Friday, December 31, 2010


I HATE New Years resolutions. I think I say this every year. Most people make a New Year's Resolution, screw up by the first of March and give up their pursuit of self-improvement. But I've got a few projects going on this year in that department - I'm ready to improve myself, my house, my life.

I'm reading 2 books that are supposed to help me with these goals. I'm reading Clutter Rehab by Laura Wittman who also writes the I'm An Organizing Junkie blog. I'm in need of some new tips to re-inspire me to get my house in order.

I'm also reading 48 days to the Work You Love. My husband read it and it inspired him to further educate himself and decide what direction he needs to pursue to get a new job that he feels he will actually like. He's been trying to talk me into reading it for months, but I've been dragging my feet and I finally agreed to do it and began it this past month. (It's slow going. See: 2 kids, holidays, etc.) But I'm motivated to get a better idea what I might be suited to. I love being home with my kids, but it depresses me to think that it's the only thing I'm suited for, when so often, I feel like there is something missing in my life.

My other project is to slim down and shape up. I've often said I'm out of shape, but if I'm honest, I can honestly say that I'm not just out of shape, I've never been IN shape. Starting at the age of 30, after birthing 2 children, I'm probably never going to be in super model shape (and I'm okay with that) but I can certainly improve from where I am currently, so I am motivated to do something at this point. Plus, once I reach my goal weight/size, I'm going to go buy some of those pretty clothes I've been drooling over.

I want my life to be more appealing. If this requires some effort on my part (it does - there is no "if" really) then I'm ready to step up and do it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some bits of randomness

  • Today is the anniversary of my favorite uncle's birthday. Yesterday was the anniversary of his death. Ironic, huh? All day yesterday I kept thinking "there is something significant about this date" but I couldn't come up with anything other than an obscure former co-worker's birthday. (We haven't kept in touch for over 3 years, hence the "obscure" title) Last night during one of my many wake-ups I realized that it was the anniversary of his death. I'll call my Gramma today to let her know I am thinking of her today.

  • Wouldn't it be nice to start the year off with a potty-trained toddler? Yeah. It would. But unless today and tomorrow get a miracle, I'll still be prodding her to pee on the potty instead of in her diaper/pull up/on my couch. (okay, so I stopped putting her in panties because of the one couch incident. Maybe I should say "on my floor" since that's usually what happened when I put her in panties.) She asked me for panties today and I told her that if she could keep her pull-up dry for a few hours, she could have panties. About 15 minutes later, she announced that she had to potty and we went, and she went, but we already had a very wet pull-up. Grrrr. So frustrating.

  • I got a great deal on a J Crew cardigan today online. My first J Crew anything, actually. I usually find their stuff too pricey for my budget, but this was a final sale price, plus 30% off, so... a $90 sweater for $20, including shipping and I'm psyched. I'm looking at a lot of cardigans lately because of the Emma Pillsbury inspiration. Her skirts, while adorable, aren't practical for my life, but I can do the cardigans without issue.

  • I am heading to Target today to buy some new bins. Fuss got a bunch of toys for Christmas that need to be contained, and they have these huge bins on wheels on sale that I think might fit ALL of our Christmas decorations. Wouldn't it be nice to just have ONE big bin and not have to spread 5 boxes all over my living room at Christmas time? Yeah, I thought so too. Step one to getting organized.

  • My husband got his wisdom teeth removed yesterday (2 of them) and he was going to try and do it with just novacaine. He passed out on them during the numbing process, so they had to put him under. Poor guy was so groggy afterwards. But he was really a great patient and was helping out with the kids by mid-afternoon. He felt well enough to go to work this morning (it was a half day, and there's no reason to eat up his vacation days for a half day if he's feeling okay, I guess.) I wouldn't still be in my nightclothes at 10:45am if he was home, but...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Want to shop

I've been spending a lot of time lately online window shopping. By that I mean I look and I search and I play around, but I don't buy. I'm still at a size that I'd like to slim down and I don't want to go out and buy a bunch of clothes just to do it again in a short time. However, I'm also very aware that my closet is very lacking.

I spend a lot of time looking at outfit ideas that often include
A) Items I can't afford even if I want to (Who would buy a $2000 clutch purse? I don't get it.)
B) Items I can't justify spending money on (like really adorable shoes that I won't wear very often)
C) Items that just aren't all that practical for the life I lead (dresses, dressy skirts, etc. Keep in mind I'm still nursing full-time so I'm lifting my shirt up ever 2-3 hours during the day and I spend a lot of time crawling around on the floor with my kids.)

But a girl can dream , right?

I've lost one jeans size (compared to my pre-pregnancy size) so that's a step in the right direction, and I'm planning to start some exercise (I got the 30 Day Shred DVD for Christmas) within the next week. (I was planning to start Monday, but the combination of the cold weather and a few much earlier than I wanted mornings with the baby and... I WILL start sometime between now and the 1st. I will!) So it's silly to go crazy with the buying...

But I want to SHOP! And I want pretty clothes, not just jeans and t-shirts. But when would I wear them? My reality is that I wear casual, functional, comfortable, washable clothes 7 days a week. I wear somewhat dressy clothes for a few hours on Sunday mornings and I sometimes dress up for an evening out with my husband or girlfriends. (I would say that it would be generous to say that I do this once a month.) And honestly, I am too practical to spend a lot of money on clothes I'm not going to wear.

I'm both talking myself into and out of buying clothes, all in the same post. This is the life I lead, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

10 on a Cold Tuesday

1. What was the number one item on your Christmas wishlist?
I didn't really have a number one. I wanted clothes. I also wanted an iPod, but I had no "have to" item on my list.

2. Did you get the number one item on your Christmas wishlist?
I got a few sweaters - some that I like (that I picked out myself) and one that I don't. (an unfortunate selection by my mother. she's usually so good with clothes for me and she really missed this time. I told her I wanted an embellished cardigan and I got a frumpy, plain one. That doesn't fit right and makes me look like I'm about 20 lbs heavier than I am.) And I got an iPod Nano that I love, but the earbuds have already died, so I have to go buy some new ones.

3. How long has it been since you’ve had a pedicure?
A couple of months. My mom and I go periodically. I think the last one was mid October for my step-brothers' weddings.

4. How cold is it in your city today?
Today was forecasted to be high of 52. Up from yesterday which was 49! This is cold for us. To give you an idea, the average temperature for December 27th (yesterday) is 58. So we're cold. I just turned up the heat.

5. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One. I recently gave up my body pillow that was my companion all through pregnancy.

6. Can you roll your tongue?
Nope. I once heard it was genetic, but both my parents can and my daughter can, so now I'm wondering if I'm a freak.

7. Do you always buy the same mascara or do you try new ones each tube?
I used to only ever use the freebies that they give you in the department store make-up counter gifts. If I have to buy some, I prefer to find ones with the conditioning stuff in a double-ended tube.

8. What’s your favorite cookbook?
Either our Betty Crocker one or the 3-ring binder I've created with our favorite internet/newspaper/magazine recipes.

9. What was your first pet?
My parents had a dog when I was born, her name was Duchess and she was a collie/shepherd mix. She ran off before I was really old enough to remember her (I was maybe 2?) A few years later we adopted a bird we named Feathers who had been hurt and rescued by my aunt. But I don't know that she was "mine". My very own first pet was a hamster named Cutie.

10. Do you wear jewelry on a daily basis?
I wear my wedding rings (nearly) every day. I usually wear a watch, though less often since the baby was born and only rarely since the gold plating has chipped off the edge and it now has a sharp edge that is causing a rashy thing on my wrist. I wear a necklace and earrings most days.

More 10 on Tuesday here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Haul

I had a pretty wonderful Christmas. My husband and family spoiled me, I spoiled my husband, everybody spoiled the kids and with very few minor incident exceptions Fuss was incredibly well-behaved and she had SO much fun playing with her new toys and entertaining everyone. The Little Man was adorable and cuddly and he loved all the attention and was more than willing to snuggle with every aunt or grandparent who wanted a few moments of snuggle time.

Fuss got a play kitchen from "Santa" and her stocking. (I now know why there was such a good price on the kitchen - we were up until 1am putting it together on Christmas Eve. You had to put apart every individual tiny piece, and it seemed to take forever.) Our plan on the Santa-front is the gifts in her stocking are from Santa and a big gift (yet to be determined if it will happen every year or not) will also be from Santa, but all the rest are from us. You can find the more specified list here. Her Aunt LP got her a soccer ball (she LOVES balls and her local aunts are slowly getting her a set of all the major sports balls - she has a volleyball, a softball, now a soccer ball - can you tell my in-laws love sports?) and she got clothes and such (about the only gifts that didn't get a ton of attention were the clothes. I remember thinking clothes were a boring gift when I was a kid, so I wasn't surprised or disappointed by her reactions.) and my psuedo-step-mom got her a dress that she loved (and so did I!) and her aunts and Grandma got her some nice clothes, too. She is going to be one well-dressed kid! My dad (Grandpa) got her a foam puzzle mat with all the letters and numbers on it to put in her room. It's great fun.

