Friday, April 29, 2011

8 Quick Takes

1. The Little Man has a second tooth popping through and is a big huge ball of drool. I don't even know where all that liquid comes from, he's so drooly. Wow.

2. Took my kids to visit their Aunt J for her birthday on Thursday. She works at (our) my alma mater. SO much has changed around there in the decade plus since I went to school there, but one thing remains the same - my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. B is still teaching there. She now teaches 3rd grade instead of 6th, but she was a fixture back then, and she is a fixture now. She taught all but one of my sisters-in-law, my husband, myself, my sister, my cousin... she's been there forever. It was fun to show off my kids to her. (and it seemed like she doesn't age. How is that possible?) She asked Fuss how old she was and was impressed when she told her very politely that she was 3. Then Fuss asked how old Mrs. B was. Mrs. B answered that she was 100. She certainly doesn't look it, but with the length of memories that I have of her (I began Kindergarten at that school more than 25 years ago and I'm pretty positive she was teaching there then) I'd believe it.

3. I am sick of hearing the words "but" and "remember" because my 3-year-old is constantly arguing with me ("but...") and bossing me ("now remember, Mommy,..."). It's become an issue and she is now being punished for bossing adults. This is a problem when my parents think it's so funny to hear a little midget instruct them. I don't find it funny at all.

4. I'm going to my first Tupperware party this weekend. I vaguely remember my mom going to them when I was a kid. Should be fun.

5. I am ticked off beyond measure that when shopping online, you cannot get items that are featured in their own site's promotional pictures. For example, I am looking at Ann Taylor Loft and there is this ADORABLE top in several of the sections labeled "Looks we love" and under their "style studio" they have the same outfit featured under a s sub-heading and they either never sold the top or it's completely out. That to me is pure laziness. Don't tell me you don't have other pictures of outfits that you DO sell. This frustrates me to no end when I'm shopping online. They aren't the only site that does it, but they seem to be the worst.

6. My mom and I are going shopping this weekend and I'm psyched. I LOVE new clothes.

7. I've been having weird twinges in my back, near my kidneys. I'm really hoping it's not a stone. It could potentially be just a muscle spasm/sore spot, but it bothers me that it keeps happening right there in the kidney area. Plus, I confess, I haven't been drinking as much water as I was and I am up in my soda intake, which is less good on the kidneys. (But my headaches seem to be back again, thanks to, I assume, my hormones going back into regular swing. Speaking of which, I should probably call my OB-GYN and get some BC pills...)

8. We watched part of the Royal Wedding this morning. It was so beautiful and I admit that I teared up a bit seeing how much in love they are... it's such a beautiful thing to see 2 young people in love.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Haircut Update (with pictures)

I'm told that people want to see pictures of the final result. I've played with it a couple of times over the last few days and it's growing on me - that is, I'm liking it more. Would I recreate this exact look again? No. Even if I chose to do another similar cut, there is still a section that is way too short in the wrong place, etc. But it doesn't make me wince and or cry when I see it.

A close up of the side.

A close up of the front.

Overall from the side.

And a bonus picture of my husband and son!

Common Courtesy of Blogging

I read a handful of blogs (okay, a good-sized handful) daily. I love blogs. I love getting a peek into the lives of other moms (because it's mostly mommy blogs that I read) who are dealing with similar stuff as me. It makes me feel better/connected to them.

The first few blogs I ever read were Julie and Julia who both had 100s, if not thousands, of readers by the time I came across them. I knew there was no way they could possibly read every single comment or reciprocate the reading of every reader's blog and I didn't expect them to (it would have been nice, but unrealistic). But then I started coming across quite a few smaller blogs - people who had few-to-no registered readers and/or few-to-no regular commenters. And you know, I know how that feels. So I always tried to comment on those blogs. And I tried to check in more regularly if I liked the first few posts I read. This has changed my reading habits a lot, and I no longer check Julie's blog 3 times a week to see if maybe she posted!

I don't really know how to grow my blog a lot. Partially because I'm not willing to open myself up to some talented Googling and let everyone in the world know that I have a blog. (This has more to do with the fact that I talk very frankly about my friends and family in my blog and I don't want to change that.) But I appreciate the courtesy of people reciprocating reading/comments when I am a regular commenter on their blogs. I think it's common blog courtesy, especially if you aren't a person who has 100+ readers or something. (I know that you don't have time to read 50 blogs per day, I get that).

But I have to tell you, I get a little miffed when I read and comment on a smaller blog EVERY DAY and then they comment (on their own blog) that they only read one or two blogs regularly and mine isn't one of them. That's darn frustrating. Because, seriously, how long does it take to read one of my posts? 2 minutes? And how long does it take to drop a 2 sentence comment? 30 seconds?

