Busy Bee

Today was busy. And productive.

Let me tell you, I needed it. I had so many started but not finished projects. Did you know that starting a bunch of things that you never finish is a symptom of A.D.H.D.? Fortunately for me, I'm naturally super lazy, so I guess I can rule out the A.D.H.D. and chalk it up to lack of motivation.

Anyhow, I was saying. Lots to do. Like the garden. And recovering the seats for our patio set. And getting myself prepared to care for a four month old for two weeks. My girlfriend Bethany is a teacher and is going back for the last two weeks of school so I get to take care of her adorable little chubster, E.

I've finished the garden and the seats are halfway covered (two down, two to go).

But how do you prepare to care for a second child? I've kind of blocked out taking care of G at four months old. I remember is the only way napping occurred involved me laying on the bed with him FOR THE ENTIRE NAP.

And the gas. Oy. The GAS!

And the constant breastfeeding/pumping. Now, I can just give him a cracker or some banana if he's hungry. But a four month old? You're heating up bottles, you're feeding the bottles, you're burping after the bottles...

I need a nap just thinking about it!

So tomorrow will be interesting. I'm excited to see how G reacts to having a baby in the house. More importantly, I'm interested to see how I handle two. Frankly, I'm terrified.

In the meantime, if I'm posting less frequently, it's because I'm passed out on the living room floor at 7:00 p.m. or crying in the fetal position amidst all my undone laundry...


Oh Really?

By now, I'm QUITE aware I have a very high spirited child. Active. Busy. Whatever you want to call it.

I'm cool with that. My little brother was 'busy' as well. He has since slowed down. In fact, he may be the mellowest human being I know.

But let me just tell you how much I am OVER people informing me that my child is a little tazmanian devil. OVER. IT. End of story.

Yesterday was my little G's well child visit, you know, the weight/height/poke/prod/shots/cry visit.

First stop, waiting room. They have this massive television in the waiting room. The buttons on it are toddler level. Yet it has a sign that says: 'Please don't touch the t.v. or change the channel.'


Considering the fact that my 16 month old child can already say 'button', you can bet that he'll be all over that television, stat.

So we sat. Well, I sat, and he became the human noodle. I tried reading a book. I tried a cracker. Juice. My wallet.

All no good. After what seemed like an eternity, we were called back by a nurse I'd never seen before.

Instantly I could tell she was odd. Most of the nurses we've seen are fairly upbeat, bubbly, pediatric care nurses. Nice. Nurturing.

Not this woman. No. As we settled in to the exam room, she looked at G disdainfully as he ran around, opening and shutting cupboards (no child locks?!) and drawers, jabbering up a storm.

We ran through all the nurse stuff and she was filling in the sheet for the doctor.

'Is this your first?' she asked, eyebrows raised.


'Hmmm. It's going to be hard for you to have another.'

I looked at her, thinking, whatthehell?

Yeah, he's a bit 'busy'. But he's mine. He's a loving, happy little boy.

So, mean nurse, shut your trap. I hope we never get YOU again. You took just a little too much pleasure in giving my poor little bubba shots. If you don't like kids, go work in geriatrics. STAT.


You Capture: Family

In all honesty, we have very few pictures of us as a family. I'm not really a fan of myself in photos these days (I know, I will regret this BIG TIME later on).

But these are my boys. My family. My guys.

This is G's favorite place in the world. On Daddy's shoulders.

When he's grown, I will miss this. I miss it already.

And I couldn't resist pulling this one from the archives. It may be my favorite photo I've ever taken. It was almost a year ago, on a little family vacation. G was about six months old.

You think they're related? Sheesh. If I hadn't carried the child in my belly, I wouldn't be able to say for sure he's mine...

For more families, jump on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Did y'all see this article in the New York Times about possible American Idol rigging?

In all seriousness, I've always kind of wondered about the legitimacy of American Idol as a competition. But damn!

Don't you think Kris Allen would feel better about winning if he knew it was legit? I mean, he was SHOCKED when he was announced as the winner.

I still think that having a potentially gay American Idol was probably something that would be seen as problematic. It's too bad, because Adam Lambert is a very talented guy.

But you know what? Queen is thinking about having him be their lead singer. That's a pretty awesome consolation prize.


Second Chances

Facebook, though some days I really hate it because it sucks away at my time, can be quite a wonderful thing.

It's put me in touch with so many people that I'd lost contact with. The chance to interact as grown ups, rather than teenagers. It's such a different, SUCH A BETTER, experience.

A month or so ago, someone I'd lost contact with over ten years ago found me. She was my first college roommate. We lived together in the dorms and, for a short time, in a little apartment off campus. We had crazy fun together. It was the first time away from home for both of us. We shared so much in that short time. And then, no contact.

I didn't think I'd ever talk to her again. Because we had a falling out.

The funny thing is, I'm not sure why. I honestly can't remember. And she doesn't remember either. She had an awful car accident about a year after we stopped speaking and I guess it affected parts of her memory.

So here we are, over ten years later, with a second chance at our friendship. When I saw her name come across as a friend request, my heart kind of ached. In a good way. Like it was swelling up and sighing with happiness.

