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!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Sweet sleepy moments...

Little pumpkin butts...

Baby burritos...

Funny faces...

Little pink cheeks...

Big blue eyes...

Movie moments...

Big pretty bows...

Looking up to others...

Edgy fashion choices...

Friends...

Family...

Hugs...

Sweetness...

Coolness...

Goofiness...

Joy...

Laughter...

Drama...

Love...


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vanity, Thy Name is Glam-O-Mommy

A major part of my feeling of self-worth lives and dies by the state of my hair.

If my hair looks good, there's almost nothing that can ruin my day. If my hair looks bad, well, the day is only going to go downhill from there.

Lately, I've been having LOTS of bad hair days. This is partially because about seven months ago I let my stylist of 17 years convince me to change the way he does my highlights. For about five years or so, I've sported chunky double blonde highlights set off with double lowlights. This makes me look very blonde, which makes me very happy. (I was born a blonde, so I'm always trying to return my hair to its natural state LOL.) He really thought I should go back to thin blonde highlights and few lowlights, with more of my regular (I refuse to call the dirty dishwater color that grows in my natural color) color coming through.

When I decided to try it his way, I instantly regretted it. Not only did I look less blonde, my roots became visible much more quickly than normal. For seven months, I've been trying to get him to switch my highlights back to the chunky double highlight/double lowlight look I love...the look that feels like me.

Then, July happened. Let's take stock of my July, shall we? Hurricane Alex hit the first week, which meant I worked extra long days at work and missed out on time with my kid, which makes me unhappy. By the time that was over, I had a horrible cold, which dragged on through the next week and caused me to miss some work. Then, just as I was getting over that, my husband had emergency surgery and was in the hospital for three days, and then was still down for the count recovering all this last week. This meant that I again missed work, putting me behind on a big project, plus I was extra stressed taking care of both my dear husband and my daughter without his help, PLUS I missed my normal highlight appointment, meaning my already scraggly, rootsy hair had to stay that way for an extra week.

So, I've felt kind of like Crap Walking all month, but especially the last two weeks. And when my parents offered to keep my daughter yesterday (hubby's not allowed to lift her for FOUR MORE WEEKS-GAH), so I could go get my hair and nails done and do a little personal pampering, I jumped at the chance! When I called my stylist to make my hair appointment, I was all, "Look, dude...I am not letting you talk me out of this again...I WANT my chunky double highlights and lowlights back! I want my MOJO back!"

Two points here:
  • I said "dude" to my stylist because he is a 6"4" straight guy (strange for a stylist, I know) who has curly 80s rocker hair all the way down to his waist. I'm not even exaggerating this description. He once got mad at me when I told him I had DREAMED he had cut his hair short like Sammy Hagar did when he was in Van Halen. Last night, he was going to see the Scorpions in concert here in San Antonio. Because I've been going to him for 17 years, I can call him dude and be completely honest with him about what I want. I realized yesterday he is one of the few people I can talk to this honestly LOL, and it's very refreshing. :)
  • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "mojo" as (1) a magic spell, hex, or charm or (2) magical power. I truly believe my hair is the font of all my mojo and has magical powers. But only when the highlights are RIGHT!
So yesterday was a fabulous day for me. I got a mani/pedi for the first time in at least a month. My stylist willingly obliged me and did my highlights the way I like them, which has made me SO happy. (In his appointment book, next to my name, he had written, "Wants mojo back!" LOL) Then, I got a massage and a facial and capped off the day with dinner with all of the people I love: my sweet parents, my dear husband, and my darling daughter.

Am I vain? YES. But I was thinking about it this morning and I realized I'm a lot LESS VAIN than I used to be.

As a mom, there are lots of situations you find yourself in where you just can't take the time to care about your personal appearance or how you look to other people.

This morning, for example, I took my daughter to a different pool because our swim class was cancelled. I would've preferred to carry my daughter about in the water and practice some of our swim class activities, like back floating, kicking, going underwater briefly, etc. This could all be done in the four- to -five-feet deep section of the pool, so that my poochy mom belly and flabby thighs would be nicely covered up by the water as they are in swim class. My daughter preferred to sit in the shallow two inches of water at the entry end and splash, which meant that is exactly where I sat with her, poochy belly and flabby thighs out above the water for the world to see. :) She was happy as a clam, and I was happy she was happy. This is a far cry from the pre-baby me that only ventured in a pool to cool off, never got my hair or face wet, and inclined on a lounge chair with one leg cocked up at a precise angle to make my belly look as flat as possible LOL.

