Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby number 2

I am surrounded by the 2 under 2 crowd... Either all of my friends with children Ashlyn's age are pregnant with number 2 or just had number 2. Friends with children younger than Ashlyn are already on their way to the grand 2 under 2 title. I am in awe of these people. I was told that if you want 2 close together the best thing to do is get pregnant with the first before the second hits toddlerhood or else you will not have the desire, sanity, time to have another. I definitely feel like that is where we are right now. I feel like a horrible mom for saying I AM NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM ready for number 2. There are even days when I think I may not even want 2. Not because I don't absolutely love being a mom but I love what I have right now so much I don't want to mess with it!
When I first met my husband I wanted 4 kids. Coming from a family with only 2 kids I thought 4 would be double the fun! My husband comes from a family of 6 kids. He didn't tell me straight out that he wanted no more than 2 but let me experience big families for myself. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my sister in laws but can totally see what he means about the chaos of big families. Especially one with as many women as we'd be bound to have given the track record of men in his family (he has 5 sisters, 10 nieces, all but one cousin is a girl). Now I think 2 would be just about right for us and our priorities. I look at how involved we are with Ashlyn and just don't want to impede on that any more than we have to. We love to travel and it's so much easier with one kid to each adult. Last time we went home we saw 2 parents with 3 kids hauling 5 suitcases, 2 carseats, a double stroller, and various loveys and blankies through the O'Hare airport.... no thank-you!
I am in no way critisizing people with large families. I think you are AMAZING! I just know what a difficult time I am having juggling work, bills, my marriage, my toddler, and other commitments and can't imagine how I could do it.
That being said we keep getting the "When is the next Poyer coming along?" question. Everyone else is ready for us to have another one. We are not ready... not at all... but we do have the game plan in place... Of course as soon as you get a plan in place you know what God does... he starts making you question... There is nothing to make you question the desire to limit the amount of children you have like holding a newborn.
Our friends Rebecca and Jason just had a little guy who is about a month old. Last week at church they sat next to us and she asked me if I wanted to hold him. Of course I jumped at the chance. A few minutes later she asked if I wanted her to take him back... if he was interrupting my "church time." I told her no way with tears welling up in my eyes... there is no closer time to God for me than holding a brand new baby. Before I was a mother I was scared to hold new babies. I remember my friend Danyelle when her little girl Haylee was born just over 5 lbs. I was TERRIFIED to hold her that day in the hospital. Now that I am a mother I jump at the chance to hold a new baby. The second I pulled little Julian to me I felt something in my chest open up as if I was taking him right into my heart. You've already read how strongly I feel that I am not ready... yet when I held this brand new baby... against everything I thought, my body and soul welcomed him... I can't describe the feeling... WOW!! POWERFUL! So although I know it will be best to stick to the current plan... Although I am cherishing every minute with my sweet little girl...I can now hear that clock ticking down to that time when I will be holding my own sweet baby again. I think the one thing that helps me hold out is that I know the next one is the last. As long as that baby is still in our future I don't have to see a baby and think "I will never have that again" I don't know how well I will do with that... For those of you that are done... how do you feel about that?

Friday, August 20, 2010

motivation or lack thereof...

I have SO MANY THINGS I want to get done before I officially go back to work on Tuesday! I have all of those unfinished projects I mentioned on day 1 of this blog. I know I need to do more digital scrapbooking because I won't have the time when I start working. I want to START the hairbow project that I bought the supplies for over a month ago. I want to organize my clothes. I want to go through Ashlyn's clothes... AGAIN... I have a list of ideas I want to blog on here... There are SO MANY THINGS... There are also things I NEED to do... I need to clean the house... I need to put Ashlyn's laundry away that has been sitting on the chair for a week... I need to get an Emissions test on the car since the state of Illinois thinks this is super important and required to renew our tags. I need to change my licensure from one county to another... etc etc etc... None of this sounds fun at ALL!!! Most of all I NEED to get my priorities in line before this new school year starts. I have no motivation to do ANY of these things! Not even the ones I do for enjoyment. I think I am a little overwhelmed with all that I want to do and the lack of time left to do it.
I have such an amazing little family! My husband does so much for us. So many little things... Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages? If not you should go here immediately! ... If it wasnt for this book I would not be married. Erik and I wouldn't have made it past year 2 or 3. I was so fed up with him... I kept asking why don't you love me? Why don't you tell me you love me? Why don't you tell me why you love me??? He was going insane with these questions! Can't you see I love you! Look at all I do for you? I just took your car to be detailed... I cleaned the house while you were at work... Clearly we have two very different love languages. After reading this book everything got easier... I began to realize that when he scrubbed the shower he was performing an Act of Service to show how much he loves me... I would try to do little acts of service myself to show him how much I appreciated him and only told him how much I loved him 99 times instead of 101 every day. He began telling me "I love you because you make me pancakes in the morning." (That is a direct quote)... And our relationship blossomed!
Of course life takes over though... It's been a while since I've done an Act of Service just to show my amazing husband how much I love him.... So instead of digital scrapbooking, bow making, closet organizing... I will be clearing the dining room table that is covered in all of the above mentioned materials and more... I will be putting away Ashlyns laundry... I will be cleaning my school stuff out of the garage. So I will use Erik's love language to motivate me today because there is nothing I love more in this world than my family.

