Thursday, December 31, 2009
I have 2 things I'd really like to do this year. (Well, 4, but I'll touch on the others, too)
1) Lose fat. I'm seriously hoping to get pregnant this year, but I know that I can still lose fat content, even if I don't lose pounds due to the pregnancy. (Which is what I did the last time)
2) Start writing again. I know that I can write every day, thanks to NaBloPoMo. I mentioned at the end of that, that I wasn't crazy about writing 7 days a week, but I was inspired by Maggie who wrote a novel during the month of November for NaNoWriMo. I'm going to figure out monthly goals (since I've currently got no ideas, I'm going to have to start slow) and I AM going to stick to them.
3) Have a baby. Only God and nature can really control this, so it's a goal, and I'm going to do anything in my power to accomplish it, but there is truly only so much I can do.
4) Be a better mom. I'm on my way to this already. This new training system is really helping both her behavior and my temper. But there is always room for improvement. This will likely be one of those that I renew every year for the rest of my life, no matter how well I do the year before. It was certainly on my list for 2009.
What are YOUR goals for 2010?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
1. I am a better mother when I am caffeinated. (Also see: I am a better parent with a shot of espresso)
2. I like being a mother better when my child is well-behaved. (Also see: It is easier to like her when she isn't driving me crazy)
The first is obvious. I get caffeine withdrawal headaches and nobody is a good mom when they have a headache. Also, the extra energy burst can't hurt when functioning on the small amount of sleep attributed to mothers of infants, or when chasing a very active toddler.
The second seems obvious, but until we started this new system that we've been using, I didn't realize that 1) it was effecting me as much as it was and 2) it actually could be noticeably better than it was.
We are using the book "To Train Up a Child" (I can't remember the first name of the man, but it's written by a married couple with the last name of Pearl and her name is Debi). They stress the idea of "training" more than discipline. Basically, teaching the child your expectations instead of reacting to a new negative behavior. It is really working for us.
My sister gave me the book (also a couple of others along the same vein) and it's kind of nice to think that I've got a few of my sister's child-rearing secrets up my sleeve. Most of the time, my nephews and nieces are incredibly well-behaved. (They have annoying moments or habits, but who doesn't?) But the biggest thing is that they obey as soon as they are told something. And that, to me, is priceless.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
In the morning when she (finally) woke up (I do not expect this to last to next Christmas - I believe this is the last Christmas we will be sleeping in for at least the next 20 years...) she began opening presents, but ultimately got tired and distracted by that, so had 2 more to open later on. Of course, one of them was her big present (a doll) from Santa. She loved them. Wanted to play with them all as soon as she opened them. She's fascinated with all her new things and flits from one to another when we leave them all out. (I'm working on getting her to pick up things when she finishes playing with them, but I imagine this will be a long process, though I admit that she is doing a pretty good job).
My mom had made a big deal about wanting to come over early to exchange gifts before everyone else came over. Of course, she didn't show up when she said she would and was in fact, running so far behind that she also hadn't yet actually cooked the casserole she was responsible for bringing...
The family began showing around 1:00 and everyone was here by 2:00. We began serving around 2:30. It was a happy time - we all had more than enough food and fellowship.
It was a wonderful Christmas full of family and laughter.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I had my last work day of the week today! Here's to 3-day work weeks, let me just say. I could so deal with that. Now for the cleaning frenzy. It's too bad that I'm not in the mood. guess I'd better snap out of that, huh?
We're working on a knew behavior technique with the Fuss. (Side note: I asked her what her name was today and she answered, "Fuss." I guess I call her that often enough that she thinks it's her name. Huh.) It requires me to be more active with her (in other words, I have to be more on top of dealing with problems, regardless of what I am doing at the time) and sometimes it requires us to be more stubborn than she is when we need to get our way (not your will, but mine!) but so far, it seems to be working. And mostly I'm able to keep my temper by nipping it in the bud before things get out of hand. But I need to learn to think about what I'm telling her to do before I say it, since I then have to act immediately if she disobeys. On the other hand, she's learned the word "obey" rather quickly.
