NYE Energy Boost

I cannot, CANNOT, believe that this is the last day of the year. This has been quite the big year, what with our baby turning one, buying a house and related accoutrements, both Aaron and I being ridiculously busy at work, and a wonderful, beautiful daughter who absolutely refuses to sleep most of the time. Add to that Gabbie being sick twice in the past three weeks, and to say that we're exhausted would be a bit of an understatement.

But! The last two nights Gabbie graced us with full nights of sleep, I finished up and submitted two big reports by yesterday at 10 a.m., and I'm hopped up on all kinds of caffeine. I'm rip roaring and ready to go, which is a good thing, because I have quite the to-do list to tackle today, including laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and fitting this all in around Gabbie's nap schedule (ha!). I'm shooting for 5:00 to have it all done so I can look relaxed when Aaron returns from work. We'll see how it goes.

Somewhat related, since I'm working on making some right, I have a somewhat surprising confession to make. Until last weekend, I had never in my life eaten a deviled egg. Then I ate about a dozen of them, and I'm obsessed. So, I'm trying my hand at them today, in addition to making pot stickers, Asian turkey lettuce wraps, and some sort of dessert. I know the eggs don't exactly go with the rest of the meal, but I've been having a mad craving for them, so I'm making them fit somehow.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve, however you celebrate, and a very peace-filled and Happy New Year!

Goals for the New Year

So, I decided instead of doing resolutions this year, I'm going to make a sort of life-list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2010. Seems like a good year to cross a few things off my list, or at least as good as any. I'm excited for the new year so I can get started! Here are the first 5 things on my list (you'll notice that I am going to have a very, very busy year, and I'm alright with that).

1. Eat vegetarian for a month (we're going to attempt this in January)
2. Read 50 books this year.
3. Train for and run a 5K
4. Decorate my house (it still has that just moved-in feeling with nothing on the walls)
5. Get a babysitter at least once a month so Aaron and I can have date nights

I think I can do this. I'm ready to kick butt in the new year!

One week, both ends of the spectrum

The beginning of last week was an absolute nightmare. Wait, no, let me correct that. The nightmare actually began on two days earlier on Saturday night right around bedtime. Gabbie had a hard time going to sleep (which is incredibly unusual for her), but once she was finally down we were hopeful she was asleep enough to sleep all night. Hope was dashed when she woke up 30 minutes later, and then proceeded to wake up every 30 to 40 minutes the rest of the night. She was acting like her mouth hurt, so we thought maybe she was teething (even though she's a great teether, and usually we don't know she's getting a tooth until it's already broken through - sorry I don't mean to brag).

The next morning, in my haze, I noticed she had some raised white blister-like spots in her mouth. My thoughts turned immediately to hand, foot, and mouth disease since it has been going around her daycare. We did what we could to alleviate her pain and malaise, and basically gave her whatever made her happy all day. Sunday night was a repeat of the night previous, and we had already decided we would be keeping her home for the two days that week we had planned to send her in to daycare.

But by Monday afternoon we started to get more concerned, because she had refused to eat or drink anything all day, and the few bites or sips we had tricked her into taking had resulted in tears and a hand covering her mouth. We were also (selfishly, I know) starting to get worried about our planned vacation. We had already cancelled plans to go anywhere but were still hoping to drop Gabbie off at my parents' house to get a few days respite (and catch up on missed sleep).

We called the doctor with our concerns, and she asked us to bring her in during their evening office hours and we were semi-happy to learn that she didn't have HFM, but were also sad to hear she had caught a common virus that causes canker and cold sores. She had about 7 canker sores in her mouth, hence why she wouldn't eat or drink anything. It hurt!

With the medicine we got for her, she improved quickly, and we were able to drop her off at my parents' as planned. The weekend ended as good as the beginning of the week was bad. That is, to say, that we had a fantastic time. We never ran out of things to talk about, something I had worried would happen. We used the time to really reconnect and rediscovered that best friend that had been missing and replaced by a co-parent. We really had a lot of fun, even though most of the time was spent shopping for Christmas gifts. Aaron made sure I didn't have to cook once (except for some oreo and nutter butter truffles for gifts), and took me out for some truly fantastic meals. We slept through the night three nights in a row. We even got to go bowling (if you catch my drift). A few times.

Like I said, wonderful. Then we went and picked up Gabbie, who was thrilled to see us, and spent the night hanging out with my parents and playing board games. It was hard to go back to work yesterday morning, but at least I had a few great days under my belt to bolster me through the rest of the work days this year. If only every other week could be vacation week my life would be pretty damn near perfect.

Day School Lunching

Over the summer, during a weekend trip to my parents' house, I noticed something familiar in the toy basket my mom puts out for Gabbie. It's red, plastic handle was sticking up over the top of the basket. My lunch box from elementary school - a red model with Care Bears on the front. I think I got it in the first grade; I can remember getting it from the shelf in the closet above where we hung our coats, and those were the first grade closets, so it must be. It had a matching thermos, long since missing, and I loved it.

It's strange I remember it so well, because it's likely that it was rarely used. I went to a small, parochial school and we had excellent hot lunch cooked by some of the older ladies that attended the attached church. But I definitely have strong memories tied to it. Like the time I had yogurt in my lunch box and couldn't finish it all. It was a Yoplait, so I just stuck the metal top back on top and threw it in my box and then into my book bag. Yet, I was completely surprised when I got home and everything was covered in a thick layer of strawberry yogurt.

At the time I was in elementary school, Ziplock bags were made in my home town, and since my dad worked for the company (as did most of the dads and moms in town), we got the bags for cheap. Taking care of the earth wasn't as much as a priority as it is these days, but I can still remember one day when a teacher praised one of my fellow second graders for rinsing out her bag, and carefully folding it and putting it back in her lunch box so that it could be re-used the next day. I think it was more of a praise for not wasting something that could be reused so as to save money rather than to save the earth, but I made an effort to save my bags after that. I even made a big production out of it, wanting to be singled out for doing something good as well, but I never got the same kind of praise.

I rarely had the latest, hottest toys or clothes back then. My parents are the king and queen of frugal, so we got things that were useful and used them until their usefullness had ended, but I had that Care Bear lunch box at the height of Care Bear popularity. When they stopped being popular, I begged my mom for a different box, but no dice. I took to carefully drawing the cartoon character du jour on a brown paper bag and taking that instead on the rare occassions I packed a lunch, usually on fish sticks day. And never on spaghetti day. Spaghetti day was the bomb!

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I'm participating in {W}rite-of-Passage - taking the challenge to write well.

I have been gone for far too long

I promise to work on some better content tonight, but for now you get random numbered points.

1. I finally finished one of the two big work things I had to accomplish before I leave on vacation. Well, kind of finished. The first draft is off my desk for now, and I'm waiting on edits, but still. It's not my responsibility for a few days and it feels great.

2. I've had a sore throat for multiple weeks now, so I went to the doctor to make sure there wasn't anything seriously wrong. I just have to say that as someone who has had allergy issues their whole life, you think I would recognize allergy issues when they arose. But, no. I had to go spend the co-pay to have the doctor tell me that I was having allergy issues and to go buy Claritin and a neti pot already.

3. I'm a little nervous about using a neti pot. My transformation to crunchy hippie just took a big step forward.

4. I'm only making three kinds of Christmas cookies this year, but I'm having trouble deciding on which three to make. I only have one day between now and Christmas to do the baking, though, so it's a totally reasonable decision. Unlike the 10 different batches I normally make. I'm insane when it comes to holiday baking.

5. I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. I've barely stopped to breathe lately, so it's understandable, but when I realized I honly have about 2 weeks to Christmas, I may have started to hyperventilate. Just a little. (OMG THERE'S NO WAY I CAN GET EVERYTHING DONE IN TIME!)

6. I think this vacation we're taking is the best idea we've ever had. I need one. Desperately.

Excuses, excuses

I know I've been absent here since I flaked on NaBloPoMo, but I do have a valid reason - I'm working my butt off in order to get two big tasks off my desk before my anniversary trip. If I don't get them done, I don't go, and since they involve writing all day, every day (I'm even sitting in bed working right this very moment; well, I'm blogging this moment, but you know what I mean), I don't have much tolerance for writing once I get home.