Forgiveness, even if you're not sure what for, is such a relief. Letting go of old anger and pent up resentment feels like a fog is lifting.

And second chances ... they SURE are sweet.


Land's End Giveaway

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry always has the BEST giveaways. I'm not kidding. A few weeks back it was a Kodak Printer.

And right now, she's got a $100 gift card to Land's End.

I love Land's End. Their swimsuits are the bomb. They are they only ones I've found that I can hide most of the jiggly bits that DON'T look like Wholesome Wear a la the Duggars.

To enter the giveaway, go here and leave a comment.

I really, REALLY hope I win. I need a new swimsuit to rock in the backyard while G and I lounge away the summer in the wading pool. But if I can't, it'd be pretty awesome if one of you did. Not as awesome as me winning. Did I already say that?


Now Where Did I Put the Aloe?

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we get a little crazy when the sun comes out.

We don't see it a lot. One of my girlfriend's doctors told her that there is only one month out of the year where we stand a chance of getting enough Vitamin D through the sun (July). SAD is prevalent around here. And I think many of our brains kind of malfunction when that bright ball in the sky decides to make an appearance.

Which leads me to the same stupid mistake I make every year.

I once again DID NOT apply sunscreen.

Thankfully, I was wise enough to completely coat my child in SPF 50. And I made him wear a hat.

Way to lead by example, mama.




Some days, it is painfully obvious how unprepared I am at this whole parenting thing.

Like yesterday. It's 4:30 pm on a one nap day (a fitful, short nap, at that). I'm sitting on the floor attempting to play with G, pushing around his little yellow school bus singing 'Wheels on the Bus.' He seems relatively content, until he accidentally pushes the button on the bus that makes it talk. For some inexplicable reason, he gets very angry when that bus talks. I think it is because he is not very consistent at finding the correct button to make it go 'My stop sign is R-R-Red!' or 'My lights are BR-br-bright!'

So, the accidental pushing of the correct button usually leads to utter frustration, then anger, then tantrum.

Yesterday was not different. Except, at the height of the tantrum, he picks up the bus and THROWS IT AT MY HEAD.

Then, if that wasn't enough, he takes a run at me, fists a-flailing, and lands a few before I got hold of both his wrists.

'No. That hurts Mommy. Ouch.' I said, still holding his wrists.

And then he screams, one of the dog whistle variety. And continues trying to hit and bite me.

This went on for about five minutes. I could not calm him down. I couldn't reason with him. The only thing I could think of was a time out. And the only place that he stays contained is his crib.

'You need to calm down.' I explained, as I set him in his crib.

For thirty minutes he jumped, yelled and screamed. I pulled out the vacuum to drown out the noise for a bit. I was feeling pretty defeated and upset. Why is he so ANGRY? Did I do something? Am I messing him up?

When I turned the vacuum off, the level of ruckus coming from his room had diminished. He was sitting in his crib, talking to his stuffed animals. I figured now was a good time get him out, as he was behaving in an acceptable manner.

His face was puffy and tear stained, but he smiled at me when I opened his door.

'You okay, buddy?' He stood up and reached for me. And we had a relatively mellow evening waiting for Daddy to come home.

Stuff like this makes me feel like such a novice. Like I'm doing irrevocable harm to him. I know that we're both learning together. He is my starter child. The guinea pig. It sounds awful, but its kind of the truth!

I don't know if some moms just aren't forthright about how their children really behave, or if I truly have a handful. Is this normal for a boy? All my girlfriends have little girls. And from what I can tell, they tend to be a little less aggressive, a little more mellow. Though I have a feeling I'll be liking the whole boy thing a lot better once they all hit puberty.

And then there are a few blogs I've read (note past tense) that paint this picture of perfect children, perfect home, perfect life. Are these people for real? Are their kids all Benedryl-ed up? Is mommy eating a little Xanax for breakfast? Because if not, I think they're painting a rosy picture.

You know what? I'm all for honesty. If I can make someone else feel more normal and less like they're creating a future sociopath with mommy issues, that is fabulous.

Oh, and by the way, I will be taking the batteries out of the bus. Or ACCIDENTALLY running it over five times.


As the Stroller Rolls

So guess what?

I got a new stroller. Well, technically, it's being shipped right now.

This is it.

I was a little disappointed I didn't get the BOB I asked for on my birthday, but good things come to those who wait. I got a SMOKIN' HOT DEAL on this bad boy at Costco.com. I couldn't' believe they were carrying Phil & Teds. And I think I will like it better than the BOB. It comes with the double attachment too. Anyhow, it's totally AWESOME, I'm totally excited, and every time UPS rolls by by heart leaps a little.

Funny how I used to feel this way about shoes and handbags, now it's all about the baby gear.

So now my mission is to sell two of our other strollers. I already had a jogger, which was aiiight, but not great; an umbrella, which I never use and is a little too girly for my taste; and the one that came with our infant seat - which I'm keeping to have the complete set.

I posted the first two strollers on Craigslist yesterday. And the jogger has sold. Yay!

But for some reason, this nut keeps emailing me about the umbrella, asking me to come down in price. I agreed to come down $10. But this person (I can't tell if they are male or female) is relentless.


They are yelling at me. I don't like it.

