Monday, January 31, 2011

Good-bye Floppy Friend

We had to put my husband's dog down on Saturday. The poor dog hadn't eaten (his favorite thing to do in the whole world) in 4 days, was skin and bones (and his nickname had formerly been "Tubs") and he would just collapse periodically and he had gotten an infection of some sort in his nasal packages which was making it even more difficult to breathe.

There is no love lost between me and this dog, but I didn't want him to suffer and I didn't want it to end like this.

We took the kids to the vet with us, because we honestly didn't know if that was going to be the end, or if there was something we could do that would give us a little more time with him. Doc advised that at best, we might be able to buy him a few more weeks by giving him antibiotics to clear up the infection. We didn't want to just take the dog away never to be seen again and not have Fuss say good-bye to him. We also had no idea she would get so upset at saying good-bye to him, because we assumed that she wouldn't understand what was happening, etc.

Well, you know what happens when you assume.

When we told her he couldn't feel better at home, that he was going to have to stay so that Doc could make him stop feeling sick and hurting she had a melt down. I think it made it harder on my husband by a lot and it certainly made it harder on me. No one wants to see their baby hurting. But then, I was surprised when my husband didn't want to stay with Buck. I had assumed that he would want to be there and - I don't know, hold his paw or something? If I had known that he wasn't going to stay, I might have offered to do so. Because now I have this image of Buck looking back at my husband as Doc carried him out of the examination room, sad and mournful and it's kind of haunting me.

I get sad every time I think about the end for the poor guy. He was miserable and we just didn't have a lot of time to spend with him on those last few days with the kids (and myself) being sick, too. I feel bad that the dog's last memory would not be one of my husband's (his master, Buck was his devoted slave) face, but that of some stranger. And then I think about the logic of that - how his last memory was just "the end" for him, it's not like I believe he goes to heaven or something. (Although, it dort of seems nice to think of some sort of doggy heaven, doesn't it? My mom talked about a Narnia-like place where the "good pets" would go and be able to frolic in the woods, etc. It's a nice thought.)

I had no idea I would get so upset about losing this dog. We really never had a good relationship. I mean, I'd scratch the velvet fur on his nose for him and share my snacks and give him a nice tummy rub periodically, but he really annoyed me more often than not. He had a horrible habit getting underfoot when I was cooking. He made these horrible noises and would rub himself against my furniture and get black furry marks all over the fabric of my sofas and chairs. He would stink up a blanket and steal any food we left in the living room, he broke numerous glasses and bowls, ate several salt shakers, used to shred my underwear... he also once jumped out a 2nd story window at our first apartment. (and survived unscathed.)

Starbuck "Buck" (aka: Buckles, Tubs, Spound, Buck-Daddy)
3/1/00 - 1/29/11

Friday, January 28, 2011

Quick Takes

1. Argh. My husband went back to work today and I was ready for him to come home within 45 minutes of his departure. The baby was screaming, there were 2 huge balls of snot dripping from Fuss's nose (now she's got it) and I went to grab her a tissue and stepped in dog pee. Immediately prior to this, I was trying to load the dishwasher (we're out of clean dishes) and dipped my sleeve in the murky water in the sink.

2. My husband's dog is dying. We've been wanting to find him a different home (ie. get him out of ours) but this wasn't the way we wanted it to happen. The problem I'm having now is that he is deteriorating quickly and I think it might be the time to put him down, but I don't feel like it's my place to make that choice, since it's HIS dog. (I never really warmed to the old guy and vice versa.) But he's not eating, he's left us presents the last 3 or 4 mornings and, to be honest, I'm sort of over it. (I don't hate the dog, but I've never been his number one fan. I wouldn't suggest this if he was healthy, by any means, but he is far from healthy at this point.) He has a tumor. It will eventually kill him (so says the vet) and I don't really want to watch him die or, more importantly, have Fuss watch him die. I just don't think that's a good thing for her to see at this age.

3. My husband has been terrific the last couple of days and he said to me last night "it just seems like every waking minute the last two days I've had one or the other kid ON me and I needed a break." He stopped at looked at me and said "I guess you know exactly what that's like, huh?" Oh yes, dear, I do!

