Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: The Why I Heart This Man Edition.

It's time to play Wordful Wednesday, hosted by Seven Clown Circus...

Back in the days when I was still "expecting," Brian worried. He worried he wouldn't know what to do with the baby. That he wouldn't be a good dad. Even that he might not love her as much as he should.

Well, folks, it's six months later. And you know what? His worrying was all for nothing, just like I told him it would be (more proof that I'm always right). Tori couldn't ask for a better dad—and I couldn't ask for a better partner. He does his share of bottle making, diaper changing and sanity saving. Takes his turn on sleepless nights. And loves making her giggle just as much as I do.

These pics speak for themselves, wouldn't you say?



Yep, there's no doubt about it. I couldn't love him more if I tried.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: The Wardrobe Edition.


It's Tuesday, meaning it's time for some Random Thoughts hosted by the Un Mom. Ready? Here we go!

It's recently gotten very, very cold here. In fact, we actually had to turn on the heat last night. Which brought me to two realizations. First, I have no idea how to keep Tori snug and warm at night without putting a blanket on her (which I'm not supposed to do for another six months).

Second? I have nothing to wear. And I do mean Nothing. Last year, I was pregnant. So any cute clothes I had were of the maternity variety. The year before, I was in the middle of the Diet to End All Diets Part I, and so did not really buy anything new to wear. And the year before that? The year before that I was happily fat, but the clothes from that era are either a smidge too big, or have long since been donated to the Goodwill. Leaving me with nothing.

Fortunately, my birthday is coming.  Usually that happy occasion brings with it an influx of new sweaters and things. But the fashion that I've seen lately? Does not make me particularly happy. My thighs are not of the variety that look nice in leggings. Tunics make me look pregnant. And pleats? God save me from pleats.

It might be a boring year in the wardrobe department.

I really need to learn to sew. I have a kick ass sewing machine, but it sits neglected in the closet, because I have never actually figured out how to make I love the idea of making my own clothes. I just don't like the work involved. In my heart of hearts, I really do prefer to be a slug.

However, inspired by all the cute baby tutus out there, I have decided to make Tori a fairy costume for Halloween (this will actually be her second costume. We picked up a dragon ensemble at the used kid's store this weekend). I've got yards and yards of green, yellow and white tulle in my car. Along with ribbon, and elastic, and even a new pair of sewing shears. I'm all set.

Anybody want to take any bets on whether or not I get it finished? I'd say I have a 50/50 chance...

Oh. By the way. When the Banishing the Baby Belly challenge is over and I have my body back? I'm totally going to buy me an outfit from Anthropologie. I love their clothes. I just don't love the prices. But after losing 30 pounds or so for the second time in 2.5 years? I'll totally deserve it.

Now all I have to do is get that weight moving off of me... Maybe some pretty new gym clothes would help. You think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Help End the Silence.

Today, instead of taking up this space with the trivialities of my own life, I'd like to ask all of you to do a favor for me. Take the two or three minutes you'd normally spend here and go visit Violence Unsilenced.

Every week, women who have lived through terrible, terrible acts of violence bare their souls and their stories on this blog. The topics range from emotional and physical abuse to child molestation and even rape. Each story is unique - but they all have one thing in common.

These women are true Survivors. Super heroes, even. And they're brave enough to share their pain with us in an effort to end the silence around violence against women—one story at a time. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that these sorts of crimes are epidemic in this country (and across the globe). But, just in case you need a reminder, here's a video put together by the moderators of Violence Unsilenced.

Help tear down the wall of silence and shame that separates these women from the rest of the world. Visit Violence Unsilenced, support the survivors and share the link with everyone you know. After all, if they can find the strength to talk about it, you can find it in yourself to listen.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Open Letter to All You Moms-to-Be

I know. You think you're prepared. You've read all the books. Taken the classes. Decorated the nursery. Completed your registry with care.

But honestly? You have no idea what you're getting yourself into.

I know. You're tired of hearing that. You wish everyone would stop telling you how much your life is about to change. Because, really? You're pregnant. Your life has already been turned on its ear. And you are very much aware that popping another person out of your body has life-altering consequences, thankyouverymuch.

But truthfully? You have no idea how much your life is about to change. None.

You know why everyone keeps saying these things to you? It's not because they think you're stupid.  Or because they think you're ill-prepared. They know you're going into this with your eyes open.