The Little Man got a bunch of clothes from the relatives, too. He got the stacking blocks, a stuffed Eeyore from our Disney trip, those colored rings that will help attach things/can be made into a chain, a hanging owl and from my mom, he got 3 envelopes containing money for outfits as the spring clothes start to come out, since she wanted to get him stuff he'd fit into in the future. My SIL found these neat blocks for him - they move and have different things on the sides that can be manipulated in different ways. Fuss is loving them, and I know he will, too when he's a little older and can really play with them. He also got a set of sensory balls from my dad.

My mom also got them some books, including the Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton.

I got a new iPod nano from my husband, a bunch of movies I wanted and a book. I also got Shape-ups shoes which I've been wanting for awhile. (I can't find a picture on the internet of the ones I got - they are much nicer than the plain, funky-looking ones that came out originally.) "The kids" got me a great package that included a fluffy, luxurious towel, a bath pillow (one of those waterproof ones that attaches to the back of the tub to make you more comfy when you're taking a relaxing bath) and a candle and lotions and bath stuff to help with said relaxation. It was an excellent gift to mommy from the kids. I also got a couple of sweaters from my mom, the book Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, the sweaters I picked out for myself from my dad, as well as some PJs. My sisters-in-law got us a framed picture of Fuss at the Busch Gardens Sesame Street section (she's being hugged by Grover!) as well as a Chris Tomlin CD and a Publix giftcard (our local grocery store). My stocking was overflowing - I got a new curling iron, a hand mixer and the Wicked soundtrack. I'm psyched. I also got a very-much-needed new razor (Venus Embrace) and some shower gel, etc.

My husband got a new laptop, Burn Notice Season 3, several programming guides he wanted, some new shirts and will get the movie Facing the Giants when my "guaranteed-by-Christmas" package arrives (hopefully today). He also got some labels for his wine, and a springform pan since he's been wanting to try his hand at making a cheesecake.

My mom gave us a check to buy the art of our choice to hang over the bed in our room.

My only frustration is that my MIL is a flake. On Christmas Day she "didn't have time to wrap" so she didn't bring over the presents for the kids. When she was here the next day, for another family gathering, she was going to give Fuss Candyland (isn't she still too young for Candyland? It's a cute idea, but...) and my husband asked her about the play food that she told me she was going to get her to add to her kitchen (this kitchen didn't come with food, unfortunately. She has been baking her Princess figures for 2 days now) and she said, " well, LP said she would get her some for her birthday" (in February). So my husband said, "didn't you buy her some?" (since she told me the other day that she had) and she said, "well, yeah, but I thought she could play with the kitchen for awhile and then when the newness wore off - boom! she'd have a new accessory for it!" My husband pointed out that she was baking princesses in lieu of food... so she agreed to give her the food "now" instead. Of course, she didn't have it WITH her, so... I have no idea when said play food will actually come. If I had known she was going to be like this, I would have bought it myself. I don't care about myself or whatever. Even the Little Man doesn't have a clue at this age, so it really doesn't matter. But I am incredibly frustrated that this somewhat needed accessory that she told me she was going to get for Fuss wasn't there for Christmas.
She is turning into her mother. Gma used to (routinely) "not have time to shop" (she had no life, I never understood this) and would have to get the presents for her grandchildren later (thus resulting in my husband rarely ever getting a Christmas gift from his grandmother.) I never understood this. It's not like Christmas can sneak up on a person, you know?

Overall, we had a very blessed Christmas. I loved setting to spend time with our families, the food my husband made (and everyone else, too) was wonderful. He tried a standing rib roast and crab au gratin for entrees instead of the traditional turkey. It was excellent. And we got rave reviews from the family, so we may do something similar in the future.

Friday, December 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes: Christmas Eve Edition

1. At 2 am I was lying in my bed attempting to get comfortable from the ache in my neck that was making my head pound (again) when I heard the baby start to stir. He was quite congested, poor little guy! He was having trouble breathing while lying down, so I fed him to calm him down and then tried putting him in the bouncy seat (sitting up) next to the vapor-plug to help him breathe more easily. That didn't last long, so by 3, my husband got up and took him into the living room where they both slept in the recliner. Wednesday, Fuss started in with the sniffles (I guess it was Tuesday night, really) and my husband came home from work on Wednesday with the same. I guess it was inevitable.

2. Thursday night some local workers busted through a 4-foot water main that caused little to no water for half the county for the evening/night. I was thankful that almost all of my laundry was done (and none of the stuff that wasn't was needed for the holiday!) but Little Man was supposed to get a bath and he couldn't.

3. I am even more grateful that we have water today. We're under a boil order (boil any water from the tap that you are going to consume) for the next few days, which is inconvenient, but manageable. But we were able to get showers this morning and the baby is now clean and I can do my dishes (which was the highest thing on the priorities for Christmas prep)! I am grateful to the workers and plumbers who worked through the night to get service back as quickly as possible. I am praying for the people in the immediate area of the break that still don't have water.

4. We were able to put two sizable checks in the bank yesterday thanks to the generosity of my Gramma and a payment coming through from one of my husband's freelance clients. I have no idea what to do with the money from Gramma - part of me wants to spend it on clothes and have some fun, but part of me wants to use it towards something more significant.

5. My shopping is done (and then some. Sometimes I think I have a shopping addiction at Christmas. I keep finding little things that I want to get, but that weren't on my original list or radar) and my own wrapping is done. We are hoping to put together Fuss's play kitchen while she naps today so that it is ready to put under the tree once we get her to bed tonight after we come home from my dad's house.

6. We are going to my dad's house for Christmas Eve dinner, as is our tradition. The year my parents split up, I began the tradition of hanging out with my dad on Christmas Eve (and when he was single, I spent the night at his apartment and we went to breakfast Christmas morning, then I'd go home to my mom and have our bigger family celebration that afternoon.) When he moved in with his girlfriend years ago, I would spend the evening with them and go home at the end of the night (at the time, often coinciding with C's exit to midnight mass) and then they began including Daddy Fuss and now it's such a thing that Fuss (and now Little Man) get to open their presents from Grandpa on Christmas Eve, even though both my dad and C come to Christmas dinner at my house on Christmas Day. I think my mom is jealous, but this year, we made the concession that she and my step-dad are coming late Christmas morning and enjoying brunch with us and a private gift-opening session with the kids. This is, in part, due to the fact that my mom went a little nuts with presents for Fuss this year and I don't want my MIL to be intimidated.

7. If I can get the house cleaned up, I am really going to enjoy this Christmas. I love the way Fuss's eyes light up when she gets excited and I know that some of her gifts are going to be big hits this year!

There are no Quick Takes at Conversion Diary this week, but I thought I'd do them anyhow.

Merry Christmas to all! I hope that we can all remember the Reason for the Season and spend time with our loved ones!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Random thoughts 2 days before Christmas

  • I survived my awful headache, and feel a bit better today. I NEED to go see the chiropractor, but I have no idea WHEN that might happen...

  • Anyhow, so lots of cleaning to do, but I think I'm done w/ the wrapping. Fuss is contentedly watching Mickey's Christmas Carol and my husband is "working from home" today and the baby slept through the night until 8:30 this morning! (Unfortunately, I was up for 2 hours on my own with a headache/neck ache. But I got to sleep in a tiny bit, so that was helpful.)

  • I plan to back one more batch of Snickerdoodle cookies today and then hand out some cookies to our neighbors. I made these great (and simple!) chocolate pretzel things last night, plus my Oatmeal Toffee Lace Cookies. I think I'm over the baking, but I have commitments to keep...

  • Last night my MIL called me, standing in front of some "play food" sets at a store. She said, "I gathered from our conversation last night that Fuss is getting a play kitchen for Christmas. Does she need food for it?" Apparently she didn't bother to read the email I sent her WEEKS ago after she asked what the kids would want for Christmas. I spelled out all the big gifts she would be getting for Christmas and listed some ideas for gifts. I practically did her shopping for her. And SHE NEVER READ IT. How hard is it to open an email that is labeled "Gift ideas for Fuss and Little Man" from your DIL? Why do I bother?

  • I have become interested in the style of Emma Pillsbury from Glee. (I am slow to the bandwagon, but I'm really getting into Glee. I am getting season 1 on DVD for Christmas and I'm psyched. We have been getting it from Netflix and I'm addicted. Anyhow, I got a new haircut with layers like Jayma Mays's hair (I'm not doing the flip, though) and I'm suddenly obsessed with cardigans and pencil skirts. I'm psyched to have $25 worth of coupons/Kohl's cash to spend at Kohl's the week after Christmas. I don't think I want to dress like that all the time, but it's cute and fun and girlie and preppy - all things I like!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

High-functioning Headache

We went to dinner with my husband's family last night - we were celebrating Uncle James' birthday (he lost both his SIL - our Gma - who was his closest friend and his wife this year. He has no other local family, so it was important to have a celebration for him.) On our way over, (it's a about a 40-minute drive) my back was really bothering me, but I just thought my muscles were sore from carting the baby around and maybe from working - stretching in ways I was no longer used to. As the evening wore on, my pain and discomfort grew and by the time we were on our way home, I had a full-blown tension headache that was threatening to make me scream.