4. We had made overnight arrangements this weekend (have a voucher for a hotel room on the beach) and while neither of us is feeling our best, I think it's going to be a much needed break for us both. I am grateful to my Mother-in-law for handling the kids for the night! I hope they behave for her.

5. While we were gone, the baby slept through the night better than ever before. What is with that? He seems to sleep better in strange beds than in his own. The first night we were up there, he slept 11 hours straight. He went to bed almost every night between 8-9 and slept until 5:30-6 in the morning. Why can't he do that at home?

6. I need a new phone. We're due for a contract re-up in March, but I don't know if my phone is going to make it that long. It has been shutting itself off with no warning for months and now I get less than 12 hours battery life on it. Since we currently have no land-line, I really depend on my phone, so losing it is bad. I really want a smartphone with a data plan, but my husband thinks it's pointless, since I'm home more often than not and don't really need instant access to email and such all the time. He's right of course, but I still like the idea.

7. Fuss keeps picking the movie Ice Age to watch, but then will never, ever sit through the whole thing. Ever. About the halfway point, she gets bored and disappears to play in her room or find some other game, etc. I don't know why I keep agreeing to let her watch it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 on - whatever...

1. Do you decorate for Valentine’s day?
Nope. I still have a couple of Christmas things up. Plus, V-day is my husband's birthday, so we make a bigger deal out of that than a Hallmark holiday...

2. Does your desktop have a picture or computer graphic? Is it organized?
I currently have a pretty picture of tulips that came with my computer on my laptop. My husband managed to somehow "tack" a pic of Fuss up there, too. (I have no idea how). All my icons are in-line, but not organized in any real way.

3. Do you use a paper planner, electric planner or no planner at all?
I have a paper pocket calendar that used to be my brain. But I seem to have misplaced it since the baby arrived (all that transferring of diaper bags) and now I just use the calendar on my pantry door to remember dates, etc.

4. Do you change purses or bags often or stick with a good thing?
See my answer above. I currently have 3 diaper bags and a purse (but I only use the purse on the rare occasions that I am going somewhere without at least one of my children) I have a diaper bag that I prefer for carting both kids around for errands, a bag for longer-term both kids and a bag for just-the-baby. (Fuss get the around-town diaper bag when she goes off with the aunts or whatever)

5. What’s your favorite YouTube Video?
The literal interpretation of Total Eclipse of the Heart. I found this more than a year ago on Alexa's blog and it still makes me laugh. You can see it here.

6. Do you use Turbo Tax or a real person to pay your taxes?
My parents have used the same accountant for their taxes and the taxes for the business since 1985. My husband and I use him. I have NEVER done my own taxes and I know that makes me a slacker.

7. How many states have you set foot (or tire) in? Which ones?30-some odd. I know I'm going to forget some from my tour in 1998 (went on a choir tour to 25 states in 30 days).
In no particular order, FL, GA, NC, SC, IL, MI, Maine (can never remember the abbreviation for this one), VA, WV, PA, TN, TX, CO, OK, MA, CT, MD, NJ, DE, NY, KY, IN, WI, LA, MS, OH, IA, MO, MN, KS, NE, and I think AR. So it looks like about 32.

8. How many countries have you been in? Which ones?
2. US and Canada. Unfortunately, I haven't done much international travel - I don't even have a passport.

9. How many pillows are in your house? (Sleeping or decorative)
Lots. LOL. At least 17 if you count all the decorative ones.

10. How cold is too cold for flip flops?
I never wear flip flops, but I'd say if you have to wear socks, it is certainly too cold.

More 10 on Tuesday is here, but of course, you'll have to scroll back to Tuesday because Chelsea is better than me about posting on time.