Plus, I also have to get one done before I can have my birthday party this weekend and Aaron will KILL me if I don't help get the house ready for the party Saturday night, which means no planning to work on Saturday. So, yeah. I'm no fun right now, but only so I can have copious amounts of fun later. During five days alone with my husband.

I can't wait!

Times like this make me happy I have a child who hates to have her hands dirty

I've been running around this afternoon, cleaning up the house and making dinner so Aaron comes home to a clean, delicious smelling house. He had to work today and I didn't, so I had to make it up to him somehow.

Anyway, that's not the point of this story. I was doing my thing and Gabbie was quietly playing in the family room. She entertains herself so well, and when she wants attention she comes and asks for it. I was in the kitchen when I heard the pitter patter of little feet coming up behind me. I turned around to see what she needed, and she held up her hand to me, to show me there was something on it that needed to be washed off.

Oh, yeah. It was poop. She had a major poopsplosion, and was offended that it had made it onto her hands. Since she doesn't like dirty hands, she came to show me and have me clean them up instead of *gag* licking them or something. Gross. Thankfully she was also sitting inside a box when the offense occurred, so the mess was contained to the box, her hands, and the waistline of her pants.

We immediately made it up to the bathroom where she was stripped, wiped, bathed, and the messy clothes were deposited in the washer to rinse out. And I only sort of gagged once, so hooray for me too.

Now we're playing again, the lasagna I was making for dinner is safely in the oven, and the house smells amazing. Although, it totally could have gone the other way.

Things I'm thankful I'll be eating tomorrow:

Cheesy potato casserole
Aaron's family's traditional corn casserole (even though there are only about two of us that like this, they still make it every year)
Green bean casserole
Stuffing
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Crispix Mix
Caramel Apple Salad (possibly - I haven't decided if I'm making it yet)

I really can't wait for tomorrow afternoon when I get to hang out with family and dig in to all the delicious food!

I totally suck at this

I forgot to post on Friday night, and chose to sleep instead. So, I'm out of the running for NaBloPoMo. I really do suck at remembering to post every day in November. Of course, it doesn't help that November is typically one of my busiest months.

This weekend was wonderful though; busy, but it also seemed to take it's time. It was a nice, long weekend full of fun things. Like my new shiny birthday present from Aaron - an iPhone. I love it, and it is distinctly possible that my thumbs ache from overuse of the phone this weekend.

In addition to the iPhone excitement, I went to see New Moon with a friend last night (SPOILERS AHEAD), and we both agreed that it was much better than the first Twilight movie, but also that people are way more into the Twilight thing than we are. People gasped the first time Jacob took off his shirt, cheered when Bella stopped Edward from stepping into the sun, and were in tears at the end when Edward proposed. When the Jacob-related gasping happened my friends and I burst out laughing, and may have gotten evil glares from a few Twi-hards around us. And, perhaps not surprisingly, there were as many middle-aged women as teenagers doing the gasping. Not that I can talk, I mean, I did pay cash money to go see the movie on opening weekend, and was really excited to do so.

Overall, it was a great weekend and a great start to my birthday week (yes, I get a week, what of it? I turn 30 this year!). Even though I'm hella busy this week, I'm happy that this particular week is finally here. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Test

Ignore this.

I'm having another one of those days where I need to think happy thoughts

Here are a few things I'm excited about that are happening in the very near future:
1) We're taking Gabbie to her very first movie this weekend. I think we're going to go to Planet 51, and we're going to the 11:10 show, since I'm guessing it will be a younger/smaller audience. We'll see how she does. Matinee prices also mean we won't be out as much if she decides the theatre experience is not yet for her.
2) Thanksgiving. I'm not cooking this year, but I am making pies. We're going to Aaron's cousin's house, and his aunt typically buys pies, but I figure once a year isn't too much to make a bunch of pies so I volunteered. I'm making pumpkin, apple crumb, and sweet potato. Yum!
3) A week from Sunday I turn 30. Aaron's taking me out to dinner at a new fancy restaurant in town that has been getting rave reviews. Then a week later he's throwing me a big bash at the house. I love a party, so I can't wait.
4) We're going on vacation, alone together, for our 5th anniversary the week before Christmas. It will be 4 days of togetherness. We're heading to a ski resort, and I'm guessing we'll try a little skiing (neither of us ever has before, but we're all for new experiences), but I'm also guessing we'll spend most of our time sleeping. What can I say; we're exciting vacationners.

Although this did make me think of one thing I'm not excited about - only about 4 weeks until Christmas and I have yet to buy a single gift. I'm going to have to get on that!

I don't know if the good outweighs the bad, but I guess I'll survive

Today was definitely one of those days, but then two things happened: I remembered tonight is the final of America's Next Top Model, and Aaron made me my favorite comfort food dinner. Macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, not to mention chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven for dessert. Have I got a great guy or what?

I also made the executive decision that I'm going to bed early tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Uninspired (also sick)

I'm feeling the need to get my rear into bed right about now, so I thought I'd just share something that made me smile. Enjoy!

My weekend by the numbers

(Idea shamelessly stollen from the Rude Cactus)

2: Number of nights in a row we ate pizza.

6: Loads of laundry done

6: Also the number of bags Aaron filled up with leaves raked yet again from our back yard (it would be nice if they would all fall at once instead of over many weeks.) We were busy yesterday!

0: Number of baked goods I made, which is unusual for me.

1: Number of times I ran the dishwasher, also unusual for me on the weekends. Usually it's at least 3 due to all the cooking I do.

162: Number of times Gabbie ran around me in circles. Literally.

4: Really funny jokes I made usuing the word "Literally." The above was one of them.

0: Number of other people who laughed at my really funny jokes. At least I amuse myself, right?

So, not the most exciting weekend ever, but I sure enjoyed the hell out of it!

Almost Perfect

Tonight we went out for pizza at a local pub where Aaron and I used to hang out. We haven't been since I was pretty early in my pregnancy with Gabbie, so it's been a while to say the least. Let me tell you, I missed their pizza a lot. It's amazing.


While we were there someone put some fun songs on the juke box - Journey, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson - many of Gabbie's favorite songs to dance to. And dance she did. She had about half the restaurant smiling because of her "moves". Great food, great entertainment - this has been a great night.

Then I got home and went to start a new load of laundry and walked into the laundry room to see that I had started my last load but never closed the top of the washer, so they just sat there in water for the past couple of hours. I guess everything was going too well; I had to screw up something.

Luckily I had a large hard cider, so I'm feeling too good to care.

Birthday Questions

I have to make it quick because a certain someone seems to be waking up from her (way too short) nap. So, I have some questions:

1. What snacks should we make for my birthday party in a few weeks? We're planning on making all the food ourselves, but I have no idea what to make. It's going to be more of a cocktail party than a dinner.

2. Also, anyone got a good cake recipe? I can't decide what I want! I don't know why it's so hard this year, but I just can't seem to choose.

3. What would you rather have for your birthday: a garage door opener (where there is currently none) or an iPhone?

Pressing questions, to be sure. Only two weeks left of my 20s!

I can't decide if this was a good or bad idea

It has been a long week, but I'm still feeling some motivation to get moving more and hopefully shed a few pounds. So, with that in mind, I decided to take a class called Cross Fit at noon today from the most fit man I've ever seen in person. The instructor is approximately 2% fat and was telling us today about the favorite class he teaches - a combo class that's 1 hour of weight and abs work followed up by about 2 hours of spinning.

So what I'm saying is he's obviously insane.

But, he's also an incredibly nice guy who just wants us all to feel and do our best, and he gave us one hell of a workout. I felt a little, well, rubbery right after the workout. Then I felt okay. Now, despite a nice hot shower I'm feeling a little sore already. Tomorrow is going to be painful.

Also, I'm solo parenting tomorrow. I kind of don't always think things through completely.

Baby's First Vlog

Currently Gabbie is trying to break into our den (a closed off room that is typically off limits to her anyway, but is really off limits right now because our replacement stovetop is currently housed there and I'll be darned if I'm going to break another one), but earlier she had some things to share:

(I'm not incredibly tech savvy, so it will be up here shortly, but I want to make sure I got the post up for the day.)

(Also, I love the bunny thing. It's my favorite. You'll see.)

ETA: Here's the video!


Baby's First Vlog from Jessie Ca on Vimeo.