I am very much looking forward to this weekend - we even have a few hours of babysitting (Thanks to Aunt "Yass") on Saturday and Daddy Fuss and I are going to a movie! I cannot wait.
*Taken from what Disney musical? Do ya know it? And if you don't, you should.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
All of the presents on my list (and a few that weren't on my list) have been bought, my 23.5 lb turkey (Archibald, but we call him Archie) is hangin' out in my fridge and my Christmas cards have (finally) been sent. Those who live across the country (hi, Maggie) will likely get theirs after Christmas, but the cute smile on my baby girl will be worth it anyhow.
I have cleaning to do, of course, but most of it is manageable. My husband spent 2-3 hours on Sunday in the kitchen making casseroles for the week so we don't have food prep to deal with, messing up the kitchen. I even made a killer batch of spiced pecans yesterday and I must say they are delicious. Yum.
I've had a few spasms of sadness the last few days, thinking about the baby that I lost - when it's been awhile since I thought about it, it hurts more the first time. We're in full-swing trying again and I might know by New Year's (which would be nice, since we have plans that involve alcohol for the non-expecting). Since the only thing I truly want for Christmas for than anything is the one thing no one can give me, (a baby) I am much more laid back this year about what I am being given. I am so excited for Fuss to open her presents - I think she's going to be fascinated. And I am incredibly relieved that I will be able to trade out the board books we keep at work for some that I don't have memorized, ha ha.
In case I don't get back on here for the next few days, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope that your time with family and friends is joyful and that you make the time to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. I'm searching my house for my copy of "The Mark of the Maker" which is my favorite version of the Christmas story - a version that makes the story a lot more personal. If you ever have the chance, I suggest you read it. It gives a lot more depth to the personality of Joseph, especially.
Friday, December 18, 2009
2. I wanted to have a small gift for the cousin's kids that would be in attendance during gift-opening time. I had no idea what to get an almost-3-yr-old boy and just-barely-1-yr-old girl (I should know that, though, huh?) that also didn't cost much since I hadn't budgeted for those gifts originally. I called my friend Meg who has a 3-yr-old son for ideas for the boy and scoured the aisles at the -Mart store I was at for an idea for the girl. Ultimately, I ended up with a set of Hot Wheels cars for the boy and bought some pretty nice board books at the dollar store for the girl (one of Fuss's favorite things is books, and that's been the case for awhile, so I figured, why not?)
3. I haven't bought our turkey yet. Is that bad?
4. I'm tempted to buy disposable cooking dishes for both the turkey and the stuffing and anything else I've committed to making so that I have even less to deal w/ post-Christmas. Is that wasteful and completely horrible for the environment?
5. We never got our outside lights up and the only opportunity we will have between now and Christmas is this weekend. Is it silly to put up the lights a week before Christmas? We usually take them down shortly after New Year's.
6. I had the worst time picking out the template for our photo card, because for some reason, my standard-size picture wasn't fitting properly on the cards, why is that? But I found one that I liked, so there we go. I'm not nearly as impressed by this year's picture as I was by last year's (last year we had a friend who is a professional photographer take our pics and the only problem with it was that 9+ month old Fuss wasn't smiling).
7. My under-tree is overflowing with presents. We have an antique trunk that we set up our half-sized tree on, and I just ran out of room this year. I had to set up a box to the side of the trunk to set the over flow on. And I'm so happy with how pretty they all look - everything is gold, silver, red and white and it's all shiny and pretty.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009
This week has been hectic.
I have been frantically trying to finish my Christmas shopping and I will have everything done (with the exception of my MILs gift, which I have NO idea what to get her...) by tomorrow. I have found a bunch of stuff for Fuss and it's mostly little stuff, but I think she'll like it. Her favorite stuff these days are balls and books and I got her a bunch of new books (also this is a bit of a selfish gift, I admit. I have so many of her books memorized and I need some new material) along w/ new PJs, an outfit, playdough, crayons and coloring books, and a doll. I'm really happy to have a bunch of things under the tree for her this year - since she was so young last year and we had no money, we went really cheap and let the relatives spoil her.
