Saturday, March 26, 2011

One Year Blogiversary! More "Getting to Know You" Random Facts

One year ago today, I launched Glam-O-Mommy. I didn't have a real plan for my blog...I'm just a woman who writes for a corporation for a living who wanted to write about myself, my life, my daughter, and things that interest me. But mostly my feelings about and experiences with motherhood.

Glam-O-Mommy and S

Lately, I've been a bit remiss in keeping up with my blog. In December, I was sick or my daughter was sick and my husband had surprise shoulder surgery and the holidays were crazy and I just had no energy left over to give to it. In January, I got assigned to a huge, insane-making project at work and began having less of a work/life balance and more of a working-on-my-Friday-off-and-often-Sunday-nights-just-to-keep-up life and again, I've had no energy left over for the blog.

To top it off, I feel like I'm in a bit of a personal rut. I work, I spend time with my daughter and husband, I do tons of laundry, I try unsuccessfully to keep our house straight and orderly, I sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat.

BORED YET? Me too. Doesn't exactly inspire much in the way of insightful writing either. I mean, don't get me wrong...I have a really good life, with many moments of fun and love and beauty and I'm very grateful for all that I have, and yet I just feel like I want a little surprise, a little unpredictability now and then...just something. (Like my last post, about my adventures in San Antonio Snowland-that was unpredictable and surprising and thus, good blog fodder!)

Anyway, for my blogiversary, I thought I would share more "Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You"/Random Facts About Me, for your reading pleasure. In no particular order, here we go:

1. I have three playlists in heavy rotation on my iPod currently: all the songs I buy from Glee, Legally Blonde: The Musical (OMIGOD, you guys have to see it if you haven't-SO GOOD!), and "Children," which consists of the Backyardigans, Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, Sharon, Lois, and Bram, Laurie Berkner, songs from Mary Poppins, and Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. ("Children" is for my daughter S, obvs.)

2. Last weekend, I got my first mani-pedi in two months (SO not glam). My nails have really been suffering from my lack of time lately right along with my blog (see also: interior of my car). Anyhoo, it was a rainy day, I was reading this lovely book, The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, and just relaxing. It was pretty much perfect. J and S were at home napping, so I didn't miss out on anything with them either!

3. I used to be addicted to chocolate. Like, I had to eat a little something chocolate EVERY DAY or I could not make it through that day. When I was pregnant, I often indulged in Baskin Robbins Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Milkshakes, because a) HELLO, PREGNANT, b) MUST HAVE CHOCOLATE, and c) HOT FROM 1,000 DEGREE HEAT IN SAN ANTONIO SUMMER AND DID I MENTION I WAS PREGNANT?! I say "used to be," because the weirdest thing happened about a year ago. I just stopped craving chocolate. I didn't need to have it every day, or even every week. I've sometimes gone weeks without having any! I have no idea how, after 36 years, my body just stopped craving it, but it did. I still eat chocolate occasionally, but I no longer seek it out and go crazy when I do have it.

4. Weirder still, I've begun craving two things alternately in the place of chocolate. For awhile, it was candy, such as Spree or Sweet Tarts or Sour Patch Kids. Then, I switched and began craving chips and salsa. All the time. Like, planning our meals out around which restaurant has the best chips and salsa!

5. In November, we're taking a big family vacation (the three of us, plus the grandparentals!) to Walt Disney World. We're going to spend five days visiting the parks and then a few days and Thanksgiving with my 74-year-old widowed aunt, my mom's sister. I'm super excited, not just because it will be S and J's first visit to WDW, but because it will be my fourth visit and first in 17 years! The grandparentals are coming along to take care of S when she gets tired, but I want to keep going!

6. Next month, my husband and I will have lived in our house for six years. THIS IS THE LONGEST I HAVE EVER LIVED ANYWHERE. Growing up an Air Force brat, I was used to moving every three years. While I love our house, I now seriously have the desire to move, partially because since S's arrival I feel like we need more room, partially because we think we might want to live in a different area when S starts elementary school in two years, but mostly because I have the itch to move and have a new place to decorate and an opportunity to clean out stuff that has been accumulating in our house for six years! And yes, I realize I could just clean out that stuff on my own without moving, but come on! Like I'm going to do that! Silly.

7. I am a picky eater. I do not eat fruits or most vegetables. I am a steak-loving carnivore. I KNOW. Very unhealthy and weird. Now, for the record, I enjoy the flavor of most fruits, but I do not enjoy chewing the texture of fruits. So I drink LOTS of fruit juice instead of eating fruit straight up (I also take vitamins and drink health shakes). Of vegetables, I eat peas and green beans. And that's pretty much it. Again, it's a texture thing. I have been this way as long as I can remember. As a kid, I also did not like pizza or any seafood, but started liking more of these foods in high school. My poor parents, who eat most anything, did not know what to do with me growing up. I special-ordered everywhere we went! And my food things are so crazy, such as I won't eat a tomato (always take it off my burger order) but I love ketchup and salsa.