Household of Sickness

Yesterday, I thought I might be dying. Am still miserable today, but slightly better. Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day in bed. I slept through the night (propped the baby's mattress up with a pillow so he could sleep elevated and voila! Slept through the night) woke to feed him at 5:30 - went back to bed by 6:30 and when my husband came to kiss me good-bye just before 8, realized I felt like I had been hit by a bus. Every joint in my body hurt. They hurt when I lay still and they screamed when I moved. I couldn't get comfortable. My head pounded. My throat was sore and glands were swollen (that petered off during the day, thank goodness). My wonderful, blessed, sweet, loving husband declared he was working from home and stayed to let me sleep (I didn't get out of bed again until 11. I ate some soup and watched a tiny bit of TV and then went back to bed until almost 4). I fed the baby in bed, but otherwise, did nothing helpful until evening.

My house is a disaster. Seriously. I am trying not to think about it.

Last night, Fuss started acting more congested. I gave her some Tylenol when I heard her whimpering from her bed an hour or so after bedtime. She woke this morning with a horrible cough. The baby is still snotty and coughing and irritable, but he started to occasionally smile again yesterday, so I know he's doing better, at least. And he has mostly stopped screaming he fool head off.

I woke this morning with more of a headache and less of the body aches. My sore throat has decreased in pain, but increased in area. And I am more congested. Yippee. Day 2 of my husband staying home. (He is actually grateful, I think. A few problems have come up at work and he only has to deal with them by phone and email instead of more directly.)

I am able to get a bit more done when on medication. I did some laundry and we both began working on the pile dirty dishes/pans/garbage that is our kitchen slowly but surely.

I hurt. My neck and shoulders are so tight, I think I could strum them with a bow and make music.

Eventually, I will post something interesting on here. But meanwhile, bear with me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Honey, I'm Home

My baby is sick. According to the pediatrician, he has a standard cold and a mild ear infection. To hear him tell it, he is either in the depths of the plague or being tortured within an inch of his life. All he does is cry and scream. And he wasn't sleeping well (until this morning, when I finally got him to take a significant nap by starting him on my chest, and then moving him to an awkwardly-propped-up-but-on-his-tummy-sort-of position. And there is nothing I can really do for him. He doesn't want to be set down - ever - and I just am so tired, and so frustrated. I feel like I need to DO something and I can't.

I was worried that it was something more serious. The pediatrician didn't even consider that. He has a low-grade fever somewhat constantly and he's just so miserable...

My trip to GA was good, the driving was fine and I never came anywhere near sliding off the road into a ditch/snowdrift/deep ravine as my mother was sure I would. Other than nearly slipping on the icy driveway while carrying the baby into the house when I first got there and Fuss slipping on the same icy driveway twice during the week because she was hopping around, despite my instructions to do otherwise, we had no weather-related incidents whatsoever. I will post more on my experiences and observations after hanging out with a household (or two) full of kids later. Right now, I need to get back to cuddling my sweet boy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Because You Loved Me

This week, while I'm gone, I'll be auto-posting a series of my favorite songs. I have always loved the lyrics to certain songs and somehow, they just mean so much to me sometimes... they inspire me, say things that I can't find the words for, etc.

Because You Loved Me
performed by Celine Dion

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby
You're the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

I'm everything I am
Because you loved me

This was/is our song. There's a lot of irony to that statement because there are so many stories to the memories of our relationship with this song, but this is kind of it. My husband helps me to breathe, he sees the best in me, he believes in me, he is my strength - he is My Everything.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When You Say Nothing At All

This week, while I'm gone, I'll be auto-posting a series of my favorite songs. I have always loved the lyrics to certain songs and somehow, they just mean so much to me sometimes... they inspire me, say things that I can't find the words for, etc.

When You Say Nothing At All
performed by Allison Krauss

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes sayin’ you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What’s being said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes sayin’ you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes sayin’ you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

This song was sung at my wedding by one of the girls in the Youth Group that my (now) husband and I led. I feel like it speaks to the relationship that he and I have - we were best friends before we were lovers - and that we can often say as much if not more when we "say nothing at all."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Your Crowning Glory

This week, while I'm gone, I'll be auto-posting a series of my favorite songs. I have always loved the lyrics to certain songs and somehow, they just mean so much to me sometimes... they inspire me, say things that I can't find the words for, etc.