I took some ibuprofen when we got home and tried to relax a bit. I was able to fall asleep and slept several hours, but when the baby woke me at 5am, my head was still pounding pretty hard. I got up and took some more ibuprofen and went back to bed after he ate. Two hours later, it was no better. I took a shower - often that helps - and it did help a bit, but as soon as I got out of the shower, it came back with full-force. (I considered calling my husband to come home, but I knew it wouldn't be possible. He is working from home tomorrow, and he's taking 1 or 2 days off next week to get his wisdom teeth removed.) I fed the baby and then took one of my prescription pills from when I was pregnant, assuming that they were okay while nursing.

Once it kicked in, I was feeling better. But there is still this nagging ache, but not as strong and somehow, it feels more "distant." I was able to meet up with my best friend and her boys for a last-minute trip to Kohl's (my current favorite store other than Target) and do some laundry.

I'm accomplishing stuff today, but I feel awful. I am grateful that I don't have to work today (as was originally assumed) and I just have so much to do! I'm hoping to clean up the living room and finish wrapping presents when the kids take their naps. But I may end up sleeping myself.

I confess that I have parked Fuss in front of the TV to keep her quiet. I have supplied her with snacks ranging from very healthy (grapes and yogurt) to not-bad-for-her (goldfish crackers) and she is happy and quiet. And that is what I need right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 on Tuesday

1. Do you do any volunteer work?
No, but I wish I did. I just feel like things are too busy right now - with the kids, with life, etc. I hope to once the kids are older, especially when they reach school age (if I am still blessed to be able to remain a SAHM)

2. Do you have night and/or morning ritual?
My morning ritual is to check my FB, my email, and a couple of blogs as soon as possible, ideally over my morning Coke. :)

3. Would you rather exercise or diet? Why?
Diet. I detest exercise.

4. If you would rather exercise, do you prefer going to a gym or working out at home?
I hate going to the gym.

5. What do you think is a huge waste of time?
Video games.

6. What is one way you save time?
I can't think of one right now. All I have is that I meal plan my weekly menu before we go to the store by looking at the circulars.

7. What is your current obsession?
Clothes. Too bad I need to lose more weight to fit into the nice ones.

8. What is a current obsession you can’t wait to pass?
Cookie baking. I think I'm over it, but I still have more to make.

9. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what book? Would you recommend it?
I've got Against All Odds on my Kindle right now, and I'm enjoying it, but the first chapter was slow, so it took me awhile to get into.

10. Since we had the 90s question last week, what’s your favorite songs from 00′s?
I am drawing a complete blank. All I can think of are 2 songs from Evanescence - My Immortal and Bring Me to Life. I love the instrumental music and the power in the singer's voice, plus the passion of the overall sound.

For more, click here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Stresses

My dad called yesterday in a panic. The one employee (working the counter) who wasn't brand-new is in the hospital. He's been having health problems for months, so this isn't a huge shock and he's been working 12-hour days while we train the new people at the other store, so that probably isn't good for him. But this means my dad is up a creek - again - the week before Christmas (our busiest week if things hold true to the past) and I have SO much to do...

My house is a disaster. I still have presents to wrap (and still have some coming in the mail, for that matter!) I have cookies and fudge to make and all sorts of craziness to fix up and organize. We're doing a slightly different Christmas dinner (though, I confess, my husband is taking care of all of that nonsense) so there is that challenge (I am increasingly worried that we'll end up calling out for pizza because it doesn't work out).

I LOVE Christmas time and I feel like there is so much going on that I can't enjoy it. I love watching Fuss and Little Man look at the sights and the lights that surround Christmas. Fuss especially is so much fun this year. I can't wait to see her open her presents Christmas morning.

I am trying to take a deep breath and slow down and enjoy my moments with her. This age only happens once.

I will work 2 days this week for my dad. But then, I'm putting my foot down. I will not work Christmas Eve. (let's see how well I do this when I'm actually talking to him, shall we?)

Friday, December 17, 2010

7 Quick Takes

1. I completely forgot to post yesterday. Just slipped my mind. Oops. I wonder if this is a sign that I'm getting old?

2. I am done - Done - DONE! with my Christmas shopping! I have some things to wrap and then all of my gifts are taken care of. I am thrilled by this, although I love Christmas shopping and giving Christmas presents! But dealing with the shops and the malls and such with 2 kids the week before Christmas sounds more like a nightmare to me!

3. The one exception to this is the gifts that my dad asked me to choose for myself and my husband. He basically gave me money and told me to find something for his girlfriend (birthday and Christmas), Little Man and my husband and myself. I am struggling with what to do for my husband and myself. On one hand, we could use the money for something bigger that we really want. On the other hand, he could have very easily just handed me money and said Merry Christmas if he had wanted to give us money, but he asked me to shop. I think he wants something for us to open on Christmas Eve at his house. I may have to venture out to the store and buy a sweater or something.

4. We are trying to decide if we want to do a non-traditional Christmas dinner. The current front-runners are a Cajun/Creole feast or lasagna. I would love to do the Cajun thing, but I fear that we would end up doing even more cooking than if we had a traditional dinner (everyone brings a side when we do traditional) and I don't really want to trash out my kitchen the day of Christmas with my husbands exuberant cooking fun new dishes!

5. My Christmas cards turned out beautifully. I am so happy with them! Thanks, Shutterfly!

6. The Little Man had a rough week with nighttime wakings/feedings. I don't know if it was weather related (it has been COLD here!) or what. Unfortunately, Fuss has also had a rough week, so both of us have been up with the kids multiple times in the night. Not fun.

7. I'm done working for my dad (again). I hope that both of these new people stick and that we don't have any more disasters in the employment department. I enjoyed getting a couple of paychecks, but it was SO hard on the kids. And on me. I'm glad to be done.

For more quick takes, click here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Etsy Giving

I LOVE Etsy. I shop their all the time. And by that, I mean I window shop because before this holiday season, I had only ever looked, not bought. There are some seriously creative and talented people out there. And I love stimulating the economy of individuals rather than the box stores (though you all know I LOVE me some Target.)

But this Christmas, I took the plunge and shopped on Etsy.

I actually bought this for my mom's birthday, which is less than 2 weeks after Christmas. She won't admit it, but it's a big birthday this year. It's from Artisan Handcrafted and it's real leaf jewelry. My mom is a nature nut and loves artsy jewelry, so when I found this, it was a no-brainer... except for which piece to buy. I have already received it and it is beautiful in person.

This is mom's Christmas present. (Though, I'm considering switching the two. I go back and forth.) It's from PixieDust and again, with the nature theme (mostly, my mom is easy for me.) and they have beautiful items from birds and trees to flowers, plus they offer Free Shipping! Again, in person, it is gorgeous!

I got some gorgeous labels from PoshGirl Boutique for my step-dad's wine bottles. (I may have also ordered some address labels for me and something for my husband, but I'll never tell.) The labels were custom made, so I can't show you, but suffice it to say that Traci was wonderful and helpful when I had questions and comments. She also makes fabulous note cards and business cards. (which I really want some calling cards for myself, but I'm resisting until after Christmas, at least.) The labels turned out beautifully! I am so excited to give them to my step-dad!

I considered ordering a few things for my psuedo-step-mom (like this) and also for myself (like this) since I'm doing my dad's Christmas shopping for him. But I'm holding off for now. (While both she and I would love these things, I need something immediately for her, since her birthday is 5 days before Christmas and I have everything else mail-ordered and I need to guarantee her a birthday present for her birthday. Also, it's not really my dad's style to buy artsy stuff, and I want these things to appear to be from him.)

I am also madly in love with these wine charms, which I am trying to convince my husband to let me buy for our New Year's gathering. (We're having a small low-key gathering of friends, cocktails, snacks and movies.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite kind of cheese?
On a sandwich? white American or provolone. But my husband makes this thing with Brie that is incredible, so that gets a vote.

2. Do you prefer fudge with or without nuts?
usually without, though nuts have their place

3. How do you feel about cats?
I like cats. They taste like chicken. (okay, so seriously, no, I do not eat cats. But that's what my husband always says to questions of that sort. We are dog people, not cat people. Mostly, cats annoy me.)

4. Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts?
You just named my 2 favorite actresses. I have seriously considered naming a child after both of them.

5. Do you wear a watch?
Religiously. (except for the last few days - my watch is starting to irritate my wrist. The metal finish is coming off and there is sort of a sharp edge to it... I need a new watch)

6. What are a few of your favorite songs from the 90′s?
Any top 40 hit by Celine Dion, Ironic, Insensitive, (the songs that defined my high school years...)

7. Do you like scented candles?
Depends on the scent. But I went through a Party Lite party phase and I have so many...

8. What do you like on your hamburger?
Ketchup, mustard, cheese and sometimes bacon.

9. How often do you cut your fingernails?
Often. But I usually do them a few at a time, as opposed to sitting down and trimming them all at once.

10. Do you sleep in socks?
Only when my feet are freezing. And since I sleep with a human heater in my bed, I often end up taking them off halfway through the night.