But then, I know that it can be hard to keep up with all the reading. There are days when I don't get to my blogs and then the next day, I feel so behind. And sometimes I feel guilty about it. Which is ridiculous, but still.

I don't know what my point is here - I guess that people should practice a little courtesy when reading/writing blogs. If you're a regular reader, say something in the comments. If you have regular readers, share the love and check their blogs out, too. It's just polite.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 on Tuesday

1. How many blogs do you read every day and what are they? (I’m talking the ones you NEVER miss)
I read Mighty Maggie, Roots and Rings, Kendi Everyday that post 5 days a week. I check in on Jesabes, Something Different This Way Comes, Julia @Here Be Hippogriffs, and Mommy Words several times a week, but they don't usually post 5 days a week, so there isn't always something to read.

2. How many “best friends” do you have? Do you have different “besties” for different areas of your life?
When I was younger a had a School Best Friend, a church Best Friend and 2 best friends that didn't get distinctions. Now I have my best friend who is my husband, my best friend who I call my sister or sisterfriend and my best friend (who is really my 3rd best friend).

3. What’s your daily make up routine?
It varies depending on what I'm doing for the day and my mood. I wash my face in the shower and I put on make up ranging from eyeliner and clear lip gloss only to full-face foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, etc. If I'm hanging out at the house, I don't bother, but if I'm going out and hanging out with other adults, I do the full thing. If I'm running errands, it's somewhere in the middle.

4. What is your ideal girl’s night?
Nice dinner, great conversation, martini's and dessert.

5. Do you keep up with your nails/toenails or are they au natural?
I've been putting polish on both lately, though I'd gotten out of the habit of wearing fingernail polish until recently. I think my feet look odd without polish, so I usually keep polish on the toes.

6. What’s your best roommate story (assuming you had a roommate at some point in your life)?
Best? What do you mean, like wildest? Well....
  • one of my first college roommates stole from me and got kicked out of school before the first of October. (she got kicked out for a myriad of things not just stealing from me) I had to start locking my wallet and phone cards in one of the bedrooms that belonged to other girls in the house we shared.
  • Best like most fun would probably be the time almost all of us when skinny dipping 100 yards from the interstate.
  • When my mom was more like my roommate than my mom, she used to have her boyfriends over and she was REALLY loud in the bedroom. Sometimes she knew I was home and sometimes she didn't. It was REALLY awkward.

7. What’s your “go to” outfit that you wear more than anything else?
At this point, jeans and a tank top. And I truly hate to admit that. To dress it up, that tank top is changed to a sleeveless blouse that is actually a maternity top that looks really great even when I'm not pregnant.

8. Do you have a beauty secret?
Not really. I have nice hair, but that has more to do with the fact that I'm a natural redhead and I have never ever put a chemical in my hair - no dye or perms or relaxers, etc. My hair is really healthy.

9. Did you read Seventeen magazine growing up?
A little. My mom thought it was stupid, so I didn't read a lot of it.

10. How did you learn to put on makeup?
Mostly from watching my mom, a couple of Mary Kay consultants and the department store make up counter people. Also, instinct.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More hair, beautiful Easter, lots of family.

Her hair is growing on me (pardon the pun). At least I'm not mentally cringing every time I look at her now and I can see her hair and think that it's sort of cute.

And somehow, she still managed to get food in her hair last night. Sheesh.

We had a nice Easter celebration. We had a wonderful service at church and one of the songs for special music was an old favorite of mine from childhood so it's been in my head over and over ever since and it makes me happy. I LOVE Easter music. It's so victorious and happy. And considering the subject matter, it SHOULD be victorious. Jesus conquered death. He Lives. It's a beautiful thought.

My family always had nice, relaxing holidays growing up. There aren't a lot of us. I have 2 uncles and 5 cousins and my parents and my grandparents and rarely did we all get together. We would have a nice meal and sit around and visit, the men would take naps... it was all just so comfortable.

My husband's family had a very different tradition. He has 2 uncles and aunts, and between them, they have 12 kids (so his grandmother's grandchildren.) And they are LOUD. And now that they're older, most of the grand-kids are married and producing great-grandchildren. (Before she passed away last year, Gma liked to brag that she had 12 grandchildren, 8 grandchildren-in-law, and 10 great-grandchildren, with one on the way!) Since her passing, there have been 2 more births (including the one she knew about in our Little Man) so now it's 12 great-grand-kids. But they get wild and play games and rough house and jump around, so it's a very different situation between the 2 families. I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to have both. (But I sometimes wonder if my in-laws are bored out of their minds when they join my side of the family for a holiday).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's the Hairy Deal?