Your Crowning Glory
from the movie The Princess Diaries 2
sung by Julie Andrews and Raven

Some girls are fair
Some are jolly and fit
Some have a well-bred air
or a well-honed wit

Each one's a jewel
with a singular shine
a work of art
with it's own rare design

Dear little girl,
you are terribly blessed
But it's your heart of gold
I love the best

And that will be your crowning glory
your whole life through
It'll always be your crowning glory
The most glorious part of you

Some boys can waltz
Some guys can groove
Strike an elegant pose
With the really hip clothes
Some seem to have no faults
But we never like those
He'll praise your eyes
Your melodious laugh [ha ha]
Call you more lovely than others by half
The one who's right
My gorgeous prince
Will be honest and true
He'll believe in me too
And prize your heart of gold the way I do

He'll know that will be your crowning glory your whole life through
Your love will see that it's your crowning glory
The most glorious part of you and you
and you
and you

That will be your crowning glory
Darling when they tell your story
They'll call your heart of gold your crowning glory
The most glorious part of you

I don't remember if I was pregnant when I first heard this song, but I know that when I was pregnant with Fuss, I remember hearing it and imagining my little girl and imagining singing it to her... and tearing up. Because I love the message of this song.

My little girl has such a sweet spirit and I pray that that continues to develop as she grows and that people say she has a heart of gold when she is older (and now, too). She is my little princess.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seasons of Love

This week, while I'm gone, I'll be auto-posting a series of my favorite songs. I have always loved the lyrics to certain songs and somehow, they just mean so much to me sometimes... they inspire me, say things that I can't find the words for, etc.

Seasons of Love
from the musical, Rent
by Jonathan Larson

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Seasons of love. Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

Oh you got to got to
Remember the love!
You know that love is a gift from up above
Share love, give love spread love
Measure measure your life in love.

I love this song. It made me fall in love with the musical, Rent! I also love to sing it. My husband tells me it gives him goose bumps when I sing the high notes. (In a good way)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Defying Gravity

This week, while I'm gone, I'll be auto-posting a series of my favorite songs. I have always loved the lyrics to certain songs and somehow, they just mean so much to me sometimes... they inspire me, say things that I can't find the words for, etc.

Defying Gravity

from the musical Wicked

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down:

Together we're unlimited
Together we'll be the greatest team

There's ever been
Glinda -
Dreams, the way we planned 'em

If we work in tandem:

There's no fight we cannot win
Just you and I
Defying gravity
With you and I
Defying gravity

They'll never bring us down!
I hope it brings you bliss

I really hope you get it
And you don't live to regret it
I hope you're happy in the end
I hope you're happy, my friend:

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am

Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!
Bring me down!

Friday, January 14, 2011

7 Quick Takes - or not

1. I had this great idea in the middle of the night to write several short posts and front-date them to auto-post next week while I'm gone (and probably won't have time/access to post) and now I can't remember what the idea(s) was that was going to be my Monday post. I hate that.

2. I have been wearing some great new outfits lately and today I went all-out - my hair is blown out, I have on full make-up, I even wore heels, etc. to MOPS. I keep thinking "I should really talk about/show my outfits on my blog" and then I never remember to take a picture. Of course, I gave up on pictures during the last half of 30 for 30, too, so this should be no surprise. But it's one thing to do it for 30 for 30 when you'd seen most of the pieces by that point already - it's something else to talk about it when I don't have anything to show what I'm talking about...

3. I have realized that I don't have enough warm winter clothes for any member of my family (including myself). Unfortunately, I have realized this while packing for a week-long trip to colder temperatures than we've had.

4. I am ignoring calls from my mother today, as I am sick of fighting with her about my trip. I hate this, because my mom is one of my best friends and we typically talk almost daily. I am not angry with her, per se, but I just can't handle it right now. She is stressing me out and I seriously don't need that.

5. I haven't worked out all week. I figure the stress I've been under has effectively raised my heart rate, my back has been killing me all week, and all the running around I'm doing, lugging the kids is more exercise than I had been doing previously (if you look at the week as a whole, not daily, of course.)

