Friday, December 31, 2010

What I Wish for 2011

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's resolutions (I have two standard ones: lose a little weight, exercise a little more--that's pretty much it.)

Rather, I'd like to think ahead to what I wish for 2011.

First, I wish for good health for all my family and friends, especially my husband, who went from never having surgery to having two in one year. The first one, back in July, was more scary and potentially life-threatening, but both have been tough on him and on all of us as he tries to get back to normal. Please let him have a healthy year this coming year!

Second, I wish for more time...time for fun with my daughter, time for myself to unwind and be pampered a little, time for reconnecting as a couple with my husband, time savored with my parents, and time spent catching up with good friends.

Third, world peace. That would be pretty awesome. :)

Fourth, a few fun adventures with my family. This last year, we visited family in Florida, Canada, Alabama, and spent a week on Survivor--I mean, in Jamaica--on vacation. In February, I'm taking my daughter to Arizona to visit my two best friends from college. One is single and the other is married with four children under the age of five (guess which one we're staying with LOL), so the weekend will definitely be an adventure! We don't have anything else planned at the moment, but I'm excited to think about where 2011 can take us.

That's really it...2010 has not been a horrible year. After all, it's the year my daughter learned to spell her name, count to 15, talk in more complete sentences, give hugs and kisses, answer the phone, use a computer, and swim like a fish! It's the first year she could wear her hair in pigtails and appreciate a pretty outfit as she did tonight, saying "That's cute!"

My daughter proclaimed this outfit "Cute"! Future Glam-O-Mommy, I hope!

This is my daughter with one of her potential future husbands--my friend's son.
She's looking a little less glam after spilling juice down her shirt at dinner this evening
at our "Early New Year's Eve Party" aka "New Year's Eve With Small Children
That Ends by 10!"

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

We Need a Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute

It's been a rough two weeks around my house.

I had a raging case of strep throat for three days last week, just as my husband was visiting an orthopedic specialist and finding out he was going to have to have surgery on the shoulder he slammed into the boards playing hockey a few weeks ago. As in, surgery RIGHT NOW. So just as I was getting over strep, I was suddenly caring for my now-completely helpless husband (because of course it's his right shoulder and he's right-handed--he's not even allowed to tie his shoes right now!) and my toddler who has also been a little under the weather with a sinus infection.

I had to cancel a Christmas playdate I was supposed to host for my friends and their children. I also had to miss taking my daughter to see the Nutcracker for the first time. Boo!

Already behind at work due to my own illness, I'm now getting farther behind because I have to shuttle my husband everywhere (appointments, twice-weekly physical therapy) and I have no one to share the school dropoff/pickup load. I had planned on taking all of next week off, but now plan to work at least three days to try and catch up. Boo!

So we NEED a little Christmas, right this very minute! I feel pretty unprepared for Christmas and certainly would've done more if illness hadn't felled me last week; however, I find myself really looking forward to the next two days despite my exhaustion. On Christmas Eve, we read the Christmas story, open gifts, and eat a little buffet dinner with my parents at their house, then on Christmas morning, we open Santa gifts at our house and then host Christmas dinner for my parents.

I need just a few things for it to feel like Christmas: (1) To hear "Thistlehair, the Christmas Bear" by Alabama, (2) To drink lime sherbet punch, which we have on Christmas Eve every year, and (3) To hang out with my husband, daughter, and parents. So I am sure by tomorrow night, I will feel the Christmas spirit very strongly!

What do you need for it to feel like Christmas?

I really only have one Christmas wish this year: for everyone in my family to have good health and happiness in the year to come. Especially my husband, who went from never having surgery to having two in the span of five months.

Merry, merry Christmas to all of you and your families!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Giving Hope

Recently, I posted a link to an article, Infertile couples cope with prolific Facebook friends, on my Facebook page with the comment "I have to say, I completely understand this reaction. I'm glad I wasn't on Facebook when I was battling infertility. If someone wants to hide me because of my baby pictures and updates, I would totally understand. I've been there."

This week, I got an inbox message from one of my sorority sisters. She's two years younger than me, married, and living in another state. I haven't seen her since I graduated, but keep up with her on Facebook. We were not super close in school, mainly because we only overlapped in the sorority together for about a year since she's younger than me, but I've always thought she was a very sweet person.

She wrote: "I just wanted to thank you for the post you made a little while back about fb and infertility. Although I can't really figure out why, somehow it's something you're not supposed to talk about. I was glad you mentioned it.

We've been dealing with infertility for awhile now, and it really sucks. No other way to put it. And yes, fb can be really hard when everyone I know has such beautiful children and gushes about them all the time...But I don't think I'd hide anyone for it bc I'm so glad to see these people I know so happy. Honestly, it's huge to me to know you dealt with infertility but have had such a fantastic happy ending. I've always enjoyed seeing your pics of your daughter bc she's so cute and looks like a mini-you...but now when I see your posts it also reminds me that even people who struggle with infertility can end up with a fantastic family."

This message means the world to me. I cried reading it. I do have a fantastic family and I'm so blessed. And I'm so happy that by sharing this link and my experience, I gave my friend some hope in her own infertility battle.

Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of--it's a medical condition, despite the fact that most insurance companies do not cover its treatment. I made a promise to myself after I had my daughter that I would always talk about the way she came into being honestly and share my experience in part to try to take the stigma away from infertility. I suffered mostly alone and in silence while I was going through it, feeling like a failure and angry at God. So I won't be silent about it ever again.

I wrote back to my sister and told her how much her words meant to me. I also gave her my number and told her to please call me if she ever wanted to talk and needed a sympathetic ear from someone who's been there. And I told her I'd be praying for her and her husband. I so hope they will get their miracle baby. Mine was conceived about this time three years ago via IUI...a true Christmas miracle.

"Now when I see your posts it also reminds me that even people who struggle with infertility can end up with a fantastic family." This is one of the best sentences I've ever read! I gave someone hope today. What a great feeling!


My little Christmas miracle

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Year, I'm Thankful for...