Check out Roots and Rings here for more 10 on Tuesdays.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things I've learned

Things I've learned from 30 for 30:

  1. Putting effort into your appearance - actually "Dressing" for the day, every day, is HARD.
  2. I need to lose weight. Taking a picture of yourself every day really tells you how you look.
  3. I feel better about myself when I put some effort into my appearance.
  4. I could use a few more basic pieces to add to my wardrobe, but it's not required to live.
  5. Looking nice can be difficult/require effort, but usually it's worth it.
  6. Dressing for the day is made more difficult when you are a mom of small children. Vomit, food, art supplies can randomly appear on your clothes and you have to evaluate if it's bad enough to bother to change. But if you put in a lot of effort to each outfit, then you just have to do it all over again when your child inevitably spits up half his lunch all over your lap/shoulder/hair.
  7. If/when I do this again, I think I will choose my pieces with a better idea of what I'm going to want. And I'll go to the dry cleaner more often. I get free dry cleaning - I really should take advantage of that.
  8. I need more jeans. One pair that fit just will not do.
  9. I need to update my wardrobe. Some of what I have in my closet dates back up to 15 years.
  10. I need to be more selective about what I own and what I buy and what I keep. I've got a lot of junk in my closet (still! and I just cleaned it out when I moved into the new room!) and I need to make sure what I have is actually useful pieces.
  11. I like shoes. I like cute shoes and pretty shoes. I love the way they look and I sometimes even have shoe envy. But I hate uncomfortable shoes. This includes most - if not all - heels. And I cannot justify buying cute shoes that I won't be able to wear. (plus, my lifestyle doesn't open itself up to the need for such things)
  12. Sometimes, it's a good idea to abandon my "Frumpy 30-Something Mom" style. (I stole this term from Maggie.) And sometimes, it's appropriate.
I may do this again. But I'll know better. I'll know to spread out my categories better and hopefully, I'll have a few better options in my closet next time.

Also: To celebrate the completion of 30 for 30 and the lift on the shopping ban, I went out and bought some new jeans. I needed them, since I went down another jeans size! Yeah me!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 30 - Tah Dah!

Wow. 30 days. I did okay, mostly. This last week has been hard because of the weather and also: I went back to work for my dad this week (to help him out, not because I was planning to) and there are certain things that are/aren't encouraged around there for various reasons. But anyhow.

My final outfit is:
Jeans (of course!), my tan long-sleeved v-neck (NY and Co - circa 2005?), my long blue sweater/vest (Dress Barn 2010), brown shoes. My dad even said I looked nice when I went in today. (Now that I mention it, it's the first time all week I've worn full make-up. Maybe that was what he was commenting on?)

I struggled the last couple of days. The "what do I wear that I haven't worn already?" dilemma. (Again, coupled with the cold snap we are currently dealing with - seriously, since I started this last month, our weather has dipped from highs in the mid-80s to lows in the low 40s. I have worn shorts and tank tops and now I'm having to resort to breaking out my winter coat! (or at least one of them. For a FL girl, I have a surprising selection of coats. And I keep seeing these really cute coats and thinking "ooh, I'd like to have that!" but then realizing that I really don't need it.) And Monday night we're going to have a chance for a freeze!) But then again, I shouldn't be surprised! This is Florida weather at it's finest - you never can tell what it will do!

I'd like to take this moment to mourn the passing of one of my favorite sweaters. It wasn't in my 30, so you never got to see it, but I loved it. It was a great color on me (sort of a 'blackberry" color - I got it last year from Loft - on clearance - when I was going through my "obsessed with the color blackberry phase") and when my new AC unit leaked in my closet a couple of weeks ago, something dripped on it that pulled color from a spot right in the middle. So I have this quarter-sized hot pink spot right around where my breast is and there is just nothing I can do about it. I am seriously bummed. I am also bummed that I only got to wear it once this season before I started 30 for 30 and now it is gone forever. Sad sigh.

There will be a separate post on what I've learned from doing 30 for 30. It was a good experience. It taught me a lot, got me out of some of my ruts, reminded me that I feel better about myself when I put some effort into my appearance.

Also, going back to work this week seems to have had a positive effect on my waistline, so I'll need to buy some new jeans soon (hopefully this week! when I get my paycheck!) and I'm very glad I didn't drop a size at the beginning of 30 for 30 or I would have been in a boat-load of trouble!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 29 (Thursday)

I don't know why I hadn't thought of this outfit before - it's not that unusual for me to layer this blouse over a neutral smaller top, but for some reason...

My brown t-shirt (Target), under my blue, tencel button-down blouse (Dress Barn, circa 1999) and my jeans. Work is limiting my accessory choices - the long necklaces and dangling scarves aren't even remotely practical.

Tomorrow is my last day. I have NO idea what I'm going to wear. None. Blanking completely. But I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 28 - I'm Switzerland

And by that, I mean I'm neutral. (or I was on Wednesday)

I went very neutral today. I wore my tannish long-sleeved collared shirt and my beige khakis with my brown shoes. I also tried something new with my hair and did a loose pony tail, inspired by my cute toddler, but it looks way cuter on her. Ah well, you win some, you lose some, right?

This week was our first big cold front, and I'm having trouble finding warm enough clothes to wear from my 30. But almost done!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 27 - speedy-like

No time for an in-depth post, but as I'm getting closer to the end of the challenge, I want to get this out here...

Tuesday, I went to work for my dad and since it's cold out and there is no heat except for what steam is generated by the machines, I had to make sure to dress warmly, but so that I could still nurse easily.

Khaki pants (origins unknown - at least 3 years old, probably longer), green long-sleeved t-shirt (Loft), and blue corduroy blazer (Cold Water Creek), brown shoes (Penney's - several years ago).

I never would have paired this blazer with this shirt if it weren't for 30 for 30 (though to be honest, I might have just thrown an old performance fleece over the whole thing if it weren't for 30 for 30, so my dad should be thankful to Kendi for my improved appearance.) I don't know why, but I try not to put that many solid colors in the same/similar saturation together. It's not even really a conscious thing (I had to rack my brain for why I don't do that). I also added my green and silver long necklace that I love so much (notice how I've gone from calling it my mom's necklace to mine - subtle, don't you think?)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 on Tuesday

1. What do you order at Starbucks?
Currently, a tall Caramel Brulee Latte (one of their seasonal drinks). I also love the seasonal Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. If there is no favorite drink in season, my standard is a Caramel Latte. (can you notice a theme?)

2. Where is your favorite place to eat breakfast?
Depends on my mood, but I had a terrific breakfast on Sunday at IHOP. I also love Einstein's Bagels, Panera, and a bakery near me called Frida's. Formerly, my husband and I had a little place called The Java Bean Cafe up the road from our first apartment. We got to know the owner and were there at least once a week for breakfast (usually on the weekends and sometimes more often.) She made beignets that reminded us of Cafe Dumonde in New Orleans and a Cuban sandwich omelet that was awesome.

3. Are you on Twitter? Why or why not?
Yes, because I followed some bloggers over there. I haven't spent much time there lately - when my husband requested that I stop receiving messages on my cell because we have limited texts and I was going over because of twitter. I don't think about it as often now.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Used to be White Christmas, now is Love, Actually w/ White Christmas as a close 2nd.

5. Are you a good gift giver?
I try to be. I LOVE giving Christmas gifts, especially. And to those who are special in my life I put a lot of effort into finding the perfect gift.

6. Do you like your handwriting? Bonus points for posting a picture.
Yes. But I confess, I stole it from my sister. (I hated my handwriting in middle school and my sister had this fabulous handwriting, so I started to copy it. It is now a tweaked version of such, and I think it's great.)

7. Is your signature legible? Bonus points for posting a picture.
Mostly. :) I wouldn't post a pic because that would reveal too much. :)

8. Have you ever been to New York during Christmas season?

9. Are there any items that you are completely brand loyal?
Completely? I can't think of any. There are certain things that I'll pay a bit more for over another (I'd rather have a Coke, wipe my rear w/ Charmin, brush my teeth with Arm and Hammer, fill my bowl with Publix brand ice cream)

10. Who is your favorite public speaker?
Wow. Random. I don't really have one, but if I had to choose, maybe Elizabeth Dole? I remember really liking her speech when her husband was running for President.

Monday, December 6, 2010

back to work (day 24, 25, 26)

Whose idea was THIS?

My dad lost 2 employees with no notice and was already short handed and somehow my offer of help became a regular gig. I am stressed and really, really unhappy. I worked on Friday, and while I am happy to help him and having a little extra cash, especially at Christmas time, is awfully nice, I am just... I don't want to do this.

It is HARD with two kids. I'm dealing with an active toddler and an infant who eats every 2 hours, pretty consistently. I'm also still dealing with spotty sleep, as Little Man can't decide if he truly is one of those kids who can sleep through the night or not. (He'll do it for a day - maybe 2, but then we have an awful night again where he wakes up after 4 hours and wants to eat again, 2 hours later after that, too!)

I just don't want to do it any more. I don't like this job. I really never have. And my dad brought it on himself by not thinking before he speaks to his employees and saying something insulting. But if I don't help out, he's sort of screwed.