We took Fuss into a salon that was recommended by a friend to have her hair fixed. I was so hopeful. I knew it would be short, of course (did you see the quantity of hair she chopped off?) but I was still hopeful that it would look little girl-ish and cute and feminine.

I won't say this to her, of course. I won't even say it out loud. But it's horrible. Every time I look at her, I want to cry.

The stylist did the best she could. She warned me that the length that she had left was going to have to go. She warned me that until it grew out, that she couldn't even do a little bob because right now it would just look like a bad bowl cut. Older girls can pull off the short cuts and still look stylish and cute. But my 3 year old looks like a boy with a long hair cut in a dress and I am SO sad.

It turns out that the stylist my friend sent us to is Fuss's Sunday School teacher (one of them). So that was sort of fun. I'd actually go back to her for myself, I think. And next time I'm ready for a haircut, I probably will.

I'm going to keep messing with Fuss's hair - clips and maybe even try to curl it with the curling iron or something - to see what I can do to make me feel better about it. I'm heartbroken. Which I know is ridiculous, but seriously - my daughter is so incredibly beautiful that I hate that she now looks sort of boyish.

The good news is that hopefully this will help her hair grow in thicker, as sometimes cutting it tends to stimulate that or something. I know it will grow back, but... oh, I'm so sad about this.

Friday, April 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1. On Wednesday night while we were at the hockey game, my mom came over to babysit the kids. After she put them to bed, she cleaned up my kitchen. LOVE. But she doesn't spend a lot of time at my house/in my kitchen so she doesn't know where stuff goes. Which is fine, I totally get that, etc. But what baffles me is that I discovered 2 specific instances where she moved stuff that was already in the cabinets to other places/cabinets. Does she think I put that stuff there by mistake? That I don't know where/how to arrange my own kitchen to the highest efficiency? I am not bothered by the numerous pieces she didn't put away, or by the handful that she put in the wrong place. But I am a little bugged that she moved my daughter's collection of sippy cups halfway across the kitchen from where they had been when I left.

2. Fuss gave herself a haircut on Thursday. I am heart-broken. She has these amazing little curls, and while I was going to have her hair cut eventually because the back grew in way faster/longer than the sides, etc. I certainly wasn't going to go quite as dramatically as she did, nor was I planning to do so 3 days before Easter. Sigh. I guess at least we already got her professional pictures done, so her longer hair was in that. She's probably going to end up with a ear-length bob. And her longest section of hair was more than half-way down her back, so that's a pretty dramatic change. We have an appointment with a recommended hair dresser on Saturday morning. (the pic above is the pile of hair she cut off shown with a tube of chapstick to show size)

3. Little Man has a tooth pushing through. I felt it Thursday morning. (right after he bit me. Thanks a lot, Buddy) I can't believe he's getting teeth already.

4. I got my first postpartum period on Tuesday night and by first thing Wednesday morning, it was back with a vengeance. It's reminding me of being a week postpartum. I hurt, I ache, I have no energy and my diet has been thrown out the window.

5. The Little Man seems to be going through a phase of rejection of the bottle, which is no fun. This effectively means that I cannot leave the baby with a sitter for any real length of time.

6. Do you know how hard it is to find a spring dress (read: not black) that you can nurse a baby in without completely undressing? I have a wedding to go to in June and I was trying to combine an Easter dress with the fashion needs of that event, but I'll have to feed the baby in both incidences. I bought 2 dresses tonight at Kohls, but I'm not crazy about either of them, but I like the colors and I can feed the baby and they are both comfortable.

7. My mom is hosting Easter dinner this weekend, and my in-laws are coming. I'm just glad that I don't have to do it all myself this time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Slightly Less Girly Me

Last night my husband took me to my first hockey game. I have never been a big sports fan by any means, but until I married my husband the only professional sports games I had ever been were baseball games where my elite high school ensemble sung the National Anthem and we then got free seats in the nosebleeds as compensation. (And the girls would sit around and talk while the boys would alternate between flirting with the girls and watching the game.) So anyway, he's now taken me to all the professional sports teams around the area now (he took me to a Rays game that I actually watched a couple years ago, a Bucs game, and we've been to a Spring Training Yankees game as well) and I gotta tell you... I really like hockey.

Now, I've always thought of myself as a girlie girl. I don't like to sweat and I don't like sand and dirt. I like make up and pedicures and frilly dresses (I like the look of heels, but I can't seem to bring myself to wear them often and I really can't wear those really high ones. Not because I can't walk in them, but because I refuse to sacrifice my comfort for pretty, sexy shoes). But I'm starting to realize that there is more to me than the boundaries of that label. I like to go to the shooting range and fire off a couple of rounds from a .40-caliber handgun. And I like hockey games.