(OK, technically, I am working out twice a week to try and tighten the belly and thighs up before our Jamaica trip; however, realistically I know that I will spend very little time in Jamaica lounging on a chair under a palm tree like I did on my last visit and most of my time carrying her or chasing after her and looking crazily disheveled and wet like I did at the pool today. A girl can dream though.)

Other situations I've faced as a mom where all vanity and caring-what-other-people-think-of-me went out the window:
  • Infertility treatment. Everyone and their brother got a look at my hoo-ha during this time--the first part of my journey as a  mother.
  • Giving birth. Everyone and their brother got a look at my hoo-ha, I threw up twice in front of a room full of people, and continually felt stuff other people could see gushing from me for several hours. BUT I got the epidural, which made all of that go out the window and was A-MAZ-ING, and my beautiful daughter came out healthy and loudly a mere eight hours after the whole thing began. AWESOME.
  • Explosive diapers. My daughter has gifted me with several of these, most memorably as we descended into the San Antonio International Airport. You know, on the descent. Where you cannot leave your seat. Where my husband and I belatedly wrapped my daughter and her RIVER of poop in her changing pad and I ran off the plane (not really, even the threat of poop doesn't stop the idiots in front of you from taking forever to get their damn suitcases out of the overhead bins) to the bemused stares of the surrounding passengers and had to inform the flight attendants to check seat 24B for poop on the way out. Where I then had to strip my daughter completely naked, wipe all the poop off of her and myself and change her into another outfit to the bemused stares of the surrounding female passengers, who had all come to the bathroom directly off of our flight and seemed to be enjoying my Poopapalooza.
  • Vomit. The first time my daughter ever threw up, I tried to catch it in my hands to save the couch. Take it from me...that doesn't work. It leaves you with a couch still covered in vomit and HANDS covered in vomit...hands that need to pick up your baby who is freaked out and covered in vomit. Luckily, this was at home. I've also worn another kid's vomit on my pants back to work after feeding my daughter her bottle at school. Word of advice: identify the stealth vomiters in your baby's day school class early and do not sit near them while feeding your own baby. It's bad enough to wear your own kid's vomit...worse to wear some other kid's!
  • Insane crying, part I. This has really only happened to me twice in public. Once was at my daughter's first swim class, where she cried hysterically from the beginning to the end of the lesson, all the while clinging to my neck and face and HAIR and almost exposing my boobs to the assembled parents watching their older children's lessons. I just kept going and tried to keep my boobs covered and my hair out of my eyes and now she loves swimming.
  • Insane crying, part II. The other time was worse. My daughter really is generally a good traveler, explosive poopy diaper aside (that was the airlines' fault, we had experienced several flight delays, but the kind where you are on the jetway and they won't let you get up from your seat and people don't like it if you change a diaper right on the seat, so you try to wait the situation out, thinking, "We'll be there soon."). Counting each leg of a trip as its own flight, she has been on 14 flights in under two years. The explosive diaper was one bad experience. The only other, insane crying one, I also blame partially on the airlines. She and I had already had a flight delay, so we were taking off on our last flight of the day into San Antonio later at night than I'd expected. My daughter was overtired from being out of town, meeting new relatives, being spoiled by my parents who were at our destination, and napping erratically despite my best efforts to keep her on a schedule. As the plane took off and the lights were turned out for our 40-minute flight, she fell asleep, which was awesome...for 25 minutes. Then, the flight attendants abruptly turned on the lights and made an announcement, which jolted my daughter into having a night terror. This is a bout of insane crying where the baby isn't actually awake or consolable. They last 10-15 minutes and there is really nothing you can do to calm the baby down. She had had a few of these night terror episodes at home before, usually when she skipped a nap and was overtired, so I recognized that was what was happening right away. I knew nothing would console her, she just had to get through it, but I tried everything to do so anyway, all the while with her screaming, trying to climb out of her seat and up my body, and clawing at my hair. Yes, I was that parent unable to calm down their child on a plane. Yes, I got RUDE comments from people in the surrounding rows, although I got several supportive comments from parents who had been there themselves. I got a little more sympathy when a flight attendant asked me my daughter's age and I told her she was 18 months old. Because my 18-month-old was as big and TALL as many three-year-olds, so most people just thought she was being a Terrible Toddler. "She's just a baby then!" the flight attendant exclaimed, which shut some of the people up. Yes, she is indeed a baby, I said. And she's having a night terror episode because she was overtired, our flight was delayed till late, and the lights and announcement jarred her from a sound SLEEP! The capper to this episode was discovering as I finally deplaned with my finally calm baby that I had gritted my teeth so hard trying to calm her down that I had CHIPPED the top of one of my lower teeth. We met my husband at baggage claim and I promptly burst into tears. Not glam.
So there you have it. I am admittedly vain, but becoming less so all the time. I mean, I did live without nails and accepting bad hair days way beyond my pre-baby tolerance for that type of thing (ZERO TOLERANCE). This is just one of the ways my daughter is making me a better person. I'm growing. I have less time for vanity and more acceptance of imperfection. I've also become amazingly more patient, but that's a subject for another post. :)