What I've told him is that I will do it until the kids can't anymore. I don't imagine that it's going to go over well with Fuss. And I have way too much to do before Christmas to do this every week, 5 days a week. He is going to have to find someone, and FAST.

Friday, I was having trouble putting together an outfit. I had nothing clean! I had dropped my dry cleaning off the night before to my dad, which was how I got roped into helping him out that day. I managed to put together a cute outfit, with shoes I later regretted. I wore my jeans, my black v-neck Tee and my blue blazer. I paired it with simple jewelry because I thought I'd be lifting clothes for at least part of the day (I did) and my boots because I had no idea I'd be on my feet for 4.5 hours straight (I was. The shoes were a mistake).

Saturday I wore my khakis because I was in the mood for something different and my cream t-shirt with my brown argyle cardigan. I wore my cross necklace and no earrings because I was going for simple and couldn't come up with anything interesting.

Sunday, we finally made it back to church after several weeks off. The kids have been sick and Daddy Fuss and I have been suffering from ennui, so we've skipped more than I usually like to. I finally got to break out my black dress (Walmart) and got to wear my pearls. I paired them with my diamond and gold and silver hoop earrings, my black heels and I added a cream colored cardigan for warmth. (By midday when I was able to take the picture, it was warm enough to take off the sweater.) I changed later, but kept on the pearls and noted later in the day that "pearls make everything more elegant." It's true, you know, they really do.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I've been without internet for almost 2 full days, due to our modem dying and now I'm tipsy, so this is just to assure you that I am alive and I will post regarding my latest fashion conquests soon. also christmas shopping and potty training.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Man, I feel like a Woman (Day 23)

Okay, so I couldn't think of a better title than that.

I have been planning this outfit - at least in part - since the beginning of 30 for 30. At least the tie with the button down. It was inspired by the episode of Gilmore Girls where Richard and Emily do their vow renewal and Rory is the "best man." (for those who care, episode 5.13 Wedding Bell Blues - I was almost positive it was season 6, but I was wrong.) Then I got this new hat and, well, even better! I was excited about it. But when I met up with my husband for lunch, he sort of looked at me funny. I don't think he was impressed. He told me he "had to get used to it," whatever that means. So then I started to second guess myself. And I LOVE hats - I like them on other people, I like wearing them, but I always feel self-conscious in them once I'm out in public. I feel like people are staring at me and wondering who the freak is who is wearing the hat and why, oh, why did she think that was a good idea?

So the jury is still out on this outfit.

So anyhow, here's the specs: Shirt - (Paul Harris, approximately 15 years old), jeans, tie (husbands - borrowed from his side of the closet), hat (gifted - Target), boots (Kohl's - this fall).

What's YOUR take on it?
(sorry, no pictures. will hopefully be posted at a later date when we can figure out how to get the darn things off my camera...)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Headaches - real and toddler-related

How did it become December already? Times flies...

So excited because we're getting cold weather - we're not expected to see 70 today! (I know you northerners are rolling their eyes, but yesterday? My AC kicked on when my in-house temperature reached 83, so you can see how happy this makes me!)

We had a leak in our closet recently and about half my 30 for 30 is in the bag to go to the cleaners. So I skipped yesterday, though I DID put together an outfit complete with coordinating jewelry, etc. I am very excited about today's outfit, though, but I think you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it, since the only camera with batteries is the one I can't off-load from onto my computer, so I have to wait until the husband comes home.

My head continues to pound - it's been a daily thing this week. I thought it was stress, but someone pointed out that it could be hormone related by comparing the baby's age... However, right now we're talking constant squeezing/pounding that began without ceasing late last night (I had a headache during the day, but it got better before it got worse) and my toddler's whining is driving me up the wall.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I had a case of the Mondays (Day 22)

There has been an upswing in the amount of baby vomit in this house lately. This makes doing 30 for 30 difficult. On Monday, before I had even done my make-up and decided whether or not my new (gifted!) hat was going to be part of my outfit (it never made it) I had been drooled and spit up on. Twice. But for the record, I was wearing my blue v-neck (Loft) and my jeans. I had my chunky blue necklace on and was debating on the hat.

Around noon, the baby began having a meltdown. Seriously. He would scream his head off if I so much as set him down for a millisecond. If I even sat down while holding him, he would yell and cry. He liked looking at the Christmas tree lights, but I couldn't set him down even while looking at them. hen

At the same time, Fuss decided it was time to get serious about this potty training thing and needed help with that. And when I couldn't drop everything to help her the exact second she demanded it, she had a melt down too!

I FINALLY got the baby settled and put him down for a nap. Then Fuss wanted to snuggle and watch TV before her naptime. I had a horrible headache, but she and I made it through her show and she went to bed fairly easily. I did some dishes (my kitchen over flows), fed the baby and put him back down (he didn't seem to want to be awake) and then attempted to lay down myself. I hadn't been down for long when Little Man stirred and fussed, but I was able to quiet him quickly by replacing his paci. He woke up after an hour, though, ready to eat again (early) and still very fussy.

I was worried he was having an ear problem since he wanted to be straight up, not angled at all and if I laid him down, he'd scream so much!

Fuss got up a little later and repeatedly went to the potty successfully all afternoon long! We're still using pull-ups because she isn't 100% yet (most of her pull-ups were soiled somehow even with her frequent trips to the potty, but that's okay! She's doing SO much better!)

My husband had a softball game at 8:30. Often, I will take the kids to his games, even when they are that late (they rotate times) but as stressed as I was (and I didn't think my MIL would be coming to help corral Fuss) I didn't think I could handle it. But my husband knew I needed to get out of the house, so he called his mom and convinced her to come and help me out and we went. (This puts Fuss to bed late, but then she sleeps in the next morning, so it works well, usually.) It was fun - he won and both Fuss and Little Man were much happier and much more tired out by the time we got home.

I was tired. I fed the baby (who wanted to eat and eat and EAT) and went to bed. He was wide awake, so my husband stayed up with him until he could get him to sleep (thanks, hun!) and we all had a good night's sleep.

10 on Tuesday

1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?
Tampa Bay area in Florida. I have literally lived within 20 miles of the hospital I was born in for my entire life. I did spend 1 year away at school, but "home" was still back at my parents' house. I moved into the house I grew up in when I was 3 months old and moved out the day I got married.

2. How would you classify your clothing style?
Classic preppy with a little bit of artsy. At least that is my preferred style. Of late, however, it's been more of a SAHM Grunge.

3. What kind of car do you drive?
Chrysler Town and Country. I'm a mini van mom and I LOVE it.

4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it (or already do!)?
It would have a porch and gables and an upstairs and more than 1 bathroom.

5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?
I have 2 children and I was 27 1/2 (within 2 days) when I had the first and barely 30 when I had the second. (9 days after my 30th birthday)

6. What is your favorite hobby?

7. Are you going to have any New Year’s resolutions for 2011?
To get organized. My living room is still disheveled, my dining room is still a catch-all (though it was clean for the holiday)

8. What is something, if anything, that you’d want to change about yourself?
I've been much too quick to anger lately, I want to change that.

9. What is something that you love about yourself?
My friendliness/sociability.

10. Pick one of the following: Someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.
Dishes, definitely. Sometimes I like to cook, I don't mind doing laundry at all, but I HATE doing dishes. I love the look of a clean kitchen, but I hate doing dishes.

For more 10 on Tues, visit Chelsea here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 21 and 2 kids at Christmas

Awhile back, I wrote a post about my daughter being cooler than me because she pulled off a somewhat trendy look of wearing cute shorts with a long sleeved t-shirt and I didn't think I could do the same. Today, I tried.

I wore my long-sleeved green scoopneck tee (Loft) with my denim shorts. I didn't leave the house all day, so I didn't bother with shoes. I don't even think I put make up on. Most of the day I wore my hair in a claw clip and when it dried it was nice and curly. (Picture to come - having trouble getting it off my camera.)

We decorated for Christmas (Fuss was thrilled!) and did stuff (like the mountain of laundry) around the house. We're having the "what do we do about a stocking for the baby?" discussion (currently, the plan is to let him use the tiny stocking we already had just because it had a moose on it and to buy 4 matching/coordinating stockings at the after Christmas sales for our current and future children to use - this may change, but it seems logical. Ultimately, I want to have matching/coordinating stockings for all of our children but I don't want to wait until we have reached our final child to purchase said stockings, so that they have them all along) and I worked on researching what Christmas presents we were going to get for the kids.

My mom got Fuss a play kitchen she found for a bargain online and a table and chairs for her room. I had been thinking about doing the table and chairs, but mom got such a bargain on the kitchen that she wanted to do the table, too. My husband did some research on the electronic devices for pre-school aged children and I talked to my mom friends. We're getting her the iXL by Fischer Price (I LOVE Fischer Price. I had a tape player when I was a kid - my mom got it for me when I was about 4 - and it STILL plays. Not that I have many tapes to play these days, but... and I seriously beat it up, too and worked beautifully.) She's also getting a tea set, Beauty and the Beast on DVD, some clothes, and a few other things. I'm looking forward to getting her some sparkly kid-friendly jewelry to play with, since she LOVES my jewelry and has been enjoying the few pieces she already has. She'll get coloring books and such, as well. I also found this Strawberry Shortcake set really cheap, so I think I'm going to get her that, too. She knows the Strawberry Shortcake ("Strawberry Cake" she calls her) icon, but doesn't have any toys or movies.

