Sunday, December 21, 2008

Funny For The Day

"Overconfidence -- that cocky feeling right before you know better."

The Plague Goes On

Well, Cutezilla is sick. She's had a fever for the whole weekend. I can honestly say I've had enough of all of my family members being sick. We're planning to take her to the doctor tomorrow, but the way things usually go, she'll be better by then.

The part that really sucks? She just got off antibiotics for a sinus infection.

So our plans for cleaning up the house finally? Totally shot. Christmas? Almost shot, but we managed a slight work around. I did actually get to go to a glass etching class at the scrapbooking shop on Saturday that was a lot of fun. They have a diecut machine that they used with vinyl to make the template for the etching. It was pretty neat.

While I was there, I picked up a little something for myself. It's a Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife. It's en exacto that has a neat grip so you can really get some leverage on it. I think I might love this thing!

They're also hosting a "crop" the Friday after Christmas, and if I go, I can finally get started on my scrapbook for our England trip, and Ava's first year. It's a nice excuse to sit down and really work on a project dedicatedly, instead of "when I get time." I'll do a projects post later with pics of all the stuff I've gotten done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mediocre Mommydom

It's been eleven days since the new nighttime routine. I won't say every night has been perfect. Yeah, one night was a two-hour ordeal... but we've been able to get her to sleep at night, and she sleeps until 5:30 or 6am!

However, the parents have only won a battle, and definitely not the war. She Who Must Not Sleep has retaliated, and it was more than just a good solid effort: she has started refusing to nap. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean she doesn't need a nap. In fact, she desperately needs her nap. She's miserable and tired and cries from 1pm until she passes out from exhaustion -- at 6pm in the evening. This means she wakes up around 7pm, ready to go. So 9pm rolls around and she's not ready to go to sleep by any means.

This also means that she's been awake all day. With me, and needing me. Yesterday was the first day all week that I got to take a shower by myself. Actually it was probably my first shower in two, if not three days. We also got shots on Tuesday, so Wednesday, she was miserable and unhappy, no matter what we did, on top of refusing to take her nap. My husband actually came home early to help me with her, and I think by the end of the day, we were all exhausted, in every way imaginable.

Today, on our way home, she dozed off just as she normally does. And just like always, I drove us both home. But for the first time in over a week, she is quietly napping away, and has been since 1:30pm.

What happened? How did I do it? I'll tell you: I left her in the car.

Don't worry, she's fine. The garage door is closed, the car is turned off, the radio is playing Christmas music for her, and the sunroof is open so that when she wakes up, I can go get her. The door to the garage is also open, and there's nothing between her and where I sit currently except what barely qualifies as a hallway. I also go and check on her now and then.

I know, I know, it's awful. But she's napping, and it's what we all needed. So if this is the only way I can get it to happen? So be it! She's safe and getting the rest she was desperate to avoid, and I have what little sanity is available to me, so I think it's a win-win, even if it does qualify me as in Mediocre Mommydom. I'm okay with that.

More than okay, actually. I'm excited! I'm finishing up two projects, I got to post on my blog, and after this? Wrapping Christmas presents! It's been an excellent day. It's also warm outside, and I promised Cutezilla a trip to the park if she napped for me. So... WE'RE GOING TO THE PARK!!!

Sometimes Mediocre Mommydom is a wonderful place to be.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Like They Say In Kindergarten

I think that one of the cool things about any holiday or event is that you share it with someone. Usually you get to share it with someone you don't see every day. A friend or family member or even a group of one or the other. I think that's one of the things that makes them that much more special than just your average days.

I was thinking back today, on my very very looooong drive back from Atlanta, to all the awesome days I've shared with other people. The weddings of friends and my own wedding really come to mind. Getting to be there for someone you care about, and be excited for them and excited for how happy they are. Birthdays too. It's exciting to show someone how special they are, even if it's just to take time out of your own schedule to hang out with a particular person. Sometimes the best birthdays are just spent with good friends and making new memories.

