Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Joyriding is overrated

My 30th birthday is in four days. FOUR. That makes this week my birthday week. Which means I can do what I want without consequence. No? Shit, better put that stranger's car back in the spot I found it...

Anyways, today I planned on a big birthday post where I spent time reflecting on my 20s and how they shaped me as a person. Something meaningful I could look back on years from now and feel proud of. But, yeah... that just sounds like an awful lot of work.

I guess that means no (interesting) post for today, because truly, I got nothing. I'll work up something soon though and hit ya'll on the flip side.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ten things you don't care to know

Hold on to your hats ladies and gentleman, we are about to get really close. Today's post is all about getting to know me. Not like this getting to know Liz post from 2008. No, we've moved past these social niceties. This is it baby. This is the weird, wacky and wild side. And quit rolling your eyes and saying, "Duuuuuude, I don't want to know you I just want to read about you farting and failing as a mother and such." Well, if I'm going to share those moments with you, I want to show you ALL my bumps, bruises, warts and oddities that make me, well, me. It might explain a few things... 
  1. I have a fear of running over bags left on the side of the road because I'm afraid there will be body parts in them. Yep, you read it right. I don't know whether to attribute it to too much CSI and Law & Order, or just being a weird sicko, but whenever I see a black garbage bag on the side of the road, I make sure to give it wide berth. I do NOT want to be the one to find a missing person by driving over parts of them.
  2. I love to read trashy romance novels, but I typically skip the sex scenes. I'm not sure why that is, but when the story moves its way to the bedroom (or the car, or the office desk, or whatever location is deemed sexy enough) I start flipping pages to the part where they are lying together post-coitus having some earth shattering emotional conversation. Its not like I'm a prude or something, its just like, jeez, thats kind of personal, you know? And, I mean, yeah they are fictional characters and all, but, lets give them a little privacy here.
  3. I hate to cry in front of people, but I love to cry. Seriously, if no one is around I will tear up at a Cialis commercial. When Ben travels and I have the house to myself, my favorite thing to do is drink a bottle of wine and watch an emotional movie. Like School of Rock. And yes, if you are in the mood to cry, you can even cry to a movie that features Jack Black. Or I will listen to music and write a post about FEELINGS. And then never publish it. It is cathartic. And a little crazy. That is why I do it when I'm alone.
  4. I have the appetite and likes of a twelve year old boy. If I could design an all-you-can-eat buffet, the items on it would include pizza, turkey sandwiches with avocado, potato chips, ranch dressing, chicken wings, nachos, lasagna or any (every) pasta dish, my husband's gumbo, garlic bread, an assortment of cheeses and those cookies that you get at the grocery store -- you know, the kind worth eating out of the trash?
  5. I'm an only child, but am often told I am not a "typical" only child at all. I find immense pleasure in this. Like, I have risen above my bratty upbringing. And then I have a diva moment at home alone with my husband and I know that it is all a well put on act. I am an only child. Through and through. It is SCARY how only I can be.
  6. I used to love all children until I had my own. Now, I'm extremely selective about which kids I'm into. I mean, there are a few kids that I still think are tops, but they are in the minority. Mostly I look at other kids now and just see germ factories, brats and mis-behaved riff-raff. All of which probably also describe my Kate on any given day, but seriously, sun shines out her ass so who cares? (Note -- obviously, if you are reading this I am NOT talking about your children. I'm sure sun shines out their behinds as well, so no offense. This is more focused to the kids at the playground that you just KNOW aren't going to let your kid play tag with the gang b/c she is too young, and it hurts your feelings more than your toddler's feelings and you want to yell YOU GUYS SUCK, but then, that is kind of abusive to shout at a six year old so you hold your tongue OH MY GOD I'M SO ANGRY AT THOSE LITTLE A-HOLES!!!!)
  7. Ahem. Collecting myself and on to number 8.
  8. I'm running out of interesting stuff to talk about. Maybe I'm not as weird as I thought.
  9. I take baths with the shower running (and... we are back). It makes the hot water last longer, it makes the bathroom steamier and it makes a really soothing white noise. I also like to have the shower (or any water) running when I'm going to the bathroom. There is something about utter silence that bothers me, so whether I'm home alone or have guests, that water gets turned on before I hit the porcelain throne.
  10. I turn 30 in exactly nine days. I don't know whether to feel excited or depressed that life is going by so quickly. I hear 30 is the new 20, but I was a mess in my 20s so I certainly don't want to relive all THOSE years again. I think 30 is going to be great. A whole new chapter where I'm a perfect parent and perfect wife, and I figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I feel like I finally, FINALLY know what the hell I'm doing in life. That is what happens when you are 30. Right? RIGHT?
So there you go. (Almost) ten things you probably didn't know about me. And, I'm extremely interested in you too. Tell me, what is something weird or unique about you? You know we all have something... 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


You know when something has been building inside you for quite some time? And then, there is some seemingly innocuous event that sets it off in an explosion so catastrophic no bystander is left untouched? Yeah, I had one of THOSE days yesterday.