(Unfortunately, the Lightning lost in double overtime, but it was a fun time anyhow.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Things I don't want to forget

  • This weekend, I had a moment... my husband brought the baby in to me first thing in the morning. (We have a habit of him going to get the baby when he wakes up and bringing him into the bed so I can nurse him without getting up. Depending on the day/time, sometimes he'll get back in bed and snuggle with us, but if it's a work day and later, he'll go straight to the shower.) Up until now, Daddy Fuss would put the baby down and I'd have to pull his paci out of his mouth before he could latch onto me. But this weekend... he saw me and opened his mouth, dropping the paci and reached for me. It was so sweet and so special.
  • Fuss says cute little screwy things - mispronunciations of words, or phrases out of order. She's starting to outgrow some of them, so I want to record my favorites.

    Farkles = sparkles
    File! = smile
    Bodden = bottom (she's still saying this one, for which I am grateful)
    I ate my breakfast all = I ate all my breakfast
  • Little Man is starting to sit up by himself and he has the greatest posture. He sits on the floor on a blanket and gets an object in his hands and works it from every angle. He studies things so hard. And then he gets bored, tosses it and doesn't want it again because "mama, I'm already done with that one." (he is obviously not SAYING it, just that's the look...)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 on Tuesday: Book Love

1. When someone asks you for a book recommendation, what is your go-to book?
Well, it depends on who it is and what they're asking for, but if they are open to Christian fiction I go with either Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers or anything by Karen Kingsbury. I also adore everything by Nicholas Sparks.

2. Do you buy your books, or are you a library patron?
I buy a lot of books and now that I have my Kindle, I buy them on Kindle. I actually have a back-log on my Kindle right now, though, so I need to hold off on buying any more. I LOVE the concept of the library, but it is so hard for me to get there, browse, and then get back to return them. Fuss just isn't patient at the library. She won't settle down long enough to let me browse, so if I don't know exactly what I want to get, I don't bother.

3. E-readers, yay or nay?
Yay! I was given 2 physical books I really really wanted to read for Christmas - and I haven't read them yet. Ugh. I LOVE to read, but it's so much easier to cart the Kindle around than a regular book.

4. What was your favorite book as a child?
I have a lot of memories of reading books as a child. The first book I couldn't put down was Betsy's Little Star (which I can't find on Amazon. I could have sworn it was by Beverly Cleary, but Amazon can't find it. The only book by that title is different from the one I remember...) I also read the book Jamie and the Mystery Quilt (also out of print) about 20 times. As a younger child, I loved The Little Engine that Could and My Goodnight Book (still a favorite. My mom bought us a copy for Fuss)
I also loved Pollyanna and The Velveteen Rabbit. My mom used to read me those books and I loved them.
As a teen, my favorite books were The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. (I couldn't find a listing for the whole series at once, so this is the first 3, though I preferred the stories more as they moved along to later years)

5. If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?
Hmmmm. I don't know. Anne Shirley, maybe? Love me some Anne of Green Gables!

6. What book would you love to see turned into a movie?
Possibly The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.

7. What is your all-time favorite book?
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. LOVE. IT.

8. How many books do you read at once?
Usually a couple going on at once. Up to 5 if we're talking both fiction and non.

9. What is your favorite book genre?
Non-smutty romances like Nicholas Sparks. I also have really been into Christian romances over the past year, a nod back to my high school days, I think.

10. Which Harry Potter book is the best? Or haven’t you read them at all?
I've read them all. I think one of my favorites was The Goblet of Fire. I also really liked The Half-Blood Prince but I hesitate to call it my favorite because I hate that a beloved character died. (so that I won't spoil it for someone who might not have read it yet.)

For more 10 on Tuesday, visit Chelsea here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend in Review

We got a sort of last minute invitation to join my MIL, my SIL LP and her roommate and friend Aunt Amy (what we have the kids call her - I have a lot of friends named Amy) strawberry picking on the last day the fields were opened for the season. It was a beautiful day and there were some gorgeous strawberries out in the fields. We were very happy with our harvest!

We came home and washed and sorted our strawberries and let Fuss play and both kids took a nap. Then we went on a long list of quick errands - diapers from Target, picking up last week's pictures from JCPenney and then I scored a great deal on Earth's Best Organic Baby food thanks to a coupon in combination with a sale that a friend called my attention to. (Thanks again, Bex!)

We spent the evening with my mom and step-dad while my husband fixed my step-dad's computer and Fuss entertained us all over pizza. We came home and put the kids to bed and watched Veronica Mars on TV (my idea. I've been thinking in VM quotes lately and it's been awhile since we watched the show.)

On Sunday the kids both slept in after multiple wakings in the night and so we lazed around the house having breakfast (blueberry muffins with strawberries. Juice for the Fuss, coffee for the adults) until my dad showed up unannounced and then we rushed around getting ready for my BFF's son D's birthday party.