I am just about to email them back and tell them if I wanted to give the stroller away, it would be in the free section. I'm done haggling. DONE.

This is my first experience selling on Craigslist. Honestly? It's kind of freaking me out. What about no, I will not come down on price, is difficult to understand? And the anger? Why get mad at me when I say no? It is not a personal affront. It's my stroller, my decision!



Put a Roof Over Someone's Head

I've known Andrea and her family for years. Just recently, her brother Rusty and his family packed up and moved to Liberia. They're doing some great things over there.

She just posted about an orphanage over there that is in desperate need of a roof to keep the rain out. During the rainy season, they get at least an INCH A DAY for five months. These children are sleeping in damp (at best) beds.

Head on over to Andrea's Blog, The Train To Crazy, for a simple way you can make a huge difference for these children.


You Capture - Sweet

In my vocabulary, there are three kinds of sweet.

Sweet like a delicious sugary mermaid birthday cake ...

Sweet like a puffy diapered newborn bum...

or two baby girls who will grow up to be the best of friends...

Or SA-WEET. Like when mommy lets you stain your new 'Sweet Ride' t-shirt with a chocolate cookie. Oops.

For all the sweetness you can handle, jump on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Shrink Into Summer - The Finale

How quickly eight weeks have flown by!

I started this Sisterhood challenge with a goal that may have been too lofty. Fifteen pounds. That's almost two pounds per week.

I don't have a personal trainer and chef living with me, everyone. What was I thinking?!

But, I have learned some things about myself. Such as:

- I will never enjoy working out, but once I get myself started into the workout, I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

- Next challenge, I will take my measurements, because I feel smaller, even though the scale doesn't reflect as much.

- When I am trying to lose weight, I should never ever bake cookies, cakes, cupcakes or pies. Or bread. Because while I would love to say I have self control, I have absolutely none when it comes to fresh baked goods.

- I have a love/hate relationship with Jillian Michaels and her unsupportive sports bras.

My results? Since you asked, fine. Here they are:

Starting Weight: 182
Last Weeks Weight: 179.6
This Weeks Weight: 178.0
Percentage Lost (if I did my math right, HA): 2%

Almost two pounds! Hollah! Pretty good considering I ate the meal my husband prepared for my birthday, which included lots of butter, alfredo sauce, pasta and bread.

But he made me dinner. Which is huge. So I ate it.

Now I'm waiting for the next Sisterhood Challenge...bring it ON!


Birthday Post

It's raining today. So we're stuck inside.

We had a good morning, despite the fact that we were napless till about five minutes ago.

Stroller Strides. A latte (not from former employer - I was strong). Lots of birthday wishes. A quick trip to Borders where I picked up a few books I've been wanting to read - Kitchen Confidential (have I ever mentioned what a huge crush I have on Anthony Bourdain?) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - and also a Sandra Boynton for G (for me too - if you have to read things OVER AND OVER they might as well be fun). An unsuccessful attempt at finding new jeans that I did not let ruin my day.

As I get older, birthdays are definitely much less eventful. Which is fine, because even though getting older doesn't REALLY bother me, I'm not that excited about it either.

On my drive home from the mall I was trying to remember my most fabulous birthday. I have had a lot of BAD ones. Horribly bad. I had a boyfriend who serially dumped me right before my birthday, probably trying to get out of gift buying. My twenty-first birthday - the actual day - was spectacularly bad. Eight shots of tequila in less than two hours and I was done. So messed up I couldn't even watch 90210. I KNOW. I can hardly even remember it - the only way I know the whole thing happened is a lovely photo my roommate took of me, sprawled out on the floor in a miniskirt, barely lifting my head beside my huge Tupperware barf bowl to scowl and flip her the bird with both fingers. What can I say? I just ooze class.

As for the best birthday, I had to go way back. I'm thinking it was probably my tenth birthday, at the roller rink. It was simple, it was fun. My boyfriend (and I'm using the term very loosely) was there, and he skated with me, and it was just DREAMY.

That was pretty awesome.

Of course, maybe someday, a birthday will top that one. But I'm not holding my breath.


Wish List

Five a.m. wake up call and I'm feeling a bit surly today. On top of that, I made the decision to spare both G and I the screaming, crying mess he would become if I forced him to go to Stroller Strides this morning.

So no workout, no sleep, and I'm slightly irritable. Okay, slightly is an understatement.

But I'm dealing. I know that someday, like when G is out of the house, I will eventually catch up on sleep, cleaning, bills and the like.

And speaking of time passing, tomorrow is my birthday. Thirty-one. How did that happen?

In honor of my birthday, and to make myself feel better, I am going to just list out what my dream gifts would be. This is purely an exercise in imagination, as we just dropped nearly a grand on our 1.5 year old car (thanks again, Ford!). And I'm going to indulge myself with bullet points, because I love a good list with bullet points. It's the type A in me, what can I say?

So here it is: Heather's Ultimate Birthday List.

- A jogging stroller. I was really interested in the BOB Revolution, but am now also interested in the Phil & Teds Dash. I like how it converts with an attachment to a double - NO, I'm not pregnant, just thinking ahead - and is so streamlined.