I got a bunch of stuff for Daddy Fuss, but since he periodically reads the blog, I'm not going to write it here. (Confidential to my husband: Ha ha, ho ho, I know something you don't know.) But I'm pretty sure he will be pleased and also maybe pleasantly surprised.
I'm picking up the things for my mom and step-dad today and I got my dad a cool tool (he loves tools) and my psuedo-step-mom a bottle of wine that is better than my Dad's usual cheap stuff, but still at least of the proper description (red, very sweet). Tomorrow, I'm picking up the Christmas cards and pictures (along w/ diapers, since I'm getting them from Sam's and that's the place I get her diapers). I bought this cute little bowl to fill w/ the spiced nuts I usually make (my mom's recipe - they are excellent) for my friend Jo, but I haven't gotten around to actually making the nuts, so I'm really hoping to get that done on Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed.
So my Christmas cards will be a little last-minute, but I think it will all work out in the end.
I would be stress-free if my house wasn't STILL a disaster.
I can't seem to get my kitchen clean. I spend time working on it, but then I run out of time and by the time I get back to it, it's back to it's disaster state again. And did I mention that Fuss emptied an entire salt shaker on my bathroom floor the other day? It's still a little gritty, despite vacuuming, swiffering, rag-cleaning, etc. Will have to do something more about that, as well.
I did, however, get almost all the laundry done (including folded and put away - still have a little to do, but I am very impressed with myself about this) and finished cleaning almost all of the big pots and such in the kitchen.
Have I mentioned my husband's foray into wine-making? My step-dad started making his own wine in college and my husband and my sister both asked him to teach them how to do it. They had their first wine class over Thanksgiving break and my husband got very excited and began his wine making. We have 2 1-gallon jugs of wine-in-the-making on my kitchen counter (we have GOT to find a better place to store them!) and since there isn't that much space to begin with... that's part of my kitchen is such a disaster.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
1. If you could change anything about your physical appearance, what would it be?
I have a list. But right now, my number one thing is my weight. I struggle so much and I'm back up to my highest weight when not pregnant. But I have dieting issues (too much protein gives me kidney stones, etc.) and I hate to exersize and I don't know what I'm doing in that dept, so other than to walk I'm useless) so I really have a hard time taking it off. I also hate my freckles.
2. Is there a habit in others that you find annoying?
I have a friend who is perpetually late - like 30 minutes or more. That really annoys me. And she was that way even before she started having kids, so she can't blame it on the baby. She was 45-minutes late for her own baby shower. I think it's careless and disrespectful of other people and their time.
3. What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?
Probably the stuffed peppers we make, but I have to say that the spicy meatloaf I made this weekend was FABulous.
4. What was your favorite book as a kid?
One of the ones I remember reading a gazillion times as a child was called Jamie and the Mystery Quilt. No idea where that one ended up. It was a chapter book, a mystery, and I read it probably 12 times, easily. I also really liked Beverly Cleary books (Beazus and Ramona is a favorite).
5. Did you work as a teenager and if so, where?
My parents owned their own business (a dry cleaners that still belongs to my dad) and I worked there with regular hours starting at age 12 (child labor laws don't apply when your parents own the place) and worked there until I graduated college. I work there now, too, since I can bring the Fuss with me.
6. Did you work while in college and if so, where?
My freshman year, I didn't work except over winter break (approx 6 weeks) because I was away at school without a car to get anywhere. It was the only time in my life I didn't have a job. When I came back home after that first year, I went back to work for my dad and ended up running the place by the time I was 20 (when my parents split and my mom left the company).
7. When you go to sleep do you like total darkness or semi? When you go to sleep do you need quiet or is some noise ok?
Dark. The darker the better. If we spend the night in a hotel, I bring a sleep mask to block out the inevitable light leaks. I prefer the quiet. My SIL sleeps with the TV on and I can't stand that. Unless I am so exhausted I'm ready to collapse, I can't sleep with the TV on.