They're telling you because they're thinking back to when they were in your shoes. They're remembering how knowledgeable they thought they were. They're looking back, and shaking their heads at their former selves.

Because they? Had no idea either.

There's no possible way to be prepared for the nuclear bomb that's about to shatter you into a million pieces and put you back together in an entirely different way.

You love your partner (or at least, I hope for your sake you do), but you have no idea how deeply you are capable of loving until you hold that pooping, puking mess you're about to give birth to.

You have no idea how vulnerable you're capable of feeling. How uncertain. How hard you're going to try to make everything perfect for him or her—and how deathly afraid you'll be of failing.

You can't imagine how tired you're about to be. How much you're about to cry. How hard you're about to laugh. How overwhelmingly beautiful (and horrifying) life is about to become.

You have no idea how much your life is about to change. And that's a good thing.

Enjoy these last moments of waiting. Of anticipating. Of sanity. Your life's about to change, baby, and there's no going back.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Banishing the Baby Belly: Week 2

Well, here we are. One full week into the Banishing the Baby Belly challenge. How did you guys do?

I did...surprisingly well. Somehow, I managed to lose 1.6 pounds. Which, granted, isn't a huge loss, but given the fact that I've been PMSing up a storm, ate more than my share of brownies and belatedly learned that a ham salad sandwich from Honey Baked Ham was good for almost 20 (!!!) points, I'll take it.

I'm pretty sure it was the exercise that made the difference. I managed to move my bones four times this week (which is four times more than they've moved in the last two months). And that, I've always found, melts the pounds away faster than anything else.

This week's challenge? To make good on my promise to actually go. to. the. gym. It's not that hard, I know. But somehow? It is.

That's it for me. Your turn!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top Ten Signs You Might Be PMSing.

For the last few hours, I've been scowling into my computer screen, silently grumbling, "I don't freaking want to write a blog post today. I've got nothing to say. And nobody listens to me anyway." Grumble, grumble, grumble.

And then it occurred to me. I must be PMSing (it's pretty much been a guessing game since the whole hatching a baby thing). Thus, this post idea was born. So, without further ado, here they are, the top ten signs you might be PMSing.

You kinda hate everybody you talk to.  Earlier today, I was sitting in a meeting with, oh, ten other people? As they talked, I just kept thinking about how much they annoyed me. And how much I wished they would just. shut. up.

Pants that fit yesterday now give you a decided muffin top. I'm wearing jeans that I swear were loose last time I put them on. Today? I had to wear a baggy ass shirt to hide the floofiness of my belly spilling over the top.

Chocolate becomes an essential food group. I know. It's terribly fattening, and only supposed to be eaten in small quantities. But on days like today? I crave a brownie, or better yet, a brownie smothered by death by chocolate ice cream and dripping hot fudge with every meal (diet? what diet?).

Your body's thermostat seems to be set at boiling. I may only be in my early 30s, but I get my share of armpit drenching, swamp ass inducing hot flashes. I'm sure menopause is going to be a treat.

No amount of sleep is enough.  As the mother of an infant, I'm generally tired at even the best of times. But right now, I feel like I could sleep for 24 hours straight (and probably still be exhausted).

Suddenly, every little mess becomes deeply offensive. My husband can always tell when I'm about to go on the rag, because I start cleaning. Everything. It's the only week of the month our house gets anywhere close to clean.

When not simmering in anger, you find yourself deeply depressed. Things that usually don't even phase me become cause for floods of tears. Things like...the fact that I forgot to put socks on my baby this morning.  You know, important stuff.

Plus, you really hate the world. What? Did I already say that? Well, I can't stress it enough. Stay away from me today, people.

When not craving chocolate, you find yourself binging on carbs. Science says carbs give us energy and make us feel better. I say they're the only thing keeping me from tearing your throat out.

And lastly...

You really can't be bothered to finish what you start. Things like this Top Ten list, for example. Yep, that's right. I'm done. No clever closing today...I think I'll go look at baby tutus instead.

Better luck tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: The Vacation Edition

Turquoise water. Fruity drinks. Endless sushine. And infinite feeding opportunities. It was everything I've ever wanted in a vacation...which is good, because, as it turns out, it was our last trip as free-wheeling, happy-go-lucky, non-parental types.