8. Bananas freak me out. Obviously, I don't eat them (see #7 above). I think my reaction to them is severe because I had a potassium deficiency when I was five and the remedy the doctor prescribed was I had to eat bananas. A LOT OF THEM. My mother had to basically force me to eat them since I didn't like them and it was traumatic for me! Ironically, bananas are my daughter's very favorite food (I should mention my daughter is not a picky eater at all, thank goodness, and my husband and I go out of our way to feed her all kinds of fruits and veggies-bananas, apples, oranges, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, and watermelon are her faves. I want her to be a better eater than me!) When I peel a banana for S and give it to her, I work very hard to look normal and then when I turn to walk away I usually shudder a little and have to wash my hands! LOL

9. I was a Girl Scout for only one year. My mother and my best friend's mother were the co-leaders for our Brownie troop. When both our moms decided not to be troop leaders the next year, my friend and I quit too! I don't think I was really cut out for Girl Scouts, as I'm what you call "Naturally Indoorsy."

10. I've informed my husband recently that we are going to Paris in Spring 2013. I will be turning 40 then (EEK!) and S will start Kindergarten that fall, so it will be our last time to do a big trip during a school year and avoid crowds. And I love Paris and I will be turning 40 (OMIGOD!), so we have to go! We're doing Disney this year and our big trip next year will be Canada, since we go there every other year to visit my husband's family, and I haven't been to Paris since 2002 (our honeymoon in 2004 does not count, as we flew in to Paris and took a train from the airport directly to Lyon-hubby didn't even plan for us to spend a day in Paris because I'd already been there twice!). Really, I want to go spend a few days in Paris and then take a train and visit some other areas of France. Mostly, I want to take S to another continent...I was lucky to live in England when I was her age and think it's great for her to get exposure to other cultures while she's young.

First night of our honeymoon, Lyon, France 2004-we look so young and happy!

So that's enough randomness for now. If you have read my blog randomly or regularly this year, I thank you and hope you'll comment from time to time. If you have commented on anything on my blog, I've really enjoyed our interactions!

So to help me celebrate my blogiversary, please tell me about yourself! What's in heavy rotation on your iPod? What's the best book you've read lately? Any weird food habits? Planning any dream vacations? I really want to know!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sometimes I Think I've Got This Motherhood Thing Figured Out...

At the beginning of February, I was really proud of myself as a mother. I was also proud of my daughter, S, and how we were together as a team, traveling alone to Phoenix for the weekend to visit my girlfriends from college.

Before I get to why I was proud, I should back up to explain how things were going in Glam-O-Mommy land shortly prior to the trip. S, a heretofore pretty easygoing and sweet kid, had suddenly entered full on into the Terrible Twos. She started hitting me when I told her "no" or when she was mad about something. She also tried scratching me and throwing things. It was terrible. When I booked our Phoenix trip, she was not acting remotely like this, so I was all freaked out, expecting her to be terrible on the trip and make an awful impression on my friends. And stress me out!

Enter the Supernanny
My husband and I began employing the Supernanny "naughty step" concept right away and it definitely worked. The first time she hit or scratched or threw something, we warned her, and if she did it again, we took her to the step, told her why she was there, asked her if she was sorry, made her say it, gave her a hug, and then moved on. At the start, we had to do it multiple times, but then it began nipping the problem in the bud the first time we put her on it.

Still, I was worried. In Phoenix, we were going to see my friends J and R. J is single and does not have children. R is married with four children ages five and below (five-year-old twin girls, a three-year-old girl, and a seven-month-old boy). We were going to be staying with R and her family. A few weeks before the trip, I tried to warn R that I wasn't sure how S was going to be during our visit because of her recent behavior. R immediately began laughing, saying, "Seriously, there's nothing she can do that I haven't already seen with one of my kids! Don't worry--she'll be fine!"

Threat of Snow
The week before we left for Phoenix was extraordinarily cold for San Antonio, with temperatures below freezing and wind chill in the teens. We were leaving on a 9 a.m. flight on Friday morning, direct to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines. All week, the forecasters in San Antonio were predicting snow and ice for Friday morning. If snow fell, this would be a problem, because if San Antonio sees one eensy snow flurry, it says, "HELL TO THE NO!" and completely shuts down the highways and everything else.

However, I was not worried. San Antonio had not seen significant snowfall since 1985. Every other time in recent years they've predicted snow, a warm front came in at the last minute and it didn't snow. I finished packing Thursday night and went to bed, confident all was well.

Needing to be at the airport by 7 a.m. for a 9 a.m. flight, I awoke a little before 5 a.m. to discover that SNOW HAD FALLEN AND EVERY HIGHWAY IN SAN ANTONIO WAS CLOSED.