The good thing is that I know my husband has only read the blog once or at least not recently so if I don't get these things done today at least he won't come home disappointed!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My 30 day challenge

So I was laying in bed wide awake thinking about how my friends are such AMAZING resources! The reason I am challenging myself is that I rarely pick up the phone and call these amazing people. One of the harsh realities of becoming a parent is that all of a sudden it seems that you have very little in common with your single and/or childless friends. While my days revolve around Barney, poopy diapers, and sleeping and eating routines/schedules their lives are full of happy hour, traveling, movies, and other fun. This doesn't mean we should let these relationships fall to the wayside. Some day these friends will be needing advice on picking a pediatrician, getting rid of the bottle, why is his/her poop green? and I hope to be that friend for them. So I am challenging myself... for the next 30 days... every day I will pick up the phone and call a friend I haven't talked to lately. I will try my hardest not to spend the whole time talking about the latest thing Ashlyn has said or done and just re-establish our friendship and catch up. Unless that is that you are like my dear friend Sarah who hangs on every word I say about Ash (or at least pretends really well). It just makes me so sad when people ask who from grad school I keep in touch with and besides Facebook there are only 3 girls I talk to on a semi-regular basis and 1 guy who happens to live in the same city and I see him a few times a year. I hope that when I call you will answer the phone. If you can't please give me a call back when you can because I am calling you because I honestly and truly value our friendship and would like to see how you are. I am not sure yet how I will go about the calls alphabetical, random, who knows but I hope that we will talk soon and after that more often! Also don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call me too! I can't guarantee there won't be screaming and/or barking in the background but I would love to hear from you!

Day 3

So a friend told me after day 1 that her little boy had a bad time on day 1, fell asleep on day 2 at snack, and by day 3 was doing better. After how bad day 1 and 2 went I thought she was crazy but guess what??? She had a great day 3!
It started off rough. I was prepping her all night and morning about what would be served for meals, what they would do, and that her teachers Ms. Maria and Ms. Jodi loved her and would take care of her. So of course what happens when I go to drop her off? Ms. Maria was off today! So the new teacher had no idea who Ashlyn was and I had to fill her in on some of the background while trying to hand her over and get out. Ashlyn started wailing, I burst into tears... It was not pretty at all. At least since this teacher isn't usually in there she was sweet and gave her Marie to love on until she felt better!
I had new employee orientation today so I didn't have a break to check on her all morning. During lunch I looked at my phone and saw that it was naptime and started to tear up right across the table from my new principal. A few seconds later I got a text from my husband who said he had checked on her and she was doing great. I was really surprised that he had called to check on her and was so touched. So I excused myself and went to call him. He hadn't called to check on her at all. He had driven all the way across town on his lunch break to go to the daycare and watch her for a minute on the monitor!!! I can't tell you how impressed, floored, emotional, proud.... I felt when I heard that! What an awesome daddy! He talked to her teacher who told him how well she'd eaten and played and that she was just about to fall asleep for nap with no problems! When I picked her up after school she didn't burst into tears like yesterday... she smiled at me and offered me a bite of her cracker. It was so wonderful! Then she came back to my office and played nicely while I worked for a couple more hours... Now we get a few days off together before school really starts and I am going to cherish every minute with her and my AMAZING husband that I am more and more grateful for every day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 2 was worse

So today was Day 2. I planned on leaving Ashlyn all day today so that I could go to a movie in the morning and get my room set up in the afternoon. First meeting of the year and I've already screwed up! The meeting is Thursday! So I managed to get Ashlyn up, get her to school, and get to the meeting tear free on time and it was a different day!!! Seriously??? I can't handle this working mom stuff. At least last year I didn't have to worry about getting Ashlyn anywhere. When I left in the morning she was often sleeping or just cuddling on the couch with daddy drinking her milk and watching 'toons.
Drop off was easier today... she only cried through hand washing and then appeared to be all better. I went off about my day thinking I had a happy little baby! When I discovered I didn't have a meeting I decided I would get her after lunch and start my room in the morning. So I called to find out what time she would be done with lunch and they said 12:30... and then I heard the but in the director's voice. I wasn't going to ask how she was doing... I know that's terrible but I didn't think it mattered... she had to stick through it and I knew it would just make me want to run and get her... But the director felt the need to let me know that she was having a REALLY ROUGH day. I guess I'm glad because if I'd gone to get her and found out I wouldn't have been prepared for how upset she was. She said that Ashlyn was not sure what to expect with breakfast and cried and cried and cried. It took both teachers to calm her down. Then she just couldn't get adjusted again. Everytime the teacher would put her down or even finish a book and reach for another one she would burst out crying. I got there early so I could watch lunch on the monitor and see if there was a trigger I could find with mealtimes (besides the fact that my child hardly eats and has sensory stuff with food). She cried every few minutes and the teacher would come over and hold her and calm her down. The teacher put a bib on her and she got hysterical. We have only put a bib on her a handful of times when we first introduced solids so she was probably not sure what that was all about. When I went in to get her after lunch she just broke down in body racking sobs! Break my heart!!! The teacher explained the day and said all she drank was milk and pretty much needed to be held all day. My sweet independent baby. They also said she just passed out before lunch and they had to do everything they could to keep her awake. It is 3 hours later and every once in a while she still sniffles, even in her sleep. I just hope she's exhausted tomorrow and crashes at nap time because otherwise that will be a nightmare too.
When I asked if she was excited to come back tomorrow though she said "Uh huh" very definitively. She wore her crown that they made all the way home. I know she will adjust soon and be just fine... I just don't know if I will...