Yes, for this week's edition of Wordful Wednesday, hosted by Seven Clown Circus, I'm taking a trip down memory lane, back to the cruise we took last April. Why? Well, because with the arrival of fall, I always start hankering for a vacation (but rarely get one). There's nothing like falling leaves and chilly nights to make me start longing for more tropical locales.

In fact, just this afternoon, I spent some time pricing cruise vacations I can't afford to take. It's a hobby of mine. On this particular trip, we sailed aboard the Carnival Legend.

When we left, it was rather cloudy.

So we went inside and had the first of many, many fabulous meals (You'll notice a lot of these pictures feature me. That's because our camera was brand new and my husband was afraid, not unjustifiably, that I'd drop it).

Finally, though, the sun came out, and the drinking vacationing could begin.

We had an absolutely fabulous balcony cabin. If I ever get to go on another cruise, I refuse to settle for anything less.

This was the view...


The ship was pretty cool, too. Although, most of the time we were on board, we were either on our balcony, or out here.

After a couple days of fun at sea, we docked in Cozumel, our first port. We immediately made our way to the beach, where we swam with pretty fishes (one of which decided to sting me).

Next stop? Belize. We chose to go snorkeling, and man, am I glad we did. We dove off a boat and let the current carry us back to this cute little island...

Finally, we docked in Roatan. When I booked this cruise, I wasn't too sure about that particular port, but it turned out to be my favorite stop.

It had beautiful, beautiful beaches.

And even shipwrecks (which would suck if you were on that particular ship, but made for pretty photos)!

Finally, though, it was time for one last pina colada before heading home...

 Until next time. I hear Carnival has a great kids program...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The. Worst. Smell. In. The. World.

Kermit got skunked last night. Which means, really, that we all got skunked last night. Why? Because stupid us let him in the house while the spray was still wet on his fur.

Not only that, but to make sure he had indeed been hit, I bent over and took a deep whiff (yes, sometimes I am amazed at my own stupidity).

Have you ever smelled fresh skunk at point blank range? If not, let me describe it for you. Take burning rubber, mix it with fresh tar, add in a big pile of horse manure, then let it bake in the desert sun for approximately three weeks, and you might have something that comes close.


By the time I recovered, our poor little pup had run up the stairs and straight into our walk-in closet. I charged up after him so fast I'm surprised I didn't break the sound barrier.  I mean, I already walk around covered in spit-up and fur—I don't need the aroma of skunk to increase my allure.

We dumped him in the bathtub, scoured him with shampoo, conditioner and even dish soap, and still the smell was not gone. Greatly diminished, but not gone. The Internet tells me I should mix peroxide with baking soda and soak him in that...but I'm a little concerned. He's black. Will that turn his fur blonde?

Despite my misgivings, though, I might give that a try. My vet also sells some shampoo that's supposed to help. So I might try that too. Or I might just shave him and buy him a sweater to keep him warm this winter (kidding about that last one. Mostly).

But you know what's even worse? My whole house reeks like a toxic waste dump. When I went home to air it out at lunch, I almost cried. Then I tried baking brownies to mask the smell (and that was the only reason. Really). But it didn't work.

The only solution? Pack up the car, take off for a month-long vacation and hope it smells better when we get back.

What? I'm sure our employers would understand. Wouldn't they?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Discovering Joy.

This weekend was nothing special. Nothing exciting. Just an average, ordinary, every day kind of weekend in the Page household. We ran errands. We cleaned. We did laundry. All the usual things.

But when I went to bed last night, it was with a warm glow in my heart. I laid there, putting off the moment I gave in to the sleepiness that was tugging at my eyelids, just so I could enjoy the moment a little longer.

This, I told myself. This is what you need to remember when the Darkness looms, threatening to take your hope away. This is what it feels like to be happy. The warm tingle in your toes. The lightness in your limbs. The bubble of sun in your core. This is worth cherishing.

Why was I so happy? I don't know. There wasn't one particular thing. It was just a perfectly ordinary weekend, filled with itty bitty moments of joy. Moments like...

Bouncing a giggling Tori on my lap, swinging her over to daddy for kisses before covering her cheeks with smooches of my own.

Stealing a kiss from my husband as my dog, woofing his little heart out, struggled to get between us.

Petting a purring Oliver as he draped himself around my towel-wrapped, fresh from the shower shoulders.