This is what my daughter has looked like on 12 out of 14 flights.

 This is how we normally look when we travel--poop and night terrors aside.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday-Hospital Edition

1. At the beginning of this week, my plans included dinner with my girlfriend on Wednesday, followed by a joint shopping trip to Gymboree to use our Gymbucks on fall clothes for our kids, and a stop at Vera Bradley for me to splurge on a new purse and a matching tote bag, which I am totally justifying because I "need" them for our upcoming Jamaica trip. Then, on Saturday (tomorrow), after swim class with my daughter, I planned to leave her with my husband and get my hair highlighted and cut (it's too long/thick/unmanageable with DARK roots right now--classy) and get a mani/pedi (I've had no nails for almost three weeks now--horrors!). Sounds like a fun plan for a week, right?

2. On Tuesday, my husband, He-Who-Never-Goes-to-the-Doctor, aka He-Who-Never-Takes-Medication-EVER, voluntarily went to the doctor for unexplained pain in his abdomen. (He only mentioned the pain to me on Monday night, but apparently had started experiencing it Sunday night. Sigh.) The doctor thought it was appendicitis, so he sent him to an imaging clinic for a CT scan to confirm. At this point, I left work, picked up our daughter from school, called my mother to come to our house to watch our daughter, and then headed to the imaging clinic with my husband. Sure enough, they said it was appendicitis and sent us directly to the hospital. My mom took my daughter home with her to stay overnight and my daddy left his work and came to meet us at the hospital to sit with me during my husband's appendectomy Tuesday evening.

3. What should've been a 45-minute appendectomy turned into a 2.5 hour surgery because it wasn't actually appendicitis. Apparently, everyone has these "fat fingers" that hang off of your intestines called "Appendix epiploica". One of my husband's appendix epiploica had twisted on itself and died, which caused his pain and filled his belly with blood. It was near his appendix, which is why they thought that was the problem. The surgeon had to remove the dead, necrotic appendix epiploica and went ahead and took his real appendix out while he was in there. He still managed to do the surgery laproscopically, but rather than getting out of the hospital Wednesday morning as we thought he would after the appy, my husband is still in the hospital. Hopefully, he will get out today (Friday).

4. Once the surgery started going longer than expected, I started freaking out. And when the doctor finally came to talk to me, the look on his face was so serious (and he had been a jokester beforehand when he thought it was a walk-in-the-park appy), I was afraid my husband had died. It was terrifying. I was in shock and had a hard time absorbing his explanation of what was actually wrong with my husband and started crying. And I was really glad my daddy was there at that point so I had someone to lean on (I had been trying to get him to go on home because it was so late, and he goes to work at 5:30 a.m. Thank goodness he didn't listen to me!).

5. So I've spent all evening Tuesday, all day Wednesday, and all day Thursday at the hospital with my husband. Instead of dinner and shopping Wednesday night, my girlfriend brought dinner to eat with me at the hospital since my parents, who live clear across town, were taking care of my daughter. Thursday night, one of my coworker friends brought me dinner and ate with me. She also brought me my computer so I can spend this weekend trying to catch up on work. Or not. Thank goodness for good friends!