I'll start by saying I have a wonderful husband, and we have a wonderful marriage. Just like any lifelong commitment, we are constantly working to grow, change and evolve together. It is a constant work in progress, but we both knew that is what marriage was when we signed up for it.

However, I think one of the hardest things we've gone through to date is the birth of Kate. While she has added unparalleled joy to both of our lives, she also adds a layer of complexity to our relationship as a couple. I've struggled with feelings of inadequacy as a parent, lacking the support and validation that a traditional job provides. Ben has felt more pressure in his new job to be successful and provide for the family. And because of the whirlwind that is life, the discussions and support we should have for one another isn't always there.

This month has been a tough one for us. Ben has brought three distinct things to my attention that made me feel like I was failing in my "job" as a stay at home mother. It would take too much time to go into each item, but needless to say, I felt I was getting a "needs improvement" on my annual review, and that didn't feel good at all.

Going from a competitive and successful professional to a full-time mom has been my greatest challenge. I've always thrived on getting ahead, being good at what I do. I'm used to annual promotions, bonuses and verbal praise from superiors. All things missing in my life at the moment. So when I heard Ben's comments, I heard criticism. I felt defensive, and honestly, devastated. But of course, I said nothing. Our communication had dwindled to surface talks about our days and schedules, and there was no time for talking about feelings or emotions.

So when Ben came home last night with flowers and asked me for a date night, I was ready to bury the hatchet and just have a good time. With Kate sick for the last two weeks, I've been stuck at home and needed some time in the world. We started the drive to our favorite patio and started bantering about random things. At one point, after a particularly bad joke (I admit), Ben said "that wasn't funny." I snapped back that he wasn't funny either. Kind of the "I'm rubber, you are glue" strategy, so obviously not very mature, but I have to admit. I was wounded. Because when you are already raw with negative feelings, it doesn't take much to bring them to the surface.

A few moments later I thought traffic was slowing down and muttered something about hating traffic, and Ben leaned forward and asked, very innocently, "Where is traffic? There isn't any up there."


I. Lost. My. Shit.

I called him passive aggressive. I told him I didn't appreciate being talked to that way. I told him that he wasn't helpful, he was mean, that he said things just to make me feel bad about myself. All the negativity and emotion from the month just boiled to the surface and I spewed my hurt and anger all over him, like a great, heaving, hormonal Mount Vesuvius (Pompeii reference. Anyone? Anyone? Sigh). Of course, this did not go over well. Instead of an apology (which I didn't really deserve), I was faced with Ben's anger. Because he didn't know what he did. And how could he have? I was angry about something completely unrelated to this moment in time.

We rode home in silence and I was able to analyze what I was feeling. Why I had this hot rush of anger when he questioned me about traffic. And I knew. I knew that in my mind, he had been questioning me all month about my decisions, my actions. I realized we had come to this by ignoring our problems, and I felt ashamed.

We skipped dinner and went home. I sat Ben down. I told him what I was feeling. I cried. I laid myself bare. And we really talked. He explained his comments throughout the month, how his personal feelings and stresses led to many of his criticisms. I shared how difficult it was to have no positive reinforcement at home, and how that had led to some of my actions. It was good. We really heard each other, and healed.

And while last night was painful, sometimes its okay to go KABOOM. After the dust settles, things can be better for the explosion.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I mean, for reals. And because I'm too whipped to type a post about how big a SUCK this week has been, I leave you with a picture. Because pictures are worth a thousand words. And a thousand words is pretty substantial for a blog post, so consider this a LONG ASS POST. Happy Weekend!

I call this, "These boots are made for walking, oh, and for getting sick and spreading my germs and crabbiness all over this house you poor, poor suckers."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A craft for the totally un-crafty: Blackboard Pumpkins

So I may have mentioned that October is my favorite month (ha). And one of my favorite things about October is pumpkin. Pumpkin patches, pumpkin pancakes (a seasonal treat at our favorite diner) and pumpkin carving. In fact, I used to host an annual pumpkin carving party each year -- a booze-filled shindig that went on hiatus the year I was pregnant, and which I just haven't had the energy to reinstate since (do you know how much work it is to prep for 30 drunk folks to wield KNIVES in your house? Add to that the interior guts of a pumpkin and you get quite a messy party).

So naturally, I've been really excited to share my pumpkin love with Kate. However, I've watched that chick with a fork and there is NO WAY she is touching a carving knife. And all the little stick-on kits I've seen at craft stores are for kiddos three and up. And while pumpkin PAINTING could have been an option, last time we used paint I ended up washing her mouth out with soap.