  • My adorable baby girl. When she sings along to songs in the car, concentrating very hard on getting the words right, when she tells me the elevator is sleeping and she's going to get it to "Wake up!" by pushing the button, when she leans her head in to me for a hug or kiss, when she screeches in delight at something the Backyardigans are doing or a thousand other things, my heart just melts and I feel so blessed. Thank you God for letting me be a mother to this little girl. I love her so much.
  • My husband. Who always takes the early shift with baby girl because I'm not a morning person. Who is a great daddy and loves her so much and would do anything for her. Who always thinks of the perfect gadget to buy me for Christmas. (This year, a new stereo for my car so I can play my iPod directly through speakers. Last year, a notebook laptop!) Who I started dating at Thanksgiving eight years ago--happy anniversary!
  • My parents. What would I ever do without them? My mom's my best friend and my daddy's my hero and one of the best people I know. They are terrific grandparents who love my baby so much! They are always happy and eager to babysit, whether it's because baby girl is sick and we need to go to work, but don't want to send her to school, or because my husband and I want to do something together, or just because. (If they haven't seen her in a week, they often ask to babysit and encourage me to find something to do LOL.) I'm so grateful I don't have to leave my daughter with a babysitter.
  • My part-time job. I've been working four days a week for a little over a year now. Occasionally, I miss the extra 20 percent I was making when I was full time, and people have gotten promoted up to my level with no apparent promotion for me on the horizon, but I don't regret my decision and am thankful to have more balance in my life and a day just for me and my daughter to spend time together with no obligations.
  • My girlfriends. Most, but not all of these, are my mom friends and I don't know what I'd do without them. It's nice to talk mom stuff with them, like potty training tricks and when Gymbucks start, but it's equally nice to talk about non-mom stuff, from Eva Longoria and Tony Parker divorce rumors to what happened on Glee the night before!
  • My gadgets. I know this is silly, but I don't know what I'd do without my iPod, my Blackberry, my digital camera, and my notebook laptop! I like having the world at my fingertips with the ability to record my experiences on the fly and hear my favorite tunes on demand. It's amazing to me to remember that my grandmother had a "party line" when I was a little girl and my daughter will never really know the concept of a landline because we are a cell-only family.
  • My memories of my grandparents. Being southern, there was nothing my paternal grandparents and my maternal grandma loved more than putting on a big spread of food, gathering their large extended families around their tables, saying a prayer, and then eating a meal together. My maternal grandma died the day after Christmas in 1997, my paternal grandma died a week before Thanksgiving in 2000 (right after she bought her turkey for the meal), and my paternal grandfather died on Thanksgiving Day in 2003 (my maternal grandfather died before I was born), and so the holidays are always a little bittersweet for me. But as the years pass, I've chosen to focus on really remembering the good times I had with them and my love for them at Thanksgiving in particular and throughout the holiday season. Especially now, when I have this cute little baby girl who they would absolutely adore (partially because she is a way better eater than I ever was!), I miss them so much.
  • You. I haven't been blogging for very long, and I don't do it very regularly, but I have made some wonderful connections with people through this blog. So I thank you for reading and wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving filled with the glamour of love and the blessings of friends and family!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Epidural: A Love Story, or Why Having a Medicated Birth Doesn't Make You Less of a Supermom

I was reading parenting.com today, as I often do, when I came across a post by Jenny Feldon, one of the Project Pregnancy bloggers. In Supermom Does Childbirth-The Natural Way?, Jenny, pregnant with Baby #2, wonders if she should opt for natural childbirth this time around vs. getting an epidural as she did with Baby #1.

Jenny writes, "Shouldn’t Supermom be able to handle natural childbirth with strength and grace? I’m fascinated by women, like my own mother, who have delivered multiple children without the benefits of anesthesia. If she could do it, shouldn’t I be able to? If I’m strong enough to be a mom, then maybe I should be strong enough to go it alone starting with that very first contraction."

The tone of this bothered me a bit. I mean, don't get me wrong, if you want to do natural childbirth and not have an epidural or any other kind of medical intervention, knock yourself out. I'm all for women having the freedom to make these choices and if Jenny or any other woman chooses this, that does not bother me at all.

What does bother me is the implied subtext here--that giving birth completely "natural," aka unmedicated, makes you a better mom or a stronger woman or something, and that if you choose to have an epidural, you are less of a woman or weak or a worse mother or something. I mean, if that were true, what would that say about women who end up having to have a c-section? Are they not Supermoms then because their bodies couldn't deliver their babies without major medical intervention? Of course not! Can we stop ranking the levels of our motherhood, ladies? We're all equally mothers from the moment the lines appear on the pee stick, and we're all trying to do the best we can. We're all Supermoms here!

Now all of that said, I didn't title this post "Epidural: A Love Story" without reason. I think the epidural is AWESOME. I'm all for it. And I don't think it makes me less of a Supermom or a woman because I do. I never questioned whether to have one or not to have one--I always wanted to have one, partially because of the birth story I'm most familiar with--my own.

When my mother was pregnant with me, she had gestational diabetes, and as a result of this, I was a very large baby. The military doctors my mother was seeing also allowed her to go a full three weeks past her due date with me, so I was extra large (9 lbs, 11 oz). When my mother finally went into labor, she labored hard for about 18 hours...at which point, they gave her an epidural for half an hour to give her "a chance to rest." My mother, in retelling the story, always describes the time period when she had the epidural as "THE BEST 30 MINUTES OF MY LIFE." When it wore off, she had eight more hours of hideous pain, and then the doctors realized, duh, this baby is too large to have ever been delivered vaginally AND she's stuck sideways in there, so maybe we should do a c-section before both mother and baby die.

The story ends with my mother recounting how she wasn't very happy to see me after all that (LOL) and it was a terrible experience. Now, she loves me very much, but my birth story IS pretty awful. And I think she's a Supermom for surviving all of that, especially because what she went through meant she couldn't have any more children after me, which is why I'm an only child.

When I was pregnant and thinking ahead to labor, my only thoughts were, "I want an epidural and I'd like to avoid a c-section if I can, but if we need it, I'll do it sooner rather than later. Oh, and I'd rather tear naturally than have an episiotomy." That's it. That's all I thought, and that's all I communicated to my doctor. That was the sum total of my birth plan.

As I approached my due date, I did do all sorts of things to help along the dilation process, so that with 11 days to go, I was already 2.5 cm dilated. I had a checkup with my doctor and he was concerned about how big the baby was going to be in 11 days--his estimate was over 8 pounds. How did I feel, he asked me. I don't want to go past my due date, I told him. I'm worried I'll end up like my mom with a big baby and need to have a c-section and I'd like to avoid that if I can. Since my due date was on a Saturday when he would not be on call, he suggested we induce me in exactly a week--four days before my due date.

So that was the plan. I was only a little concerned about being induced early -- I had one friend where induction didn't work for her and she ended up having a c-section, but they induced her a few weeks early, which was more likely why that was her result. Another friend has been induced twice a few days before her due date and both times, the baby was born a few hours later, no problem, so I was hoping I'd be more in that situation.

As it turns out, I didn't have to worry. A mere 12 hours later, I spontaneously went into labor 10 days early. It was 12:30 a.m. and I was on my way to bed when what I thought was my water broke. I called and they told me to come in, but no need to rush. So I took a shower, styled my hair, and applied fresh makeup--I am Glam-O-Mommy for a reason! My husband also took a shower--hey, for all we knew, I had 26 hours of labor ahead of me! While I was getting ready, my contractions started. The first one wasn't bad. Seven minutes later, the next one wasn't bad. Five minutes later, the next one still wasn't too bad. TWO MINUTES LATER, OMG BAD!! Less than two minutes later, OMG BAD!!

At this point, it was 1:40 a.m. and we were on the way to the hospital. My husband wasn't speeding or anything crazy, although I urged him to, because the contractions were less than two minutes apart, OMG BAD!

We parked at the hospital, walked down LITERALLY the longest hallway ever, with me having to stop every few feet because OMG BAD! OMG BAD! and finally entered Labor and Delivery. I walked right up to the nurse at the desk and said, and I quote, "If you need to wake up the anesthesiologist, please call and do so NOW because I want an epidural as soon as possible." Seriously.

They checked me out in triage and I was 4.5 cm, my water hadn't broken yet (apparently, it was the plug), but they were definitely checking me in. They asked me what seemed like a thousand questions, got me into a Labor and Delivery room, put IVs in me (I was positive for Group B Strep so I had to have an IV), and then asked me a thousand more questions. (I got asked my height over and over--still have no clue why!) The whole time I was OMG BAD! OMG BAD! less than a minute apart and in the less than 60 seconds between contractions I was all, "WHERE'S THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST?! WHERE'S MY EPIDURAL?!"