Recent Discoveries

Today I discovered something: If you have to psych yourself up to go somewhere nearly every single day, maybe it's time to look for somewhere else to go, if you know what I mean. (It's possible you don't, but I'm being deliberately vague.)

I also discovered that the fastest way to give yourself a (probably) psychosomatic stomach ache all day is to eat your lunch, using water from the sink tap to make it, and then read on the news that there's a boil water alert for the very area in which you sit right now. Thankfully I microwaved the hell out of that water, so I don't think it will be a problem. Once the idea that you've just consumed tainted water gets planted in your head, though, it's hard to get it back out.

Finally, Gabbie just discovered something "fun" (from the sounds of it) - pouring a cup of water out of the tub, soaking her dad in the process. Glad I won that rock, paper, scissors tonight!

Reversal

I'm sure this has happened to everyone else too. You have a day that starts out okay, but very shortly devolves into a day when you hate everyone, their face, and their brother.

I had one of those days today. I'm still having one of those days today, although coming home to an itty bitty girl who wanted nothing more than cuddle and hug and kiss me. A husband who made a delicious dinner from scratch was also an awesome mood adjuster. Thank God for my family and their ability to make it all worth it, even when I spend most of the day wanting to throw everything away and just hide for a while.

I also love being able to say "my family". It's amazing to have created this small group of people who mean the world to me.

And just like that, I'm feeling even better. Counting my blessings never fails to put everything else in perspective.

You know what else helps? Listing out a few things I love right now.

1. Say Yes to Carrots C Through the Night Moisturizing Cream. I've been using this every night lately after cleaning my face with their makeup removing cream (which I also Love). The cream smells so good and is kind of a relaxing scent, which totally makes sense. I really enjoy being lulled to sleep with good smells.

2. The Bloggess' posts about her trip to Japan (including and especially the posts to her "sex column". She makes me laugh incredibly hard.

3. V on ABC. I'm actually missing the second episode right now, but no worries because I'm recording it. On a related note, I also LOVE my DVR. Anyway, I'm always looking for new shows to enjoy, and this one fits the bill. It had enough in the pilot to keep me intrigued while still answering some of the questions with which it started out.

Now I'm going to watch my husband work out. From behind. It's kind of a nice view. See? All kinds of things are happening to improve my mood tonight!

We're pretending my blog is Twitter today

Just watched Aaron do his first EA Active workout. He's not talking so tough any more!

The Bare Minimum

I'm posting for NaBloPoMo, but just this sentence, because it's sunny and 70 out, which is unheard of in November in Michigan, so we're going to go enjoy it!

Perfection

Aaron's college roommate and his wife came for a visit today. Not only was it a lot of fun, but it also pressed us to clean up, and we got one more room unpacked and put together. Now we just have the basement that's full of boxes and empty of furniture, and we'll finally be officially settled in!

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and it makes me realize how much I miss having good friends that live nearby. We are definitely going to have to remedy that somehow.

So, yes. Fun day, clean house, and I've got a nice buzz going from some delicious margaritas we had with dinner. All in all it was a pretty perfect day. In addition, it's going to be sunny and warm tomorrow. I really couldn't ask for a better weekend.

Fun things were definitely needed today

Last night everyone in our house got approximately 3 hours of sleep. This was because a certain nearly-3-foot-tall person decided sleep was for chumps and was ready to party all night long (or she was hungry but we are trying not to reinforce the idea that it's okay to wake up for a mid-night snack). We finally gave in at about 3:30. She fell asleep at 4:00. Then she woke up for the day at 6:00.

In short, I'm exhausted, and the person that caused it is the only one who is expected to take a nap during the day.

Anyway, Aaron and I spent our lunch hour together and started to plan our anniversary. Our 5th anniversary is in December and we're going to a ski resort for about 4 days, or at least that's the current plan. We don't really ski, but there's a first time for everything, right? Plus, there's a spa, a winery, and lots of fancy restaurants.

And a bed, and no toddler, so it's pretty much perfection. I can't wait!

Priorities

I had a post stewing in my head, but then a helicopter flew right over our house and Gabbie completely lost her shit. Well, first she looked up, then she froze, and then she started screaming. It was impressive. So, instead of a comprehensive post, I'm going to go spend even more time cuddling with my girl.

Un-Fun

My fun thing for yesterday (which might not sound like much fun) was a 30 minute workout on the elliptical machine at our work gym. I also did 30 minutes of EA Active, so I felt like a superhero. I love the elliptical almost as much as I love step classes, so it felt good to get back on one.

But today. Today is apparently my un-fun day. Un-fun thing number 1 is that the swim class that I signed Gabbie and I up for is cancelled because we were the only people that signed up. But at least that negates un-fun thing number two which was going to be swim suit shopping. I think that's the most un-fun thing ever.

So instead, we're going out to eat for dinner, which is fun. I also had some delicious Indian food (and a basket of naan) for lunch, so that was fun too. All this fun today is negating my fun from yesterday. Also I think I said fun too much in this post (10 times).

Day three and I'm already resorting to bullet points

I have been super motivated lately, which is super weird. What happened to my laziness? I kind of liked it even though I never got anything done. Case in point (of the missing laziness), take today:
  1. By 7 a.m. today I had made breakfast (breakfast sandwiches) and dinner (pork roast in the crock pot).
  2. I worked out last night and was a little sore, but I decided it might be fun to stop by our work gym at lunch today and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. And I can't wait to do my EA Active workout tonight again. What the hell is up with that? (Also, my ankle is doing so much better; I would say I'm at about 75% of normal)
  3. I checked off more items on my work to-do list today than I normally do in 3 days.

Some other items worth sharing:
  • I didn't think the time change had affected Gabbie too much - she's been going to bed at her normal time and waking up a little late even. I thought I had the Fall Back mastered! Then her teacher at daycare told me that Gabbie was so tired by lunch time today that she ate her entire lunch with her eyes closed, and then crashed immediately after. She ate all her food, including yogurt with a spoon. Color me impressed (and amused)!
  • The constant whining - it is killing me! She is in a whining phase these days. Actually, it started on Sunday. Maybe the time change had more of an effect than I thought.
  • I was scared to death of teething before it actually happened. Besides a night of crappy sleep every now and then, the only way we've noticed she's teething is when we look in her mouth and notice, Hey! Another Tooth! My daughter is made of awesomeness. Just sayin'.
And, to finish off this incredibly random post, here's a picture:



Gabbie at the Cider Mill/Pumpkin Patch - she LOVED that wagon and cried when we made her get out of it and leave. Guess who's probably getting a wagon for her birthday next spring! (p.s. she has a much cuter hat now)

Halloween v.2009

For Halloween this year, Gabbie dressed up as a pumpkin/ballerina/interpretive type costume/her parents are lazy. Plus she wasn't going trick-or-treating (she doesn't get to eat candy yet), so we just made her cute. See?


She has 3 tutus, and I felt the need to use at least one of them. She was going to wear a black onesie underneath, but guess who just had a growth spurt!

Also, I put her hair up in a ponytail, which was about the most adorable thing ever:



Sometimes she's so cute it hurts.
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For my fun thing yesterday I bought a bunch of new beauty products, including a "trendy" nail polish in a very dark purple color. After Gabbie went to sleep I painted my toenails while Aaron was cleaning up the disaster area into which I had made the kitchen. (I used almost every dish in the kitchen - I swear.)

When he came into the room, he asked why I painted my toenails black. I told him it's purple, but he refuses to agree. Whatever, I think it looks cool.

I don't know what my fun thing will be today, but I'm really looking forward to Thursday's fun thing. I signed Gabbie and I up for a Mommy and Me swim class. We'll be doing 6 weeks of swim class, and I think she will love it. I can't wait!

NaBloPoMo

I'm on for NaBloPoMo on both of my sites. Here's hoping I do better than last year, when I'm pretty sure I was out within the first few days. Then there was the year before when I forgot on the 3rd to last day. That sucked.

Anyway, this should be extra fun, because I have decided to do something fun every day (starting yesterday) for the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday. Yesterday's fun thing was dressing up (just glittery makeup and a witch hat) for handing out candy. I have a few pictures of Gabbie too, which are adorable, and I'll post when I get a chance. I'm not sure what today's fun thing is yet, but just the thought of having to do something fun every day has put me in an excellent mood.