(Interruption: We are watching Disney's animal kingdom version of Robin Hood and Fuss called Sir Hiss "Kiss" I corrected her and she informed me that his sister calls him "Kiss." Who knew?)

The baby is a little harder. I want to get him a couple of somethings - small, of course, since he has no clue what's going on - specifically because the next major gift-giving holiday is going to be 9 months away. I found some nesting/stacking blocks I like, a teething play pack and I'm debating this water-filled tummy time play mat. He's also getting a few new clothes and a big box of diapers!

My own needs/wants are few. My mom keeps asking me what I want for Christmas - I think it's obvious that I've reached adulthood, since I can only think of a few small things I'd like to have, but none of which are that important. I have my beautiful, healthy, happy family. I just got a new room added to my house! I am really quite content! But my mom likes to go all out for Christmas so...

I have a couple of ideas for my husband, but they are HUGE gifts and his 30th birthday is right around the corner, so I can't go too crazy, since I'll want to do something big for his birthday, too. Plus, I want to get him something from the kids, too. And he reads this blog periodically, so I can't discuss them here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 17, 18, 19, 20: to Disney and Back Again

On Tuesday, we left for Orlando w/ my SIL (LB), her husband and 2 daughters and my MIL. (MIL drove with me.) We met my SIL J over there, as she had been in Orlando on Monday and Tuesday for a conference. LP and my husband came over later once my husband got off work at 7PM.

Dinner was horrible - we went to an expensive, unimpressive Mexican restaurant at Downtown Disney and both 2 year olds caused problems while we were there. My niece used the potty when we first got there and then Fuss got jealous, so she demanded to use the potty, too. Only she didn't really have to go. So she and I spent 15 minutes with her sitting on the potty in the bathroom while our food arrived and got cold and she wouldn't willingly get off the pot. I was really putting forth an effort to keep my cool, so I finally had to scoop her up and remove her physically from the seat, put her diaper back on and distract her with hand washing. (She loves washing her hands.)

That day, I wore casual clothes, since we were primarily preparing for and traveling to our destination. My black v-neck shirt, denim shorts and Birks.

Wednesday was THE day. I dressed in my seafoam green t-shirt (Motherhood - yes, it's a maternity shirt, but it's long and I knew I'd be spending the bulk of the day with my Moby wrap on and that the longer shirt would be helpful) and my jeans. I admit a small cheat - I wore my sneakers, which were not part of my 30 (I hate them, but for all-day walking, that's really all I've got) but they weren't part of a fashion statement - they were all functional. The kids were dressed in their Mickey Mouse t-shirts and they were adorable. More on our experience in a different post.

I took Thursday off from 30 for 30. I somehow hadn't packed any more tops that were in my 30.

On Friday, though, I wore my jeans w/ a black sweater with white collar and cuffs and my boots for our family pictures. (All the pictures are on the photographer's camera) I was melting by the time we got home, (it was SUPPOSED to be a cooler day - someone forgot to tell the weather) so I changed into my bright green v-neck (Loft) until the baby spit up on me. I honestly don't remember what I wore after that.

Saturday, I was looking forward to a low-key day with my family - some shopping, some errands, lunch out... but I dressed up anyhow. I wore my jeans with my periwinkle blue sleeveless shirt with a sequined neckline and my blue corduroy blazer. It looked great. I wore my black heels and my sapphire pendant necklace.

I went shopping on Saturday out of necessity. I was down to 1 nursing bra, so I had to go to the mall and visit Motherhood. Other than the 2 bras, I behaved myself.

It's been a crazy week. I am going to be sad to see my husband return to work tomorrow, but I think other than that, I am glad it is over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 16

I got 4 hours of sleep Sunday night, so my outfit really showed that. But I stuck to my 30! (Until the baby threw up on me, anyhow!) My brown t-shirt can be dressed up or down and today it was really dressed down! Brown t-shirt (Target), denim shorts (Motherhood - at least 8 years old, as they were my BFF's first) and Birks. The only time I left the house was to run to Starbucks to get a (much needed) Caramel Brulee Latte and wish my SIL a Happy Birthday (she works at Starbucks and this year got a visit from all 3 nieces and her nephew while at work).

No pictures. Nobody wants to see the bags under my eyes. Here's hoping Monday night is better...

10 on Tuesday: Holiday edition

1. What are your plans for the holidays? Do you travel at Thanksgiving? If you celebrate Christmas, do you travel then, too?
This year, we did a traditional turkey dinner on Sunday before Thanksgiving because we will be driving home from Disney on Thanksgiving day and didn't want to have to worry about the Turkey situation. We will be having a "low country boil" for dinner on Thursday evening to have an easy family gathering. We gave up traveling for Christmas when Fuss was born.

2. How do you make the plans for the holiday? If you have a significant other, how do you decide which family to visit?
We try and alternate sides of the family or just host everyone ourselves.

3. Do you have your Thanksgiving meal at lunch or later in the day?
I preferred somewhere about 2pm, but this year that was the heart of nap time, so we moved it back to accommodate the toddlers.

4. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Just being together. I love the food, the decorations, the family time.

5. After a big meal do you lounge around or get up and take a walk?
Lounge. We used to play games, but that kind of fell away with the arrival of little kids, too.

6. Do you shop on “Black Friday” or do you avoid it?
Depends on the year. I have gone in the past, but haven't the last few years. I want to this year, but I need a better plan.

7. When do you usually finish your Christmas shopping?
The week of Christmas. But that's the last minute stuff - stocking stuffers, last minute RSVPers, etc.

8. Do you and your significant other exchange gifts? Is there a budget?
Yes and yes, but I always go over the budget a little and the amount changes from year to year.

9. When do you decorate for the holidays?
We'll be doing Christmas decorating this weekend. I'm psyched. I think Fuss is really going to get into it this year.

10. Do you go “all out” with the decor or do you keep it simple?
Mostly simple - but we've had bigger years and smaller years. I'm collecting a winter village (after Christmas sales) so it's getting bigger...

Visit Chelsea for more 10 on Tues.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 15

Sunday's outfit happened by accident. We were hosting Thanksgiving at our house for our immediate families (those we have lived with at our childhood primary residences and their current significant others and offspring). Basically, the only one we were missing was Gigi (my Gramma). I had lofty goals of looking nice and polished and they were screwed up by the discovery of an unknown huge wet spot found on my jeans when they were discovered on the floor of the bathroom. Since we're having potty wars around here (ie. Fuss is putting forth some potty training efforts - finally) I didn't risk it and had to hurredly wash my jeans. Unfortuantely, I never finished drying them until the day was over - laundry got started, but they never made it the dryer while I was dealing w/ all the preparation and celebrations.

I wore my short-sleeved collared green knit shirt w/ that shiny green crystal necklace I love so much and my jean shorts. All were pieces from my 30, so I figure it counts, but the combination of dressy on top and shorts (and maternity shorts at that!) was not exactly in the plan. But no pictures - we ran out of time.

Fuss is working on her potty skills and we're giving Cookie Monster hand stamps as rewards. So far so good. We're talking one or 2 times a day, but I'll take that over the extreme resistance we've been having lately.

Count down to Disney - one more day! We leave tomorrow and we'll spend a little time at Downtown Disney on Tuesday before spending the day in the park on Wednesday. I'm a little frustrated, since I don't think my SIL is willing to push back bed time on the night we are there so that we can stay for the fireworks and such. I may simply suggest that they take their girls back to the hotel and we'll see them later, since I know Caro can stay up for them and would enjoy them a lot. Plus, you spend so much on tickets and such that I kinda want to make the most of it and spend all the time we can in the park.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 14 - Night Out!

Saturday, I spent the entire morning in sweats, because we were having a garage sale. We then met some friends (2 of my oldest friends - we met in Kindergarten and 1st grade, respectively) and their husbands for a triple date of a movie and dinner. (Saw Harry Potter, ate at a great new place that Cherry had a TON of gift certificates for and so no one had to pay for anything!) So I finally got to have an excuse to dress up a bit. My mom was babysitting both kids for the first time (it worked, but she had some troubles) and brought me an early Christmas present when she showed up - a new necklace that happened to go great with my outfit, so voila! a new look!

My outfit consists of those jeans that I'm sure everyone is getting sick of, my black criss-cross tank (Target) and a blue tencel over-shirt (Dress Barn, approximately 10 years ago) and my black boots (argyle knee socks underneath!). I'm wearing silver earrings (the kind I can't wear around the baby anymore since his fingers get caught in the rings and then he pulls accidentally) and my new necklace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why I remix/ Day 13

Kendi has been having occasional "guest posts" entitled "Why I Remix" and I thought I'd try and answer that question myself.