Because y'all, contractions HURT LIKE HELL. I had mine up front AND in my back and the back ones hurt way worse than anything I've ever felt in my life. They kept saying the anesthesiologist was on his way and would be there any minute and I should just focus on breathing and all I felt was OMG BAD! OMG BAD! OMG BAD! And it wasn't like how they described contractions in my childbirth class, where they said you would have a BREAK between contractions where you could REST. I did not have that! As soon as one contraction was ending, I could literally feel the next one revving up. I couldn't catch my breath, my blood pressure was sky high (gee, I have no idea why! OMG BAD! OMG BAD!), and I just wanted my epidural.

Then, the pain became so intense, I threw up. Twice. OMG BAD! OMG BAD! And then I heard the magic words, "The anesthesiologist is coming."

Dr. Johnson arrived and I was so happy to see him. I was also worried, because I didn't think I could hold still for him to get the needle in my back because the contractions were so intense I was shaking all over. No problem, he told me. He got the needle in and in seconds, I felt blissfully numb from the bump down. No more OMG BAD!

"Dr. Johnson, I could kiss you!" I told him. "If you hadn't just thrown up, I'd take you up on that," he replied. Favorite. Doctor. EVER!

It was now 3:30 a.m. I had endured two straight hours of OMG BAD! contractions less than a minute or two apart. They checked me and I was 7 cm. My parents had just arrived at the hospital, so everyone cleared out of the room and my husband brought them back to hang out with us. For the next three and a half hours, I zoomed from 7 cm to 10 cm dilated without feeling a thing but BLISS. I was relaxed, savoring my last moments of pregnancy, talking with parents and my husband, taking little cat naps, and eagerly anticipating meeting my daughter.

I pushed for an hour and 15 minutes with no pain but enough pressure to guide me in my pushing and out my daughter came, screaming loudly, pink and healthy and beautiful, a mere eight hours after the whole thing started. She was 8 lbs and 6 oz, which is what my doctor thought she would weigh on my due date, so it's good she didn't wait till then. I did tear in two places, probably on the last big push that got her out. I felt amazed at myself and my body and my baby. I felt like Supermom. I felt like I could do anything, including scale Mt. Everest! It was an awesome feeling--an amazing high!

So that's my love story with the epidural, and that's why I think having a medicated birth doesn't make you less of a Supermom. Truthfully, I don't even describe my daughter's birth as medicated. Given the OMG BAD! OMG BAD! contractions I endured, I had natural childbirth! I experienced both sides, unmedicated and medicated. For me, the epidural was the way to go. I have absolutely no doubt I could've gone on without it, but I'm so glad I didn't have to.

And I'm glad that thanks to the epidural and the eight short hours, I remember labor as one of the best experiences of my life (even though I still remember the OMG BAD! very distinctly) rather than one of the worst like my mother. When she came in afterwards and was holding my baby girl, she looked at me and told me she was so happy for me, because I had had a better birth experience than she had. And I told her that I loved her so much and couldn't believe she'd had 25.5 hours of OMG BAD! OMG BAD! to endure epidural-free, plus major traumatic surgery, to have me.

However, your birth story goes--natural, medicated, c-section, we're all Supermoms here, ladies. We are--every single one of us! We have given birth, brought life forth.

But the epidural's kind of awesome, I'm just saying.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm Still Here

It's been quite a month. I've intended to blog several times, but have had trouble summoning energy this month.

There's something about having a months-long buildup to a long, fabulous vacation you've planned out in your head, complete with gorgeous beach pictures for your Christmas card, that leaves you completely drained and devoid of energy when said fabulous vacation unravels in a swirl of tropical storm winds, continuous rain, and lack of continuous power in the hotel room you are stuck in due to the aforementioned continuous rain.

It started well, then...

disaster struck (tree knocked down outside our room).

It looked like this for 80 percent of our week..

So, yeah, Jamaica did not turn out to be the fabulous vacation I hoped for. We had decent weather for the first 2.5 days and then the rain started and did not let up until we went home. Which might've been okay if the power had stayed on in our room. But we had about 1.5 days of no power in our room. Ever changed a dirty diaper on a wiggly toddler in a dark room? It's messy and no fun.

And still, it all might've been okay, if it was just the power in our building or room...however, it was the power on our side of the resort. So if we didn't have power in our room, neither did three of the restaurants, the kids' camp for our daughter, the XBox gaming room, and the spa...pretty much all the other things you do at a resort when it's raining and you can't swim. (To their credit, the spa managed to keep going by candlelight when the power was out, which was awesome.)

No power also means no air conditioning, which means massive humidity, which means feeling wet and sweaty for five days straight. Yuck. I'm high maintenance. I'm Glam-O-Mommy. This is my nightmare, people!

Mommy should be in this picture instead of me, because the bad weather turned her into Mommy the Grouch!

We ate almost every meal the last four days in the same single restaurant on the side of the resort with power...the last two days I was so tired of the food and depressed, I quit eating. Seriously. I came home three pounds lighter from vacation. WHICH NEVER HAPPENS.

It was incredibly stressful, especially not knowing if and when the power might go out again, and what might go wrong next. I couldn't relax. I was completely on edge. I was frustrated that the resort didn't seem to have a decent plan in place for handling the storm and the power outages. (They couldn't relocate the kids' camp to the side of the resort with a power? Add extra activities in the areas with power to give people something to do? Had they never had a storm before?!) All in all, I came away feeling like I'd spent a week on Survivor, which is a show I am not cut out for. It was like we went camping in the jungle instead of staying at a nice luxury resort. All that money down the drain.

Now, I should mention that while I had a pretty unhappy time on this vacation, my daughter loved it! She's two, so it's not like all of the weather and lack of power and sweating meant anything to her. And since they managed to keep the power on on the side of the resort where they did the nightly Sesame Street shows, she got to dance with Elmo, Ernie, and the gang for one hour every night--AND LOVED IT. She was a total Elmo groupie, standing right in front of the stage with her little arms up to him. It was the absolute saving grace of the whole trip, because I enjoyed watching her have such a fun time, even when I felt miserable. :)

ELMO! I'm right here!!

I don't know why Mommy is so upset. I'm having an AWESOME time with my Sesame Street friends.

And I don't mind that this is the dirtiest I've ever been in my life, because check out the cool sunken boat behind me!

Obviously, I need to take a page from her book about making the best of a bad situation. :)

Unfortunately, I came home drained and depressed, and that feeling has dragged on a bit. It took me two full weeks to unpack all the suitcases and do all the laundry, something I usually do right away. I let the house get a little crazy until the maids came to clean, which only added to my depression. I had a hard time focusing at work.

Worst of all, I feel terrible whining and complaining and being depressed about my vacation, because it's what I call a "high-class problem" to have...not that I'm high class or anything, just that it's not a real problem. It's not a real disaster. We all survived, we were lucky, our vacation just kind of sucked. Some people lost homes in the storm. Other people have real crises in their lives. I shouldn't complain.

However, I can't help feeling let down and like we wasted a bunch of money (oh, what else I could do with that money!) and I think I needed to write about this one more time just to purge it from my soul and move on, you know?

I've turned a corner in the last two weeks...got the laundry caught up and the house mostly back in order. Took my daughter to get two-year portraits made, which made me happy, since I didn't have family beach portraits from Jamaica (Note to self: next time, take family pictures on beach at first opportunity). Went to dinners with girlfriends and three Spurs games, which always cheers me up. And I'm rocking and rolling at work too.