8. When doing laundry, fabric softener or not?
I use the dryer sheets, but rarely use the liquid. I lost my Downy ball, so that's part of the reason I'm not using the liquid stuff these days.
9. Open toed or closed toed shoes?
Mostly closed toes, but I do have a few sandals and strappy shoes that I love to wear when I have a fresh pedicure.
10. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
Deaf. Partially because I took ASL in college, learned to sign and learned so much about the deaf culture it wouldn't freak me out as much. But also because I love to sit and read and you can't do that (as easily) when you are blind.
11. Dangle or stud earrings?
12. Bottled water or tap?
Tap at my house or my mom's, or here in this county, but if I go to other places, I prefer bottled.
13. What do you put on pancakes?
A little bit of butter and some nice maple syrup. I drizzle a little on top and then make a puddle on the side to dunk it in. Unless they are pancakes w/ strawberries and then it's just strawberries and maybe a light dusting of powdered sugar.
14. On a long trip would you rather drive or fly?
Fly. I don't particularly care for car trips, and as a kid, I used to get carsick (never got airsick, though). The only person I have ever truly enjoyed a long car ride with is my husband, but now that we have the Fuss, even that is done, since we hate to travel long-distances with her (or more aptly, she hates to travel long distances and lets us know it).
15. Do you prefer classic old movies or new?
I appreciate the classics and love a bunch of them, but my favorite movies are more the modern classics (While You Were Sleeping, You've Got Mail, The Notebook, Sleepless in Seattle, etc.)
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Add to that that Fuss threw a HUMONGOUS fit in the parking lot after my morning walk, throw in the in inevitable headache that is pounding in my head and pile on the list of things to do this week (I got so much accomplished yesterday and yet, my list keeps on growing, how is that?) and I am one very tired, stressed, and busy Mama.
We had a "Christmas dress disaster" over the weekend, where Fuss's Christmas dress didn't come out of the wash-before-wear process in the same condition it went in... The family photos we took for our Christmas cards are all out of focus (retakes tonight, I hope) and my house is a disaster. Seriously. I don't know what is going on here, but I'm not usually one of those Christmas-makes-me-stressed sorts, so I don't get it. Maybe it's just all hitting me at once.
I'm working on a couple of posts about what gifts I'm giving this year and which ones I'd like to give. Budget cuts, you know? I love giving gifts, especially at Christmas, so this whole buying on a budget thing kinda stinks.
My husband the computer geek thinks our IPS-supplied modem may have died (again) and so who knows what my internet status will be in the coming days. I hate being so absentee, especially since I quit journaling a few years ago and this is my only record of my life now. Sigh. Hope you all are having a great pre-Christmas time and are looking forward to celebrating the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Christ and love and family.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
My internet has been horrible this week. We don't really know why. But today, Saturday, is the first day I haven't had to STRUGGLE to read my email (more than 80 new ones), blog reading, and do any sort of online shopping/searching that I need to do. Hopefully, whatever problem I was having has been resolved.
I've done a good chunk of my holiday shopping, I've baked 2 kinds of cookies, I bought Fuss's Christmas dress, had it cleaned, freaked out when it fell apart, and replaced it with another. Fuss helped pick out the present she's gonna give her Daddy, and figured out what to get my step-dad. And more.
I worked, of course, and had my usual "odd schedule" so I could go to MOPs on Friday and do our cookie exchange (there were some amazing creations in my take home package. I only wish I knew what they were and who made them.)
I've done laundry, kept my husband happy, re-read a short trilogy and restarted the Twilight books (I'm on to New Moon already). I even had 2 hours Fuss-free on Friday when my SIL took her to give me some down time. Tonight is our first Christmas party of the season, and Fuss will be adorable in her red and black outfit (that I still need to post here...)
I've battled headaches and some major back issues this week, but have remembered to temp for the last 5 days, so I'm pretty proud of myself.
We've watched some favorite Christmas movies (Love, Actually and Miracle on 34th St - the original) and drunk egg nog and Kahlua and creams. And cookies, lots of cookies.