- A new camera. I love my little Canon point and shoot, but am ready for a big girl camera. A Digital SLR. I've been looking at the Nikons, though I've only ever owned an Olympus or Canon.

- A spa day. Not just an hour or two (though I'd take that, willingly), but a WHOLE FREAKING DAY. It would be heaven to just be pampered for a day. I can't even imagine!

- Someone cleaning my house other than me. Even better than that, one of those professional organizing services that come in and take away all your excess crap. If I was any good at organization, I'd start up my own organizing service - do you know how much they charge? It's crazy!

- A trip to Santorini, and I'd like to stay here
(or somewhere like it) please.

- A shopping spree at Boden. Or, I'd just settle for this dress. It's called the Sassy Jersey Dress - I mean, come on. It's meant to be mine!

- These sandals. Because how cute are they? And they're pink.

- Books, books, books! I'm tempted to pre-order The Angels Game - if you've never read Carlos Ruiz Zafon, do yourself a favor. His other book, The Shadow of the Wind, is one of my all time favorites. A-MAZ-ING.

Wow. I DO feel better. It's amazing what some fantasy retail therapy can do for one's psyche!

That said, I know that I am lucky to have what I have. Seriously. And I am thankful. But it is so fun to just drool sometimes!

What's on your wish list?


Please Don't Go - Ode to the Afternoon Nap

I am sitting in the office listening to G go back and forth between hysterics and talking to his stuffed cat in his crib.

Its nap time, and these days, a nap is no longer a given. Especially afternoon nap. I'm not sure if it's because we in the midst of teething hell (four molars at once) or if he's just getting to the point where he feels he no longer requires the afternoon nap.

And if that's the case, I have to strongly disagree. In fact, I think the afternoon nap is QUITE necessary.

I'll be honest. Yes, it does help his mood in the evening, but I'm telling you, I NEED IT. There is a marked difference between one nap and two nap days. On two nap days, the house is cleaned, dinner is prepared and I've had a chance to read or bathe. Two naps are the way forward.

One nap sucks. One nap means I've either exhausted myself trying to do as many chores as possible, as quietly as I can manage, within a one and a half hour period of time. I'm sweaty and tired. And if the afternoon nap does not happen, I stay that way. Or, if I've wasted the morning nap doing something for myself, the house looks hideous.

There is no evening cocktail, slippers and perfectly made up wife at the door when B comes home from work.

Okay, that NEVER happens. But you get my point.

Afternoon nap, I love you. Please don't leave me. I can't go on without you in my life!



There are very few things I miss about working outside the home. I don't miss the commute. I don't miss the politics.

But something I do miss is that feeling of weekend anticipation. You know. It's about 3:00 pm on a Friday, and you having that feeling...freedom is only an hour or two away. The office becomes much more laid back, people are stopping by, chit-chatting about weekend plans, or lack thereof.

Being home all the time, it seems like everything has just melded into one solid week. Some may say that it's like being off work all the time.

I say it's like WORKING all of the time.

It may sound odd, but I find myself jealous when I go on Facebook and see all of my working friends proclaiming T.G.I.F.!

What is my T.G.I.F.? Is it T.G.T.L.D. (Thank God the Laundry is Done!) or T.G.G.I.N.F. (Thank God G is Napping Finally)? Maybe T.G.I.G.T.B.T. (Thank God I Get to Bathe Today)!

What's YOUR T.G.I.F.?



If you've been reading a while, you may have noticed I love to cook, and once and a while will post recipes. I love to cook, but wasn't too keen posting a ton of recipes on my personal blog...

So, as of a few days ago, I decided to start a blog solely for food. It's called Mama Cooks, and you can find it here.

Now don't get too excited. I only have two posts as of right now. It's still in it's infancy. But I'm hoping I'll be able to use it as an outlet for my foodie self.

If anybody is wondering why I struggle with dieting so much, it will soon become clear. I'm hoping to explore healthy fare, but don't worry, I'll definitely post some ass-expanders from time to time. I am married to a man with a tapeworm, after all, and he requires massive intakes of fatty food.

He and I, we're the real life incarnation of Jack Sprat and his wife.


You Capture: Week 12 - Color

Everyone, I have a serious problem. I am addicted to Picasa. If you aren't familiar with Picasa and all the AMAZING things it can do to your pictures, go here and read all about it - and oh yeah, its free. You can't beat that with a stick.

Now that my Picasa shout out is out of the way, to the task at hand. Or rather, the You Capture assignment - color. And yes, I utilized Picasa. Naturally.

(By the way, click on the photos if you want to enlarge. Especially the second one!)

Here are the rhodies in my yard. Love them.

And Mr. Bee that scared the H-E-double hockey sticks out of me. But I told myself, self, take that photo. Don't be a chicken. And I did it, without peeing my pants!

I mean, how can you document color without giving credit where credit is due? It's Mr. Bee here who gave our flowers such lovely hues! (I used soft focus on this one to really try to pull the eye to the bee).

And, in closing, my G eating his new favorite food. I used the focal black and white on this one. Somehow, it makes the melon look even juicer. I can just picture it dripping down his chubby little arms.

For some more color, go on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.

(Kinda) Happy Dance

I worked extra hard this week. Some days, two workouts a day (no joke) - Stroller Strides AND Shredding. And I've been tracking my food on Weight Watchers. So I was hoping, praying for some movement.