We had a blast at this place that had both indoor token-style games (Ski-ball, Gator Smash, arcade games, games of chance and slots) and outdoor activity type games (go karts, bumper boats, mini golf, batting cages) and rides (mini roller coaster, train rides). Fuss had SO much fun, but we stayed a really long time and basically missed the main naptime for both kids.

We settled down to watch the end of the Burn Notice Marathon and the new (made for TV) movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe. We are BIG fans of Burn Notice, so we were hoping for a good time. We broke out the beer and margaritas (I'm not experienced in making Mojitos) and appetizers for dinner (we felt it was very Sam-ish) but the kids kept waking up over and over and over, so it wasn't the most relaxing night we've ever had, but it was fun and eventually, the kids let us sleep (for about 6 hours) and all was right with the world.

Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1. I'm getting a cold, courtesy of my son and apparently one of us has also managed to pass it to my daughter. Yippee. WHY oh why did I put him in the nursery? (Fuss told me this morning that her mouth hurts when she swallows her spit. She's got a sore throat.)

2. My boy is sitting up on his own. I'm kind of thrilled. He sits up so cute and regal-like. This is one cute kid.

3. I've been watching the previews for this William and Kate movie on Lifetime and I want to see it. I really haven't followed their relationship because I have issues with tabloids harassing people who just want to have normal lives. And it's not like William really had any choice to his fame... but the movie looks sweet and I'm starting to remember my mom watching Diana's wedding... it's the royal wedding of this generation...

4. I have stuff I want to do this weekend. This cold sucks.

5. I'm obsessed with Easter candy. My favorite candy is Cadburry Creme Eggs which you can only get at Easter. I also love Peeps. Particularly the pink bunnies. I did buy a few Creme Eggs this year, but I haven't bought one marshmallow bunny. I'm trying to be good and the temptation is just too much, so I'm not even having them in the house. I bought the kids some cute little toys for Easter instead of a lot of candy. I feel this is very responsible of me.

6. We're starting to give Little Man some table foods. Soft ones or chunks of fruit that are too big to swallow, but he can suck and gnaw on. He loves it. He had grits the other day, and mashed potatoes last night. He had cantaloupe yesterday. He's having fun learning to enjoy real food.

7. I've become obsessed with Scrabble. Apparently, I'm 70 years old.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random stuff and Adult Friends

I'm taking the kids to my MOPs group Annual Easter Egg Hunt today. We're supposed to bring a dozen (per kid) filled eggs and I found some that were filled w/ Playdough instead of candy and I'm psyched! We're also supposed to bring a "dish to share" and my husband encouraged me to bring these delicious cookies he found the recipe for - Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate cookies. Amazing.

I've really been trying to spend less time online when my husband is home at night. And also less time parked in front of the laptop during the day. I'm trying to be more active with my children and... it's exhausting. But anyway, that accounts for at least some of my lack of, or late posting lately. It's hard to get a daily post out with kids clamoring for your attention.

I've been thinking lately about adult friendships again. Sometimes it is SO hard to make friends as an adult. It's hard to meet new people because you're so stuck in your little routine you're surrounded by the same people all the time. And when you do meet new people, sometimes it is SO hard to get the ball rolling and spend enough time with that person to actually forge a friendship.

There's this woman at MOPs that I would LOVE to be friends with. We talk at our monthly meetings, but we really know very little about each other other than the names of our children. But we hit it off and she is SO sweet and so nice and I just think we get along so well. I would LOVE to get to know her better, but she's got 3 kids and another on the way and I've got my 2 kids, so getting together just to talk woman-to-woman is practically impossible. Where or when would we have the time to do that? And adults don't seem to be able to just call each other up when they barely know each other and invite another person out for coffee or whatever. And unfortunately, her kids and mine aren't the same ages, so it's not even like it would be an obvious play date for the kids where the moms got to chat while they amused themselves.

Wouldn't it be easier if friendships were made like they used to be on the elementary school playground? "Do you want to be my friend?" "Yes." "Great!" and off you go skipping off to the swings. Or when our moms would set up play dates?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I got 4 hours of sleep last night - non-consecutive. So I'm not up to finishing the blog post I started yesterday.

In the meantime, you can check out this fun new site I found - an online magazine by women, about women, for women. It focuses on the artsy, creative side of REAL women. And I can vouch for at least the legitimacy of 2 of the women involved, as I went to college with them (and even lived with one of them for a year).

Monday, April 11, 2011

10 on Tuesday

1. If you work, do you drive to work or take public transportation?
I don't have an outside the house job right now, but when I did I drove. The public transportation around here is really bad and so even though there were plenty of bus stops near my old office building, it would have taken me 2 hours or more to make my 30-minute drive to work every day.