My husband threw me the best birthday ever this year. We went down to Kiawah with friends, and he made my birthday dinner: lasagna! He even went through the trouble of making THREE different lasagnas because we have a few dietary issues to address. (Yeah, I know. It's pasta. I was surprised too.) He made BLUEBERRY MUFFINS, which are one of my absolute favorite foods, and overall, went above and beyond the call of duty for me... and I loved every single minute. We didn't do much in the way of activity, but we went down to the beach and played bocce in the sand, and it was fabulous! We spent the afternoon at the little shops on the island, and had a nice relaxing lunch. I mean, being surrounded by friends and family -- what better better birthday can you have?

Fourth of July, too. Just getting to sit around and watch fireworks, grill out, enjoy good food and good drinks with good people... it doesn't get much better.

We've even taken a vacation with friends, and that was probably one of my favorite trips ever. Okay, we went to England and Scotland, which pretty much would make it an amazing trip anyway... But it was that we got to share the experience that made it that much better. because I have all these pictures of me and my husband sitting around at pub tables with our friends, smiling and laughing, pictures of us all caught in the rain or standing in front of centuries-old icons, or asleep on the bus or plane, memories of us all shopping at a wool outlet in Scotland, climbing over ancient Roman earthenworks at Hadrian's Wall.

Not to say a trip with just me and my husband isn't special. It's just that it somehow adds to the excitement to have someone to share it with. This weekend was another to add to the list, sitting on a blanket, staring up at the laserlight show on Stone Mountain, singing along to the carols playing, and doing the revised middle school school version of "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer." It was awesome. And just something cool and wonderful to think about ever now and then, how blessed I am to have such good friends and family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Been Meaning to Do This...

Finally figured out how to update my blog's look. For a graphic designer, I've been really slack on this, and I feel like I cheated, since I didn't do it myself... but... it looks pretty cool so far, even if I don't have the font color scheme quite worked out yet.

I'll put something special together some other time after I get my software installed... hopefully....

Oh, and if you're interested, the design is by The Cutest Blog on the Block!

I've Been Tagged?

If any of you email me, you know I'm not exactly great with those forward questionnaires or other "send this email on" items. Mostly because I just don't have that much time on the computer, or I don't know that many people who would be interested in receiving said email items.

I did managed to finally complete a book exchange chain letter, which I thought was really cool and worth some effort... that and Cutezilla napped for extra long one day, so I managed to get all the copies filled out and into envelopes before she woke up.

But it seems I've been tagged, so here goes!

List these rules on your blog. Share seven facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I am very particular about my Ranch dressing. If it's not fresh, I'm not interested. Some restaurants have decent Ranch. Some do not. Don't try and pass off that bottled crap on me It has this awful aftertaste somehow that I just can't seem to get out of my mouth.

I don't order pizza over the phone. They never get my order right. Large pepperoni, onions, extra cheese on a pan crust. "That was sausage and anchovies with pineapple on a medium thin crust?"

I love staying at hotels. Especially if they have self-serve belgian waffles and a pool. Heaven you can put on your credit card.

I'm apparently neurotic about my towels. My mom folded my towels one day, trying to help me out with the laundry, and I think my face was almost permanently disfigured from the tick I developed while trying to convince myself that it's okay if they aren't folded like all the others in the linen closet. It turns out, they weren't okay, and for some reason I felt overwhelmingly compelled to refold each and every one. Thankfully my mom has no idea.

I have a 3am cereal problem. Sometimes for no good reason, I will wake up in the middle of the night (or early morning) craving cereal and milk. If it's not available, I'll go for toast or just buttered bread.

As a kid, I refused to wear turtlenecks or courdaroy, and threw tantrums if mom even looked like she was thinking about taking me to a show store.

In addition to the nut allergy, I am also slightly allergic to cabbage, celery and carrots. Who needs collagen injections when you can eat coleslaw?