6. This is the longest I've ever been away from my daughter. I miss her now, but honestly, until Thursday evening, I didn't have time to miss her...I was too busy taking care of my husband, helping him get out of bed, walk around, go to the bathroom, shower, etc. Luckily, she has been having a ball with my parents--so much so that she barely talked to me when they would put her on the phone until Thursday night, when I got a quick "Hi Mommy!" before she handed the phone back to my mother. Now, we just have to figure out how to keep her from climbing on/jumping on my husband when they both come home today. That'll be fun.

7. So, I didn't make it to Gymboree and I'm pretty sure the hair highlighting-and-cut/mani-pedi plan is out for tomorrow (I will just have to suffer nail-less and rootsy for a few more days--not glam LOL). I am still going to try and take my daughter to swim class, because that's only a half-hour in the morning and I think my husband should be okay on his own for that long. I did make it to Vera Bradley and splurge on my purse/tote Thursday evening, because my husband was already falling asleep thanks to his pain medication at 8 p.m. and told me to go on home early, so I went there and treated myself (it was a tough week, don't judge me--shopping is my therapy) and then ran to the grocery store and stocked up on all kinds of lovely, soft food and soups and orange drinks (his fave) for my husband to eat and drink when he comes home.

Thank you, God, for taking care of my husband in his hour of need, for giving me amazing parents who always have my back, for the kindness, care, and love of friends and family near and far, and for the miracle of modern medicine/surgery to heal. It hasn't been the week I planned, but it could've been a lot worse. I'm so lucky and can't wait to bring my husband home!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just Another Glam Saturday Night

As you may have noticed, the way I describe myself above is "I aspire to glamour. My life is not remotely glamorous." Ha! Tonight is a perfect example of that.

It's Saturday night. In my single 20s, on Saturday nights, I'd get dressed up. The evening started at 9 p.m. with dinner with girlfriends, followed by dancing at a club from 11 p.m. until last call at 2 a.m. This was sometimes followed by early morning tacos on the way home to my apartment and then sleeping till noon. Ah...those were the days.

When I started dating my now-husband at 29, our dates started out following that late-night/dressed up timeline, but then began creeping earlier (although I still dressed up). Once we were married, Saturday nights, if we went out, were more along the lines of dinner at 7 p.m., followed by a movie, or ice skating, or grabbing a drink at a bar or something until 10 or 11 p.m. and then home. (I still dressed up. Usually.)

Now that I'm a mother, Saturday nights are often like tonight. Feed and bathe daughter, put her to bed by 7:30 or 8 p.m. Watch crappy TV or the occasional movie on pay-per-view (while husband plays World of Warcraft on the computer and goes to bed early) while folding/ironing loads and loads of laundry. Go to bed at midnight. Wash, rinse, repeat. Tonight, I am wearing the shorts and t-shirt I threw on at the end of my and my daughter's Baby and Me swim class this morning, which means I didn't actually shower today and I didn't go anywhere. SO not glam.

Occasionally, if I am very lucky, I make plans to meet one of my fellow mom friends on Saturday night for a late dinner. We meet at about 8:30 p.m., after we've seen our kids off to bed for the night, with our homebound husbands on kid duty (mine playing Warcraft as usual). We meet at a semi-hip restaurant, semi-dressed up, eat, gossip, and talk mommy stuff for about three hours, then look at our phones in horror upon realizing how late it is, and go home. (We would stay out later, except that the kids get up SO early.) It's funny to think that about 10 years ago, the two of us used to dance on the stage at one of the local clubs and now we're obsessing over preschools and potty training.

Very occasionally, my husband and I will leave our daughter overnight with the grandparentals (my parents, who live across town) and have a date night. The last time we did this, a few months back, we had a late lunch/early dinner, then went to an 8 p.m. movie (Date Night LOL, which is a hysterical movie--if you haven't seen it, rent it), then went to a bar and game room. Where we saw people with babies all over the place. AT A BAR. Which totally ruined our night, because we kept saying to each other, "What is wrong with these people? It's 11 p.m., why do they have their baby out with them?! Ours has been asleep for three hours already! OMG, that couple has the baby's bottle PROPPED in its mouth in the stroller...they're not even holding and feeding their own kid! AAAGH!" Total. Buzzkill. So we just came home. And haven't had a date night since.