2. How often do you get your haircut? Do you go to the same person every time?
I've never been great about getting my hair cut frequently, but I usually have some version of a longer-length haircut, so that makes sense. I had the same hair dresser from age 5 until a couple of years ago (28 maybe?) but I've jumped around a bit since then. I often go to my BFF's MIL because she's cheap, but if I want anything remotely complicated or requiring creativity, I go elsewhere.

3. Do you read the newspaper? If so, a hardcopy or the online version?
I used to read the hard copy, but not so much anymore.

4. What is the best book you have read this year?
Probably Juliet by Anne Fortier. Or one of the Tess Gerritsen books.

5. What is the best movie you have seen this year?
Well, I haven't been to the movies (like theaters) yet this calendar year, so the actual best movie I've watched was The Blindside, which I got for Christmas on DVD. And I've seen it 4 or 5 times since then. (I love that movie)

6. Do you tend to crave sweet or salty foods?
It depends on a lot of factors. But I have a weakness for marshmallows and chocolate.

7. Do you eat breakfast every day? If so, what do you have?
Nope. The closest thing I get to eating breakfast every day is drinking a Coke every morning. Sometimes I have breakfast, but more often than not, I end up skipping it or putting it off until later, which ends up being lunch time.

8. If you celebrate Easter, what Easter treat/candy are you most looking forward to?
Cadburry Cream Eggs!!!!!!

9. How late is “sleeping in” to you?
Lately? 8am.

10. Where are you going on your next vacation?
I think it's looking like we're spending a long weekend with my extended-family in-laws in Birmingham, AL this summer. Does that count?

For more 10 on Tuesday, visit Roots and Rings.

Dream Date, Pictures, etc.

We went to a Brazilian Steakhouse this weekend and I basically had the fantasy date I mention during last week's 10 on Tuesday. My friend M was babysitting and she helped Fuss clean her room while we were out. We had a fabulous meal, a nice bottle of wine, discovered a new dessert liquor (Amarula) and picked up dessert (Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory) for us and M but didn't have enough room to eat it, so we saved it for the next day.

We had a good weekend. We got the kids pictures taken on Saturday, and while I didn't think either of them smiled up to their potential (Fuss kept doing this fake smile, where she showed her bottom teeth really strangely and Little Man wouldn't seem to smile until after the camera was set down (when he would then give the most beautiful smiles), the overall shots were pretty good.

We had them done at Penney's. We like Penney's and they had done a terrific job on Fuss's 6
month pictures
, nearly 3 years ago. But I think only giving a 10-minute slot is ridiculous when you have small children and especially a baby. I think we would have gotten some better smiles if we had had more time in the studio for the Little Man to adjust to what was going on.

I think I really get why people are so willing to spend some bigger bucks on a photographer to do some more personalized shots of the kids and/or the family. I am seriously jealous of some the shots some of my friends have had done.

Friday, April 8, 2011

7 Quick Takes.

1. It was 7PM yesterday before I realized I didn't post. Oops.

2. I'm going out with my husband tonight to a Brazilian Steakhouse. His co-workers gave him this gift certificate to this place because it was unusual and adventuresome. My friend M, who is also one of my husband's co-workers offered to babysit the kids in lieu of contributing cash to the gift certificate. I told her that was worth it's weight in gold.

3. I wouldn't have taken his other co-workers up on that, though. But M was a friend before she was a co-worker, my kids adore her and she used to be a professional nanny, so I know they are in good hands.

4. I think my son might have a bit of a crush on M. And Fuss is so excited that Miss M is coming over to play with her.

5. The kids are getting their pictures taken tomorrow. I'm excited, but I have a few things that I don't know what to do about. One is that Fuss doesn't have any shoes to go with her dress (and she refused to go shopping after MOPs today) and the other is that Little Man still doesn't sit up well on his own. And I still have to find a second outfit for both of them.

6. A friend from church has 3 girls and is pregnant with baby #4. She mentioned that she had no idea what they're going to name the baby if it's another girl. Being the name-obsessed individual that I am, I started throwing together a name idea list. What is YOUR favorite classic girls name that begins with a vowel sound?

7. The baby has been stopped up lately and I'm wondering if I'm not drinking enough water?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I believe there are angels among us...

I had the most unusual experience today.

I'd had a rough morning, but I needed to get to Target and pick up some things. We get there and trying to get Fuss to cooperate is like pulling teeth. She wasn't tantruming, but she was being difficult and kept walking in front of the cart, going off in the wrong direction, wouldn't make up her mind about things, etc. And then when we were in the absolute furthest place in the store from the bathroom, she informs me that she needs to go potty. Of course she does. So back we go to the front of the store to go to the potty. The family bathroom is under maintenance, so we have to go into the regular one. And I had tried the cart cover for the first time for Little Man, so I had to pull him out of the cart and carry him around, while also lifting her onto the toilet. Ugh. It wasn't fun.