Now for seven more tags:

(I'd post seven, but one of the people I know who has a blog tagged me in the first place, and another isn't active with hers... Sorry!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Will Roaming

Some days just work out. Somehow, no matter how badly you screw it up, somehow it works out. I think you get a standard quota of good luck. On those particularly random days when things somehow go inexplicably right, that's your quota. And on those days, you should go buy a lottery ticket.

Today I completely used up my quota of good luck for the next six months.

I went out to do some Christmas shopping, and I was apparently really not thinking when I was getting out of the car while leaving a message on someone's voicemail and juggling half-a-dozen items in my head. I slammed the door of my car shut... and immediately realized I had locked the car doors with my keys and my daughter in the car. I totally freaked out right there in the parking lot, of course. And then hung up in the middle of my message after shrieking "OH MY GOD" into the phone a few thousand times.

A lady in the parking lot noticed me -- let's face it: who didn't notice me? -- and came over to ask if I was okay. I told her what happened, and she pointed out that there were three police officers sitting in the next parking lot over, and asked if I wanted her to ask them if they could possibly help me out, while I sat with Ava who was quietly staring up at me, with a look that said, "Okay lady. We're parked. I get out now. That's the deal, right? What's the hold up already?"

She drove off, and two of the three police officers came over. They hop out of their cruisers, and of them pulls out a slim jim. My second dose of luck?He one of the only guys on the force to carry a slim jim. However, my car doesn't slim jim well, apparently. Good to know as long as it's not me trying to break into my own car. But he said it wasn't a big deal; they'd call Pop-A-Lock (whom I noticed is permanently camped out in the mall parking lot). My third shot was that the Pop-A-Lock guy was on his way to the store across the street when the officer called it in. So all he had to do was swing in, pop open my door, fill out some paperwork and we were all on our merry way.

Ava was stuck in the car for a total of maybe fifteen minutes from start to finish. I made faces at her, played peek-a-boo, and otherwise looked like a raving idiot while my knights in shining cruisers saved my bacon. She laughed and seemed perfectly content the whole time. Between the lady who took a few minutes out of her day to give me a hand, the officers and the lock guy, I was overwhelmed with the good will I received today. And they all seemed happy to help. I am so very thankful for these people today, and for their willingness to jump right in.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Freaking Christmas Miracle

If you read my last post you know that last night was a complete and utter disaster from a sleep standpoint.

Tonight, however, I'm so excited/astonished I can hardly believe it. Cutezilla let me put her down in her bed, and twenty minutes later she was ASLEEP. No car ride, no screaming, no dragging me back into bed with her... just ASLEEP. I can't tell you how thankful I am. Seriously. It's freaking amazing!

The funny part is that when we drive her around at night to get her to doze off, I usually play U2's The Joshua Tree. It's quiet and lulling, peaceful, and I can listen to it forever without getting really tired of it... but also I'm lazy and never take it or the other 5 discs out of the CD player. So tonight, I pulled out my extra copy of it, popped it into her CD player in her room... and she actually dozed off! How amazing is that? It's Pavlov's Daughter!

I don't know if the CD is the reason she dozed off. I can hope, of course. But either way, Cutezilla went to bed tonight without a serious fight! I actually get some time to myself!

In other news, I talked with my mother and she seems upset that we're not coming down for Christmas. So a trip may be in our future after all. But if it makes my mother happy, so be it. We'll have Christmas at our own house some other time, and maybe Ava will be old enough to understand and enjoy it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My One Thing

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be posting tonight. I'm not feeling that great mentally, and I think my hubby and I are officially sunk: the car rides have stopped working. It is 11:45pm and my daughter just went to sleep ten whole minutes ago. And it's been this way for a few nights.

It's not that I mind staying up. It's not that at all. It's that I need my time to myself, and when she gets up at 7:30am and goes to bed at 11:30pm, she has been with me every single moment throughout the day. I need a few hours to myself to do things like, oh, say, BLOG, or WRITE EMAIL. Perhaps even just watch some TV or let my brain have some down time. It's important to have that time to yourself if you need it. Problem is, by the time she goes to bed, if I get in the amount of down time I really need, I don't get to bed until 2am or so, and then she wakes up again around 3am. So not only am I not getting in my quiet time, I'm not getting my SLEEP either.