Happy NaBloPoMo and good luck to the other participants!

Ways in which my week is going better already

1. I'm leaving today to go to a conference (which, yuck), but it's in one of my very favorite places in the whole wide world - Traverse City. Add to that the fact that I'm taking Gabbie and my mom with me to share in the fun, and this is going to be a great trip!

2. I have a GPS to play with. I've always wanted one because I am horrible with directions, so I checked one out from work and get to use it during my trip. I'm thinking if we have extra time I might have to go find a geocache!

3. I did everything on my to-do list last night. Since I typically prefer to be a big ol' slacker, this is quite the accomplishment.

4. I made an apple pie last night and it turned out wonderfully. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end to my cooking slump.

5. I bought new shoes last night, and I love them.

To steal a sub-title: It sucked, and then I cried

So, last Thursday I was grumpy. Then it got worse.

I got to Gabbie's daycare and was informed that there was 1 confirmed case of H1N1 in a child that attends, and several other possible cases, including, most likely, Gabbie's teacher that I haven't seen since that day. Gabbie had spent the entire day in the baby room since they were short on teachers, and even though she was in a good mood, this also meant she was a little out of sorts. This child loves a routine, and if she's deined her routine it gets a little dicey. So we got home, and I decided to try to get dinner on the table by the time Aaron got home, so I got to cooking. I was to the last step - putting the broccoli on to steam - when Gabbie started whining to be picked up. Then she started sobbing to be picked up. So, I threw the broccoli in the pan, threw the pan on the stove, and cranked the heat up to medium high. And walked away.

The key thing I'm missing here is putting the water in the bottom of the pot.

So, long story short, I melted the glass on my less-than-2-months-old stovetop. We're one burner down. I think I can handle one burner down, but I'm also PMSing in a major way and throw a huge fit when Aaron is also (understandably) upset.

Friday morning arrives finding me with horribly swollen eyes from all the crying the night before (related: I hate PMS), and still cranky. I declare that I am done cooking for a while, and Aaron thinks that okay. He brings home Chinese for dinner that night and we're all in a better mood.

Saturday morning I decide to make that pepper jelly I've been wanting to make for weeks now. I start it up, get it going, and when it comes to a boil I reduce the heat to let it simmer for a little bit. Then it decides to not play nicely and boils over. The house fills with smoke as the sugar burns on my stovetop. We finally get it cleaned up a little while later, completely following manufacturer instructions for cleaning up spilled sugar on the glass cooktop, and we discover it totally pitted that burner - it's now unusable too.

I'm discovering that glass stovetops may not be the right fit for someone who cooks as much as I do, and has a tendency towards being a klutz/unlucky.

I really have sworn off cooking for the week (with the exception of the soup I put in the crockpot this morning, although I'm not even going to think of how that can go wrong because if I consider it, it probably will with my luck) which works well since I'll be at a conference the rest of the week. Gabbie (and my mom) are coming with me, so Aaron can rely on microwave meals or eating out until we get back on Friday, which is when the stove repair person comes.

So, to recap, last week sucked in a major, huge way. I'm really, really hoping this week is better. It really has to be or else I'm going to completely lose my mind. I promise.

Post-script: we're getting the stove top repaired, and then we're selling it and buying a gas range. If I'd have known this whole process was going to cost me around two grand, I would have chosen much differently in the first place.

Battling Away the Blahs

The other day I emailed Aaron to ask him why it was gain that we couldn't just drop everything and run away together (with Gabbie too, of course). He said something about responsibilities, blah, blah, blah, but seemed disappointed too.

So, to counteract this overhwelmed, tired, crabby state we seem to be in lately (me especially), here are five things I'm really grateful for lately, since it always seems to cause a vast improvement in my mood and general outlook, on life:

1. Gabbie learning to talk - it's adorable! Last night she lifted up her shirt, smacked her stomach, and delcared, "BEWWY!" (aka belly). She also makes saying goodbye a three-sylable word - "Buh-buh-bye!" See? Adorable!

2. Aaron and I have been watching lots of shows about ghosts lately, and I have to say, it's a lot of fun. Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures (that one had us up late with the lights on the other night), Destination Truth, and Ghost Lab. I also watched Paranormal State the other day and loved it too. I love it when we both get on a kick for the same thing; it's a great bonding experience.

3. A plethora of pears. We have a pear tree in our back yard, and apparently had a larger-than-normal crop this year (so sayeth our neighbor). I don't usually like pears, but these are excellent, and I've been having fun with them. Gabbie loves the pear sauce, Aaron loves the pear butter I've made, and I've enjoyed cooking with them quite a bit. I need to find some sort of baking recipe for the remaining pears so I don't waste them. Pears FTW!

4. Coffee/caffiene. When it comes to this point in the year - it gets dark earlier, cold weather starts to set in, it's rainy and grey all the time - my body goes into hibernation mode. Thankfully I have delicious, fresh roasted goodness to get me through. It really makes a huge difference.

5. Good friends. Tomorrow I'm having lunch with a former co-worker who I haven't seen in a long time (she was doing research in Africa!) and who I miss so, so much. Another co-worker is taking me out to lunch today. I also get to see my best friend on Sunday, and my other best friend is turning 30 next week and I have some fun up my sleeves that she doesn't know about yet. These ladies are so much fun, and I'm incredibly glad to have them in my life.

Elsewhere

Just a quick note: I have a question featured today at Bodies in Motivation. This is a great site, so you should check it out regardless!

Cuddle. Snuggle. Whatever you call it. I love it.

I still rock Gabbie to sleep almost every night.

That isn't to say that she can't fall asleep on her own. She totally can, and does, every day at nap time. Then there are some nights when I know she's really tired, but she just can't seem to settle down in my arms. She twists and turns, flip-flops between sides, and starts to get cranky. On those nights, we take her upstairs, give her a goodnight kiss, and tuck her into her crib. She usually flips over and falls right to sleep. And even though that's kind of nice some nights, I still find myself missing the cuddle time, since it's hard to pin her down when she's not falling asleep most days.

The other nights, though, we have a routine of sorts. When she's ready to go to sleep, she walks up to me and lifts her arms. Then, with her head nestled in the crook of my arm she pulls the hand of that arm down around her back and grabs my other arm and pulls it around her. She wants, it seems, for me to hold her tight, and I, of course, have no problem with this. Once she has me in position, she usually drifts off within a minute or two. If I dare move my arm to do something ridiculous like move my hair out of my face, she looks at me and waits patiently until I'm done. Then she puts my arm back to where she wants it.

Sometimes she rubs my arm while she falls asleep, which is adorable, but also tickles a lot. I take it for as long as I can, but some nights it tickles too much. Then she can't fall asleep because she's not being held right, and those are the nights when she usually either falls asleep on her dad or in her crib.

Lately she's been waking up at around 5:30 in the morning, and we've been bringing her into bed with us for extra cuddles until it's really time to wake up. And just like at night, she snuggles up to me (or to her dad some days) and pulls my arms around her until they're arranged just right. And then we both drift back off to sleep, cuddled up tight.

Even though it's time consuming and sleep interupting to get her to sleep, and back to sleep, this way, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Soon enough she's going to be to big to rock to sleep, or not want to crawl into bed with me for a cuddle. She's only a baby for such a small portion of her life, and I'm determined to get as much of this in as I can. And I'm also glad I have this space in which to write about this, so that after she is too big for all of this, I can look back and remember more clearly how things are these days. Things are wonderful.

Bad Advice

Last night, after making a delicious, but very involved corn chowder for dinner, I retired to my recliner to put my foot up and ice my ankle. Shortly thereafter, the twitching started. I got a twitch in the middle of my calf that went on for about an hour or so. I really didn't think anything much of it, other than the fact it was pretty freaking annoying.

Then this morning at work, the twitching started again. It went on for hours. I, as I am prone to sometimes do, came up with some unlikely medical condition causing it (a blood clot) and freaked the heck right out. Then I called my doctor, and left a message to have her call me back about. She had her assistant call later, and the advice they gave me is what this post is all about.

First, she said, it's probably nothing, and just apply some moist heat if it really starts to bother you. However, if it becomes painful and red, or if you start to have trouble breating(!!!) call and make an appointment to come in.

Yeah. Right. I'm having trouble breathing, do you have any appointments open?

Sure. How does next Friday work?