Flying a grinning Tori over my head in the middle of a store, stopping an impending temper tantrum with that one motion.

Watching as that little girl stole the heart of the salesperson who stopped to see her with one gummy grin.

Discovering a fantastic new book and losing myself in its pages for a little while on a rainy afternoon.

These are the moments that made my weekend fantastic. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary, just every day, garden variety happiness. And I can't think of anything better than that.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not A Foodie Quite Yet.

Last  week, I began introducing Tori to real food. Or, at least, I attempted to do so. Because Tori? Really isn't a fan. At least not so far. She's made it quite clear that she'd really rather stick with her bottle, if we wouldn't mind. Just check out these faces she made:

This was after her first bite. Of course, very little actually made it into her mouth. You can see it drooling down her chin...

Here we are a couple bites in. I think she's wondering why I insist on torturing her this way.

And this is when I decided to give up that day's endeavor. I call this her sad old man face.

Of course, I probably wouldn't be too thrilled if someone was trying to make me eat plain old squash either. I'm guessing if it was steak, or better yet, chocolate, we might have a little more success...

I think it'll be a while before we have a true gastronome on our hands.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Banishing the Baby Belly: Week One.

For the last five and a half months, I've been doing nothing but making excuses for my slightly less than sexy post-pregnancy bod. Excuses like,  I just had a baby. My body's still trying to recover. Plus, I'm tired. And stressed. I don't have time to brush my hair, let alone exercise. And my perennial favorite: I'm focusing on my baby right now. Who cares what I look like?

I care, that's who. Although he'd never admit it, I'm pretty sure my husband does to. After all, he's the one who has to look at me (I know, honey, you think I'm hot no matter how heavy I am, blah, blah, blah).

But you know what? That's not even the point. The point is that I don't feel good at this weight. I don't have as much energy, or as much stamina, as I should. I'm certainly not doing my heart any favors.

And that little girl? The one I've been focusing on 100 percent? Needs a mommy who's a good role model. One who's healthy, and fit, and able to keep up with her. One who's proud of her body, and can teach her to feel good about herself - by providing a good example.

So, I'm done, Internet. Done making excuses. Starting today, I'm getting down to business. I'm going to start taking my Weight Watchers Online membership seriously. Exercising at least three days a week. And  re-developing the healthy habits that help make me feel comfortable in my own skin.

I owe it to myself. And to the baby girl who gave me this belly in the first place.

And, because I can't seem to do anything privately anymore (is blogging an addiction?), I'm going to share the journey with all of you.

I'm not telling you how much I weigh - I'm not feeling that brave. Suffice it to say that I weigh more than my husband does (cringe). And my measurements? Okay, I'm not feeling that brave either. Maybe I'll share those in a couple months - when they're slightly less scary.

Instead, I'm starting another blog, called Banishing the Baby Belly. That's where I'll write about my successes, challenges, and share inspiration (when I find it). And each Saturday, I'll  let you know how much I've lost (both here and there).

If anybody out there wants to join in, I'd be happy to have you. I'm a firm believer that misery shared is slightly less painful than misery borne alone. we go. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Glimpse Inside a Kitty Brain.

My cat, Oliver, routinely engages in some pretty bizarre behavior. Behavior that leaves me scratching my head and wondering what on earth could possibly be going on inside his little kitty brain. So today, I sat down to ask him.

ME: Oliver, why on earth did you just pee in the bathroom sink? Your litter box is clean...which is more than I can say for the sink.

OLIVER: Have you ever tried peeing in a dark box, inside an even darker closet? You can't see what you're doing, man!

ME: So, if I put a light in there, you'd use it more consistently?

OLIVER: Not really. I like watching it go down the drain.

ME: But you're a cat! You're supposed to like to bury your business!

OLIVER: Not me.  I don't like how the sand feels when it gets stuck under my claws.

ME: Is that why Kiwi always has to cover up your poo for you?

OLIVER: That, and I like to make him do things for me. He's my bitch, you know.

ME: You shouldn't talk that way about your brother. He loves you.

OLIVER: Yeah, that's cuz I'm so dang cute. When you look like I do, you can get away with anything.

ME: I wouldn't say that. If you keep scratching the molding, your dad is going to make you live in the garage.

OLIVER: He wouldn't dare.

ME: I don't know...when you peed in the crib, it was all I could do to keep him from throwing you out of the house.