But that's not my only problem tonight. And maybe that topic is why I should be blogging tonight. I called my aunt today to ask about the upcoming Christmas celebration, to find out what the family was doing this year, and it turned into a debacle somehow.

Like most people, when I think of the holidays, I think of spending them with people I love. Specifically, I think of having a meal together where you talk and laugh, where people tell stories and jokes, interesting anecdotes. I think of good food and people putting a lot of thought into what they're making and who they're making it for. I think of doing things together like decorating the tree, pulling out the ornaments from the basement or attic, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing as they pull shabby half-glitter-coated stars out of tissue paper, and thinking back to when someone made that ornament in third grade and how excited they were to bring it home to mom. I think of pulling out the delicate brass-engraved, red-ribboned recreations of sleds or home-town main streets, and thinking back to a special vacation with someone. I think of sitting around a table drinking hot chocolate with melty marshmallows overflowing out of the top, and rolling the dice for Monopoly, and everyone groaning as you land on Free Parking and steal the pot. I think of sitting in a freezing car, sandwiched between relatives in the back seat, as you drive around town looking at all of the amazing neighborhood lights displays while Christmas music plays over the radio.

And you know what? It's not the marshmallows or the board games or the lights or any of the physical stuff that comes with the holidays that's important to me. It's not the gifts, not the food, not the music -- it's not even the religious significance. It's just getting to see the people I love happy and enjoying themselves. It's enjoying these few moments we get with our loved ones. It's that bonding, that camaraderie that I love. It's one of the few chances during the year to not just tell people you love them, but to show them as well. That's the single most important one thing about any holiday to me.

This year will be the first Christmas Eve my husband and I have spent in our house. I like to share these sort of events. It seems to me that if there are people around that you don't usually get to see, it makes things more special. More memorable. A day less ordinary.

It's just not as easy to get excited about the holidays when you know there won't be anyone else to get excited with you about them. Cutezilla isn't quite old enough yet, and our friends have their own families. As a result, I'm not sure if there will be anyone here to share it with. It seems like the rest of the world has their own agenda and their own schedule -- and I guess that's okay. Maybe he and I need to make our own traditions for our little family unit, too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Spirit Elf

So something happened yesterday that I'm not really proud of. It's small, it's petty... but for some odd reason it stuck with me for most of the day.

I opened my door to get out of my car to go do some holiday shopping with the Booger yesterday, and as usual I was chatting with my sister about things and nothing... I finally hung up, and looked back over my shoulder and some older lady was standing there looking fairly pissed at me. I had had my door open so she couldn't get into her car. I immediately realized what I had done and jumped up, shut the door and apologized for being in her way... and she still looked at me like she was pissed, even as she was getting in her car.

I'd like to think her husband had ticked her off or something, or maybe she was just hungry and not feeling in an especially good mood or something... I tried waving apologetically, too, and one of those "thank you for being understanding" looks, but she still looked a little more than just grumpy. I don't know. Maybe some people are just grumpy, maybe it was just a bad day or something, but I was sitting there in the parking lot, thinking how very anti-Christmas that whole episode felt.

This year, I guess I'm sort of looking for more of that Christmas Spirit than normal, so I decided that whomever ran into me that day and spoke to me, that I would at least get them to smile. With Cutezilla on the loose, it's not hard to get people to talk to me, and I always chat up the cashiers (who in my opinion, with such a tedious job could probably use more cheer than anyone), so I think I had a fairly successful day. I'm maybe still a little ticked at that lady for being such a grouch, but on the other hand, since it got me started thinking about this holiday cheer "program", it's not such a bad thing that it happened after all.