Monday, August 16, 2010


Today was D-Day... Daycare day... we've been calling it school at our house... Somehow this made me feel better but lets face it she's 20 months old... it's daycare. Now I didn't actually have to go to work today. I know I know... here is a day I have been dreading for months... (actually since the moment I found out I was pregnant and knew I was in the middle of a masters degree that I had all intention of using)... and I didn't even HAVE to take her yet!
I gave myself a test drive day... a trial.. to see if I could actually get it all together enough to get her there on time. I wanted to see exactly how long it would take me to get there at 8 in the morning (8 minutes)... But most importantly I wanted to see how long it would take me to get it back together... I knew that at my first meeting for my new job it would not be the best first impression if I was hysterically sobbing with snot running down my face... I am not a pretty crier at all!
Thank goodness I did... I was in such a rush that I took a shower and got dressed before I changed her diaper and got her dressed so of COURSE her diaper leaked all over me and I had to start all over! SERIOUSLY? Have I not been a mom for 20 months now? Do I not know that I have to change her IMMEDIATELY in the morning? Once we got all that in order and I chased her down to get her dressed we headed to school.
This morning I thought I would just hang out with her, let her get adjusted and then maybe step out and watch from the window, and MAYBE after an hour leave to do some errands... That was not how it went...
When I bought our dog Ruby years ago I took our "first child" Doak with me to the pet store. We played with the puppy for hours and I am not exaggerating. He LOVED her. They played non-stop. I called Erik and told him about it and he said go ahead and get her. We got her home and Doak HATED her! This is what I think happened today! Every time we took Ashlyn to see her new school she LOVED it... She played right away and didn't want to leave. Today... not so much!
Ms. Maria took her to wash her hands when we first arrived and she started hysterically crying. I could already tell this wasn't going to go well. Finally Ms. Maria told me it would be best to just hand off and go. So instead of staying I had to leave my screaming baby in the hands of a stranger. The director said I could come watch her from the office. So we stood and watched Ms. Maria carry her around on this big flat screen TV. I would have been impressed with the TV had I not been doing everything possible to hold it all in. There is nothing more heartwrenching than watching your child cry and not be able to comfort them...On top of that I am standing with the director and I felt I just couldn't cry yet because I had to look like I had it all together... Really Ann? Is this the time to worry about being "the perfect mom" The director is probably thinking... "Man what a cold mom" Finally after about 10 minute she stopped crying. I had to leave right then before she started again and I might never leave. The door wasn't closed before I was crying harder than she ever did. As I stumbled to the car I realized I had walked to the passenger side. I am just so used to putting her in first. Then when the car started Barney lyrics started blaring... that made me cry even harder. I thought my mom would make me feel better but that made me cry even more. I called Erik to tell him what happened and at this point I was so hysterical he couldn't understand a word I was saying. I managed to get through a few errands and rushed back to get her. The director met me at the door to tell me how well she did... yeah right lady! Move on over... I know you are just saying that... so we went back to the class and there through the glass I could not only see my happy smiling baby but hear her as well. She was playing with farm animals and singing at the top of her voice. I went in and she was dancing to If You're Happy and You Know It... Stomping her little heart out... and smiling...
Ms. Maria said she even ate breakfast (she never does at home) and that she spent most of the morning testing out how each little girl played (there were 5 little girls in her class)and exploring the classroom. She continued to play for a few minutes while we talked and then came over and I heard the familiar "up baby" that usually drives me crazy... but this time it melted my heart!
I was convinced that she had so much fun that she wouldn't need me anymore so I asked her "Do you want to go to school tomorrow and play with your new friends?" and she told me "oh no! Mama stay!" awww my sweet angel. So I asked "What about to play with all the animals?" she looked at me for a second then smiled and said "UH HUH" (in her cute little Elvis accent) "but no kids!"

Ashlyn on her first day of "school"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When life gives you anxiety... Go shopping

So by now you all know I have had some crazy stuff on my mind lately! So today I decided to do what I could to feel like I had Ashlyn's school stuff under control. So we went shopping for school clothes for her for the first time! We did so well and got 285 dollars worth of comfy play clothes for 70 dollars!!! I realized after that I didn't have 70 dollars to spend on play clothes but she needed them and her teachers will thank me when they aren't dealing with complicated outfits. Retail therapy always feels good though! I also went and got diapers, wipes, sunscreen, etc... all the little things she needs for daycare. Then I was still feeling like things were out of control starting with Ashlyn's "playroom". It's only a playroom because there is no bed in it since her bed is STILL in the corner of our room. We plan on moving her out after she gets adjusted to the new routine. I wish I had taken a before picture though! It literally couldn't be walked through! Just tons of toys, clothes, stuffed animals, and a tent taking up all the floor space! We re-organized and reduced things she had grown out of and here is the finished result...

The skeleton in my closet...