Seriously, that's about how it goes. I think, I hope, that I would be smart enough to head my ass into the ER if I were having trouble breathing.

And I was really starting to like this doctor too!

What we've decided is that she's advanced for her age

Yesterday afternoon on the ride home from daycare, Gabbie was being silly. Making noises, clapping her hands, and dancing in her seat. She kept making herself laugh really hard, and it was one of the greatest things ever. I love that kid so much it amazes me sometimes!

We got home and I was ready for the silly to continue. It gets dark here pretty early these days, so at 4:30, the sun was already pretty low in the sky. The front of our house faces west, so the sun was to our backs when we headed to the front porch. The sun was even out for once, a rare occasion these days. Of course, you know what happens on a sunny day right? You can see your shadow.

That's right, as soon as we got on the front porch, she saw her shadow, and absolutely lost it. I managed to get her in the house (no small feat since I can't pick her up and walk at the same time due to my bum ankle), where she saw even more shadows, and lost her cool even more.

The whole night was full of shadows and Gabbie losing her shit. She even saw the shadow of her arm on her high chair tray during dinner and started screaming. It may have been cute the first couple of times, but it was getting old, fast.

We tried everything we could think of to get her to be okay with her shadow. She would touch it, ever so gingerly, on the wall, but the floor shadows really got to her.

Finally, apparently more thirsty than scared of shadows, she got off my lap (where she had been perched all night - it's a nice, shadow free zone) and went to the kitchen. She was still moving slow for Gabbie and obviously watching her shadow, but she made it without stopping and crying big, fat tears. She ended the night more at peace with her shadow, but this morning had some problems again.

We googled the problem of course, and came up with, well, not much. Almost all the posts were about children who were older. Most people suggested reasoning with your child, but, seriously, you can't reason with a child who's not even a year and a half old yet. Someone else suggested past life regression. Yeah, I'll get right on that. Thanks.

Even though she seems so big and smart these days, she's still so little and just starting to learn about the world around her. It's hard to see her so upset when I can't do anything about it. I know this is just the first of many, many times I'll have this problem throughout her life. I just want to fix it, make it all better, see her happy and carefree again, but I can't. There are always shadows around, always something beyond my control, and that's a hard thing to have to learn how to deal with.

Toddlers are adorable. And funny.

Yesterday morning, just before we left the house for the day, Gabbie went into our living room to get her shoes. Just inside the room, she stopped, started crying loudly, and turned around, running into my arms. We couldn't figure out what happened. Did she hurt herself? Was she stuck somehow? She hates having her clothes over her hands and her jacket is a little big. Maybe that was it.

After making sure she was okay, we chalked it up to being a toddler, dried her tears, applied hugs and kisses, and left the house.

Around dinner time last night, Aaron tried to get her to go into the living room to do their pre-dinner playing like usual. Just inside the room, she stopped in the same spot, and started crying. Aaron flipped on the light, and she started crying even more.

Weird.

Aaron was starting to get spooked. Gabbie was definitely spooked. I thought there must be some logical explanation.

Turns out I was right.

This morning we came downstairs, and Aaron set her down on her feet at the bottom of the staircase. Immediately she looked down and started crying and grabbing at me to pick her up. I looked down to see what she saw, and discovered what had her so upset.

Her shadow.

The way the lights and windows are in this room she has at least two to four shadows as soon as she walks in, and their sudden appearance was making her lose her shit.

We spent a few minutes trying to get her to be okay with her shadow, but nothing doing. She's freaked out. Our plan for tonight is shadow puppets. It will either make her laugh, or we'll have a guest in our bed for a few more nights.

Also, how horrible are we as parents, laughing at our daughter's fear? It's adorable! We give her hugs and kisses through the laughter, so at least we're not totally cold-hearted.

What is normal anyway?

As evidence of how off I am these days, I accidentally just posted this on my cooking website. I think I need another nap.

This weekend was a fairly quiet one. We only left the house twice - once to Target for a winter coat for the Gabbster and once to go out to dinner - and spent the entirety of yesterday in our pajamas. While it sounds nice, this was all because we were each feeling under the weather in some way or another. I've got the ankle thing going on (still hurts a lot, probably because I keep doing stuff I shouldn't), Aaron's had a bad cold for over a week now (and won't go to the doctor like I keep asking him to), and Gabbie got two molars. Since we were all pretty crabby due to not feeling good, we didn't talk much either. Mostly just napped and watched movies on TV.

In other news, it seems as if Gabbie is trying to edge Aaron out of our bed, and she's the only one that's particularly happy about it. Don't get me wrong, I love the cuddles, but I don't love being kicked in the face, having someone's rear end in my face, or waking up at 5 a.m. to someone (cutely, yes) saying, "HI MAMA" loudly in my ear. I also miss Aaron. He hasn't had more than a couple of hours in our bed since Thursday night.

This is going to have to stop soon, although I think it might be related to the teeth, so hopefully it will stop when the teeth are in. She sleeps in her own bed until about 3 a.m., but after that she's done sleeping unless one of us is cuddling with her.

So, yes. It's been a long week or so. I'm ready for things to go back to normal, but I have a feeling that "normal" is still a ways off.

Two days in a row I've forgotten a title. What's wrong with me?

I am pleased to report that my ankle is feeling much, much better today. However, I'm still taking it easy in order to heal as quickly as possible so I can get to Project One Sexy Mama as soon as possible. I do have to admit that being unable to get into the kitchen to get snacks is great for my diet, and using crutches is a pretty good exercise for my arms.

Since I'm under doctor's orders to keep my foot up and iced as much as possible, I'm working from home today, and I actually get a lot more done at home because there's no one to socialize with. However, I still find plenty of ways to procrastinate. I'm in the middle of a solo Halloween fest - watching scary movies nad shows, wishing I had some miniature candy bars to put me more in the mood.

This inevitably gets me in the mood to start crafting Christmas presents - I usually spend the weekend before Halloween making presents while watching scary movies and eating caramel corn and caramel apples. (I love caramel, just in case you couldn't guess). This year I'm trying to do mostly homemade gifts - everyone in my life pretty much has enough stuff, and we're all pretty tired of stuff, so I think I'm mostly going to do consumables. I'm thinking limoncello, green pepper jelly, apple butter, and of course cookies and other sweets. The main reason I like doing homemade gifts is because not only do I get my gift-giving ready to go, but I'm also entertained in teh process. You can't get much more win-win than that!

Well, now. This post is definitely all over the place! Kind of like my brain, which I think is mostly going into overdrive because I can't actually do anything and I really want to. This sitting around is really, incredibly boring.
This weekend my sister and I were playing with her new iPhone (I'm hella jealous), and she was showing me all the fun apps she had downloaded. One such app was the FML app. FML stands for F*&# My Life, a website she regularly reads. We read a few, laughed, and felt better about our own lives for a few minutes.

So, yesterday I posted about my plan to get fit again. I spent the day coming up with plans for workouts, diet adjustments, and so on. I was really excited about it, and packed my gym bag so that I could attend the "butts & guts" class offered at our office gym today. I was feeling pumped up and ready to go.

Then, on my way out to my car this morning I tripped and rolled my ankle. Immediately, I was in a huge amount of pain and knew that I had done some serious damage. I quickly set Gabbie in her car seat (she was wide-eyed and looked a little scared - I think I yelled out in pain and it scared her), as the edges of my vision went black. I took off my high heel so that I could assess the injury, and found I couldn't put weight on it. I got Gabbie back out of her seat and told her to go inside as I fought back waves of nausea and the black starting to creep in. I hobbled back into the house, grabbed the phone, and called Aaron to come home.

One look at my ankle told both of us that we had to go get some medical attention, so we dropped Gabbie off at daycare and headed into the emergency room to see if I broke anything. After a few hours I finally got the results of my x-rays - no break, but I do have a nasty sprain. I have to stay off of it for 48 hours, use crutches for about a week, wear a brace for a few weeks, and it will take about 4 to 6 weeks to recover.

So much for intense workouts! At least I can still work with my diet, I guess. Ab and arm exercises don't use my ankle, so I can do a little of that, and then, hopefully, I'll be ready to start the real work in 3 to 4 weeks.

I'm mad at myself. I have too much to do to sit here with my leg up and rest. And, to end this like posts from my sister's favorite site: FML.