OLIVER: I was just making it smell nice for her!

ME: Do you really expect me to believe that?



OLIVER: Okay, so I was mad. You bring home this stinking, screaming thing that totally monopolizes your lap 24/7 and you want me to be happy about it?

ME: Life is hard. Get used to it.

OLIVER: But I'M supposed to be the baby of this family.

ME: We all have to grow up sometime.

OLIVER: (pouts)

ME:  Oh, don't look at me like that. You're still one of the most spoiled animals on the face of the planet and you know it.

OLIVER: But do you still love me?

ME: Of course I do, you silly cat. You'll always be my favorite little fuzzy guy.

OLIVER: Then can I have a treat?

ME: You've already had five!

OLIVER: You'd give me more if you really loved me.

ME: Fine. But no more peeing in the sink, okay?

OLIVER: Okay. No more peeing in the sink. Today.

ME: I guess that's all I can ask.

This post was inspired by a prompt from Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Head on over there and see what other people did with this week's assignment...or play along yourself!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Landmark Day on This Little Blog.

One year ago today, I wrote the very first entry on this little blog of mine. That's right. I've been at this a whole year. That might not mean much to most of you, but it's quite an accomplishment for me.

I'm famous for abandoning things almost as soon as I start them. Like what? Well, knitting, for one. I asked for a whole bunch of books one year, got myself some hooks and some yarn, sat down to knit a scarf...and put them down a half hour later, never to be picked up again.

Vegetarianism, astrology, running, yoga, sketch comedy writing...all are things I've enthusiastically embraced—and then discarded. But blogging? Blogging is different. Blogging makes me a better writer. A better employee. A happier person.

I've heard it said many a time that in order to be a real writer, you have to sit down and actually write for a half hour a day. But until I started this blog, I could never make myself do  it. Sure, I want to write the next great American novel. But I don't have the attention span to actually see it through. My ideas are just not that big.

Five hundred word blog entries, though? Fall out of my brain and through my fingers with ease. And because I have this outlet, this place to play, I get less aggravated by the writing I have to do. The words I get paid to put to paper, er, computer screen. So what if my clients choose to butcher my best work? I can come here and be as good (or as sucky) as I please.

That's refreshing.

Plus, because I can vomit out all my worst moods here on the bloggin' screen, there's not as much bottled up inside my head. And my brain? Can get quite crowded indeed. Now that there's a little space in there, I think I'm a little easier to live with. I know I'm not quite as likely to go into total shutdown mode—a state that frustrates my husband to no end.

And that's a very good thing indeed.

So this blog will live on into its second year. In fact, I start to feel itchy if I miss a day of posting, so I anticipate things will continue to be lively around here. Thank you to all of you who take time out of your day to read my random thoughts—I appreciate you more than I know.

I'd do this even if no one was listening—but, I'll be honest. My heart leaps every time you take the time to comment. I pore over my Google Analytics every day, and I do a little dance every time I get a new subscriber.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. All of you. I promise to try even harder this year to be worthy of your attention. You rock.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Top Ten Signs You're Getting Older.

I don't know if you guys heard, but Patrick Swayze just died. Patrick Swayze. Of Dirty Dancing hotness. When did I get old enough for the crushes of my teenage years to start dying off? I guess I really am getting older.

That's not the only sign, either. Want to hear some more? Of course you do.

The music you grew up with is on the oldies station. The other day I heard Bon Jovi. On the oldies station. Bon Jovi, ladies and gentlemen. I've also heard Van Halen and Madonna. It made me want to cry real tears.

The fashion of your teenage years is back in style. First leggings. Then acid washed jeans. Can Esprit bags and bodysuits be far behind? If mall bangs come back, I'm moving to another country.

The pop stars of your youth are dangerously close to being able to claim Social Security. Madonna is 50. Steven Tyler is...well, I don't know how old he is. But he looks old. Too old to be the rock star I remember.

The newly hired college grads at work look like little kids. They "say" they're 22. I think maybe they must have skipped a grade or three. Fake IDs are getting better all the time, you know.

You find yourself saying, "I remember when..." I remember when I could fill up my car for ten bucks. When I could drink my weight in beer and still get up and go to work the next day. When my boobs defied gravity - no push-up bra required. When... if you can fill in the blanks, you're old.