Don't get me wrong...I wouldn't trade this life for anything. My 20-something clubgoing days were filled with a lot of Single Bitter Woman angst and "I'm-going-to-become-a-spinster-cat-lady" melodrama on my part. I'm happy to be married and a mommy. And most Saturdays, tired from the week, I'm happy to stay in, watch crappy TV, and catch up on laundry. Really!

But sometimes, I miss a good night out, dressed up to the nines, and dancing the night away. Sometimes.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Join the Blog Hop!

This is a blog first for me...I'm participating in a Blog Hop!

Hop on over and join in the fun!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holding Tight, Letting Go

This week, my daughter started a new class at school. Upstairs. Where all the big kids' classes are. (All the baby classes are on the first floor.) I took her to drop her off for the first day of this new class...this class she is in because she started expressing an interest in potty training a few weeks ago, and so we asked when they would start working on it at school and were told she could move to a class upstairs where they work on it with the early training kids.

So she essentially skipped a class, leap-frogged over almost all the kids within four months of her age, and is already upstairs working on potty training. All the other kids around her age on the first floor will move up in August, so it's not that big of a deal, but she is getting a little headstart.

So far, it seems to be going well...she's peed on the potty at school for her teacher a few times. Tuesday night, she peed on the potty at home for my husband (I was working late and missed it). She tells us when she's going poo-poo, but isn't quite ready to try the potty for that yet. She remains completely obsessed with Elmo's Potty Time video and would watch it on repeat 24-7 if we let her.

Dropping her off for her first full day upstairs was hard on me. Physically, my daughter is very tall (probably 36" tall at 22 months) and looks older than she is, so she was the same size as the kids in her new class, but when I looked at her, holding hands and walking with the other big kids to go down to the cafeteria for breakfast, all I could see was my little baby becoming a big girl.

I held it together at school, as I was also learning new things, like where to sign her in upstairs and where to put her bag in her new class. But when I drove to my office, I found myself crying as I pulled into the parking lot. Crying not only because she's growing up, but because I don't want to rush her growing up, so why did I push for her to go upstairs? Actually, I didn't push...I just asked when they would start working on potty training with her class, and things moved rapidly from there. But now, it might be moving a little too fast for Mommy!

Realistically, I do think it will be a good thing for her. I think she might be a little bored in her regular class, where it's a lot of open play between meals. She already knows her colors, can sing the ABC song, spell her name, recognize all the letters and numbers, count to 12, and more, and she loves to learn new things.

Upstairs, the classes are more structured, with fun new activities. Tuesdays, they have Splash Day, Wednesdays, they have music class (she loves to sing and dance!), and Thursdays, they go to a Chapel service, which I'm very excited about (it's a Lutheran Church Day School...I'm Baptist, my husband is technically a Catholic, but not really...all of that is another post). They have structured activities throughout the morning and afternoon with a little time for open play still.

She does know one of the other girls in the class and all the kids seem cute, though it feels weird, because I don't know them the way I know all the kids in her last class, because they've all been together since my daughter was four months old. In August, when all of those kids move upstairs, the class she is in right now will close down and all the kids will be re-shuffled, so my daughter should end up back with her buddies, I hope.

It's such a push-and-pull...I want her to learn, to grow, to be independent, and I'm so proud of her when she accomplishes something new, but at the same time, I want to stop time. I want to put her back in a swaddling blanket wrapped up tight and hold her in my arms and never let her go. I love her so much, more than anything else in this world, and it fills up and breaks my heart on a daily basis. Fills it up with love with every smile, every hug, every moment, and breaks it in tiny little pieces every time I see her becoming less and less of a baby. Doing more and more things without needing me. She's my only child; I'll never have another, so let's just stop the clock. Wind time back. Slow things down.

Right now, I'm holding tight, but I know I have to let go.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Seven Quick Glam-O-Takes

1. I am dead tired and coming down with a cold after working two 12-hour plus days at work, thanks to Hurricane Alex. (I handle emergency response communication for my company which has operations along the Texas border.) All I have to say is "Thank you, Alex, for wrapping up quickly today so I still get my four-day weekend!"