And I got some movement. Just a little. I'm semi-satisfied, but also kind of wondering what exactly I need to do to see some solid results. If I were not still breastfeeding, I'd be considering my old school 1200 calories per day diet. Yes, it sucks - but in the past that's the only thing that has worked for me consistently.

My OB did tell me that some women do not lose their pregnancy weight till after ending breastfeeding. He said it's a small percentage but it does happen. Hmmmm. If I hear one more person say that they didn't even have to diet or work out, that breastfeeding 'melted' away their baby weight, I will seriously crack some heads. Seriously.

So, on to results:

Starting Weight: 182
Last Weeks Weight: 181
This Weeks Weight: 179.6

I heave a sigh of relief as I sink back down into the 170's - this time, I want to stay here!

The workouts have been making me feel SO much better, mentally and physically, so I'm leaning on the belief that if I just keep pushing myself, I'll start to see some more drastic movement.

And if that isn't motivation enough, G has decided to 'help' me work out. I figure an extra 30 pounds of resistance is most likely a good thing!


Die, Ford, DIE!

I'm about ready to go postal.

Last week I called the local Ford Dealership to take my car in for what I was LED TO BELIEVE would be warranty work. Because, according to the mechanic - I mean - service advisor, Ford has had lots of trouble with the transmission cooler that was factory installed in 2008 Escapes. IT'S A FAULTY PART.

I just got a call from the service advisor.

"Um, yeah, you're just past the warranty period, so, yeah, it's not covered.'

Me. Staying calm. "How much are we talking about?"

"Well, the part is, uh, $384 and then labor is around $500, so, um, $871."

"So you're telling me that I'm just a skotch past the warranty, it's a FAULTY PART, and I still have to pay. By the way, I WAS LAID OFF. I am unemployed."

"Yes. It's not the transmission, which is covered to 50 thousand. But if you don't fix it your transmission will be ruined."




1) Should I keep driving it as is to ruin the transmission so the #$#&@ Powertrain warranty will cover it?

2) Am I totally getting screwed because I have a vagina?

3) This bullpoo would have NEVER happened with my Hyundai. I miss my Hyundai. Tear...

And they wonder why American car companies are failing? Really? REALLY?

So Ford people, if you're reading this, step it up.

But who am I kidding?

Groceries are nice, but I'll be fixing my 2008, just past the warranty, car.



To me, this means summer is upon us.

The Caprese. If I have all the ingredients, I will dine upon this daily.

Tomatoes, fresh mozzerella, basil, olive oil. A drizzle of balsamic, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

Dive in.


Simple But Perfect

I got to sleep in this morning.

Did you hear that world? I SLEPT PAST 6 A.M. And I feel like a million bucks.

That was my first present for Mother's Day. The second, which I think is probably my favorite, was eavesdropping through the baby monitor as B pulled G from his crib.

A wee one year old's voice tinkling 'Hi Daddeeee!'. It's so delicious.
I lay there, savoring their sweet conversation as I drifted back to sleep.

Perfect. I really could not ask for anything more.



I Have A Stroller & Am Not Afraid to Use It.

One of my oldest friends, Bethany, and I met up at the mall yesterday.

We've been trying to meet up fairly regularly now that she's out on maternity leave. Her little dude is just three months old. G likes to point at him and scream 'BeeeeBeee!' He also likes to grab his chubby cheeks and try poke out his eyes. Yes, we're still working on gentle. It's not quite sinking in.

I cannot stress how important it is to try to get out of the house when you have a small infant. I WISH someone would have told me to get out of the maternity sweats, wash your face and put on some mascara. We're going out!

And it really doesn't matter where. Just getting out of the cocoon is the point.

Bethany is doing much better than I did. I literally would not leave my house for a week at a time. I wouldn't go so far as to say I had Postpartum Depression. I'd call it Postpartum 'there is no way I'm leaving this house while I'm leaking milk, breaking out, carrying 40 pounds of residual baby weight with an infant who won't stop screaming and hates being in the car seat.' Yeah, that about sums it up.

Suffice it to say I'm happy she's doing so well.

So there we were, navigating our strollers around the mall on a Friday afternoon. It's fascinating to me how many people are at the mall on weekdays. I mean, now I'm one of them. But back when I was working full time I thought the malls were deserted during the work week. Not so.

I really wanted to find eyebrow scissors (I'm teaching myself to groom my own eyebrows - possibly a recipe for disaster), so we popped into Sephora.

In my former, child-unencumbered life, Sephora was like my idea of Heaven. Stuff to sniff, crazy awesome make-up, products I didn't know I needed but suddenly would die without. It's like a crack den for a product junkie.

I have come to realize, though, that apparently Sephora (and many other retailers) don't want mothers of infants to purchase their wares.

Why this conclusion? Because they make their aisles so small, there is no possible way to get a stroller through. It was like bumper strollers.

We finally found the eyebrow scissors, which I decided were a little expensive for my taste ($18 for tiny little scissors I'll probably lose... no thanks!). They were CONVENIENTLY located in the back of the store.