Our ONLY family picture from the entire week. Cute, but not exactly what I planned for our Christmas card. Note that my daughter is snuggling up with Elmo. We tried to take a few family pictures after the characters left, but she pitched a fit and tried to follow Elmo, so this was it.

So I'm still here, I'm moving on, and I will try to get back to regular blogging (and NO WHINING) soon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I'm Learning in Jamaica

1. That you can chew pure sugar cane and it will pour sugary sweetness into your mouth. But you only chew it...no swallowing. This is thanks to our bus driver (we were the only ones on the bus from the airport to our resort in Negril) who pulled over to buy some for us to try when my husband asked what it was the people were selling on the corner.

2. That my daughter, who has always been a great sleeper and early riser right along with my husband, may be turning to the dark side and becoming a night person like me! She started out getting up early, but these last two nights she has suddenly been finding excuse after excuse to stay up late...wanting to read books and listen to music. Hilariously, she has also figured out that telling us "I'm stinky!" or "I go poopy!" sometimes warrants a diaper check and has used this to get out of bed. She's also tried this when she's done with dinner and ready to go do something else, but after the second time she pulled this trick, we figured out that she KNOWS this will make us act and so now we are ignoring this excuse LOL!

3. That if there is something on the buffet line called the "Bubble and Squeak," it's essentially a potato pancake. No idea why it is called this interesting name.

4. That a man walking by on the beach will offer to sell you marijuana right in front of your two-year-old daughter. This happened to my husband when he took our daughter for an early morning stroll on the beach. He refused the man's offer, of course.

5. That it's a good thing you brought enough swimsuits for you and your daughter to wear a different one practically every day because it's so humid the wet ones you hang up will never dry out.

6. That upgrading your room to concierge level is awesome because you have a mini fridge in the room stocked with Cokes, Diet Cokes, Sprite, water, juice, ginger ale, and Jamaican beer, and it's refilled every day...and it's all included-no extra charge.

7. That maybe planning a trip to the Caribbean in September/hurricane season wasn't the best idea, now that Tropical Depression 16 aka soon-to-be Tropical Storm Nicole has been dumping loads of rain directly on Jamaica for 20 hours, even though it's 200 miles away from the "center" of the storm and not even ON the projected storm path. Move on storm!

8. That you should've taken your family portraits on the beach the first day, since now it may rain for the rest of your time here. So much for the Christmas card picture...

9. That champagne flavored with peach and blackberry schnapps is kind of delish.

10. That your daughter is going to be a terror at concerts in her teens, considering she spent all evening trying to bum rush the stage during Bert and Ernie's Island Adventure Stage Show! I felt like security trying to get her off the stairs to the stage--she couldn't understand why she couldn't go up there to be with her Sesame Street pals. Thank goodness the gang all came down into the audience at the end of the show and danced with all the little kids and she got hugs from everyone and danced with Ernie!

11. That Arnold Schwarzenegger had reason to be frustrated in Kindergarten Cop when he had to keep explaining to the one kid, "IT'S NOT A TOOM-AH!" I've spent all day the last several days telling my daughter, "IT'S NOT BROKEN!" as she declares EVERYTHING-the TV, the phone, my iPod, the computer, a closed door, you name it-"IT'S BWOKEN!" if it does not appear to be doing what she thinks it's supposed to/wants it to do!

12. That generally, when a resort throws a talent show and the guests are supposed to provide the talent, it should be called Beaches Guests Don't Got Talent. One kid did a cheer no one could hear, one clogged, one sang Don't Stop Believing by Journey and forgot the words halfway through (luckily for her, everyone from Generation X sang along FOR her-poor thing)...two adults sang a semi-nice version of I Can't Help Falling in Love With You, and a guy did a drum solo with the band. I'd say it was a toss up between the duet and the drummer, but we didn't stay to see who was declared the most talented of the talent-less.

13. That I cannot go without sunblock for two hours. Evidence: the sunburn I got on my shoulders on our first morning here. I have no excuse...even though it was overcast, I should know better. Have used 90 SPF ever since...well, until the rain started, anyway.

14. That my kid, like her father, is not going to be prone to sunburn--she's just going to turn beautifully brown. Lucky!! Using 90 SPF on her too.

15. That even when you have internet access in Jamaica, abc.com and hulu.com will not let you watch episodes of Castle online since you are "outside the United States and its territories." Seriously?!

16. That the Jamaican people, while generally lovely and friendly, all seem to suffer the same deficiency: giving incomplete instructions. We took our daughter to play in the toddler pool at the kids' camp and decided to leave her there for a bit since she was having fun. The nannies told us to bring them a change of clothes and diapers for her. We walk to room, obtain said items, and return to camp. Then, they tell us they also need us to bring our own wipes, causing a return trip to our room. At the airport, one customs person told me I could put my daughter on my customs/immigration form. Another told me she had to have her own form, but I only needed to fill out the front top section. A third told me I had to fill in the whole thing, both sides, top and bottom. @^#&$*@!

17. That I'm not the thinnest mama here rocking the bikini (a couple of anorexic looking moms have me wondering how they ever produced a baby from their skinny bods!), but I'm definitely fine to do so. Others not so much.

18. That one upside to staying at a family resort is NO NAKED PEOPLE. When we went to Sandals (a couples resort) just down the beach four years ago, we had some people going topless and we kayaked by the Hedonism resort and got the full frontal from another guy who seemed to be waving us over ("Paddle faster!" I said to my hubby.) I'm not against nakedness per se (good nakedness), but the kind of people who generally go naked at these resorts? NOT THE KIND YOU EVER WANT TO SEE NAKED. It's never the hot people, just the delusionally uninhibited.

I'm sure I've learned more in these past few days, but I should sign off for now. I have a hot breakfast date with my husband, daughter, and the Sesame Street gang. Anyone know a good "Stop Raining" Dance?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Wednesday Thoughts

I go to Jamaica in 10 days. Only things standing between me and Jamaica at this point? One major project at work that has to be completed, the bikini wax I have scheduled for Saturday which is absolutely essential for spending a week in a bikini, and packing.

And it would be great to lose like five pounds between now and then, but since I'm not, I'm still going to rock my bikinis and rock them proudly for two reasons: (a) I don't know anyone in Jamaica so who cares what they think of my slight mommy pooch, and (b) We are going to Beaches, which is a family resort, so who cares what a bunch of little kids and Elmo and Big Bird think of me in a bikini? I actually ordered a new bikini from Victoria's Secret recently and, upon trying it on, worried that the bottom might be a smidge small. I mean, it covered everything, which is key, but I still felt a LEETLE nekkid in it. (Nekkid=naked and up to no good LOL!) I asked my husband what he thought and he replied: "It's not too small. You look good." Love my husband!

When I daydream about our Jamaica trip, it's all sunshine and Bob Marley songs and relaxing under palm trees. Which is how our last trip to Jamaica, four child-free years ago, was. I imagine this time is going to be more of the chasing-after-my-toddler-while-trying-to-keep-my boobs-and-butt-covered variety, with a Sesame Street soundtrack and no time for palm trees, but that's OK. My husband and I considered going to Jamaica and leaving our daughter with my parents, the grandparentals. But we like taking her places with us and seeing her have new experiences in new countries and cultures. And she loves Elmo and the gang, so I think it's going to be fun for all of us. And if I really need to relax under a palm tree, I can put her in the little Sesame Street day camp for a few hours LOL.