I think my reasons are probably different from most - I'm remixing because I had gotten myself into a rut. I'm a SAHM with a two-year-old and a new born - my clothing choices (I can't even call them "fashion choices") are dictated by practicality and functionality and while I rarely (like maybe twice in the last 2 1/2 years) stay in my pajamas all day, I often throw on the same handful of pieces, simply because they are easy and available, I rarely bother with make-up, jewelry, or good looking shoes. I had given up caring about how I looked and I almost never put any effort into it. I had let my weight get out of control and I wasn't feeling attractive - or even that I could be attractive anymore.

But just before my son was born, I turned 30. And just after my son was born, my daughter saw a recent picture of me and announced that it was a picture of "Grandma" (my mother) and suddenly, I realized that I needed to stop looking so old. I needed something to put some effort back into my appearance.

There was a time when I wouldn't have been caught dead in a t-shirt and jeans. I was preppy and I liked it, but I was never sloppy, I always looked nice, always wore make-up, always did at least SOMETHING with my hair. That has changed a lot in the last several years, but I know that I don't have to look frumpy just because I am a mommy.

So I am attempting this challenge in order to kick start my journey back to caring about my appearance. To remind myself that I am a woman, that I can, in fact, be attractive (at least sometimes) and that a little effort goes a long way. And to have an "excuse" to wear some nicer clothes on days when I'm just hanging out with my kids and to remind myself to not just throw on the most comfortable, closest thing I can find.

Day 13 -
I'm wearing my favorite cardigan (I have a thing for argyle lately) by NY & Co. (last fall?) and I'm wearing my cream colored t-shirt (Coldwater Creek - more years than I can remember). My usual jeans, of course (one lesson I've learned thus far - I need more pants/jeans/bottoms that fit), my brown shoes. My jewelry is simple and classic. My oblong disc earrings and my 3 diamond pendant (my husband gave me that for my 25th birthday - our first birthday being married). This is an outfit I've only been able to wear once before - I bought the sweater just before getting pregnant and the t-shirt was too small for even my newly pregnant body. I stretched the cardigan for a short bit, but even that didn't last too long.

My pictures had to be taken inside today, seeing as my husband doesn't get home from work until well after dark these days. The painting in my pictures is my new purchase (a couple of weeks ago) and I LOVE it. I don't even know why, but I really, truly love it.

This weekend begins the craziness that is this week. We are booked with some extra event every single day until Saturday (when the only event is my SIL and her family leaving town - not much of an "event".) I am hoping to continue to post daily, but I may miss a day or two, due to family obligations.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 12 - (Pictureless)

My outfit today succumbed to an attack of salsa - and this time it wasn't even the kids' fault. But no pictures. It wasn't a great one anyway - a t-shirt and jeans w/ my Birks - and this was by design. I spent the day cleaning some more and hanging out at Tires Plus getting my oil changed and my brakes done before our trip next week. (Ironically, both my Kindle and my cell phone died while I was there. I talked to my BFF for a bit - probably part of the reason my phone died - watched some Regis and Kelly and read an old issue of People magazine - the only magazine that wasn't car or fishing related while I was there. I also had to feed the baby.)

I'm actually sort of proud of myself. I realized it was oil change time and made all my own arrangements (for a babysitter for Fuss and made an appointment) w/ no prompting from my husband! Very proud. The house is coming along, too, but it's hard sometimes! I'm trying to leave some of the tasks for later because I know that Fuss or one of us adults will just come back and mess it up, but then I look around and see all this mess and get discouraged.

The other night I was making a packing list for our Disney trip next week. 2 nights, 2 days out of town (and Fuss's first time - at least in her memory - of staying in a hotel. And she is really particular about her sleeping sometimes) and 2 kids under 3... I asked my husband if he could think of anything I had forgotten. He said no, just the usual stuff, the obvious stuff and it's just like any other trip to Orlando... and I held up the legal pad I was making the list on - the full page of things I needed to bring with us for ourselves and the kids and he said, "right, so like I was saying, it's a completely different situation this time around..."

We've never taken little kids to Disney before. In the couple of dozen times I've been to Walt Disney World, I was either the kid myself, or the youngest in our group were teenagers who could at least somewhat fend for themselves. (Back when we were the leaders of our former church's Youth Group) or it was just us/all adults. And taking a newborn... oh, how much stuff you need for a newborn!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 11 - Black and Blue

I'm feeling a little blue today. Even black and blue. Ironic, since last night I was determined to wear something other than jeans today and I've got limited choices. My khakis are at the cleaners after my unfortunately chocolate incident last week (seems weird to type "unfortunate chocolate") and that left me with my black skirt or my black dress. So, black skirt it is.

Unfortunately, that mean that I am dressing up to clean my house and make a Target run. (Much like Kendi did here.) Fortunately, that means that I am at least feeling better about myself because, well, I think I look nice. Or kind of nice. Anyhow, there was effort involved. And a definite remix here, since I never would have put this outfit together outside of this challenge.

Okay, so I'm wearing my black maxi skirt, (A peek at the label surprises me - it's from Motherhood, which means it's a maternity skirt. But it doesn't seem like one to me and I'm leaving it in my closet), my criss-cross tank from Target, a blue scarf/pashmina - origins unknown. (Truly, I have no idea where I got or the last time I wore it. I discovered it a couple of weeks ago when I was moving my winter clothes out of Fuss's new room.) I am also sporting my cobalt blue glass pendant (gifted - last Christmas. Handmade from a local artisan) and a bracelet I made myself from some pretty glass beads from the days when I was into beading big time. My shoes are the black heels. Since I'm wearing a skirt, I opted for nude-colored knee highs instead of funky printed knee socks.

I made it through Target fully "dressed", but I ended up taking the scarf and heels off while I cleaned.

Self portraits again. Who knows when my husband will be home tonight and what state my outfit will be in by that point.

I'd like to call in sick

I don't know where to start.
I am tired and frustrated and angry. None of these are positive emotions, and none of them are good when you are the primary caregiver of a 2 3/4 year old and a nearly 11 week old.

Lately, I am yelling way too much and way too often. And way too quickly. I'm reacting too quickly to my frustrations.

Worst of all, I'm yelling at my daughter and scaring both she and the baby. I hate that he is hearing all of this yelling. I hate that I am yelling at her. I hate that that is my way of handling these problems.

I used to be the manager of my dad's business. In our company, if someone didn't show up, it just meant more work for everyone else. (usually me) I used to get so frustrated when my then-boyfriend (now husband) would occasionally call in sick when he wasn't sick, just needed a day off to relieve stress/have fun or even to handle a situation. "Don't you know you are causing someone else more work?" (I'd say. In his case, he was mostly just leaving more work for himself, because that was the type of job he had then.)

But when I finally got a job that a day off just meant more work for me to catch up on when I came back, I confess, I did take a few "mental health days" by calling in sick.

I want to call in sick. I want a day off to recuperate and de-stress a bit before I have to return.

But moms don't get sick days. Even when they are truly sick. (Which, I'm not really. Truly tired, sure, but I'm not feverish or whatever) I am a mom 24/7, 365 and a quarter days of the year. That never quits. And with a nursing baby, even if I could get a babysitter, I would still have to do something mom-like (be it pump or nurse or whatever) and half the time, when I do have a couple of rare hours without one or both of the kids, I'm doing laundry, dishes, picking up the toys, etc. I want a day off and it is literally impossible to get one.

I feel like a bad mommy because at this point, my fuse is so short that I was mentally writing this post about how I hate that I'm doing all this yelling while yelling at my daughter (who had just dumped half a cup of yogurt all over herself and was happily splashing around in it - spreading it all over my dining room - while I was trying to clean her up) and I just couldn't STOP yelling. I need a break and there is none likely to come any time soon.

I've been looking forward to this coming week for months - we've been planning this trip to Disney since January/February. But in addition to the excitement and fun, it also means more stress (packing, traveling, screwed up nap and eating times, a lot of chaos) and an audience to watch how I'm handling it (my husband's entire immediate family will be along, we've turned this into a big family gathering).

I've noticed a few times lately that when I'm rushed, aggitated and stressed I start to get this really sharp headaches. Oh yippee. Now I'm getting stress headaches that show up out of the blue. I'm in the wrong line of work for that malady!

In short, I know I need to work on my attitude and the way I react to things, even very stressful situations. But I feel like I need to step back and recharge before I'm going to be capable of making a big change, too, and I have no idea when or how that might happen. Maybe I need to take up yoga or meditation or something. Or maybe I just need to pray more.

Motherhood is hard. Any mom will tell you that. It's not for the weak or those who aren't determined to work at it. I need to work harder at my attitude. I need to stop letting it control me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 on Wednesday

Oops. I lost track of my days. And I posted twice yesterday as it was, so... but here they are. I even submitted a couple of these questions!

1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?
Either a chocolate croissant or cinnamon rolls. I also like a good pumpkin muffin.

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
Numerous ones. Mostly, Christmas. I was even a pilgrim for a Christmas play once.

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Well, I'm using a lot of scarves right now, but I'm not really in love with them. Does my jewelry count?

4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
Either my long sleeved green t-shirt or my brown argyle cardigan. Love them both and they both make me happy.