2. Elmo is a freaking magical monster genius. My daughter and I have watched the Elmo's Potty Time video easily 10 times this week, and lo and behold, my daughter went potty on her own little potty for the first time on Tuesday night while watching the video! I was working late, so my husband texted me to tell me the news. I felt sad I missed it. 22 months old and well on her way to being potty trained...love it!

I'll do anything for Elmo!

3. I am totally looking forward to our Baby and Me swim class on Saturday. It's definitely been a journey. At the first class, my daughter clung to me and cried from the moment we touched the pool straight on to the moment we got out. We did all the activities, but she sobbed the whole time. She did, however, high-five the coach at the end of class, which, to me, was an amazing sign things were going to get better, since she does not engage with strangers AT ALL. She acts very shy around strangers, and so I was amazed she willingly high-fived our coach after what seemed like 30 minutes of terror! Week two, she cried for probably the first five minutes of class and then got engaged in doing the activities and did everything great through to the end of class. Last week, our third class, she cried for 30 SECONDS and then got right into the swing of things and loved it. When we did a new activity that involved running along a mat floating on the water and jumping to me and going underwater, she was eager to try it and wanted to do it over and over, even though it wasn't her turn yet! She didn't want to get out of the pool at the end. We had so much fun together, and I've created a fun little post-swim school routine of juice in the car (a treat for her) on the ride home, and picking up two McDonald's breakfast sandwiches for us to enjoy when we get home.

Before the crying started at the first lesson, clutching her Dora towel

4. Last weekend, I met a coworker friend and a new mutual friend of ours who's applying for a job on our team for lunch and then shopping for interview clothes, shoes, and accessories. The new friend is one of those super cute girls with an adorable figure who's kind of a tomboy and doesn't really know how to put stuff together even though she looks great in everything. The two of them had done the clothes shopping in the morning, so after we ate lunch, we helped her pick out new shoes and accessorize all her new outfits. It was like What Not to Wear: she was holding tops up on their hangers and I was hanging necklaces on them and holding watches and other accessories up by them to see what worked with each top! We had so much fun, but what struck me was how grateful the new friend was for our help. She's trying to make a fresh start in her life and was profoundly appreciative of our fashion help, which seemed like such a simple thing for us to help her with. We love her and really want her to get the job, so it was easy and fun for us to make the offer to help. I truly hope she gets the job as I just adore her and want some good things to happen for her.

5. I did not get to go to Jazzercise this past week (see #1). Next week, in addition to the hour of Jazzercise I get on Tuesday and Thursday, I'm going to begin a six-week boot camp class that starts right after Jazzercise ends each of those nights. I've taken this class in the past and it kicks my booty HARD. But I really need it because we are within three months of our Jamaica vacation and I need to lose at least 10 pounds and tighten up the abs. I don't need a six-pack...I'd be happy with two cans...just a little definition in my stomach, a little flatness like I used to have pre-baby!

6. I have to read The Caine Mutiny for my book group next week. I love to read, and I hear this book is a classic, but for some reason, I'm not super excited about snuggling up to this tome over my long holiday weekend. I'd rather read easy chick lit or a mystery I can finish in two hours. But, there's nothing really on TV right now, so I'll probably finish it. Hopefully, I will enjoy it.

7. I spent all day last Sunday redecorating my patio with new stuff (which is probably why Hurricane Alex came to town). I am hoping to have my parents over to our house on Sunday to eat outside for the July 4th holiday; however, this plan, which I've put into motion (meaning I mentioned it to my mom back when I started our patio project and she has not forgotten I invited them) means two things for me: (1) I have to cook something or order something or do something that involves preparing food, which will probably take up most of my Saturday in terms of planning because I don't really cook, and (2) I have to try to coerce my husband into buying a grill, which I've wanted us to get for a long time, because cooking on the grill is actually easier in my mind than cooking in my kitchen LOL. I don't actually expect to win the grill argument, and I think I will have fun planning the food and having my parents over, but in the end, I think I will be super tired. And I'm tired now after the crazy week I had, so it's hard to think about all of that work in advance, even though it'll be fun.

OK, enough for now...I'm starting to ramble due to sleep deprivation. Here's a picture of the new patio stuff:

Cardona 5-pc Patio Set by Martha Stewart Living from Home Depot
Pillows, outdoor rug, and cream Japanese lanterns (not shown) from Target
Red mosaic vase from some random flower arrangement I got years ago