After again bumping every single object in my path, I was nearly out the entrance. The only thing in my way were two teenage girls, doing their makeup for free, literally hanging out of their shorts that required bikini waxes.

'Excuse me.'

'EXCUSE me.'


Three times I asked. Three times ignored.

So I proceeded to steer the mammoth stroller directly towards them.

And they moved.

I looked over to Bethany who I've know since we were 12. 'Were we ever like that?'

'No way.'

And we laughed. Because we totally were.


Smells Like Teen Spirit (Or Maybe Just Drakkar and Sweat Socks)

Friday mornings at Stroller Strides we have music for our workout. It was great - it is so much easier to be in searing pain from squats when you have a soundtrack.

And it wasn't just any music. No.

It was the music of my early adolescence. Nothing could possibly take me back to awkward (and usually ending in tears) junior high dances like C&C Music Factory. You know. EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!

Junior high dances - damn. Who came up with that idea? Was it supposed to be some kind social conditioning to prepare us for the rejection and disappointment of adult life? Maybe the adults in charge were just sick individuals who reveled in pubescent drama.

Our dances were held in the school gymnasium. It was an old building, I think built in the 20's. And let me tell you, what a stench. Years and years of accumulated nervous acne ridden teenage boy sweat, the reek of cafeteria food that probably wasn't fit for a prison. Asbestos (I'm not kidding, I think there was an asbestos issue), old books, and lest I forget, really bad drugstore perfume/body spray. I rocked the Loves Baby Soft. Hollah!

Junior High dances probably all look much the same. Boys lined up on one side, girls on the other, till some couple goes out on the dance floor. And it was usually the BAD kids, the ones the chaperone's had to unglue, ones that were grinding all over each other, then sneaking off under the bleachers to make out.

Okay, yes, I was probably jealous. I had a little bit of an awkward stage. There was no grinding for me...sigh...

Eventually, most everyone would make it out to the dance floor. Hilarity ensued, namely, the running man, the roger rabbit, and someone doing the worm across the floor while everyone formed a circle and clapped madly. One guy even did the Russian kicks from Saturday Night Fever. And he was GOOD at it.

And then the torture. The dreaded slow dances.* Did I get asked to dance? Sometimes. But God forbid it was with someone I wasn't that into (and it usually was, because my crushes didn't know I existed), especially if they played the extended version of November Rain or Everything I Do I Do it For You. Especially awkward if you try to break away at the radio edit ending only to be pulled back in for the overly long ending. Ugh.

Then, the dance would end, and there I was, yet another dance down and no boyfriend. For some reason I thought I would magically be asked to 'go out' at a dance. I blame it on the movies of the 80's. Because no one, I mean NO ONE, can have a realistic outlook on romance when your points of reference are Lloyd Dobler and Jake Ryan.

We'd all go home, or to a slumber party, and painstakingly relive the evening's (or late afternoon's) events. She stuck her tongue in his mouth?! Did you hear he was caught drinking BEER in the bathroom!? OMG so-and-so is so HOT! We should call him and hang up like 50 times - God bless the days before caller ID. Truly.

And then we'd go to bed, claiming that the dance was oh so lame, but secretly counting the days till the next one.


*I had a friend in college who used to DJ, and he called his slow set 'The Erection Session'. Nice.


Blah Blah and Blah.

I am so scattered. I want to write something today - obviously this would just be me humoring myself as I don't know if I have anything interesting to ramble about (Or do I ever? Sorry, little insecurities rearing their ugly heads).

This is what's emerging from the mess inside my head. Enjoy or ignore.

* I am in lurve with Mr. Clean, and in particular his Magic Eraser. Good Lord, people, it's a cleaning tool. Remove head from gutter please! My girlfriend Rachel called me up a few weeks ago just to tell me about them. And they are so worth the hype. I wiped out my disgusting cheese and other nasty stuff crusted microwave in about 30 seconds flat. It looks new. I know. I KNOW!

* My girlfriend Jenny (who pronounces her name Jinny - she's an Okie, ya'll) whipped up some crazy good grilled cheese recipe and it will be in Sunset Magazine in July. This is the second recipe contest she's won. If I lived with Jenny I'd weigh a gazillion pounds. She's such a kick ass cook. Just had to give the shout out! Woot woot!

* Our car has been acting weird lately. The transmission is what B has been telling me. And also that I'm extra hard on the car, because I don't wait till I come to a full stop to put it into park, yada yada. I'm a woman, right? I can't help it, apparently. PFFTTTTT!
So I called the Ford dealership today and apparently our make and model has been having issues with leaking transmission fluid. It is covered under warranty and NOT MY FAULT. HA. Okay, enough gloating. And I am making a conscious effort to be nicer to the car.

* I seriously hate my dogs today. As I type, the 100 pound golden retriever is hurling his body against the sliding glass door. The sun is shining for once and they want in. And when they get in, they will click clack click clack up and down the hall while G is napping. Oh, I almost forgot. They escaped again today. Satan...erm, I mean Sadie...can unhook the gate. If they go to dog jail I'm leaving them there. End of story. Except dog jail would probably give me money to take them back after having my evil dogs in custody for a few hours.