So this past weekend, my mother-in-law [MIL] was in town visiting us from Toronto. (See? Not a smooth transition--this is going to be a very random post.) The good part of her visit was that it was only three days. Oh, and I did enjoy shopping for shoes and sunglasses with her for two hours. That was actually really fun. But three days is about my limit.

My MIL is a nice person, but she analyzes everything everyone is doing to the point that she doesn't really enjoy anything. We took her out to eat at a nice restaurant in a nearby small town Saturday and we were sitting on the patio overlooking the river, enjoying the breeze and the food, and she was analyzing everyone's meal to determine whose was the healthiest option (my mother, the Nana's, which kind of upset her because she thought when she ordered hers it would be the healthiest) and whose was the worst (my husband's--chopped steak smothered in queso-yum) and sharing facts about the little town we were in from the brochure on our table. On the way home that night, she commented on how excited my parents were to see my daughter and how much she could tell they enjoyed playing with her, and all I could think was, yes, that's because they are her GRANDPARENTS and that's how most grandparents are! (She's not...she loves my daughter, but she's mostly focused on herself and what she wants--I attribute this to the fact that she's been divorced and living alone for about 30 years.)

The most trying thing about my MIL though is that she considers herself an expert on everything. She once explained to me what an oil change WAS and why she got them done. (Um, hello...I've been driving for 20 years...I think I grasp what an oil change is LOL!) She crossed the room to get her reading glasses this weekend to analyze the nutritious facts on the Graduates toddler meals we occasionally (read: regularly) feed our daughter and then lectured us on preservatives (even though the meals don't have any!) and fiber intake and sodium. Gah.

On the same infamous drive home Saturday night, she informed me that my daughter's swim coach was a lesbian, a fact she determined by observing my daughter's class for 15 minutes that morning. OK, to be fair, first she ASKED me if she was a lesbian. I replied that I didn't know, but that she was a good teacher and was very sweet with my daughter and the other babies. THEN she informed me that she was. "She had that weird tattoo of a pinup girl on her arm--she's a lesbian," she informed me. Then, she proceeded to explain for 10 hellish minutes how some lesbians have short hair, but some don't and she works with a lot of gay people, so SHE KNOWS. Meanwhile, I sat there praying for her to shut up with all of her stupid comments about gay people!

For me, when I first met my daughter's swim coach, I was a little puzzled as to why she would want a tattoo of a pinup girl in a red 50s-style bikini tattooed on her arm, but that's because I'm not a tattoo person. I didn't consider whether it meant she was gay or not, because I just don't care. I went to a small liberal arts university. I have gay friends. I don't have issues with that. I just don't like tattoos. I thought about it for all of about three seconds before she opened her mouth to start class and was just a very sweet early-20s girl who is amazingly patient and has fun while teaching my daughter and the other babies in her class. And that's ALL I care about. So I was especially irritated because I hadn't realized my MIL had some sort of issues with the gays she knows so much about LOL, and because HELLO--she was supposed to be watching her granddaughter swim! Not analyzing everything as usual. Sigh.

Anyhoo, let's just say I'm glad she lives in Canada and I only see her once or twice a year. How much was I over her visit by the time we put her on the plane? Well, despite my recent post about margaritas, I am a very infrequent drinker, maybe having one drink every few weeks or sometimes months. After we dropped her at the airport on Sunday and went home and put our daughter down for a nap, I opened a bottle of wine, drank three-fourths of it, and took a big nap myself!

Jamaica can't come fast enough.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kids' Birthday Parties: Yay or Nay?

I just threw my daughter a party for her 2nd birthday. It was a Western Backyardigans Birthday Bonanza. My daughter loves, loves, loves the Backyardigans and we live in Texas, so I wanted to combine them with a cowgirl/cowboy theme.

The cake--I did not make this myself

The Birthday Girl in her boots, ready to go!

We rented out a local western-themed indoor playplace with a bouncy house, slide, swings, and party room, and had the whole place for two hours. (My daughter spent most of the party in the bouncy house with the exception of coming out to eat LOL.) We decorated the partyroom in western/Backyardigans birthday decor and played a few of the Backyardigans' western-themed episodes in the party room while everyone was eating.

The party room before--my mother, the Nana, sewed all the gingham tablecloths

Party decor--my mother bought the little hats to put on the Backyardigan Beanie Babies LOL

We served pizza, cake, and ice cream cups, plus juice boxes for the kids and soda or water for the adults. Every kid left the party with either a pink or blue cowboy hat and a little gift bag of Backyardigans goodies, plus a CD I burned of my daughter's favorite songs. Our party guests included 12 kids, about half of them from my daughter's classes at day school and half of them children of my close girlfriends, plus the birthday girl, and 14 adults, including the parents of all of those children, my husband and me, and my parents, aka the grandparentals.

My daughter and two friends in the bouncy house

Guests swinging
 
The kiddie zip line

Dressing up like a cowboy!

Everyone eating in the party room

Now lucky for me, I didn't have to do all of this by myself. My mother, aka the Nana, is a party planner extraordinaire. She totally missed her calling and should do party planning professionally; she is incredibly good at it.

Of course, she's had lots of practice. She planned themed birthday parties for me every year from when I turned one till my sweet 16. I had a Mickey Mouse party and a Snow White party and a Cinderella party and a Strawberry Shortcake party, plus a McDonald's party, a skating party, a putt-putt golf party, and on and on. She did everything from renting a village hall for my 4th birthday when we were living in England, to pitching a tent in our backyard for a camp out party for my 9th birthday, to renting a country club pool/outdoor volleyball area for my sweet 16. (One of my gifts at my sweet 16 was a photo album she put together for me with pictures from every one of my birthday parties!)
 
The Nana should do this professionally--
you should see how beautiful my bridal tea, rehearsal dinner,
and later baby shower turned out!

Now, my parents are not and never have been rich by any stretch of the imagination, but my mother has always tried to make my birthdays special with whatever she had. And when I asked her about why she did that, she talked to me about her own birthdays. My mother grew up poor in Alabama, one of 10 children. For her birthday, my grandma usually made a cake from scratch for them to eat at dinner, which was delicious, but was divided among all those kids. Depending on money, my mom might have gotten one present, like a doll, but more than likely, she got something she needed, like a new pair of shoes. That was really it. So making my parties a real event, something beautiful and special, made her really happy. She kind of re-lived her childhood dreams vicariously through them!

So, with this kind of childhood birthday experience, of course, I think throwing a fun birthday party for my daughter is important and something you just DO. I've never questioned that I will throw my daughter some sort of party or gathering every year until she turns 16. (As if the Nana would let me NOT throw my daughter a birthday party if I felt differently LOL.)

If I hadn't planned to throw a party, the Nana definitely would've!

A friend questioned me about it though a few months ago, not really understanding why I was throwing a party for my daughter--who was I going to invite after all? Which I thought was a weird question.

Now for some background...this friend is one of my best mom friends and her daughter is three months older than mine. Her daughter's birthday falls in the same week as her husband's birthday. So last year, when her daughter turned one, they had a luau party for her husband and his best friend whose birthday is also in the same week, and just had an extra cake for her daughter, but it wasn't really her party per se. I didn't see anything wrong with that...it was actually really cute because my friend's husband got a Hawaiian shirt to wear at the party that had a matching dress for their daughter, so it was tres adorable! Everyone at the party was an adult though, except her daughter, our daughter, and one or two other older children that came with their parents.