You buy a pair of pants you think look good, and then realize they're mom jeans. Not that I've ever done that or anything. And I didn't rush them back to the store before my husband could see them and laugh. Nope, not me.

You watch the MTV VMA Awards, and spend half the show thinking, "who the hell is that?" I thought I was pretty on top of things. That show proved me wrong (BTW, Kanye? You really are a shit).

You stop buying acne medicine and start buying anti-wrinke cream. Unless you're me. Then you buy acne medicine with anti-wrinkling agents in it (damn skin).

You head upstairs, into the next room (pick your destination), and then forget why you're there.  At first, I thought it was the pregnancy. Now I just think my brain cells are dying off.

And the number one way you know you're getting older is...

The people you would have deemed "ancient" ten years ago now seem young. Forty? Heck, that's the new 21, isn't it? Sure it is. I'm not six years away from being Over the Hill. Am I? Don't answer that!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Virtual Temper Tantrum.

Right now, I wish I could take myself back about 30 years. To the point where I'm, I dunno, three? Old enough to talk, but not too old to throw myself down on the floor, flail my hands and feet, and SCREAM!

I'm tired, Internet.

I'm tired of living in a messy house.

Tired of having three-foot high mounds of laundry to do.

And five-foot mounds of laundry to fold.

Tired of having a dirty kitchen.

Especially when it comes to the mysterious smell in the refrigerator.

Tired of looking at the spit-up stains on my clothes, the furniture...even the carpet.

Tired of being fat.

And of being too tired to do something about being fat.

Tired of working myself to the bone.

And of being too afraid of losing my job to complain about it.

Tired of being broke.

So tired of being broke.

And of feeling guilty for complaining about being broke, because, you know, at least we both have jobs, and a steady income, when so many don't.

So yeah, I'm tired of this recession, too.

And of the stupid ass debate over health care reform. We need it. End of story (I say that even though I WORK in health care advertising!).

And of the even stupider ass idiots who can't get over their racist selves and admit that Obama in no way resembles Hitler (I mean, really? Did you guys GO to History class?).

I'm tired of feeling like I'm trying to do too much, and failing at everything.

I'm. Just. Tired. TIRED.

And I'm not ready for it to be Monday tomorrow. 


And even though when I look back at this post I'm probably going to regret writing it, I feel a little better now.

Temper tantrum over.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sleeping Beauty.

Tori's asleep in her crib, arms thrown up over her head, legs splayed out in that bowlegged position only babies can manage. As she dreams, her little mouth twitches and smiles dart across her face.

She is beautiful.

I rest my hand on her chest, taking comfort in the rhythm of her breath. I want to take her warm body in my arms and cuddle her close, breathing in her sweet baby scent, but I know it would be selfish to wake her.

She looks so small, lying there, so fragile. I think of all the mothers who lost their children on this day eight years ago, and my heart breaks for them. How is it possible to survive that pain? Just the thought of it takes my breath away.

I wish I could keep her with me, safe from harm, always. I wish I could promise her that the world will be good to her all the days of her life. I'm not a religious woman, but as I stand over her sleeping form, I send up wordless prayers, beseeching the powers above to watch over her and handle her with care.

I lean down to kiss her forehead and she stirs, her hand reaching up toward my face. I close my eyes, cherishing the moment, and then pull away.

She needs her rest. I'll have to trust that the power of my love will protect her until morning's light.

I just posted this to Real Life's Your Life, Your Blog link-up...go check it out and discover some more bloggy loveliness!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home Is...

I've lived in Indiana for almost four years now. I haven't lived in Detroit for almost five. But when I talk about "home," it's Motown I'm referring to.

Part of the reason, of course, is that my family is still there. All of my family. My parents still own the house I grew up in. When we stay with them, I still sleep in my old room. I drive the same roads, shop at (most) of the same stores, even eat at the same places.

It's all comfortingly familiar.

My oldest and best friends all live in Detroit too. Sure, I've made friends here, but none of those relationships go as deep, or have as firm a grip on my heart. I cherish every hour I get to spend with these special women.

But "home" is more than that.

It's the sound of a familiar DJ's voice on the radio.

It's the snap of cold that brings a flush to my face when I let my dog out at night.

It's bouncing through the potholes that litter the roads like land mines.

It's seeing more shiny new cars than a town as depressed as this one should be able to handle.