5. What is your favorite color and why?
I think I've finally moved over from green to blue on the "favorite"scale. I think I actually like certain shades of green more, but I loathe some of them too. (While all of these have their place, I prefer them in very small doses or not at all - lime green, kelly green, olive green) In general, I think most shades of blue are wonderful. And I like it because it's peaceful.

6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
Snickerdoodles. They might not be truly Christmas cookies (I've certainly seen them at other times of the year) but I only put forth the effort at Christmas time.
Also, my Gramma's gingerbird (yes, you read that right) cookies. But she stopped making them year ago. I am truly bummed by this.

7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)
Chocolate, cinnamon, italian (that perfect blend of garlic, cheese and spiced tomatoes)
My husband's cologne (Obsession), lemongrass lotion, Burberry Brit perfume

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?
Comet or my Lysol wipes

9. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
A teacher. I grew up to be a mom and an office manager for an Advertising Agency and gave up the day job to be a full-time mom. I had actually given up the teacher idea long before college, though. I started college as a Journalism Major.

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
Glee soundtracks.

For more 10 on Tuesdays, see Chelsea's post from yesterday here.

Day 10 - Yee haw!

I was hoping for a Western look today - I actually had hoped to borrow a big belt buckle to really put it over the top, but that didn't work out - but I think I may have missed. It's okay, all in all the outfit wasn't a disaster or anything...

I'm wearing my jeans (of course) with my blue Loft v-neck tee. I added silver and turquoise earrings that my mom bought on our big family vacation to Colorado when I was 10. (Our only big family vacation. Usually, my mom and I would take summer vacations with my grandparents and dad would stay home. When I got older, my dad would occasionally take us for a long weekend to a short trip somewhere nearby - if the long weekend included a Monday holiday that the store was closed anyhow. He hates to miss work.) I added a huge turquoise ring that my grandfather made for my mother (that desperately needs some silver polish) which only fit my pinkie, but it was still cute. (She actually has a whole set of turquoise jewelry that my grandfather - my dad's dad - made for her. She gave me the ring eons ago, but still wears the bracelet periodically, and the chain on the necklace broke and needs to be repaired. I tossed a black belt on over my shirt and left it a little loose so it would hang a bit. I think this is the element that doesn't look quite right, but then, I'm a little unsure of this look even when the outfit comes with a belt, so I think I might have a bias against it. And of course, I had to wear my boots today, because no self-respecting cow girl would be wearing Birkenstocks or dressy heels on the range. haha. I tossed my hair into high a pony tail - not because it was easiest, but because it seemed to go with the outfit. (I'm not really much of a pony tail because I'm lazy sort of person. Honestly, my lazy hairstyle usually leans more toward pulling the sides back and clipping it with a barrette.)

I took these "part" pictures early in the day and was hoping that I'd have the opportunity to have my husband take some pictures later. Since he didn't get home until 9PM, and by then I was in my pajamas, that didn't happen. I will tell you, though, that I sacrificed for fashion - I wore my heeled boots to the mall and my feet were screaming by the time we were done. I am usually much more practical than that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Evening Stresses

Monday night we went to my husband's softball game and then he wanted to go across the big bridge to see an old friend from high school who was in town for a conference. We went to see her the last time she was in-state at a conference in Orlando (2 hours away). I was originally going to let him go by himself, but I had kind of a crappy evening up to that point and I didn't relish going home by myself to deal w/ the kiddos for a few more hours and so I ended up going, too. She and I had been friends in high school, too, though she and my husband were closer.

(Interruption: On my way to the game, I was picking up Chili's take-out for dinner. They have a new feature where you can order online and go to the curbside pick up and pick it up, which I love because for some strange reason, I hate calling to order take out or delivery. I kinda hate talking on the phone to non-friends or family. It makes me nervous. I get there and realize that my debit card is missing - I only have the card we were using for our construction expenses, which had a current balance of about $12 on it. My order was $24, not counting tip. The guy who brought me my food and the manager were SO nice - once I explained and asked them if they could maybe take part of the order off to bring down the cost or whatever, the manager input several discounts into the system for me and brought my order down to $8 and change. She explained that they would have had to throw the food out, so they might as well give it to me and they'd rather keep my future business, so they were SO kind and gave me this huge discount and let me take all my ordered food, even though I didn't have nearly enough money on me. I thought I was going to have to go hungry, since I was going to have them take off my part of the order first and see if I could cover the remaining Fuss and husband's food with my $12. I was so relieved and grateful. But then, I got stuck in the WORST traffic and I was all agitated by the time we got to the ball field. And the entire time - through all this - my daughter just kept whining that she was hungry, that she was bored, that she wanted this or that or this other thing... I did NOT want to take her home by myself at the end of the night and have to juggle her bedtime and the baby, etc.)

So, anyhow, we went to see H and we took the kids to Coldstone to distract Fuss and give me a place to sit and nurse the baby while we talked. It was a lot of fun and it was great to see her. Fuss threw a temper tantrum in the bathroom when I tried to change her diaper, but was mostly okay. The baby was wonderful until just before we got home (he REALLY wanted to be out of his seat, and I couldn't blame him. This was usually a high-cuddle time for him. And while he did spend the entire game time and our visiting time out of his seat, he isn't that crazy about it to begin with, so the in and out of the seat was driving him crazy.) However, when he wasn't in his seat, he was incredibly smiley and kept cooing at me and "telling me stories" and it was SO cute and he is just so great at reminding me how much I love being a mom when I'm really over-the-top stressed. (He's just like his daddy that way!) I also got fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts out of the deal, so that was an added bonus.

We didn't get home until about 11 and put Fuss to bed immediately and changed and fed Little Man as soon as possible. But then he was wide awake, so Daddy Fuss had to rock him for nearly an hour to get him to sleep. It was a late night in the Family Fuss household.

(2 posts today - there is a 30 for 30 post before this one)

Day 9 Started out Fine

I won't say that this is my favorite outfit so far, but it was different and it was kinda interesting. I'm wearing a green, collared pull-over blouse from NY&Co (several years old - like 5, I think?) and my ever-present jeans. I considered wearing the sparkly green necklace from last Friday (LOVE that necklace) but thought it would be too similar to what I wore on Friday, so I went a different direction. I pulled out this hand-painted, silk scarf my grandmother gave me a million years ago. (Seriously. I think it's been in this box for more than half my life. I like it, but what does a 13 or 14 year old do w/ a silk scarf? Especially one with stick-figure people on it?) and tied it at the V so it was kind of like a necklace/kind of like trim around the neckline. It was cute. To mix it up further - and to give a nod to my childhood roots - I put my hair in a low pony tail, loosened it slightly to soften it about my face and added a scrunchie to the pony tail holder (scrunchies never stayed in my hair without help - ever) I added my heart locket and some silver, gold and green earrings and voila! A look is born.

I even went out in this outfit! I loaded up the kids and took them up to my dad's shop where we hung out w/ my dad's manager and my dad for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I forgot to put on breast pads when I got dressed and just before I fed the baby, I noticed a mildly wet spot on my blouse. I thought I might be able to cover it up w/ the scarf, but then when I fed him, I began to leak much more profusely. I had 2 targets on my chest by the time the baby was done eating and... sigh. I'm telling you - mothers of babies are not meant for 30 for 30 challenges. I had to grab whatever shirt I could find from my pile of dry cleaning that was waiting for me (my dad owns dry cleaners - so I was actually at the cleaners when I stained my clothes) and give my blouse (dry cleaning recommended, of course) to my dad to fix, but it was too late to save it for today, as they were long done cleaning and pressing by this time. Ah well.

Mondays are always hard for pictures, so you get my crazy bits and pieces today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 8 Monday, Sunday

I wore my 30 for 30 clothes yesterday, but the outfit was lackluster. Seeing as the furthest I ventured from my house was the grocery store and that I'd had very little sleep the night before, that I even put forth the effort was commendable. But I didn't take a picture. Does it count? I'm gonna say it does, since I stuck to the rules.

I wore my black v-neck tee (Target - this season!) and jeans and added a long necklace w/ pink clustered crystals. It was obtained from my mom's house, but this was piece of jewelry that she and I shared eons ago and I don't remember who it actually belonged to, only that I left it behind (on purpose, thinking I'd never wear it again) when I moved out. I confess that I threw on my Birkenstocks to go to the grocery store (as predicted - they were part of my 30 for 30 since I knew I would cave. But I think it's the first time I've worn them in public all week, so that's something)

I'm struggling w/ this challenge already - not because I can't come up w/ different combinations, but because they don't work with my life. I abhor tucking things in because A) I have to untuck every 2 hours to feed Little Man and B) I'm still trying to lose weight and tucking in a shirt and then taking a picture of myself makes me realize just how fat I really am right now.

We had a good day around the house, despite the rough night before and the kids not feeling 100% (Fuss had some tummy upset and a mild fever while she was out w/ her aunts the day before. I will sum all of that up by complaining that my sisters-in-law bought and gave my toddler medicine (acetaminophen) without so much as calling to ask me if that was okay. I even talked to my one SIL for a minute or 2 after Fuss had thrown up twice and was not told that that had happened. I don't know that I would have had them do any different, but I feel that I should be informed and consulted when my child shows signs of being ill while in their care. Is that too much to ask?)