I am going to reveal to you something that very very very few people know about... In fact the only people I think that know are my husband, a friend from high school, and my mother... On second thought my sister probably knows too because anything one of us knows the rest know.
The panic attacks have begun. Yep there's my dark secret. I have had panic attacks since high school. For anyone that thought IB and all the activities of high school were just a breeze for me...There ya go. I would curl up in a ball in terror unable to face the idea of the next exam... activity... stressor... They were always stress related. After that they went away for a long time. I went to FSU and majored in Child Development... nothing was that stressful. In the last few years, I started having them again. This time they stem from completely irrational fears about something happening to my family. If my husband goes out with friends without me I can go into a full blown panic attack by the time he gets home. When we were flying home to Florida for Ashlyn's first birthday I finally revealed this to Erik... I had gotten unbearable to be around the days leading up. This was because I was trying to fight it all alone. I had spoken to my mom but she wasn't there. She actually had no idea I'd hidden them so well. As I started panicking about getting on the plane my amazing husband talked me down. He said he totally knew that the stress from planning everything, working, money, etc... was getting to me but hadn't realized how bad it was... that the idea of getting on that plane made me feel like I couldn't breathe. That I had a constant stream of plane crash scenarios running through my head.. each one more horrific than the last. Now, if he is around, I can usually get through them or at least it's easier than it was on my own. I spoke to my doctor who has given me medication... The problem is that if he's with me I can do OK without medicating myself. If he isn't than I have Ashlyn to take care of and can't be that out of it...
So now that you know my history... now that it's out in the open... They are back. I don't want to share any of the details. They all revolve around giving up the care of my child to someone I hardly know. Many of my good friends, and I know readers of this blog, are about to do the same thing. I don't want to put any scenarios in your head that you may not have thought of yet. But last night I lay awake frozen playing these scenarios over and over. I can work myself into quite a frenzy. I know I need to talk to Erik about it but I don't want to scare him either. I know that's silly because he is one of the most rational men I know and would totally show me the statistics of my fears and how irrational they are. The problem is, I guess, that I don't want to be told that they are irrational because there are parents out there that have been that one in a million to have it happen to their child. I really don't know how I'm going to get through the first week..I hope that as I build more rapport with her teachers, I will develop more trust, but people are human and things happen... I don't know if I am accomplishing anything good by getting these feeling out in the open. I hope I am not worrying anyone else. Please don't worry about me I will be fine... Just know that I may be going through some tough times here in the next few weeks as Ashlyn starts daycare. Thank you all for your understanding and support. It means so much to me to have this outlet and such supportive friends. I love you all!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home is where your dogs are....

So we are finally on a vacation! A real vacation... We realized today after getting suckered into a time share presentation and they asked but when did you actually take a REAL vacation not just going home to see family? It has been YEARS since we have just gone somewhere because Erik and I wanted to and not because of an event we were required to be at. In fact our last real vacation was when we got engaged almost 4 years ago in Chicago and even that was just a weekend trip. Then of course they said what are the next 3 vacations you want to take and we rattled off the 5 weddings we are going to this year... Again obligatory events... We are looking forward to them emensly but still not just for fun vacations... Anyhow that's not the point of this post... The point is that we are ON VACATION...

Last night as we were trying to get Ashlyn to go to bed she just kept crying "dog dogs" "dog dogs". It was so sad and pitiful and over and over until she fell asleep. Lately when we are at a park or store and she is just DONE and wants to go home she asks for her "dog dogs" She has yet to call it home or house or anything of that sort... She asks for her dogs... They are always at home so that is the connection for her... As we pull onto our street she excitedly calls out "dog dogs!"
Today she was just DONE at the waterpark... now mind you we had been there about 10 minutes at this point but between the sunscreen she rubbed in her eye, the big fall she'd taken the moment she got in the pool that scraped her knees, and the MASSIVE amount of people and spraying water... 10 minutes were about all she could handle... Did she ask to leave? Did she ask to go back to the room? Nope... you guessed it she asked for her "dog dogs!" My little one is such a creature of routines... she is lost without running in the house and letting her dogs out of their cages and bedtime isn't complete without her nightly kisses and snuggles from Ruby dog and checking to make sure Doak is right by the side of the bed. As much as their barking drives me crazy and as frustrated as I am with them 90% of the time... she really loves them and looks to their presence for security. It looks like home really is where your dogs are... I guess next vacation we will be booking a pet friendly room!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First day of school anxiety

Growing up the night before the first day of school was always full of excitement and anxiety... I never slept a wink the night before. Even when I was lucky enough to get to meet my teacher and see who was in my class prior to the first day. I worried about that one student I didn't know... I worried if the teacher would like me... I worried if I had the right school supplies... I worried if my outfit was cool... Even in college I still had these worries.. heck even in graduate school when I knew all my professors and classmates I worried if I could handle this class... would this be the semester that my inadequecies would be revealed?
So you can imagine that the upcoming start of a new school year is giving me nightmares. Not only am I starting a new job... (what will my caseload be like... how will I do with such a large spanish speaking population... what are my co-workers like... what is the new speech at my old school like?-Yes I still worry about my old kids/co-workers)... but now I am sending my daughter to school... and we all know that our children are a reflection of us. Is she going to make friends? Will the teachers love her as much as we do? Will they think I am a bad mother for my choice of outfit or her unkempt hair? Mostly I just worry about Ashlyn... I know she will be fine. She is an independent little girl. She loves the place we found for her. Last time we went to pay tuition she said bye to me and wanted to go play with her friends...
I really do think this will be good for her but I worry. She's such a picky eater so I hope that seeing the other kids eat will be good for her and she'll start eating more... but as a mom I fear that she just won't eat all day. She's such a bad sleeper... I hope the routine and the activity level will lead her to just crash at naptime... but as her mom I worry she will cry the whole time and the teachers will get frustrated with her. She still has some sensory issues... will the teachers help her or just think she's being a brat? I know she'll be fine... deep down I know it. We chose a good place for her but nobody loves your child like you do... and we have been so blessed to have her home with Erik and/or myself until now.
So I have her bookshelf all ready for school to start. I am well aware she isn't going to kindergarten for everyone who is looking at this picture thinking I am asking a little much of my almost 2 year old but there are lots of pictures of "school" in them so she can get excited!
Does anyone have any books they recommend for starting daycare? Anyone have any helpful words of wisdom for how to make it easier for her? and easier for me???