* My only vacation for the summer is canceled. My grandfather has rented a house in Eastern Washington on a lovely lake (actually a dammed up river) for 15 years and I guess nobody is interested in going this year...except for me. I'm so bummed. I'm trying to think of something inexpensive for a getaway. No, 'staycations' don't count, because if I'm in my house, I'm thinking about cleaning, cooking, cleaning up after the cooking, et cetera. Staying at home is NEVER EVER a vacation for the mama. NEVER.

*How about Jon Gosselin? I wonder if he really was cheating? Dude, I hope it was worth it, because the wrath of Kate is something to be reckoned with, for sure. I would not cross that woman.

* Speaking of massive families, I would be negligent not to mention the Duggars. Totally old news, but Josh and Anna are expecting. The very first of their child army. I wonder if they will do the same letter for all the names? And just for the record, I bet this post will get hits just because I typed the name Duggar. Duggar, Duggar, Duggar. Tater tot casserole. Modest swimwear. I am totally looking into getting one of the slimming ones.

*How about American Idol? I love Adam. He is so pretty. I love a guy who can wear eyeliner. He takes me back to my days of swooning over Duran Duran. And I love his voice. Yes, some may say he's a screamer (and you're not the only one) (sorry, John Lennon), but I love that type of voice. He better win. Gokey and Allen are fine and all, but they're a little Chip and Chad for me.

See, I told you I'm scattered. But I feel a little better getting some of this crap out of my poor little brain. Ahhhh.


You Capture: Week 11 - Expression

This week I came at the assignment from two directions. And I think I captured it in one shot...

G in my favorite t-shirt. Love his expression and love that expression.

Things may not be perfect. But...

We have our health, we have each other. Honestly, how FUN is perfect anyhow? Not very.

Life IS good (stains and all!).

For more expressions of expression, jump on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Weigh in today.

And I'm so disappointed I don't even want to write about it. But I will, because I said I would. If you haven't guessed, I'm up. I don't know exactly what to attribute it to (probably food, duh!), but I'm cranky CRANKY cranky.

That, paired with a toddler who is trying to bite everything within grabbing distance, is not a good thing. Plus, he dumped my coffee on my keyboard this morning. Lukewarm, thank God. And yes, totally my fault, I need to remember he can now reach pretty much anything on the desk. But now my office smells like coffee and vanilla creamer. Which smells gross and sticky, if something can SMELL sticky.

He spilled the coffee after I'd weighed myself and decided I needed to sign up for Weight Watchers Online. I need some way to track my food. My brain APPARENTLY doesn't do that itself. So. I was signing up when G decided he was in need of my attention NOW and dumped the coffee.

Hmmmm. What else happened this week? I'm still doing Stroller Strides, and I absolutely love it. Real mommies and real bodies. The workouts are hard, I'm all clammy from sweating my face off this morning. Good stuff.

So maybe I can say I'm gaining muscle. But I don't need ANY MORE weight. The Wii Fit says I'm almost obese. OBESE. I want my Mii's muffin top to go away...I want MY muffin top to go away.

Then we had the incident where I was sitting on the floor in my sports bra playing with my darling child. He sidles up to me and grabs fistfuls (yes, fistfuls) of my stomach and looks at me all confused-like. "Tummy?"

I felt like saying, "No honey, that's mommy's second set of boobs. She's growing utters. She has some on her back too."

TMI? Okay. Sorry!

Anyway, weight:

Starting: 182
Last Week: 178.4
Today: 181 (DUN DUN DUNNNNN)

And now, I'm off to the kitchen to put up a fat picture of myself on the fridge as deterrent. And maybe wrap the fridge in barbed wire.


Tooth Joo!

For once, I was actually able to catch a glimpse into my child's mouth a few days ago. Usually, an impossible task. But through tickling and holding him upside down, I was able to spy the cause of his crazy mood swings.

Molars. Four of them. Plus a latecomer in the front. FIVE TOTAL. His poor little mouth is a red, swollen, utterly painful looking place.

I could look at this two ways -

One, in a positive fashion ... All at once! Good, this will all end fairly soon (please GOD let it end soon).

Or, the negative way - Oh. My. God. Will. This. Child. Stop. Whining. And. Drooling. And. Waking. Up. EVERY. TWO. HOURS.

If you know me at all, or have read for a while, I'm sure you can guess which way I'm swinging. That would be negative. I'm a pessimist.

Actually, I refer to myself as a realist. Thank you very much.

Now that I have confirmation of the impending eruption of teeth, I'm feeling pretty fast and loose with the Infant Tylenol and Motrin. Or as we have christened such tinctures, tooth juice. You know it's bad when your 15 month old starts gleefully chanting "Tooth Joo! Tooth Joo!" when he spies the little bottle.

No, I'm not one of those mothers who breaks out the Benedryl to quiet my kid down.* In fact, I lean toward not medicating. Myself, I hardly ever even pop an Advil. I like to wallow in my pain. But dude, if you saw the carnage going on in my child's mouth, you'd be starting a Baby Tylenol IV too!

So, we're off to Costco to stock up on Tooth Juice. Maybe some Mommy Juice too (a.k.a. Pinot Grigio).

*This was suggested by one of my relatives at G's birthday party when he was acting a little less than perfect. You should have seen the look on her daughter-in-law's face (said daughter-in-law has a child three months younger than G).