My flight, however, had not been cancelled and was on time. Most people would've just given up and gone back to bed. I, however, REALLY wanted to go see my friends. Also, I'm married to a Canadian, who's used to driving in icy conditions, unlike everyone else native to San Antonio. So I kept one eye on the airport flight board online, an ear on the traffic report, and continued getting ready.

At 6:30, we bundled S up, got in the car, eased down our icy driveway, and began our slow pilgrimage to the airport, taking highway access roads, and detours along the way. In several spots, we had to stop and turn around and try another route because the few other idiots besides us out on the roads had no idea what they were doing and were sliding around all over the place. My husband=AWESOME WINTER DRIVER. He would just wait, watch them slide into a curb, ease around them, and keep going, slowly, but surely.

snow in san antonio
S in the snow at the San Antonio airport

Adventure at the Airport
At 8:30, we pulled into the airport (it's normally a 25-minute drive). I had been checking my flight by phone and it had been delayed till 10:30, but that didn't bother me. We checked in, kissed hubs goodbye and wished him luck on drive home, easily went through security, and headed to our gate. I wanted to get our stroller tagged first and then grab breakfast.

While getting the stroller tagged, I double-checked that 10:30 was now our takeoff time. The woman helping me sighed and said we'd be lucky to get out at 10:30, because while flights were taking off from San Antonio without problems, our plane was coming from Dallas, which was essentially snowed in. That's when I knew this was going to be a real test of my mothering skills!

S and I got breakfast and for the next two hours, we explored every inch of the terminal, walking up and down, visiting every bathroom, and pointing out colors and pictures on the wall, back and forth, up and down, always moving. When we would stop and take a break and sit at the gate, I immediately broke out the big guns from the bag of tricks I had been saving to entertain her on the plane--her Fisher Price iXL book, which keeps her engrossed for a long time, colors, new books, and snacks. Some Southwest flight attendants gave her a little color pack from Southwest and some of their plane-shaped crackers, which was nice. When she got antsy, we began to pace the terminal looking at everything again, and again, and again.

S named the colors on the terminal floor OVER and OVER

At 10:30, they pushed our flight back to 11:15. At 11:15, they pushed it to 1:15. OMG, I thought...how will I ever keep her entertained and happy for two more hours?!?! I went back up to the gate attendant to see what she really thought our chances were for leaving town at some point. My husband was already offering to trek back to the airport to get us, since the roads were starting to re-open.

Luckily, I was informed they had cancelled the flight coming from Dallas, but a plane was coming from Phoenix and would land at 12:30...they would put our flight on that plane and send us right back to Phoenix. WE HAD A REAL PLANE.

Two more hours, I thought. So far she hasn't had a meltdown and neither have I. Can we do this? R, who I had been texting updates to all morning, called, concerned. "Are you going to make it?! That's a long time with a toddler at the airport!" "We're going to try!" I said.

So, off we went to have our second meal in the airport, pizza. I convinced S to climb into the stroller afterwards and rolled her up and down the terminal twice. Then, a fellow traveler mouthed, "She's OUT!" And she was. She slept soundly for the next hour and a half until we actually boarded the plane and took off!

We're on the plane!

She was a peach on the relatively short flight to Phoenix. When we landed at 3:15 p.m. Phoenix time (only five hours after our original arrival time), R picked us up at baggage claim (her husband was home with their kids). I got S settled into the car seat and R handed her a juice box. Then, she handed me a cup. I took a sip: RUM AND COKE!

"I thought you might need it after today," R said. BEST. FRIEND. EVER. "You know, neither of us had a meltdown or remotely lost it all day today," I said. "I'm proud of us!"

Weekend in Phoenix
We had a great weekend with R and her family and our friend J, who came over and spent the night with us too. S just walked in like she'd always known everyone and played wonderfully with R's kids and handled the time change/sleeping in a new place great.

Trying to imitate the big girls

Little ladies who lunch

J teaches S how to bat

R, Me, J

R, J, and I became friends 20 years ago, our first year of college, and seeing our kids together was just fantastically cool (we so hope J will have one to add to our group someday). I think R is a rock star mom for how wonderfully she balances four children; R told me she was impressed with how I handled S the whole time and how well behaved she was (I only had to put her on the naughty step once), which is always nice to hear.

Too soon, it was Sunday afternoon and we were back at the airport. Thankfully, we experienced no delays, S was entertained by riding the moving sidewalk while we waited and didn't mind airport pizza for lunch. Again. She was pretty good on the plane, only throwing a slight pout fit when we had to wait to get off the plane at the end. I didn't chip a tooth the way I did the last time S and I flew alone together. SUCCESS!

All in all, I came away from the weekend confident, feeling like I had this whole motherhood thing figured out...

And then, the rest of February happened...which involved a re-appearance of S, the Terrible Two Toddler Edition of before, which has left me wanting to tear my hair out lately. (My daughter made me cry last Saturday. TWICE.)

But I'll always have my Snow Day/Weekend in Phoenix.