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wedding Dress Blues

I have heard it said that a woman is never as beautiful as she is on her wedding day... I can tell you that in my life there has never been a day in my life that I have felt more beautiful than that day. My wedding dress was a HUGE part of it. I absolutely adore my wedding dress. It is my favorite possession that money can buy I think. I used to pull it out of the bag anytime we had people over and I had more than my limit of 2 glasses of wine. I loved to hold it up and feel the weight of all the beads and satin. That being said it is still in the garment bag straight from my wedding day and has not yet been cleaned THREE YEARS LATER! I have said I needed to get it cleaned and perserved for years and just havent done it.
One of our dearest friends and my daughters godmother is getting married in May. She texted me a picture of her dress which is where all these feelings are coming from. She looks beautiful in it of course and she will look more beautiful in May I'm sure of it... Part of this will probably be the craziness that all of us brides put ourselves through to lose weight and be our ideal size for our wedding. If I could go back 3 1/2 years I would tell myself I was beautiful just where I was and would have ordered my dress at least a size bigger than I did. This would be so that on a day like today when I am feeling so totally "MOM" that I could put on my dress and dance in front of the mirror and feel like a princess... However since my dress was a size negative 5 the chance of me feeling like a princess in it is slim to none... More than likely I would be crying in a heap on the floor when I can't pull it over my hips. That would be one expensive handkerchief!!! I might just go pull out my veil and dance around in that for a few minutes... but then I will tuck it back away carefully! We all know that Ashlyn will be wearing this dress and veil in 25 years :o)

Pictures by Rebekah Hood of Kallima Photography www.kallimaphotography.com

A sick baby

So I have a sick baby at home... We have been so blessed with Ashlyn's health. She had one ear infection (which of course was during our trip to Florida for her first birthday) and a couple of little colds. This is still just a little cold but I miss my happy baby! I forgot what it was like when she couldn't tell me what she wants. Now that she is sick she just cries and cries and doesn't really care for mommy telling her to "use her words." I have resorted to all kinds of fun things to make her smile even just for a minute. She had a "pop" for breakfast. And I know we live in the midwest and that means soda but she calls FreezePops "pop." I figure the hydration factor outweighs the sugar factor and her happiness was an added bonus. Yes I know they make Pedialyte pops but she wants nothing to do with that! She knows the real stuff.
Yesterday we were running a few errands and she was soooo done shopping... So to keep her from screaming her head off and annoying everyone in Kohls, I was singing Old MacDonald throughout the store to make her happy! I probably looked a little nutty... ok maybe a little more than a little when I realized Erik had taken her down a different aisle and I was all alone oinking in the shoe department. She also LOVES cats right now and especially white ones like "Marie" from Aristocats so Hello Kitty is pretty high on her list of loves right now... So I bought a Hello Kitty shirt from the Jr's section at Kohls. It says This is What Cute Looks Like... I am pretty sure this sleep deprived snot covered mom is as far from "What cute looks like" as possible but it makes her happy. So if you see me walking through the store singing Old MacDonald and rocking out my pre-teen Hello Kitty shirt just give me the mom nod showing that you've been there! If you bring me an extra large black coffee you might just be my friend for life!

By the way THIS is what cute looks like!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Hour

This is what my child has driven me to... Friday, after 2 nights with no sleep (and now she's decided 3 times the charm and added a 3rd day to that...) I was driven to planning our days activities around Happy Hour! Ok ok before you call the authorities on me... Man, Happy Hour has changed for me! Just a few years ago on Friday afternoon you would have found me at Po Boys eating fried pickles and drinking Miller Lts. without a care in the world! Now I can't eat fried food anymore (though man a gall bladder attack almost sounds worth it for Po Boys Fried Pickles), and after one beer in the sun it would be well past my naptime!
Nope yesterday I planned our activities around Sonic and Dunkin Donuts! I had my day planned out just right so that I could be at Sonic between 2-4 for 1/2 price drinks (their sparkling strawberry lemonade makes the sun shine brighter for me) and still make it to Dunkin Donuts before 6 for .99 cent any size coffee! Unfortunately not only did my child not want to sleep at night, she also only took a 15 minute nap yesterday. So we wasted the afternoon away with me telling her to lay down everytime she made enough noise to wake me from the coma I was in because I didn't make it to Happy Hour... maybe if I ate the fried pickles and had a gall bladder attack, I would have to take medication which would force me to have to nap and someone else to take care of Ashlyn.... hmmm I think a good nap is definitely overdue!

A deals a deal!