We get back to our shopping, finish out what we need. Get in line - they have 3 open registers and one of them is blinking and there are like 10 people in line between the other two.

It's finally my turn and the lady rings me up. I put in my debit card for payment of the $75 bill and I'm dealing with a fussy baby and Fuss who keeps pulling the cart away from me and pulling it into the candy display... and the cashier says my card was rejected. So I think I put my PIN in wrong and I do it again. Still no go. No idea why it won't go through. So she's able to suspend my order so I can call the bank or my husband to get it sorted out.

And my phone dies. The baby had been playing with it, it had limited battery to begin with, and now I have no power at all.

The cashier directs me to the public phone at Guest Services. I call my husband and get him to look at the bank account and fix the problem. So then, while I'm standing there, I can't find the suspended slip. Which means I have to do the whole thing all over again. And the lines are still as busy as they were when I started the check out process, so I'm looking at another long wait with a fussy, hungry baby and an antsy toddler. The cashier walks up to me and hands me the receipt. She tells me it's done, taken care of. I ask if the payment went through. She says someone took care of it. I am a little shocked and tell her thank you. I'm amazed. As I walk to the car, I think about what just happened. Somebody - some stranger - paid $75 for my stuff.

I can't believe someone would do that. A $20 amount, maybe, but that much? A box of diapers for the young mom with 2 kids, maybe, but all my junk including a bunch of bubbles (Fuss is obsessed with bubbles these days) and a present for my husband's co-worker's 3-yr-old daughter included.

There are angels among us. And I thank them for helping me out of a rough situation and a crappy day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

10 on Tuesday - Date Night

1. What is your ideal best date?
A night out with my husband eating great food and drinking nice cocktails or wine. Possibly a movie or a show of some sort. Then coming home to both kids sound asleep and my house picked up by the babysitter. And then some private time with the husband to end the evening.

2. How long does it take you to get ready to go on a date?
Depends on the date, but somewhere between 1 hour to 90 minutes, I'd say.

3. What would you wear on the date?
On the date above, I'd wear either a skirt and a sexy top or jeans and a nice top. I'm in kind of a fashion rut, right now and I have little that fits, so I'd have to stick to those vague descriptions for the time being.

4. If you are married, how often do you go on dates? If you are single, when was your last date?
We try and go at least once a month for a date night without the kids. Sometimes it's more often, some times less often, it all depends on our babysitting options. And our budget.

5. What was your worst date?
I went on a date on a whim with a customer who happened to ask me out less than 12 hours after breaking up with my boyfriend at the time. I was about 20. I knew nothing about him, except that he was in the service and he was "a little older than me." On our date, I found out he had been in the service for 12 years or more, which made him at least 30. We had nothing in common and he sort of creeped me out over dinner, so when I left the restaurant, I turned the wrong way so that he couldn't follow me home. About 3 months later, I saw him working security at Target and he sort of followed me through the store until I met up with my now-husband and threw my arms around him. (he was my best friend at the time) My girlfriends who are married to the military tell me that if a guy knows he's getting out of the military within months, he talks about it. A lot. So now I wonder what the deal was with this guy - why he was suddenly working for Target. And then, like a year later, my caller ID showed that he called my house, but it was a woman who was on the line. I have no idea what that was about.

6. Do you/Did you kiss on your first date?
I don't really know that I had a "first date" per se. I had a boyfriend before we really got to "go out" on a real date. And I got my first kiss on the stairs in the Sunday School building of my church.

7. If married, how long before you knew he/she was the one? If single, how long before you know if the person is marriage material?
My husband and I were best friends in high school. We both watched the other go through strings of girlfriends and boyfriends. I think I knew he was "the one" before we really started dating. It was when he threatened my then-boyfriend in order to protect me that I knew he really loved me. I was ready to get married long before he was, so I waited around (impatiently) for him to figure it out.

8. Do you prefer day dates or night dates?
I guess, typically, we have night dates, but that has more to do with availability. My husband works a day job, and so do most of our babysitters. (our family) Plus, it's easier to pass the kids off at night.

9. How old were you when you first were allowed to date? I was 15 when I had my first boyfriend. We hung out, but as far as a formal date went... I was 16. He took me to my high school homecoming.