One Sexy Mama (at least that's the goal)

If you asked me how I've felt since Gabbie was born, I could give you several words to encompass my feelings: joyful, thankful, grateful, awed, amazed, humored, tired... The list goes on and on. One word that you won't find on that list, though, is sexy. I haven't felt sexy since about the middle of my pregnancy, and counting back, that means I really haven't felt sexy for nearly two years.

I need to get my groove back, in the worst way.

I'm still overweight; I lost 20 pounds in the first couple of weeks after she was born and the scale hasn't moved much since. I have a saggy stomach still. My boobs, well, let's just say they'll never be the same. My stretch marks have mostly faded, but the texture of my skin down there is a nightmare. Don't get me wrong, I never expected to bounce back and look exactly the same as I did pre-baby. I've seen what I looked like at 41 weeks pregnant. You can't come back from that.

But, I can make some progress. It's going to take some work, but I'm at the point I'm willing to put in that work. I need to eat better. I've already cut out fast food and am weaning myself of soda. I'm going to add physical activity to my routine, because I know that's the only way I can really get in a better shape; plus it helps with my seasonal depression, so now is the best time for me to start a routine again.

As of this evening, I've been felled by some sort of stomach bug, but when I'm feeling better I'm taking a picture of how I look now. I might even post it (with much apology before and after for subjecting you all to the sight). I just know that now is my time to do this, because I have 20 pounds to lose to be at a good starting point for getting pregnant again, which we expect to start on early next year. That gives me about 4 months to lose that 20 pounds, which I think is totally doable. If I do the work, that is.

It's just a list-making sort of week

Things I'd like to eat right now:
1. Pumpkin spice muffins with whipped icing
2. Sloppy Joes
3. Steak fries
4. Buffalo Wings

Even with what's listed above, I'm pleased to let you know that, with the exception of some time o' the month eating yesterday, my diet has been going quite well. I'm seeing much less muffin top today, and in my book? That's an accomplishment.

Things I'm excited about that are happening this weekend:
1. Going up to my parents' house to celebrate my dad's birthday
2. With my parents, sister, and most especially my brother and his wife, who we convinced to come last week and it's a surprise for my parents! This is going to be so much fun! It has also been a great test of my ability to keep a secret; something I'm not normally so great at.
3. The ensuing board game marathon that is sure to happen. Note to self: don't forget to bring Apples to Apples and Catan Expansion Pack (There I am, showing off my nerdiness once again)
4. MSU vs. U of M. All I have to say is GO GREEN!
5. Wine. We always drink lots of it up there, and I love it so.

(Stupid) Things I still have to do before heading out of town:
1. Work for several more hours.
2. Pack
3. Run errands (I'm going bra shopping, and I hate bra shopping)
4. Find something that will entertain Gabbie in the car
5. Avoid lunch-time temptation in the form of a potluck lunch celebrating this weekend's big game.

I Love Lists

My Five Top TV Shows of the Season
1. HIMYM
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. ANTM
4. Biggest Loser
5. Drop Dead Diva

Top 3 Things that could be the reason Gabbie refuses to go to sleep lately.
1. Teeth (I think this is most likely)
2. The episode of Ghost Hunters I watched while she was in the room where they caught a ghost on camera (it's been keeping me up too)
3. The munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. They freaked me out when I was a little kid too.

Top 5 things I should probably give up if I'm ever going to lose the last (20 lbs) of my "baby weight"
1. Nightly ice cream
2. Pie
3. Pop
4. Chocolate
5. Sitting on my butt as much as humanly possible

Top three things I'd rather be doing right now
1. Knitting
2. Playing Spore
3. Watching Destination Truth (I LOVE this show!)

Some favorites from Gabbie's summer

I'm taking the cheap way out today, but I know everyone loves pictures of my kid, right? Right?



She frequently sleeps like this in the car, and I think it's adorable.



This is one of my favorite things that we did this summer. I wasn't brave enough to hold onto a seed stick like my mom, but Gabbie loved it and amazingly didn't reach out to grab one of the birds that was easily within reach.



Just because I can.



I frequently call her Miss Silly Pants, but this is taking it a little far. Maybe.



Baby's first chocolate chip cookie. She loved it.



More silliness. Someone should tell that poor child's mother to pull her hair out of her eyes. (Not to get a haircut, because I can't bear that thought yet.)



Baby's first trip to the beach. We all had a blast!



Statistics

I have about two seconds to post today, but I thought I’d share this little statistic that I’m planning to collect data about for the next couple of months. I run data nearly every day, so I’m pretty confident that I can claim this to be true.
The probability that Aaron will make coffee in the morning is inversely correlated to the amount of sleep I’ve gotten during the night.


To wit: Monday night I got nearly 9 hours of sleep and woke up to a nice, hot pot of coffee waiting for me. Last night I got approximately 5 hours of sleep between the hours of 11 pm and 4 am, and there was no coffee.
WHY????!?


Doesn’t he understand that he should make the coffee when I really, REALLY need it? Instead I was forced, forced I tell you, to go get a giant S’mores Latte at the local coffee shop so that I had both the caffeine and the sugar necessary to make it through my day. I’m already starting to fade, so I better go get a Coke for lunch. And…I’m off.

Oh, right. We bought a house. (Part Deux)

This part won't be nearly as exciting as the first part, but here's most of the rest of the house anyway.

The Basement

Aaron is very excited about having a basement, especially since I told him he can do whatever he wants with the space down there. (As I was typing this, Aaron walked by and told me he loved me, and I said, "and I love you down there" as opposed to ending the statement, "as well". I have tears in my eyes I'm laughing so hard, and he says that sometimes guys need to hear that. Glad I could oblige. (Also, maybe I can't talk and type at the same time.))

Here's one end of the finished part of the basement:

And the other end:

This is Aaron's favorite part of the basement:

He's got it loaded with tools already (all the ones he bought, I swear, so he could fully utilize his tool bench).

The Upstairs:
Our upstairs contains the three bedrooms and two full baths. Unfortunately I took crappy pictures of two bedrooms and the kids'/guest bath, so here's a picture of our master bedroom.


I love the windows in there. Actually, I love the windows throughout the whole house. It's so bright and cheery! Also in our master bedroom is the master bath (on the right) and walk-in closet (to the left).
We'll be done re-doing the bedroom as soon as we paint (we didn't do it a couple of weekends ago as planned), but we have big plans for the bathroom.
So, yeah. That's pretty much the rest of the house. Someday, as we get things finished and set up just the way we want them, I'll post "after" pictures for comparison. With as long as it took me to get these up, I wouldn't expect them any time soon, though.
I only have a couple of minutes to post again today, but for a totally different and way more fun reason. We have the day off and we're heading out soon on a road trip.

(Also, on a completely adorable note, Gabbie is playing peekaboo with me from behind my laptop screen, by popping around the side and saying "Hi!". I might melt it's so cute.)

So, here's just a few quick points again today:

My crush on Joel McHale got bigger last night after watching Community (even though most of the pilot was featured in the preview). He's hilarious, and he has that dorky-cute thing going on that I always fall for. Plus! I'm like 3 degrees of separation from Mr. McHale - my best friend went to seminary with his brother. So close, yet so far away.

Gabbie has 2 baby dolls at home and one at school, and she is very cute with them. She gives them hugs and kisses, then lays them down and pats their backs. She'll also try to feed them from whatever cup she has in her hand. She coddles real babies too. There were several little babies in her old room at daycare, and she would give them a pacifier if they cried (although it may not have always been their pacifier), and give them hugs and kisses on a regular basis. She loves babies, which makes me think she'll be a great big sister when the time comes sometime in the distant, not currently in the process or plans, future.

And...that's all I have. Time to go pack a picnic lunch for the beach!

Let's see how fast I can type

I have 3 minutes to tap out an entry today, because I am crazy busy, so here goes.

Gabbie slept through the night last night. Halleluiah!

I made a delicious pot roast for dinner last night (I’ll post about it over here). I seriously could have eaten the entire thing, by myself in one sitting. I love pot roast. Aaron informed me that he really does not love pot roast; he couldn’t bring himself to eat more than a couple of bites. He says that his mom ruined it for him by making dried out roasts with no flavor. Gabbie, however, LOVED it, and would have helped me finish off the entire roast if I would have let her. So, he’s outnumbered and has to deal with roast for dinner at least a few times a year. Hey, I make and eat meatloaf because he loves it so much. Ditto for chicken breasts (I’m just not a big fan of huge chunks of chicken). He’ll survive, I’m sure.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think ANTM is a little boring this season. Or maybe I’m just getting too old for it. Either way I’ll keep watching it. It’s tradition!