I just love my kiddo... I am also going on 3 nights with a collective maybe 5 hours sleep and haven't yet had my coffee so I may be a little delirious right now...
I just followed the banging sounds down the hall to Ashlyn's room, scared I might find her knocking her wall out and expanding the play room a bit... Instead I found her in a corner rocking on her elephant. She hadn't been playing on it lately so I found a little corner for it to reside. It was so cute! So I asked if she wanted me to carry it out to the living room. She said yes and I said "Let's make a deal. I'll carry your elephant if you carry Mama's phone." She looked at me very seriously and said ok. I told her we needed to shake on it. She very solemly shook my hand and I handed over the phone. She put it up to her chest and crossed her arms over it and walked very carefully to the living room. It was sooooo precious! I wanted to take a picture but this was serious business so I didn't. Is this the same child that has thrown my blackberry so many times I'm embarrassed to take it to Verizon to see what is wrong with it? That elephant ride must have been very important to her!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


*** WARNING*** I am about to speak candidly about body changes from pregnancy... Men you may opt out now if you want!***
So I totally get Mom jeans! No not like I've gotten a pair but I now understand why moms wear them! There is so much pressure to get back to our pre-baby selves... All of us moms talk about it. In fact I have a post just yesterday saying how I have 10 more pounds to lose to be back to my pre-baby weight. But lets face it... Even if I lose those 10 pounds I will NEVER look like I did pre-baby. Pregnancy does INSANE things to your body. I am what some people say "One of the lucky ones" because I kept the huge baby feeders even though I was only able to breastfeed a few weeks. But these are not the boobs I wished for in 8th grade (heck in my case I was still wishing for them in college). I can no longer run into Victoria's Secret and grab any old bra off the sale rack. I am shopping at Nordstroms to keep these things in check. And lets not even talk about where the thong underwear have gone...Then there is c-section shelf... Heard of this ladies? I had never heard of this when I was saying how much I wanted a c-section... Google it if you don't know what it is... I won't even delve into stretch marks though if you have them invest in some bio-oil... It will fade old one's too!
Because of these pressures we all find ways to hide these new imperfections to look as much like we used to as possible. Short of binding my boobs (Those of you that shrunk down to a smaller size and are cursing me right now believe me you don't want these) there are many shirt styles I no longer wear. I have figured out some tricks and I stick to those styles. This is where mom jeans come in... Some mom figured out that mom jeans hide that c-section shelf and the few extra pounds we can't lose and marketed it to all her friends! This was just the generation before mine's version of SPANXX... So although I hope to avoid mom jeans myself I totally get moms that wear them! And applaud you for finding a way to feel comfortable in your new body until the day comes that we can just be proud of what we created and wear our battle scars with pride! Until then you will find me in the supportive one piece bathing suit at the pool or full coverage grandma boudoir...
Ladies... What tricks have your found to hide some of your hard earned "imperfections"?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My biggest fan/fear...

So I found out my husband has read my blog... This set loose a whole mix of emotions. I was touched that he took the time to read it... but I was scared to death what he really thought for a few reasons. First of all I am talking about OUR LIFE, OUR FAMILY... I actually didn't run this by him before I posted it for all the world to see. Probably not the most considerate thing to do... But I was scared. Scared he'd think it was stupid, scared he'd be embarrassed about what I was sharing, scared he'd think it was just another thing on the computer taking away from family time (between FB, digital scrapbooking, and other various things Im on here ALOT more than I should be). But he did't say any of these things... In fact he didn't even mention it right away until I said something about a post I'd made and then he said he read it... My heart dropped... right in the middle of Yankee Candle... I held my breath for a minute. But all he said was "It was good." My husband is a man of few words so I am going to try to not read too far into it and just be satisfied that for now I have his seal of approval. We'll see what he thinks when a few of the other topics I have planned post :o) Just kidding honey!

Yankee Candle

So in my search for a scent I realized all of our candles are down to NOTHING so we need something for the house. I used to always burn sugar cookie... What is better than walking into a house that smells like sugar cookies??? Um I guess walking into a house that actually has fresh warm sugar cookies on the stove! So my husband requested that unless I plan on baking cookies every day that we go with something less disappointing. I agreed this time because there is no way I can stay on my diet if I am smelling cookies all day long!
When we first went on this diet months ago I lost 15 pounds easily! Then I plateaued... And then I forgot... And slowly a couple pounds crept back on... Since I never lost the additional 5-10 I wanted to get back closer to my pre-baby weight these extra few pounds were a huge disappointment! So back on it is! I'm on day 2 and its WAY harder this time for some reason! Maybe because before we were doing it more for Erik's health to get his blood pressure down and now it's just me doing it for my own vain reasons... (and because I can't afford to buy more clothes AGAIN). The diet is the DASH diet. It's really for hypertension to lower blood pressure but it worked so well and I felt so good. Many of you know both of my parents had their first heart attacks at age 40 so it is a good thing for me to watch my sodium intake as well. The DASH diet is high in fruits and veggies as well as whole grains and low on red meat and sodium. In fact less than 1500 mg of salt a day! There isn't a thing on the menu at TGI Fridays that meets that requirement so eating out is tough (let me remind you I live in the city with the best food on earth)! But 15 pounds in a month and a half with only 2 pounds back on 6 months later... I can handle that!
So back to Yankee Candle. We decided that the smell of fruit through the house will encourage us to eat more fruits... that makes sense right? The smell of cookies encouraged us to eat cookies so the smell of fresh fruit will encourage us to eat fruit... So we decided on Pineapple Cilantro. Cilantro is also one of my FAV things to cook with on this diet! I LOVE it! So this is win win! I'll let you know how it works out! I may be writing the next best selling diet book... Losing Weight Through your Senses.... Hmmm...