6. A friend from MOPS loaned me her portable DVD player to put on in the car for Fuss. I followed her to her home after the meeting today and WOW. She has this FABulous house. The type I dream about. Seriously. Usually, I like my house. (I wish there were 2 or more bathrooms, sure, but overall, I like my house.) But I suddenly felt really inadequate. I mean, this woman is beautiful (inside and out - she is really, truly one of the sweetest people), she is 4 months pregnant (with her 2nd child) and looks better than I have since I was 20 (and even then, I think she probably still looks better than I did at that age), drives a fancy car, has fabulous clothes, is always dressed impeccably, and lives in this gorgeous house on the water... I felt really, truly inadequate and I have no idea why I was comparing my life to hers. Why do we as women do that so often? I mean, my husband isn't likely to look at Misti and say "why can't you look like her? She's more attractive than you." and my kids aren't likely to like her more than me and really, those are really the only opinions that count in my life.

7. I have no idea what to post for the 7th thing today. Here is our family Christmas picture.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No Air

Am beginning to freak out. And it's all my mother's fault! She is desperately trying to convince me that going up to help my sister is a bad idea (she keeps telling me to wait a week - like that is going to help the weather problems? And THIS is when she needs the help!) and she's making me a nervous wreck. I now keep having visions of something terrible going wrong on our way up there and I just... I'm freaking out, I'm completely stressed and all I want is curl up and make the world fade away.

But I'm a mom and I have 2 kids and I can't make the world go away.

I am cranky, stressed, irritated, frustrated and wondering what the heck I've gotten myself into. I ran around all morning going to the chiropractor and going to the mechanic's. I got new tires and a few other repairs. The baby is fussy, Fuss is cranky... no one is in a good mood today. And my husband's dog has some sort of head cold/congestion or something and is making this horrible sound like a wild boar or something and it is both making my skin crawl and driving me up the wall. On top of everything else.

It looks like I may have to leave on Saturday instead of Sunday, losing my day of packing/planning/time with my husband. But the weather is supposed to be nicer on Saturday up there, soooo....

I'm awake and I'm feeling crushed. I can only imagine how I'm going to feel tonight when I try and go to sleep. (Have I mentioned how, in times of stress, I have dreams where I'm being crushed? Yeah. It's real fun.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Black and White or Reality

I've been thinking a lot lately about my younger self - specifically my days in Jr High and High School and who I was then, my belief systems, etc. I am amused to realize how much I thought in black and white, right and wrong, true and false even though I felt I was progressive.

When you're 13 and in a Christian school, with Christian parent(s) and you regularly go to church and all your friends have the same basic belief system, you assume that that way of thinking is the only RIGHT way of thinking. You assume that the way you were brought up is the RIGHT way and anyone who does it differently is WRONG. I am thinking especially of my thoughts on morals and such, but that can be branched out in other ways, too, now that I think about it.

I remember being so judgmental of people who has sex outside of marriage. I remember assuming that couples who weren't married and got pregnant and therefore got married because of that pregnancy would automatically fail/have bad marriages/regret their choices, etc. Of course, I had never been in love, been kissed, felt anything even remotely like true love and I still thought the idea of sex (from a distant, mechanics-only knowledge of the topic) was kind of disgusting and I remember saying "yeah, I'd HAVE to be in love to do that with another person."

Fast forward a few years to my parents divorce, which rocked my world inside out, even at the age of 20, and shook up half the things my mom and my school had taught me. Suddenly, my mom was leaving my dad, both my parents had alcohol in the refrigerators, my mom was dating and HAVING SEX. In my house. (Loudly) Anyway...

And now I think about the friends and classmates I had in high school. Two of my best friends in high school - 2 of the "good girls" who came from good, stable, loving families who attended church regularly, etc.... they've both abandoned church attendance for the most part. And of my oldest "friends" (we met before Kindergarten and were good friends in elementary school, but then drifted apart) who never seemed to be interested in church except for social things... she married a Youth Pastor and now practically lives at her church, is very involved, etc.

I wonder sometimes - is the way we're raised really the way we end up? Are these friends just the exceptions to the rules? I know now that there is a lot more gray to the "absolutes"of the world than I realized when I was a kid...