It's the exhaustion that comes after spending a day with all my nearest and dearest...

And the flash of anger that surfaces when someone I love irritates the heck out of me.

It's spending an hour chatting with my mom...

And two or three more at the mall.

I'm not always my best self while at home, but I am my real self. And that? Is what makes home, home. No matter how long I'm gone, I'll always miss it. Part of me will always wish I could go back - to stay.

But let's face it. That's not likely to happen anytime soon. And come February? Southern Indiana is a much nicer (and warmer) place to be.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday.

Well, not quite wordless. These gorgeous pics of my baby girl were taken by a good friend of mine over the weekend, and, well, I had to share. She also does weddings, so if you need a good photographer in the Detroit area, let me know. I'll hook you up.

Now, on to the Tori cuteness...


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Don't Take Away Our Children's Right to Think.

I don’t usually talk about politics here. I am a die-hard, bleeding heart liberal, but I respect everyone’s right to think differently than me—and I don’t presume to have all (or any of) the right answers.

But the latest Obama-related outrage? The one where parents didn’t want to let their children hear the speech he gave to schools today? I don’t get it. In fact, it makes me all kinds of angry.

Your children are in school to learn. To be exposed to differing viewpoints and opinions. By refusing to allow them access to Obama’s speech, you are denying them their right to make up their own minds about what they believe. You’re teaching them that there’s no point in listening to people they don’t agree with. You’re showing them (by your actions), that it’s okay to be ignorant. And that? Is not acceptable.

This is the United States of America, people. An absolute commitment to free speech (and free thought) is one of our founding principles. Why would you teach your children to believe in anything less?

Of course, all this is assuming that there was anything actually objectionable in the speech. Anything political. But to my mind, there wasn’t. If you haven’t read, seen or heard it yet, go do it now. Then come back.

What did you think? I, for one, think kids could benefit from hearing things like:

“We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.”


“Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.”

And can someone please tell me how this statement, “even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country,” is an expression of socialism?

It sounds an awful lot like another famous quote we’ve all heard. You know the one. The one that goes, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

That's just my two cents.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Weekend's Puzzle: How to Pack for a Road Trip with an Infant.

We just returned from a trip to the Homeland.  Usually, when I know I’m heading up to Michigan, I start thinking about what to pack a couple of days beforehand, but realistically? Clothes and toiletries get thrown in a bag about 30 minutes before we leave.

But now? Now there’s Victoria. I never realized how much stuff she needs until I started putting together a To Do (or to pack) list.

She needs clothes, of course. She also needs bottles. And bottle liners. And nipples. And formula. And rice cereal. Oh, and bibs (she’s a champion drooler/spitter). Which means she also needs burp cloths.

So, now we’ve got her clothed and fed. Which means she’s going to pee and poop. Better add diapers, wipes and a changing pad to the list.

Given the explosive poop she’s so good at expelling, she’s also going to need a bath. So now we’ve got a bag of towels, wash cloths, soap and bath toys to add to the pile.

She also needs a place to sleep. Luckily, my parents went ahead and bought a crib for her. But when we’re home, we’re out and about. A lot. And she naps rather frequently. So the Pack n’ Play still needed a spot in the car.

By the time we got to the entertaining-the-baby part of the list, my luggage pile was chest high. And have I mentioned that we took our 60-pound spoiled brat of a mutt, too?

Yeah. So we also had to find room for his food. And toys. And blanket (which is actually a queen-sized comforter).

Plus all our stuff—and we bring a lot of stuff (although my shoe inventory got cut drastically).

I’ll bet you’re thinking I have a big car, right? I thought so too, when I bought it. But it’s not really. A Dodge Caliber is only big when compared to a two-door midget car like my Beetle, or the del sol that came before it.

So fitting everything in the car was a bit of a trick (one that had my hubby swearing). But, at long last, we did make it all fit...and even had room for her car seat. Sure, I spent the entire eight hour trip with my knees in my chest because my seat was pulled so far forward, but who's counting?

I'm thinking our trip home for the holidays might require the rental of a van. A big one.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Top Ten Thursday: Reasons Fall Doesn’t Suck.