I even made a reasonably spectacular meatloaf last night.
I am tired. I have missed my internet, my Facebooking, my blog reading (Maggie is the only one I was able to read this week - even more often than I read my email), and also my blog writing. I might not be the most interesting of bloggers, but I like doing it.
I look forward to getting back in the game this week.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Plus, there isn't that much interesting going on around here right at the moment. We did some Christmas shopping over the weekend and got Fuss's Christmas dress. Not the one I wanted (didn't have it in her size. I was seriously contemplating trying to squeeze her into a size 18 mos for a minute there but then thought we'd have a repeat of the plaid dress from last year, so...) and we will be borrowing the backdrop of my mother's Christmas tree over the weekend to take some family pictures. We have our first holiday party this weekend (Sunday School group) and our other one next weekend (youngest SIL's annual bash with a stated end-time of 1:30am. Yeah. We'll be leaving early)
But! I have a pictures! Of a cute toddler! That blogger won't let me load, apparently. Huh. I thought something looked odd. Well then... maybe tomorrow?
Friday, December 4, 2009
1. I got AF this morning. Finally. CD1. But now I'm so achy and crampy that I want to go curl into a ball and be a blob. The dark, rainy, cold weather that just swept in doesn't help - this is the kind of weather that makes me long for a cup of hot tea, a cozy blanket and a good book with no where to be and nothing to do.
2. This morning at work, a customer brought Fuss a present. She has a 3-year-old grandson and has no prospects of more grandkids in the near future, so she often gives her outgrown toys to us. Most of the time they are in pretty good condition and she has saved me some money in the past, giving us items that we would have bought and items that we'd like but couldn't afford to get. I think Fuss might have more toys at work than she does at home. Anyhow, her present today was 2 baby dolls in a basket and a blanket for them. This is really nice since the dolls look practically new, but I'm slightly bummed since Fuss's big present for Christmas this year is her first baby doll. But she had so much fun playing with them this morning, that I'm letting my disappointment slide in response to her joy. One baby comes with a bottle and it feels as if it should do something other than simply hold the bottle in it's mouth (something solid in the cloth body) but I haven't found an opening for a switch or battery, so maybe not. The other doll has a pacifier and when it comes in contact with the baby's mouth, the baby fusses, sucks, giggles and if you leave it in long enough, the baby falls asleep. The eyes scrunch up, it's face moves and when it falls asleep, the tummy rises and falls. Fuss is fascinated.
3. Friday mornings we often let her sleep in and my husband brings her to me on his way to work. This way I get a little peace, he gets some one-on-one time with her, and everybody is happier for it. This morning he brought her in, all dressed up in a bright, festive outfit. I thought she looked like a bright bit of Christmas.
4. I need to make cookies this weekend. I used to start my holiday baking on Thanksgiving weekend every year, but lately, haven't been as motivated. (One year I made a dozen different types of cookies, 2 types of fudge and 1 type of chocolate bar thing - I have yet to even attempt that many varieties, though it was fun while it lasted.) But next week we have a cookie exchange for MOPs, so there MUST be cookies made before then. My husband's favorite are Cowboy Cookies and my favorites are Snickerdoodles. (also my grandma's gingerbread cookies, but I cannot stand making cutout cookies by myself. I always have such a terrible experience that they rarely get even as far as having more than 2 or 3 to decorate, which is my favorite part. I wish my local supermarket would make a plain gingerbread cutout cookie that you could decorate yourself...)
5. About half our Christmas decorations are up. The inside is all but done and I've done my part of the outside ones (door wreath, and entryway decorations) and Daddy Fuss needs to put up the lights this weekend. He never gets home before dark these days, so it has to be the weekend.