So I have had a revelation of sorts. It happened a while back. We went to a new church (it's actually the church Erik went to as a child), and as we were walking in we saw teenagers in sweats and pj's, we saw people in shorts, we saw people in things I no longer wear to bars. I had to do a double take and make sure we were actually at a Catholic Church! As we got over the shock and the sermon began, I became more and more ashamed. By the end I was looking down at my lap... The sermon had been about judging others. Wow was that hitting home or what?!? So over the next few days I really thought about that sermon. So many things that we judge about people they really can't help or aren't at a place they can help it. I don't think anyone stops and says "Yep I think I want to be fat and unhealthy." People can't help going bald early, they can't change the physical characteristics they were given. But these are things we judge! There is a reason for everything and we don't know why someone does what they do... Being negative about it just brings down my mood! So for my own sanity, when there is a car that cuts me off I try to think of all the reasons they might do that... rushing to a sick child, pregnant wife, late for the most important meeting of their life... Is this probably the reason? No probably not, but it makes me feel better and has really changed my outlook on life. Am I saying I don't judge... things still pop in my head but I am quicker to stop and say "Who am I to judge this person?" Try it for a day... turn everything into a positive. Smile at the person that cuts you off in line... slow down and appreciate the little things and I promise you will feel so much better!

The one thing that gets me though are people who think they are morally above others who judge others they deem to not be religious enough or who make bad choices. And I'm just talking about day to day issues, not really serious crimes. Holding themselves above others and judging other's decisions. What church do you go to? Have they not taught you that you are no better? Have they not taught you to be tolerant? I just don't get that!

I have a friend who is in the ministry. He even performed our wedding ceremony. He has seen me through some of my lowest times in terms of bad decisions. I tried to think back to a time that he has ever judged me and could not think of a single time that he has (at least not outright, :o) that I know of). The most he ever said was "I'm worried about you." I'd expect that of any friend. I have so much respect for him and the work he does because of this. I also know that no matter what I can go to him and get guidance without being judged! I have another friend who is a preacher's wife. She is AMAZING with all the hats she wears, mom (to 3), teacher (she homeschools and teaches dance), social worker (she did hospice work!!!), vet (she has a bunch of puppies looking for homes), blogger (check her out http://encouragementfromemily.blogspot.com/)... the list goes on and on. But she is not afraid to reveal at all times her weaknesses in these areas and to ask for strength... these are the things that I admire most about her. Here is this person I look up to so much and have for many years and she is JUST LIKE ME! She is stumbling through this mom business too! As busy as she is she never fails to give words of encouragement and praise and I love her for it! These are the people I strive to be like. I have a long way to go but I hope someday people describe me as encouraging, tolerant, accepting, and through all this HAPPY!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The battle of the goldfish...

I was just looking in my pantry for a snack and found not one, not two, but three open bags of goldfish crackers! Why you ask do we have three open bags?!? No it is not because we each have our own bags... It is because somedays it is the only way I can get through a shopping trip with a happy child. Target is very strategic with their placing of goldfish crackers... They have little milk carton looking goldfish snack boxes randomly throughout the store... shopping for a shower curtain, feel hungry? Here have some goldfish! Target knows there isn't a toddler alive that can pass goldfish and not scream for them! And the mom sees this little carton and thinks 2 dollars... that is totally worth 10 minutes without shouting "bottoms stay in the cart!" or "Lets practice using our inside voices" about 5 million times!
Lately however Target (and various other stores) have been stocking bags of goldfish crackers as close to the entrance of the store as they can without actually selling them from the parking lot. So we never make it to home goods for the cute little cartons... I start hearing "pish pish" the moment we walk in the door. If I continue walking she starts into a louder "cacker pish, cacker pish" and I know well enough to know not to let it turn into screaming and crying. I don't want to reward bad behavior you know. I break down and open a bag of crackers and we are both happy as we continue our shopping trip.
There are two kinds of cashiers in this world. Those with children and those without. Those with children give me a knowing smile as they ring up the open, half eaten bag of goldfish. Those without give a not so discrete look saying "Lady if those spill on the floor it is all you cleaning it up."
A few months ago our pediatrician suggested we remove all crackers and snacks from Ashlyn's diet to try to get her to increase her intake at meals and gain weight. Is SHE CRAZY??? She says she has 4 kids... so maybe that's it... they have either totally pushed her over the edge or mommy brain has allowed her to forget what life with a toddler is like! What does she expect me to feed my child? She's going to waste away to nothing!
We did ok for the first day. All of the crackers were gotten rid of in the house and after a little withdrawl and bribery we were finally breathing easier. We can do this! Then came the first trip out... try to keep a toddler away from crackers and the will pop up everywhere! Places that don't even sell food... sell crackers!!! Menards (like a Home Depot or Lowe's for my FL friends) sells goldfish crackers! Seriously... who goes to buy a lawn mower and thinks... I better stock up on carbs to get me through this job?!? I've decided it's because I am SUPPOSED to give my child these treats to get through day to day life with my sanity and the sanity of those around us.
The last bag of open goldfish crackers I brought home, I started to hide in the back of the cabinet. I am trying to pretend to be super mom and didn't want my husband to see I, SUPER MOM, resort to carbohydrate bribery with our child. As I did though I saw a bag back there already... Hmmm... so I asked my husband about it and he admitted sheepishly that he had bought them recently to get through a trip to the grocery store! I never thought a bag of goldfish crackers could make me feel closer to him but it was just another reminder that we are in this together!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I had the sweetest moment with my little one a few minutes ago... She was supposed to be sleeping but I heard a little voice call out "mama" I went in and she patted for me to lay down with her and put her little hand up to the side of my face and again sweetly said "mama" I said "uh huh mama's here" She repeated "uh huh" and kept repeating it while rubbing my face until she fell asleep. It was so precious...this little reassurance to herself that of course mommy was there. It was one of those moments you just wish you had on video.. makes me jealous of Kate Gosselin (until I remember what a mess her life is now). Sometimes I just wish that I had a camera crew following me around so I would never forget these moments... But that would mean the whole world would see me burning dinner, screaming at the dogs, and blog stalking just long enough to have my 19 mo. old decorate my favorite chair with crayons...