Today’s post idea is brought to you by My Messy Paradise. I saw her Top Ten Thursday entry for today and couldn’t help but add my two cents…

I love summer. Love it with a capital L. The heat, the sun, the sandals…all are things that make me happy. But fall? Fall is my second favorite season. If it wasn’t followed so quickly by all the ick that is winter, it might even overtake summer. Here are ten reasons why:

Falling leaves—I love everything about them. The color, the smell, the way they sound crunching under your feet…and I never outgrew my fondness for playing in them. Every year, I make it a point to jump in someone’s neatly raked leaf pile at least once.

Cider and doughnuts—Growing up in Michigan, trips to the cider mill were an essential part of the autumnal experience. Sure, the lines were always long, the bees were always overly plentiful and the prices were exorbitant, but those doughnuts? Were totally worth it.

Halloween—I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the goofy fun that is Halloween. I still make a point to dress up most years, and of course, this year marks the return of trick or treating. So what if she can’t eat candy yet? We’re going!

Cozy sweaters—Sure, I hate having to put real shoes on. But the first day I get to pull one of my favorite old sweaters (ones that would surely get me stoned on What Not to Wear) almost make up for it.

My birthday—What’s not to love? It’s the one day a year that’s all about me!

Fireplaces—I’m echoing My Messy Paradise’s thought here. But I really do love sitting in front of a crackling fire. And now that we have a gas fireplace? All I’ve got to do is flip a switch and fire is mine!

Fresh apples—I know apples are in the grocery store all year round, but I refuse to eat them January through September. They just can’t compare to the juicy crunch of a really fresh apple.

My wedding anniversary—This October, we’ll have been together eleven (mostly) wonderful years, but that beautiful fall day will always remain fresh in my memory.

Chilly nights—I love burrowing under the covers on a cold night, the window bringing the sharp scent of fall into our room. It’s the best sleeping weather ever.

The beginning of hibernation—Most of the time, it’s cold and drab outside. Giving me all the excuse I could ever ask for to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. Oh how I look forward to those days…yes I know I have a baby, but she naps! Don’t disillusion me, people!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Edition of Blog Love.

I had a post all written for tonight. But my husband made me delete it (apparently, it was TMI). So, instead, go read something interesting on these other fabulous blogs. Because I've got nothing. Nada, zilch, nechevo (that's Russian for nothing).

His Boys Can Swim—This couple started their blog when they got pregnant, and are now writing about the first weeks after baby's birth. She's dealing with some post partum depression right now, so go over there and give her some love.

Domestic Dork—I love this one for the name alone. But seriously, it's good snarky fun for everyone who values a little imperfection in their lives.

Bad Mommy Moments—Despite the title, this is a great blog by a very good mommy and all around funny lady.

Miss Britt—Another beautiful blog. Just go read it.

I Should Be Folding Laundry—Great blog with gorgeous pictures.

'Kay. Y'all have your marching orders. Just come back tomorrow, when I will post something my husband won't make me delete. Not that I'm bitter or anything. (yes, he is hiding upstairs, cringing as I slam my fingers into the keyboard...sometimes living with a redhead sucks).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Totally Random Tuesday.

Hello, everyone. And welcome to Random Tuesday in this little corner of the blogosphere.


Did you know swine flu is expected to kill 90,000 people this year? Yeah. I read that shortly after everyone in my house started to come down with a slightly flu-like illness. Internet, do I need to tell you how badly I freaked out at the thought of my not-quite-five-month-old coming down with the swine flu?

I don't think I do. But she doesn't. We don't. Have the pig, that is. It's just a garden variety cold. Or so her pediatrician assured me.

Here's another fun fact. SIDS kills 9 babies in the U.S. every day. I've tried very hard not to think about that particular statistic. But then, last week, someone on my BabyCenter board lost her little one to it. Suddenly,it became very real...

Whooo. This is a downer, isn't it? Here, watch a whistling puppy. It'll cheer you up:

There. Feel better? I do.

So I won't tell you all the useless statistics I know about other things that can kill you (health care advertising? Teaches you a lot of disturbing trivia). Instead, I'll tell you about the cute polka dot pants I bought Tori today. There's a brown fuzzy teddy bear on the butt (to hide other brown stains?).

Baby clothes? Are ridiculously cute. It's a good thing they're cheap, because I could easily spend a small fortune. Oh, and speaking of absolutely freaking adorable, check out this baby costume site. Tori needs one of everything.

Especially these:

Okay, I'm done being random. Don't forget to stop by Keely's place at the Un-Mom for more randomness!