10. What is the most embarrassing moment you have had on a date?
It was publicly embarrassing, but one time, on a fancy date out with my now-husband, I wore a garter belt and thigh highs for the first time. And then I had to go to the bathroom and I had the worst time trying to figure out how to handle that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

No more pacis

We did the "paci exchange" this weekend. We've been talking about it for a week with Fuss, telling her about how when she was ready, we would go to Target and pick out something and then we'd turn in all of her pacis, even the one on Maddie the Monkey, and she would get a present and her pacis would go to some baby girls who needed them. She started talking about it on Friday night and then again on Saturday morning. We told her that if she was ready, we'd go right then.

We searched her room for pacis and put them into a baggie. We took them to Target where she insisted that she wanted "Checkers" but kept reaching for a Travel Scrabble game. We explained that that wasn't really the ideal game for her - since she can't read or spell, Scrabble wasn't going to really work very well. And for some strange reason I had the hardest time finding a standard Checkers game, so we directed her toward the regular toys and she fell in love with a stuffed puppy dog that came in one of those fancy pet carriers and had a leash, etc. She named it after one of her favorite Princesses, Tiana.

Nap time on Saturday went okay. She didn't go down easy, but that happens pretty often. She also didn't stay down for a really long time, but the 3+ hour naps are much fewer and further between than they used to be, so this wasn't a shocker. But night time has been much more difficult. It has taken her HOURS to settle down and stop calling for us for some little thing or another.

I have been SO tired lately, but can't seem to adjust to Daylight Savings Time and can't seem to go to bed before 11:00pm. I can't seem to get through the tiredness and I usually end up hitting a brick wall mid day and desperately want a nap (whether I get one or not, is questionable.)

I need more sleep.

Little Man has been SO fussy lately and is sleeping better at night, but worse (well, not as long) during the day. I suppose I can handle that - I'd rather not be waking 5-8 times during the night to walk across the darkened house to put a paci back in his mouth. But I wish he'd go back to the more than an hour long nap. I guess you can't have everything.

Friday, April 1, 2011

7 Quick Takes.

1. I started feeling better after getting out my rants yesterday. It's still true, but I don't feel so defeatist about it.

2. My kids are cute. Really cute. (I tried to add a picture, but it's not working. I'll get on this weekend when I have my husband's computer and do it.)

3. We had a tornado warning in my area yesterday. Living in Florida, and pretty near the coast, I'm very used to bad weather warnings, etc. They never bothered me before I had kids. Yesterday I realized that there was no windowless spaces in our house (no walk-in closets, and even our bathroom has a pretty good sized window in the shower area) so I closed all the bedroom doors and planned to hide out in the hallway if it got closer. I packed a bag of the kids clothes and all the diaper stuff. I tossed my wallet and my Kindle in it and put blankets and cushions in a pile in the hall. I made sure Fuss and I were both clothed (it was morning and when we don't go out, a lot of times, Fuss especially walks around half dressed) and I put our shoes in the hall, too. The weather report was scary. They were projecting that the worst part of the storm was going to come straight through our part of the county. I watched the radar on our weather station... and I heard about the aftermath and damage reports. There was (a good amount of) tornado damage within a mile of my house. There were some pretty serious gusts of wind all over the county (reports were coming in for 50, 60, 70 MPH gusts as close as the school that is basically in my neighborhood.) I could hear the wind howling outside my door. Thankfully, we only had some power flickers and no apparent damage to our house. The area to the south of us, that didn't even get hit as hard as we did, got more than 1/2 an inch of rain in 20 minutes. No wonder the street in front of my house flooded for a short bit. (It does that. Fast and hard rain tends to make the drainage back up and the street floods briefly until it can catch up.)

4. My son is obsessed with cords and gadgets, especially things that light up. Especially things he can't have. (like my phone, or the USB hub connected to my computer) My daughter is currently obsessed with strawberries and her stuffed animals.

5. Fuss went strawberry picking with her aunt J the other day and had a fun time. She came home with more strawberries than we can eat (but not enough to make wine from, thank goodness! I'm not ready for that again yet.) And she will not stop asking for them. I think she might be trying to turn herself into a strawberry. Or at least turn herself into Strawberry Shortcake.

6. We got the check from the consignment sale that my friend held last week. It was really low. I got $10 back and they waved the consignor's fee of $15. I sold about $15 worth of stuff total. There was at least $60 worth of stuff there (the prices I put on it) so not much of my stuff sold, which is really, really disappointing. I had several pieces that had never been used, including shoes. I had them donate the left over stuff, thinking it would be a handful of pieces instead of the bulk of my offerings. I was hoping to earn enough to buy my kids each an outfit and possibly even myself something, if it all went. I guess not.

7. My headaches have been ramping up again. I am not thrilled. I had one this morning that felt like I was getting pretty strong electric shocks through the right side of my face/head. Yes, it feels as bad as it sounds. Not fun.