It's bad when you day dream about taking a nap. Really bad.

We don’t know what is causing it, but Gabbie has been sleeping horribly for almost a week now. She doesn’t seem to be teething, she made it through the transition to the toddler room at daycare and has settled in there pretty well, even making an easy switch to one nap a day. We’re seriously at a loss as to what is going on. But she’s really not sleeping, which doesn’t make it easy to pull together the brain power that is a necessity for me this week at work.

Just for example, on Monday morning she woke up at 4:30. I had stayed up late finishing a good book, so waking up at 4:30 netted me about 4 ½ hours of sleep, definitely less than the 8 I strongly prefer and have gotten used to again lately. When it became clear that she wasn’t going back to sleep, I turned on the TV and put on Sesame Street for her to watch while I snoozed. I really didn’t get any additional sleep though, and all day Monday I was a complete zombie, doing only whatever basic functions were needed to get me through the day. I was so worthless that I went to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner – we were having tacos – and I forgot beef and tortillas. Kind of essential ingredients for our tacos.

That night was somewhat better, but then last night was a mess again. She was up from 12:30 to 2:30. Aaron and I each took an hour, and finally she crashed hard. Interrupted sleep is in no way good sleep, though, and I’m a mess again today. I forgot my purse at home, and didn’t really think much of it, but that’s where my birth control resides, so I’m going to have to run home at lunch to get it. I also forgot to eat breakfast this morning, so that’s always helpful. So here it is, 11:15, and I’m counting the minutes till I get to leave for lunch. Here’s hoping the day only goes up from here. And that she finally sleeps tonight. I really, really like the sleep that she’s allowed me lately. No fair reneging!

It's a metaphor

Be ye forewarned – this post contains a little more personal information than I usually like to share, but it was funny and I’m out of other things to post about since my life is pretty much made up of work, cuddling with Gabbie for a few moments, eating, and sleeping right now. September sucks.

Anyway…

Since September sucks so much, and because we’re still getting settled into the house which means we’re busy all day and totally wrecked come bedtime, even on the weekends, Aaron and I haven’t had much of a chance to, um, we’ll go with go bowling lately. We both want to bowl, but it just hasn’t seemed to be in the cards, which stinks because we both enjoy bowling.

On Saturday afternoon, Aaron was taking a break from yard work, I had just finished mopping the kitchen floors, and we noticed that Gabbie had fallen asleep in her bean bag chair while watching her very favorite movie (Shrek). We decided that this provided us the best opportunity we had for a little bowling, but we didn’t want to go upstairs just in case Gabbie woke up and was disoriented because we weren’t there. So, there’s one little spot in the front hallway that’s invisible from all windows in the house and we decided to bowl there. Just as we were getting the game underway, I notice there are shadows moving by the front door. I can see about an inch of window space, and suddenly someone’s left arm appears. Then there’s a knock on the door.

Of course. So, we quickly put away our bowling gear, and I go answer the door, because it’s obvious we’re home and all the neighbors have seen us around the yard all day, so they probably won’t go away if I don’t answer.

It was one of the neighbors inquiring about our lawn mower, so I gave him all the information I had, and let him check it out, but since Aaron was not quite over our missed opportunity to bowl, I told him I’d send Aaron over later.

Also, the commotion woke up Gabbie.

We’ve been laughing about this all week, because it seems the universe is against us getting in a game lately. No worries, I’m sure we’ll get a chance to go bowling again sometime soon. I hope.

So, I guess you could say she's a fan

So, I disappeared there for a week or so. I took off a few days from work, then got sick, so I decided to just stay in bed and ignore everything else. It was lovely. Thankfully I started to feel better by this past weekend, so we were able to accomplish quite a bit. Well, Aaron was able to accomplish quite a bit, and I spent a lot of time entertaining Gabbie. But, it was fun. We tailgated (I’ll post a picture later), we watched lots of football (my team lost, his won, sucks when that happens!), Gabbie played in the yard for the first time since we moved in (the mosquitoes have finally abated some; previously you couldn’t go out there without getting at least 5 bites, I swear), and then she had her very first milkshake, which was the absolute highlight of the weekend for all of us.

She and I were out running errands for Aaron, who had been doing yard work all morning and into the afternoon. I figured he could use something to cool him down, so we stopped by Steak and Shake to grab a couple of shakes on the way home. The whole way home, Gabbie and I passed our vanilla shake back and forth. I watched her eyes light up with her first sip, and heard her get whiny if I was taking too long to give the shake back on my turn.

For some reason, I have this fear of her drinking too much cold too fast and getting a bad cold headache, and think she’s too little to realize the pain will soon abate, so when we got home, I put the shake in the freezer for a few minutes while I unloaded the car. Cue absolute hysterics. She had tears streaming down her face and she was yanking on the freezer handle trying to get it open (oh, boy am I screwed for when she finally can, because she knows that’s where we keep the ice cream). She plopped down on the ground and continued screaming and crying while Aaron and I laughed and laughed (I could just bet that if she could speak she would have told us she hated us for that, but it really was incredibly funny). It took me about five minutes total to unload the car, and she cried the entire time. When I was done, I picked her up and gave her a hug. She had those after-a-hard-cry hiccups, that are adorable and break my heart at the same time. A few minutes later we went to get the remainder of the shake out of the freezer. There wasn’t much left, and I’m sure you can guess what happened when we finally finished it.

Yep. More hysterics. I threw the cup away and she even went so far as to try to get the cup back out of the trash, but I wouldn’t let her.

Shortly afterward she went down for her over-due nap. I think we were all equally relieved.

Oh Happy Day

Yesterday was a wonderful, relaxing, fun day during which I spent exactly zero minutes on the computer. We lounged around for the morning, went out to lunch and roamed around the downtown area of a nearby quaint little town, went to dinner, and then Gabbie went to bed early so I had time to knit before I hit the hay. Additionally, it’s the day before a long holiday weekend, we’re going to a baseball game tonight (I haven’t been in 2 years and can’t wait), and my best friend is visiting this weekend. Consequently I’m in a pretty good mood this morning.

Then, this morning, I stopped by Metalia’s site, and found this gem: People of Walmart. I haven’t laughed quite so much in a long while. I hope it makes your Friday as fun as it has made mine.

Yes, Again. I know.

Last night was the only night this week that we were alone in our house. We’ve had/will have overnight guests galore! Since we’ve been doing a lot of cooking/entertaining we decided to take it easy on ourselves last night and go out to dinner. However, we still ended up eating at home because Gabbie was throwing such a fit at the restaurant that we had to leave before we finished eating. Before the food got there, she was getting so riled up that the lady at the table next to us offered her some French fries to keep her busy while we waited. I embarrassingly accepted, and was thankful for such kind, generous people, but still. It was horrible. She never acts like that, so I don’t know what was up. She’s getting ornery in her old (15 months) age.

This morning wasn’t much better. Everyone was better behaved, but Gabbie had a poopsplosion the likes of which we hadn’t seen before. Sure, she’s done the up the back thing before, but this was solid and came out the leg-holes of her diaper. This is going to get even grosser. You’ve been warned. So much came out that Aaron had to scoop it out of her pants with a wipe. He cautioned me as I turned the corner into the family room not to come any further. He’d rather just clean it up himself than let me witness the horror. So, Gabbie got a bath, and her pajamas got a fresh wash all by themselves in the washing machine. Consequently, both Aaron and I were late for work and I missed a conference call. Thank goodness for competent assistants who filled in for me!

And now for some totally unrelated topics:

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this is the scariest damn teddy bear I’ve ever seen. I would never let that anywhere near my house, not to mention I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with it in someone else’s house!

I have recently discovered the awesomeness of Ask Metafilter. This post is one of many that make me want to have a party, and this post makes me want to get Gabbie down to bed early on as many nights as possible (and not for what you think before you click that link!). I love going to the “Popular Favorites” tab every day to see what comes up. I never fail to learn something interesting (for example, Irish Pub Culture)when I visit this site.