Super Neato Cool Giveaway

Yo! Head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry to read all about a great giveaway - A NEW PRINTER!!

And also, there is an interesting link to calculate just how much you may be overpaying for printer ink.

I mean, really, in these tough times, who really wants to overpay? Not me. No sirree!

Dirty, Dirty Sandwiches.

I don't know if I'm the only one who has noticed this CREEPY commercial for Quiznos. Funny creepy, but still...really? REALLY?

The horny oven is kind of freaking me out. Plus, Toasty Torpedo?

Thanks, but I prefer my food non-phallic. Just sayin'.


My Two Cents and Then I'll Shut Up.

Against all my better judgment, I have this overwhelming need to open my mouth about the newly deemed 'end of days'. By which I mean the Swine Flu. H1N1. Whatever you're calling it.

I should know better than this because this is probably the one subject that will get reaction. Well, this and the Duggars. Everytime I write about them, the Duggar patrol comes out of FREAKING NOWHERE to comment. I'm serious. I think they employ people to Google them 24/7.

SO ANYWAYS. Swine flu. Anybody else sick of hearing about it? Tired of all the Purell being stripped from the shelves? Seeing people on the news wearing masks? Tamiflu being stockpiled in top secret locations (so the crazies won't try to break in and steal it all)? Pigs being slaughtered for no good reason?

Episodes such as this are really telling of how easily we are manipulated by the media. The 'regular flu' killed thousands of people last year - where was all the coverage? It's baffling.

I get that it's scary. That people down in Mexico have died. But let's step back a second - are we taking into account the lack of healthcare in Mexico? Sanitary issues?

Already, reports are coming out indicating that the Swine Flu isn't nearly as bad as first reported. Most cases in the U.S. have been mild. MILD!

Maybe the term 'pandemic' should not be used. I think for some the word itself is just scawwy. Remember SARS? And the Bird Flu? Yes, those were 'pandemics' as well. Pandemics have existed throughout history. People get sick. And they spread it all around. It sucks, but that's just the way things go.

So, boys and girls, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and don't sneeze all over each other. And if you don't feel good, stay home. Isn't that always sound advice?

All this said, I'm not a doctor, and heaven forbid, I could have this all wrong. But for now, I'm not going to become a shut in, or buy out all the masks at Rite Aid, or bathe my child in Purell. Call me crazy.


Baked Good Trauma

Today I felt like baking.

So I baked. Cookies and bread.

Here's the problem - I'm not one of those people who does therapeutic baking and then gives it away.

No. I also like to EAT what I bake.

I should have known it would end like this. Me, huddled in the corner, clutching the cookie dough caked wooden spoon, licking it and snarling like Gollum...myyy PRECiousssss.

And once the cookies are baked, I will need to just TEST them every time I pass by. My house isn't big. I'll be passing by, oh, say EVERY TEN MINUTES.

While we're on the subject of obsessive tasting, let's talk about warm bread, fresh from the oven. I also have homemade raspberry jam.

Why, God, why?

This is not going to be pretty.


The Men in My Life

I spent the first 12 summers of my life on a fishing boat in Southeast Alaska. My first boat trip to Alaska was when I was six weeks old. My Daddy was a commercial salmon fisherman.

Actually, he still is. And every May, he packs up his truck with nets, tons of supplies from Costco (especially coffee beans!) and his little schipperke dog, Roger, and they head up the Al-Can highway to Skagway, Alaska. That is where he keeps his boat, the Kindred Spirit. He built that boat when I was two years old. And it's still chugging along. They've only had one close call where they took on a lot of water and had to be towed back to port, using the bilge to pump as much water out as they could to stay afloat.

Luckily, my Daddy is a really good fisherman, and also very safe. He never goes too far away from other boats, should the need for help arise. He's often alone, he never has a crew member. My Mom goes up from time to time, but since G's been here, she's reluctant to spend an entire summer away. So it's just Dad and Roger. But this year, Roger is too old to go. So it's just Dad and his coffee.

Yesterday, G and I made the 90 minute trek up to my parents house to say good-bye to my Dad (who G calls Papa), who will be gone for FIVE MONTHS.

You think, after 31 years of this, I'd get used to it.

But I never, ever have, and probably never will. Every time I say bye to my Dad for the summer, I cry.

Not little sniffles, but hearty sobs.

I'm a Daddy's girl. In the best sense of the word. My Dad is awesome. He's a wonderful, gentle man. He can do anything. He can rebuild an engine, build furniture, and split firewood for the winter, but also has no qualms about cleaning the house and making dinner.

My husband is much the same way. Not so big on the cooking and cleaning (ha) but he is one of the most creative, intelligent people I've ever met. If he doesn't know how to do something, he'll figure it out. He questions everything and is always reading up on things he doesn't understand. He watches NOVA. He watches that channel that shows the space station in real time. He's interested in quantum physics. But he'll also sit down and watch Dumb & Dumber with me. And to top it off, he's an amazing father.

Yeah, he's a real renaissance man.

In raising a son, I can only hope we can teach G to be as self-sufficient and intelligent as his Daddy and Papa.

I think we'll do fine. He's got some good men to teach him.