It does show me, though, that sending a kid to a Christian school can't be the ONLY thing that teaches them their moral compass. It HAS to be taught at home. It has to be LIVED in the life they see.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

10 on Tuesday

1. Is there a band/artist that you HATE?
I just don't get some of the teeny bopper artists - like say, Justin Beiber. But hate? not that I can think of. Do out-dated ones count? I can't stand Aaron Neville and I never liked NKOTB, though I grew up in the era of those little girls who worshipped them.

2. What do you do when you get a gift that you do not like? How do you react?
I always try to come up with something nice to say to the giver because I truly believe that it's the thought that counts. But I try to give it away to someone who might appreciate it. If that isn't possible, I donate it a thrift store or something. Or keep it for the inevitable White Elephant gift exchange.

3. How is your work office/cubicle decorated?
I don't really have one, though when I did, my desk had an assortment of pictures (my wedding party, my husband, an ultrasound picture) and odd little chotchkies that I had picked up around the office.

4. Do you use all of your vacation every year?
Again, I don't get vacation time. :) But I used to use all or most of it for the few years I DID get vacation. I used up the balance of it when I took maternity leave because I didn't have PAID maternity leave, just time off. My husband almost never uses all of his. He either cashes out some of it or rolls some over, or both.

5. Did you have a real or fake Christmas tree?
Sigh. We have a fake one. It's a SMALL fake one, too. I always had real trees growing up, so it saddens me to have a fake one now, but I HATE putting up the lights, so the pre-lit option was the real selling point. I think we're going to take the plunge and buy a big, nice, pre-lit tree next year.

6. If you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be?
Sushi or Thai

7. Do you bite your fingernails?
No, but I do scratch at the surrounding skin when I'm nervous or anxious.

8. How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
Maybe 1? I don't have coffee every day because it upsets my stomach.

9. Do you have a nervous tick?
Not really. When I'm on the phone and having a conversation I'm nervous about, I pace. I can't stand still when I'm talking to someone I'm not extremely comfortable with.

10. How often do you vacuum?
Not often enough.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Helping Out

I talked to my sisterfriend this weekend. She is due this week with her 5th baby and -long story short - I am driving up to GA with my kids once the baby comes to help her. I was nervous at first, but when I talked to her about it, she was so happy and so grateful that I feel so much more at peace with the choice. My mom is giving me grief about it. It's not that she doesn't want me to help her (she loves her like a daughter) but she is concerned about me driving that far (so am I, but I think I can handle it) and all the worrisome things that my mom worries about. (She doesn't like me driving in Tampa.)

So I'm creating a packing list and to do list of things to accomplish before we go. I'll have some notice, but the date isn't concrete yet.

I'm mildly worried about my kids. Fuss doesn't always want to sleep in a bed other than her own and the Little Man is sensitive to his surroundings and who knows what a house that already has 4 kids (plus the baby) in it will be like? But I'm getting a room for just the 3 of us (the girls' room) so hopefully we'll be fine.

Friday, January 7, 2011

7 Quick Takes

Ugh. My head hurts.

1. Yesterday, I did my work out, but it was sort of half-assed and the baby started crying with 5 minutes to go and I just gave up. I had a bad attitude and I was sore and stressed and I just wanted chocolate. When I told that to my husband he said "sounds like you're about to start your period" and he was right - it did sound like that. But I'm not ready to start my period! Gosh darn it, I should still have MONTHS left of this non-menstrual thing.

2. My step-brother and his wife are pregnant. Like they just-got-2-lines pregnant, she hasn't even been to the doctor yet. And they've told EVERYbody. My other step-brothers and their respective significant others (one is married, one is dating) keep joking around about them having a girl. This is funny because there are no girls in the last 4+ generations of this family. (My step-dad has 3 sons, is one of 3 brothers, has only biological uncles and great uncles, etc.) But my step-SIL wants a girl and B usually gets what she wants. The family joked that she would get a girl no matter what, even if it meant trading babies at the hospital. Even if it meant HER MOTHER would have trade babies at the hospital. Ha ha. I hope it doesn't come to that, because I kind of wouldn't put it past her... (I'm kidding.) (Sort of.)