Time is Getting Away From Me

These weeks seem to be flying by much to quickly. I can't believe it's almost September. I mean, honestly. Football starts next week. I am so not ready for this.

Not to mention that I keep forgetting to write here. I always think "I'll write when I get home" or "I'll write in the morning", but then I never do because I'm busy. This week alone we've had to prepare for unexpected out of town guests, take Gabbie to urgent care about a rash that had to be diagnosed before she was allowed back to daycare (she's allergic to my mom's laundry detergent - mom had washed a new outfit she bought for her and the rash disappeared shortly after we stripped her and gave her a bath), then Gabbie didn't sleep for 2 days which just about killed me.

Also, we've had to deal with the most annoying situation ever from our power company. We got a letter in the mail two days ago stating that they couldn't verify Aaron's identity, so unless he provided them with documents proving his identity, social security number, and ownership of the house, they were going to turn off our power on September first. Nothing like short notice before they SHUT OFF OUR POWER. And it's not like we didn't pay our bill or something that would seemingly justify this, or that they had given us any prior notice. I think this whole situation is completely unacceptable.

Admittedly, I'm deep in the throes of PMS, so add in very little sleep and once again I'm no fun to be around this week. But I'm working on good karma by being nice to others. It at least can't hurt. I'm excited today that our division at work is doing community service in the form of freshening up the multipurpose room at a local family shelter with paint and a good deep cleaning. I'm making Aaron one of his favorite dinners tonight, and since I'll be home early, I'll also be doing a good deep cleaning of kitchen and family room before he gets home. Gabbie finally slept last night, so I might take her to the park today for some fun. We all deserve it.

I'm also getting donuts for breakfast this morning. I definitely deserve them after this week.

Once again with the tidbits

It may only be Tuesday, but this week has been crazy already. The reasons for this include:

1. Gabbie is starting in the toddler room in daycare this week. They move them up gradually, and she’s only on day two, so she’s spending two hours there this morning. I just can’t believe my itty bitty baby is big enough to be in the toddler room already. That said, it’s also amazing how big she looks next to the babies in the baby room. It’s definitely time for her to move on, but it’s a little hard on all of us, especially since she loves her baby room teachers so much. They’re sad she’s moving up too. (Of course, it doesn’t help that I have a horrible case of PMS in the middle of all of this sadness.)

2. This weekend we bought a new range and refrigerator for our kitchen, which I expected but not quite so soon. That’s totally fine with me, though. I’m really excited to get them in, but they won’t be delivered for another two weeks. They had to order them since we wanted black and apparently all anyone carries anymore is stainless steel. I just didn’t want to have to deal with that many fingerprints on my appliances. However, we do have to do some work on the kitchen in order to get the refrigerator to fit, so there will be some demolition this week/weekend, not to mention some plumbing since we will now have an icemaker/water dispenser. We did manage to buy one of the biggest refrigerators on the market, but we got it for a steal because they had it priced incorrectly in their system. Score one for us!

3. Speaking of house stuff, we’re painting this weekend. We’re starting with our bedroom, and I’m having trouble deciding on colors. I want something kind of like Tiffany Blue, or Martha Stewart’s Vintage Map color (it’s about halfway down the page), but I can’t decide how light or dark to go. Our furniture has a deep brown finish, and we’re doing white accents. I just can’t wait to get something painted, because our house is all various shades of beige leftover from the previous owners. Then we just have to decide what color to paint Gabbie’s room (yellow or purple), both upstairs bathrooms, the kitchen (I’m thinking a kind of avocado green), the dining room, and the family room (the most contentious room colorwise – we can’t seem to come to an agreement). There are plenty of other rooms to paint too, but the spare bedroom will be last and dependent on “future baby”, which is what we call the hypothetical second child right now.

Nice Save

I don’t know why, and I hate complaining, but it seems like every week lately has been one of those weeks. Two weeks ago I was feeling completely overwhelmed and Aaron and I were constantly bickering. Last week was the crazy daycare week, where the building caught on fire and they found out they needed to remove asbestos, all in one day! This week has been one big bag of blah. Throw in mastitis (which has thankfully been cured, finally) and just a general annoyed-at-the world thing, and I’m sure you’d find me an absolute joy to be around these days. Sure, there have been one or two good days, but mostly I’ve been a big ol’ crab, and even I’m sick of it.

This morning Aaron was teasing me a little about how I walk with a heavy step, because I noticed Gabbie was doing the same thing. Then he commented on how she was also like me because she always gets things on her clothes that stain, and now we’re going to have to go buy her new things (when really, she mostly needs new things because she’s outgrowing everything right now). He kept on going, picking on and needling me until I wanted go smack him, but instead I decided to stick up for myself.

“That’s enough negatives for me today, thankyouverymuch. Now you have to pay me three compliments to make up for it, Handsome.” (Yes, I do have annoying pet names for Aaron. Sorry.)

So he started ticking them off for me. He loves me because I’m smart, beautiful, a good mother, and an excellent cook (I knew I won him over the old fashioned way – through his stomach). He can’t imagine spending his life with anyone else, and he feels lucky that he ended up with a catch like me.

Well played, Mister Man. Well played.

(My day has been much better since then, as you can imagine.)

A Few Monday Tidbits

Mondays suck. Everyone knows this. Just thought I’d restate the obvious.

Do you want to know something I feel bad about? (I’m telling you whether you do or not, actually.) I feel bad that my work pays a lot of money to run the air conditioning for our office, and then I warm it right back up with my space heater. It was seriously 66 degrees in here earlier, which is slightly ridiculous, especially since we’re all dressing for the hot summer weather that has finally arrived. I wore flip flops (fancy office ones like these) and my toes are seriously blue.

Speaking of seriously blue – if you watch True Blood, have you noticed how much more pale everyone is? During last night’s episode Bill was so pale he was almost blue at one point. Anyway, that was one seriously good episode, and it’s hard to wait for next week. I’m also sad that there are only 3 new episodes left this season. Finally, what is up with the Jessica/Hoyt story line? It wasn’t in the books, and I don’t get the necessity of it other than continuing to use a character they made up in the first season.

I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of the kittens this weekend. I’m explain more about them tomorrow, but suffice it to say I’m missing their absolute cuteness.

You can roll your eyes at me if you want (the nice thing is I can’t see it through the computer), but last week I joined FlyLady. Aaron is much busier at work these days, working long hours and being constantly busy during those hours, and so I need to pick up the slack a little around the house. Trouble is, he’s the good housekeeper in our family, and I have no idea what to do. I really like this system so far because it basically tells me what to do, so I don’t have to make any decisions. So far the dishes have been done every night before bed (which is different) and I’ve done at least one load of laundry every day (and put it promptly away, which is also different). Not that I live in squalor usually, it’s just that having a toddler tends to take up all my time. This is already helping to make things easier around the house, so I’m enjoying it. We’ll see if it continues to go so well. I tackle my first “hot zone” tonight.

Oh, Right. We Bought a House.

And here it is:

We went to look at this house just for fun - we couldn't believe the price for the size and neighborhood. We were sure there was something wrong with it, but we thought we'd go look because we were so curious. 

I started falling in love while I was walking up to the front door. Then I opened the door and saw this:

The living room 

I looked at Aaron, and that's when he knew we were in trouble, because I had already fallen completely in love with the house. One look, and I was already sold.

If you turn to the right when you walk through the front door, you see this:


It's a den/dining room/bonus room. Currently it houses boxes, but it will eventually be our formal dining room (if I have my way) or office (if Aaron has his way).

Off of the living room is the kitchen:


I absolutely love all the counter space. The dishwasher has already been replaced, and the stove, refrigerator, sink, and countertops are following sooner than later. 


Just past the kitchen is the eating area and the family room:


The family room extends around the corner and is about twice the length you see here, and full of windows. It's my absolute favorite room in the house.

We're currently doing a lot to this floor - we put in new door knobs/deadbolts (you never know who out there has a spare key), we're replacing appliances, light fixtures, painting, perhaps adding more wood floors (I hate the carpets - they pill, fuzz, and show every speck of dirt), adding new window treatments, and maybe even buying new furniture. Being a home owner is both fun and expensive!

Also on the first floor are a half-bath/mud room and the laundry room. Off of the living room is the staircase to the second floor, which I'll share tomorrow...
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