When my friend's daughter's 2nd birthday rolled around a few months ago, I kind of expected her to throw her daughter a little party, but once again, we were invited to an adult party for the two guys, with an extra cake for the little birthday girl turning two. We RSVPed, and then my daughter and I were having dinner with the friend and her daughter and my other mom friend and her son, and my other mom friend asked me what I was doing for my daughter's birthday in three months. I had just reserved the playplace, so I mentioned we were renting that and having the party there.

And that's when my friend started asking me questions. Why was I throwing my daughter a party? Her main issue seemed to be, who would I possibly invite? Which was odd, because she, her husband, and her daughter all came to the 1st birthday ballerina-themed party I threw at my house for my daughter last year, so it wasn't like she hadn't already seen one of my parties in action. Well, I said, I'm inviting all the folks that came to the party last year (my parents, a few of my girlfriends, and their children), plus some of my daughter's friends from school (and their parents, of course).
 
Last year's 1st birthday party for my daughter--theme was ballerinas.
The doll at left was mine as a child and the Nana made the cover that turned the highchair into one big tutu!

My daughter's outfit for her 1st birthday--she wasn't quite walking yet!

And this seemed to be her main issue. She was surprised my daughter has "friends." Now granted, my daughter's two and they mostly parallel play still at this point, but she has been going to her day school with a certain group of children for the last 20 months. She sees these babies all day, every day, four days a week. They play and sing and read and eat and go potty together LOL. In my mind, they're friends! And my friend considers her daughter, who we only see every few weeks on playdates, my daughter's friend, so why wouldn't her classmates who she sees every day be her friends?!

My daughter's friend from school--he's actually the first little boy to hold hands with her
when they were mere babies in the nursery (daughter is wearing new outfit due to a poop incident LOL)

I just thought it was weird...her daughter has been in daycare since she was 10 weeks old, longer than my daughter has, so I was surprised she didn't consider any of the kids in her daycare class her daughter's friends, or know any of their parents. (I only invited kids who I know pretty well and whose parents I've at least chatted with a few times in passing--some I know better than others.)

This is my friend's little boy who does not go to school with my daughter,
but goes in for a hug everytime he sees her! He's my favorite potential future son-in-law LOL!

I don't know if she was just feeling insecure/competitive because she wasn't having a separate party for her daughter, and was using that as an excuse, or if she really thinks her daughter has no friends. I think it would be sad to think my daughter was in school all day and wasn't friends with any of those kids! Recently, I talked to my daughter about the concept of best friends and asked her if she had a best friend. Usually, she'll only parrot back the name of anyone I say, so I specifically did not name anyone...just asked the question and let it lie there. She thought for a minute and then said the name of a little girl who was invited to the party from her class! I asked again if she had a best friend and she repeated the little girl's name, so I was very excited to think she considers that little girl her best friend.

The little girl my daughter named as her friend

Anyway, so all this got me thinking...what do most people think about little kid birthday parties: yay or nay? Do you think it's a waste because your child really doesn't have "friends" at such a young age or are you, like me, all into hosting a party? I think that, like my mother before me, I am living vicariously through my daughter's parties too. :)

Glam-O-Mommy and daughter, enjoying pizza

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Break the Funk: Ask Glam-O-Mommy

Glam-O-Readers, I've been in a bit of a funk this past week. Not sure if it's a post-baby's birthday letdown or pre-mother-in-law's visit meltdown (Cannot. Keep. House. Clean. EEK) or if it's a I'm-Working-on-Two-High-Level-and-Highly-Annoying-Projects-at-Work-That-Will-Never-End breakdown, or just the fact that I haven't had a vacation since February and Jamaica is still 20 days away.

The funk has extended to my blog. I keep starting posts, getting a few paragraphs in, and then setting them aside, unsure if I want to declare my thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics...just at a bit of a loss as to what to say.

So, I'm looking to you for ideas...what do you WANT to know about me? Or any thoughts/positions/opinions I have on anything related to motherhood or anything else? I reserve the right to not answer certain questions, as I'm obviously protecting my privacy a little bit here, but other than that, ask away. I'm generally an open book in real life, and am curious what you want to know about me, based on what you've already read/seen here.

Post your questions in the comments...and I'll post a response blog answering the questions soon!

Come on...you know you want to ask me something! Here's your chance. :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Two Years of Miracles and Dreams Come True

"I was waiting for so long/For a miracle to come/Everyone told me to be strong/Hold on and don't shed a tear.

Through the darkness and good times/I knew I'd make it through/And the world thought I had it all/But I was waiting for you..."

--From A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion

Two years ago today...I met an angel God sent to me. She saved my life.

Glam-O-Mommy meets daughter

Ready to go home--third day

First moments at home

8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches long

When I look at her, I believe miracles can happen. Dreams can come true.

One month old

Seven months old

One year old

Thank you, God, for answering my prayer.

Two years old, 30 lbs 8 oz, 37.25 inches long

Happy birthday, Big Girl. Mommy loves you SO much!

Cowgirl cutie, ready for her big party

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This Blog Absence Brought to You by Twilight

I was on a really good blogging roll during the month of July, and then, almost three weeks ago, I discovered the Twilight phenomenon.


Now, I haven't been living under a rock. The first movie came out while I was on maternity leave, so I heard about it, but was a scooch more focused on my DARLING, ADORABLE BABY to go to a movie or read a book. Since then, obviously, I've heard all about the movies and the books when New Moon came out and then again just six weeks ago, when Eclipse premiered.

And still...very little interest in seeing the movies or reading the books. Kind of thought people were a little crazy for being obsessed with it. Not sure why...Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are hot and I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but really did not care for Interview with a Vampire, and I think I mistakenly thought it would be more Rice-like than Scooby Gang.

And then, on a random Sunday night, with nothing on TV, I happened upon the movie on Showtime. I watched the last half and thought, hmm...interesting. My husband was out of town for the week, and TV was a wasteland, so when I saw it was on again the next night (gotta love Showtime), I DVR'd it and watched it after my daughter went to bed.

And that was it...I was obsessed. Crazy.

The following night I rented New Moon. And then I watched Twilight again Wednesday and Thursday night. When my husband came home Friday night, I was like, hey--good to see you! I'm going to see a 10:20 showing of Eclipse! Watch the baby for me!

And then I bought all four of the books and read them in about six days. I'm a fast reader, but even so, my husband was impressed...and probably a little perplexed with why his wife was all of a sudden obsessed with vampires and wolves LOL.

And then I bought the Twilight soundtrack and put it in heavy rotation on my iPod.

Note to other parents: The slow or instrumental songs on this soundtrack do an excellent job of lulling toddlers to sleep in the car.

More Twilight watching, ANOTHER rental of New Moon ensued this week, and I'm plotting to go see Eclipse again this weekend. Somebody help me.

In fairness, my Twilight obsession is not the ONLY thing that has kept me from blogging. I'm smack dab in the middle of two MAJOR projects at work that are causing me to want to tear my perfectly highlighted hair right out of my head and making me work some extra hours. I'm also in the final stages of party planning for my daughter's second birthday extravaganza next weekend, trying to figure out where to take her for two-year portraits now that my favorite studio has closed, shopping for our upcoming Jamaica vacation, and still carrying a bit of the parental load, although my husband is slowly doing better on the recovery front.

BUT...Twilight is probably the biggest factor in my lack of blogging, since I've mostly watched and re-watched it after my daughter goes to bed, which is usually when I blog. :) I'll try to be better, if I can resist temptation...