6. We are wanting to take a long weekend vacation in the spring, just the two of us. Possibly our "last hurrah" if we get pregnant soon since we likely won't be able to get away for any length of time from a baby. We are trying to figure out how to afford it. I want to do it, but so often I wonder if travel is really just a way to blow money. You get nothing tangible from it (unless you buy souvenirs) and while the memories are important, I always wonder if doing something constructive with that time and money would be a more responsible way to go. I guess I just feel guilty planning trips when there are more practical things to do, and yet, I reallyreally want to do this, to have some time to relax and enjoy and be with my husband and enjoy a place we both love. I guess it's a conundrum to say the least.
7. Last weekend I went to that baby shower for my childhood best friend and I saw her with her 2 SILs. Kate grew up with 2 brothers and as kids it was always the boys vs. the girl in that house. Sure, they loved each other in that "you're my family" sort of way, but to say they were friends would have been laughable. Post-college, they all ended up in a N FL city together and chose to live together, which always amused me. Now, all 3 are married to some terrific people and as I watched her with her SILs, I was a little jealous. They were friends. Close friends. My whole life, I wanted a sister and I married into a family where my husband has 3 and we have nothing in common and at the beginning at least, they didn't even like me. (We're beginning to forge a friendship, but they still aren't the type I can call up and shoot the breeze with, or beg them to meet me for coffee so I can escape the house). I know I'm not the only one with in-law troubles, but sometimes I wish for a different scenario.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
This morning I had the thought, "do I need another baby?" and was able to answer myself that yes, I really wanted another baby. A sibling for Fuss, another infant in my arms, etc.
Now I'm not so sure.
I just had the biggest fight with Fuss that I've ever had. We went into Target after work. She was still awake and seemed happy enough. When we pulled into the parking lot, she said "walk!" happily enough. She wanted to walk instead of ride in the cart, so I put her in the monkey back pack (has a leash) and off we went. I was only going in for a few small things, so I let her carry one of the handheld baskets. Worked for about 30 seconds when she decided that she wanted to explore the lingerie department, which, I wasn't planning to do. I cajoled and begged her to behave, gently directed her the direction I wanted to go, but to no avail. Every time I'd get her to take a step in the right direction, she would then run 3 steps the other way. The straw that broke the camels back was when she picked up a package of Plus-Sized underpants that had fallen off the rack and put them in her basket. My rear has gotten bigger recently, but I'm not quite to that point, so I put them back on the wall. And immediately had an explosion in the form of a 21-month-old on my hands.
At that point, I figured my shopping wasn't all that necessary and I scooped her up (she then threw the basket) and we left the store. Halfway through the parking lot she stopped fighting me and screaming and said "walk! walk!" so I set her down and continued toward the car. She had other ideas and tried to head back to the store.
I picked her up again and carried her, kicking and screaming, to the van. But trying to get her into her seat was a whole other story.
I kid you not, she screamed at me (no! NOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOooooo!) for 15 solid minutes. Didn't let up for a second. In the middle of the Target parking lot. With people watching. I was so embarrassed. They must have thought I was kidnapping her or something. Thankfully, no one called the police. Finally, I wrestled her into the seat and we drove home. She fell asleep in her chair.
I'm coming down off of it, but I am stressed and tired and I keep crying.
How on earth could I do this with 2? I can't seem to handle the one I've got.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I did it. I posted every day in November. I'm proud of myself. I'm glad I did it.
And I learned a few things. But the biggest thing I learned is that I like my 4-5 days a week posting schedule. I like not having pressure to post every day, but the expectation that I will post several times during the week (since it encourages me to post more frequently than I have in the past).
I learned that I am not always that interesting, but when I have emotional distress, my best way of decompressing from it is by writing, which I guess I always suspected, but I never knew for sure.
I learned that I am not always as eloquent as I'd like to be. But I'm hoping that with time, that that will improve.
I used to want to be a writer. I guess I still do, but I have no idea what to write, and I have no real inspiration. My best stuff in the past was really my character development. I could spend days and weeks writing the background info for the characters in my story and then either get bored with the story when I finally started writing or lose the plot in my head and not have a direction to go in. But I need to get back to my inspiration if I'm going to try and write again. But meanwhile, staying in practice, writing regularly on the blog is hopefully an exersize to help with that discipline. We shall see.