getting a shower before 8pm.  With no shower comes no picking out outfits, doing of hair, or putting on makeup.  Leaving me feeling like I wasted a day.

The problem is that this is not a good routine for me.  I need to get ready for my day.  I need to feel like 'me'.  And I need to not be in a room full of mirrors with Stacy and Clinton telling me how many 'fashion no-no's' I'm currently wearing.

So, I've been bribing Abby to work with me on this.  I've been working out daily for the past couple of weeks.  At first, I only worked out when Abby was sleeping but I seemed to loose my motivation by the time she took a nap.  So, now I give her the portable DVD player, throw in a kid movie, and magic happens!  To think, there was a time when I swore that Abby wouldn't watch TV!

She's glued to the screen.  She carries her movie around with her if wants to sit somewhere else.  The most awesome part... she doesn't try to stand behind my butt when I do a squat!  

I even figured out how to get a shower afterwards by taking her in with me!  When I'm done, I let her stay in and play while I get ready in the bathroom.  I have to admit, I miss my privacy but this has so many advantages.  It gives me time to put face cream on.  Put lotion on my legs.  Put mouse in my hair.  It's wonderful!

If I do all of this before nap time then I even get time to catch up the things that I can't do when she's awake.  Fun things, like putting my clothes away in the bedroom or cleaning the bathroom or maybe even unloading the dishwasher!

I think I've finally figured out how to be 'me' and a mom.  That is, until she gets bored with the dvd player and goes through another phase where she doesn't like baths or showers (which happens out of nowhere and lasts for weeks).  Or perhaps she'll decide that she doesn't like taking afternoon naps anymore and our whole day will be turned around.  You ever notice that once you have things figured out, they change?

So, I'm curious, how do other mommas do it?  Anyone have a clever tip they can share?

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Friday, November 12, 2010

"What you've never had, you never miss."

Recently, stories about lottery winners have been catching my attention.  The most recent was the person who won $128,000 after purchasing a ticket at an 'adult' store in Michigan.  Michigan law states that lottery winners can not remain anonymous so this person's dirty little secret will be exposed once they claim their ticket!  To date, I don't believe they've come forward.  Since my days are typically filled with episodes of Caillou and The Wiggles, I could be wrong about that since I'm typically behind on the news.

The other story I heard was nothing short of amazing.  A Canadian couple won $11.3 million and gave $11 million away.  They helped out friends and family first before moving onto numerous charities.  The 78 year old wife, Violet, stated, "What you've never had, you never miss."  I love that!

We live in a world where more is better.  People are buying huge houses, designer clothes, bigger and better cars.  Here is a couple who is unfazed by extras.  They are happy with what they have, each other.  It's easy to focus what we don't have but this couple reminded me that most of us have more than what we need.

If by some miracle (since I never buy lottery tickets) I won, I would probably not be quite as generous.  I would definitely help out my family and give to charity but I would keep a little for myself as a cushion.  Being young and a parent, I sometimes worry about unemployment or illness... those things you can't control but leave you without a paycheck.  I would definitely want to make sure I had savings to tap into.

What would you do?  Would you give it all away, keep it, or be somewhere in the middle?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chaos, Craziness, and Laughs

The reality is setting in.  We are about to buy a house.  Right before Christmas.


We have trips planned around Thanksgiving.  There is holiday shopping to be done.  Packing and unpacking.  Cleaning.  Wrapping presents.  Meal planning.

Two years ago this wouldn't have phased me but now I have Abby.  Or, as I sometimes like to call her, Hurricane Abby.

On top of all the chaos, we only have one car.  About a month (or two) back a drunk driver hit Dan's truck and totaled it.  We didn't replace it because we were looking for a house.

So, it's hectic here and some days we're trapped inside.  The craziness is wearing off on Abby, who for some reason now calls me 'Bob' or 'Bobby'.  She refuses to say 'Mommy' and laughs every time I correct which leads me to believe that for some reason I remind her of a 'Bob'.  See, I knew some day I would be paid back for calling my mom 'Vagina' instead of 'Virginia'.  I'm sure she's laughing right now!

In addition to renaming me, Abby has been making the most of her days by acting like a loony bird.

She has even debuted a new facial expression which my sister informed me is a face that I make.

Great look, huh?  I really hope that's not a face I make often!  I also wish someone would have told me sooner so I could make a conscious effort to never make that face in public!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Dog Did It

Did I ever tell you that my dog is a monster?  Almost everyday, I fantasize about him running away or finding someone that just loves him and can't wait to take him off my hands.

I mean, I do love him.  I picked him (as my husband kindly reminds me every time I say he's a beast).  But he just drives me crazy on a daily basis.  He barks at everything from school buses to people when we're on walks, he's a nervous tinkler, and he sometimes has an issue with going to the potty in the house.

Sounds great, right?  Well, let me tell you how not so great it is.  Since we're buying a house and closing is a couple weeks before Christmas, we decided to start the packing early.  So, I'm in the process of decluttering, cleaning, and packing which means that most of the normal everyday stuff is pushed aside some days.  The other day, my apartment looked like a bomb went off.  You literally had to step over a mess of stuff to come in the door.

The plan was to get a bunch of it done during Abby's nap but about an hour into her nap there was a knock on the door followed by barking from my beast.  I went to the door and it was a termite inspector from the HOA.  I completely forgot they were coming to check out the apartments and was beyond mortified.  I let him in and explained how I was packing and have a baby and it doesn't normally look like this and how "oh my god, I am so embarrassed!!".  He was laughing and said not to worry so I put the dog in my bedroom while the guy checked everything.

Then, he needed to get into my room... where the dog was.  I opened the door and did a quick scan around the room to make sure there wasn't anything too embarrassing laying around.  I picked JR up, let the guy in, and as I'm walking down the hallway I hear something go 'ploop'.  I pause for a second in disbelief and think, "oh no, he didn't".  Then I turn and look, "oh yes, he did".

I quickly run to put the dog on the porch and clean up his mess before this guy steps in it.  I am successful and as he leaves I'm grateful that he come across the gift my dog left.

Hours... HOURS... later, I go into my room and on the side of the bed that I can't see from the door, there is a lovely present from my dog.  I am livid!  I am embarrassed!  I am ready to give him away!

I go out to the living and tell my husband what 'HIS' dog did and he cleans it up.  I tell my husband about the termite inspector and he says, "Don't worry, I'm sure the guy knew the dog did it."

I stare at him blankly for a second.  Are you saying that there's a chance the guy could have thought I did it?!?

I love animals.  I really do.  In reality, I know it would be hard to give him away because he's like family to me.  That being said... anyone interested in adopting a dog?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  We certainly did.  It was Abby's first time trick or treating and we tagged along with some good friends of ours who have a daughter Abby's age.  Watching the two girls figure out what was going on was more fun than I thought!  It was adorable.

When we first started, Abby took off running like a maniac down the street.  She didn't want to carry her bucket to the first few houses and at some houses she didn't even get candy.  But her AHA moment arrived when we were at this guy's house.  I think it might have been the moment both girls realized that all these people were giving them stuff.  Abby's never had candy so I'm guessing to her it seemed like she was getting treasures!  She dug through his bucket for a while and finally realized it all looked good so she tried to take the whole thing!  Too cute!

After that, she wouldn't let go of her bucket!  She would take breaks to rest but was very protective of her bucket.  She even held it on her lap the whole car ride home.  Well, until I realized that she bit open a Twix (her first candy bar!).  I took the bucket only to find out later that she had hid some in her car seat.  No wonder she was ok with me taking the bucket away!


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