Moments like these also just make me think. I know that someday this sweet little girl will shout something along the lines of "You are ruining my life" or "You just don't get it." I know this because I shouted these things at my mom many many times. All daughters do it... and there was my mom so strong to my face when I know I was breaking her heart. Hopefully she was able to think to herself... someday you will have a little girl and you will know how much I love you. I know that's what I will be reminding myself when that day comes... for now I will just cherish this little girl that thinks I hang the moon, time is too short to worry about the future!

A Mom smell...

Ever had someone walk by that smelled so good you wanted to chase her down in Target and ask what her perfume is so you can go smell exactly like that? My house growing up had a smell... It was the yummiest most comforting smell. I'm not exactly sure what it was, a mix between some kind of cinnamon potpurri, oranges with cloves in it, and coffee. My sister and I have been trying to recapture it for years with little success... I could walk into the house blindfolded and know I was HOME! I want that for my family. Smells are so sentimental to me. I have smells that take me back to every time in my life, I'm sure you do too. My childhood is that HOME smell... still to this day if I smell the right potpurri I am taken right back to 1987... If I smell Sunflowers perfume I am in the middle of the hallway at Everitt Middle School. If I smell Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger it is Freshmen year of high school all over. Still to this day if I am not in the mood to go out to celebrate a friends birthday or something else social (oh how life has changed that I need a perfume to get pumped up about having a few beers), all I have to do is spray the body spray I wore freshmen year of college. The smell of that makes me long for wild nights and adventure! Clinque Happy reminds me of first dating my husband and our first Valentines day when he bought me a bottle.
But all of those perfumes as much as I love them... are not a MOM smell... at least not to me... So I am on the hunt for my mom smell.. At first I thought mom's should smell yummy... So I went on Bath and Body Works website and ordered Country Apple. For good measure I bought their Vanilla shampoo... Isn't that what a mom should smell like??? Apples and Vanilla? Erik didn't really like it...so it's back to the drawing board! I'm going to be a mom for the rest of my life so I need something really good! Maybe I'll revamp my smell when I'm a grandma... maybe they smell like apples and vanilla but for now I need a classic smell... my daughter needs to be able to walk by someone in 2070 and be instantly brought back to her childhood thinking oh my gosh My MOM!
Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone think I'm crazy to have this obsession or to be putting so much thought into it? Anyone have their own mom smell? Don't worry I won't steal it... I don't want Ashlyn thinking that smells like Mrs. so and so! It has to be uniquely mine... darn it... I didn't think it would be this hard....

Letting go...

Ok so it was just for an hour... and we were a few hundred feet away but I still cried. I know pathetic! Up until now Bear has never been out of one of our sights except with family. Since she will be starting daycare in just a few weeks (oh it hurt my heart just to type that) we figured we should ease her in and put her in the nursery at church today. We lingered around slowly backing away whispering to each other what the game plan was for leaving... after about 10 min. when Bear was playing all by herself we told her mommy and daddy would be back in a little bit and to have fun playing. She hardly looked up... not a good bye kiss or wave... nothing... As the door closed and I peeked in at our little baby (ok so she's not really a baby anymore) the tears started coming. Surprisingly Erik didn't tell me I was being silly or laugh at me as I thought he would... maybe it was a little tough on daddy too...
After the service we tried to hurry through the good mornings and how are you's to get back to Bear... Did she run over with a big smile on her face? Give us big hugs and tell us never to leave her again? Burst out in tears? Nope none of the above. She glanced up and said "pizza" she was having a wonderful time playing with the pizza in the play kitchen. It was as if I had been folding laundry in the next room and just came to check on her. This was a new church, a new nursery, new kids, but I guess the new kitchen outweighed all of this. She doesn't even play with her kitchen at home! I found out the reason for that as well though! I asked for a piece of pizza and she went back to the kitchen found a plate, put the pizza on it, and delivered it nicely. She repeated this for everyone else that wanted pizza. Somehow my little angel has learned this social skill of putting food on plates! No wonder she hasn't played in her kitchen, I haven't gotten around to getting her dishes yet... I guess it's off to the store to get some. I wonder if there is any chance she will then play with her kitchen at home for an hour so I can actually fold that laundry in the other room???