3. The night of Little Man's vaccines this week, he woke at 2am burning up. He responded quickly to Tylenol and then I rocked him for awhile and he went back to sleep. I didn't take his temp, but he was SO hot, poor little man.

4. We're going to the outlet mall this weekend. We're hoping to get new dishes. And I'm hoping to shop at a few other stores, too.

5. My mom got me one of those scrabble tile necklaces for Christmas. I love the ones she wears and I love the ones I've seen on Etsy, but the one she got me says "It is What it is" and I just don't get it. I'm hoping I can find a way to discreetly exchange it, but I don't know where the shop it that she got it from. There is an Etsy address on the packaging, but the Etsy store is empty. I know mom got it from a local shop, though. I'll have to see if she can tell me where she got it.

6. I want this dress from Modcloth. I can't decide why I love it so much. Is it just because it reminds me of something Emma Pillsbury would wear, or if it really is "me?" I've gotten really into the style of Emma lately, but can't afford it. But this dress is affordable. But I can't really wear one-piece dresses much when I'm nursing... so I'm delaying buying it. But I want it.
7. One cute pic of the kids for you.
Hard to believe this was taken a month ago and Little Man has gained a couple of pounds since then and no longer fits in any part of this outfit except the vest.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Best Day (for my mom on her birthday)

The Best Day
by Taylor Swift

I'm five years old and it's getting cold
I've got my pink coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you
I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides
Look now the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop till I forgot all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

I have an excellent father
His strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother
Inside and out he's better than I am

I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run
And I had the best days with you

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine and I didn't know if you knew
So I'm taking this chance to say that I had the best day with you today

This song always reminds me of my mom. And it should, I suppose, since it's a song for a mom. But it's SO us. I had a pink coat when I was 5 and I used to fall asleep in the car a lot. My friends and I were obsessed with the 7 Dwarfs, even through high school, so the mentions periodically of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs are particularly poetic. And when I was in 7th grade there was a brief period where all my friends turned on me and wouldn't talk to me, etc. My mom wasn't the only one to try and help me feel better about that, but she helped. And I truly remember thinking that my daddy was the the handsomest and smartest guy out there and my mom was "the prettiest lady in the whole wide world."

I had a great day with my mom yesterday. She helped me take the kids to the pediatrician for Little Man's 4 month appointment, then we went and visited her office so she could get a picture of Fuss sitting at her desk, pretending to answer the phone like I did at a similar age. And then we went to lunch. The kids were well-behaved, lunch was fantastic and I loved hanging out with my mommy.

My mom isn't perfect, but she did a fantastic job being my mom (and pretty much the only parent with an active roll in my life growing up) and she is an even better friend to me now that I am an adult and have children of my own. My mom is one of my best friends and I am so happy to have her in my life.

Happy Birthday, Mama! I love you very much.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wow. I had no idea trying to squeeze work-out in with 2 kids was going to be this hard. I hate exercise, so I honestly thought that the actually DOING it was going to be the worst part (and maybe it still is - I have yet to actually start a work out) but just getting to it, seems to be a challenge I wasn't anticipating.

Monday morning I couldn't get out of bed. Daddy Fuss and I had had a disagreement the night before, had ended up staying up way too late and I just couldn't get out of bed when my alarm went off. Then, Fuss, who has been waking up between 8-9 the last 2 weeks was up by 7:15 and had taken over the living room.

I then had to rush around getting myself showered and dressed, her dressed, the baby dressed and fed, her undressed, bathed (because she coated herself in a combination of my deoderant and lotion) and re-dressed and out the door to the mechanic's to get the blower in my AC in my van fixed. We went directly from there (2 hours later) to Chuck E. Cheese to meet up w/ April and Spencer and Henry for lunch and I had a couple of slices of pizza, even though I was *planning* to get the salad bar (but we had a coupon for pizza!). By the time we got home, it was late, I had to get both kids to sleep so that we could leave for my husband's early (6:30) softball game. It was the play-offs, so I was actually hoping he'd lose (they did, though he specifically had a GREAT game) so we could go get some dinner and go home at a decent hour. He wasn't in the mood for dinner, though, having wolfed down a half a sub before the game. But he was very kind and agreed to go get me some Thai take-out. He ended up getting me some spring rolls (which are one of my absolute favorite things from the Thai place) so I ended up with a fried snack thrown in to my dinner, but that's okay! It was delicious, and I have to say I really enjoyed every single bite.