So, you guys, I swear on everything holy I came up with a craft idea ALL ON MY OWN. Yeah. THIS gal. Who can't bake bread, sew a button or build a spooky cookie house. And I'm pretty proud of it. Below is a tutorial on how to make Blackboard Pumpkins -- a decorating treat for the pre-preschool set.

Head on over to your local craft store and pick up a couple fumpkins (fake pumpkins) and some chalkboard spray paint (maybe the coolest thing ever invented).  You could probably use real pumpkins, but these are so light that Kate has taken to toting her pumpkin everywhere she goes, which is cuter than her dragging a rotting gourd around with her throughout the month. And PS, I have a picture of the spray paint can, but it is ugly, and if you can't figure out what chalkboard spray paint is when it says it RIGHT THERE ON THE CAN... you shouldn't be working with flammable materials anyways.
Prop your pumpkins on something so that you can spray underneath. These mini clay pots I found in my garage worked gangbusters. 
And spray! Make sure to coat them fully and then put on a second coat after 24 hours to ensure chalkboardy goodness.
Let dry for 24 hours and then let the kiddo loose!
I don't have a picture of Kate looking at the camera, because as soon as she saw the pumpkins and chalk she said "OOOOO" and we lost her for a good 20 minutes.
The artist at work.
Deep concentration is needed here. When your toddler has the attention span of a gnat and she focuses on something for more than 2 minutes, I would call it a success. Blackboard Pumpkins? SUCCESS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Strengths and (stomach) weaknesses

Hello peeps! Sorry I've been MIA this week, but we've been fighting the great stomach bug of death around here. And while you know I have an odd penchant for describing every bodily fluid-filled moment of life with a kiddo, I don't even have the energy to recount the various times I've thrown up or been thrown up on in the last five days.

Okay, wait though. There is this ONE story...

I'll make it brief, but it shows the distinct difference between a dad who DIDN'T spend an entire 24 hours getting puked on by a kiddo last flu season v. a hardened veteran of projectile vomit.

Every night we split bedtime duties. Ben reads to Kate while she drinks a glass of milk, and then I do bath time. Usually during story time, I'll be picking up Kate's toys or some other mundane chore, but this special day, I had decided to lock myself in the study to surf the Internet. Which made it hard to hear when Ben was screaming my name from Kate's nursery at the other end of the house. I thought I heard something so I stopped typing and poked my head out of the study to listen. I then heard my frantic husband yelling while my baby wails. My first thought is that she had seriously hurt herself so I go running through the house and slam open her door. I see her sitting on Ben's lap bawling. He is looking seriously stressed. But I don't see blood or anything, so I'm all "What in the WORLD is wrong?!" to which he gives me a look that says "You have GOT to be shitting me" and says all indignant like "SHE THREW UP ON ME. SEEEEEEEE THROW UUUUUPPPPPP."

Kate throws up and my husband is shocked into inaction. Like, the only thing he could think to do was call ME. Because obviously I am an expert at dealing with puke. Just call me the Vominator. 

So I swoop in and grab Kate to cuddle her and try to make her a little less hysterical and give Ben a moment to collect himself. I feel her little body heave and I'm all, "Here we go ladies and gentleman" and I pull her back just the slightest bit so she would throw up on me instead of over my shoulder onto her rug, crib and other things that would take more than shower to get clean. I immediately head to the bathroom where she again soaks me. Sweeeet, I needed one more for the road. I strip Kate down and climb into the shower with her and finally get her to calm down.

Ben in the meantime, was spurred into action and was cleaning off the chair, the floor and himself. He even did a load of puke laundry. So while I may give him a little grief for just sitting there with a vomit soaked toddler until help arrived, he at least was an awesome hazmat crew.

I guess we all have to be good at something. Ben sweetie, you complete me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Best month ever

Did I ever mention that October is my favorite month? Not only is it my birthday month, and, I mean, YAY TO BEING BORN, but it is also just intrinsically rad, with rad activities like dressing up, asking strangers for candy and playing with pumpkins. (And yes, I just said RAD twice in a sentence. Sue me). I mean, it is only October 6 and I've already taken Kate to a pumpkin patch, helped her build a spooky cookie house and started an AWESOME project that includes chalkboard paint, fumpkins (fake pumpkins) and a little bit of HELL YEAH.

I really love October.

But I feel like I'm trying to cram it all in. By November 1, pumpkin patches, spooky decorations, costumes and the excitement that comes with the start of fall will be over. Instead, we have Thanksgiving to look forward to. And yes, I can blab on about how those pesky pilgrims had a festive lunch with the Indians before robbing them blind, and we can make turkeys by tracing our hands and gluing feathers to construction paper, but seriously. BORING.

So we have 24 days left to make this the best month ever. What are YOU going to do to make it count?