And for the record...TEAM EDWARD all the way!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Margaritas by 9 a.m.

You know your day is not going well when you feel like downing a couple of margaritas by 9 a.m. in the morning. Especially when you can't remember the last time you had a margarita or alcohol of any kind.

My day started with a jolt as I accidentally turned my alarm off instead of hitting the snooze. I woke up an hour later, knowing I had no hope of getting my daughter to school in time to eat her school breakfast. What is key here is that her school breakfast is her SECOND breakfast of the day...she has milk and a handful of Cheerios when she gets up at home, then, within an hour, she has a second breakfast at school...usually something like milk, a muffin, and a big slice of honeydew melon. She cannot miss the school breakfast. Or any other meal. EVER.

She's not a picky eater, my kid. I am, extremely, so I'm constantly amazed I created this little person who has yet to dislike any food I put in front of her. I feed her all kinds of healthy fruits and veggies and stuff that I don't actually eat myself and she LOVES it. So I try to ensure she always gets to school in time to have the school breakfast. She does not like to miss a meal!

So as I rushed around trying to get ready, I gave her a banana in addition to her regular breakfast since we were going to miss the school breakfast. She scarfed it in less than a minute and wanted more, so I gave her a second banana, which she also polished off quickly, and then I gave her a little extra milk. BREAKFAST ACCOMPLISHED.

Finally ready myself, I thought it would take me my normal 10 minutes to get her ready. Forty-five minutes later, sweaty and defeated, we finally left for school.

The minute I tried to get her dressed, she threw one of the biggest fits I've ever seen. She cried. She crawled away as I tried to change her diaper. She refused all my attempts to put her pants on. I took a break and gave her a minute to calm down, then tried again. More flailing and crying on the floor. Then, I tried my "I'm going to have to leave without you" trick, wherein I say, sadly, "Oh well. If you're not going to get dressed, Mommy's going to have to go ahead and go without you." Then, I take my purse, her bag, my lunch, and other assorted crap to the car, and by the time I'm back in less than a minute, she is usually eager to go with me and very compliant as I dress her. Not today! More wailing and flailing about on the floor ensued. At this point, I began talking directly to and trying to make deals with God. Seriously.

Finally, I wrestled her into her clothes and then put her socks on. She cried and tried to take them back off as if she were in pain from the socks, so totally defeated at this point, I took them back off. Then, she immediately got hysterical, crying, "Socks! Socks!" and put her feet out for me to PUT THE SAME SOCKS BACK ON. So I did. Then I put her shoes on and gave her a paci. And she finally calmed down. (Should've used the paci earlier, but I try to only let her have it in her crib and nowhere else.) Finally calm (both of us), but sweaty and frazzled (me), I  took her out to the car. Where she promptly flailed a little as I was going to put her in the car and hit her head on the corner of the car door. And then more wailing ensued. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm an awesome mom.

The 15-minute drive to her school was oddly silent. Neither of us happily sang along to the Laurie Berkner Band as we do most mornings.We were both kind of exhausted and defeated. At school, I hugged her and told her I was sorry for not handling her hysterics well and I was sure she was sorry she didn't just get dressed protest-free as she does most days. I felt it was important for both of us to own our mistakes. I then drove the few blocks to my office, went into my office, and sat down at my desk, totally deflated.

And desperately craving a couple of frosty margaritas. Like, seriously wondering, do they sell margaritas at 9 a.m.? This is San Antonio, home of the best margaritas in the world...surely someone is selling them at this time of the morning?! I'll just say I'm going on a Starbucks run and go hit a bar. I'm obviously not doing well as a mother. I need a drink!

Then, the crap started rolling in at work and I let my mommy guilt go and tried to deal with the work in front of me and get through the day.

At the end of the day, I started thinking about my poor daughter though. She is a child that lives and dies by routine. Not a schedule...just a routine. Like, if I say let's go take a bath, no matter what time of day the bath happens, she has to go get her towel first, then get in the tub, then when she gets out she tells the water goodbye, then she runs naked to her table and puts her arms up for me to pick her up and dress her. Every time. She thrives on routine.

And in the last month, her routine has been off. Way off. First, she spent three days with my parents while my husband was in the hospital. Then, my husband, a super hands-on Daddy, suddenly can't do all the many things he normally does with her and she doesn't understand why. Mommy is doing everything, including all the school runs to and fro. Nana is coming over two nights a week to handle her dinner, bath, and bedtime so Mommy can go to a class and Daddy still can't do those things. This week, Daddy is out of town at a training course, and she doesn't understand where he is. Her life's been kind of turned upside down a bit and the only thing she can do is refuse to go potty on the potty (total regression in potty training since my husband's surgery) and throw a crying fit because she doesn't know why Daddy's not there in the morning to help her get dressed or take her to school.

That's how an almost-two-year-old copes with stress. Her 37-year-old mother just craves margaritas at inappropriate times of the day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm 37, But I Don't Want to Be an Older Mommy

I'm 37.

I turned this age over two months ago, but I find myself thinking about it a lot lately, especially as I am reading other people's blogs. I'm fairly sure the majority of bloggers I read are in their late 20s/early 30s, and many of them are moms of small children. And in my head, I totally think of them as my peers, but then they sometimes make a comment that tips me off to the fact that they are younger than me. And it's a little depressing, because I am also a mom of a small child, but I am an OLDER MOMMY.

Here's the thing... my mom had me when she was 24. When she was 37, she was having a full hysterectomy and I was 13, in junior high, angsting over whether any boys would ever grow taller than me, and listening to Tears for Fears and Heart.

Now, I'm 37, possibly peri-menopausal (why the heck else am I so darn HOT all the time? I used to be a cold person!), with an almost two-year-old, who is in day school, ignoring boys, and listening to Elmo and the Laurie Berkner Band.

I don't want to be an OLDER MOMMY. I still feel like a cool, vibrant young person most of the time--I stay up with the latest technology and movies and pop culture and all that. I tweet, FB, text, etc. I watch Glee and listen to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. I know who Justin Bieber is. Granted, I'm just now catching up on the Twilight movies, but in my defense, the first movie came out the year I gave birth. I was kind of busy then and have been ever since. But I am trying to catch up on all of that because I don't want to be an OLDER MOMMY not with the times like the woman I'll call Mrs. S.

When I was 11, about sixth grade I guess, I had three close friends: K, J, and R. My mother was 35 at the time, as was K's mom. J's mom was only about 30, possibly a little younger, as she had her as a teenager. R's mom, Mrs. S, was 45. She was an OLDER MOMMY.

My mom and most of my friends' moms let us watch MTV* and knew all the latest bands and singers we liked--Hall and Oates, Huey Lewis and the News, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, etc. Mrs. S never let R watch MTV or popular movies or anything like that. She didn't let R watch the premiere of Michael Jackson's Thriller video! Only the biggest cultural phenomenon of our time, the Thriller video, and she was not allowed to see it! Her mom just didn't understand any of that stuff.

*Note to younger readers: Back in 1983-84 when this story takes place, MTV actually played music videos 24-7. Seriously. IT. WAS. AWESOME. None of this Snooki-Jersey Shore crap.

So anyway, we always felt really sorry for R because her mom seemed so much older than our moms, and so out of touch with the times. And as I do the math, when my own daughter turns 11, I am going to be 46. One year older than Mrs. S was at the time--EEK!