Tuesday morning, the Little Man who had been doing SO well with his overnight sleeping woke at 5:30 and demanded to eat. I rolled over when he was done and was going to snooze for just a few minutes and ended up sleeping until after 7. I got up and popped in the Jillian DVD, but as I was frantically searching for the remote, Fuss got up and took over the living room.

I wasn't sure it was going to happen during naptime, since Little Man started a crying fit and would not lay down in his bassinet for his nap. But eventually, I got started. Note to self: invest in a sports bra, especially if you are going to work out with breast-feeding boobs.

Jillian kicked my butt. And I couldn't do it all. I'm sure there are plenty of people (like my sisters-in-law) who are rolling their eyes at that statement. But seriously. I couldn't keep up. I am THAT out of shape. I know it's a 20-minute work out. I get it. And I truly believe that I SHOULD be able to do it, but I can't seem to keep that pace, even for 20 minutes and believe me when I tell you that I have no ab muscles. No seriously. Other than keeping my bones in their place, I have no ab muscles. I never have. I can't do a proper crunch to save my life. Not even one. So this is going to be interesting.

I'm not looking to get hard-bodied in 30 days. I'm more realistic than that. But I am looking to be able to complete a 20 minute work out. That would be nice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

10 on Tuesday: My Home

1. What type of home do you currently reside in? (house, apartment, etc.)
A house.

2. If you could completely redecorate one room in your home, what room would you pick, why, and what would you do to it?
My great room, but since that is technically cheating, I'd probably say my living room. We've been slowly trying to do this over the last 2 years, but I really think it would be better if we could just DO IT. But that's expensive. So we do it slowly. I have a new couch and a new rug, so really now it's about fixing it up (ie: organizing) and a few details, I think.

3. What is your favorite place to gain inspiration for your home decor style?
Magazines and HGTV, etc. I can't say I've ever redone a room to copy what I've seen, but I try to get a feel and then do it on a budget.

4. What is your favorite piece of decor in your home?
Decor? I have no idea. Maybe the new painting in the dining area of the great room? I love my dining table and I love my bedroom's overall look (when it's clean)

5. What do you want visitors to feel when they visit your home? Do you think your home gives off that feeling?
I want people to feel comfortable and peaceful. I don't think I'm there yet, because I feel like there is too much chaos - and not just the kids and the dogs. I've still got stuff crammed everywhere leftover from our construction this summer, and I just want to snap my fingers and magically have it all organized.

6. Describe your home in one word and explain why you chose that word.
Transition. I feel like certain rooms are there, or would be there if I could keep them clean, but other things are waiting to be updated, finished, or re-done.

7. What are some predominant colors or patterns in your home?
LOTS of green and blue and brown. But then, we love those colors, so it's not a shocker.

8. What is your favorite room in your home and why?
My bedroom. Because it's basically perfect.

9. Do you take a hands-on or DIY approach to projects around your home or do you enlist or hire help?
Daddy Fuss does a lot, and/or my dad helps out, since it seems like he can do everything. About the only thing my dad isn't willing to tackle is medium-to-large electrical projects, so we hire out for those, of course. We're also going to have to hire a plumber when we re-do our bathroom.

10. Where is your favorite place to shop for home furnishings?
Well, I would have said American Signature, because I like that store a lot and they have good prices, etc. But my favorite piece is from Kanes and my couch which I love (and would love more if Fuss would stop spilling her juice all over it) and we had a great experience picking out and purchasing was from Ashley. My bedroom set (which is gorgeous, still in incredible shape, but is really huge, so I'm wishing we could at least think about replacing) and my recliner (love) are both from AS, so it's probably still my favorite go-to furniture store.

More 10 on Tuesday can be found here.