Additionally, I decided I needed to sit down and think about how to get a little more out of my holiday -- specifically, enjoying the people I love -- and the holiday itself. Today, since I'm still not working out due to my plague problem, I sat at the Y and looked through magazines. Better Homes and Gardens this month has a section called Heathy You, and the topic is "Joy." It had little quotes and stories from people at the magazine about what gave them joy, so as I browsed through I wrote up my own list to think about. Mostly, it was a list of things and questions for myself about the holidays, friends and family, and what makes those things special for me.

As long as I can keep track of where I've put the list, I want to post up the items over the holiday season. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This Plague, Brought To You By Kleenex

Well, the on-call doc fixed me up pretty good, I think. I started taking all my meds while I was on the phone with him, and as soon as the hubby could get back from the pharmacy. By the next morning, I was feeling pretty good. Especially compared to the previous two and a half weeks, which is really good, considering the doc almost forbade me to go to Iowa. I didn't tell the hubby that part. I knew he'd have a fit with me (and not uncalled for), so I just didn't tell him. However I did tell my mother-in-law, and let her know what was going on and what the doc had said, and what I'd be needing. She seemed pretty confident that they could take care of it all, so opted for the Iowa Plan, instead of spending Thanksgiving with my family.

Not that I don't love my family and all, but without the Monster Munchkin to distract people from whatever I'm wearing/doing, spending time with my family does usually involve a minor amount of harassment. It's not like they're trying to harass. They just seem to want to know every little detail about everything, and they can be occasionally aggressive about it. I'm possibly a little oversensitive to the whole interrogation process, too, which makes it more interesting.

The other added incentive to go to Iowa was that I knew I would be totally free to sit on my butt as long as I wanted, almost entirely wherever I wanted -- and if that meant not moving for the entire week, I could actually do that, provided I didn't go insane with cabin fever first. My mother, on the other hand, has a very serious agenda whenever I'm home. That's all fine and good, and I'm happy to let her tote me around wherever she wants -- but not when I'm about to drop dead from being sick.

So off to Iowa I went.

And then began The Eight Days of Gluttony. Seriously. One hundred and ninety-two hours of nothing but deliriously unhealthy food, and no gym. It was heaven. We started the whole thing out with lasagna, which I absolutely adore. But you know what's better than lasagna for dinner? Lasagna for midnight snack, followed by lasagna for breakfast, lunch and then mid afternoon snack. Repeat process until pans are empty, then proceed to lick clean.

We had taco pizzas, we had chicken divan (another favorite, but it was all gone before even the midnight snack came around), some awesome steaks, and of course the normal Thanksgiving fare, and a few nights out. The magnitude of the gluttony was impressive. And I'd like to blame all the weight I've gained on the prednisone (side effects are water retention and weight gain), but I'm pretty sure that's not the entire case.

I also got to do some reading, and sadly, I have finally finished the last Harry Potter book. I've been putting it off since it came out while I was pregnant, but I finally pulled the trigger. I hate reading the last of a series, especially when the author has no other books out. But I guess it had to happen sometime.

The flights there and back were mercifully uneventful, aside from normal toddler trauma. But the hubby came down with something when we got back. And guess who came down with it too! No, seriously, guess! So yeah, I've got a nice little sinus infection going on. I'm really wondering if I should count my 5 to 7 days of wellness. I was happy to have them, don't get me wrong, but was it getting well, or was it a minor blip of "feeling LESS crappy?" Hard to say.

But I'm starting to feel better, I think. Maybe. I drank half a gallon of tea today, to help keep myself hydrated, and I was feeling well enough to start Operation House Reclamation. The house is mine. Not Cutezilla's. Although I don't think she believes me. And okay the house is still a moderate to heavy wreck, but I made some progress, and I can probably do some more tomorrow. I hope. I'm avoiding the gym until I'm back at 100%, though. I hate it, but it's too easy at this point to relapse. And let's face it, I'm pretty dumb. No one who's sick says to themselves, "Oh hey, I can do an hour on the treadmill! Sure, no problem!" No one but me, apparently.

Anyway, crossing my fingers.