Who would have thought that putting a totally edible craft in front of a toddler would be a bad idea? Seriously, who would have known she would want to actually EAT the chocolate cookie house? And the candy corn decorations? And the fondant that tasted like Laffy Taffy? And the black icing/glue? Yeah, probably anyone who gave it 1 second of thought would know this was a disaster waiting to happen.

What? What do you MEAN I'm not supposed to eat this? You mean to tell me that we are spreading all this yummy icing all over these fantastic chocolate cookies so that we can build an EDIBLE house that we will put up on the counter and NEVER ACTUALLY EAT?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Falling into the GAP

Okay, its not like I'm about to get all Toddlers and Tiaras up in here, but OH MY GOD KATE IS GOING TO BE A GAP MODEL!!! Sorry, wait. Need to slow my roll there. Maybe I should relax, regroup and rephrase. Ahem. Okay, so I'm THINKING about entering Kate in the babyGap model search. Because isn't it every toddler's dream (read: stage parent) to be in a Gap advertisement? I mean, J.C. Penney's -- eh. But GAP... I mean, come on. It is GAP people.

Its okay, I hate myself just a little bit right now too. In fact, as I hear the school bus bump down the street, I'm VERY close to throwing myself in front of it. But if I can't be honest with you guys, who CAN I share my very black soul with? 

But seriously, here is the honest truth -- I think my baby girl is the most stunning, hilarious, endearing thing on the face of the planet. Her personality just SHINES through. So of course, when I saw a Tweet about the babyGap model search, I nearly lost my shizz. Because it is SO OBVIOUS, they are desperately seeking Kate. They just don't know it yet. 

Oh crap. This is how Lindsay Lohan got HER start, isn't it? I may have to reconsider all this nonsense. But if I DO enter her, I have the perfect picture. Because, who can resist black teeth and crossed eyes? Yep, its official. This is the winner -- RIGHT HERE.

Monday, October 4, 2010

When the bad mom comes out to play

Today is Monday, and I'm feeling like a big, wretched crank. It started last night, and has swiftly gone down hill into "You don't deserve to be a parent, you poor excuse for a mother" territory.

 It started last night when little Miss Sunshine decided to wake up between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., and the only thing that could soothe the beast was watching repeated episodes of Diego (GOUGE EYES OUT NOW).

Flash forward to this morning, and Kate and I were at odds over everything. A lack of sleep was definitely a factor, and it made us both a little crazy. She dropped a little person -- scream crying. She wasn't being held while I made coffee -- scream crying. She stubbed her toe -- scream crying. I wanted her to eat breakfast instead of watching any more TV (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD) -- scream crying. I finally stomped out of the room like a toddler myself just to make sure I wouldn't start scream crying myself, which led to a full-on hissy fit (her, not me). Which then led to ANOTHER full-on hissy fit (me this time). From the other room, I yelled "Why can't you JUST STOP CRYING?!?!" Which, yes, you are right, is REAL mature of me. And of course, worked gang busters if my goal was to make my sobbing little girl sob just a TEENY TINY BIT HARDER.


I had to give myself a quick pep talk, including a promise that there was a new pair of shoes waiting for me if I could just make it through the day without giving my kid something to tell her therapist 20 years from now. And its amazing. As soon as I picked up Kate to soothe her, all was forgiven -- I was suddenly the word's best mom, at least in her eyes. Talk about unconditional and uncomplicated love. I felt like a jerk. So for the next hour I caved on the TV front and we watched some Nick JR. snuggled up in the couch together.

What happened in the first three hours of YOUR day today?

Friday, October 1, 2010

On my mind

I remember when I was a teenager everything seemed so very real, so very intense. The moments we were in meant everything. When your heart was broken, or your friends had betrayed you, or your parents didn't understand you, it felt like your whole world was ending. Those moments felt life defining, so much so that our futures seemed too distant, too unreal, too hard to see.

This week there have been several high-profile stories about children committing suicide. From ages twelve to eighteen, these lives were ended before they truly even began. These kids felt different, misunderstood, bullied and alone. They were told by peers over and over that they were not worthy. And they believed it.

Bullying. Hate. Fear. As adults we struggle to deal with these kinds of emotional and physical attacks, but a child shouldn't have to face them. Children, teenagers, they only see and feel the right now. They only know the pain and the embarrassment and they don't see the bigger picture. They turn in and isolate instead of seeking help and support. They choose death, because in their young, young minds they see it as the only option. It breaks my heart.

As much as I fear for Kate and pray that she is never the victim of hate, anger or fear I equally pray that she is never the person who inflicts that kind of pain on another person. I pray we raise her to live in love, to practice tolerance and acceptance, to celebrate life as a gift and to value each precious individual as unique and special.

Just something that has been on my mind today.