I don't want to be like Mrs. S, an OLDER MOMMY! I mean, 40's the new 30, right? Look at the Sex and the City gals! I want to be tuned in to the latest trends and music...not in a way that will embarrass my kid or anything (I mean, Madonna's rocking and still awesome in her 50s, but I kind of think she should give up the leotards, you know? And cover up her arms--they kind of freak me out!), just in a way that she can relate to me and will think I'm a pretty cool Mommy when I'm picking her up from school with all the 20- and 30-something moms of her classmates LOL.

I kind of hope that tattoos and body piercings (other than ears) are out of fashion by the time my daughter is older, because if she wants those, I really will sound like an OLDER MOMMY. I can't help it--it was instilled in me by my proper Southern mother that nice girls just don't do those things LOL. The one time my mother seemed like an OLDER MOMMY to me was when I wanted to get one (ONE!) extra hole pierced in one of my ears (whichever one was the cool ear to do so, I can't remember now). She balked at this initially, but finally relented on the condition that I get one extra hole in BOTH ears, so as not to look lopsided or asymetrical, which kind of defeated the whole purpose. (Seriously. I am not making this up!)

So to my Future Tween and Teenage Daughter, I make this promise: I will try hard to be young at heart and up with the times so that you want to talk to me and share your world with me, but not so into it that I embarrass you. I will let you watch the cool cultural phenomenon-type events as they occur and take you to concerts by your favorite bands.

I only ask two things of you in return: (1) Please stay my little girl as long as you can--you have the rest of your life to be a grown-up, and (2) Please only pierce your ears and don't get any tattoos. Please. For me and for my mother, your Nana. OK? :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Winning an Award and Making Friends Through Blogs: Very Glam

The very fun and entertaining Kimberly over at  The Stinker Pinkers bestowed my first-ever blog award on me: The Versatile Blogger Award!


Thank you so much Kimberly! I like to think I won this award because I write insightful, thought-provoking prose on motherhood; however, Kimberly says it's because I make her laugh, which is cool too! Motherhood, especially in its least glamorous moments, is often entertaining. And I used to think about going into standup comedy because I like to tell funny stories, so that is a wonderful compliment to make someone laugh!

I hope I get this right...apparently to accept this award, I have to share seven things about myself and then pass the award on to 15 other blogs. So here we go!

1. I am a total grammar/punctuation nerd/snob. This serves me well on the job since I am an editor and a writer. It doesn't mean I get things 100 percent perfect on my blog or Twitter because I tend to be more casual or hit publish too quickly LOL. But it does mean if I see grammar/punctuation mistakes on billboards, ads, FB posts, blogs, etc., I do judge them. Just a teeny tiny bit. If it's a person, I still like them. I just can't help myself!

2. I was Valentine Queen in my second- and third-grade classes in Arkansas (where we lived at that time), elected by my classmates. For this, I got a paper crown with glitter on it--my first two tiaras! I also got some boy drama in second grade as the boy I liked was not elected Valentine King and the boy who was the King gave me a white carnation-my first flower. Petty jealousy and melodrama between the two boys ensued. Good times.

3. That boy...the one I liked who was not elected Valentine King? He and I reconnected on FB a few months ago (we haven't seen each other since I moved to Nebraska in 4th grade). He's engaged to be married and his wedding date is my wedding anniversary--September 25th. How weird is that?!

4. My parents were high school sweethearts who started dating at 15 (Mom) and 16 (Dad), They celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary this month, although they've been together 46 years!!

5. I have a weird obsession with Mt. Everest. I don't like heights and I would never rock climb or scale a mountain EVER, but I'm fascinated by the people who try to climb Mt. Everest. I've read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and I watched that reality show about people trying to climb Everest. I think those people are IN-SANE, but I can't look away. My husband thinks this means I secretly want to try and climb Everest, but I really don't!!

6. Regular Coke (or Co-Coler as my grandma used to say) is my number-one vice. I would drink it at every meal and throughout the day if I could (in college, I did!). I try to limit myself to only one or two a day now, but it's hard.

7. I didn't breastfeed my daughter. At all. I didn't even try. Scandalous! (Pause for shocked gasps!) I know. Go ahead and judge me a little if you want to. Come on--you know you do! I can take it. (OK, not really--please be nice!) It was my choice, for a variety of reasons, most personal, one medical in nature, and I don't regret it or feel that I missed out on something at all. My daughter's healthy and happy and it was the right decision for me and my family.

And The Versatile Blogger Award Goes to...

What I've found to be amazing as I started blogging and getting to know other blogs/bloggers a few months ago is how very different so many of the people whose blogs I read are from me and how I enjoy getting a little window into their lives through their blogs. I'd love to have a long, chatty dinner with these folks, so now, I'd like to bestow this award on the following blogs/bloggers:

1. the state that I am in Just in the short time I've been reading her blog and corresponding with her, I feel that Erin is a little bit of a kindred soul as we share similar feelings about our bouts of infertility. I look forward to following her journey into motherhood when her twins are born!

2. The Life and Times of a Self-Proclaimed Saucy Bitch First of all, that is one of the best blog titles ever, plus she wrote a post on "vajazzling" the other night that was laugh out loud funny! You're awesome Saucy B!

3. St. Monica's Bridge Kristen is the first person who ever commented on my blog and as I've been reading her blog, I'm in awe of her faith and her willingness to share her thoughts on controversial topics such as childhood vaccines. She is incredibly thoughtful in her posts and I always look forward to reading her perspective, even when it differs from my own. 

4.  Mighty Maggie I discovered Mighty Maggie through parenting.com and started reading her personal blog months before I started my own. I really look forward to reading her blog as she always makes me laugh! She, of course, has no idea who I am LOL.

5. Absolutely Narcissism  I hesitate to give this award to Sandra as her ego is big enough already LOL, but she is always an entertaining read! And she's Canadian, and I have a well-known soft spot for Canadians!

6. The Stinker Pinkers I know Kimberly just won this award and gave it to me, but I really enjoy her blog. She makes ME laugh and makes me think about new ideas, like living in a small space. She made me think about it. I decided it wasn't for me, but I thought about it LOL! 

7. Du Wax Loolu I don't remember how I originally came across Jess' blog. I do remember I was like, "Du Wax what?" That's a pretty memorable blog name. I enjoy reading her blog...her recent in-law travails were particularly funny, but she is often thoughtful and interesting as well. She probably thinks I am a blog stalker or something since I recently posted a comment on her blog and it showed up nine times for some reason. I'm not a stalker, I promise!

8. Confessions from a Working Mom I came upon this blog fairly recently, attracted by the title as I am also a working mom. She recently wrote a post about maybe only having just the one child which resonated with me. I like her. I'm going to keep reading her.

9. Baby Making Machine Jennifer is another blogger I discovered through parenting.com. I enjoyed following the end of her pregnancy and am getting a big chuckle out of her now that she is in that I'm-so-in-love-with-my-baby and paranoid-new-mother phase.  

And here's a slight problem folks...I don't really read a bazillion blogs, so I don't really have six more I'm ready to bestow this award on just yet. Do I get to keep my award, or is this failure to list award-winning blogs 10-15 akin to pulling a Milli Vanilli and having to give my Grammy back to the Academy?

What do you think? Can I bestow the other six awards in a few months when I've read more? That's what I'm going to go with for now! Thanks again, Kimberly, and thanks to these bloggers who I so enjoy, and thanks to all of you for reading!